They have two more already in
production - the Shrine of Dagon and the Temple of Anubis. Both of
these have lots of potential for Indiana Jones, but they also work well
with various horror lines.
Each of these runs $90 through
Sideshow, but various retailers will have them a bit cheaper. None of
them are being produced in a very large quantity, and are actually
limited in a true sense, not just in a marketing sense. Only 500 of the
Reactor Station Alpha are being produced and the numbers for the other
two are even lower - 450 for the Temple and 350 for the Shrine.
Packaging - ***
The diorama comes in a brown box with some sticker labels showing the
environment and adding some text. It's fairly basic for a Sideshow
item, but it does the job of keeping things safe.
The box is much smaller than you
might be expecting though, closer in size to a Stormtrooper box. Since
the environment is really just four pieces - the flat base, the two
small handrails, and the fairly small reactor top - it all fits pretty
easily in a confined space.
Sculpting - ***1/2
Let's get the whole size issue right out of the way up front. Yes, this
is a small diorama. But I'm not going to use this category to harsh
their buzz on that particular topic. I'll wait til we get to the Design
base is about ??? inches wide by ??? inches deep, and the reactor
section (which is a completely separate unconnected piece) stands ???
As I said, the reactor is
separate from the walkway
base. It has a soft velvet pad on the bottom to avoid scratching
whatever it is you sit it upon (as does the walkway), and can be placed
any where you'd like. Where it is in the photos works the best for me,
but your mileage may vary.
Both the walkway and machinery
made from a very solid, heavy resin material. The small hand rails are
actually plastic, and you should take extra care with them to avoid
breaking the small pegs that attach to the base.
here is quite nice, and while I think they should have gone with
something more in the poly-urethane foam family to keep the costs down,
I have to admit that the sharpness of the details would not have been
as easy (or perhaps even possible) to achieve.
Paint - ***
There's a gun metal appearance to the reactor section, largely mirrored
on the walkway. The paint is fairly clean, although there's a few fuzzy
cut lines, particularly on the base, that should be sharper than they
The wear on the faux metal
pieces looks great though, adding quite a bit of reality to the
diorama, and while there aren't a ton of different colors, that's
fairly appropriate considering the context.
Design - **
As I mentioned in the sculpt section, the basic diorama is fairly
small. I didn't beat it up too much in that category for it though,
reserving the abuse for the Design discussion.
get that this is supposed to be above a section of the reactor, and
only the tip of this chunk is showing above the walkway. But the height
component doesn't translate well, and I'm going to try to find some
way, perhaps by suspending the whole thing slightly above the shelf
with clear feet, to get that across.
As it stands, the reactor
section just looks puny next to a sixth scale figure, and you really
don't want to explain to every visitor why that is. It's too small, no
two ways about it.
Of course, the
size is directly related to the price, and in keeping the size down
they kept the cost down. However, they decided to go with a more
expensive material in polyresin, and I think that was the mistake. When
they did Freddy's furnace, they went with mostly a urethane type foam,
with only a small section done in resin. This kept the cost way down
(it was only $40 back in the day, not a price they could hit now no
matter what but still an indication of the difference), and by doing so
they could have gone with a much larger chunk of reactor for the same
price. Give me a reactor piece twice as tall and twice as wide, and I'd
be happy to give you $90 for it.
To add a little more to the design whine, the small posts that fit into
the base and hold the hand rails in place are very loose, too small for
the holes. Or the holes are too big - your choice.
Value - **
The $90 price tag is going to be a sore spot for many. Oddly, I see
people pay ridiculous sums of money for acrylic and glass cases, which
(in my opinion) do nothing to improve a display and are merely a
necessary evil, something used to keep dust and dirt off your
collectibles if you can't control it any other way. Environment pieces,
when done well, can add a tremendous amount of cool to any display.
being said, this environment is fairly small. The low production run
adds a lot to the cost of course, and I'm not sure if that's part of
the plan - perhaps they want these to be particularly special to those
that have them. At $90, they are well below the cost of other licensed
Sideshow environments like Jabba's Throne ($200) or Han in Carbonite
($180). But if they'd gone with foam and a bigger production run, as I
mentioned above, I bet they could have gotten the cost down in
the $60 range and fans would have been much happier.
Things to Watch Out For -
The handrails are plastic and will snap off if you put any real side to
side pressure on them. I have a fear that one of my figures might take
a dive and break one of the hand rails in the process, so it might be
worth considering when you set up the display.
Overall - **1/2
This is a very nice looking piece, albeit a bit on the tiny side. It's
the cost that will put most folks off, and is probably going to be more
of an issue with this than the Shrine or Temple. Because in both those
instances, the platform itself is larger and more substantial. Here,
the platform is fairly basic, and most of the cost is in the small
got all three on order, and I'll continue to pick up pretty much any
they do, because I think they add tremendous value to the display.
While I can make some pretty decent diorama items myself, I really
don't have the time to spend on it. I may not be thrilled with the
cost, but it's still acceptable for me considering what it can add to
If you like doing your own
something like this will have far less appeal. If you have the time and
the talent, there's nothing like having a custom set up you created
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Design - **
Value - **
Overall - **1/2
Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:
- Sideshow sold out awhile ago,
but you can still get on the wait list.
Alter Ego Comics
has it for
Big Bad Toy Store
- In the UK, Forbidden
Planet has it for 75 GBP.
Other diorama's include:
- Sideshow's most recent was Recon at Waypoint.
- other recent ones include Hot
Toys T-700, the
Ark that came with Sideshow's Toht,
and the Fertility Idol
environment that came with Belloq.
- With Star Wars, we've seen the
Throne, as well as the Han
Solo in Carbonite.
- and if you want to get a bit
more old school, don't forget the Freddy
Kruger furnace Sideshow did years ago.
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