Farscape D'argo

I have to be honest - I'm not a huge fan of the show Farscape.  I've watched it on a few occasions, and have found it at least moderately enjoyable, but like many shows of this type it helps if you watch the show on a regular basis.  That way you get a much better understanding of the characters, their motivations, and any arching themes.

That being said, I was still interested in seeing the new Farscape figures.  Let's face it, these are some interesting looking characters, and have the potential to be a terrific line of action figures.  These are produced by Toy Vault, known previously for their Astro City and Lord of the Rings toys.  I found all four general release figures - D'argo, Crichton, Chiana, and Zhaan - at Software Etc. for $9.99.  One more figure, Aeryn Sun, is a Another Universe ( exclusive.  There is a second series already announced, and supposedly plans for up to 20 figures.  However, just like Astro City, I'm sure it will depend on how well these first figures sell.

Packaging - ***
These are some of the nicest bubble packages I've seen in quite awhile.  The graphics are attractive, with some great use of color, and I like the tear drop design.  They are great looking and sturdy, a plus for the MOMC folks.

One odd note - these toys are intended for children 8 and up (odd enough), and on the back of the card it says "Packing has to be kept since it contains important information".

Accessories - ***
D'argo comes with his dagger, sand mask and Qualta blade (which doubles as a sword and pulse rifle).  All three accessories are nicely done, particularly his trademark sword.  There is also a pleather belt/harness that is removable.  While it looks very good, be careful with it - it appears to be easily ripped.

Sculpting - ***
The sculpt work is very well done, and the addition of 'real' braids coming off of the sculpted beard really add to the quality of this figure.  The expression fits D'argo perfectly as well.  The sculpting on Zhaan was also extremely good, but both Crichton and Chiana were less impressive.

On D'argo, the only weak point to the sculpt isn't the head, but the hands.  The left hand is sculpted in a closed fist, making it impossible for D'argo to hold both his dagger and sword at the same time.

Paint - **
Unfortunately, what is a good sculpt is hurt by a lousy paint job.  Some of it is well done - the black on the chest and face, for example - but other areas are just terrible, including the gray paint on the chest and arms.  Be careful picking out your figure and try to find the one with the best paint application possible.

Articulation - *1/2
The back of the package claims 'multiple points of articulation'.  I suppose anything more than 1 can be considered multiple, but this figures greatest failure is it's lack of decent articulation.

It has neck (which is almost useless due to the headsculpt), shoulders (cut joints), wrists and waist.  That's 6, but the waist and neck don't give you much.

Elbows should have been automatic, along with hips and knees.  The lower body is simply one solid block of plastic, and that's unacceptable by today's standards.

Value - **1/2
I'm assuming you'll find these at Toys R Us eventually, probably for around 8 bucks.  The price point is a little high, but not extreme.

Overall - **1/2
Perhaps if I'd picked up Zhaan, this score might have been slightly higher.  The paint work looked better there, but I suspect she has the same articulation problems.  I wouldn't have rated Chiana or Crichton any higher from what I could see at the store.

Toy Vault hasn't hit a home run yet - the Astro City figures were less than stellar, and while the Lord of the Rings figures were good, they aren't at the level of a company like Sideshow yet.  They are going in the right direction though, improving with each new release.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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