Aldo Raine - Inglorious Basterds
Hot Toys

Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

   "The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

I covered Aldo awhile back, but it's always good to get more than one opinion. Jeff Parker hits us up with his tonight on this Basterd - take it away, Jeff!

Mike has already done a very impressive lowdown on this figure with some cracking photos, so I did think to myself, does he really need another review? But then I came to the conclusion it would be a crime NOT to review this guy. I have a feeling this particular piece of work might be responsible for drawing a lot of folks, the sort who usually leave 1/6th alone, or even the ones who normally give movie related I/6th a wide birth (yeah, I’m talking to you military dudes). Because here is a figure that effortlessly crosses a lot of boundaries!
But I warn you people, if this is your first Hot Toys figure it almost certainly will not be your last, the first viewing, un-boxing, inhalation of those heady plastic fumes is like your first toke on a crack pipe (I would imagine). There is no turning back.

This is quite simply a stunning piece of work with a masterful head sculpt, awesome tailoring and a selection of accessories that encompass just about everything this character could want… well, I say that, I guess a tin of snuff could have put the icing on the cake but that’s just quibbling.

I didn’t actually see Inglorious Basterds on the big screen, (on a side note I’m still not sure why both words are deliberately misspelt? Tarantino refuses to clarify the matter as he wants it to keep an air of mystery, but I think it’s just so you can tell the difference between his movie and the 1978 version on IMDb, call me an old cynic!), in fact I didn’t even rush to see it on DVD, but when I did finally see it I enjoyed it a lot, however I have to admit it didn’t blow me away the way it did some others.
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Kill Bill pt 1 is still my favourite Tarantino, followed by Reservoir Dogs then Pulp Fiction, then I’d go for Kill Bill 2 so Inglourious Basterds comes in a respectable 5th. I say respectable because the competition is stiff, and though some are stronger than others, Tarantino doesn’t actually make bad movies. As was said by Michael, and I have to agree, what we really need for this line is a figure of Colonel Hans Landa, he managed to steal the whole movie, and for me renders any other figures almost superfluous, as I don’t really even remember any of the other Basterds (I have only seen it once so far).
So if the movie comes in 5th for me, why am I so ecstatic about this particular figure… well, let me explain.

Packaging - ****
Once again Hot Toys have managed to make a box that inhabits it’s own unique space within the Hot Toys canon of cool boxes.

The basic construction is like the Wolverine and Blade packaging, in as much as it’s a simple lift off lid. The top has wide blood-red vertical stripe out of which is a duotone image of Aldo Raine holding up his big f**k off Bowie knife, and ‘quelle surprise’ he’s gurning again! Under this image is the movie logo and character name. Once this is lifted off you’re met by a red die-cut silhouette displaying the fully dressed figure. This top layer lifts out to show a second tray laden with his numerous accessories.

I like this box a lot, it’s unfussy but does the business, in fact the only thing missing is the Hot Toys roll of honour, as the Movie Masterpiece line usually has a full list of all the creative talent involved in getting it into our grubby mitts, but here there is no list. Still a virtually perfect box for this particular character in my most humblest of opinions, and I’m rather liking the blind embossing on the sides of the pack as well.

Sculpting - ****
When the protos were first posted there were rumblings amongst the fans that the expression didn’t match what they wanted. In a lot of the publicity shots for the movie Brad Pitt is seen virtually gurning to give Aldo a larger than life character, as you can see HERE, HERE, and HERE. I can see where they are coming from, and perhaps a second expression would have been cool (perhaps a second version in the white Tux could be made)

But this is unmistakably Brad Pitt as the gnarly leader of the Basterds. At one point Tarantino was considering Leonardo DiCaprio for the role, and I have to admit I think he could have brought a lot to the part, other rumours even suggested Tarantino wanted him for the part of Landa, what are you smokin Quentin? But now we’ve all seen Pitt’s take on the character it’s hard to imagine him being played by anyone else.

This particular sculpt was undertaken by KoJun and for me it’s his strongest work for Hot Toys to date. He’s captured Brad Pitt’s features near perfectly in the character of Aldo the Apache. I for one am glad he didn’t go for one of the more extreme facial contortions that Pitt utilised, as this sums up the character perfectly without becoming a caricature. The expression is slightly quizzical, part stoic, part concerned and there’s just a little bit of confused in there as well, but mostly it’s determined. The brow is furrowed and the mouth slightly open, but the observations on the form of Pitts face with its lines and wrinkles show why KoJun is held in such high regard. The scaring on the neck is carried out beautifully as well, it’s never explored or explained in the movie and I like it all the better for that fact, but it is said that Tarantino let slip a little back story, it was received at the hands of the KKK after defending a group of African Americans, the KKK attempted to lynch him… but I guess that’s a whole other story right there, and there’s too much spoon feeding in feature films as it is, lets keep it mysterious.

I recently reviewed the Mech Test Tony Stark and commented on just how cool KoJun’s work on the hair was with that figure, and it’s just as good here. It’s worn in the classic short back and sides’ style, much favoured by military personnel (both sides of the Atlantic) during the 1940’s. But the fine work on the layering and graduation from floppy fringe to close crop at the sides is carried out perfectly. Put simply this is another amazing portrait from Hot Toys and one that I’m sure will prove hugely popular.

He also comes with a selection of six hands, a gun grip right, a pointing left then two relaxed and two tight grips. The right tight grip holds the large knife well and the left tight grip is even more closed to hold the smaller dagger. All are sculpted well, and the gun grip has the fingers configured in such a way that it works well with all three of his guns. An absolute top job!

Paint - ****
It’s another groundhog day for this category again I’m afraid. Perhaps I should just start using single adjectives and be done with it.






There ya go, that’s five just to kick off with.
But joking aside this seriously is just beyond reproach in the modern arena of 1/6th paint apps. Hell, hang 1/6th, it’s quite frankly pissing over the competition at any scale. The skin tones are ultra realistic showing not only the pores  (which come through from the sculpt) but also some superfine work on the freckles and moles. The hairline, moustache and eyebrows are nothing short of perfect, you can actually pick out individual hairs on the eyebrows and if you have eyesight good enough you’ll see the eyelashes are painted in individually as well. They work well in framing another wonderful paint job on the actual eyes, which are a blue-grey colour and as per usual have a glossy finish so as to look moist, and they catch the light in a very naturalistic way. There is also some great paint work on the accessories showing cool weathering and wood grain effects where needed. The M1 Garands rifle stock even has Inglourious Basterds hand written on it, but it’s so subtle that if you don’t look for it you won’t even notice it at first, and it was only seen briefly in the movie.

JC Hong and his production team deserve a medal for services to 1/6th collectors, because while the competition must be cursing him, as collectors we salute you sir, the saviour of modern paint apps!

Outfit - ****
Well when we have a sculpt this good, painted this well you just have to round the packaging off with an outfit to set the whole thing off, and of course Hot Toys don’t disappoint. Aldo’s outfit is far more complex and layered than you might think at first glance, and every item is tailored and finished beautifully.

The boots are solid sculpt so the articulation at the ankle is all but lost, however that is more than made up for with a sculpt that is so well observed in its intricate details on the laces straps, folds and sags that it can bear the closest of scrutiny, they really are a mini masterpiece. Out of the tops of the boots you can see his thick grey field-sock tops that go over the brown corduroy trousers, these have fully working pockets and a working brown leather belt through the loops. Next up is his linen under shirt, this garment is all but invisible when he’s fully kitted-up, but it’s still fabricated beautifully with tiny-scaled buttons down the front. Over this he has a knitted brown mechanics sweater with the traditional V shaped panel at the neck, again the fine observations on seams, buttons and edging are carried out to perfection.

Now if we were talking about any lesser company, the thought of placing another layer on to the figure now would start to make him look like the Michelin man. However by sourcing perfectly scaled fabric and utilising the finest 1/6th tailoring, they have managed not only to put a jacket on top, but a fully lined jacket at that. He also has scarf worn in a cravat style tucked into the front of the sweater and the amazing thing is, even with all this layering it still all hangs in a near perfectly natural way. The jacket has nice details on the cuffs, collar and buttons down the front where there is a tiny press-stud to help hold the jacket closed. He does however wear his second leather belt over the top of this to aid in holding it shut. It also has four working pockets and an adjustment half belt on its back, it really is so well put together, the soft blue moleskin is lightly distressed and aged and even has the leather trim on the cuffs… amazing observation!

Lastly there’s the dark denim Gatsby hat, I think it’s fair to say that Michael wasn’t too enamoured of this piece, however while I freely admit I won’t be displaying my figure wearing it, I like it good enough and with a few minutes of futzing (a steam treatment might be even better) it can look pretty close to how it did in the movie.
So, as I said, at first glance this may not look like that hard an outfit to get right, but ‘real world’ outfits are always the toughest to get convincing as the points of reference are all so familiar to us. And as such HT have pulled off a real doozy, it’s breathtakingly realised!

Articulation - ****
Aldo uses the classic True Type (TT) under all those layers, and it still performs wonderfully. I’m sure there must be a company working in a secret bunker out there developing a new 1/6th body that will usurp the TT, but until its delivered this is still just about the most impressive base body on the market. It’s a body I’ve been over so many times I feel I know it better than my own body… and it certainly poses better. I did a full break down of the joints HERE and a comparison of the different TT’s HERE. And I happy to say that even with all the layers of clothing Lt Raine is wearing, he still poses like a dream.

Accessories - ****
When I first saw the spec on Aldo it was apparent they wanted to arm him to the teeth. He comes with-

- Leather belt
- Leather holster
- Leather knife sheath
- Leather satchel bag
- Water canteen & cup
- Bowie knife
- Hitler youth knife
- Small knife sheath
- MP40 machine gun
- Walther P38 automatic pistol
- M1 Garand field rifle
- Figure stand with movie logo and Lt. Aldo Raine nameplate

All three of the guns have articulated elements, the Walther has a removable magazine, a positionable hammer and can be cocked back to expose the top round in the chamber, there is even the small bar on the side of the handle to attach a lanyard. The Garand has an adjustable strap and the bolt handle can be pulled back to expose a removable clip of eight shells inside. Lastly there’s the MP40 which has an adjustable strap, a fold out stock with a swivel shoulder rest, the magazine is removable and the bolt is spring loaded so it can be pulled back and locked in position to again expose the top round in the clip.

On the belt both the holster and large knife sheath are made of stitched leather rather than moulded plastic and the details are phenomenal, especially on the holster. It has a slide through belt fastening to hold the top flap shut and it even has space for a spare magazine. The water canteen is made to look like its covered in moleskin and the straps can be loosened to release the chipped enamel cup. It also has a small plastic clip and twin metal handles that can be used to slide it onto the belt at the back. Next up is the leather satchel, it has a simple flap over top and an adjustable strap, it’s a handy place to stick any accessories that you have floating around. Both the Knives are accurate facsimiles of Aldo’s blades. The large Bowie knife has a horn handle with a Star of David carved into the pommel. The smaller blade is a copy of a Hitler youth knife (sans Swastika) that Raine is obviously meant to have picked up along the way (another story is in there as well I guess), this does come with a smaller sheath to house it, but I’m pretty sure he wore it tucked into his boot without the sheath being used.

Lastly we get the classic black figure stand bearing the movie logo and character name, nice as always but unnecessary in my opinion as Aldo stands just fine and looks better without it.

So a very comprehensive selection that is crafted meticulously, every single last piece is impressive, from the material used, the way it’s fabricated then the way it is finished, weathered and painted. One of the coolest hauls for one figure in a little while, top score easy.

Value - ****
This figure could be picked up for $159.99 from Sideshow, but you would have had to act fast as it went pretty quickly. However there were also a few places where he could be pre-ordered for a little under $150. I know my idea of value is pretty skewed when it comes to 1/6th figures. Your average Joe in the street would think a grown man spending 150 big ones on an action figure was certifiable, NOT to be trusted and certainly NOT some one to advise you when it comes to commenting on value. Heck he might even have a point.

But when you frequent a sub-culture for long enough, strange things do become the norm… and now that $150 figures are fast becoming the norm, then this DOES actually seem like a pretty hot deal.

So what am I saying, well if you are a sane member of the public this would probably scrape in with two stars, but as dedicated 1/6th junkie I have no qualms giving this guy a full score, it’s just all kinds of awesome!

Fun Factor - ****
If your kid wanted this figure, then you’d have to ask yourself why. He/she certainly shouldn’t have seen it as it has an 18 rating and is beyond inappropriate.

However, if you are a fan of Tarantino, Pitt or even both, then this figure will give you heaps of fun. The wealth of extras and the numerous display options means this guy is destined to be the star of many a Detolf for years to come.

The thing we really need now is Landa to stand next to him, preferably in this outfit but we need his satchel, the pipe and a phone might be cool as welll , please make it so Hot Toys, pretty please, don’t let us have to make do with the Cyber Hobby version!

Overall - ****
I already stated that Inglourious Basterds is not my favourite piece of Tarantino work, but Hot Toys have still managed to turn in a figure from the movie that would certainly find itself in my top ten figures of all time.
KoJun has delivered his best work for Hot Toys to date, a place held for him by the John Connor sculpt up until now, well, in my opinion anyway. His last two sculpts, namely this and the Mech Test Tony Stark are building his stable of work very nicely indeed.

The fact that this figure comes with a great array of extras and a beautifully tailored outfit that doesn’t hamper the articulation of the base TT, all come together to make this one of the years most desirable and indeed essential figures to date.

This character might not have the iconic status of something like the T800 Terminator, but it certainly packs a lot of presence on the shelf, drawing many an admiring glance, even from the ladies… now why might that be?

Where to Buy -
You can try the Sideshow waitlist, and you never know, as it does come through for people, they are charging the RRP of $159.99. Or you can try Michael’s sponsor below-
Big Bad Toy Store has him in stock for- $151.99 

Urban Collector also has him in stock for $142.99
Alter Ego has him in stock for $147.99

And lastly Fan-Boy collectibles have him for $149.99 

The irony is that Aldo is almost certainly getting picked up by a few ‘scalpers’ out there, so you can try eBay where I’ve seen BIN prices of $145.99 to $250.00. But please don’t go paying $250 for it just yet!

Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Aldo Raine Inglorious Basterds sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Jeff Parker.

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