Aldo Raine - Inglorious Basterds
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
|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
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.
|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.
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
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.
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,
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
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!
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
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!
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
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.
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.
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
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
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!
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.
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.
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
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
Bad Toy Store has him in stock for- $151.99
Collector also has him in stock for $142.99
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!
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.