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SD in Plain Clothes - T. Becker
Dragons in Dreams

SD T. Becker in Plain Clothes action figure by DiD


Over the last 12 months, I've gotten a lot of emails telling me that Dragons in Dreams, a sixth scale company that's been around for quite awhile now, had really stepped up their game and was rivaling Hot Toys and Enterbay for head sculpts, paint work, outfits and accessories. I don't recall if I'd ever picked up one of their figures (I might have the Lord of the Rings figures...but if I do, they are boxed up in storage), and so I thought it was high time I picked up a few and checked them out.

I started with T. Becker, the SD Officer in Plain Clothes from their World War II Nazi figures. I figured Aldo Raine needs someone on the shelf with him. This figure is their 8th Anniversary edition, which includes a second head sculpt.

I've also picked up both of the Enemy at the Gates figures, Vasily Zaytsev (Jude Law) and Erwin Konig (Ed Harris) and will most likely be reviewing them as well in the coming weeks.

DiD figures aren't cheap, although not much is in the sixth scale world these days. Becker will run you around $100, depending on the retailer. There's more than one version of this guy, so if you're looking for the 'plain clothes' figure, be sure to pay attention.

Packaging - ***1/2
The box is a traditional double flap front, with one large tray for the figure and two smaller trays for the majority of the accessories. Everything is collector friendly, and you can easily remove the figure and put him back at a later date with no damage to the package itself.

There are some great photos on the box, but the amount of text is lacking. They need to also include some instructions, especially when it comes to the more intricate accessories. Just a simple parts list would be an improvement.

SD T. Becker in Plain Clothes action figure by DiD
SD T. Becker in Plain Clothes action figure by DiD
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SD T. Becker in Plain Clothes action figure by DiD
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SD T. Becker in Plain Clothes action figure by DiD
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SD T. Becker in Plain Clothes action figure by DiD
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SD T. Becker in Plain Clothes action figure by DiD
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SD T. Becker in Plain Clothes action figure by DiD
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SD T. Becker in Plain Clothes action figure by DiD
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SD T. Becker in Plain Clothes action figure by DiD

Sculpting - ***1/2
There are two portraits - the standard one you see in all the photos, and the additional 'free' (or so says the box) head sculpt. I didn't swap, as I preferred the standard version, but I included a shot so you can see the difference.

If you compare Becker back to the older DiD figures of 5 or 6 years ago, you'll notice a huge difference in the quality of the sculpt. This is a very realistic portrait, and has an evil, cruel expression that chills the blood.

The skin texture is excellent, and they've captured the look of danger in the eyes perfectly. This isn't just a guy in a suit, and it's the sculpted expression that makes that clear.

The heads swap pretty easily as long as you heat up the neck with a hair dryer first. You should also be able to use the extra head if you have an extra body laying around for a custom job.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint work isn't quite up to Hot Toys standards yet, but it's getting close.

The eyes, hair, and lips are excellent, very clean and sharp. The glossy eyes reflect light naturally, and the skin tone is slightly ruddy and tanned.

The only thing holding him back from a perfect score is the slightly glossy appearance to the overall head. It gives him a slightly sweaty appearance, and I prefer a more matte finish.

Articulation - ***1/2
I didn't strip the body down fully, largely because of the complexity of the buttons on the various pieces of clothing (more on that in the Outfit section). However, the figure posed very naturally in many ways, and the joints were all very strong and sturdy. All the articulation that you'd expect is here, although the neck is only jointed at the torso, not below the jawline.

This body reminds me very much of the one Triad Toys is using for their figures, with a similar amount of articulation and posability.

Like the Triad bodies though, the legs tend to be a bit too long, and make the figure lankier than it should be. It's a minor issue, but holds the body back from being at the top with the TrueType.

He stands 12 1/4 inches tall, which means he'll fit in well with other modern sixth scale figures from Sideshow, Hot Toys and Enterbay. He's a little taller than Aldo, but it works for me.

Accessories - ****
When I was a boy, I loved the Marx Best of the West series of 12" action figures. These figures were sturdier than G.I. Joes, and came with a metric ton of accessories. Near the end of my youthful action figure days, they released one of my all time favorites - Sam Cobra. Sam was a gambler and a bad man, but my reason for loving him was simple - he had some seriously cool extras, like a derringer that hid in his belt buckle, and a blade that fit inside a cane.

Memories of that figure came pouring back when I was outfitting Becker. Like Sam, he is a bad man with a serious load of extras, although the quality of the items has certainly increased along with the price tag.

Let's start with the coolest of the cool, his umbrella. This is a real umbrella, with all metal parts and a fully functional mechanism. It opens and closes smoothly, and my only complaint is that it's a little difficult to wrap the belt around and through the buckle. You can do it, but be VERY careful, since putting too much torque on the metal spindles could bend them.

But this isn't cool just because it's a perfect working replica of the real deal - there's also a sword in the handle! The silver skull handle turns and out slides a polished metal blade, sharp enough on the point to take out an eye. This thing is an engineering marvel for this scale, and you'll see it going for $20 or more all by itself on ebay.

That's not his only weapon, however. He also has a handgun, complete with leather holster and silencer. The gun, removable clip and silencer are all metal, and the silencer actually screws onto the barrel! The holster can be worn on the belt, and has a separate pouch for the tubular silencer. While the closure is the post/strap hole style, it works better than usual.

That's it for weapons, but that's probably all this devil needs. On the off chance he decides to take you into custody, there's a pair of handcuffs and keys, all metal of course. The handcuffs open and close, but the locking mechanism isn't functional.

He has his own vices as well, and comes with a large number of cigarettes, and a cigarette case to put all but a couple inside, and a cool two piece lighter. Again, like the silencer and gun barrel, the top of the lighter case is threaded so the it can screw on, not just pop on. And again, both pieces, as well as the cigarette case, are metal.

There's a metal pocket watch that opens and closes, as well as a long fob. On one end is a leather strap to attach it to a button, and on the other is a Nazi 'badge'. Normally, the watch would also attach to this end, but I couldn't find a way to do that. Instead, it looks like this fob is specific to his identification badge.

A man like Becker needs to carry papers with him, and he has a very well made leather briefcase for just such a purpose. You can open it up if you like, although working with those small straps and buckles can be a headache.

I already discussed the additional portrait in the Sculpting and Paint sections, but it's worth noting here again since it improves the Accessory score as well.

There are two small insignia pins, one for the suit jacket lapel and one for the outer coat. You won't see them in place though - I couldn't figure out how to connect them. I thought perhaps there would be some two sided fabric tape or something like that included, but I didn't find any. I suppose you'll have to come up with your own tape or glue, which I'll get to eventually.

Finally, there's the extra set of bendy hands. While DC Direct has tried unsuccessfully to use bendy hands with their Deluxe figures, DiD has managed to do it right on theirs. There's no oversized sausage fingers, and the digits actually bend smoothly and cleanly. While I didn't have much more luck with these holding accessories, they do pose in a very natural way. Swapping hands is easy as well, with little fear of wrist peg breakage.

Outfit - ****
The other truly outstanding aspect of DiD's current figures is the costuming. Quality on top of quality makes them stand out on the shelf.

Sometimes though, there's too much reality. I think that's the case with some of the DiD choices, particularly with the fasteners.

This figure comes dressed in a white shirt, suit paints and coat (double breasted), leather shoes with real shoe laces (and cleats!), striped neck tie, and a leather belt. The quality of the material is top notch, and the stitching and tailoring is just about perfect.

Included in the package is a vest, as well as a brown overcoat. This gives you a number of different display possibilities.

The jacket, shirt, vest and coat are actually held closed by the buttons themselves. Yep, those tiny, itty bitty buttons are slipped through tiny, itty bitty button holes. Taking them off is tricky, and getting them back on again can be an exercise in frustration.

It's not impossible, and I found that the best way is to work with a pair of small needle nose pliers. To button something back up, reach through the button hole with the tiny pliers, grasp the edge of the button, and pull it back through.

While this works, it's not the sort of thing I want to do repeatedly. I started to put the holster on his belt, and decided against it - it was probably going to pooch out the jacket a bit anyway, and once it was in place, putting the gun and silencer in or taking them out was simply going to be too much effort. The outer coat was so tight that I used the belt to hold it shut, rather than put that much strain on the buttons. This is one of those rare cases where I would have rather foregone reality and had tiny snaps instead.

There's also a sculpted soft rubber hat. It's a little large for his head, but not quite as bad as we've seen with some sixth scale figures. Like glasses, hats are very tough to get in scale.

I already mentioned his outer coat, which is done in a faux brown leather. I would have preferred black, but only because that's how I generally view bad guys - all in black. The contrast between the black suit and brown coat actually works quite well, and offsets his appearance nicely.

One of the more unique costume pieces is the black gloves. Done in a stretchy material, the look very much like leather when in place. They fit over the bendy hands, although it does take a little patience. Once they're on, you'll be leaving them on. The hands tend to look a smidge oversized with them on, but much like hats, hands tend to be tough to get in scale. Again, this might have been too much realism. I like the idea, and it works pretty well, but sculpted gloved hands in a couple different poses would have looked just as good and been easier to work with.

I almost forgot to mention the red pocket square, which is a separate piece. This guy can hang out with Toht and compare fashion tips.

Fun Factor - ***
These aren't for the younger set, particularly with the many metal accessories and sharp edges. But for the adult collector, particularly the ones that remember the action figures of the 60's and 70's fondly, they are more fun than should be allowed. The accessories might be a hair more fragile than Sam Cobra's, but when handled carefully they can be almost as much fun.

Value - ***
This guy isn't a licensed character, so the expectation is that the price will be lower than something from Hot Toys, and it is. But considering the quality of the outfit and accessories, getting this guy for less than $100 is a very good value.

Things to Watch Out For -
I mentioned the buttons and using needle nose pliers to work with them, as well as taking care when wrapping the umbrella tight. Like all high end sixth scale figures, the more realistic the tiny accessories are, the more careful you should handle them.

Overall - ***1/2
DiD has come a long way since I last looked at their product, and it's all in the right direction.

The accessories are outstanding, with tons of die cast extras. The outfit is extremely high quality and very realistic - perhaps a little too much, depending on how you feel about working with those buttons.

Both the sculpting and paint work has improved drastically, and I'm thrilled with what I'm seeing. I can't wait to crack open the two figures from Enemy at the Gates, and I'll be looking to pick up more DiD figures in the future.

As for Becker, he's gong to be taking a place on the shelf with Aldo and Toht, and he should feel right at home.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ****
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
The usual suspects don't carry DiD figures, but you can search ebay for a good deal.

Related Links -
Other DiD products I've covered:

- there's a guest review of their Captain Miller from Saving Private Ryan.

- another guest review covers their 101st Airborne Foster.

- and finally, there's a guest review of their Lord of the Rings figures.

- and check out DiD's website for more info.

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SD T. Becker in Plain Clothes action figure by DiD


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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