Packaging - ***1/2
The first wonderful thing about this figure - they've returned to the
gatefold boxes! The artwork is fantastic, and while there isn't a
lot of text this time, the graphics on the box, and behind the figure on
the insert, are stunning.
Now if they can just follow Palisades suit
and give us a box we can put our figures back into later, they'll be
hitting four stars every time in this category.
Sculpting - ****
Another fine sculpt by Oluf Hartvigson. The head sculpt is dead on, and the
hand sculpts are perfect to handle the violin.
Sideshow is giving McToys a run for their
money on the best sculpting in toys today.
Another area that Sideshow excels in is accessories, and once again they
show just how good they can be.
Phantom comes with his alternate mask/face, hat, violin and bow.
mask/face is appropriately blank, fits over his head tightly but not too
tight, and has a cloth mouth cover. The cloth is an excellent
choice, true to the source material, and looks excellent.
hat is designed to only fit over the mask. It fits well and looks
great perched on top of his head. It's made from an extremely heavy
the real shining moment here is the violin. With real metal strings,
great detail, and excellent paint ops, the violin is possibly the best
accessory Sideshow has produced so far. In combination with the
great articulation and hand sculpts, you can pose him with the violin
and who can forget the small stand, standard now with every figure.
They have switched from using the heel stand to a peg stand though, and it
seems to work much better.
Paint - ****
The paint ops on the face are excellent, particularly around the eyes and
mouth. The face wash works perfectly, and once again, shows just how
great paint ops work in concert with a great sculpt.
Articulation - ***
There are plenty of points of articulation in the body, but these still
continue to be loose. This seems to be very hit or miss, as some of
the more recent figures I've opened have been very tight. The only
joints I'm having trouble with on the Phantom are the ankles, but they are
pretty critical to keep him standing.
The big problem here is the
lack of a decent neck joint. All you have is a cut joint, and unlike
the Young Frankenstein which had the great ball jointed necks.
Uniform - ***
Another area that actually disappointed me on this figure is the
costume. Actually, costumes haven't been a strong suit for Sideshow,
and most have been fairly simple.
The cape/overcoat is made of
a nylon type material that I don't like the feel or look of.
Something softer would have worked much better.
Most of the tuxedo is nice,
as are the shoes, but the biggest flaw here is the shirt/vest combo.
Rather than having separate items, the vest is just imprinted on the
shirt. That's a shortcut that hurts the look of the figure.
On the plus side, the
buttons, watch chain, jacket and tie are all extremely well done.
Value - ***1/2
You can find these at a variety of places for around $25. These
remain an excellent value compared to the majority of other 1/6th scale
product in the $20-$30 range.
Overall - ***1/2
I was a little surprised by this figure. After hearing other folks
opinion of this one, I was expecting to give it an easy four stars.
But the shirt/vest combo, along with the lack of a neck joint, was just
enough to knock it down slightly.
But this figure is still
truly amazing, and all monster collectors should pick one up.
Sideshow is fast becoming my favorite company, and my London After
Midnight vampire should be here any day!