SEARCH REVIEWS    LIVING WITH LATE FEES    FEATURES    LINKS    BIO    MISSION    EMAIL    MAIN PAGE >


Berserker Uruk-Hai  Premium Format
Lord of the Rings - Sideshow Collectibles

Berserker Uruk-Hai Lord of the Rings premium format statue from Sideshow Collectibles

Every great villain has one thing in common - great henchmen. The Joker has his goons, Darth Vader has his Stormtroopers, and Sauron has his Uruk-hai.

The Uruk-hai were soldier Orcs, used by Sauron and Saruman to defeat the good guys in Middle Earth. They were the offspring of Orcs and Goblins, and the original character of Lurtz was the best known. Sideshow already did a Premium Format version of Lurtz, and now they've followed it up with a Berserker Uruk-hai in the same format.

I bet it's a real shocker that Sideshow produced a regular version and an exclusive version of the statue. They made 1250 of the regular, priced at $300, and 750 of the exclusive, priced at $320. I'll be looking at the exclusive version tonight, but since there is only an additional accessory here, you should be able to judge the regular as well.

BTW, now that I have both of the Uruk-hai Premium Format statues, I really need to right a wrong and pick up an Aragorn to go between them on the shelf. Don't you hate it when you pass up something only to discover later that you really shouldn't have? It's almost as bad as ending up with something you don't really want...
Berserker Uruk-Hai Lord of the Rings premium format statue from Sideshow Collectibles
Berserker Uruk-Hai Lord of the Rings premium format statue from Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Berserker Uruk-Hai Lord of the Rings premium format statue from Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Berserker Uruk-Hai Lord of the Rings premium format statue from Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Berserker Uruk-Hai Lord of the Rings premium format statue from Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Berserker Uruk-Hai Lord of the Rings premium format statue from Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Berserker Uruk-Hai Lord of the Rings premium format statue from Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Berserker Uruk-Hai Lord of the Rings premium format statue from Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Berserker Uruk-Hai Lord of the Rings premium format statue from Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Berserker Uruk-Hai Lord of the Rings premium format statue from Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Berserker Uruk-Hai Lord of the Rings premium format statue from Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Berserker Uruk-Hai Lord of the Rings premium format statue from Sideshow Collectibles

Packaging - ***1/2
After getting the less than stellar Dr. Zauis 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.

This 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.

Sideshow 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 perfectly.

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 not at others.

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. The 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 the 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 better.

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.

There's 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.

The 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.

The 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; regular ***
Generally, statues don't have 'accessories', but the exclusive PF has swappable left hands, allowing you to have two looks.

Both 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.

Both versions also have two extra loose arrows. There are two holes in the torso of the Berserker that you can insert these arrows, and you 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.

There's 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 to 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.

That 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 -
He 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.

I don't 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.

Score Recap:
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.

Related Links -
Other key Lord of the Rings items include:

- 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, Sam and FrodoAragorn, Faramir, Boromir and Legolas.

- if you like your LOTR collectibles big, but can't quite afford these, check out the NECA quarter scale Gandalf, Legolas and Aragorn.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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 PHOTOS!



Share this review with others! 
  Digg it!    StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!      Reddit

Berserker Uruk-Hai Lord of the Rings premium format statue from Sideshow Collectibles


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

This page copyright 2000 - 2009, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions! Hosted by 1 Hour Hosting.com