Stargate SG-1
Colonel O'Neill, Black Ops O'Neill, Serpent Guard

It was just last review that I was ragging on Diamond Select Toys about the latest Buffy/Angel figures.  While Xander wasn't too bad, Cordelia was a disappointment. Today I'm looking at some more figures from DST, based on the popular television show Stargate SG1.

I hadn't realized it but the show has been on for 9 years.  Wow!  And if you want any idea of just how long that really is, take a look at the cover for the dvd release of SG1 season 1, and compare it to the cover for season 7.  It's a long time.

This is Richard Dean Anderson's second hit long running television show, after having starred as MacGyver for seven years.  One more hit tv show and a couple Emmy's and he'll be in William Shatner territory.

DST has picked up the license to do action figures, and has released the first five.  There's three versions of the hero, Jack O'Neill - Colonel, Black Ops and General.  There's also the Serpent Guard, and the good doctor Daniel Jackson.  They also did a Time and Space Toys exclusive version of Daniel Jackson for SDCC.

I picked up the Serpent Guard, two of the O'Neills and the SDCC Jackson.  I'll be discussing the main three in this review, with an extra photo of the exclusive for good meaure.

Packaging - **1/2
The figures come in the standard cardback/bubble packaging.  It's fairly large and it would definitely be a tough store for the MOCers, since the bubble is an odd shape.  It's fairly attractive, but nothing earth shattering or ground breaking.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpts on these figures are quite good, especially the likeness on Richard Dean Anderson. Both versions look quite a bit like the actor in character, but the Colonel version gets the slight edge for me.  I think the Night Ops would make a mighty fine MacGyver custom though, with the wool knit hat.

The body work on the two O'Neills is reasonable if not exceptional.  The proportions are a little off, and they have that slightly odd appearance in the scale of the torso to head to shoulders to waist.  There's some great detailing in the vests and boots though, and the hands are sculpted to hold the various accessories.

The Serpent Guard is an excellent sculpt, both with the regular and snake head.  The armor on this figure has fantastic detail, and he doesn't suffer from any of the proportion issues that plague the two Jack's.

These are a 7" scale, with Jack standing just a mouse whisker under 7".  Some of the outfits seem a little off from the show, but it might be an odd pairing of the jackets, pants and t-shirts.

All three stand great on their own, and can hold their various accessories quite easily.  While this isn't perfect stuff, it's quite a bit better than some of the recent Buffy/Angel figures, and miles above the work we saw on the Serenity figures.

Paint - ***
The paint work isn't quite as good as the sculpts, but it's still solid.

Both Jack's have a shiny gloss on their face, something that isn't as much of an issue for the Guard.  It's the worst on the Colonel Jack, where he looks quite glossy even in the most diffuse light. 

The paint job on the bodies is uniformly good, with little or no slop.  Obviously, there isn't much paint detail on the Night Ops version, but the Colonel version has some nice little touches like his patches, zipper and belt buckle.  They both have a drybrush or wipe technique applied that gives the clothing a bit of a worn appearance.

The Colonel also has his marking on the left hand, but the Night Ops version wears gloves (sculpted over the hands) that cover it.

There are a handful of other minor issues - Night Ops Jack appears to have crossed eyes, although it's much easier to see in close up photos than it is in person with the naked eye.  And the lines on the armor of the Serpent guard are a tad sloppy here and there.  But overall, it's an above average job.

Articulation - Jacks ***; Guard ***1/2
You know how much I love a good ball jointed neck, and all three figures sport them.  They work great, with a decent range of movement forward, backward, tilt and twist.

The two O'Neills also have cut shoulders, pin elbows, cut biceps, cut wrists, cut waist, cut knees, and a T crotch.  It's good enough to get some decent standing poses out, and keep them up on their feet on their own easily. The arm and neck articulation is the most crucial, in this case.

The Serpent Guard does a couple joints better than the Jack figures.  He has all the same joints, but ball jointed shoulders as well, along with pin knees and cut thighs.  This gives him more options, especially below the waist.

Accessories - ***
You get plenty of accessories with these figures, although they are all the same accessories.

The theory is that if you buy at least one of the three Jack's, the Jackson, and the Serpent Guard, you'll have half the Stargate. You'll pick up the rest of the necessary pieces with series 2.

The Jack's come with one piece of the actual gate, and I'm assuming Jackson comes with the bottom piece of the gate that attaches to the base.  I don't have him, so I'm just guessing.  The Serpent Guard comes with half of the catwalk/stairs.  These look terrific, although it's tough to tell just how well it will turn out without all the pieces.  Scale is decent though, and they'll look appropriate together, but it's not truly 'in scale', since it would still have to be huge for a 7" figure.

Each Jack figure also comes with a removable vest, a walkie-talkie, a P-90 rifle, a zat, and a G.D.O.  All but the P-90 work great in his hands, and I could get the 90 to work...just not particularly well.

The vests are also removable - and identical except for paint - on both jackets.  They are a soft rubber, so they come off pretty easily.

The Serpent Guard has the alternate snake head which is huge and looks great.  This is not a hood for the regular head, but a completely separate, solid, sculpt.  The regular head pops off the neck, and this one pops on, quite easily as a matter of fact.

He also has his staff, which seems a little short, with an additional head that is partially opened. There's also a zat as well, along with this eyeball looking doohickey that should attach to something...but I haven't quite figured it out yet.

All three come with trading cards as well, but they are identical cards.

Fun Factor - ***
While it will be mostly adults buying these, if you know a kid that's a fan, he'll enjoy them as well.  The articulation is reasonable and sturdy, with interesting accessories and decent play value.

Value - ***
At around $12 each, these are a solid value in the current specialty market.  The sculpts are good, the paint on par, the articulation is reasonable, and there's a good mix of accessories, even if many are reused.

Also, if you pick up four of these and send in the proof of purchase tabs from the cardbacks, you get another variant Serpent Guard for FREE!  That's always a little more incentive, and adds to the value if you're picking up the full set.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Not much.  If you're buying them off the peg, look for Colonel Jacks with the flattest face paint and Night Ops Jacks without crossed eyes.  Otherwise, you should be gellin'.

Overall - Jack's ***; Serpent Guard ***1/2
This sculpting work was done by Jean St. Jean Studios, and they did a very nice job.  While these aren't perfect, they are in a completely different zip code than the Serenity figures, also from DST.  These are even better than several of the recent Buffy and Angel releases, and had the Colonel Jack lost the glossy face, he would have been up there with the Serpent Guard, score-wise.

I'm also a sucker for anything - figure, playset, diorama - that you get to build out of parts included with the individual figures.  Since the Stargate is the whole point, it's nice to see them include one as a BAG (build a gate!), even if it does take getting figures from two waves.  They could have done the entire gate in this first wave, but that would have meant forcing you to buy variants that you very well didn't want, rather than unique figures.  That's a collector thinking, not a manufacturer, and it's nice to see.

Score Recap:
Packging - **1/2
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - Jacks ***; Serpent Guard ***1/2
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***
Overall - Jacks ***; Serpent Guard ***1/2

Where to Buy - 
Sponsor choices:

- Time and Space Toys is where I picked up mine, but they are pretty much sold out of wave one.  They do have a special offer on a gift certificate where you get a free General Jack (the chase figure), and they have some of the exclusives like the FCBD T-Shirt Jack still available.  They are also the ones with the exclusive T-Shirt Jackson to go with the T-Shirt O'Neill.  They also have pre-orders up for series 2.

- CornerStoreComics has some of series 1 in stock for $12 each. They also have pre-orders up for series 2 AND series 3.

- Amazing Toyz has a couple versions left around $12, but is selling out fast.

Related Links - 
I haven't reviewed any other Stargate products at this point, but it is worth mentioning the Serenity figures also produced by DST.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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