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Nick Fury - The Avengers
Hot Toys

Nick Fury The Avengers sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


When it comes to superhero movies, I thought the Dark Knight Rises was going to be my favorite of 2012 - it was a done deal. But I should have kept Joss Whedon in mind - he's never disappointed me.

After seeing DKR, I have to say I liked it - but didn't quite love it.  The honor of best superhero movie of 2012 remains with The Avengers, and I really am very glad I have been pre-ordering the new figures from Hot Toys as they've been announced.

The latest to come out is Nick Fury, played by Sam Jackson. This isn't the first time Hot Toys has done a Jackson figure, but if you've blocked all memories of The Spirit from your mind I wouldn't blame you.

You can pick up Nick for around $180, although he's selling out pretty quickly. As a secondary character, I doubt we'll see alot of different versions of him released, so it's probably a good idea to snag him now if you have an hankering for a complete team.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Nick Fury The Avengers sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Nick Fury The Avengers sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Nick Fury The Avengers sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Nick Fury The Avengers sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Nick Fury The Avengers sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Nick Fury The Avengers sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Nick Fury The Avengers sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Nick Fury The Avengers sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Nick Fury The Avengers sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Nick Fury The Avengers sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Nick Fury The Avengers sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Nick Fury The Avengers sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Nick Fury The Avengers sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Nick Fury The Avengers sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Packaging - ***1/2
The package looks great on the outside - the slip cover has a nice shot of the character. But this is one of the more basic boxes inside. Remove the slip, and it's a simple window box, no flap, and no Avengers, Fury or S.H.I.E.L.D. information. Of course it's entirely collector friendly - no need to damage a thing to get him out - but it's still a bit more on the basic side for a Hot Toys release.

Sculpting - ***
This is usually the category where Hot Toys knocks it out of the park, so it's quite unusual that this time around it's the one area where they dropped the ball.

From the eyebrows down, this is both an excellent Fury AND an excellent Jackson sculpt. The portrait works for me, and there's no doubt who this is.

It's from the eyebrows up that the problems crop up. Compare the photo on the slip cover to the actual figure and you'll see the obvious problem - the bald dome is too big. It's too wide from side to side, not quite in the Talosian ball park but getting there.

It's really only when you look at him straight on that it's the most obvious, and from certain angles it's much better. Still, when you set the bar for character portraits as high as Hot Toys (and Enterbay) have, you come to expect that level of quality every time.

And just in case you're wondering, the eye patch is a permanent part of the head sculpt, and is not intended to be removed.

Paint - ****
I'm a huge fan of the production paint work done by Hot Toys. I have no idea how they manage to capture the realism that they do, and do it better than many custom hand painted jobs I've seen. I didn't think it was possible to get more life-like, but they seem to always find a way.

Of course, the skin tone is excellent, the hairlines are perfect, and the scarring is realistic and painful. But it's his one good eye that really takes it to a new level.

They've used the glossy glass-like eyes for quite awhile now, which means they create their own catch lights just like the real deal. It also means they look slightly wet and squishy, not an easy thing to capture. 

They are getting even better at the slight veining within the whites as well, just enough to look real without making the character appear to be hung over.

But this is the first time I've noticed the two tone effect on the pupil itself. In person, I could tell there was something about the pupil that gave them a slightly different color depending on the light and the angle, very much like a human eye, but I couldn't quite see what was causing it. Under the harsh eye of the camera, I could make out the pattern of colors, and I've included a close up photo as well. This provides an even more realistic appearance than ever before, something I didn't think possible.

Articulation - ****
The underlying TrueType body has all the articulation you expect, and it all works extremely well. The hands swapped easily, almost too easily. The ball jointed neck gives him a ton of personality in any pose, and the base body can take natural poses with little trouble. He stands great on his own, although you can use the included stand if you wish.

The only time I drop the TT down in this category is when the joints have been restricted in some way. That's not an issue with this figure, and you should have no problem finding your own favorite look.

Accessories - ****
If you read my recent Red Skull review, you'll know I complained that a $180 figure needed to have more extras. Here is where Nick Fury steps up to the task.

He starts out with a whopping 11 pairs of hands - 4 ungloved rights and lefts, 6 gloved rights and lefts, and a pair of specially posed gloved rights. They are designed to work with the various other accessories, some in a very specific way, and others in more general poses. If you can't find a set to get the look you want, you aren't trying hard enough.

There's also extra pegs in case you break the two on the body, but I didn't have any issues swapping the hands, and I never felt like breakage was possible.

Next up is his holster and an extra strap for his right leg. You can mess with the buckles and try to get them on that way, or you can read the instructions and do it the simple way - pop off the right foot, slide them up the leg, and pop it back on. Both fit great, and the holster works well with the handgun. Of course, you're supposed to unhook the top strap to put the gun in fully and then snap it back over, but remember to take some care. It's often very hard to get this sort of strap back on the small plastic post. I much prefer the magnetic style closures.

Speaking of guns, there's two. I already mentioned the Smith and Wesson M&P, with moving slide and removable magazine. It looks great and fits nicely in his hand or holster.

There's also the very dangerous RPG-7, which he used in the film near the end, when he attempted to stop the planes from leaving the deck of the ship. This sculpt is extremely accurate, and there are several moving parts, including the sights, the stock and the handhold in back. There is no strap, but there are two loops for a strap if you'd like to add one yourself.

Director Fury also gets some smaller items, including a great looking hand held radio/phone, a watch with an actual plastic face cover and hands for various time zones, and an itty bitty blue tooth ear piece.

The radio is about what you'd expect, but it does have a small clip on the back so you can attach it to one of his belts. It works well with a couple of the hands too.

The watch looks best with the ungloved hands, since its strap cannot be opened. You remove the hand, slide it on the wrist (it's a tight fit) and pop the hand back on.

The ear piece can pop into his right ear, and looks good, but is extremely easy to lose. If you decide to keep it in the display, be sure to check on it occasionally.

The Tesseract that was included with Red Skull is included once again, a rare re-use in the Hot Toys world. Thankfully it makes sense, and is put to much better use this time around. 

There is also the silver briefcase, designed to hold the Tesseract. Open it up (it's a bit tricky, but if you GENTLY pry up the closures on the side opposite the handle, you should be able to pop it open) and the foam interior has a spot for the cube. This also is the light up feature, but more about that in the upcoming category.

This big number of accessories, especially the cool case with light up feature, is what makes this figure well worth the asking price.

Finally, they've included the basic display stand for consistency. You don't have to use it, but if you've been using them it's nice to have.

Outfit - ****
Along with the accessories, Fury's outfit is almost perfect.

It's not really designed to be removed, and the instructions warn against unbuckling the zippered shirt. But that's fine by me - he looks so damn good in the complete get up, why mess with it?

Along with the shirt (with properly scaled zipper) is a great pair of pants, highly detailed pliable boots, tight belt, and perfectly tailored coat. This is one of the best fitting outer coats I've ever seen, and he looks fantastic in the complete ensemble.

As an extra bonus, the coat has a very thin wire in the bottom edge, allowing you some posing potential. I flared it out a bit in one of the photos so you can see what I mean.

Light Feature - ****
The light feature is contained within the briefcase. There's already batteries - three - and they are very easy to get to, no screwdriver necessary.

The lights are all in the one half of the case, with the center, wires and circuits illuminated. The switch is easy to use and somewhat hidden, and the light is very bright. The Cosmic Cube fits in the center, and looks great when lit up.

Fun Factor - ***
Obviously, these aren't toys in the strict sense, but they have the DNA of the great action figures of the sixties. In fact, this figure is fairly sturdy, and can handle at least normal handling without any real fear of damage. Older kids and adults who get 'fun' from the posing, reposing and displaying of their favorite characters are going to love him.

Value - **1/2
This figure is pushing the $200 window - but it's not quite there. You can (or could) find it for $170 or $180 with a little effort, and that's about the same price as the recent Red Skull. I took a half star off average on Red, but here I'm going with an average rating. The big pile of accessories and light up feature are what makes the difference, adding in the sort of extras necessary to make this price point viable.

Things to Watch Out For -
It's tough to get the case open, and you'll want to take some care. The only other item worth noting is the small ear piece - pay a lot of attention, since it's really easy to lose.

Overall - ****
Yep, the cranium has an issue with being a bit too wide. But the exceptional quality and quantity of the accessories and outfit, combined with an amazingly realistic paint job and a superbly cool light up feature, manage to pull this figure back up.

When I was a kid I loved figures like Mike Hazard and Sam Cobra, figures that had a ton of cool spy-like accessories. This figure reminds me of that, but with the sort of outstanding quality in the paint, materials and construction that we've come to expect in modern sixth scale.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ****
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ****
Light Up Feature - ****
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ****

Where to Buy -
Sideshow was originally selling this guy for $190, but is currently sold out. Online options include these site sponsors:

- Fanboy Collectibles has him at $170.

- Big Bad Toy Store had him at $190, but it looks like their pre-order is currently sold out.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
This isn't the first Hot Toys Marvel or Avengers related figures - I just checked out Red Skull, and before that there was Captain America, Thor and Odin, Black Widow, and don't forget the little cosbabies!

Discussion:
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Nick Fury The Avengers sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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