Sideshow Bond Agent 006
Alec Trevelyan

In the early nineties, the 007 franchise was floundering. The relatively unimpressive Timothy Dalton had given it a go twice, but audiences didn't seem to react to the new Bond, or his far less MCP antics. Then in 1995, the franchise got a shot in the arm with the casting of Pierce Brosnan, and a return to the Bond behavior that made the legendary character who he was. The film was Goldeneye, and Bond, James Bond, was back.

The big bad this time around was Agent 006, and ex-British agent with a score to settle with all of Britain. Played by Sean Bean (the only name I've ever seen that is spelled like it rhymes but doesn't) who was also playing the character Richard Sharpe in a series of extremely popular made for TV films in England. He's probably better known to U.S. audiences at this point as Boromir in the LOTR films. His right hand femme fatale was Xenia Onatopp, played by a young Famke Janssen. 

Sideshow Toys has been producing a series of Bond figures for a couple years now, and you knew they wouldn't miss out on the golden opportunity with this film. They have just released the Alec Trevelyan (006), and will be releasing dear Xenia shortly. They also have a version of Pierce Brosnan as Bond from this film, so you can have the entire ménage a tois.

There are two versions of Alec - the first 750 purchased directly from Sideshow have an alternate unscarred head. That's the version I picked up, and the one I'm reviewing tonight.

You can pick up the figures directly from Sideshow (and this exclusive is still available, but for how long I don't know), but I also have some alternate on-line store suggestions at the end of the review where you can save a few bucks.

Packaging - ***
Sideshow never does poor packaging, but this one falls short of their usual perfection for two reasons. First, there's no cover shot of Alec, just Bond. While that makes all the Goldeneye boxes very consistent, each ends up with little individuality. I don't want all three boxes to look like they came from completely different licenses, but at least a little uniqueness would be welcome.

Second, it's not the most collector friendly work they've done. They went back to running multiple twisties all the way through the cardboard insert, and they also went with a couple plastic or cloth type twisties around the heads. While they aren't necessary, and you can certainly put everything back in the package without them, they won't be quite as complete as some of their previous packages.

If you open stuff up and throw everything out though, all this will have little effect on your enjoyment of the figure.

Sculpting - ***
Sean Bean wasn't a particularly well known actor to American audiences before Lord of the Rings, but now everybody recognizes Boromir. At least they do once you explain which one is Aragorn, which one is Faramir, and which one is Boromir. That means that everyone has a photo of him in their heads.

The head sculpt here, by Mat Falls, isn't terrible, but is likely to leave many collectors a little disappointed. This is a younger Bean of course, and as such it shouldn't be a surprise that he's less...weathered. People tell me that wrinkles make a man distinguished. In that case, he's less distinguished.

This might be due to a slightly soft sculpt. He seems a little more Ken-doll than most of Sideshow's work, with less expression and less emotion coming through. you might guess that the softness of the sculpt is due to the hollow nature of the swappable heads, but I don't think this head is any more empty than the usual Sideshow head.

The head also is a tad large for the size of the body, giving him a bet of a pumpkin head look.  Again, it's not wildly out of proportion, but enough to notice.

So you'll manage to recognize Sean/Alec, but it won't blow you away. The hand sculpts are decent, and allow for the figure to deal with most of the accessories.

Paint - ***1/2
For the most part, the paint scheme is well done, with clean ops and a consistent application. The hair line is done with the small brushstrokes giving it a slightly jagged edge, which I like quite a bit. Sure, up close you can tell what it is, but at a normal distance it adds a level of realism to the hair line.

The scarred face isn't overly gruesome, and has the right level of keloid-like scarring and color variation. While the scarred version is the regular head, my variant came packaged wearing that one, with the unscarred off to the side. The scarred version is probably the one you'll end up using for display, but maybe there's a great Boromir custom lurking in the unscarred?

Articulation - ****
He has the usual highly articulated Sideshow body, which I've commented on many, many times in the past. The cool ankles and wrists, which allow for turning, forward and backward, and side to side motion, are perhaps their best quality, but this figure also has a great ball jointed neck.

This neck has the ball joint down inside the torso, not at the top. This allows for the head to be removable, with a solid post, but still tilt in all directions. It's a nice piece of engineering, and I hope we see them use this particular joint more often, and thus, give us more alternate head accessories. The Buffy and Angel line screams for the addition of extra heads!

Accessories - ***
I'm showing you the Sideshow exclusive version, which included the unscarred head. The cool thing here is that the heads pop on and off far easier than I had anticipated, yet they aren't super soft.

The unscarred head sculpt suffers from the same problems, and has the same high points, as the scarred version that I discussed in the sculpt and paint sections. While you'll recognize Bean, the sculpt is softer and smoother than I would have liked. The paint ops are clean and neat, with good consistency and a nice, even skin tone. There were no eye issues on the extra head, and the various color edges were neat.

His other accessories include a Browning pistol with removable clip and holster, AK-47 with movable stock and removable clip, his watch, and the Goldeneye device. All are extremely well sculpted, and once again, we're seeing better weapons with the Sideshow figures.

Both the handgun and automatic rifle look great, with nice sculpts and good paint ops. The elastic strap on the machine gun works well, but be careful, as the rear connector that holds it to the side of the frame can pop off easily.

The handgun also fits nicely in the holster, which can clip on his belt or pants. I have mine hidden in the photos, since it's on the back of his belt.

The Goldeneye device was a nice addition, since it's so critical to the story line, and I think the watch was also a great idea. The watch is a tad oversized and clunky, but I may be forgetting just how large it was on film.

Finally, he also comes with one of the James Bond logo display stands, although you won't really need it. I had no trouble getting Alec to hold lots of crouching, sneaking and shooting stances for long periods all on his own.

Outfit - **1/2
The outfit is fairly basic - jump suit, belt, socks and shoes. The jumpsuit looks very much like the film version, and the belt has the signature buckle. The socks stay up about as well as mine do, and the shoes don't get in the way or impose any issues on holding various stances or poses.

Sideshow did something interesting with the jumpsuit, and I'm not entirely sure that it's a bad thing, although they're taking a hit for it in my review. They went with a very thin material. They big advantage here, and why I'm assuming they did it, is that it looks much more in scale. The thin material hangs off his body more naturally, and when tailored well, makes for a better fit.

The downside is that the clothes are black, and his body is tan. That means his body color can show through the material at times, freaking all his friends out.

This is a catch 22 of course - short of painting the body black or making the material thicker (thus negating the positive effects), I don't know what they could do. Of course, if I had all the answers, I wouldn't be just a lowly toy reviewer. Criticizing is the easy part - actually coming up with good solutions is what you get paid the big bucks for.

Fun Factor - **1/2
This isn't a character that will be high on any 8 year old's Christmas list this year, but it is fun for the big kids.

Value - **1/2
He's forty bucks, which is a better value than some of the other licensed Sideshow product, but still about $5 away from perfect. He's got a nice assortment of accessories though, and it has to be a fairly expensive license, so a middle of the ground grade seems appropriate. Pick him up for $30 and you can easily add another half star.

Overall - ***
I'm not a huge Bond fan, but I've picked up almost all the Sideshow Bond villains. They make for a great set, and Alec does have some real pluses. His ability to hold some very cool poses, along with his unique look, make him stand out nicely on the shelf, along with Oddjob, Jaws and others.

If you are a big fan, you probably want to pick up the exclusive version. The additional head is a much nicer accessory than we've seem with some of the exclusives, and really does add quite a bit to the value score of the figure.

The swappable heads leads to another thought as well. We know there are plenty of licenses that simply don't have enough fan base to generate enough revenue for a full blown treatment. Instead, how about selling us just heads, costumes and a couple accessories on extremely simple packaging, intended for on-line sales only. Sell bodies like the 006 body in bulk (similar to what they do with the Buck body), and let us decide if we want to dress them up for the shelf or not. Then take the next step - sell generic heads, costumes and accessories to go along with the generic bodies, for customizers and kitbashers. At this point, Sideshow has a plethora of accessories they've used for a variety of licenses that could be re-run, and something like this could even be marketed to kids, to produce their own heroes and action figures.

I suppose ideas like that (and why hasn't anyone done a line of famous magicians to sell through magic shops yet?) is why I just review toys.

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ***
Outfit - **1/2
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy - 
I picked mine up directly from Sideshow. If you want the exclusive version, you can still pick it up, but I'd act quick. Now that they are shipping I don't expect them to last long. Other on-line options include:

- Alter Ego Comics has any of the three Goldeneye figures for $32, along with many of the other Sideshow Bond items.

- Southern Island has Alex listed at $35.

- Killer Toys has him listed at $35.

- Fireside Collectibles has all three figures listed at $36. They also have the quarter scale Bond at $190, which is an excellent price if you're considering the big guy!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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