Battlestar Galactica series 1
Chief Tyrol, Helo, and Sam Anders

I reviewed the 'regular' release of Battlestar Galactica a week or so ago, so tonight I'll look at the three exclusives - Chief Tyrol is exclusive to the DST website, Samuel Anders (exclusive to Big Bad Toy Store), and Helo (an Action Figure Express exclusive).

I don't have run sizes on these exclusives, but considering the current market, I'm betting it's not a lot. You can expect to pay around $15 to $16 for these guys, slightly more than the regular run figures but not too exorbitant.

As with the previous review, these guys haven't yet hit their prospective retailers, so you can consider this an 'early review'.  I think they should be in stores before Christmas however, hopefully quite soon.

Packaging - **1/2
I mentioned in the previous post that the packages don't do a lot for me.  They tend to be oversized, without much personalization.  The cardback/bubble style is easier to get into than a clamshell of course, but they'll be more prone to shelf wear and just as hard to store.

Sculpting - Tyrol ***;  Anders, Helo **1/2;
I enjoyed the head sculpts on the regular series a bit more than these three, but the body work on those was what really sold them.  Here, the less detailed uniforms don't do as much to bring up the mediocre head sculpts.

Tyrol is the best looking head sculpt of the set.  Aaron Douglas, who plays Tyrol, has one of those unique faces with lots of personality, and they've used that here to do a pretty good job of capturing him.  With the uniformed body attached to the neck, you'll recognize the character.  Without the body, you might think it's Mickey Dolenz, but at least he and Douglas look alike in real life.  It's not a perfect sculpt (those lips look pretty wonky), but it's certainly decent for the scale and price point.

Tyrol's uniform is the most complex of the three, and looks good.  The drab color loses some of the detail, but it's appropriate to the show.  The hands are sculpted to hold the accessories, always a plus, and he stands great on his own.

Anders has the large, buff body you'd expect, but the head sculpt isn't doing it for me.  I think this is largely the fault of the hair, which gives him a bit of a pin head shape to his skull, with the large jaw appearing much wider than the top of his head.  It could also be that the eyes are close set, while the jaw is so wide.  That jaw is really wide!  I also think this head sculpt suffered a bit in the shrink down to 7", and I suspect the two up looked much better.

Of the three, and in fact the whole first series, I'm the least impressed with Helo (Karl Agathon).  He's portrayed by Tahmoh Penikett (how's that for a funky name?), and I think looks very little like either the actor OR the character.

The hairline is obviously all wrong, but the large lips aren't helping any either.  What saves him from any lower of a score though is the well done uniform sculpt, with some nice small details like the buttons and badges.

Don't be surprised when you see re-use though, even in the body sculpts.  For example, both Helo and Anders share the same legs, just done in different colors.

Anders and Helo have well sculpted hands that work great with the included accessories, and they stand great on their own, both factors that help elevate their sculpt score.

One big plus though is that the scale is good with other 7" figures, and not all the men are simply the same size in either height or bulk.  This variety helps make the display both more realistic and more interesting.

Paint - **
I was a bit disappointed in the paint work on all three of these figures.

There's slop on most of the faces, and a number of the cut lines (like the lip edges or eyebrows) are weak and uneven.  The eyebrows are their own issue, looking a little too much like a 1950's spinster librarian who's wound a little too tight.  The brown eyebrows on the black haired Tyrol looks odd, and most of them are offset a bit from the actual brow ridge.

Even the costumes, normally the strong suit for DST< are a bit weak here.  Helos has a nomber of sloppy lines and stray marks, and Tyrol's uniform has a tad too much gloss.  Anders outfit is plain enough that you can't do much wrong, but his face is the worst when it comes to dirt and stray marks.

Articulation - Anders ***1/2; Tyrol, Helo ***
This line has the increased articulation over the Stargate figures, and I'm liking it.

They have the ball jointed shoulders (much like the old NECA shoulders), cut biceps and thighs, pin elbows and knees, cut wrists and ankles, cut waist, and even the cool T hips that move not just forward and back, but out to the sides extremely well.

They all three have ball jointed necks as well, but Anders is the only one that gets full credit for it.  His works extremely well, with not just forward and backward movement, but a good tilt too.  Tyrol and Helo don't have the range of movement that I expected, and they really don't tilt back well at all.  Both tend to be stuck looking downward, and it's very limiting.

Accessories - Tyrol ***; Anders **1/2; Helo **
These don't have the accessories that the regular release do, not even re-used accessories.

Tyrol does the best, with two very cool guns and a medic bag.  Helo does the worst, because he has only the re-used weapon.  At least it fits in his holster though - Anders gets a hand gun that's different (which is cool) but the same exact big ass holster into which it fits poorly (which is not cool).  There's also a second gun for Anders which makes up a bit for the handgun.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
Like the regular series, these are actually a lot of fun.  The articulation is what helps here, and kids could actually enjoy playing with these...if they had any idea who the Hell they are.

Value - **1/2
The regular figures run around $13, while these run around $16.   Considering the lower run size and exclusivity, that's about average these days.  You won't feel to ecstatic about paying it, but you won't feel totally ripped off either.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Nothing noteworthy.  Obviously, you'll want to pick out the best ones you can, since the paint quality is clearly an issue.  But once you get them out of the package, you should find them to be quite sturdy.

Overall - Tyrol ***; Anders, Helo **1/2
I'm not quite as enamored with these as I was with the regular releases.  Partly this is due to some slightly weaker head sculpts, but it's also do to the slightly less interesting uniforms.  There isn't as much to the body sculpts to help boost the overall sculpt score when the heads are on the weak side.

The additional issue is around the paint of course.  I might have just gotten a poor set, but I'd pay particular attention to it if I was getting them off the peg.

Like the first series, the articulation is great, and if you're a huge fan of the show, you should at least give Tyrol a second look.  Or maybe if you're doing a set of custom figures of The Monkees. 

Score Recap:
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpt - Tyrol ***;  Anders, Helo **1/2;
Paint - **
Articulation - Anders ***1/2; Tyrol, Helo ***
Accessories - Tyrol ***; Anders **1/2; Helo **
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - Tyrol ***; Anders, Helo **1/2

Where to Buy -
Other than the obvious (Action Figure Exrpess for Helo,  nline sources include these recommended Sponsors:

- Amazing Toyz has all the singles for the $13 - $16 range (including exclusives), and package deals for 3, 4 or 5 figures.

- CornerStoreComics has the singles for around $13, with package deals on the figures as well.

- Alter Ego has the regular set of three figures for $48.42, or the Caprica Six for $13.59.

- Time and Space Toys has a deal on the set of 5 (no Tyrol or Andors) for $60, or a set of 6 (just excluding Tyrol) for $75.  You can get Tyrol free with the purchase of a $100 gift certificate, and you can get the exclusive Helo or Anders for $16.

- Related Links -
Other Battlestar Galactica reviews include:

- I covered the other four figures from this wave just recently.

- there were several 12" figures from Majestic Studios. 

- they also did sixth scale modern Cylons.

- there was a small scale Viper and Raider.

- there's also several small scale figures based on the original show, including this Cylon.



Share this review with others!
  Digg it!    StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!     Reddit

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour