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Review of Avengers Chitauri Soldiers action figures

Hot Toys
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

Avengers Chitauri Soldiers action figures by Hot Toys

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Introduction

The Chitauri, once largely relegated to the comic book world of the various Ultimates titles, have become a key antagonistic force in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. First showing up in the Avengers, they've been revealed working with Thanos, and pieces and parts of their technology have been heavily featured on Agents of Shield. It's safe to say we haven't seen the last of them on the big screen.

Hot Toys has released two of their kind - a Commander and a Foot Soldier. They were offered individually - with a price around $240 each - or as a boxed set at $475. I believe the boxed set was exclusive to select locations, with Sideshow being the U.S. distributor.  The boxed set (which I'm reviewing tonight) also has three additional accessories.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Avengers Chitauri Soldiers action figures by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ***1/2
Double trays of figures and accessories are held inside a pretty standard wide Hot Toys box. The exterior has a nice shot of the characters themselves, but there's the usual lack of text and other details.

There is an instruction sheet - two in fact, since you are getting two figures - and you should note the info on working with the helmets. Everything else is pretty straightforward.

Of course it's all collector friendly, although this time around you'll have a ton of plastic wrapping and bags laying around once you have them free.

Avengers Chitauri Soldiers action figures by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - ***
Maybe it's because we were just recently at Disney World and hit the Lilo and Stitch attraction, but these guys really remind me of Gantu's skinny cousins. It must be the skin color and the funky hands and feet - it's not like they are identical, but something about them just says "kill 626".

This is a big figure, coming in at almost 14" tall. It's not surprising that they did both a Commander and a Foot Soldier right out of the gate, since they need to get as much use out of this unique newly sculpted body as possible.

The face sculpts are different, although you will have to pay a lot of attention to notice the subtle variances. Both have that look like their wearing a crab's shell over their face, and while it looks terrific, it's unlikely that you'll go without the helmet very often. Without the helmet, they're a little pinheaded, and simply don't seem as 'complete' looking.

Skin and armor textures look great, and there are differences between the two figures once again. These differences are much more obvious than the head sculpts, from completely different armor on the front of the torsos, to the extra articulated shoulder armor on the left side of the Commander.

My only complaint is with the spindly limbs, especially the legs. The thighs and calves on these guys were thicker in the film, and the figure's arms are a bit too gangly around the elbows as well. It reminds me a lot of the earliest Hot Toys Predators, a situation that they corrected over time.

Avengers Chitauri Soldiers action figures by Hot Toys

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Avengers Chitauri Soldiers action figures by Hot Toys

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Paint - ***1/2
The paint work isn't quite as impressive as with a 'real' person, but they've managed to do the subtle tones and colors extremely well.

While both these guys are similar in color, there's enough variation to make it apparent who is who - and which hands belong to which.

The wash on the body is a bit heavy, looking a little more toy-ish than their best work. But the excellent work on the various pieces of armor makes it all seem moot.

One of the highlights is the weathering of the helmets, which really makes the bronze color pop.

There's some very nice small detail work too, with the tiny eyes and various little doodads on the armor and body. It's high quality work, but it won't illicit the oohs and aahs of some of their other figures.

Avengers Chitauri Soldiers action figures by Hot Toys

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Articulation - ***
The body itself is quite posable, with a ton of ball joints in all the right places.

The neck is a bit restricted by the funky 'hair' that extends down either side of the head and is permanently attached to the chest. I'm not sure if this is an organic part of their body, or a permanent piece of armor intended to protect the neck (I'm betting the latter), but either way it restricts the mobility quite a bit.  It is made from a soft rubber though, so the head can turn and tilt a bit. Don't go crazy with it, or you'll be doing some re-gluing.

The ball shoulders work great, and appear to be double ball - you can move them up and down inside the joint as well, in relation to the torso. That gives them quite a bit more range, but you'll want to avoid weird gapping in certain poses.

The waist is also a bit restricted, again due to the armor. You can get some deeper twists, but it's a bit of an effort.

Overall however, you can get good action poses, with a natural flow to the limbs and center of gravity. The big feet can remain flat on the ground as well, thanks to the ball ankles, and the very solid wrist joints are less prone to breakage.

Avengers Chitauri Soldiers action figures by Hot Toys

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Accessories - ***
In the two pack, we get a bit better assortment of extras.

There are three hands for the Soldier, two for the Commander. That's one extra over the single releases. All the hands are designed to work with various accessories, and I love the funky, well designed sculpts with the extra fingers. The hands swap pretty easily, but there's a bag of a couple extra wrist pegs for each figure just in cast.

They both come with the trademark Chitauri arm cannon. This pops in place of the hand, which is the only sensible design. The sculpt and paint are gorgeous, and it's going to be the go to look for these guys in most displays.

Each also comes with a more complex display base than usual. The base itself depicts a pile of dirt and rubble, and there's a clear plastic rod and black clamp to hold the figure. Additionally, there are several pieces of loose rubble - a brick, a section of a brick wall, a hunk of concrete, and a bent direction sign - that can be strewn about as you see fit.

Both have their unique helmets as well. The commander gets the slightly fancier version with the 'wings' flowing upward in back. They come apart differently - pay attention to the instructions and take your time. 

I popped them apart, put them on, popped them apart, and took them off three or four times without incident, but it did seem like with enough repeated use, the fittings might get a little loose.

Due to the way the Soldier's helm comes apart - the top piece separate from the face shielding - you can actually have him wear the top of the helmet with an exposed face. It's not my favorite look, but it's possible.

The Commander adds the Chitauri grenade to the mix. Again, it looks great and it can fit neatly in one of the supplied hands.

That's it for the single releases, and I already mentioned that this two pack has the extra hand for the Soldier.  There's two additional weapons as well.

Technically, it's just one weapon - the Chitauri 'rifle'. They give you it in it's fully extended form, and in a folded form. The folded gun can be worn on his back, although it's not particularly pretty.  I checked the Sideshow website to see how they did it and mimicked that, but it's a weird look.

Avengers Chitauri Soldiers action figures by Hot Toys

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Avengers Chitauri Soldiers action figures by Hot Toys

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Outfit - ***
There's not a lot in this category - the armor is covered in the Sculpting and Paint sections, while the helmets were covered in the Accessories section.

I did want to mention that he's not all hard plastic though - there is a cloth 'skirt' under the codpiece and hip armor. Nothing special, but I suppose it gives him that extra feeling of protection from any wardrobe malfunctions.

Speaking of the codpiece - I had to re-glue the edge on the one worn by the Foot Soldier. These are attached to elastic bands, so that as the hips and waist are moved, the armor can move with them. Mine popped loose on the one side, but a dab of super glue fixed it right up and I didn't have any additional issues.

Avengers Chitauri Soldiers action figures by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
While there's a few minor issues, I had a ton of fun working with and posing these guys. They seem much more sturdy than the usual Hot Toys release, and with basic care I was able to take them through the paces without serious incident.

Avengers Chitauri Soldiers action figures by Hot Toys

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Value - **
The single figures will run you $240, which is a lot even by Hot Toys standards, where the average is $200 - $220 these days. Of course, the new body, with limited use, is a factor, but they were able to double up on a number of figures, reducing the overall fixed cost. Of course, shop around a bit and you can find these at a better price, closer to the current average.

The pair is a much better deal, costing $475 at Sideshow. You're paying $5 less and getting three more accessories - how can you argue with that? It's still not a great deal, but it does pull the figures closer to the 'average' range for the current market...but not quite all the way.

Avengers Chitauri Soldiers action figures by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
The only area that was a bit fragile was the helmets. When disassembling and reassembling, be sure to follow the notes in the instructions and take your time.

The rest of the figure is quite sturdy, at least in comparison to a normal Hot Toys figure, so you shouldn't have too much trouble.

Avengers Chitauri Soldiers action figures by Hot Toys

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Overall - ***
This one is a bit tricky, because I like these more than a *** score might indicate. They are a lot of fun to work with, and as an addition to the Avengers display, they add a lot of visual interest.

Had the price point been a little softer (these just aren't $240 figures) or had they beefed up those thighs a bit, I would have been hard pressed not to go that extra half star.

Still, I'm very glad I grabbed the pair, and they make a great opponent for any of your other Avengers figures. We have an awful lot of heroes in the Hot Toys Marvel line up, but we are very short on the evil side of the table. Maybe we'll even get lucky and find them below retail on the bay after awhile, making it possible to fill out the ranks a bit more. If they do play a bigger role in upcoming films - and all indicators are saying yes - Hot Toys will already have the basic body in their back pocket as a start to a new version.

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

Avengers Chitauri Soldiers action figures by Hot Toys

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has the individuals for $225.

- has the individual figures for $240.

- Entertainment Earth is at $315.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other recent Hot Toys Avengers and Marvel figures include:

- I just looked at the Red Snapper Iron Man and the very cool metal series.

- there's also The Wolverine, Bruce Banner, the Hulk, the die cast War Machine, Tony Stark as the Mechanic, the Mandarin, Agent CoulsonBlack Widow and Loki

- Other key Hot Toys Marvel figures include the recent Iron Monger, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, the Mark V, the Secret Project version, the MKVI, the very cool War Machine, the hot chick Black Widow, Whiplash, the Mark III figure, Mark II figure, Mark I figure, and additional Tony Stark men's suit. There are also guest reviews of the Battle Damaged Iron Man and Mech Suit Tony Stark.

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Avengers Chitauri Soldiers action figures by Hot Toys

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

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