Packaging - ****
Hot Toys is second only to
Sideshow in producing attractive, high quality packaging, and in some
ways surpasses even them.
The photos and graphics on the
box are excellent, and I love how the helmeted heads on the outer
sleeve have a three dimensional quality. While Sideshow uses the wrap
around fifth panel box for their best boxes, Hot Toys employs a outer
sleeve over a more traditional inner fifth panel box. It's a
bit wasteful of course, but it's also attractive enough that I'll let
I do wish there was more text,
giving us something in terms of film and character background.
There are instructions (search for them under the inner
pack), but even these are rather sparse.
The box is completely collector
friendly once again, but they have a major plus, going with a
Styrofoam inner tray rather than the usual plastic. The Styrofoam is
much sturdier, and is likely to keep the figure much safer.
- Dallas ****; Kane ***1/2
There is no doubt in my mind that Hot Toys will be getting my Best
Sculpting gold award for 2008. They've stepped up their game
year to a level I didn't think possible in such a short period.
I'm a bit old school when it comes to likeness. My theory is simple -
if a person or characters name is on the box, the figure better look
like that person or character.
Dallas looks just like the
character, with an extremely realistic sculpt. There's nothing toy-like
about it, and the texturing on the lips, beard, sculpted cloth inner
helmet and skin is nothing short of amazing. Just look at the photo to
the left - how many action figures can you look at magnified to that
level, and it still looks that realistic?
Not only does it look real, it
looks like Dallas as played by Tom Skerritt. Unfortunately, for Kane,
the same cannot be said.
sculpt IS extremely realistic. The paint work isn't quite as good as
Dallas, as the mustache is a little less detailed, and the skin tone
is off. But stripped of said paint, I think the underlying sculpt is
Ah, but it's not Kane as played
by John Hurt. It's even like Hot Toys went above and beyond to
make this look nothing like the John Hurt Kane - how else do you
explain the bad 80's porn star mustache?
Actually, there may be another
explanation for that bad mustache. More about that in a minute.
I understand that Hot
Toys probably had issues getting the rights to do Hurt's likeness.
I can appreciate that. But consumers - me included
really care about the trials and tribulations of rights negotiations.
If the box says "Kane", it should look like Kane. If you
limn the character, don't say it's the character. And yes,
is a real word.
I am only docking them a half
star though, for
three reasons. First and foremost, this is not an error of
quality but an issue of legality. If they were TRYING to make it look
like Kane as played by John Hurt and it came out looking like my cousin
Bob, the deduction in this category would be much more severe.
Second, it's going to be a rare
display where this head isn't largely covered by the helmet. In fact,
most folks won't use this head anyway, but will be displaying
figure with the accessory head wearing the face hugger, inside the
helmet with the melted visor. Let's face it - that's the way
remember Kane the best when he was wearing this suit.
And the final reason?
The same reason I think he has a mustache - because they
modeled the Kane figure on Jon Finch, the actor who was originally
going to play Kane. Ridley Scott wanted John Hurt, but Hurt was
contracted for another film. Jon Finch was hired in his place, but then
Finch got seriously ill and had to drop out. Hurt's film deal fell
through at the same time, and he stepped in to be Kane. However, it
certainly looks to me like Hot Toys based their Kane sculpt off of
Finch's likeness (see the inset), which gives them points in my book.
"Limn". Go look it up.
Paint - Dallas ****;
When it comes to paint, the Dallas and Kane figures fall pretty much in
line with their Sculpt. The paint work on Dallas is simply
outstanding, with an amazingly life-like look to the eyes, mouth, skin
and beard. This goes well beyond simply being clean and neat - it takes
it to a whole new level of art.
Kane is very clean and neat, but
has a couple aesthetic issues for me. First, the skin tone
has a grayish pallor to it that doesn't work for me. Hot Toys uses the
cast plastic color for their heads, and they do it better than anyone
on the market, but the skin shade they picked for Kane ain't doing it
The work on the eyes is clean if
a bit zombie-ish, but the mustache looks far less realistic than the
facial hair on Dallas. Perhaps they didn't go quite as all out on this
one simply because they new it wouldn't be as critical.
The haters of the 'doll dots'
will be happy to know that there are no catch lights added to the eyes
on either figure.
Both figures use the standard Hot Toys TrueType body, and it works
surprisingly well with the restrictive suit. Personally, the TrueType
is my favorite body on the market right now. I had no trouble getting
the figures into key poses, and they can hold them indefinitely.
No need to use the stands if you don't want to.
take deep stances, sit, or kneel, but I have a hunch all those things
were pretty tough in the actual suits too.
hands and feet pop onto the ankle and wrist joints just fine, although
you do want to take some care in lining them up properly. It's possible
to snap the small posts with the hard rubber feet and hands if you're
not careful, and I had one Hell of a time getting the hands on Kane.
You might want to run some hot water into the hand and/or boot to
soften them up before forcing them on to the pegs.
do wish they'd added an extension for the neck to
bring the head up about another quarter of an inch inside the helmet.
I'll gripe about that again in the Outfit section, but it's really in
this section, as part of the base body, that it was needed. It's the
reason I'm docking them a half star here, and it really did bug me.
Now, I'll also admit that it bugged me more when I first
working with the figures than it did after I'd had some time to play
around with them, but the simple fact is that the heads don't sit up
far enough in the helmets to avoid rubbing their chins, or to appear
correct when you're looking at them from the outside in. After futzing
for awhile I found that if you have them bent at the waist and knees,
and are looking down toward them (like in the very first photo), it
isn't quite as bad, so I'd recommend putting them on a shelf below
about chest level.
While there's some re-use between the two figures, it at least makes
sense, and there's enough unique accessories added to make it up.
They both carry the same
flashlight, as well as the same gun. The light has a cloth
strap, and fits nicely in their hands. The gun doesn't fit quite as
well in the big bulky gloves, but it does fit well enough to look
decent. It also fits in the futuristic minimalist holster on
their belt. Just a note: don't try to open the strap on the
holster, as it's glued in place. The gun can slide in under
Both also have the Alien display
bases. These are much nicer than the usual sixth scale stand that would
have a plain black base and arm, with perhaps the logo on the base.
Here, the base is formed like a piece of the floor in the
'egg room', and each figure has an egg that sits on the base.
Dallas' egg is closed, while Kane's is open, revealing the
facehugger inside. You don't have to use the stands to keep them
upright, but because they add so much to the display, this is one case
where you might want to consider it anyway.
Dallas has one additional unique
accessory, his portable crane. There are two cloth straps
around the crane, as well as real metal hangers on the sides. However,
the crane itself is a single piece of plastic with no articulation or
ability to open.
Kane does even better, since he
also has the second facehugger head. The heads pop on and off pretty
easily, certainly easier than the hands and feet. The sculpt on the
second head is just as good as the normal versions in terms of detail
Not only that, but Kane comes
with a second plastic visor to put on the helmet. This visor has the
melted center, where the facehugger burned its way through.
Outfit - ****
One of the biggest concerns most folks had when these figures were
first announced was the outfit - rather than go with cloth, Hot Toys
chose to use a rubber material. And there was much gnashing
teeth and wailing of voices.
However, the choice worked out
extremely well. I have no idea how they could have produced a
knit material with this kind of detail and color in this scale, but by
using the rubber material, they were able to match the film version
Softer rubbery materials usually
don't hold the extreme detail of a sculpt quite as well as hard
plastic, but that's not a problem here at all. The amount and
quality of detailing in the ribbing, wrinkling and fake stitching is
They also wisely went with mixed
media in completing the suit. All the brown straps used to
hold things in place, like the shin armor, shoulder armor, backpack,
chest piece, etc. is fabric, not plastic. They are not permanently
attached to the suit, and you can adjust them accordingly.
Appropriate areas are hard
plastic, like the chest plate or shin armor, and the contrast works
The color of the basic suit is
different for Kane and Dallas, and looking at stills from the scenes in
question, it looks to me like Hot Toys got it very, very close. Personally, I like the color of Kane's outfit a bit
better than Dallas', but that's a personal preference thing.
Let's not forget the helmet.
It attaches to the collar tightly (a bit too tightly if
you're swapping it a lot), and on it's own looks fantastic.
I'll talk more about the light up feature in a minute, but
the sculpt work on the metal surface and interior panel is terrific.
There's a large hose on the back that attaches to the oxygen pack, as
well as a much smaller cord that attaches to it as well.
You can pop out the plastic
visor section of the helmet by pressing lightly from the inside. This
not only allows you to swap the visors for Kane, but it also means that
you can pop it out before putting the helmet on either figure, and then
adjust the head on the figure after the helmet is in place.
Once you're happy with the position, simply pop the visor
I will repeat my earlier
disappointment in how low the heads sit inside the helmets, but as I
said earlier, you can get them in poses that makes it less of an issue.
Light up Features - ****
In the high end sixth scale market, it's no longer unusual to pay $150
for a figure. And often those figures have but an accessory or two, and
no special features. While Hot Toys is hitting us with a large price
tag, they have gone out of their way to make it a bit more of a decent
value, and one of those ways is to add some cool light up features.
In the first of the two large
photos at the end of the review, you'll
notice that not only the top head light actually lights up, but there
are red (obviously on the figure's right) and green (to the figure's
left) lights on the interior panel of the helmet. These LED's are quite
bright, and powered by watch style batteries that are relatively easy
to swap inside the helmet. A button is incorporated into the sculpt on
the back of the helmet.
That's not all though. There's
also a button on the backpack that lights four small lights there
as well. The batteries are a bit harder to swap (you'll have to
completely remove the backpack to get to the compartment), but that's a
minor nit until the batteries actually go dead, at which point I'll
curse Hot Toys quite loudly.
I do wish they'd given us one
more light in the flashlight. It would have been difficult given the
design however, because the size doesn't really allow for a battery.
Fun Factor - *
Yes, there's a low score here, because these guys are pretty fragile.
They are clearly designed for adults, not kids, but because I (and you)
know that going in, I won't be deducting anything of my Overall because
Value - ***
Hey, you aren't going to feel like you just got yourself a Woot Off
deal, but with the quality of the outfit, the light up features, and
the level of detail in the critical sculpts, you won't feel like you've
Things To Watch Out For
While the basic rubber suit is quite sturdy, you should take a lot of
care with the various straps. I had to reglue the strap for
the holster (it is not designed to pop open, just so you know), and I
could see damaging the cool working buckles pretty easily. I
also popped the strap out that connects the shoulder armor to the neck
collar, and getting it back in is going to be a pain.
And finally, try your best to
avoid rubbing Dallas' face against the interior of the helmet. It's
tough to manage, and I rubbed off a bit of the black on his beard.
Overall - Dallas ****;
It seems like over the last few weeks I've seen nothing but outstanding
figures in the sixth scale market. Oh, I'm sure a stinker is
due here any time now, but it ain't one of these.
Both of these figures are
outstanding. In fact, I'm more than happy to declare this pair the very
nicest human figures they've done in the series so far. The quality of
the accessories and outfits on the Marines was nice, but let's be
honest - the likenesses weren't any where near this level. Even
Ripley, while decent, wasn't any where near as nicely done as Dallas.
Hot Toys wants more of my money, all they have to do is give us a
Brett, Parker, Lambert and Ash, preferably in that order! Do them at
this level of quality, and I'll be there in a heartbeat.
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - Dallas ****; Kane ***1/2
Paint - Dallas ****; Kane ***1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Outfit - ****
Light up Features - ****
Fun Factor - *
Value - ***
Overall - Dallas ****; Kane ***1/2
Where to Buy -
Sideshow was the official US distributor, and they still have Dallas in
stock for $150. Kane is on wait list right now.
- Alter Ego has
them for just $135 each. And I'm using 'just' in the loosest way
has both in stock at $135.
- Dark Shadow
Collectibles has them at $135 as well, but appears to be sold
out of Kane.
- in the UK, Forbidden
Planet has theme for 100 GBP.
- you can search ebay using
the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.com.
I've looked at lots of the
Hot Toys Alien and Aliens figures:
Jeff Parker did a guest
review on this pair last month.
Jeff has also done guest reviews on Hicks,
the AvP Alien, the
Alien, the AvP:R
PredAlien, the Powerloader,
the original Medicom Alien,
as well as a comparison
of the brown and black Warrior Aliens.
I've reviewed the Power
Loader as well, and I reviewed the Warrior Alien
for Sideshow's website.
Want to chat about this review? Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be
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