Gentle Giant Indiana Jones Mini-bust
Gen-Con Exclusive version

Indiana Jones Gentle Giant exclusive mini-bust

Have you had your fill of Indiana Jones merchandise yet? I hope not, because the best stuff is still to come, including the sixth scale figures from Sideshow and Medicom, the Premium Format figure from Sideshow, and the cool Fertility Idol bank from DST.

Gentle Giant is doing a series of mini-busts based on the license, although how well these take off is yet to be seen. The mini-bust market is pretty quiet right now across the board, and Gentle Giant has never been able to strike the gold they did with the Star Wars series. The Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings lines never really took off, so it will be interesting to see if GG can pull it off with the Indy license.

There are two busts out there for pre-order so far. The first is a Raiders version, while the second is based on Indy in Temple of Doom. Even with the tremendous depth of characters over the four movies, that's all GG has announced so far.
Indiana Jones Gentle Giant exclusive mini-bust

Indiana Jones Gentle Giant exclusive mini-bust
Indiana Jones Gentle Giant exclusive mini-bust
Indiana Jones Gentle Giant exclusive mini-bust
Indiana Jones Gentle Giant exclusive mini-bust

With one exception - this exclusive version of the Raiders bust. While the regular version has a simple outstretched left arm and hand, the exclusive version has the arm bent, with the hand holding the Fertility Idol. This exclusive was produced for GenCon in Australia this last July, and only 1000 of them were produced. The good news is you can still get this exclusive from the Gentle Giant website. The bad news is you can still get this exclusive from the Gentle Giant website.

Packaging - **1/2
On the plus side, you get the very cool baseball card style Certificate of Authenticity. Yes, you normally get that with any regular release, but most of the Star Wars exclusive busts did not come with any sort of COA, so it's nice to see it included here.

On the negative side, there's no window to allow you to see the bust. Sure, most folks will be buying this particular one online, but for those lucky enough to get the others in a store (or at a convention), it would be nice to see the paint ops on the one you're buying BEFORE you spend the green.

Sculpting - **1/2
This was a weird category for me. Why? Because there is Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in there - no doubt about it.The shape of the face, the jawline, the scar, the nose, the set of the eyes - it's him.

But it's slipped over the line of realistic into slightly caricaturish. Certain aspects are slightly exaggerated, probably in an attempt to make it clearly Indy, and yet it also makes it a bit cartoony.

He also has one of the weirdest expressions I've seen in awhile. It looks like they were going for focused concern, and ended up with bewildered confusion. It's almost as if George asked him to do a fifth Indiana Jones movie.

Finally, he also seems to suffer a bit from the kind of deformation I recently mentioned on the Stuntman Mike figure. The head is a bit squished, and while some of this twisting is actually accurate (Ford does have a crooked nose and face), there's too much here.

The body sculpt and proportions are solid, although the coat and hat suffer from the same lack of texture that most Gentle Giant mini-busts suffer from.

Even with all these problems, you might have been able to convince me to go a half star higher, if not for the left hand of this exclusive version. In the regular version, this hand is simply posed out to the side, but here it's gripping the Fertility Idol. Or at least it's supposed to be. Instead, the Idol is floating on the palm, defying gravity, with the fingers and thumb not even wrapped around it. In fact, there's a fairly substantial gap between the fingers and the Idol, which looks pretty silly. Yes, I'm sure they couldn't come up with a way that they could put the idol in the hand properly, especially when this is "just" and exclusive, but I expect better out of Gentle Giant mini-busts.

Paint - **
Great paint could have easily improved this bust, bringing out the better qualities while hiding the flaws. Instead, the paint is a bigger issue than the sculpt.

There's too much slop for a bust in today's specialty market. The lips are uneven, the edges between the shirt and the jacket are sloppy, the edge between the strap and the shirt are uneven, skin tone from the wrist is down on the sleeve of the jacket, the white of the shirt is up on the neck...and don't even get me started on the speckling used for his unshaven look.

On the plus side, the golden color of the Idol is even and well done, and I like the weathering effect of the jacket. but overall, this isn't the kind of paint job you expect in this market.

Design - ***
The the final execution might leave something to be desired, the basic design was good.

I like the dynamic aspect of the pose, and actually think it could have been even more dynamic. The upper body looks a little too much like he's just standing there raising the whip - with a bit more bend and twist to the torso and slightly more energetic arms, I think it would have looked even better.

They handled the whip well, making it in two pieces. These attach to the whip handle (which is part of the right hand sculpt) by way of two thin metal rods. This works well, and even gives you some 'articulation' in the sense that the whip can be turned at these two spots to give it a little personalization on your shelf.

The rocky base looks decent, but that green paint is a bit too much like green paint rather than the moss I assume it's attempting to be.

Value - **1/2
While the particular bust has his issues, I have to say that Gentle Giant has kept their bust prices within a reasonable average, especially considering the overall rising costs in many other areas. Most GG busts can still be had for around $45 or so (this is an exclusive, so it will run closer to $55), but I don't expect that to last.

Things To Watch Out For
Take your time assembling the whip. Remember, those long metal posts can make mince meat out of the softer resin whip, so use slow twisting movements to insert them.

Overall - **1/2
I'm not surprised that pre-orders for these busts haven't been better. Neither the regular version of this one or the Temple of Doom version are particularly awe inspiring.

If this were five years ago, Indy fans would be all over these like hair on a bear. But right now, the Indy collectibles tank is topped off, and fans are being very picky about what they spend their limited funds on. With all the current choices begging for their hard earned dollars, finding a market for these busts is going to be all the more difficult. Mediocre isn't going to cut it.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - **1/2
Paint - **1/2
Design - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
This was the exclusive version, but you can pick up the regular (sans idol) at a few of my sponsors:

- this exclusive version can still be had at the Gentle Giant website for $55.

- Things from Another World has an excellent price on both the regular bust and the upcoming Temple of Doom bust at just $44 each!

- Entertainment Earth has the regular version on sale right now for just $45.

- CornerStoreComics has the regular at $46.

- Dark Shadow Collectibles has the regular version at $46.75.

- Urban Collector has him listed at $47.

- Alter Ego Comics has the regular for $49.50.

- Andrew's Toyz has the regular version at $55, and the Temple of Doom at $49.

- for the UK fans, you can the regular at Forbidden Planet for 29 GBP.

- or you can search ebay for the exclusive using the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.

- Past Generation Toys doesn't have this bust listed, but they do have the Con exclusive Indy crates from Gentle Giant available for just $45 each.

Related Links -
There's been plenty of Indy stuff this year. For a sampling:

- one of my favorite new Indy collectibles is the Mighty Muggs from Hasbro, and I've reviewed waves 1, and 2.

- for the sixth scale collectors, I recently checked out the Hasbro mail away Ark.

- on the cute side, check out the Adventure Heroes.

- then there's the Kotobukiya Indy and Professor Jones Sr, the Blockbuster exclusive DVD case, the 12" German and Cairo Swordsman, as well as both 12" Hasbro Indy's.

- in the smaller scale, I looked at some of the deluxe two packs and several of the single pack figures, with a few more over at QSE.

- There's a number of cool Lego sets, including this one.

- Gentle Giant did a 7" version for the Disney parks.

- Disney has done a few other Indy figures, including this wave of small ones.

- and if you're looking for something a bit bigger, check out the very cool sixth scale Grail diary, or this sixth scale figure.

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

Reader Ratings!
Do you own this bust? Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this collectible(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  I also hate the description of 'Fine' for two stars, since it should be more like 'below average' or 'poor'. I'm working on getting something better, but for now this will do. You can only rate once from any particular IP. Averaging the two scores together and then converting to a five star system for comparison is: 3.13

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Indiana Jones Gentle Giant exclusive mini-bust

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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