Sideshow Custer and Crazy Horse

Sideshow Toy has released their second series in the Six Gun Legends line - General Custer and Crazy Horse.  These two opponents at the Little Big Horn have been done as action figures before, but never quite like this.

Sideshow works extremely hard on the historical accuracy of their figures.  While Custer is well documented, there's plenty of legend and confusion added to make it harder to properly produce an accurate figure.  And for Crazy Horse, the job is even tougher, as there are far fewer records and no known confirmed photographs to work from.

These figures are available on-line, but I don't know if many bricks and mortar stores will be carrying them.  Earlier, Andy Garringer did a terrific guest review of this Custer figure, but I just had to get my two cents in as well.  If you'd like to know more about other western action figures, check out the Western Action Figure Archive, where you can see figures from over 50 lines.

Packaging - ****
The boxes for both characters continue the terrific tradition of the first series.  I'm not sure which packages are my favorites right now - the Outer Limits or the Six Gun Legends - but both are well above the average fair.

With excellent graphics and in depth text, along with a completely collector friendly design, these boxes show just how good packaging can be.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpts on Sideshow figures is one of their strengths.  Unfortunately, it's tough to judge Crazy Horse, and this version of Custer, while accurate, may put some folks off.

Just before the battle, Custer had his hair cut short.  While he's best known with long hair, this sculpt is more accurate to the actual battle.  As Andy mentioned in his review, the beard and moustache are a bit well trimmed, looking a bit on the modern side.  But overall the sculpt is extremely good.

Is this sculpt Crazy Horse?  No one knows, but it's a good Lakota Sioux look.  I think rooted hair would have been better here, since the hair is tyed back tightly behind his head.  That's usually something that works well with rooted hair, but the sculpted hair is fine as well.

Crazy Horse also wore a single feather in his hair, and it's here.  You can't see it in the front photos though, because the hole in the back of his head designed to hold the feather is specifically shaped to hold the feather facing straight down.  I'm not sure how Sideshow set up their pictures so the feather could be seen, unless the feather isn't pushed all the way into the hole.

The small stone that he was documented as wearing behind his ear is here, as is the scar he received (supposedly from the husband of one of his female, uh, friends).  There is much debate even on the direction and look of this scar, so how accurate it actually is, is really tough to say. But overall it's a great looking Native sculpt.

Paint - ****
The paint ops are great all the way around.  I found absolutely no slop, and the eyes, hair lines, and accessories all have excellent detail and quality.

This is a Custer some might not be accustomed to however.  He's pale, with freckles.  Being blonde, it's likely that it's accurate, but it might throw some folks at first.

Crazy Horse was rumored to be a minimalist when it comes to war paint, and all he has is a lightening bolt on his face, and round spots on his upper arms, shoulders, upper chest and back.  These spots are tough to figure out how to do - do them neatly, and they don't really look 'real', but do them to look 'real', and they end up looking sloppy.  Sideshow went with the neat, clean look, so they look a little too perfect, but it was six to one, half dozen to the other.

Articulation - ***1/2
The usual Sideshow bodies are used.  The articulation is excellent, and both these figures have the better neck joint that allows for some amount of up and down movement.

The wrist joints are a bit of a catch-22.  I really like the mobility of them, but I had a very hard time keeping one of the hands on, and a really tough time taking the other one off and on.  They need to work on the design of the pins and hands some more, and I'll beat them up on that one again under Accessories.

Unlike the Ash figures, neither of these guys had any trouble with loose joints.

Accessories - Sitting Bull ***1/2; Custer ***
Another area of excellent quality for Sideshow is the accessories, and these two are no exception.

Custer comes with straps and spurs, two ivory handled Constabulary revolvers, generic bowie knife and scabbard, cap pouch, Remington Rolling Block rifle, alternate pistol firing right hand, and gloved hands.

Crazy Horse comes with fewer accessories, but they are the usual high quality.  There's a hawk feather for his hair, generic bowie knife with sheath, tomahawk, and Henry rifle.  There's also the alternate rifle firing right hand.

The cap pouch is definitely a re-use from the Sideshow Civil War figures, and the knife for both Custer and Crazy Horse is the same - and looks suspiciously like the knife with Billy the Kid from the first Six Gun Legends set.

But the rest of the accessories are all unique to these figures, and the quality and sculpting, not to mention the detailed accuracy, is fantastic.  I'm particularly happy with both rifles, where they paid a lot of attention to detail.

The reason Custer is getting a lower score is the gloved hands.  I really want to use them for the display, but I had no luck getting them to stay attached.  Getting them on was almost impossible, and they wanted to pop off too easily after.

Outfit - ***1/2
Crazy Horse has the 'leather' leggings, loin cloth, breastplate, beaded waistbelt, and beaded choker.

Custer is wearing his familiar Plains hat, 'buckskin' trousers and jacket, red scarf, officer's saber belt, Cavalry boots, and sailor shirt.

Custer's costume is very accurate, and while it's impossible to say just how accurate Crazy Horse's is, it is at least historically accurate to the Sioux and to the period.

The material used to simulate the buckskin works pretty well, and the details on the costumes is nicely done.  I particularly like the working breast pocket on the sailor shirt, and the very well designed belt buckles.

Both outfits are of high quality, with great stitching, good materials, and great design.  While you can argue a few of the historical points, that's due to the fact that some things aren't perfectly documented, and Sideshow had to do the very best they could in estimating what they would have looked like.

Value - **1/2
At $40 each, Sideshow's price, you're getting into an awful high range.  These figures, while extremely nice, should be in the $30 range, and you should be able to find them for that price on-line if you look around.

Overall - ***1/2
There's really only two things that hurt these figures for me - the high price, and Custer's gloved hands.  They aren't quite the four star figures that the first series was, but they are still the nicest versions of these two figures produced so far.

I'm giving them ***1/2, assuming you'll find them in the $30 0 $35 range.  I'll be very interested to see how Drastic Plastic's versions compare once they finally make it out.

Where to Buy
I don't know of what bricks and mortar stores will carry these, but there are plenty of on-line options:

- Sideshow themselves of course.  Retail is $40 plus shipping. The big advantage here is that you'll get them right away, since they are shipping them. (MROTW Affiliate)

- Aisle Sniper has the best price at $25 each plus shipping, but they are still a pre-order.

- Entertainment Earth has both for $70 a set plus shipping. (MROTW affiliate)

- Small Blue Planet has a similar price, but you can buy them seperately at $35 each plus shipping.

- The Toy Cellar has them for slightly less at $68 for the pair.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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