TTT 12" Ringwraith

The second film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is almost upon us, and the action figures for The Two Towers have been hitting for a few weeks.  However, the sixth scale figures for the film have just started getting a wider distribution.

The first film had six figures in this format - Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, Gimli, Galadrial, and Arwen.  You can see a review of Series 1 here, and a review of Series 2 here.  Hard to believe that it's been almost exactly one year from the review of series 1!

The first series of 12" figures for the Two Towers includes Bilbo, Legolas, Eowyn and the Ringwraith.  I'll be reviewing just the Ringwraith here, since I recently had a guest review of the other three, and have also posted my own review of the other three at Movie Poop Shoot.

These are showing up at both Target and Toys R Us stores right now, along with a multitude of on-line retailers.  The price should be around $20 - $22.  I opened a case of these at my local Toys R Us, and there was one Bilbo, one Eowyn, two Ringwraith and two Legolas.

Packaging - ***
Yes, I know that's not Mr. Dark, Mean and Mysterious over there in the package picture.  I got a little too quick with the wire snips and had him out of his box before I realized I was breaking up the 12" figures into two reviews, so you get a nice picture of the lovely Eowyn in the box instead.  Hey, it's all the same box, more or less.

The photos on the front are nicely done, and the text is decent.  Nothing stupendous, but they will hold up to shelf wear well, they are *relatively* collector friendly, and I like the new red color.

Sculpting - ***
His head sculpt is an amazingly accurate portrayal of the source material!  Of course, that's because he has no head .

Instead, the cloak over his head is sculpted, and there is simply a void inside, true to the film and books.  The sculpt here is nice, but there's one major - and I mean major - detraction.  The neck post is clearly visible coming up through the bottom of the cowl, and it looks terrible.  If I were going off this 'head' sculpt for the sculpting score alone, it would have lost another star.

The hand sculpts pull it back up though.  They've done a great job on the armored claws with plenty of menacing detail.  The detail on the leg armor and accessories is also extremely good, pulling this boy's fat out of the fryer.

Paint - ***
The Ringwraith is basically black, sort of a Johnny Cash of Mordor.  But they've used a nice wash technique on the armor and weapons that worked extremely well.  The one negative to the paint ops is the difference in blacks between the cloth outfit and the plastic cowl.  It was probably unavoidable, but it stands out quite a bit.

There's also a mud effect on the outfit that works great for me, but some people may not like the caked feel.

Articulation - ***
The new 12" figures from Toybiz have TONS of articulation.  With double jointed elbows and knees, neck, waist, chest, ball jointed hips and shoulders, ankles, wrists, cut biceps and cut thighs, there's very few poses they can't hold.

So why the slightly lower score?  Because I had a tough time getting him to stand (actuallyl with this entire wave) due to loose knees and ankles.  It doesn't do much good to have all those cool joints if you can't get him to stand more than a few minutes on his own.

Outfit - ***1/2
The outfit is very similar to Gandalf's, at least with a cursory glance.  However, there's nothing really re-used here.

The outer cape is tattered and dirty, but looks excellent.  While there's going to be some fraying due to the lack of hems around the edges, that's to be expected.  It wouldn't have looked appropriate to have hems on this guy's outer clothes.

There's also an interior cloak or dress - although I don't think you'd want to tell him he's wearing a dress - that covers his leg armor.  Under that is a shirt/pants uni with tight fitting legs.  The leg armor (front and back) is attached to the legs of the uni.  The quality on all the garments is quite high, with a great fit and excellent materials.

The one piece of re-use is the belt - that's the same one Gandalf has.

Accessories - ***
Old Wraithy has two accessories, both of the swords.  There's the shorter blade, similar to the one used to stab Frodo (but too large to actually be that blade).  It comes in a scabbard which can easily be attached to the belt.

Then there's the second sword, a big, honking, mamma jamma of a blade.  This bad boy is as tall as the Ringwraith, and even comes with it's own scabbard.  Obviously this is a weapon for a horse mounted figure - the scabbard is way to long for him to wear.

Both blades are nicely sculpted, with a good paint wash, but the plastic is a little flimsy, due to safety regulations.

Value - ***
You should be able to find these for $20 - $22 at retail, and it's a very good price.  Consider the 12" Star Wars line, which is inferior in articulation, accessories, and quite often outfits, and they are at the same price point.

Overall - ***
Had the cowl sculpt been slightly better, matching the robe color and losing the obvious neck post, this would have gotten another half star without any hesitation.  But those two points are fairly major, and along with the loose joints, they made what could have been a great figure into merely a decent figure.

Where to Buy - 
I picked mine up at TRU, where they were $22 each. On-line:

- Entertainment Earth has a case for $170, which has six figures, so that's about $30 each when you factor in shipping.  (MROTW Affiliate)

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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