General Custer

There's a new guest reviewer tonight - Jonathan Mullins!  He's here to tell us about the recent Custer figure released by Sideshow.  Take it away, Jonathan!

My name is Jonathan Mullins and I have always had a fascination with George Custer. In fact my very fist action figure was the Marx Custer way back in the early 70ís. I still have fond memories of that figure. When Marx began reissuing their figures, I was *this* close to buying one of those, until I saw the Custer/Crazy Horse figures that Sideshow put out a couple of years ago. I immediately ordered one of each. I was happy with both (even though Custer is a tad pale for my tastes). But, I really wanted a Custer figure as a young man from the Civil War. Well, Sideshow finally delivered and here we are today.

Packaging - ***1/2
Sideshow did an excellent job on the box. There is a large picture of the real Custer on the front and it says Brotherhood of Arms Legendary Icons on it. You can compare the figure on the inside with the picture. There is the same picture on both sides.

Inside the front flap there is a small picture of Custer from the chest up. Looks like one of the ones from Sideshows website.

There is a small section from a report Custer wrote after the Battle of Cedar Creek. Then there are six short paragraphs giving an account of Custer during the Civil War.

One interesting thing, At the bottom it says ďIssued Equipment: The General has chosen these items to be presented with.Ē And then it lists the accessories. I thought it was a cool touch.

Back of the package there is a larger picture of the figure and a short section on the civil war. Also a detail pic of the belt buckle.

The ONLY thing that kept the package from four stars was the one twisty tie that goes around his arms, under his shirt, up behind his head, through the plastic liner, through the cardboard backer, where it is tied and taped. To get it out, you nearly have to undress him. Unfortunately, his cravat his tacked to the jacket with a single piece of thread. I didnít want to pull that out so I pulled the shirt out of the pants, and worked the tie down his back. There were two small twisty around each wrist and a plastic band around the knees and out of the back of the plastic liner. All of the accessories are wedged in tightly and there is a plastic band across the sword. All in all he should be go back in the tray and box fairly easily.

Sculpting - ****
Sculpted by Matt Falls. Looks just like Custer. I pulled out a few of my Custer books for comparisons and they were a good match. 

I compared the head sculpt with the previous Custer and the new is of a different material than the old. The old one seems like it is resin, while the new ones feels like a harder plastic.

Paint - ****
The only paint ops are on the head and hands. The paint looks excellent with no bleeds. I thought there might be some around the ears and hair, but once I got in brighter light, I saw it was a shadow instead of bleed.

Articulation - ****
Standard Sideshow articulation. You either love it or hate it. You know I always say I want my figures to be fully articulated, but all I do is stand them on my desk or bookshelves in a static pose. 
The neck has two joints. A ball joint at the head and another joint at the neck. Custer can look in any direction he wants. Just right for those cavalry charges.

Accessories - ***1/2
I got the ďexclusiveĒ version that comes with an extra gun. 

Custer comes with 2 sets of hands. One set of gauntlets, one pair regular. (For some reason I remembered that I saw pictures of Custer with black gauntlets instead of tan like on the figure. But, I checked some pictures and sure enough he wore tan gauntlets.) Binoculars. 
Binoculars case. The binoculars fit in the case. My case was bent in a hair at the top and I had to push it out to get them in. Also there is a strap to close the top, but it isnít connected to the base itself. So you just pull off the lid. Sword and Scabbard. 2 pistols one of which is the exclusive. Pistol holster. A Belt. The backside of the belt feels like the same material as the coat. Once it goes on, it donít move easily. Cap box. Looks the same as the one that came with the previous version. Major Generalís hat. I like this hat much better than with the previous version. It looks and feels softer and fits his head better. It looks more natural. A Cravat Corp pin, which is glued to the cravat. 

All of the accessories look really good. Both pistols fit in the holster. Be careful with the holster though, as I pulled the strap that attaches it to the belt off the back of it. Itís not glued very well. (I did the same thing to one of the holsters on the first Custer figure.) Some Super Glue should fix it. And that the one thing that takes off half a star. For $45.00 I shouldnít have to repair my figures.
The rest Iíll cover in the outfit section.

Outfit - ****
The outfit on Custer is very well made. He has on officerís trouser with a yellow stripe down the legs. A custom officerís frock coat. The boots and spurs included look just like the ones that came on the previous version. The gauntlets are the same also.

He is wearing a light blue sailors shirt, but because his coat his closed all you can see are the collars. It is long sleeved also.

Now the coat. Ah, the coat. It looks really good. It looks like one of the coats Custer has on in the pictures. The material feels like felt. But, it is extremely bulky around the shoulder. It looks like he is wearing shoulder pads. In the pictures on the web site, he looks slim and trim, but in real lifeÖ.football city. I might take off the sailor shirt and just have him in his jacket, but since the cravat is tacked to the jacket, there is no easy way to get the cravat and jacket off.

Value - ***
I got the exclusive version which is $45.00 at Sideshow. I know some people really think that is too much. I really donít have a problem with it. Iíve only bought three Sideshow toys so far. I just buy the ones that interest me. So $45.00 spaced out over a year or two isnít too bad. Do I wish they were cheaper? Yeah. But, where else or you going to find a high quality George Custer figure.

Oh, yeah. Sideshow says only 500 of these were made. So that almost makes up for the higher price.

Overall - ****
Iím giving this a solid four. The two sections I marked at a three Ĺ coulda been a four, if #1 that dang twisty tie didnít go all over the place, and #2 if I had been a tad more careful of the holster. I tore the back of the holster of the previous version and danged if I didnít do it again.

Like I said at the beginning, Iíve always had a fascination with Custer and this figure is just icing on the cake for me.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Painting - ****
Articulation - ****
Accessories Ė ***1/2
Clothing - ****
Value - ***
Overall - ****

Where to Buy - 
I donít think any regular toy store will carry him, but here are some on-line stores.

Sideshow Ė Still has the exclusive version available, as well as the regular version.

Alter Ego Comics


Figure from the collection of Jonathan Mullins.

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