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Tonto - The Lone Ranger
Hot Toys
07-11-14

Lone Ranger Tonto sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


No matter how you look at it, The Lone Ranger was a bust. Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp had teamed on a western before, making the highly entertaining and successful Rango. Depp had teamed with Verbinski to great success with another classically styled property - Pirates of the Caribbean. But the third time was clearly not a charm, as the summer release tanked at the box office with less than 90 million domestically.

While the title of the movie was all about the Ranger, it was really the character of Tonto that carried the film. While I was not impressed with the movie - the word mediocre was created for just such experiences - I did like Depp's performance and the unique design for the character's costume.

It was a little surprising to see Hot Toys pick up this license, particularly considering the others available to them that they passed on. If I had to guess, I'd say it was their past work with Depp, on everything from Jack Sparrow to Sweeney Todd that convinced them to give it a shot. 

They've talked about doing both lead characters, but only Tonto has seen the light of day. It's just a crazy, wild guess on my part, but I'm betting that's all we end up seeing from this license.

Tonto is currently shipping, and runs around $200 depending on the retailer.

Packaging - ***
This is about as basic as Hot Toys packaging gets. There's a nice looking outer slip cover, with a sandy color and damaged edge to give it that old west feel. They've used a still from the movie for the cover photo, which can be good - and bad.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Lone Ranger Tonto sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Lone Ranger Tonto sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Lone Ranger Tonto sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Lone Ranger Tonto sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Lone Ranger Tonto sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Lone Ranger Tonto sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Lone Ranger Tonto sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Lone Ranger Tonto sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Lone Ranger Tonto sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Lone Ranger Tonto sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

The interior window box contains a single plastic tray that holds all the accessories and the figure. There is lots of plastic wrap this time, much of it intended to keep the various pieces from staining the body. There's wrap around the neck, the torso, the hair, the arms and legs...it takes awhile to get it all off.

Other than the wrap, which you'll never put back on, the packaging is completely collector friendly. It is a little disappointing that some of these wraps - like the very tight pieces around the hair and feathers on the sides of the face - can't be removed without destroying it, going against  the collector friendly concept.

They've included instructions which are clear enough and cover all the key aspects. I do wish they did a better job explaining how to attach the soft bag to the belt, however...more on that in a minute.

Sculpting - ***
Something got lost on this sculpt - it's not one of their best.  I mentioned that providing a photo of the actual character on the front of the box is good and bad. The good is that you can easily compare the sculpt to the real deal. The bad is you can easily compare the sculpt to the real deal.

And the comparison here clearly shows the issues. The ancillary areas are terrific - the head band, the funky crow, the feathers. The nose and lips are dead on as well, but the shape of the face, particularly along the jawline and chin, is off.

I'm also not digging the blank, mannequin expression. The eyes have no life, no subtle mood. In the photo they clearly do - part of this is due to the placement, with him looking to the side. But it's much more than that. The slight squint is all it takes to show something life-like in that look, and that's completely missing from the figure. Instead, he has a wider eyed, dead stare.

This is the sort of minor detail that Hot Toys usually nails, and what sets them apart. It's missing this time around, and the figure pays the price.

Paint - ****
If there's one aspect of this figure for which I have no complaints, it's the production paint.  Once again, it's clean, sharp and matches the film extremely well. It's this exceptional production paint that allows the beauty and realism of their sculpts to stand out, and while Hot Toys does a lot of things extremely well, it's this category that has fueled their success.

The burnished, dirty arms are the hardest aspect of this character to pull off - NECA tended to over due it with their cheaper action figures - but Hot Toys has done a good job. It's not their best work ever, but it's a reasonable, realistic facsimile of the on screen look.

Articulation - ***1/2
They've gone with the slim short body here, which seems appropriate enough. It's not perfect - it's a smidge too small, but not by much - but the articulation works great.

While I often go on about the great neck joints on TrueTypes (and this one is great), it's the rocker ankles that really shine this time. You can easily get the feet flat on the ground in just about any leg stance thanks to these joints.

I did have a couple minor issues. I popped the head off to remove the plastic neck wrapping, and putting it back on was unusually hard. It seems the short neck peg can be difficult to get back into place in the torso.  I did it - I removed it from the head first, inserted it into the torso, then reattached the head - but it was riskier than normal.

The only real restriction to the joints is with the leggings. These soft pants have a low crotch, making deeper stances a little tricky.

Otherwise, you should be good to go. The hands swapped easily, and there's a couple extra wrist pegs just in case.

Accessories - ***
He's a little light in this category, but at a lower price it would be acceptable.

He comes with a number of weapons, including two different tomahawk sculpts, a small knife and sheath that fits easily on his belt, and a revolver. The revolver is nice to have, but clearly not as key for this character as for the Ranger himself.

The weapon sculpts and paints are all excellent, and these look as realistic as you'd expect.

He has a few pieces of bling that come separately as well, including the arm band for his right bicep, and two wrist bands. These look terrific, and slip on and off easily. Remember the wrist bands are there when you're swapping hands, or you may lose them.

Perhaps most important, from the perspective of the movie and his character's background, is the pocket watch. Rather than give you a watch that can open and close, they went with two - one open, one closed. Both have real metal chains, but the watchs are plastic, and feel pretty cheap. The open watch is particularly flimsy, and you should take some care with the lid.

He has his soft pouch to carry the watch(s) as well. The top can be opened up, and the time pieces placed inside. The pouch looks great, but it's not particularly clear how to attach it to the belt. Neither belt is designed to be removed, so you'll have to get creative on how you tie it down.

They've added some hands, but not many. He comes wearing to open palms, and there's two fists, two gripping hands, and one splayed left hand. There's some additional wrist pegs just in case.

Outfit - ***
The outfit consists of his chest piece, leggings, moccasins, and several belts.

None of the belts are designed to be removed, but they can be moved and adjusted.

The chest piece has some excellent hair extensions down either side. The leggings have this same hair along the outer seam. While the hair looks terrific, it's a bit disconcerting to realize it's identical to the hair on Tonto's head. Things that make you go hmmmm...

You can remove the torso piece by popping off the head, if you prefer a man with less hair on his chest. 

My favorite aspect of the costume is the footwear. The sculpt looks great, and it does nothing to encumber the excellent ankle articulation.

Fun Factor - ***
The underlying body is very posable, and you'll have some fun finding your favorite pose. This will be a figure that you'll display either with your other Johnny Depps, or with your other western figures. Either way, he's going to feel a little lonely.

Value - *1/2
This figure will cost you $200, or close to it, at most retailers. It just seems like yesterday, but it was two years ago, that I first complained about Red Skull getting close to this mark, and yet not offering a whole lot. At least he had a second portrait! I understand that Hot Toys has decided that $200 is their new normal, but this is NOT a $200 figure. The quality and level of accessories just isn't there to justify that sort of price point.

Things to Watch Out For -
As I mentioned earlier, you'll want to take care with the soft rubbery lid on the open pocket watch. 

Other than that, you should be good.

Overall - **1/2 (**1/2 out of 4)
As I played around with this figure, I couldn't help but feel as though the production quality was down. Some of the accessories - particularly the watches - didn't seem up to expectations, and the overall look of the portrait wasn't selling him.

Perhaps they backed off on production costs when they realized how badly the film had bombed, and how poor pre-orders were.  That wouldn't surprise me, since they'd want to do whatever they could to avoid eating any more of the cost of this license than they already have to.

The funny thing is, this will probably be one of those Hot Toys figures that commands the big bucks 10 years from now. Why? They won't be producing a ton, and there will never be a '2.0'. While it will seem like it takes for ever for them to sell out, once they do, they'll be off the market.  The people buying them are the ones that really want it - either fans of western figures or fans of Depp or both - and once they have it in their collection, they won't be reselling.

While he's getting a low score here (especially for a Hot Toys release), that's almost entirely because of the ridiculous price point.  If this guy was $150, I'd be giving him another half star overall. He's certainly not top work for them, and I bet they know it, but he's still a solid figure overall. But there's nothing here to command this kind of money, and only the die hard fans are going to be picking him up.

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

Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow is at $205.

- CornerStoreComics is on th elower side at $189.

- Unmasked Collectibles has im for $190.

- Fanboy Collectibles has him at $195.

- Alter Ego Comics has him for $197.

- Big Bad Toy Store is at $205 as well.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
The best toys produced for the movie were from NECA, and I reviewed both the Lone Ranger and Tonto. They also did a 1/4 scale action figure of both, but I only picked up Tonto.

Discussion:
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Lone Ranger Tonto sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


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

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