Packaging - **1/2
The package isn't really what
you're buying this for, and they didn't spend a ton of time on
it. It's a fairly simple cardboard box, but it's sturdy and
will survive shipping just fine. The exterior has a cool
label done in pseudo-sepia colors, and I recommend cutting the bottom
flaps to keep the label nice. You can always use the box
later for storage.
Inside, the gun is merely
wrapped in bubble wrap for protection. The extras were rolled
up, and everything made it safe and sound to my doorstep.
Sculpting - ***1/2
The actual stunt pistol used on
screen was a solid block of material, which is common for guns and
weapons in movies and TV. However, QMX knew that wasn't going
to be what fans wanted, so they took it a bit further. The
gun was molded using the actual stunt pistol, but then broken down into
separate pieces (about 8, I'm guessing) to be assembled. This
gives it a more realistic appearance, even up close.
The sculpt does appear to be
quite screen accurate, at least to the stunt pistol.
Obviously, when you see close ups of the gun on the show, they are
using the much more detailed version, and this one doesn't come close
to that level of detail in person.
The best work is on the fake
wood grips and the small fake steel screws. There's plenty of
detail here, and they are extremely realistic.
The main brass-like body is a
little less detailed however, and the light weight nature of the
material used means that the minute you touch it, you know it's
fake. Any fan of guns, knives or swords knows that how the
weapon feels in your hand, the balance and symmetry, is a huge part of
the attraction. That's something you won't get here, since
this is designed to be very lightweight, easy to use in cosplay, and
good enough looking for that purpose.
Paint - ***
The paint is applied to
replicate the look and feel of the various faked materials - steel,
brass, wood, etc. However, it's clear that they were going
not for a highly detailed prop replica but rather a cosplay accessory.
The quality of the 'realism'
varies by the material being faked. The wood is the best, and
you won't be able to tell from looking at it that they aren't actually
wooden grips. The steel is in the middle, looking good, but
close examination (without picking it up of course) will still reveal
that it's not actually metal. The brass falls in last,
probably because it's the largest surface area and therefore the most
obvious, but also because of the finish. Metal always has
some gloss, even worn metal. Here, the matte finish gives it
away even from a couple feet away.
Quality - ***
The general quality of this item reminded me of the FX lightsabers from
Master Replicas. Well, without the metal and
rubber. And without the sounds and lights. But you
get the generally idea.
I think I've beat the point into
the ground by now - this is a great costume
accessory, but only a so-so display prop replica.
Accessories - ***
Yep, not a category you usually associate with a prop replica, but
since I was one of the first 1500 (the sale-meter says they're at 1250
at this point), I got the extra printed goodies.
The quality is quite nice,
especially to the Barlow's Guide page. There's also a Moses
Brothers Firearms Certificate of Authenticity and a license issued by
the local authorities on Shadow that entitles the holder (there's a
place to enter your name) to carry this sidearm, and these are a bit
smaller, measuring 8" by 11" and 6" by 8" respectfully.
I may frame the Barlow's Guide
Page, or come up with some creative way to frame all three that will
look good as a backdrop to the gun. But I have to admit that
these are a bit of a conundrum with the gun, because they are clearly
intended with the prop replica collector in mind, not the person buying
this to use with their costume. And yet the gun itself is
more in line with something for the CosPlay fan. They're trying to hit
both groups with this inclusion, and I'm not sure it really pulls it
Fun Factor - ***
Usually I don't have a 'fun factor' section in a Prop Replica review,
but I thought it was warranted here. While I'm not hugely
keen on the lightweight nature of the replica, that's because I'm
looking for something to put in the home theater on display, not
something to carry with me as a part of my SDCC costume. If
you're going for the latter, this is going to make for a much more fun
It's tough to really draw a comparison here to other current
products. Since this is designed more toward cosplay and
dressing up as Mal, I liken it to the Force FX sabers from Master
Replicas, which run around $120 SRP (although getting them for around
$100 is not uncommon). Of course, you could argue that it's
more in line with their LE line, and those run in the $350 and up
range. But the reality is that the MR LE line uses much more
realistic materials, and is really designed more for display than play.
In the end, I came out feeling
like this guy was just a bit overpriced. I think something in
line with the $100 - $120 range would have felt much more in line, but
I'm betting that the size of the company and the risk involved is what
kept the price a bit higher for this release.
Things to Watch Out For
Not much. Obviously you don't want to smack it up against
anything, but the poly resin seems a bit more resistant to damage than
same, a mini-bust would be. They clearly knew that folks
would be carrying this thing and designed for it.
Overall - ***
If you're buying this as a
cosplay accessory, to add to your already kick butt Malcolm costume,
then it's exactly what you're looking for. The fairly sturdy,
lightweight materials will make it ideal to holster on your hip and
carry around all day at the San Diego Convention Center, and it will
look a lot better than most home made versions. It's a little
expensive, but not nearly as bad as what the 501st pay for their