Sculpting - ****
I wasn't a huge fan of the first series of figures. Here's a review of
the original Legolas I did if you don't
believe me. While they were adequate, they fell short of my hopes. But
Toybiz has really turned things around, particularly with the Easterling
The sculpting on this figure is reaching McToys quality, and
that's damn hard to do. It's not quite there - compare this to a
Skullsplitter for example to see how every millimeter on the figure has some
kind of detail - but it's such an improvement over the previous set of
figures that it easily deserves the four star rating.
The detail on the armor is particularly outstanding, and
they've done an excellent job capturing the source material. There
isn't much of a face sculpt, since the helmet/hood is sculpted and not
removable, but I think that was a wise decision and allowed them to produce
a much nicer overall figure.
Both hands are sculpted to hold the weapons and both work
Paint - ****
I had issues with some of the first series figures in terms of paint ops as
well. There was a lack of consistency across the production, but as I
looked over a dozen or so figures on the peg, I didn't see those issues this
Instead, the complicated ops are all clean and neat.
The eyes were perfect, and the wash they used on the armor to give it that
weathered look worked perfectly. Using a wash like that is always
tricky and risky, as they often come out looking unrealistic.
Not only are the paint ops well done, they are extremely
complex as well. Toybiz took the heightened level of detail from the
sculpt into the paint application, and the combination looks great.
Articulation - ****
I can't vouch for the entire line, but the Easterling has all the joints you
could possibly want in a figure in this scale.
He has a ball jointed neck (although the movement is limited
somewhat by the hood), ball jointed shoulders, cut biceps, elbows, wrists,
waist, ball jointed hips, knees, cut calves and ankles.
All the joints are tight, and I had no trouble getting him
to hold all kinds of cool poses. He can't fold his arms right across
his chest like some recent McToys figures, but for most folks he has all the
articulation they'll need.
Accessories - ***1/2
The Easterling comes with two accessories - his shield and lance. Both
make sense for the character, but I thought the sculpting and paint ops on
the shield were far superior to the work on the lance.
There's some sloppiness to the paint work on the lance, and
the sculpt isn't quite as nice as the rest of the figure. On the other
end of the spectrum, the shield sculpt and paint ops are excellent, and it
fits in perfectly with the armor look and style.
Value - ***1/2
At less than $7 most places, the Easterling is a great deal. Consider
this - he's getting close to McToys level detail, with great accessories and
articulation, and at a price a couple bucks cheaper than his counter parts
in the Viking Age line. You can't ask for too much more than that.
Overall - ****
The Easterling isn't quite as nice as the better members of the Spawn 22
line, but you have to grade him against the other Lord of the Rings figures
as well, and give credit to Toybiz for the very real improvement in the
line. I'm impressed, and if Toybiz had done this nice of a job with
last year's assortments, I would have had no choice but to buy them all.
One other thing to note - there's no silly action feature
here, which actually improves the figure. I'm not sure if that's true
with every TTT figure, but I'm hopeful. Action features can be fun
when done right, but it's so rare that they are done right that you're
usually better off without.
Where to Buy -
I picked this Easterling at Target, and I know that Wal-marts and
Kaybees already have them in as well. On-line prices are a couple
bucks higher each, taking out some of that great value score.
Earth has cases for $120, but you'll have to find someone to take the
extras. (MROTW Affiliate)
- Kaybee online has just
about all of them in stock for about $9 each plus shipping. Just
search for 'two towers'.
- Big Bad
Toy Store has them in sets of five for about $45 plus shipping.