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The Shadow - Big Bad Toy Store Exclusive
Go Hero

The Shadow sixth scale action figure by Go Hero


Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men - only the Shadow knows! For years, radio audiences sat intent as those words rolled out of the speaker. Lamont Cranston is normally considered the man behind the mask, but originally it was Kent Allard, who in various incarnations either used the Cranston persona as a fake, or swapped places with the actual Cranston. In any case, most people think of Cranston as the Bruce Wayne of the Shadow.

Speaking of Bruce and Batman, this character, debuting in 1930, was a huge influence on the development of Batman, as well as other superhero comic book characters.

The Shadow wasn't just a vigilante - he had psychic powers, with the ability to make himself invisible to others through hypnosis, as well as the ability to alter their thoughts and perceptions.

Companies like Go Hero, Triad Toys and Cast-A-Way Toys have given us several cool pulp fiction characters in sixth scale, including Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Zorro, and John Carter. Go Hero and Executive Replicas follows those up with The Shadow in two versions - the regular, with an edition size of 750, and the Big Bad Toy Store exclusive (reviewed tonight) with an edition size of 250. Both cost $130, but the BBTS exclusive includes a second head sculpt.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
The Shadow sixth scale action figure by Go Hero
The Shadow sixth scale action figure by Go Hero
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The Shadow sixth scale action figure by Go Hero
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The Shadow sixth scale action figure by Go Hero
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The Shadow sixth scale action figure by Go Hero
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The Shadow sixth scale action figure by Go Hero
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The Shadow sixth scale action figure by Go Hero
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The Shadow sixth scale action figure by Go Hero
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The Shadow sixth scale action figure by Go Hero
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The Shadow sixth scale action figure by Go Hero

Packaging - ***1/2
I really like the box. It's a fairly standard five panel package, but it's the pulp graphics that put it over the top for me. Of course, it's also completely collector friendly. No need for any real damage to get him out, although I was a tad annoyed by the couple of twistie ties that were used.

Sculpting - ***
There are two head sculpts with the exclusive - the thinner standard head, complete with piercing eyes and hook nose, and the slightly fuller, younger face that is only available with the exclusive.

Both are good but not outstanding, exhibiting no real issues but lacking the extreme realistic detail that other figures in this price range often have. Since this are a pulp style character, I don't have any real issue with that - it matches the look from the old artwork. However, I'd be hard pressed to say that this simpler, more basic style deserves the price being charged.

The hand sculpts all look good, and work well with the accessories. I love the inclusion of the ring on the left hand, and it looks good on both the gloved and ungloved versions.

Paint - ***
While this figure doesn't sport the amazing paint work of some high end sixth scale figures, everything here is very clean, neat and well done. There's a decent attempt at a subtle hair line, the eyes have a nice gloss, and the skin tone is reasonable and consistent. The overall effect won't wow you, but it's solid B work.

Articulation - **1/2
One of the problems for smaller companies is that they have to rely on the base bodies available to them, rather than being able to develop their own. The underlying body here works fine, but doesn't quite have the level of articulation that modern collectors are really looking for. The neck doesn't have the ability to tilt and lean that you need to get the best poses, and the ankles and wrists are fairly restricted. The overall frame doesn't allow for quite as natural of poses as the better bodies on the market, and I suspect that a lot of buyers will swap the heads, hands and feet over to a higher quality base.

Accessories - **1/2
The exclusive has the extra add in of the second head. It's a nice version of Cranston, with a fuller face and wavier hair, but I'm not sure it's something we really needed. Unlike a character like Red Skull, where the two heads are both important and both very different, here most people are probably going to go with the thinner face with the classic hook nose, and toss the second head aside.

There's several extra hands, and all the lefts sport the cool red ring, even the gloved hands! The hands swap easily, and the various poses work with and without the guns.

Perhaps the most important accessory is his pair of guns. These are very basic in comparison to the weapons produced by other sixth scale companies, with far less detail and no working parts. No moving slide, no removable magazine, and far less sculpt detail.

Finally, there's the display stand, which you won't need but is always a nice add for those that like them.

Outfit - ***
The basic outfit is a black suit - socks, pants, shirt, tie, jacket. The tailoring of the pants is good, but the tie is a tad short and wide, while the collar on the jacket suffers from being oversized and thick.

There's also no belt - I was a bit surprised by that, especially since he does have socks.

The shoe sculpt is excellent, with real string laces. The shoes are the best overall aspect of the basic clothing.

There's also a double holster hiding underneath that jacket, but don't expect Hot Toys quality here either. The guns do fit inside, but you won't be able to close the jacket with them in place.

The jacket has real buttons - not snaps, but actual buttons that that fit inside small button holes. While this might sound good from the aspect of accuracy, I hate it. The buttons are hard to work with, and very easy to break off the jacket. Snaps, please.

Over this basic suit goes the real costume of the Shadow - his large fedora, red scarf, and flowing cape.

You have a lot of potential looks with this cape. It's not a superhero cape - it's more the design of an actual men's cape that used to be regularly worn. There's holes in the sides for the arms, and the large collar flows down the shoulders and back. The interior is a bright red, matching the scarf. Again, there's those damn real buttons and button holes, but you really don't want to button it up anyway. I did do a shot with him completely buttoned up and covered, which is interesting, but I think he looks far better with the cape flowing out around him in the classic style.

To help with that, there's a wire inside the edge. You can easily pose the cape itself, and it will hold even extreme bends.

The scarf has a wire running down both edges as well, and is also very posable. It has a sort of McFarlanesque style to it, and you can get pretty wild with how you display it.

The scarf was actually a later addition to the character, and it is only supposed to wrap around the mouth and chin. However, I liked it better up over the nose as well - it seems more like a mask that way. I did several poses both ways in the photos, so you can see the options.

The hat looks good, but does suffer a bit from the same problem so many sixth scale hats have - it's on the large side. Fortunately, that oversized appearance works a bit better with this comic book style.

Fun Factor - ***
While this figure costs too much to be considered a toy, it's actually built well enough to act as one. There's very little here that would break under normally handling or even play, and I wish we got more actual sixth scale toys like this.

Value - *1/2
A good comparison for this figure is not anything from Hot Toys or Enterbay - while the price is getting up there, these still aren't at that level. Instead, something like John Carter or Zorro from Triad is a great example of a similar figure.

Both of those figures ran $100 - $115, a good $15 - $30 below the cost of this guy. Yes, the edition size is fairly small, and it's certainly a better value to pick up the BBTS exclusive with the second head, but there's still simply no way this figure is worth $130. There's not that many accessories, and the weak base body hurts the overall value as well.

Things to Watch Out For -
I didn't have a lot of worries about breaking the wrist pegs, but remember- if you do, you'll need a new body. The pegs aren't easily replaced like the TrueType bodies.

Overall - **1/2
You need to level set your expectations - this is NOT at the same level as other well known high end sixth scale figures. It would be inappropriate to have that expectation, but on the other hand this is not a cheap figure, costing as much as the top end Sideshow figures, and almost as much as the average Hot Toys figure. There should be a certain expectation when you spend $130, and there are other good comparisons out there, like the Zorro and John Carter from Triad Toys. Those figures had metal accessories and lower price tags.

I like this figure, and the more I posed him and messed around with him, the more I liked him. He'll make an excellent addition to the pulp shelf, and he's long overdue.

That being said, you need to realize he is overpriced and go in with that clearly in mind. For many fans, the extra $30 this guy costs over what he's really worth will be irrelevant, and they'll simply be happy to have a decent version. But it's my job to let you know the reality - the price tag on this guy pulls him down a good half star on my overall score.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Entertainment Earth has the regular for $125.

- You can get the regular version directly from Go Hero for $130.

- Big Bad Toy Store has this exclusive with the extra head for the same $130.

- or you can search ebay for a bargain.

Related Links -
Check out the other pulp figures in sixth scale, including John Carter, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, and the Skeleton Warriors.

Triad Toys did Zorro, so you can add another pulp hero to the shelf!

If you're a fan of Buck Rogers in particular, check out the Go Hero full size Disintegrator as well.

Discussion:
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The Shadow sixth scale action figure by Go Hero


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

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