SEARCH      FEATURES    NEWSLETTER    EMAIL     HOME
White Space
Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week
Review Header Bar
White Space

Review of Sheldon Cooper - Big Bang Theory
SDCC exclusive action figure

BifBangPow
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: ** out of 4

Big Bang Theory Sheldon action figure by BifBangPow

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

Introduction

The Big Bang Theory is a tremendously popular show, and has spawned its fair share of merchandise. Bif Bang Pow! has produced a number of 8" figures in the retro-Mego style, but their first figure in the 4" scale was just released as an SDCC exclusive - Sheldon in his Hawkman t-shirt.

They had a number of other figures on display at the show, including Leonard, Howard, Raj, Penny, Amy and Bernadette. This exclusive was $15, but I suspect the regular releases will be $10, similar to their Venture Brothers line in this scale. They also had a number of other Sheldon's, each wearing a different DC character t-shirt, and I'm betting these end up as various con exclusives.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Big Bang Theory Sheldon action figure by BifBangPow

Dividing Bar

Packaging - ***1/2
The packaging is sturdy and very attractive, with little waste. The backer is a bit thick, but that's due to the nifty diorama - more on that in the Accessories section.

I like the colors and graphics here, and they've even included the exclusive limited edition numbering on the back, something that you don't always see with carded exclusives. They only produced 1024 of this particular Sheldon.

Big Bang Theory Sheldon action figure by BifBangPow

Dividing Bar

Sculpting - **1/2
I suspect you're going to look at this figure, look at my score in this category, and think I've totally lost my mind. How can anything that looks like that get almost a B?

Here's the thing - I think that if you stripped the paint off, you'd have a reasonable Sheldon sculpt under there. Not perfect by any stretch, and there are clearly issues. The face needs to be a little thinner at the temples and ears, and the nose is a bit off. But the overall bone structure, hair line and jawline is about right, and I believe it's really the paint that is trashing his overall appearance.

The sculpting work on the body and clothing is fine, with decent proportions and realistic wrinkles and folds. He stands great on his own, and the hands are designed to hold accessories, if he had any to hold.

Big Bang Theory Sheldon action figure by BifBangPow

Dividing Bar

Paint - *
Here's the big issue, the elephant in the room that just took a dump on the couch - the paint operations are terrible.  Hideous is a word I don't use often, but it clearly applies here.

Let's start with the positive - the tampo work on the Hawkman logo is clean, straight and even. Sadly, that's the only good thing I can say.

I don't ever recall seeing a collectible figure where every aspect of the paint work has gone this terribly wrong. It's hard to even decide where to start...

How about with the shiny finish? Sheldon's shirt and face are so shiny, it was hard to find a way to get a shot of him without glare. I put him next to a Stormtrooper and an Iron Man, two guys in armored suits, and he was more shiny than either of them!

Except, not every where. He has one glossy shoe, and one matte show. Huh?

Don't even get started on cut lines and edges. One color slops on to another at every edge, and the watch looks like it was done with a 3" paint brush.

And then there's the face. The skin tone is beyond gloppy - there's a huge slab of paint on his forehead that looks like putty! The eyes are uneven, the hairline has all sorts of bleed, and the eyebrows are no where near the sculpted location, or the proper size.

Speaking of the eyebrows, what's up with the color? They are purposefully done in a light brown that doesn't come close to matching his hair or his real appearance.

There's even embedded dirt on the paints, and not just minor, little spots - there's a huge hunk on his right thigh.

It's hard to believe how bad this paint job is. In fact, you'd have to work at it to make it this bad - it boggles the mind. Of course, macro photography makes these issues all the more obvious, but this work is so bad it's glaringly clear even in hand.

I was pretty shocked by how bad the paint was in large part because this has not been the case for other figures in this scale from BifBangPow. Check out their Venture Brothers line up to see an example of them doing a far, far better job.

Big Bang Theory Sheldon action figure by BifBangPow

Dividing Bar

Articulation - **
The articulation is very basic here - cut neck, but shoulders, T hips. He stands fine on his own, but one pose is about it.

Big Bang Theory Sheldon action figure by BifBangPow

Dividing Bar

Accessories - ***
One of the better features here is the creative use of the packaging to create a cardboard diorama. Since a figure like this likely to end up in cubicles all over America, the diorama setting is an excellent way to show him off.

You carefully dismantle the backer card, and it folds into a nifty office scene, complete with desk. Each of the other characters will have their own backdrop as well. I like this idea, and applaud them on coming up with something interesting for a line that required some non-traditional thinking.

Of course, another accessory or two would have been nice, considering the price point. There's plenty to chose from, and I'm hoping some of the other regular release figures get a bit more weight in this category.

Big Bang Theory Sheldon action figure by BifBangPow

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

Fun Factor - **1/2
The paint doesn't effect this category too much, and the diorama is cool. He needs a couple more extras though, and the limited articulation makes posing him a non-event.

Value - *1/2
This guy was $15 at the show and online. He's sold out - there were only 1024 produced - and may end up going for more on the secondary market. 

You would think the saving grace here is the limited nature of an SDCC exclusive. Such exclusives always command a premium, but the poor paint work make even a limited figure like this a weak value at that price point. 

And while this might seem to be a limited figure, the reality is that they will re-use this exact same sculpt multiple times, simply switching up the shirt. They showed him wearing a Batman, Superman, Flash and Green Lantern shirt at SDCC, spreading the fixed cost of producing the figure over a much larger production run than just 1024.

Big Bang Theory Sheldon action figure by BifBangPow

Dividing Bar

Things to Watch Out For -
If you can buy these at a local comic shop, you can at least pick out the best paint possible. Otherwise, I suspect it's a crap shoot.

Overall - **
This was a tough review to write. When a good company has a bad product, it's always tough. I like the folks at Bif Bang Pow, and I know they want to do the best by this license. But this isn't it.

Why did this happen? It's not normal for them...Hell, it's not normal for anybody. Perhaps it's because something happened to cause them to rush them out for SDCC. Maybe there were unforeseen issues with the factory. Did they switch factories? Maybe I got unlucky, and happened to get the very worst figure out of the 1024 they produced, making this one extra rare and valuable. I wish.

If one of those issues is the cause for this misstep, it will become apparent with other releases. I'm going to be checking out some of their Twilight Zone figures in this scale in the next week or two, and that should give us a better idea of the general quality of the paint work on the current production figures. I'll also be buying more of the series as it gets released, with the hopes that the paint issues get resolved.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - **1/2
Paint - *
Articulation - **
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - *1/2
Overall - **

Where to Buy
Entertainment Earth is the place to pick these up. It looks like they've sold out of the SDCC exclusive (at $15 each), but they have announced and shown a number of other figures. Check out my SDCC coverage of the Entertainment Earth booth for some photos of the others.

Since this guy is now sold out, you can always search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
This is the first (!) Big Bang Theory collectible I've reviewed, but you can check out other BifBangPow figures in this scale, like the Venture Brothers line. I'll be looking at their Twilight Zone figures in this scale soon as well.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find thousands more just like it!

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

Please share with your friends!

Big Bang Theory Sheldon action figure by BifBangPow

Back to Main Page
This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

White Space
Review Bottom Edge
This page copyright 2000 - 2015, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions!