Dark Crystal mini-busts
Skeksil the Chamberlain

The talented folks at Plan-B Toys have been doing all kinds of work for all kinds of folks.  They lent their talents to the sculpts of the Family Guy figures for Mezco, they assist on prototypes and designs with the Muppets lines with Palisades, and of course, they do their own work as well.

Fans of the Dark Crystal movie were excited to see them pick up the license to do a series of mini-busts.  The first is now out, and it looks as good in production as it did at the shows.  They've started off with the old buzzard, Skeksil the Chamberlain.

I haven't seen too many retailers with these yet, but they are out, and retail price should be around $35.  We've never gotten a lot of Dark Crystal merchandise (the Sideshow Jen and Kira were some of the better items, but that was almost three years ago!), so it's nice to see the license get treated to new product again.  Plan-B has shown off busts of Aughara and Uryod as well so far.

Packaging - **
The packaging serves main purpose number 1 - it keeps the mini-bust nice and safe.  Unfortunately, it doesn't do much for showing off the bust itself, with a pretty basic design and no window.  Also, the paint ops on the final bust are very much different than the pictured bust, which might lead to some confusion.

Sculpting - ****
This is one of the nicest looking busts I've picked up in quite some time.  The detailed sculpt, the proportions, the feeling of movement and motion, and the character's true nature all seem to come together beautifully.

Plan-B has tons of detail work here, from the clothing to the skin. Skeksil is an ugly buzzard, a Skeksis even other Skeksis find repulsive.  All that is captured perfectly here, and the expression matches up with the film character perfectly.  You can almost hear his annoying whine!

The bust is a tad smaller than I had expected, and is certainly not the mass of resin of some other recent busts.  Still, it's a reasonable size and fits in fairly well with other lines.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint ops are clean and neat, just like you'd expect in the mini-bust market.  No over spray, no inconsistencies, and nice, clean definition between colors.

There are also a nice assortment of colors, and the variety works well together.  They aren't identical to the box art, but seem correct for the actual film (although I must admit to being a blasphemer and not owning a copy of the Dark Crystal on DVD), so I'm only knocking them down slightly in this department.

I like the use of the various finishes to give a more realistic feel to the bust, and overall there's few nits to pick in this category.

Design - ****
The movie was called the Dark Crystal, and finding the crystal was more or less the whole point.  Plan-B has done a terrific job of incorporating the look of the crystal into the base for these busts.

This crystal base is actually translucent, allowing light to pass through. It's really quite beautiful in person, as different shades are reflected.  It stands out on a shelf crammed with many nice busts, a real accomplishment!

Value - ***
Suggested retail is $40, but you should be able to pick them up for around $35.  That's a pretty consistent price for the mini-bust market, and considering the detail and design on this one, it's a fairly good value.

Overall - ****
I thought these looked pretty spiff at the conventions this year, but it wasn't til I got one of the final pieces in my hands that I realized just how damn cool they are.  I love the translucent crystal base, and the overall design and excellent sculpt put it over the top.

I continue to be impressed by the majority of sculpting and design work done by they guys at Plan-B.  I'm looking forward to the other two busts, particularly Aughara.

Packaging - **
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Design - ****
Value - ***
Overall - ****

Where to Buy - 
That appears to be a bit of an issue.  Not a lot of retailers appear to have picked these up, but they are available at

Keep scrolling down for a size comparison!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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