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Barney Ross - Expendables 2
Hot Toys

Barney Ross Expendables 2 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


Earlier this week, I reviewed Sideshow's latest version of Yoda, a second release of a figure they'd already recently produced. Tonight I'm doing the same sort of review, only for a figure by Hot Toys - Barney Ross.

They first produced the Stallone character for the film The Expendables. He was the only character to end up getting the Hot Toys treatment. I reviewed him a couple years ago. With the release of the second film, they went back to the well and released the figure again, but with a number of improvements across the board.

The price has gone up in the two years since the first figure, and this Barney is running around $190 - $200, depending on the retailer.

Packaging - ***1/2
It's not possible to review this figure without making comparisons to the previous release. So why fight it?

When it comes to the package, this one isn't quite as nice. There's an outer sleeve and an inner box with a window, but neither has the special touches of the original. The logo for the first film was better, so the outer sleeve (which sports it) ends up better as well. And the original had a cool skull cut out for the window - nothing like that here.

But it's still collector friendly, and that goes a long way to garner a good score from me.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Barney Ross Expendables 2 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Barney Ross Expendables 2 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Barney Ross Expendables 2 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Barney Ross Expendables 2 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Barney Ross Expendables 2 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Barney Ross Expendables 2 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Barney Ross Expendables 2 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Barney Ross Expendables 2 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Barney Ross Expendables 2 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Barney Ross Expendables 2 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Barney Ross Expendables 2 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Barney Ross Expendables 2 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Barney Ross Expendables 2 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Sculpting - ****
I really liked the original release, but I have to say that with the two side by side, I like the new portrait better. It's a bit more extreme, especially in the eyes and mouth, and they've aged Stallone a bit more, which fits the character better. There's some subtle changes too on the nose and jawline that just seem to better capture his current look.

Like last time, he has plenty of extra hands. All are sculpted in various poses, and all work nicely with different accessories.

This is a sixth scale figure, and he fits right in with the rest of the Hot Toys line at about 12" tall. We all know that's taller than Stallone is in real life (scale-wise), but we'll cut him some slack.

Paint - ****
There's quite a bit more paint work here than on the standard Hot Toys figure.

Of course, the portrait sports an amazingly realistic paint job, from the glassy eyes to the perfect hairline. The slight shadow on his face looks great, and even the skin tone seems just about right.

But there's more hiding under the clothes. Just like the first release, he has his colorful ink on his back, chest and shoulders, and it's extremely well done. This is identical to the original release, but that doesn't make it any less impressive.

Small details look great on the accessories too, like the decorations on the pistol grips, the face of his watch, and the various studs and buckles on the clothing.

Articulation - ***
This is the exact same body as the previous release, and it has the same advantages and disadvantages.

While most of the articulation you want is here, not all of it works particularly well. Because of the muscular design, especially in the arms, some of the joints are less mobile. That can make some poses with the guns a bit more difficult, especially the rifle.

The neck is also a double ball, but has some trouble doing a lot of tilting. The rubber neck is very thick, and does restrict it a bit.

Overall though you should be able to find and maintain some very cool poses, and you won't be excessively limited in your creativity.

Accessories - ****
Once again, he comes with a ton of goodies.

In the weapon category, he has four guns: two Kimber pistols, this time with small Expendables logos on the grips; a Colt revolver; and a Neveske Rifleworks Diplomat, a very cool and very intricate automatic rifle. There's a nifty 'stretchy' sling for the rifle as well, which can be snapped on or left off.

The sculpts and detailing on all the weapons is fantastic, with the rifle having a lot of extreme detail in particular, right down to the clear plastic lens on the light in front. Everything moves that you'd expect - sliding stock, moving pistol slides and hammers, removable magazines, etc.

The handguns all fit perfectly in the supplied holsters, and the closures on these are much better (and easier to work with) this time around.

Barney also has a cigar, which he can hold in one of the specific hand sculpts, and an intricate headset/walkie-talkie combo. There's a wire that runs from the base to the neck piece, and a small clip that holds this wire to the vest. I think mine was put together backwards, since I had to bend the wire at an old angle to get it to work as described in the instructions. It did finally work, and the clear ear piece can be attached, but it won't stay in place long and I found it frustrating to leave on him. 

Speaking of hands, there are 9 this time around (if you include the two he's wearing in the box), some with gloves, some without, and most designed to work with the accessories or specific poses. There are a couple extra wrist pegs, which is good - every time I swapped hands it felt like I might break something.

He comes with two sets of eye wear - sunglasses that look great, and goggles that do not. This isn't the first time we've seen bad looking goggles from Hot Toys, so it's a bit of a disappointment. They are a bit over sized and out of scale, and not something you'll probably choose to use anyway.

For his wrists he has a great looking watch and a studded wrist band. These look great in place, but be careful that you don't loose them (or damage them) when swapping hands.

Finally, there's the usual display stand with logo, but it's just here for consistency. Unless you live in an earthquake zone - or have cats that like to play with your toys - you probably won't need it.

Outfit - ****
Just like last time, there's not one but two outfits included with this figure. However, both of these are better this time around.

Most important is his tactical outfit. This includes the black pants, black boots, black t-shirt, black zippered shirt, and body armor vest. This entire combo looks terrific, and is fairly easy to work with. There's improvements in several areas, including the buckles and zippers, and I had a much easier time dressing him this go around.

That's not to say that getting him outfitted was easy - just easier.

To finish off the tactical look, he has a sculpted beret this time, covered in a velvet-like material. This works a lot better than the original cloth beret.

There's a second complete outfit as well, including a different shoe sculpt, brown pants, a blue shirt, and a blue vest. Again, the tailoring is great all around, and the quality is much improved over the previous release.

It's worth nothing that both shirts - blue and black - have the sleeves stitched to appear as though he has them bunched up around his elbows. It's a nice touch that helps with the display.

The blue shirt also has a hint of another plaid shirt underneath, both at the sleeves and at the neck. There really isn't one, but these little peeks of cloth give the impression of another layer. Just like with the tactical outfit, this second outfit includes a hat covered in that velvet material, but this time it's a brown driving cap. Both of these caps can be worn by either the original head sculpt or the new.

My only complaint is that there is only one set of ankle posts. When I popped the boots off, I was unable to get the pegs to stay in the legs, and the boots are much too deep to dig them out. I had to harvest the pegs from an extra nekkid TrueType that I had lying around.

Having those extra posts was particularly important for me, because I wanted to keep this new figure in the tactical outfit and swap the older version to the improved 'casual' look.

In the end, I kitted the two up using a variety of pieces from both releases - the things I liked the best from each. For example, I put the new sunglasses on the old portrait in the new casual outfit, while I added the machete to the back of the new tactical outfit. I included a photo near the bottom of the review to show how I'll be using the two.

Fun Factor - ***
If you like kitting out figures with lots of extras, you're going to have a great time here. I spent quite a bit of time on dressing both the new version and re-dressing the old version in the new casual outfit, and while it wasn't easy, it wasn't frustrating either.

Value - **1/2
I'm grading this assuming you don't own the first version, hence the amount of re-use isn't an issue.

The original version was available for around $160, but that was a couple years ago. This new version runs around $200, although you can knock $10 - $20 off that if you do some serious searching. With the improved quality in the head sculpt and clothing, I can't say that it's a bad deal.

Things to Watch Out For -
The only fragile accessory was the head set - take some care with that thin wire. I also found that swapping the hands was more difficult than usual, and breaking a wrist peg is a real possibility if you don't take your time.

Overall - ***1/2
This Barney Ross is an extremely nice figure, and comes loaded with extras. When you compare him to other Hot Toys figures in the $200 price range, he comes out very favorably due to the number of accessories and the extra outfit.

There's a lot of re-use here though, which is how they kept the overall cost down. If you didn't buy the first Barney, that's a moot point to you. And if you did skip the first and are now regretting it, don't. This version is superior, and if you can only have one, it's the one.

What if you did pick up the first? This one does have improvements, and I'll like having both the new tactical outfit and the new casual outfit on the shelf at the same time. But I can't recommend spending $200 to do that, unless you're an extreme fan of these films. In that case, you might want to have an MRI to make sure there isn't a more serious issue.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ****
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Fanboy Collectibles has him for $190.

- Big Bad Toy Store is at $205.

- Sideshow has him at $205 as well.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
You'll want to check out my review of the first release for the full run down.

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

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Barney Ross Expendables 2 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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