Hot Toys Rambo - First Blood


"The 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 guest author."

Jeff Parker has been a busy man, and he hits us with another great guest review tonight - this one covering the very cool First Blood Rambo!  Me thinks I'm going to sell my other version and snag this one...tell us all about him, Jeff!

This is my first Rambo figure, as for me the first movie from the series was the best.

The later ones had some great action sequences but lacked the soul of the first. It actually has some relatively subtle direction from Ted Kotcheff who also directed the original ‘Fun with Dick and Jane’ and ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’; there’s one for you trivia buffs, and in fact it was this subtlety and ambiguity of the Rambo character that made Stallone want to scrap the whole movie at one point.

For some I dare say the iconic image of John Rambo is stripped to pants and vest, headband on and holding a huge f**k-off gun and gurning into camera, but for me it’s the lonely traveller, strolling into a small grey town with nothing to his name but a bedroll and a knife.

John Rambo is portrayed as a man whose mental state is hanging delicately in the balance, and when the local law enforcement push him too far, that balance is compromised and all hell breaks loose.  So this was the one for me!

Packaging: ***1/4
As this is part of the Movie Masterpiece series (MMS) you get the metallic slip-on sleeve, here with a large picture of the movie poster on the front and pics of the figure and accessories on the back. Slide this off to get to the classic flap-fronted box, covered in loads of photos of the figure, with a brief bio on the facing flap. Inside is a black vac-formed tray in which lies your fully constructed and dressed figure, held down by 5 twisties, next to his bedroll, knife and sheath.

Sculpt: ****
All the Hot Toys (HT) MMS Rambo’s have been impressive, the best to date was the other First Blood figure, reviewed here by Michael, but as is always the case with HT, each release sees an improvement on the last, and this new head-sculpt is a virtually bang-on likeness of Stallone, showing him with his more mournful doe-eyed world weary expression which sums the character up so well. It’s well proportioned with the body and because of the double joint in the neck can be positioned convincingly.

There is also some great work on the hair, and it all flows in a very naturalistic way. His hands are pretty generic, still sculpted nicely, and although they can hold the knife OK, they don’t hold the knife that tightly as they are in too open a position.

Now we’ll just have to wait and see if HT give us a new ‘chunkier’ Stallone when the new Rambo movie hits next year, with a working title of: John Rambo, Rambo IV, Rambo IV: End of Peace, Rambo IV: Holy War Rambo IV: In the Serpent's Eye, Rambo IV: Pearl of the Cobra or Rambo: To Hell and Back… make your mind up already! 

Paint: ****
Apart from his knife and boots all the paintwork is on his head. As we’ve come to expect from HT there is absolutely no slop, there’s a nice crisp hairline and some superfine detail on the eyes. Some nice subtle airbrushing gives him a convincing 5 o’clock shadow, he also has a much more matte finish than the previous figures, which again helps with the finished appearance. His mouth/lips are painted very subtly without a hint of ‘lipstick’.  A simple paint app by HT standards, but clean and convincing nonetheless.

Articulation: ****
As this figure is fully clothed there’s no need to use the ‘muscle body’ that HT have used for all their other Stallone figures, on both the Rocky and Rambo lines. 

This means we get the now standard HT True-Type body with its excellent range of movement, and this outfit hampers it in no way.

The only slight loss is at the ankle as he comes in rigid boots, but the True-Type can hold almost any pose, looks natural and is pretty robust as well.

This is one of the best base bodies out there.

Accessories: ***1/2
Rambo comes with his bedroll, knife, scabbard and figure stand. That’s it, but that’s all he needs, well to be fair he doesn’t ‘need’ his stand as he can stay upright just fine, but it’s nice to have the option. 

The bedroll can be unrolled and is a fully functioning padded sleeping bag with a zip and hood. The knife and sheath are the same as the ones included with the last First Blood figure, and the sheath can be attached to his belt. All these items are simple but finished well, with some particularly nice attention to detail on the sheath, which is made from stitched together pleather rather than plastic moulded.

Outfit:  ****
As I said earlier, this to me is ’the’ Rambo outfit. OK he’s not showing his ripped bod or brandishing a semi automatic, but he is wearing a great replica 1/6 scale version of the classic M65 Field Jacket, and is scene specific to the opening shots of the movie; you can learn a brief history of the M65 over on Wikipedia and you’ll learn it’s now popular among young people in Britain (news to me) and is the jacket of choice for Osama Bin Laden (oh the irony!).

HT have done a great job on this simple but effective outfit. The M65 is nicely detailed with a working front zip and another on the back of his collar, there’s no hood inside, but it isn’t used on screen and would bulk out the collar too much. There are four working patch pockets with flaps, stud cuffs and an internal drawstring waist and also a drawstring running round the bottom hem.

US ARMY is written above the left chest pocket and an embroidered style US flag is on the other side. 

Under this he wears a bright red long-sleeved sweatshirt, belted jeans with working pockets and a pair of brown combat boots, all this adds up to a great representation of the screen-worn outfit, as I said, simple but expertly done and effective.  (HT spec here)

Fun Factor: ****
This figure is easily robust enough to stand up to a great deal of play but at over four times the price of an old GI Joe, not many kids will get the chance. 

The True-Type body means you can pose him pretty much however you want, but mine will be just standing, bedroll over his shoulder looking dejectedly into the middle distance for a long time. A great figure and a must-have item for the serious ‘First Blood’ fan!

Value: ****
If you can get it for the SST list price or under I’d say it’s a four-star figure, even though he comes lightly equipped. Two of Michael’s sponsors are listed at the end of the review that have it for under $75.

SST, the official US importer, had him up for $79 but he‘s sold out, so get on that wait list or try the links below, they’re great prices.

He’s also showing up on eBay for between $99 to $110 but there don’t seem to be that many about at the moment! 

Overall: ****
Definitely the best HT Stallone sculpt so far, and that alongside some great painting on that face and a nicely tailored outfit and screen-accurate accessories make this the Rambo I want on my shelf, a very iconic and nicely executed figure. 

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/4
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ***1/2
Outfit - ****
Fun Factor ****
Value - ****
Overall - ****

Where to Buy -
You can try the SST wait list or hit eBay, but keep an eye on shipping as most still seem to be in the Far East.

Michael’s sponsors have it on pre-order:

Alter Ego $71.99 

Darkshadow $72.00

Both are great prices.


Keep Scrolling Down for Lots more Photos!

Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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