Packaging - ***1/2
The Monty Python boxes are simply hilarious. With lots of text written
in the style of the movie, right down to the warning labels, it shows the
level of thought and ingenuity that Sideshow puts into the packaging. Unlike
the first series which came in the flimsier window boxes, these are the
newer fifth panel boxes. They are much nicer, and it's a shame to toss
Unfortunately, they loose a
half star since they aren't completely collector friendly. They've
bubbled the shields to the insert, and you'll have to damage the beautiful
work to get everything out.
Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpting actually varies fairly widely on these, and the score is an
average. Some like Lancelot and Robin are dead on, while others like
Galahad are off a bit. I'd say that the Arthur and Bedevre are in the
Since people tend to focus more
on the negative than the postive, I'll try to explain my reluctance with
Galahad. The face appears to chubby, and it may be that the weak paint
ops (I'll get to that a little later) are actually hurting the sculpt.
But that's the only negative,
and Robin and Lancelot are excellent work. Lancelot is actually bald
under the hood, so if you have a need for a cueball Cleese for some sort of
While the likeness on Arthur is
fairly good, I suspect some folks will have a problem with the crown being a
permanent attachment. It doesn't bother me, and I understand the need
to keep the 'chain mail' on his head. But it's certainly worth
mentioning for those that will find an issue with it.
Likewise, Bedevre's helmet is actually
part of the sculpt. I think more people will understand the need,
since getting this style of helmet on or off would have been pretty tricky,
and end up being oversized.
Paint - ***1/2
The paint ops on this set would be a four star rating if not for one thing -
poor Galahad's need for a little time in a tanning booth.
All four characters have
extremely clean work on the faces, with no bleed or slop. The eyes are
done well, and there's no brown from the facial hair wandering on to the
face. And all the skin tones look good except...
Poor Galahad. Couldn't
have Zoot, and needs a little pigment as well. He looks washed out and
far too white, even for a British guy. It makes his smile a bit
ghastly looking, with the lips standing out far too much on the pale skin.
Outfit - ****
If there's one category that stands out on this set, it's the
outfits. The stitching and quality of the material is excellent, and
the choice of material for the 'chain mail' is perfect. The tailoring
is great, and all three layers of the uniform fit perfectly.
There are also a number of
sculpted pieces - gauntlets, elbow and shoulder armor. How much and
what it's like varies by character, and there is some re-use. But
overall the sculpting on these pieces, along with the paint ops, are
excellent. The outfits match up to the source material extremely well,
and they show great attention to detail.
Each figure also has two belts,
a small, multicolored cloth one, and the larger pleather one holding the
sword scabbard. The pleather used here is a tad thin, and you want to
be careful not to tear it.
This isn't a costume designed
to be removed though, and if you're looking to switch the bodies or heads,
you're in for some effort.
The big difference between this
release and the original is the mud splattering. Rather than just
throw mud in their general direction, they muddied the lower half, getting
less muddy as they moved upward. That makes sense, and looks far
better than just letting the mud fly. If there's one negative to the
mud, it's that the feet are all clean, which clashes a bit with the rest of
Quality - **1/2
I normally don't put this category up for Sideshow - I've never had a
quality issue. But either I got a bad batch this time, or something
slipped a bit, because I ended up pulling out the super glue not once, but
three times. I had the handle on one shield pop off, the strap on
another shield come loose, and the strap on one of Bedevere's elbow pads pop
loose. I'm also counting the thinner pleather for the belt as a
Parts breaking or coming apart
is pretty unusual for Sideshow, and it was quite surprising to me.
Hopefully it's simply an aberration.
Articulation - ***1/2
The Sideshow body is one of the three best - bbi and Dragon are the other
two. There's plenty of articulation, with neck, ball jointed shoulders
and hips, double jointed elbows and knees, wrists, cut biceps and thighs,
ankles, chest and waist.
I had no trouble getting these to stand or hold a variety of poses, and
the joints were nice and tight. The only reason for losing a half star
is the lack of the ball joint they sometimes have at the neck, and the loss
of the cool special wrist joint they normally use. Both of these are
gone because of some of the restrictions of the helmets or gauntlets.
While it's not a huge deal for this line, it's still worth mentioning.
Accessories - ***1/2
There are four accessories with each figure, and all are really re-uses with
some slight variations.
The most obvious is the shield, well sculpted and nicely painted.
These have the muddy effect as well, rising from the bottom toward the
middle. Each is adorned with the same crest as their uniform, done
with great care.
Each also comes with a scabbard and sword, all identical except for the
slightly more intricate 'Excalibur' version of Arthur's. The big plus
here is the stiff plastic - I wish Toybiz was making swords like these for
the LOTR 12" line.
The final accessory is a book for each, turned to an appropriate page for
that character. The page that they are turned to is actually a
sticker, and not actually painted or printed right on the book itself.
Value - ***
Sideshow normally sells their figures for $40 on their site, but you can
pick up this entire set for $150, which is $30 each. That's far more
in line with other retailers, and with that kind of price at the on-line
store there's a good chance you might find them even cheaper.
By the way, these are a run of 5000 this time around,
whereas the first run of non-dirty knights was 10,000.
Overall - ***
While many folks picked up the first set and therefore are unlikely to
need this set, it's a good way for Sideshow to get new collectors into the
series. Keeping the run size low was smart, and if I hadn't had the
quality issues with my set they would have ended up with another half star.
Where to Buy -
Some specialty shops, and stores like Spencer's or Media Play, have
carried the previous figures, usually for around $30 each. On-line:
- Sideshow Toy has this set
of five for $150 plus shipping. (MROTW Affliate)
Earth has a great price with all five at $120 plus shipping, or a case
to share with another person at $225 (only $22.50 each) but it looks like
they are already out of stock. You might want to call them
though. (MROTW Affiliate)
Sniper has them listed at $125 for the set, but it still says
preorder. I'm betting they just haven't updated the page yet though,
so give them a call first.