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Indiana Jones
Diamond Select Toys Quarter Scale

Indiana Jones quarter scale action figure from Diamond Select Toys

Back at SDCC, I had my first chance to see the new quarter scale line of figures from Diamond Select Toys. I was very impressed with the Han Solo in Hoth Gear, and the Maul and Obi-wan certainly looked interesting. But poor Indy really looked pretty bad, standing rather stiff and awkward in the glass case.

Flash forward a few months, and these guys (or at least the first couple releases) are ready to start hitting. Indy should be in stores any day, with Maul following close behind. DST sent Indy along for an early review.

These are called the 'ulitmate quarter scale' line, although we'll see if the 'ultimate' part holds true. They feature not only cloth outfits, but a fully articulated body and a sound feature.

You can expect to pay around $70, depending on the retailer. They don't have any other Indy figures announced, but they do have both Kirk and Spock from Trek, as well as Hoth Han, Maul, Obi-Wan, and Mace Windu announced for Star Wars.

Packaging - **1/2
These come in a large, window front box, complete with hole for the 'try me' sound feature. The box is fairly sturdy, although it's not collector friendly at all, with many twisties and even the accessories bubble sealed to the inner tray. It also doesn't do a terrific job of showing off the figure, with a fairly awkward pose in the box.
Indiana Jones quarter scale action figure from Diamond Select Toys

Indiana Jones quarter scale action figure from Diamond Select Toys
Indiana Jones quarter scale action figure from Diamond Select Toys
Indiana Jones quarter scale action figure from Diamond Select Toys
Indiana Jones quarter scale action figure from Diamond Select Toys
Indiana Jones quarter scale action figure from Diamond Select Toys
Indiana Jones quarter scale action figure from Diamond Select Toys
Indiana Jones quarter scale action figure from Diamond Select Toys
Indiana Jones quarter scale action figure from Diamond Select Toys
Indiana Jones quarter scale action figure from Diamond Select Toys
Indiana Jones quarter scale action figure from Diamond Select Toys

Sculpting - ***
Now here's the first big surprise - the head sculpt is really quite good!  It might even be another half star better than this, but underneath the paint it's a bit tough to tell.

Below the eyes is where it captures Ford as Indy the best. The crooked nose, sly smirk on his lips, and shape of his jaw and face all are very well done, particularly considering how difficult it is to capture Indy.

It's in the eyes and eye brows that he loses it, and I'm not completely sure if it's paint or sculpt. The eyes do look a little too wide set, and the eyebrows might be better if the painter had actually followed them. The eyes need to be a bit sharper too, with the actual balls set a bit deeper. In this scale, they end up looking flat in person.

The hair is nicely done, but the ears are a bit clunky as well. There's some mold flashing on the right ear, and both seem a bit oversized.

The head is scaled properly for the body, sans chapeau. I'll get to the hat in a later section.

The hands are also little over sized, although they work well with the accessories. He comes wearing the whip gripping right hand and relaxed pose left hand, and there are two additional right hands included as accessories.

He stands 18 1/2 inches tall without the hat, making him fit in quite nicely with other rotocast and hard plastic cast quarter scale figures you might have on your shelf.

Paint - **1/2
This is where it gets a bit trickier. I have a hunch that mediocre paint ops are covering up a much nicer head sculpt than I expected.

The skin tone is decent, and they did go the extra mile and paint the neck and shoulders of the light skinned body to match the face. I wish they'd done the same for the hands and wrists, which are much lighter than the face. 

The lips are quite realistic, but the eyes, while straight and clean, lack life. Combine the shallow sculpting of the eyeballs with the flat paint job, and you get too much of a  mannequin appearance.

They eyebrows are the weakest link, having a very toyish quality. The difficult stubble is actually better than usual, and the hairs were actually sculpted as a texture, and a dark paint was used as a wash to bring it out.

I also had a very large smudge of brown paint on the back right side of his head. Thanksfully, it was hidden by the shirt collar for the most part, but sloppy is sloppy.

Articulation - ***
Another surprise was the underlying body. I had the impression that it would have a few points of articulation, and I assumed this meant it would be similar to a rotocast body. How wrong I was.

This is a full fledged action figure body, just like any sixth scale figure, simply up sized to quarter scale. Instead of thinking the usual rotocast quarter scale, think more along the lines of that Men of Honor line that was at Toys R Us a few years ago, only a little more realistically proportioned.

He starts off with a ball jointed neck that tilts side to side and backward pretty well, but can't come too far forward due to the chin. It's a decent amount of mobility though, and allows you to give some life to most poses.

He has ball jointed shoulders and hips, using the standard peg and post. The elbows are pin/post ball joints as well, giving them quite a bit of mobility, and there's a cut forearm joint and a pin wrist.

The hands can be a bit tough to pop on and off, but better tough than falling off. In fact, the right forearm joint tended to fall apart on me (it's just a post) when I was posing, but not the hands. Fortunately, it was easy to pop the forearm back on, but it was still a tad annoying.

The lower torso contains the sound feature, but above it is a high ab-crunch joint, and below it is one of those sort of floating ball waist joints.

As I mentioned, the hips are ball joints (and clicky), and there's a cut thigh as well as a unique double jointed knee, cut ankles, and a swivel joint right in the middle of the shoe. Yep, the shoe has a joint that allows the foot to tilt forward and back, but there's no side to side movement. The shoes are the actual feet, and pop off easily enough at the cut ankle joint.

The body doesn't look particularly attractive without the clothes on it, but it does wear them pretty well. My only complaint in that regards is with the very thin lower torso, where the sound box is. Even in clothes, this skinny part of the body was quite obvious. You'll want to keep Indy's jacket on at all times.

Most of the joints are tight, and many of them are clicky. I did find that the joints inside the boots, the ones that allow the foot to move foreward and back, are a bit loose, making it tough to keep him standing at times. But as a first release of a completely new body, I was pleasantly surprised. I see an awful lot of customizing potential for folks in this scale, and these figures are going to be popular with the collectors of fashion dolls in this scale as partners.

I do want to note though that because many of these joints are clicky joints, you have to work with him a bit to start getting really natural poses. Yank him out of the box and slam him down, and he'll just stand there in an awkward way. But work with the joints for a little while to get a feel for what they can do, and you'll get much better results.

Accessories - ***
The quantity of accessories and applicability is good - the quality is a bit Hasbro though on a few of them.

Let's start with the hat. I'm including that here, rather than in the Outfit section this time around.  Why? Because.

Rather than go with the hat sculpted on the head, they went with the removable hat. And it's no surprise...it's big. Since it's a sculpted plastic hat, it's thick to begin with, and it has to fit on reasonably realistic looking hair. It's not as oversized as some I've seen, but I don't think he looks as good in it as he does out of it.

He also comes with his gun, also oversized. He has some pretty big mitts as I mentioned earlier, and the gun does fit well in the right hand designed for it, but there's no doubt that it's a good 25% too big. The sculpt is fairly basic, as is the paint, but it gets the job done.  It fits well in the holster though, and that's were I'll be leaving mine.

Speaking of right hands, he has two additional. There's a closed fist, and a gripping hand designed specifically for the gun.  They both work just fine for what they are.

There is not one but two whips. There's a coiled whip that fits on Indy's belt in a leather loop, and looks great doing it. The coils aren't quite as distinct as I'd like them to be, but it fits well on the belt.

And speaking of this extra belt, it's made from pleather, with a movable holster and a movable loop for the whip. Both of these 'containers' use metal snaps to hold their items in place, and are very sturdy considering the material. The buckle works well, and even has pre-punched holes in five or six places so you can adjust the length of the belt to your tastes.

The uncoiled whip has a bit of a soft sculpt as well, but the length is decent, and there's a wire running through the first couple thirds, allowing you to pose it.

He comes with the fertility idol as well, also pretty well scaled. The sculpt seems slightly off to me, but we've had so many versions at this point I'm starting to get fuzzy around the edges.

My big disappointment here is the lack of his shoulder bag.  That's an extra that Indy just has to have.

Outfit - ***
Another big surprise for me was how good the costume was in general, once I had him out and had a chance to adjust it. There's still a few issues, but I was very pleasantly surprised.

The jacket is the most important article of clothing, of course. This one is made from a material very similar to the Sideshow 12" Indy, the very thin leather-like but not really leather material. It worked great in that scale, and it works even better here. I'm not an expert on Indy jackets, but this one looks more Last Crusade to me than Raiders, but go back to my review of the earlier Sideshow version for my explanation as to why these jackets may not look exactly like they did in the first film.

The jacket also has real pockets up front, a very nice nylon liner, and a perfectly scaled working zipper.  The small belts in back are even the same color material, doing Sideshow's jacket one better.

The jacket does have some weathering, although it doesn't show up well in photos. It's very minor, which was a wise move, since weathering is something so easy to screw up during production.

Now, the jacket isn't the right color.  It's too close to black. The wear does show that it's a brown jacket...just a really, really, really dark brown, so dark that for most folks it may look black. Had they gotten the color more accurate, this outfit could have scored another half star higher.

The shirt looks good, but doesn't have any wear. It does have small metal snaps holding it closed though, and the buttons are perfectly in scale.

Both the jacket and shirt also need *slightly* longer sleeves. It's not as big an issue for the jacket as the shirt, and it's not a deal breaker for either, but it's obvious enough to be worth mentioning.

The 'boy scout' belt works really well, and the buckle is a huge improvement over the one Sideshow used in the smaller scale. The pants look alright, although in person they seemed too tight and thin on the legs.

Finally, there's the sculpted boots. These look great to me, although again I'm not quite the Indy outfit expert. The sculpt and paint give them a very realistic look, even with the weird joint in the middle.

Sound Feature - ***
This line will feature sounds from the films, built into the torso.

The button is actually a large chunk of his waist, with the speaker right above it. Press the button and you'll hear one of three phrases:

"Snakes.  Why did it have to be snakes."

"Marion, don't look at it...shut your eyes, Marion...don't look at it no matter what happens!"

"I don't know, I'm making this up as I go."

These sounds are clear and crisp, right from the movie soundtrack. I was hoping for more than three, considering the number of potential quotes, but perhaps we'll see more with future figures.

It's important to note that in the box, he's set to a 'try me' feature where only one sound plays. There's a small black switch on his left side to turn that to full function. It doesn't mention this anywhere on the box, and I had to strip him down to find it, but once you know where it is (as you now do), you can switch it through his shirt.

Fun Factor - ***
This is a very sturdy figure, and with the exception of the pleather belt, could hold up to just about anything a kid throws at it. Considering that there are plenty of "kids's toys" that run up to $100 and more these days, it's not too far fetched to pick this up for an 8 - 12 year old fan who is still in that play-to-collect conversion. 

Value - ***
The Men of Honor figures were about 24" tall, but even 6 years ago they started out at retail at Toys R Us for $80. Yea, they had to clear them out closer to $30, but they were unlicensed and much more toy-like than this Indy.

Most rotocast figures in this scale are running $60, and this figure can be had for as cheap as $65 from some of my sponsors. Considering that he is NOT rotocast, but a fully articulated solid action figure, includes sound, and has an excellent costume, that's a great price.

Now, get the paint quality up there, as well as slightly better looking accessories, and this score gets even higher.

Things To Watch Out For
Take your time handling the pleather belt of course. This material can rip if you get a bit too rambunctious. Otherwise, you should be good to go.

Overall - ***
I had not expected this figure to be this well done. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a solid head sculpt, a very good outfit, some decent accessories, and a well articulated body, all in a quarter scale at a decent price.

Now, it's not going to replace the Sideshow Premium Format figure as THE Indy to have in this scale. But it's only one fourth the price.  This figure has me very interested in the upcoming releases, especially the Han in Hoth Gear.

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

Where to Buy -

Options include these terrific sponsors:

- CornerStoreComics has him listed at $65.

- Alter Ego Comics has him for $68.

- Urban Collector has him at $72.

- Entertainment Earth has him at $72.57.

- or you can search ebay using the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.

Related Links -
Oh, there's PLENTY of Indy stuff I've reviewed:

- the most recent was the 12" Indy from Sideshow. 

- there was the recent Medicom Professor Jones Sr.

- one of my favorite new Indy collectibles is the Mighty Muggs from Hasbro, and I've reviewed waves 1, and 2. Of course, they've already been canceled.

- for the sixth scale collectors, I recently checked out the Hasbro mail away Ark.

- on the cute side, check out the Adventure Heroes.

- then there's the Kotobukiya Indy and Professor Jones Sr, the Blockbuster exclusive DVD case, the 12" German and Cairo Swordsman, as well as both 12" Hasbro Indy's.

- in the smaller scale, I looked at some of the deluxe two packs and several of the single pack figures, with a few more over at QSE.

- There's a number of cool Lego sets, including this one.

- Gentle Giant did a 7" version for the Disney parks.

- Disney has done a few other Indy figures, including this wave of small ones.

- and if you're looking for something a bit bigger, check out the very cool sixth scale Grail diary, or this sixth scale figure.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  My score converted to a five star system for comparison: 3.75

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Indiana Jones quarter scale action figure from Diamond Select Toys



Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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