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Review of the Chalice of Kali prop replica
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Sideshow Collectibles
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Indiana Jones Chalice of Kali prop replica by Sideshow

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Introduction

I love prop replicas (great ones, anyway) and I love Indiana Jones movies (sadly, the 'great ones' filter has to be applied here as well) so it's a no brainer for me to snag just about any new Indy prop replica that comes out. With Sideshow's involvement with the license the last few years, it's been my hope that we'd see them produce more props, a need that has been ignored by too many companies and left to customizers to fill.

They gave us a great Fertility Idol awhile back, but have been pretty quiet since. The next key prop is now shipping however - the Chalice of Kali from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. You'll notice I'm skipping the Ark they produced, since it's a 1:4 scale version.

Mola Ram's drinking mug is a 1:1 replica, and costs just shy of $200 depending on the retailer. These are a limited edition of 650 pieces.

Word has been that they'll be giving us more goodies in this vein over the next couple years, potentially including the Sankara Stones. As long as they light up similar to the way they did the new Han in Carbonite Premium Format statue, I'm in. And who wouldn't love a full sized Staff of Ra? Bring it on!

Indiana Jones Chalice of Kali prop replica by Sideshow

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Packaging - **1/2
The box follows the fairly basic Indy packaging style, but it does the important job - keeping the chalice safe from damage - quite well. There's no Certificate of Authenticity, but the edition number and size is printed on the bottom of the box and the bottom of the chalice.

Indiana Jones Chalice of Kali prop replica by Sideshow

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Sculpting - ***1/2
I've been working my way through the fifth book in the Game of Thrones series, and this skull reminds me of something you'd see on a pike outside King's Landing. The leathery, dried out skin still clings to the underlying bone, and Mola Ram's minions clearly did something to preserve some of the flesh. The nose, ears, and left eye are still there, although not in quite the same shape as when this head still had a body. The soft tongue is gone though, replaced by the fake metal tongue, over which the blood poured into Indy's mouth.

The musculature and striations look good, with the rough underlying bone having just the right texture to set it apart. There's also enough difference in the overall texture of the head and lower metal stem to set them apart, even when they are all made from the same actual material.

This material is more plastic than resin, although I have no doubt that if you dropped it on the floor it could very well break. That means it's lighter weight than you expect, which is sure to effect some folks feeling of 'value'.

The scale is very good, coming in at just about 13" tall. It approximates the size of an actual human skull, and looks very impressive on the shelf behind your bar. That's where I have mine! Care for a drink?

Indiana Jones Chalice of Kali prop replica by Sideshow

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Paint - ***
As much as I like the sculpt, the paint isn't doing it for me. Much of the skull detail is washed out and blended together by the paint, and the attempt at weathering the 'metal' section ends up looking just like what it is - paint.

The paint also ruins the illusion of reality in some places. For example, the paint glops together between several of the teeth, making the application obvious.

Don't get me wrong - this isn't awful by any standard. Still, at this price point I was hoping for something a little more realistic in this category.

Indiana Jones Chalice of Kali prop replica by Sideshow

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Indiana Jones Chalice of Kali prop replica by Sideshow

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Indiana Jones Chalice of Kali prop replica by Sideshow

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Value - **
With the light weight material and slightly inadequate paint job, convincing yourself that this is worth almost $200 might be tough. The Fertility Idol was $200 with a weight that gives it real substance, but even that was a tough call. The two things this chalice has going for it are the low edition size (the Idol was at 1500, not 650), and the simple fact that the odds of ever getting a better chalice are slim to none.

Indiana Jones Chalice of Kali prop replica by Sideshow

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ***
While I love the sculpt and am thrilled to have a prop I never expected to see, there are really two issues holding it back from a higher score. The price is one of those, but that wouldn't be as much of an issue if the paint ops were at the level of quality I'd expect. Improved paint would have brought the value score up as well, making this the ideal Chalice.

Nonetheless, this is a very nice replica, and does look great on the shelf. It's one of the more recognizable props from the Indy series, and has just the right amount of 'ewww' factor to creep people out. I don't know about you, but I enjoy creeping people out with my choice of decor. Something tells me I'll never be on Design Stars.

While this is still available at a number of places, I don't expect that to last long because of the low edition size. I think the lower edition is more appropriate for the market, and I expect that we'll see a similar number for any future Indy replicas from Sideshow.

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

Indiana Jones Chalice of Kali prop replica by Sideshow

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has it for $180.

- also has it at $180.

- has it for $190.

- Sideshow has it of course, at $200, and it's already in stock.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other related reviews include:

- Sideshow did a terrific Fertility Idol, and DST did a cheaper bank-like version as well.

- and if you're looking for other high end Temple of Doom items, check out Sideshow's Premium Format statue of Mola Ram himself.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

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

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Indiana Jones Chalice of Kali prop replica by Sideshow

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

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