Coldstream Guards

His name is Malcolm Parks, and he's a member of the Coldstream Guard.  While the Coldstream Guard is best known for guarding and protecting the Royal family, they have also been involved in every major British conflict since the 17th century.

And no, I'm not a complete idiot.  Okay, maybe I am, but not because of the pictures.  Yes, I realized that I had the hat on wrong in the photos - my screw up.  Of course the strap should be across the chin rather than under, and the red tuft should be on the other side.  Yep, I put the hat on backward.  I never have understood how they can have that strap across their face and it not drive them nuts.

I apologize to the Guard for my goof up, and I promise he looks even better when the hat is on right.

You can find Malcolm at a number of on-line retailers, and he runs around $40-$45. 

Packaging - ***1/2
Dragon always does a nice job with their packaging.  This time they have a unique dark outer shell, with the words 'signature elite' that slips over the regular box.  The box is very collector friendly, and you can pop him out and in any time you'd like.

The only flaw here is the almost complete lack of text on the box.  The entire inside flap is blank, and there is plenty of real estate here to give the buyer some basic background information on the Guards.  Unfortunately, they missed a marvelous opportunity.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Dragon usually doesn't do anything amazing with their head sculpts, but they are nicely done with the physical characteristics you'd expect for the nationality.

Yes, Malcolm has a slightly British look to him, and while the sculpt is generic it is well done.  The hand sculpt is also very good, and he can hold the rifle in the solid hands perfectly.

Paint - ***1/2
There's not a ton of paint op details here, but the face is well done.  Dragon occasionally misses the mark on the skin tone, but this time he has a nice rosy, realistic glow.  I like a good glow.

The paint work on the eyes and lips is nice, and there's none of the annoying lipstick look.

Articulation - ****
Dragon makes one of the best, if not the best, sixth scale bodies on the market.  While it is lighter weight than most others, there's more joints than you could ever desire.  The box claims the knees and elbows are triple jointed, but I'm not sure what that means.  They have what I refer to as the double jointed elbows and knees, but of course they also have the cut joints on the biceps and thighs.

One nice aspect of the Dragon body is the interchangeable hands.  They do this better than anyone else, and the posts are solid and tough, but not huge.  The hands snap on and pop off easily, but not too easily - the perfect combination.

Accessories - ***
There's really only four accessories.  There's the sheath and bayonet, extra hands, plus the SA-80 rifle.

The SA-80 is a very interesting looking assault rifle, but the real version has gotten a pretty bad rap.  This one has a moving slide, and removable scope and clip.  There's also a nylon-type wrap to cover the barrel and scope for inclement weather.

The bayonet is very cool - it fits over the barrel, with the blade offset to one side and a hole through the center.

The sheath isn't exciting, but it's sturdy and fits on the belt properly.  The bayonet fits inside without any issues.

The last accessory is the extra set of hands.  The hands he has on initially are the hard rubber hands designed to hold the gun.  The second set are rubber with bendable fingers, which work really well for the at-attention positions.

Outfit - ****
Here's the knock out on this figure - the uniform.  From the 'busbie' (the name for the bearskin hat) to the very sturdy boot sculpt, he's stylin'.

The jacket and pants are made from a soft, cushy material, probably that new spun polyester that's so popular for winter clothes now. It feels and looks absolutely terrific.

It's also covered with some amazing embroidery.  The sleeves and lower back have the appropriate details, including the double sets of buttons.

The belt has a terrific clasp, something that seems to usually fail miserably, and to literally top of the entire ensemble is the hat.

Yes, the hat - the one I put on backwards.  It's nice and fuzzy, fits the head tightly but not too tight, and looks great perched on his head. 

Value - **1/2
Dragon figures tend to be on the expensive side, but they tend to follow the 'you get what you pay for' adage.  Still, Malcolm was $43, and that's a pretty steep price in today's sixth scale market.  The $35 range is much more appropriate, particularly considering the number of accessories and the lack of licensing.

Overall - ***1/2
I get very tired of brown, green, black and gray on the sixth scale shelf.  It can get pretty damn dull.  Figures like this, with great eye catching uniforms, make the display so much more visually interesting.

Dragon has produced another excellent figure here, with great detail in the uniform, excellent articulation, and accurate accessories.  You can't ask for much more in the sixth scale market.  The only thing holding him back from a perfect four stars is the slightly higher than average price.

They are producing a second Coldstream Guard, named Miles Gates.  His uniform is slightly different to reflect Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee, and I suspect he'll be a higher ticket item.

If you're interested in finding out more about the Coldstream Guard themselves, check out the following site: - the official armed forces site.

Where to Buy - 
Finding these in stores is mighty tough, depending on where you are located.  Your best bet is on-line:

- there's a new on-line store called the Toy Boxer.  That's where I got mine, and I recommend you check them out.  They have some terrific prices on a variety of Dragon, bbi and other sixth scale figures, and seem to be focusing on customer service.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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