Inglorious Basterds - Hans Landa
following is a guest review. The review
and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford
or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the
|It's time for Aldo Raine to get
some company - tell us all about it, Jeff!
Once upon a time in Nazi occupied France…I guess that opening salvo let
the audience know we were firmly in the arena of fantasy, and as the
movie progressed that became more and more apparent.
I liked this movie, in a many ways it would be hard not to, but I still
think it’s far from Tarantino’s best work. However, as always he
delivers the entertainment in a style that not only sets him apart as a
modern auter, but he makes it all seem so effortles.
In the past Hot Toys have done plenty of movies where only one
character ends up getting represented. This can be for any number of
reasons, but the factors that tend to come into play are –
1. How popular the movie is (obvious really).
2. How popular the character is (ditto).
3. How popular the actor portraying the character is (it ain’t rocket
4. How visually iconic/interesting the supporting characters are.
5. How well received the first figural release is, and what the
feedback from the fans /collectors is like.
Prince of Persia = 1 figure
Clash of the Titans = 1 figure
Wolverine = 1 figure
Edward Scissorhands = 1 figure
The Spirit = 3 figures… oh, hang on… OK, it doesn’t always work!
But what I’m trying to say is that there was a time when it seemed we
would only ever get the figure of Aldo Raine (which I reviewed here) from Inglorious
Basterds, and on this occasion it would have been a crying shame if
that had been the case.
Well because although Brad Pitt was the star, with his name writ large
atop the movie poster, there’s no denying he hammed the role of Raine
up to the max, gurning for his life. Luckily Brad managed to walk the
tightrope of extreme character and extreme caricature very well, so
although it was an over the top portrayal, it still managed to work.
However he was totally acted off the screen by his on screen nemesis
Colonel Hans Landa, played by the talented actor, writer and director
Waltz’s name was not writ large on the poster; in fact he was virtually
unknown in Hollywood as his back catalogue, although impressive was
almost exclusively made up of work on German television, apart from the
odd guest appearance here and there in Australian of European dramas.
But he still managed to totally steal the show, almost making the movie
his alone, and in a large ensemble cast movie like this, that’s quite a
And his performance was rewarded by many prestigious motion picture
award panels, including the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences as they awarded him the best supporting actor role
for his portrayal of ‘the Jew hunter’.
So ultimately what we have here is great representation of the
character, but the character happens to be Nazi, and lets face it all
sane people, and I quote Dr Jones here- ‘really hate those guys’.
So could this figure be the one that makes it acceptable to have a Nazi
officer on your shelf… well I’d go so far as to say that if you already
have the Aldo Raine figure, he’s almost an essential purchase, but
obviously it’s up to the individual, and figures of this type will
always be controversial. I shall however be reviewing him strictly by
the criteria of how well it represents the character as seen in the
movie, and I’m not giving too much away by saying it’s pretty damn spot
|Packaging - ****
I liked the box for Aldo, and I like this as well, which isn’t
surprising as it follows the exact same layout and design principles.
It has a lift off lid that once again has a spot varnished, broad
vertical red blood stripe with a monochrome photo of the character out
of it. Inside we have a die cut card overlay through which we see the
fully constructed and dressed figure. This whole tray lifts out to
expose a second tray that houses his accessories.
So, this is another cool bit of packaging that sits very well next to
the Aldo Raine box, nothing to complain about at all!
Sculpting - ***3/4
The work that KoJun did on the Aldo Raine figure was truly outstanding,
so if we were going to get a shelf partner for him he was gonna have to
be pretty outstanding. This time around KoJun was the artistic
director, but the actual portrait was carried out by Jeon Young Tae and
he has done a fabulous job. The expression is stern and stoic, and not
dissimilar to this
or even this
which works well for a broad range of poses, but it has to be said a
smiling expression, or even a smirking extra head would have been a
really cool addition. That’s not to say this isn’t an amazing portrait
because it truly is.
When we first got a sneak peek of the figure at the various conventions
this year (and indeed the first proto pics)
the early criticisms were that he looked too old, and the lines and
wrinkles on his face were too extreme, and since then the face appears
to have been revised and much improved, however it still doesn’t reach
the lofty heights of a full score. I personally think the face needs to
be ever so slightly leaner and maybe longer as Waltz has a thin face
and his mouth even has a slight asymmetry. However the observations on
the dimpled chin and the shape of the nose are fantastic. The line of
the jaw is also well executed as are the eyes, but I do feel the eyes
may have needed to be ever so slightly further apart.
My only other slight gripe is the hair. The detailing is crisp and
beautifully carried out, especially around the greying sideburns, but
in most pics you’ll see of Landa his forelock stands slightly higher
and prouder of his brow which isn’t represented here.
So to sum up this is great portrait, not a perfect one, but still a
bloody good one. It’s also definitely Christoph Waltz, but it’s
stronger from some angles than others!
The only area that is extensively painted here is the head sculpt, and
it is as we would expect near perfection. The flesh tones are natural
and expertly applied, the eyes have that JC Hong trademark glint and as
always manage to look wet and bring the figure very much to life.
The hair is expertly applied and manages to achieve the illusion of
having some slightly lighter streaking and greying temples and
Once again this is a master class in how 1/6th paint should be applied
and is nothing short of awesome.
The outfit doesn’t impact
too much on the posing of this guy, admittedly when he has the leather
coat on over the dress jacket and shirt then he does lose a little
mobility, but if you’ve ever worn a leather coat over a jacket and
shirt you’ll know that it does make you feel a little over swaddled, so
there is no surprise that the figure also displays this. I was however
hugely impressed that like the DX01 Joker figure, even with all these
layers on he still looks very natural and stands and poses well, but
this is down to the expert tailoring and fabric sourcing carried out.
The base body seems to be a narrow shouldered TT as I went over in my
low-down here and here. Anyone who
collects 1/6th knows these bodies are still amongst the strongest on
the market, if not THE strongest. And once again it serves us well here
making for a hugely poseable figure.
I like this outfit a lot, but there is one element holding it back from
perfection, and that is the hat… and even that isn’t terrible, it just
isn’t perfect, where as just about every other element is! It’s like
the curse of Jill Valentine and Sarah Connor all over again, a
virtually faultless outfit, but let down by the hat… but more on that
He comes wearing a fantastic pair of pleather boots, meaning that
virtually all the ankle articulation is still there. They have a solid
base, which is moulded to mimic a hob-nailed sole with toe and heel
tacs; this is then welted to a fabricated pleather upper. These are
just about the nicest boots I have seen delivered this year… and it’s
been a good year for boots (just look at Aldo Raine as well). Next up
are his trousers, these are tailored in the traditional riding britches
style that tuck into the boots and have a wide thigh area, they also
have working pockets throughout, two flapped pockets at the rear, two
cut pockets at the hips and a small watch/key pocket to the right of
the velcro fly.
He also has a collarless white cotton shirt that fits well and manages
not to add too much bulk, even when the jacket is worn over the top.
This officer’s jacket has four working patch pockets on its front along
with a dark green velvet collar and various ribbons, medals and
insignia. In fact, if you look REALY closely you’ll see that the badge
on the left pocket (based on this design)
doesn’t actually have a swastika on it, but rather a tiny 96. A cool
move for those that if offends and also from a marketing angle as it
can still be sold in Germany.
Next up is the extremely cool double breasted leather great coat, based
on the classic design as seen here.
It has two working pockets, a tethered back belt, silver braided
shoulder epaulets and is fully lined, and it even has a wire running
through the bottom hem to aid in getting it to hang right and for
posing. The thing that really makes this stand out though is the great
tailoring and fantastic material sourcing; it manages to look like it’s
virtually in perfect scale. Take a close look at the seams, buttons and
fine detailing on the doubled over epaulets and you’ll see what I mean!
Well that’s the perfect bit over… now the hat!
It’s based on the cap that Landa wears at the beginning of the film and
is a soft collapsible design meaning the badges are soft ‘implied’
embroidered rather than solid/metal. The construction is on the whole
well carried out with the white piping accurately circumnavigating the
brim and the edges of the black velvet. However the underside of the
pleather brim has a white stitched webbing backing, from most angles
this is virtually invisible, but from the few that it isn’t it can be a
little jarring. And the other problem is it is just a little too big,
it fits the head well but the scaling is a tad off (as fabric 1/6th
hats often are). So, as I said it’s not a bad hat by a long stretch,
but it just doesn’t manage to accurately convey the one we see on
screen. Perhaps if you are a braver man than me you might try a water
treatment and scrunching it up a little, if you do please let me know,
I’d love to see how it looks, but for now my Landa will be posed
holding his cap rather than wearing it.
Landa comes with a cool and pertinent selection, we get-
- Walther P38 automatic pistol
- Holster for pistol (stitched pleather)
- Grey gloves (1 pair, stitched fabric)
- Briefcase (pleather finish with working clasps)
- Black leather coat
- Peaked hat with badges
- Figure stand with nameplate
His pistol and holster are identical to the ones we got with Aldo, the
holster is made of stitched pleather rather than just moulded plastic,
but I did find on this occasion the gun was a tighter fit to get
inside, so I figured rather than force it I’d just store it separately,
as when the holster is fastened shut with the strap you can’t see the
gun anyway. It can be jammed right in, but as I say, this time I
decided not to push it. The gun itself has a removable magazine, a
working hammer and when you slide the case back to cock it you can see
the round in the chamber. The Bavarian smoking pipe is a nice touch,
it’s well observed and fits both the gripping hands well, but there’s
not much more to say about it than that… it’s a pipe!
The briefcase is also made of stitched pleather and has a tiny metal
swing latch and working metal claps that slot through holes in the flap
and then just fold over on themselves. There is a sheet of padding
inside to add a little bulk, but I’m guessing a few purists out there
might make a few scale documents to put inside. He also comes with some
grey fabric gloves, with patience I would imagine these can be put onto
the open hands, but in all honesty they look better just held as an
accessory, but kudos is due for actually making them working gloves
Next up is the coat, I consider it an accessory as it comes packed
separately, but I went over it in detail above… and likewise the hat.
Lastly we also get the classic figure stand, but guess what… mines
still in the box.
So, a good selection, but not quite Aldo Raine good!
Hans is still available to pre-order at sideshow for the full RRP of
$149.99 a whole $10 cheaper than Aldo Raine (who at the time of writing
this was still available as a ‘last chance’ offer) but if you
use one of Mikes sponsors linked to on the front page and below you can
get him for over $15 less which in my crazy 1/6th addled mind makes
this a sweet deal. Even though Hans comes with that very cool coat and
few other nice extras he just can’t compete with the little arsenal
that Aldo Raine came equipped with, even if he was ‘officially’ $10
more expensive. My score here is based on the more reasonable $135
price that he can still be found for… at the moment anyway!
Factor - ***1/2
Call me old fashioned, but I know when I was a kid the battles my
Action Man figures had were about 90% Tommy’s vs Gerry’s. So I had
Allied forces and Nazi outfits to put them in. My two favourites were
the ‘Escape from Colditz’ outfit for the good guy and the classic
German storm-trooper as seen here
but I also had a soft spot for the French resistance operative as seen here.
So these two figures from Inglorious Basterds bring those old nostalgic
memories flooding back. Of course it’s still questionable as to whether
an adult let alone a child should be able to buy Nazi dolls, but as I
said in another review recently, denial of the past is as much a
fascist step as enforced censorship, as long as these things
aren’t glorified or celebrated, then I personally have no
problem with them. If you do, I apologise.
OK, checklist. The outfit is outstanding, the hat is the only weak
point but even that ain’t too bad, the body is a classic narrow TT so
nothing to complain about there, the paint is as close to manufactured
perfection as is available on the market at this present time and the
sculpt is very, very strong… not perfect, but from some angles it’s
the hat and sculpt are the only things holding this back from a perfect
mark. I’m being pretty strict here because as Hot Toys improve with
virtually every release I think I need to at least try and hold back on
those perfect marks for the figures that fire like a V8 on all
this is still a damn fine looking figure, and he does look pretty
awesome standing alongside Aldo Raine, shweet.
Where to buy
As I said above under value he is still available at Sideshow for
pre-order at the full RRP of $149.99, but there are some bargains to be
had below from Mike’s sponsors.
collector - pre-order $133.99
Ego - pre-order $134.99
Fan Boy -
- pre-order $139.99
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.