Packaging - ***1/2
I'm normally pretty pleased with the Hot Toys packaging, and this one has
only one real issue. It's those damn twisties.
The package itself follows their usual pattern - outer sleeve slips over
inner box that has a fifth panel (flap cover). Graphics are decent,
text is reasonable if a bit sparse, and for the most part it's very
collector friendly...except for several twisties holding the figure into the
interior tray. With two - count them TWO - plastic covers over the interior
tray, I'm not sure why the twisties were important, but as always, they're
Sculpting - ***1/2
The head sculpts on Rambo have steadily improved. This is the
third version, and is certainly better than either of the previous two.
It also has the trademark open mouth snarl that Stallone is so famous for,
something that the other head sculpts lacked. This gives him quite a
bit of personality, and makes him look like the character even more.
The size of the head is good too, especially in relation to Sideshow
heads, which are usually too large. Here we can see a much better
proportion between the head and body.
The hair sculpt is reasonably good too, with lots of fine hair detail.
My only complaint is that the bandana doesn't quite look right the way it's
been executed. The part around the head is sculpted on, while the ties
that hand down in back are material. While that sounds like a good
idea, it doesn't work all that well in reality. The sculpted bandana
is almost completely hidden by the hair, and is a *slightly* different color
than the cloth section. That means the cloth section looks more like a
hair ribbon. The cloth sections are quite large too, certainly out of
scale with the head and torso. It's also quite difficult to work with,
especially right out of the box. If you get a little spray starch and
soak it up, you'll be able to pose it better, but remember - my photos are
intended to show you what you're getting out of the box, not what you can
get with some work. Had they gone with material cut narrower, I
believe it would have looked much better, but even a sculpted version would
have been better than this.
The hand sculpts are a bit of a let down, and bring the score down a
touch. The right hand is sculpted to hold the M-60, and the left is in
the usual grip pose. It's too open of a grip though to hold the knife,
and the articulation is too restricted by the body suit to make a two handed
hold on the gun viable. You can get it to work - see the photos - but
it's difficult to do and difficult for him to hold for long periods.
Of course, extra hands would have helped this issue, but I'll complain about
that in the Accessories section.
Finally, let's talk about the rubber muscle suit. One of the biggest
complaints against sixth scale figures that don't have a ton of clothing is
that the joints are unattractive and unrealistic. Companies have been
trying for years to come up with a good rubber covering to solve this issue,
and Hot Toys employs one here.
The best coverings are very thin, and actually (you're going to laugh!)
some of the fashion dolls (including Barbie!) have been doing some good
versions. But the downside to a very thin version is that you can't
really do much with a sculpted texture.
With Rambo, you need scars and veins and texture for it to look good.
Unfortunately, there's always a price to be paid, and here it means you have
to have a fairly thick muscle suit. It looks terrific, and seems
pretty sturdy, but it does restrict the articulation quite a bit. The
figure does come with some pretty extensive warnings on how to move the arms
and head to avoid damaging the suit (don't raise them too far!), but I think
most folks will trade off the loss of articulation for the appearance.
Paint - ***
The paint ops are fairly clean across this figure, so quality isn't really an
issue. The small details are well done, especially the stubble on his
upper lip. The cuts between colors are clean, and the skin tone is
consistent from body to hands to face.
But that glossy face...oh how I hate glossy faces. Part of this
issue is due to the material they used for both the head and the body suit.
While the head is hard and solid, it's still made from a material that's a
bit more rubbery than usual. This rubbery feel matches the rubbery
feel of the torso, but they both give off more of a gloss finish than a hard
Don't get me wrong - this isn't Pammy Vorhees glossy, but he's been doing
some serious sweating in the backwoods of Washington. If he was a $50
figure, I could live with it a bit better than the $80 or more folks are
asking for him.
Articulation - ***
As I mentioned earlier, the rubber body suit reduces the articulation on this
figure. Hot Toys is usually up there in the four star area in this
category, with both a very well articulated body AND one that hangs and
poses quite naturally.
But here, the rubber suit reduces the mobility of the neck, shoulders,
biceps, elbows, chest and waist. The wrists are pretty much
unaffected, and the leg articulation is still terrific, but the rest of the
upper body suffers.
The only place this really bothers me is the neck, where I really
appreciate a great ball joint, and where the reduced mobility is the most
annoying. The rest of the upper body still poses well enough for this
type of character, and I was able to get very natural poses out of the arms.
I already said it earlier, but I think most folks are willing to trade
the articulation in for the better looking torso.
Accessories - ***
Rambo isn't loaded down with stuff, but he has some key items.
There is the M-60 of course, and it's well sculpted and painted.
There's a ton of little parts, many of them movable, but the gun itself is
hollow and very light weight. It's extremely fragile, and ends up
feeling a bit cheap. The strap looks terrific though, and is well
There are three ammo belts as well. All three are identical in
style and length. They have some small 'clips' at one end that are
supposed to snap into small holes on the other end, allowing them to be held
in a circle. These are pretty worthless though, since the belts are
too long to look right going around his body attached at the very end, and
these pegs don't hold the belts together well anyway. I ended up going
with some clear rubber bands to hold the belts together at the spot I
The ammo belts and gun don't work well together though, even if it is the
most obvious way to use one of the belts. While you can stick one end
of a belt into the chamber of the gun, there's nothing there to hold it in
place. In fact, the top section of the chamber opens up, so you'd
expect it to snap down and hold the ammo somehow...but it doesn't.
That means that the belt comes out of the gun if you look at it sideways -
another disappointment for me.
Finally, he has his traditional Kabar knife. Actually, an astute
reader pointed out that it while it looks like a Kabar, it's actually a
Lile. The sculpt and paint
are excellent, with one issue - the knife is much too small for him to hold
in either hand. I'm not suggesting they need to make the knife much
bigger, because the scale is actually pretty good. But neither hand is
designed to hold it, making it look good only in the sheath. That was
a big let down.
And that ties in with the other big let down here. With no
additional hands, you're really missing out on some great pose potential.
The hands are really designed to pose with the gun, and anything else is
going to look off. They really needed to include an additional right
and left hand, especially at this price point.
Oh, I almost forgot the display stand! I don't use them, so they
tend to slip my mind, but this figure comes with the newer style from Hot
Toys. This stand includes the "John J. Rambo" name set on a little
plate that sticks up from the base. I'm not a big fan of name plates
(it should be fairly obvious to anyone not born sometime in the 20th century
who this is), but this is a decent approach.
Outfit - **1/2
The biggest issue I had with the whole figure was with the outfit, and then
it was only one problem. But it's such an obvious, slap in the face
sort of issue, that it really hurts the overall score in this category.
It's the t-shirt, or more specifically, the seams on the sides of the
body of the shirt and along the top of the "T's". The minute I pulled
him out of the package, I was astounded by how obvious they were.
They've been seamed on the outside of the shirt, not the inside, so the
seams stick up and out from the material. I suspect they did this (the
seams look heat sealed or glued, not sewn) so that the shirt would fit very
tightly over the torso. However, the seams look terrible,
especially those on top of the shoulders. You really have to pose him
with the ammo belts covering them, and with his arms down close enough at
his sides to hide the others.