Reservoir Dogs - Mr. Blonde

Reservoir Dogs is perhaps Quentin Tarantino's greatest work, and has a huge following as a classic crime film.  Earlier this year, Mezco produced 6" figures based on the film.  Now, Palisades have begun shipping their 12" versions of several of the characters. 

In this first assortment there are three men - Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino himself), Marvin Nash (Kirk Baltz) and Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn).  The Nice Guy Eddie is a Toyfare exclusive, available with issue #51.  A second series is planned, and should include Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), and Joe Cabot (Lawrence Teirney).

I think the movie is an excellent film, but I don't have any real personal interest in this entire line.  I realize that lots of folks have been anticipating these figures for quite some time, and think that Palisades is a company posed for greatness if they just get the right licenses. 

I've only seen these at Media Play so far, and they cost $24.99.  I suspect that other retailers like Electronics Boutique or Tower Records will carry them as well.

Packaging - ***1/2
Similar to the Final Fantasy packaging, but much thicker.  I have no idea why the boxes are as thick as they are, since it's not necessary to hold the figure, accessories or stand.

However, the graphics are great, and the text gives the basic story.  Other figures in the series are pictured on the back.  To top it off, the package is very collector friendly, and allows you to remove everything without any real damage.

Sculpting - ***
Possibly the weakest factor on these figures is the sculpts.  They are very close, and I wouldn't classify them as 'bad'.  But capturing real people is a very difficult task, and while these are almost there, they just miss.

Outfit - ***1/2
The outfit is fairly basic - he's a guy in a suit.  But Palisades has done an excellent job creating an appropriately scaled suit that fits excellent.

Often these types of clothes are too baggy or fit oddly.  Not here - the pants, shirt, tie and jacket all fit nicely are are right in scale.

My favorite part of the outfit is the boots.  They are a great sculpt, and very true to the style worn by Mr. Blonde in the film.

Paint - **
Fortunately, the paint ops on the face are excellent.  The eyes are clean and straight, and on Mr. Blonde, there's a great five o'clock shadow.

Unfortunately, the paint ops on the accessories are awful.  Several look like they were painted by hand, with no sort of masking tool at all.  For example, the cigarette pack looks like I painted it, and I was 3 margaritas into a 6 margarita night.  The gold on the lighter looks bad, and the paint work on the gas can is weak as well.

Articulation - ***1/2
The male Palisades body has excellent articulation, with all the points you expect.  Double jointed knees and elbows, cut joints at the thighs and biceps, with all the other joints that most 1/6th scale figures have these days.

The only negatives is that the legs are a little loose, and the neck joint doesn't have that great of range of motion.

Accessories - ***1/2
While the paint ops on many of the accessories are awful, the accessories themselves are very good.  Mr. Blonde has plenty, including his .45, shoulder holster, cigarette pack, single cigarette, lighter, sunglasses, razor, gas can, pop cup, watch, Marvin Nash's ear (the cop), roll of duct tape, and a very nice base/stand that has the logo imprinted on it.

Most of these accessories have good details, although the lighter is a little disappointing.  The razor is out of scale too - it's huge.  But overall the accessories are very cool.

Value - ***
At $25, these are a solid value in the 12" scale world right now.  Sure, $20 would have even been better, but considering the number of accessories, the quality of the articulation and outfit, and the fact that these sell through stores that normally charge a premium, $25 is an appropriate price.

Overall - ***
I wasn't impressed when I looked at these figures in the box.  The paint ops are obviously poor, and until I had the figure out and in my hands, I thought I'd be disappointed. I'm happy to say that I was surprised at how good the figure really was, and if the paint ops had been just slightly better he would have gotten ***1/2 overall.

Where to Buy
Media Play/ Suncoast/ Sam Goody stores have these now.  I'd assume other stores like Tower Records and Software Etc. will have it eventually.  I've searched through about a dozen on-line stores and found very few options there: 

- Action Figure Express has a set of three for $75 plus shipping. (MROTW affiliate)

- Small Blue Planet has them for $24.99 each as well, but they are marked as still pre-order.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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