The figure hasn't been without
its further controversy. About a month ago, Hasbro's system sent out
emails to all the folks that had pre-ordered, saying the product was
canceled. Calls into Hasbro revealed systems issues. They had updated
their ship date to a later period, but the system had decided to cancel
all the current orders when that occurred. Reps suggested people
re-order at this point, but they did manage to get all the old orders
reinstated within a few days.
This guy is a 'limited edition'.
There's no word on what that actually means yet in terms of how many
are produced, and we may never get official word. But at this price
point, you can bet that there won't be a landfill worth produced.
In all fairness, I want to point
out that before receiving this figure, I was not expecting to like it.
After seeing the prototype again at SDCC this last summer, I
did not feel good about him, and so I had already predisposed
assumptions about the final product.
Packaging - ****
Hasbro can produce some really amazing packaging when they get the
itch. The Sigma Six packages were fantastic, and even the work on the
Star Wars figures is usually well done and attractive. But this box is
about the nicest they've ever done.
The exterior box has some
excellent graphics, themed around the film. I like that the outer box
doesn't have the monster, but rather has the same feel of unknown
destruction as the early posters.
The box is also very sturdy for
it's size. It's huge, and often companies will skimp on the cardboard
quality or the quality of the graphics on very large packages. That is
NOT the case here in any way.
The interior of the box is the
city diorama, already assembled. The backdrop is a permanent part of
the box bottom though, which means that the monster will have to stand
inside the box, with the 'lip' of the base rising up a couple inches
all around. At first I didn't like that, but after playing around with
some poses, I found one where the monster was actually coming out of
the base, with his fingers wrapped around the edge of the base with one
hand, and the other in front of the 'lip'. i really like that look, and
the lip does provide the 'Cloverfield' logo to the diorama display.
Sculpting - ***1/2
As I said, I wasn't thrilled with what I'd seen of the prototype, and
early photos of the production figure weren't doing anything to warm
the cockles of my heart. But I was very happily surprised by the
quality and detail of the sculpt once I had him in hand.
The screaming head is the better
version, and you probably aren't surprised. The 'relaxed' version
doesn't have the cool gas bags inflated on his head, and the mouth
looks odd, as though the exposed fangs are stuck on his face rather
than coming out of his mouth. If the screaming head were not included,
this score would have certainly dropped.
But the screaming, angry, I'm
going to eat you in a single bite face looks terrific. The prototype
has painted gas bags, but the final version went with them sculpted in
a translucent pink plastic, and that looks much, much better. There's
still a few issues - the lower fangs are a bit too toyish, and the top
of the head is a bit too smooth - but most folks will be
happy with the screaming version.
The body sculpt is very nice,
with an excellent fine texture sculpted over the entire beast. The
paint doesn't do a lot to bring out this detail, particularly if you
blast it with light, but in person it becomes much more apparent.
There are some extremely obvious
seam lines, which is the single biggest negative for the overall body.
Of course, there's also the
basic issue of the monster design. If you don't like the design, you're
not going to like the toy, so it's a relatively moot point, and not the
issue of this particular figure.
Does he look like he did on
screen? Well, that's awful hard to tell. We don't get to see him a
whole lot on screen, but I do think that they've done a reasonably good
job of capturing the film creature.
Scale is tough to call. The
monster stands anywhere from 14 - 16" on all four feet, depending on
how you bend his knees and ankles. You can also stand him up straight
on his two back legs, although he's not going to stay balanced that way
for long. That means he's in scale with itty-bitty figures, much
smaller than anything you probably have handy. I'd love to hear if
someone comes up with figures that would be in scale, as they'd have to
be around 1/2" tall max.
Paint - *1/2
Unfortunately, the paint work does not support the sculpting.
The problems largely revolve around weird inconsistencies,
thinking that being sloppy translates into realism, and a general
toyish appearance to most of the work.
I suspect that Hasbro doesn't
have the facilities - or the background - in their production area to
create the kind of high end paint work necessary for a figure like
this. More likely, they are just using the same folks that paint the
much cheaper toy lines, and telling them to 'do it better'. That's not
a recipe for success.
My biggest issue is with the
stark differences between the head and torso and the rest of the
figure. The head and torso are very pink, very clean, and with really
no use of a wash to bring out the detail. This is why the
texturing is so hard to appreciate in photos.
Then there's the legs, tail and
pelvis, where they went nuts with a dark wash. I really like the way
they look - if they whole creature looked that way. As it is, it looks
like the feet and tail belong to a completely different monster. The
transition between the heavily paint washed feet and tail and the rest
of the figure aren't smooth or subtle, but rather a stark break.
Now, I get that perhaps they are
trying to give the impression that the lower extremities were getting
dirty from the battle while the upper body was staying a bit cleaner.
It's a nice idea in theory, but the execution simply failed.
Articulation - ***
Whoo boy, this is one very articulated figure. The marketing
blurbs claim he has 70 points of articulation, and I have no problem
agreeing with that.
Each of the 'hands' has
multi-jointed fingers. The two long fingers on the front
hands have three pin/post joints, while the small thumb on the front
hands has one. This pin and post joints are like single sided
ball joints, allowing both forward and backward movement, as well as
the ability to turn.
The back feet have one long toe
with two of these joints, and one shorter toe with one. The ankles and
wrists are all these pin and post joints as well.
The neck is designed to allow
the head to move forward and backward slightly, as well as turn. This
works pretty well for most standard poses, and the heads pop on and off
easily enough for swapping.
The shoulders are the pin/post
style ball joints, with more of these types of ball joints at the elbow
and half way down the forearm. These arm joints are also click style,
allowing them to hold the pose even with the weight of the long arms.
wanted to point out that the shoulders look somewhat awkward no matter
how I turned them. You'll notice that it does seem like
more of a cut to the shoulder on one side than the other, which would
usually indicate the bottom. You'll also notice that in some of the
photos that rounded part is on the top - I turned it around both ways,
and found that for different reasons it didn't look really natural
The waist allows for the ability
to turn, as well as some slight tilting. The hips are only cut joints,
which was my only real disappointment. The right leg on mine tended to
pop off as well. It's easy enough to put back on, but I was constantly
afraid I'd break it.
What passes for his knees are
actually double jointed, with two pins and an knee cap. Further down
the leg there's another of the pin/post style ball joints.
All these joints, including the knees and hips, are clicky
That's a ton of
articulation...but wait! There's more! The tail is bendy,
allowing it to be posed up, out or down. He also has two pelvic claws,
and these have those same ball joints at the pelvis, with double pin
joints about half way down.
The one surprise is that the jaw
is not articulated, until you find out that the tongue is designed to
work as a switch to activate the sound feature.
So with all that amazing
articulation, why not a perfect score? Three reasons. First, some of
the joints (particularly the pelvic claws) have weak pins. Second, not
all the joints are designed to work as well as they could, particularly
in the toes. And third, over time this guy is going to wilt in the
legs. We've seen it with some other large scale amazing figures, like
the NECA Balrog. This guy has a lot of weight in his torso, with very
thin legs. Over time, and probably not that much, I bet we have trouble
keeping him standing in a decent pose. The joints in the legs,
especially the ankles, are just not tight enough. Even with the clicky
feature, this guy is going to wilt.
Accessories - **
Considering the price point, there's not much here. In
fairness, the diorama is part of the extra cost, but I've already
included that in my Packaging discussion and score.
Chloe comes with a severed
Statue of Liberty head, since in the film and trailers rolling down the
street. It's done to look like bronze, and is probably in scale. Again,
you'll have to find some mighty small figures to go with this guy.
There are also supposed to be 10
parasites, the little creatures (little in relation to the larger
monster) that attacked our heroes in the subway tunnel. You'll find
these in their storage compartment in the relaxed head.
I only got nine of them, not
ten, although they are so tiny that it's not surprising that either
they mis-packed them, or I already lost one. Do they look like their
film counterparts? Well...not really. But they are so small,
that getting (or seeing) any detail is pretty much impossible.
Since finding figures in scale
with this guy is going to be tough, a nice accessory would have been
some human victims, just a handful. I would have preferred this to
getting the tiny parasites, since adding a few screaming humans to the
display would have gone a long way to amping it up.
Sound Feature - **
The sound feature works off 3 AAA batteries, included with the figure.
It looks like they won't be too tough to swap, and the battery
compartment is well hid by the swappable heads. The speaker is on
the chest, and the main button to activate the sound is on the back.
However, a cool feature is that the tongue on the screaming head is
also used as a switch!
The big negative here is that he
only does one sound, one of the monster screams heard in the distance
in the film. I searched all over for a 'try me' switch that might be in
the wrong position, but there isn't one, which makes sense considering
how this is packaged and sold.
I say that it's a
disappointment, since the monster made
more than just that one noise, and at this price point and size, you'd
expect more out of the sound feature.
Fun Factor - ***
This guy is as sturdy as the usual Hasbro toy, and as a monster he fits
in with plenty of play scenarios. Of course, no kid should be
watching the movie, and no kid is going to have a bennie to drop on
this guy. But the generic ugly of him will appeal to kids even without
knowing about the film (my 7 year old loves him), and besides, this is
your chance to show up your putz of a brother by buying your
nephew a ridiculously overpriced toy.
Value - *1/2
This guy retails for $100, although right now there are some Hasbro Toy
Shop coupons floating around (like HOLIDAY25) out there that will get
him down closer to
$80, OR you can get free shipping. That takes a little sting off it,
but not enough.
We've seen plenty of large scale
figures this year, including figures in the 18" range, that even
include sound features, that are half what this figure is. I'm sure
that part of that extra expense is the articulation, and part is the
low production number, but this guy really needs to be $60, $70 tops to
get a reasonable value score. The poor paint ops do nothing to improve
your feelings about the price tag.
Things To Watch Out For
Not too much. I'd be careful with some of the joints, particularly
those on his pelvic claws. The pegs there are fairly soft, and can be
Overall - **1/2
I suspect a whole lot of folks are going to hate this figure merely on
principle. They'll hate the design, they'll hate the price tag, or they
merely hate Hasbro in general.
have to admit that I was not looking forward to it myself. A
for what I saw at SDCC was not doing it for me, as much as I liked the
movie. However, once I got it in hand, I was pleasantly surprised.
note that the surprise wasn't enough to get this guy a great score, but
that's largely due to the price point and the poor paint.
Looking this figure over, and
posing it in a variety of ways, I was very much reminded of how I felt
when I received the 18"
from SOTA. Underneath those $10 toy quality paint ops is a much better
sculpt. On top of that, we got some terrific articulation
at least for awhile. Strip him down and have someone repaint him right,
and you'd have a pretty nice collectible on the shelf.
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - *1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - **
Fun Factor - ***
Value - *1/2
Overall - **1/2
Where to Buy -
Options for picking him up right now is limited. These are exclusive to
Toy Shop right now, or you can search ebay using the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.
Don't forget about the HOLIDAY25 coupon at HTS.
Related Links -
Nope, no other Cloverfield
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