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Jake Sully - Avatar
Hot Toys

Jake Sully Avatar action figure by Hot Toys


I'm going to commit geek blasphemy - I'm not a huge fan of Avatar. While I appreciate the beauty of the film and the major advancement it made in 3D technology, the story and acting left me pretty cold. As stories go, we've seen it many times before, and several times better.

The film is an excellent license for cool looking product though, due to the interesting designs of the characters and props. Sadly, we haven't had a ton of good stuff, but Hot Toys seeks to remedy that situation.

They released their Jake Sully in his Na'vi body a month or so ago, but it's taken me a little while to get around to him. You can still find him at a number of retailers for just south of $300. Hot Toys has not confirmed any other figures for the license so far.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Jake Sully Avatar action figure by Hot Toys
Jake Sully Avatar action figure by Hot Toys
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Jake Sully Avatar action figure by Hot Toys
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Jake Sully Avatar action figure by Hot Toys
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Jake Sully Avatar action figure by Hot Toys
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Jake Sully Avatar action figure by Hot Toys
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Jake Sully Avatar action figure by Hot Toys
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Jake Sully Avatar action figure by Hot Toys
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Jake Sully Avatar action figure by Hot Toys
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Jake Sully Avatar action figure by Hot Toys

Packaging - ***1/2
This guy comes in a very large box, designed to accommodate his height. I love the appearance of the outer sleeve, but inside is just a now pretty standard Hot Toys window shoe box. It's all collector friendly of course, although the outer slip is a bit tighter than it should be, and can be damaged if you're not careful removing and replacing it.

Sculpting - ***
For most companies, getting freaky aliens right is easy - they have such a distinct look that it makes capturing a recognizable portrait all that much easier. It's the humans that are tough for them, since viewers can be that much more critical of even the tiniest error.

Oddly enough, that's not Hot Toys situation this time around. They tend to knock every human sculpt right out of the park, but there's a couple problems I had with this rather unique alien appearance that pulls him down a bit.

This guy is huge, no doubt about that. He's pushing 18" tall, making him tower over other sixth scale figures. It's an impressive size for sure, and it means a newly sculpted body just for this figure.

The head sculpt is excellent when it comes to the level of detail. The glassy eyes look amazing, and the detail work on the rooted and sculpted hair combo looks great. They added his little com-link on the left ear, and it's glued in place - a big plus, since these are so easy to lose otherwise.

There are just four hands all together, but they are sculpted to work with the knife and gun. He stands great on his own, and you should have no trouble finding a good looking pose. So where's the nits?

I have two that bother me - your mileage may vary. First, there's the expression. The open mouth gives him a mouth-breather look, certainly not an aggressive or even a strong appearance. Instead, he looks slightly dazed, an expression that doesn't go particularly well with the accessories.

My other nit is one that's normally not an issue for Hot Toys - skin texture. That's usually an area that's an automatic win for them, but here the skin is almost smooth, with only the slightest texture. The texture that is here is very consistent and unrealistic, looking more toy-like than I'd expect. This is extremely uncharacteristic for Hot Toys, and with so much skin showing, pulls down my Sculpt score a good half star.

Paint - ***
Like the sculpt, the paint comes up a little bit short this time, very unusual for a Hot Toys figure.

As I mentioned in the earlier section, the eyes are truly amazing, and the glassy look works extremely well here. The iris' have a very life-like appearance, almost too life-like.

The quality of the paint application is top notch - no slop or bad cut lines to be seen. There's plenty of color too, which is a nice change of pace from the usual browns, blacks and greens. But the striping and mottling on the skin looks off, more Hasbro than Hot Toys. Some of the small details are terrific - like the veins inside the ears - but overall the skin looked more like a toy than you'd expect, especially at this price point.

Articulation - ***
This is a newly designed body for this figure, necessary because of the large size.

He stands about 17 1/2" tall, quite lean and lanky. There's less articulation with this body than the usual TrueType, but what's here works pretty well.

The ball jointed neck is great, with plenty of tilt and lean action. The ball shoulders and hips work pretty well, although the hips were a little weak, allowing deeper stances to slowly topple over time.

There's the usual pin/disc ball elbows, wrists and knees, and the pin ankles move forward and back but lack any rocker movement.

Finally, there's the ball waist, which also tilts and leans in all directions. It's a fairly useful joint here, allowing the lanky body to have a little more natural flow in some stances.

Wait - I almost forgot the tail! Yep, it's fully bendable, allowing you to pose it in some very animal-like ways.

Still, the lower joint count means less posability, and this body doesn't quite have the natural look that most of the standard TrueTypes possess.

Accessories - ***
There's several chokers and arm bands, but I'm sticking them in the next category.

Here is where the large gun, knife, sheath, extra hands and display stand are covered.

I mentioned the two extra hands earlier, but let's face it - that's a bit light for a Hot Toys figure. They do work well with the accessories and swap pretty easily. There's a couple extra wrist pegs too, just in case.

The cool Na'vi knife and sheath attach to the chest belt with Velcro, but it's a pretty weak connection. The sheath tends to fall off due to its own weight, but it does hold the knife well. The knife is a great sculpt, and while it seems a little undersized to me, it does fit properly in the special right hand.

His other weapon is the big AVR-30, properly scaled and with a great overall sculpt. It has all the usual attention to detail you expect, and is a great addition to the figure. My only wish is that his expression better matched any pose holding the weapon.

He has also pilfered a grenade belt from one of the humans, complete with removable grenades. It fits nicely around his chest and can help hold the knife sheath in place.

Finally, he has his cool custom light up base, complete with sculpted flora from Pandora. This base lights up when you supply a couple AA batteries. Mine wasn't particularly bright however, and I was a little disappointed with the overall effect.

Outfit - ***1/2
I'm counting a lot of the extras as 'outfit', while others might count them more as accessories.Tomato, avocado, you know the drill.

I mentioned the soft belt that wraps around the chest and holds the knife, complete with small snap. There's also a cumber bun that goes around lower chest, with a ton of sculpt and paint detail. The gauntlet for the right arm looks great, and the riding armor on the calves (notice how it protects the inside of the leg from abrasion?) fits well.

There are two bands for each arm, some with feathers, some without. There's also two chokers that fit tightly around the throat.

And let's not forget the loincloth, made from a leather material. The entire outfit looks great, and is much more detailed and realistic that the underlying body.

Fun Factor - **1/2
Because of the rather fragile feathers, this isn't a figure you'll want to handle a whole lot. Get a pose he can keep for a long time, and stick with it.

Value - *1/2
This is an extremely expensive figure, even by Hot Toys standards. He will run you close to $300, depending on the retailer, at least 25% more than many of the 12" deluxe figures.

Of course, part of this is due to the much larger size. Part is also due to the new body. If the paint and sculpt on this figure were at the same level that we've come to expect, this price point would have been a bit easier to swallow. As it is, most collectors will have a tough time justifying the extra expense.

Things to Watch Out For -
I didn't have any major issues, but do be careful with the many feathers. They are quite fragile, and you should take care when handling them.

The instructions also tell you to unsnap the grenade belt and knife belt to put them around his chest. I'd advise against that - those snaps can be tricky to work with, and in this case, it isn't necessary. Just make sure you put them on while you have the head popped off. You have to remove it anyway to place the chokers on his neck, so pop the two belts on under the arm and over the neck while you're at it.

Overall - ***
This is easily the best collectible produced for the movie to date. Much better than the Mattel toys, better than the Noble Collection knives, and certainly better than the Gentle Giant mini-busts. Sadly, it's also the most expensive, making it a tough sell.

I appreciate the cost that went into producing the new body for this figure, but the fact is that collectors won't care how much it cost to make - they'll see a price tag of nearly $300 for an action figure, and balk. That's a lot of money, and without any additional figures to display Jake with, he's going to be a pretty lonely purchase. The upcoming Avengers Hulk is going to be a similar price, but at least in that case you can add him to your display of Cap, Thor, Iron Man, and others.

If you're a huge fan of the film, and can overlook the high price tag, you'll be very happy with the figure. For me, the paint and sculpt aren't quite up to the best of Hot Toys quality, but they are certainly well above the norm.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Fanboy Collectibles has him for $285.

- Big Bad Toy Store has him at $290.

- or you can search ebay for a bargain.

Related Links -
Jeff Parker did a guest review of this guy eariler, and I've looked at the replica knive, and the Mattel version of this same character.

Discussion:
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Jake Sully Avatar action figure by Hot Toys


This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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