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Dastan - Prince of Persia
Hot Toys

Dastan Prince of Persia sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


As I was watching the Prince of Persia, I could almost hear the conversation around the Disney board room table. Let's face it, they want another Pirates of the Caribbean. They tried a similar formula, and missed the mark. By a mile. Don't get me wrong, I like Jake Gyllenhaal. But he was all wrong as the lead, and didn't create the kind of character that leaves a lasting impression.

Hot Toys jumped on the license early, and are producing the main character - Dastan. I doubt we'll see any additional figures from the series, but if you're building yourself a shelf of action movie leads, he might fit in. As you might expect, he's not cheap, but he's not one of the more expensive Hot Toys figures. Coming in around $150, he's just started shipping to most distributors.
Dastan Prince of Persia sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Dastan Prince of Persia sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Dastan Prince of Persia sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Dastan Prince of Persia sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Dastan Prince of Persia sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Dastan Prince of Persia sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Dastan Prince of Persia sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Dastan Prince of Persia sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Dastan Prince of Persia sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Dastan Prince of Persia sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Packaging - ***1/2
The box is pretty standard - photo from the film on the front, shot of the figure on the back, some basic text. Inside is a small instruction sheet that explains some of the assembly, which is always a plus, especially with two costumes, belts and various other doodads.

It's all collector friendly as well, with no damage necessary. You can remove the figure and all the accessories without damage, although this time around you need to be very careful. It's easy to rip the soft cardboard tray that holds the jacket and shirt.

Sculpting - **1/2
Hot Toys do some of the nicest head sculpts on the market. Most of the time.

But if you need proof that nobody is perfect, look no further. I found a slight resemblance to Jake as Dastan...if I turned my head to one side and squinted until my eyes watered.

That's not to say the sculpt isn't realistic. That's one aspect that Hot Toys never gets wrong. The skin is softly textured, the slight facial hair looks excellent, and the eyes and eyebrows are very life-like.

The hair has the usual detailed stranding, but the hair line makes it appear to be a separate piece. Of course it is, but you shouldn't be able to tell that quite so easily.

The hand sculpts work great, and the figure stands fine on his own in tons of stances. But this is not one of Hot Toys better likenesses. I suppose if you have to stumble, it's best to do it on a license that has less mass appeal.

Paint - ****
While the portrait might not look a whole lot like Dastan, it's certainly not the fault of the paint. Once again, Hot Toys shows us how good production paint work can be.

The skin tone is perfect, and the softly sculpted facial hair has just the right amount of paint to highlight the stubble. The eyes are clean, straight and life-like, and even the chest hair is well done. While that might seem silly, it's more important with the royal costume than you might imagine.

Articulation - ***1/2
We've seen this hairy chest a few times before, and it's the go to body for Hot Toys when they have a figure that doesn't wear a ton of torso clothing. The articulation is better hidden, and it's buff, but these changes reduce the articulation somewhat.

The neck has the double ball joint, one at the bottom, one at the top. I pulled the head off three times, and two of those times the interior neck post came with it. It's not that difficult to get back in place, but it's still a tad annoying.

The neck is also a bit giraffish with a figure that lacks any shirt or coat. The slightly long neck looks better in the shirt and coat than just the armor.

I'm not too keen on the limited elbow articulation, especially with a fighting character like Dastan. You can get some decent sword wielding poses, but you'll want to make sure that the movement doesn't damage the leather armor straps that wrap around the elbows.

Accessories - ***1/2
There's a very nice assortment of extras with this figure, some for each costume.

Let's start with the weapons. There are his two large curved swords, with intricate designs and bright silver edges. They look terrific, and fit nicely in his hands.

There are two sleeves to hold them on his back, and these work well - sort of. They hold the swords great, but don't attach to the back of the rubber armor particularly well. I couldn't keep them in place for long, and the fit wasn't tight. You'll either need to glue them on, or skip them altogether.

There's also a set of knives, and these fit in sleeves on the alternate belt. The knives look great as well, and fit in either of the gripping hands.

There are two sets of additional hands. That means you have a relaxed left and right, with the left including the armor. There's also a gripping right and left, and the left again has the armor. Finally, there's two lefts - relaxed and gripping - that don't have the armor, more suited for the royal costume.

Also intended for the royal costume is the necklace, which fits over the neck once you have the head removed. It looks great, and is nicely scaled.

Finally, there's the knife that was central to the entire story of the Sands of Time. The blade and handle have tons of fine detail and look just like the screen counterpart, but the handle lacks any sand. Sadly, that means you won't be able to reverse time.

There's extra wrist pegs and the usual display stand, which we get with every Hot Toys release these days.

Outfit - ***
There are two unique outfits - the armored battle costume, and his royal princely costume.

He comes wearing the armor, which includes a soft rubber torso, rubber and leather arm bands, and soft rubber sculpted boots.

There's also a triple buckle belt, which is one long belt made from three belts connected. That means when you detach one buckle, you'll be able to unwrap the entire belt.

Under the belt, there's also a red sash. This is used with both costumes, in slightly different ways.

The nicely tailored pants and well sculpted boots go with both costumes. You pop off the head, and remove the torso armor to switch. Removing the armor is a much easier to say than do, unfortunately.

The top half simply pops free in back, and can then fold over the neck. But to remove the lower half, you must untie the three tiny strings in back, and these are very, very hard to get back in place once removed. In fact, when you do try to put them back in place, you'll absolutely need a needle to thread them through the tiny holes.

I left the armor on the arms - the shirt and jacket will cover it, and you really don't need any more frustration.

The shirt goes on first, then place the red sash around his neck, folded over at his waist. Then attach the extra belt, which requires unbuckling and re-buckling three - count them, three - tiny buckles. The straps on these buckles wrap around and tie over themselves, and getting that right requires a pair of needle nose pliers.

Then the outer jacket goes on, the necklace, the hands and then, finally, the head. I gotta tell you that getting this outfit on was one of the most frustrating experiences I've had with recent Hot Toys figures.

I did all that just to get a few shots of him in the outfit, and once I was done, I spent the next half hour going back to the armor. Untying the triple buckles was the first problem, but was doable with the needle nose pliers. Putting the armor on his torso wasn't bad, except for the very thin strings that need to be tied in back. Without a needle, you'll never get them threaded in the small loops, and even once you do, you'll need to tie them in a bow - no easy task with normal human hands.

While both costumes look great in place, they were both extremely frustrating to work with. If you plan on switching to the royal duds, I'd suggest sticking with them. This is one of those situations where you'll want to commit to one outfit or the other, and stick with it.

Fun Factor - **
The figure turned out to be one of the most frustrating I've worked with in quite some time. There's no way a kid would tolerate or manage the difficult clothing, and even most adults will find their patience worn thin.

Value - **
It's nice to see figures from Hot Toys still coming out in the $150 range, but with all the issues I had with the costume and the portrait, it's not as good of a value as usual. When you're spending that much money, you should expect perfection, something that you normally get from Hot Toys. This time they dropped the ball.

Things to Watch Out For -
When placing the knife in the front of the belt on the royal costume, be very careful. The tip is sharp enough to poke a hole in the white shirt - I know all too well.

And as I said earlier, you'll want to stick with one costume or the other, because swapping is just too stressful and frustrating.

Overall - ***
Even when Hot Toys does a mediocre job, it's well above the norm. Here, they make a couple major mistakes, but the overall package is still B work.

The head sculpt is lacking, certainly when it comes to it being a screen accurate likeness. It's a life-like portrait, but it's not Gyllenhaal as Dastan.

Both outfits look great once he's outfitted, but swapping between the costumes is extremely time consuming and frustrating. If you think past outfits have been difficult, you have quite a treat in store with this one.

I appreciate the level of accuracy, but you have to be able to go from one to the other without damaging them or without putting your fist through a wall.

The accessories are also well done, as usual. I particularly like the swords, but the knife is nothing to sneeze at. Here the sculpt detailing and paint work is top notch, and it's these accessories and the excellent overall paint work that keeps this figure from dropping another half star.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - **1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***1/2
Outfit - ***
Fun Factor - **
Value - **
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Urban Collector has him at $152.

- Alter Ego Comics has him for $153.

- Big Bad Toy Store has him at $160.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Somewhat surprisingly, at least to me, is the fact that I didn't cover any of the small Prince of Persia figures that came out with them movie. Hmmm. Keep an eye out though, because I may cover a couple of the United Cutlery prop replicas.

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Dastan Prince of Persia sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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