Dusty Trails
The Outlaw

There's a new toy company in town, and that's certainly bucking the current trend.  In the last couple years, they've been dropping like flies, with most small companies folding like cheap lawnchairs.

But Dusty Trails are the new kids in town, and they are doing a wide line of historical characters in a 6" scale.  There's all kinds, including WW II military, SWAT, pirates, and assorted other characters.  Sculpting and paint are the big selling points, with playability and articulation taking the back seat.

Of the first series, there is one western character, and of course I had to have him.  He's the Outlaw, and if you think he looks more than a little like Johnny Ringo from the film Tombstone, then you're not alone.  In the second series there is another western figure, and he looks an awful lot like Wyatt Earp.

These are retailing for about ten bucks, and will be showing up in the next couple weeks.  Dusty Trails were showing off the first and second series at SDCC this year, and I'm sure we'll be seeing more from them in the next few months.

Packaging - ***
I like clamshell packaging better than blister cards.  Has that become painfully obvious by now?  Here's a new company and they start right off with nifty clamshells, with good graphics and decent text.  The inserts are specific to each figure, which is always a plus.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The Outlaw is a good example of nice, clean sculpting.  This isn't the level of detail you might see in a McToys sculpt, but it's close.  The overall appearance is slightly more rough, more whittled, especially around the face, but it works extremely well for this figure.

The figure is basically a statue, so the choice of pose is crucial.  Here we have him bolting out of a building, or perhaps from behind one, stepping off the boardwalk and into the dusty street.  He really needs the base to stay standing, but that's not unexpected.  The facial expression is stern and cold without looking silly or constipated.  The body sculpt gives the impression of motion and energy, and overall the figure looks great in this pose.

Paint - ***1/2
The great paint ops highlight the excellent sculpting.  The colors are clean and consistent, with little slop or uneven breaks between differing shades.

There was a nick or two on the paints, but the mud spatterings on the boots was extremely well done.  My only real issue is with the skin tone, which is a tad too orange for my tastes, but is more a matter of preference than problem. 

Articulation - *1/2
They are articulated, but just barely.  It's enough to give you just a hint of control, but not enough to be particularly useful.

There's neck, shoulder, and wrists. The waist looks like it could be another point, but if it is, mine wouldn't break free and I wasn't about to force it.

As I said, these are really statues with a little bit of articulation.  Don't go in expecting much - or don't care about articulation - and this won't be as big of an issue for you as it might be for others.

Accessories - **
There are really two - his handgun and his base.  Both are done well, but not over the top.  The base is fairly plain, but the colors are decent.  The gun fits fine in his hand or holster, but a more impressive base would have really set this character apart.

Value - **1/2
A good price on these would be around $8.  At $10, they're a tad high considering the rest of the market.  McToys T3 figures can be had for $10, and are licensed figures on top of being extremely well done.

Overall - **1/2
This figure was *this* close to three stars, but he's just a hair too expensive, or he could use a little more complex and detailed base.  Better yet, make the figure look this good with a little more useful articulation.  For the collectors more into statues than action figures, these are likely to be worth another half star.

In any case, it's a decent initial entry into the market for Dusty Trails, and I'll probably be picking up the pirate out of this first series as well.  I hope we see some improvement in value for these over the next series, but I think with some minor changes they show promise.

Where to Buy - 
I picked this up at SDCC, but they should be shipping  very soon.  On-line:

- Killer Toys has each figure for $11 each, or you can pick up the set of six for $63.

- Entertainment Earth has them for $12 each, or the set of six for $65.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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