Hot Toys Modern Military
75th Ranger with M249

   Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure

"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Regular contributor Jeff Parker is back tonight with another Hot Toys review, but this one is outside his normal area - it's the 75th Ranger.  Take it away, Jeff!

Now, in the spirit of complete disclosure I feel I have to admit I know virtually nothing about modern military procedures or the specs of modern firearms, I wanted to get this out of the way in case any one is expecting a serious critique on this figure compared to a real soldier in the field, that ain’t gonna happen, not with me anyway!
What I like to think I know about are 1/6 figures, and I’d like to think I can tell a cool 12” figure when I see one, and this jumped out at me as one helluva cool figure. Now I also admit to being quite a fan of Ed Norton, and though this isn’t officially him, you’d be hard pressed to say it was anyone else. My only other military review to date was a couple of years ago on the DiD, WWII, 101st figure, Ricky Foster but modern military is a whole new ball game, and the level of detail is nothing short of astounding!
Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure

Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure
Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure
Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure
Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure
Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure

Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure
Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure
Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure
Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure
Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure
Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure

You’ll find the specs on this figure here along with his companion figure the US ARMY RANGER 75th REGIMENT with Mk.16 (SCAR-L), who in my most humble opinion bears more than a passing resemblance to Terence Howard, so if you fancy making a bash of ‘Rhody’ to go with your upcoming IRONMAN you better act fast!

I was expecting kitting him up to be fiddly, but cheeeeez, I swear this thing nearly went through the window on one occasion. Anyone out there who has kitted up a Hot Toys (HT) Colonial Marine or Predator will know how they like to make things as accurate as possible, and accuracy inevitably at 1/6-scale means new heights of fiddlesomness, but nothing, and I mean nothing prepared me for this!

Packaging - ***1/2
This is pretty much a classic design for military figures, and Dragon, DiD and BBi have all made theirs in pretty similar fashions over the years. So it’s your tried and tested 5 panel, flap fronted box. Open the flap and you have the figure in the main section on the right surrounded by parts of his kit, and opposite in a tray affixed to the flap are his other accessories and weapons. This means you have to open the flap to slide the tray out, and also carefully scalpel the tape holding the tray down. But if done carefully it means it’s all collector friendly and can be put back good as new should you ever want to.

The whole package is covered in a wealth of pics of the figure from every conceivable angle, and this is very, very important, as there are no instructions included on how to kit him up so you’ll find yourself studying these pretty closely.

In many ways, certainly if just comparing to other military figures, this would be a four star box, but sadly I’ve been spoilt by the incredible work HT have been doing on their M-icon and Movie Masterpiece Series, so I’m gonna have to stop just short.

Sculpting- ****
This head is not based on anyone…’cough’, it is just a generic sculpt of an ‘everyman’ Joe soldier...’cough’ any resemblance to any actor, lets say ‘Ed Norton’, just as an example, is purely coincidental and by chance. But, if I was awarding points for an Ed Norton sculpt, this would get top marks without a doubt… but I’m not, so I wont!

So, as a generic sculpt this head gets top marks anyway. He has a great steely expression, and though I’m not usually a fan of a figures eye’s ever looking in any direction other than straight forward, there’s no denying this gives the figure a lot more ‘real world’ character and helps when lining up the head with the gun scope, plus you always have the option of putting on the shades, this really is a fantastic facial sculpt. Many other elements are sculpted as well, but most others will be covered in outfit and accessories as they cover his tactical gloves, boots and weapons.

Paint - ****
Another faultless homerun for HT, this paint app is worthy of their M-Icon and Movie Masterpiece series!

Collectors of Modern Military have known for quite some time how cool HT products are, but with the emergence of more mainstream and fan boy lines the company is rapidly taking over the competition in all areas of 1/6 collectables. The face looks very natural, great flesh tones, the beard and hair are very convincing and the eyes yet again show just how much talent JC Hong has brought to mass produced modern paint apps, other manufacturers must despair!

The great paint job also carries over to some great detailed work on the gloved hands and the ‘walking’ style boots not to mention some great effects and weathering on his M249.

Articulation - ****

He comes on the standard True-Type, described here, this one has the type of head sculpt that includes the neck post and his ankle joints pop directly into the boots, though, thoughtfully a pair of articulated feet are included as well in case you plan to swap them out. So once again the only restrictions come from the outfit and the gear he has to carry, and trust me when I say ‘you would not want to be a 75th Ranger in the field’ this guy is carrying a ton of equipment. So you aren’t going to be getting any prone poses with his full kit on, due to all the pouches on his front, but standing or kneeling posed with the M249 he looks just great!

Accessories- ****
Modern military are famed for the amount of cool accessories they come with, and this certainly continues that trend. You get-
- MICH/ACH Headset System
- Night Vision Mount 
- AN/PVS-14 Monocular 
- AN/PRC-148 w/ Pouch
- LED Headlamp 
- AN/PVS14 monocular NVG
- Flashlight 
- Strobe Light
- Helmet Light
- Sunglasses
- Compass/Flash Pouch
- M249 Magazine Pouch
- Medical First Aid Kit Pouch 
- Canteen Pouch 
- Holster 
- Pistol Magazine Pouch
- Weapon Catch 
- Assault Gloves (Oakley style)
- Knee Pads 
- Watches
- Ballistic Hard Plates
- Light sticks
- Carbiner
- Patches+ Weapons
- M249 with belt of ammo and two mags.
- Shotgun 
- M9 Pistol

The attention to detail here makes the mind boggle, you even get a couple of sheets of scaled textured material to cut down for making extra ‘tape’ to attach various bits to the helmet and weapons. But the detail on the helmet, with it’s abundance of accessories, the headset system that fits under the helmet right through to the amazing ‘Oakley’ style scaled sunglasses and the tiny glow sticks that hang from his carbiner show just how closely HT have been looking at guys operating in the field today, and the small universal joint that lets the night vision monocular flip down is pretty sweet too. Of course, it almost goes without saying the weapons are a work of art as well. But with so many collectors of these types of figures being ex-service men, they had better get it right… and to this non-expert it certainly seems like they have, an absolutely outstanding selection!

The standout out pieces for me, are the aforementioned headset with the articulated ear phones and the coiled wire attached to the AN/PRC-148 (multi-band radio to you and me), and I guess somewhat obviously the SAW, M249, a full spec on the weapon can be found here and while you’re at it the M9 pistol spec is here, and lastly a brief description of military combat shotguns, I know a little information can be a dangerous thing, but it’s better than none at all!

Outfit- ***1/2   
An outstanding, scaled set of fatigues consisting of-
- PCU jacket 
- ACU pants
- Recon Chest Harness & Back Panel
- Sawtooth Boots (Merrell style) 
- T-shirt
- Personal Body Armor 
- Modular Assault Backpack
- Waist Belt w/ Suspender

I took a few photo’s as I kitted this guy up so you get an idea of the detailed layering, and indeed hidden details you never see once he’s fully dressed in his vest, webbing and pouches. But even at this scale they have managed to pull off the layering without making him look like the Michelin man.

I’m assured the ACU camo pants are accurate and judging by the ref I found online they look spot on, as is the PCU jacket , the only slight drawback, which is often the problem with 1/6 garments is the zipper is slightly oversized but the detailing on the foldaway hood in the collar and the mesh inside the pockets is just beautiful. The Sawtooth boots are a good representation of the Merrell footwear and the Recon Chest Harness & Back Panel looks like a small facsimile, in fact, here is where the fun begins. As you will notice on the ‘real’ harness in that link, it has lines of webbing sewn horizontally across its front and back; this is reproduced faithfully on the 1/6 version. Now, you will also notice that each of the pouches and the back-pack have webbing straps with small metal rivets hanging from them as well, while many 1/6 military figure manufacturers add Velcro or press studs, HT have gone the whole hog and done it accurately, so you now have to grip this rivet and weave each of these straps in and out of the harness straps using tweezers until they are secure. You’ll be pleased to hear you now repeat this for each and every piece that needs to be attached, that’s 7 items, and the backpack is an absolute peach… now you’ll realise why it nearly went out of the window!

But, if you approach this in the full knowledge it is going take you the best part of an hour to kit him up, and you make sure you have all the tools you’re going to need (I used a cocktail stick and the tweezers from my Swiss Army knife, so we’re not exactly talking about a full tool chest here!) you may actually find it quite therapeutic. I did. After attaching the small pouch on his chest, the realisation set in that this could not be hurried, I let go the feelings of frustration and actually quite enjoyed it, safe in the knowledge I was going to take my time and get it right, and the pay-off is that once complete it all looks fantastic.

Fun factor- ****
Well, things have certainly come on since I was a kid!  
Modern military figures have absolutely insane degrees of detail, and I’m sure any kid who’s into ‘G.I Joe’ would kill go get their hands on this, and while the base figure could probably put up with almost as much torture as your common or garden Hasbro figure, his accessories and weapons could not!

This is meant as an adult collectable, and as such will look great on any shelf, but if little Timmy gets his mitts on it, there’ll be small pieces of plastic shrapnel covering your carpet in minutes.

Value for money - ****
At this price point, with a finely tailored outfit, a head sculpt this solid and loads of cool, finely detailed accessories it’s top marks without a doubt.
And though I am hooked, I’m going to have to be very selective because of the amount of fan-boy favourites I’m already on board for with HT (have you seen those pics of the HT IRONMAN MK I…WOW!)

As a Brit, I’m going to try and get the two new Blues and Royals figures, who bare a striking resemblance to Princes William and Harry, in fact there’s already been a news story about them in the UK tabloid press, though the article shows the ‘William’ figure, and quite how Harry is meant to have got his hands on this ahead of release is weird. Mind you, I suppose if one is third in line to the British throne, one might be able to pull a few strings, mightent one!

Overall - ***3/4
Beware, if you are already facing a diet of noodles and turning your thermostat down another couple of notches this winter, this might be well best avoided…why?
Well I managed to circumnavigate the whole HT Military figures for quite some time, I was drawn in initially by the great head sculpt, but upon close inspection thought it was such a cool overall package I ought to get ‘just one’ military figure for review…now I’m contemplating ordering the two Blues and Royals as well.

So. As I say, approach with caution, but I really can’t fault it!

Where to buy -
Sideshow Toys were importing these for $119.99 but it sold out quite some time ago, you could try the wait list though. 

I couldn’t find it with any of Michaels other sponsors, so you’ll have to try specialist military sites and shops or hit eBay where I’ve seen it for between $105 to $168.  You can use the sponsor MyAuctionLinks to search ebay.
Sideshow do still have the Blues And Royals Tank Commander up for pre-order, but you better act fast as there’s no sign of the Lieutenant that accompanies him.


Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure
Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure
Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure
Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure

Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure
Hot Toys 75th Ranger action figure

Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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