Hannibal Lector Head from Andgor Toys

Customikey is back with a great guest review of the custom Hannibal Lector head from Andgor Toys.  I'd love to get more reviews of custom items, so let me know if you have something interesting you'd like to review!  On to Dr. Lector:

This is another review for you budding customizers out there. This is a guy who belongs in a Modern Monsters line. Unfortunately, the rights are impossible to get, and Anthony Hopkins has stated that he will never sign off on a toy of Hannibal Lecter with his likeness. Most unfortunate this is. But thanks to the enterprising Andgor Toys, we have this custom made-to-order head in the likeness of the number one villain of the decade. But is it worth it? We shall see.

Howís this for a side-by-side comparison?

Dr Fell?

"Do not approach the glass..."

Packaging - *
The head came in a tiny little box of packing peanuts. The head itself was protected in a little ziplock. It came undamaged. Not much presentation-wise, but it got to my house in one piece, which is all I asked for.

Sculpting - ****
The sculpt is absolutely spot on. At every angle, this is Anthony Hopkins. But itís not just Hopkins. Itís Hopkins AS Hannibal. The steely, intelligent gaze, the superior smile, itís all there. You can almost see the wheels turning in his mind. If I have any criticism, it might be that the overall shape of the head is just a touch longer than Hopkins, but thatís a negligible point in what is otherwise a perfect sculpt. You almost believe it was scanned.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint is so much more intricate than anything ever seen on a toy. I think itís a combination of airbrush and traditional brush. There are so many tones in his face. Even with all the different skin tones, it never gets splotchy. Itís never sloppy, but very precise. His skin is a touch pinker than in Silence. He seems to have gotten more sun than youíd expect a man living in a windowless cell for six years to have. But the skin tone matches the Dragon body very well, and thatís the body Iíd suggest using. The eyes, likewise are very clean. The colors are perfectly chosen to match Hopkinsí ice-blue eyes. The hair seems grayer than Hopkins had in Silence of the Lambs. In the movie his hair was slick and brown, and itís just really gray here. It doesnít especially bother me, and I didnít really notice until I compared it directly with the DVD edition. Also, no sign of the bald spot Anthony was growing, which may or may not be a bad thing. As such, the head is also suited for figures of Hopkinsí other films, such as Ridley Scottís Hannibal, or for Remains of the Day. I donít know why youíd want a figure from Remains of the Day, but whatever.

Durability - ***
The head is made from a heavy resin, so plan to use a doll stand for your finished figure. Iím not sure what a long drop onto, say, a concrete or hardwood floor would do to poor Hannibal, but I wouldnít want to find out. Likewise, the paint can be scratched if youíre not careful. I had to retouch the tip of his nose after moving to NYC. The neck hole comes machined for whatever body you specify, but is easily drilled or sanded to accommodate different neck pegs. Itís about the same size as a Dragon head, whereas Joe and 21st Century heads look a bit tiny in comparison. I tried several bodies for Hannibal, including 21st Century, Hot Toys, Palisades, Sideshow, and Dragon, and I found that Dragon suited him the best. The body type is about right for Hopkins. Sideshow was too tall and lanky, and the rest were too buff.

Customer Service - *
I canít review this toy without reviewing the company that produces it, and hereís the serious drawback to ordering from Andgor. Their turn-over time for product is infamous. God, there were times during that nearly six month period that I truly believed I had been bilked out of my money. One of their reps explained to me (after my umpteenth call) that theyíve only got one guy who does the painting. My God, I thought, imagine staring at a sea of Billy Zane or Michael Madsen heads, and knowing that youíve got to paint every one photo-perfect. Yikes. But then I thought, ďScrew these guys. Thereís more than one painter out there who can do this kind of work. If theyíre doing THAT much 

business, itís time to hire more hands, or offer unpainted heads at a reduced cost.Ē If patience is one of your virtues, this isnít a problem. But Iím the kind of guy who checks his mailbox twice a day every day after I order. For me, six months was hell. Oh and if you have a problem, call them. Donít bother emailing customer service. They never write back.

EDITOR'S NOTE - I received further info on Andgor, along with a couple interesting links.  They've had a number of complaints to the BBB, and there's an open investigation you can see at the Florida BBB website.  Also, the Florida Attorney General is investigating, as is recorded at their website.  This is definitely a case where you want to beware!

Value - *1/2
The only place I know of to get this is at The head cost $20 when I ordered, but theyíve up-ed the price to $30 since then. Thatís a lot for just the head. After that, you still pay out for a body, and you do want clothes for your toy, right? All told, I think my Hannibal might have cost me $100 easy. Iíd probably feel better about the price if it didnít take so damned long to finally get to the mailbox. I have seen a few alternatives, however. Occasionally, someone will put up a custom Hannibal figure on eBay. Some are great, some not so much. Iíve yet to see anyone put this head up for auction. Interest in good Lecter figures is high, so the eBay customs often fetch between $50 and $100. 

Overall - ***
No question itís the best looking head on any figure from any market anywhere. The quality is absolutely undeniable and for anyone whoís ever wanted a great Hannibal figure, this may be the first place to start. But the price may outweigh your pocket book, and the turn-around time might outlast your interest.

Customizerís Corner-
Small Blue Planet sometimes has a blue jumpsuit in their loose clothes section. Do a search. Thatís what I got. It had a lot of faux pockets that needed removal, and then some stitching to make it fit better, and then the padding in the collar had to be removed but itís close to the right color. Small Blue Planet also has T-shirts and Suit/Tie combos. Beware about the t-shirts- Iíve found that they donít fit over Hannibalís noggin, so you had better attach the head after the shirt goes on. I keep mine in a plastic case, partly to keep him from falling off the shelf, but also to simulate having him in his cell. 

Bon Apetit!

Figures from the collection of Customikey.

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