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Indiana Jones Toht and Ark of the Covenant
Sideshow Collectibles Exclusive

Toht Indiana Jones sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

Every great movie needs a great villain. And Raiders of the Lost Ark was indeed a great movie. But it didn't have just one great villain, it had several. Who your favorite is depends on what form of evil you despise - or admire - the most.

My favorite was always the weaselly, cruel Arnold Toht, as played by Ronald Lacey. With a cherubic face it was easy to underestimate him, but a flash of his evil, leering grin was enough to bring you back to reality.

Sideshow has produced a number of sixth scale figures based on the Indy license, including Indy himself, and another evil villain from Raiders, Belloq. Indy's dad, Professor Jones, is the next scheduled release. Considering how long they've had the license, it's certainly not much of a selection, but at least Raiders has gotten the love it deserves. Now we need a Marion, before Sideshow moves on.

As you'd expect, Toht comes in a regular and exclusive version, but this time it's a tad different. The regular version cost $100, and had a fairly small production run at just 1500 pieces. The exclusive run was smaller, at just 1000, and included not just an extra accessory, but a HUGE diorama type extra accessory - the sixth scale Ark of the Covenant. Because the extra accessory is so large, it raised the price considerably, to $170. I'll be reviewing the exclusive version here, but everything I say about the figure and all the accessories, with the exception of the Ark, is true of the regular release.

Packaging - ***1/2
Sideshow packaging has been top notch for years now. Both their Star Wars and Indy packaging has great text and graphics, and is completely collector friendly.

They don't score at the top of the heap any longer though, not because they've gotten worse, but because the rest of the market - Hot Toys, Enterbay, etc. - have figured it out as well, and have not just met the bar set by Sideshow, but jumped over it. Now Sideshow will have to step up with any new licenses, looking for ways to improve their packaging if they want to be at the top in this category moving forward. Of course, the magnetic closures are always going to be cool - I hope they never drop them.
Toht Indiana Jones sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
Toht Indiana Jones sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Toht Indiana Jones sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Toht Indiana Jones sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Toht Indiana Jones sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Toht Indiana Jones sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Toht Indiana Jones sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Toht Indiana Jones sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Toht Indiana Jones sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Toht Indiana Jones sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Toht Indiana Jones sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Toht Indiana Jones sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Toht Indiana Jones sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

Sculpting - **1/2
The underlying sculpt is much better than I had expected, especially after hearing some of the complaints on line.

There's plenty of photos out there to compare, and while there are a few issues, this sculpt is much closer than I think people are giving it credit for. Of course, there's also the paint, but more about that in a minute.

The nose is a little off, but the shape of the head, fullness of the lips, and the hair line are all very accurate.

I think the lack of expression hurts him a bit though, since we know him best with an evil grin, pained grimace, or sardonic smile. Here, he just looks bored.

Unfortunately, there's a sculpt killer in the mix. It's the glasses, the bane of action figure and statue manufacturers every where. Getting them small enough and thin enough to look proper in sixth scale is almost impossible. It's been done, but I suspect it's been more luck than skill. Sideshow didn't have either here.

The glasses are far too thick, with fat silver rims that should be wire thin. They have lens, which is always a plus, and they fit over the nose and ears quite well. But they are simply huge, and since they are such a crucial part of his appearance, I can't ignore their effect on the appearance of the sculpt. I could have hammered the figure in the Accessories section for the glasses, but the truth is that it's the sculpt that suffers the most because of them. They are so very critical in this case that they deserve to treated with far more importance than just another accessory. Whatever merits the head sculpt has are lost behind the Hasbro-esque rims.

You might be wondering about the Ark, but I'm treating that as a completely separate category, to make it simpler for you to distinguish between the relative merits of the two versions.

Paint - **1/2
The paint doesn't do anything to elevate the sculpt, and in fact, brings down the portrait a bit. The hair line shows obvious slop, and there's a little too much paint applied to the mouth, smoothing out any slight texture and creating a clear line of color between the upper and lower lip.

And then there's the eyes, often a problem for Sideshow's production paint peeps. While there's no dreaded 'lazy eye', these aren't perfectly straight. The slightly differing sizes on the 'doll dot', or catch light that's been painted on is also part of the problem. In the days when eyes were painted with a matte finish, adding in the white dot gave them extra life, helping to avoid a mannequin appearance. However, other companies have experimented with gloss finishes that give the eyes a wet look and actually reflect light naturally, removing the need for the painted catch light. That's something that Sideshow needs to perfect to remain competitive.

The eyes also suffer from some bleed of the skin tone into the whites. This is another of those regular issues for Sideshow, and one that they absolutely have to get a handle on.

Finally, the eyebrows are a bit disappointing for this price point. While the edges aren't too sloppy, the overall effect isn't particularly realistic. Compare this to something like the eyebrows on Hot Toys Iron Man MKI. Sideshow's work here isn't awful by any means, and of my paint nits on this particular figure, this is the least important. But to play with other companies at this general price range, they need to up the ante.

Articulation - ****
Sideshow's Prometheus body is finally coming into its own. I didn't have a single technical issue this time - no breakage, no loose joints, no trouble swapping heads or hands, nothing. And with those technical issues out of the way, the body can show its true potential.

The Pro has all the articulation you expect in a high end sixth scale figure, and that articulation works properly. The body hangs naturally, and takes (and holds) very lifelike, realistic poses. Toht is able to stand with his weight shifted to either foot, bring his elbows in close to his torso, tilt his head in ever direction, and keep his feet flat on the ground in just about any stance. These are all critical aspects for a sixth scale body, and allow for fluid, flowing poses.

I'm also very happy with the wrist pegs. While they are a little tight, I had no problem swapping hands, and I never felt like they might snap. This remains my biggest issue and concern with the TrueTypes.

The head swap was quite easy as well, easier than it is with most other similar bodies. Part of this is due to a softer material being used on the head, which allows it to pop on and off with less strain on the neck post.

While I still love the TrueType, I feel that the Prometheus is finally in the same ball park.

Accessories - ***1/2
I'm only included the regular accessories here, not the Ark. I'll cover that in its own category further down in the review.

There's the extra melting face portrait, a pair of gloved hands, an extra scarred right hand, a hot poker, a luger, and his special coat hanger. While not a ridiculous number of extras, it's a decent quantity, and getting the additional head sculpt is a huge plus.

The extra head is sculpted to look like his final moments, as the power of the Ark melted his face.  Here's a screen cap to remind you. They've done a fantastic job with this sculpt, capturing the details extremely well. I'm most impressed by the waxy, melted look of the upper lip and teeth, which run together just like they did on screen. The forehead has the same melt marks, and even the ears show the proper damage. I find it interesting that while the nose on the normal portrait seems a bit off, the melted version looks exactly as it should. It really is an outstanding portrait.

Lots of folks have commented on how white the skin is (including me), but after reviewing a number of screen caps from those final moments, I'd say they actually got the color right.

The luger, poker and coat hanger are all well done, as you'd expect. None of them are going to be a make it or break it sort of addition, but they gave them nice sculpts, with solid paint ops. I particularly like the paint work on the end of the poker, where the proper transition of colors gives them impression of extreme heat.

The luger fits perfectly in either his regular or gloved right hand, and is the proper scale. The coat hanger does come apart, although it was a bit tricky to get the little metal loop back on once I had detached it. I thought the bottom section would come apart at the middle, where it appears there is a connector, but pull as I might it wouldn't budge. Instead, the small metal loop on the hanger top slipped right out when I was handling it, which is the way it worked on film, if I remember correctly.

The gloved hands are sculpted in slightly different grip positions, while the extra ungloved and open right hand has the burned palm. This shows the one side of the head piece for the Staff of Ra, of course. However, it isn't very deeply or sharply etched in his hand, and lacks the sort of nasty scar tissue appearance that it should have. You have to look pretty close to even see it, let alone make out any of the markings.

The hands swap pretty easily, but I do recommend holding on to the forearm as you pull. I pulled both forearms off while swapping hands, and while it's easy enough to pop them back on at the elbow (they are made to come off and on pretty easily), it's an annoyance you can easily avoid simply by gripping the lower arm when removing a hand.

Had the sculpt and paint work on the right hand brought out the scarring a bit better, this category would have pulled that extra half star.

Outfit - ****
The number one reason I like this figure far more than I thought I would is the outfit. It's one of the best I've seen in awhile, certainly one of the best Sideshow has done in some time.

Let's start at the top with the hat. The plastic sculpt is excellent, and looks much better than any sort of felt or cloth version would. While it's still a *smidge* big, they managed to get it to look close enough to proper scale to make me happy, no easy trick. Generally, any sixth scale figure wearing a hat should have it sculpted on, but here they actually pulled it off as a separate piece.

Jumping all the way to the bottom, we can see he's wearing some stylish wingtips. Foot wear tends to be one of Sideshow's strengths. The sculpt and scale are great, and they allow him to stand up on his own in just about any stance. 

The shirt is striped, with an all white collar. The collar is the right size for a change, and while the one side on mine tends to poke upward, it's nothing that a little steam iron can't fix.

The tie is one of the best I have ever seen. It's actually in scale! No huge knot, now floppy ends...perfect. Some might complain that it's short under the jacket, but during this fashion period men tended to wear them short.

The suit is double breasted, and perfectly tailored. In fact, the entire ensemble fits perfectly on the Pro body. In person, you'll notice that the back of the jacket collar rides up quite high on the neck, higher than a full scale jacket would. However, this helps hide the neck and control the shirt collar, and looks quite good from the front. You can probably adjust it a bit if it bothers you, but I was fine with the way it looked.

Over all this he wears a black trench coat. Again, the tailoring and fit are impeccable. I really like that the belt isn't really a belt, but rather for decoration only. When there is an actual belt, it always looks funny hanging loose. The coat isn't lined, but that keeps it very thin, allowing it to hang on his body much more naturally. It closes in the front with a single small snap.

Finally, it's worth pointing out the small Nazi button on his left lapel, and the red pocket square. The party symbol is a sculpted button, not just a printed sticker. The swastika is printed, but the button itself is sculpted, with small ridges on the edge. To compliment the look, the red square is perfect folded and placed in the breast pocket.

One of the things that made Toht stand out from the average Nazi nut bag was his sense of style. The use of the small insignia pin allowed him to say "Yes, I'm a Nazi, but I'm still well dressed." Sideshow captured that with one of the best made suits and trench coats I've seen recently.

Ark - **1/2
The Ark is a key addition here, costing an extra $70. This isn't the first Ark we've gotten in sixth scale, as Hasbro produced one as a mail away bonus a couple years ago. There's no way for this Ark to avoid being compared to that one.

The big issue here is simple - it isn't shiny. The Ark we know and love from Raiders was shiny. And when you hit a shiny Ark with bright lights, it gets very shiny. That's what we remember from the film - that impression of solid, bright gold.

This Ark has a matte finish - let's call it satin. Some light reflects off of it, but nothing like you would expect.

The Ark does have it's positive points. The sculpt is quite good, and the resin takes detail extremely well. The top looks particularly nice, with great work on the angels and cornice style edging. It's also slightly larger than the previous Hasbro version, making it more in scale with normal sixth scale figures.

The other big plus is that it the two poles that come with it are much more realistic than the Hasbro counterparts. The decorated center section of each pole is actually wrapped in fabric, which is glued in place. This is much better looking than the cheaper plastic poles that the Hasbro version has.

Even with those pluses - great sculpt, better scale, better poles - it's hard to overcome the simple fact that the paint doesn't look right. I know that they couldn't use a vac-metal approach with resin, but they really needed to do something to give the Ark more of a gold look, and less of a bronze appearance.

Fun Factor - ***
If any psychotic Nazi killer could be called 'fun', it's this one. The body, costume and accessories are as sturdy as most you'd find at Target or Toys R Us. Hell, the glasses even look like something you'd find at Target or Toys R Us.

Of course, this is really a figure for an older kid (or one who's never really grown up) that loves the Indy films. The real fun here is in posing him with his brethren, and in that regard he does quite well.

Value - **
Had they given us reasonable glasses, I would have bumped this figure another half star, to an average rating. A hundred bucks would have seemed about right with that one correction.

As it stands though, he's not a $100 figure, all due to the goofy, cheap glasses.

With the Ark, his cost goes up another $70. I feel the same way about the Ark, particularly since we have a version that looks as good AND is shiny already produced by Hasbro. It does nothing to help the value of the basic figure, and in fact for many it will deduct even more from it.

Things To Watch Out For
As I mentioned earlier, remember to hold the forearms while swapping hands to avoid having to pop them back on.

Overall - Regular ***; Exclusive **1/2
I stay away from any detailed conversations on any figure I'm going to review, to avoid coloring my opinions. Even so, I've gotten the impression that fans haven't been universally happy with this figure, and there's a couple good reasons for that.

First and clearly foremost is the damn glasses. The head could have been sculpted by Michelangelo and painted by Da Vinci, and no one would notice behind these obtrusive, oversized goggles.

Other aspects of this figure are far superior, including the Pro body, the included accessories, and especially the exceptional outfit. It really is a pity that the glasses ruined what could have otherwise been the best figure in the Indy line so far.

Ah, but what about the Ark? It's a pity that they couldn't give us a nice, shiny version, because then there'd be no problem recommending this one. Instead, the inclusion of the Ark for an additional $70 brings the exclusive down further. 

I think most people will be willing to give up the pluses that this ark provides, and stick with the prettier (and generally cheaper) Hasbro version. I'd say that's pretty much a given, since the larger edition single Toht figure is all sold out at Sideshow, while the lower edition exclusive version is still available to purchase.

I know how I'll be displaying mine - just like the final photo. I'm going to mount a small, bright, directional light inside the Ark, and pose him with his melty face. The melty face is so extreme, that it's a little easier to overlook the coke bottles he's wearing on his nose.

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

Where to Buy -
The exclusive version that includes the Ark is still available through Sideshow. The regular regular Toht, sans Ark, is now on wait list.


Related Links -
Other sixth scale Indiana Jones reviews include:

- the last was the Medicom Young Indy.

- Hasbro did several figures, including Indy in German Disguise, Cairo Swordsman and German Soldier, and two versions of Indy.

- Sideshow has done Indy himself, as well as Belloq with the Fertility Idol Environment.

- and because I feared Sideshow might not do him, I picked up the Medicom Professor Jones, Sr. as well. Now of course, they've announced they are doing one, but we'll see if it turns out better.

- and if you're looking for sixth scale extras, check out this Grail Diary and Ark.

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Toht Indiana Jones sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
Toht Indiana Jones sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles


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

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