R. Lee Ermey

Sideshow Toy has been producing some interesting and unique licenses this year.  Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey is certainly not mainstream, but as both an actor and as a Marine Corp Drill Sargent, he's got quite a large following.

Sgt. Ermey spent 11 years in the corp, and then entered the world of acting.  He's starred in over 40 films, and is perhaps most well known for his role in Full Metal Jacket, although most kids know him as the voice of the plastic army man in Toy Story.

These are available directly from Sideshow for $30 each, and many on-line retailers have them as well.  Also, signed editions are available through Ermey's fan club site for $40 each.


Packaging - **1/2
I'm glad that Sideshow has started to go away from this packaging.  The box is attractive, with a good filmography and biography on Ermey, but the cello gets ding very easily, and the bottom and top of the box are actually glued shut.  Nothing collector friendly here for those MIB folks.

Sculpting - ***
I think Sideshow does the best real life sculpts in the business today.  That being said, this is not one of their better jobs.  Don't get me wrong - it's not terrible by any stretch of the imagination.  But considering the quality and style of most of the sculpts of the other figures in the Sideshow world, this one just doesn't quite make it up to snuff.

That's what happens when you set such a high bar for yourself - you can't always make it over.  The hand sculpts are also good, posed in a style that makes sense for his motivational speech.

Paint - ***
The paint ops are good, particularly on the face. The wash works here, and the eyes and brows look great.  The paint work on the accessories is well done as well.

Articulation - ***1/2
Sideshow has one of the better male bodies on the market these days for articulation.  While it's light, it's sturdy.  In the past, the joints, particularly the legs, have been loose.  But this time, I had no trouble getting him to stand or hold any pose.

With double jointed elbows, knees, waist and chest joints, along with cut biceps and thighs, you'd think it was perfect.  The only knock here is that they used their version of this body that does not have the ball jointed neck.  No up and down movement means they lose a half star.

Accessories - ***
Ermey comes with a DI cover (uh, hat), saber, and stand.

The stand looks good, but is somewhat lacking in terms of usefulness.  It's really too small for him to stand on unless he has his feet very close together, and there is no peg or holder for his feet.

The saber is nice, although it's a little thin and soft.  Neither hand holds it well, but it looks good on the belt.

The DI cover is the nicest accessory, with a great sculpt and excellent style.  It fits his head nicely, although you have to play with it a bit to get it looking just right.

Outfit - ***
The uniform is a mixed bag.  Some folks feel that the legs are too skinny, but I don't agree on that one.  It's a shortcoming of the general Sideshow body, but it's acceptable.

The uniform fits like it should - tight, with clean lines.  The shoes are a good sculpt, and are soft enough to slip on and off easily.  The jacket looks sharp, but the medals are a sticker.  The quality on the other patches is a little lacking as well, and is certainly one area that there could have been improvement.

The tie and shirt look good when fully dressed, but the shirt is only a dickey, a cost cutting measure.  And then there's the belt...easily the worst part of the overall uniform.

The belt is made of cheap pleather material, with a very basic buckle and weak stitching on the saber pouch.

Talking Feature - ***1/2
Okay, here's really why you're buying Ermey - to hear him scream obscenities at you.

He's definitely R rated, and not for the little kiddies.  But for the adult collector, the lines are absolutely hilarious.  The voice box is loud and clean, and the lines sound just like him.  This is one of the better talking 12" figures I've ever seen.

Value - ***
You're getting a pretty decent 12" figure that says eight different 'motivational' lines, all for about the usual price of $30.  Sure, at $25 he would have been a lot closer to perfect, but the extra five bucks isn't bad considering the talking feature.  I'm betting that isn't a cheap option for companies to add.

Overall - ***
This isn't the best I've seen Sideshow produce, but it's still quite a bit better than many of the 1/6th scale offerings out there right now.  Fans of Ermey are going to love his lines, and even those with only a passing interest will love the unique nature of this figure.  I picked one up for someone who is an ex-Marine for their Christmas present, and I'm positive he's going to love it.

Where to Buy
You're best bet to find these is on-line:

- Sideshow Toy still has them on-line at their site for $35 plus shipping. 

- R. Lee Ermey's fan site has signed versions - about 3500 total - for $40 each.

- Best price I've seen is at the Toy Cellar, for $26.99 plus shipping.  I've always had good luck with them as well.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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