Ignite's Sixth Scale

Viking and Crusader

Ignite is producing some of the nicest sixth scale figures on the market today.  They've released two more figures in their line of historical characters - the Crusader and the Viking - to go along with their previous releases of the Gladiator, the Napolean Guard, and two Civil War figures.

They haven't gotten very wide distribution in the States yet, but there are a handful of on-line retailers carrying them.  They aren't cheap either, running around sixty bucks each.  But with tons of die cast accessories, and fantastic, historically accurate outfits, they are quite the sight to behold.

Packaging - ***1/2
The packaging from Ignite has very bright and vibrant colors, good photos, well written descriptions, and they are collector friendly to boot.  The construction is a little weak though, and crushing the boxes a little too easy for a perfect score.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpts might look a little familiar, at least if you've been watching any movies in the last 20 years.  The Crusader has a head sculpt extremely similar to Sean Connery.  Since Connery played a somewhat similar character in First Knight - in the loosest possible sense - at least it makes a little sense.  Not so with the Viking.

The Viking is clearly Arnold Schwarzenegger, right down to the modern hair cut.  But Ahnold has never played a viking of any sort, so that seems like an awfully odd choice.  But whether either head sculpt is an unusual choice or not, they both look very good.

The Crusader would make a great Henry Jones, and you could swap this Arnie sculpt with an outfit for just about any of his films.  Since you could swap in a generic figure easily enough, these could be used for some great customs.

Paint - ****
The paint ops are solid all around, although there's not a ton of small detail.  Most of the paint application is on the faces, and the lines are clean and neat.  There's also ops on the various accessories, particularly the shields, and these are even better.

Articulation - ***
These bodies have all the cool articulation that you'd expect from a high end 12" figure.  With lots of joints - ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, cut biceps (high, near the shoulders), double jointed elbows, simple wrist joints, chest, waist, ball jointed hips (similar to Famous Covers style hips), double jointed knees, cut thighs, and simple ankles. - you can do just about any pose.

The slightly lower score is due to weak hips.  I had a bit of this trouble with the Gladiator from Ignite as well, so I assume it's a bigger issue than just the occasional figure.  With a figure that has heavy armor or helmets, these weak hips and knees can cause a lot of trouble doing any sort of posing.

Accessories - ****
Wow - I continue to be completely blown away by the quality and accuracy of the accessories from Ignite.  Both figures are loaded, with tons of weapons and extras.

The Viking has his exceptional shield (which he holds easily in his hands), a pike, long sword and scabbard, knife and sheath, axe, a great belt, and nifty little faux leather bag for his belt that opens, and has a fake bone for a closure.

The Crusader also has a terrific shield, that even has padding included on the back right where he'd need it in reality, an axe, and broad sword and scabbard.  The shields for both figures have a strap to carry it across their back or shoulders.

All the accessories use die cast metal where you'd expect - the head of the axe or the blade of the sword for example.  It's a high quality metal, and looks and feels fantastic.  These are some of the best sixth scale weapons I've ever seen.

Outfit - ****
Wow squared. The outfits are every bit as cool as the accessories, especially in the case of the Crusader.

The Viking has a die cast metal helmet, complete with nose guard, three layers of tunic - the cloth chain mail, a leather tunic, and a cloth tunic, great looking plaid pants that would look great on your local nerd, and some interesting funky boots.

The Crusader has an extremely nice completely metal helmet that is hinged to open easily and go on and off his head, four, yes four, layers of tunic, and even chain mail leggings, designed to be historically accurate.  That means they look like stockings on a garter belt, but I haven't seen anything quite like this in the more recent Fredrick's of Hollywood catalog.  He also has a well designed belt, and a pair of spurs.

The only negative here, and I think it's a minor one, is that the chain mail tunic is *almost* a reuse.  The sleeves are clearly different between the two figures, but otherwise the pattern and material are the same.

Every bit of these outfits is well designed with excellent stitching, tailoring and quality.  There's tons of small details, including the gloved hands on the Crusader's chain mail, and the embroidered lion crest on the front of his tunic is fantastic.  Yes, the Crusader outfit is slightly better than the Viking, but both are stand outs in the sixth scale world.

Value - ***
Sixty bucks is a lot of green.  You might find these for a few dollars under $60 if you do some searching around, but $60 is the likely price you'll pay.  And that's a lot of green.

I almost dropped these another half star, but the quality of the accessories and outfits is so high, that I couldn't quite do it.  These are at the top end of the price scale most sixth scale collectors are willing to pay, but they are certainly also at the top end in terms of quality.

Overall - ***1/2
I'm hoping that Ignite gives us a slighter tighter body sometime soon, since that's the only thing holding these back from four stars.  Well, that and how much lighter your wallet is going to feel, but that's tough to avoid if you're looking for this level of detail.  Perhaps is things go well for the company, they'll be able to get the production numbers up on future figures and manage to push the prices down closer to $50 each.

Where to Buy - 
The best bet for finding these is to head over to Ignite's web site and check out their list of retailers and distributors.  They have three or four really good choices there, and you can find them as cheap as $56 or so.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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