Packaging - ***1/2
After getting the less than stellar Dr.
in nothing but a shipping box and cheap foam, I was a tad worried. But
the Berserker has the normal packaging, with a HUGE box inside a
regular shipper, and nice, sturdy, solid foam for the interior tray.
Everything is packed very safely, and you can easily re-use the box for
storage. Of course, the usual exclusive sticker is on the outside.
Sculpting/Design - ****
Once in awhile, I'll see a collectible so cool, so gorgeous, so
amazing, that my first reaction is to make up a new word to describe
it. 'Wow' just isn't good enough. Maybe 'scrumperific'? Nah.
PF is everything a PF should be. First, it's massive. On the stand,
he's about 23" tall, with real bulk and mass with that stature.
went with a very, very dynamic pose, straight off the field of battle.
Doing so is always risky, because a pose like this out of context can
end up looking silly. That's not a problem here, as every ounce of
aggressive, defiant, and triumphant attitude comes oozing through
The small detail work is amazing
as well. Jut look at
the texturing to the tongue, the rough, uneven teeth, and the
leather-like skin, and you can't help but be impressed with their
attention to the smallest nuance.
Premium Format statues are
supposed to be 'mixed media' forms of art. The original intention was
that they aren't just a resin statue, but incorporate a wide range of
other materials. Over the years, that's worked at times, and
Here you get what a PF was meant
to be. Of course the
majority of his bulk is a poly-resin, but there's enough other
materials to add nuance and realism. The tattered and battle worn loin
cloth and belt are made from leather, while the weapon and arrows are
made from a very heavy, dense metal. This combination adds to the
impact of the statue, giving it a far greater realism than a fully
sculpted resin statue can have.
Even the base is outstanding.
rocky battlefield is brought to life with a perfect design and sculpt.
By posing him on the large rocks, they give the statue a different look
from most others, and the addition of the broken sword of his opponent
adds that element of violence and despair. He fits easily on
base as well, and there's no chance for him to topple or slip short of
a major earthquake.
I wanted to mention that there
are two ways
to get the regular version of the right hand to fit. I shot photos both
ways, because I actually prefer the 'incorrect' position. The intended
position is shown in the photos on the box, with the arrows gripped
with the fingers outward. You can also turn it so that the fingers are
toward his body, with the armored back of his hand outward. Since the
arrows he's holding have been snapped off from his own body (there are
two short snapped arrow shafts permanently attached to his torso), I
prefer the second look. Holding them this way, with his palm towards
himself, looks more to me like he's showing off the arrows, proving
he's tough enough to take anything they can dish out. He's holding them
like a trophy of sorts, just like he would hold the severed head. But
that's a personal preference, and you may like the intended position
This guy is pure, freshly
squeezed, grade A
awesome-sauce. The biggest reason for that is his sculpt and design, a
category that Sideshow has knocked out of the park this time.
Paint - ***1/2
Lest you thought I was going to gush over this PF in every category,
it's time to discuss the paint. And while I'm not quite gushing, I do
have to first say that the paint work is extremely nice.
a few issues that hold it back from a perfect score for me, but they
aren't issues that are deal breakers by any stretch of the imagination.
best work is on the mouth, gums and teeth. That's also where some of
the best sculpting is, so it's nice to see it backed up with an
extremely detailed and realistic paint job.
Other key work is on
the beady, evil yellow eyes, and the white face of the mask. This is
one of those rare occasions where the edge of the white is sloppy, with
some over spray and inconsistency in the coverage, and yet that's
absolutely perfect. This paint was applied by nasty orcs in a nasty
mountain, and perfection wasn't the goal or their talent.
issues holding this category back slightly are mostly around the
wounds, where the reddish, bloody paint looks a bit too much like
paint, and doesn't carry the same level of realism as the rest of the
work. I also would have liked a little more of the white war paint on
the body to make it pop a bit more, but that's a personal preference.
Articulation - Bupkis
I only use this category as an FYI for PF's, since the very early ones
did have articulation. There's none here, but that's not a negative -
just an observation.
Accessories - Exclusive ***1/2;
Generally, statues don't have 'accessories', but the exclusive PF has
swappable left hands, allowing you to have two looks.
statues also have the HUGE metal - yes, I said metal - scimitar like
Uruk weapon which is removable. The entire weapon is made from metal,
is very heavy, and has a fantastic sculpt and paint. It fits perfectly
in the right hand, and stays in place perfectly.
versions also have two extra loose arrows. There are two holes in the
torso of the Berserker that you can insert these arrows,
can place either arrow in either hole. They are distinct though - they
have different feather patterns on the shaft. These, like the weapon,
are made of metal.
As I mentioned, the exclusive
has a swappable
left hand. They included a second hand that holds aloft the severed
head of an unfortunate opponent. If the huge, rippling muscles, bared
gruesome fangs, or bloody massive cleaver don't convince you that this
guy means business, than the severed head certainly does.
a couple nits I could make with the head sculpt, but they aren't
quality issues. The technical sculpt is amazing, as is the paint job.
They've given us a little tongue action, and I'm usually always up for
such a thing...but it looks a little silly here, which is not the
reaction you are looking for. Also, the sculpted hair flows in a
somewhat unnatural way around the neck, not quite as straggly and
extended as I'd expect. Still, these are very minor nits on an
otherwise excellent accessory.
In fact, this is another one of
those exclusive accessories that really is a great addition. Unlike the
Dr. Zauis, I don't think you absolutely need to have the severed head
make the pose work - the statue looks great with the arrow holding hand
too - but the head is a great addition.
Value - **1/2
When you lay down three bills for something like this, you expect a
lot. I can honestly say that with this Uruk, you're getting it. Hell, Dr. Zauis cost almost as
much, and there's simply no comparison.
doesn't mean you'll feel like you walked away with a steal, but you
won't suffer any buyer's remorse for laying out $300. And that's the
way it should be.
Things to Watch Out For -
has a large metal post extending from one foot that is used to hold him
in place on the resin base. Remember that if metal fights resin, metal
wins, so take care sliding the post in or out of the hole. Trying to
force it will certainly damage the base.
Overall - ****
THIS is what a Premium Format statue should
be all about. When someone first sees this on your shelf/stand/table,
they are going to simply say 'wow'. Unless they're as big of a LOTR fan
as you, they'll still think you're nuts for buying it, but they'll be
impressed with the quality of the statue nonetheless.
know about you, but I have my Best Statue for 2009 at this point, and
it's going to take something pretty amazing to unseat the big ugly.
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - Bupkis
Accessories - Exclusive ***1/2; regular ***
Design/Quality - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - ****
Where to Buy -
Sideshow was the place to pick
up the exclusive, but not both it and the
regular are on wait list.
Getting the expensive items off wait list works better than you might
think, especially with the current economy. Of course, you can always hit
ebay looking for a deal.
Other key Lord of the Rings
- this guy's bosom buddy is Lurtz, who has also
gotten the PF treatment.
- Sideshow has also done some
great sixth scale figures, including Gandalf,
and Frodo, Aragorn,
- if you like your LOTR
collectibles big, but can't quite afford these, check out the NECA
quarter scale Gandalf,
Legolas and Aragorn.
Want to chat about this
review? Try out one of these terrific
forums where I'll be
Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find
thousands more just like it!
KEEP SCROLLING DOWN FOR LOTS MORE