Python French Taunter
Remember my last Monty Python review? It
was only last month - I said that Sideshow
had done an amazing thing? I double that. Not only is the Monty
Python line doing well, they released the French
Taunter this month, and already sold out. With an edition size of
7500 pieces, that's pretty amazing!
Other than the original five knights,
Sideshow has also produced the Dead
the Enchanter (both reviewed here), the Black
Knight (reviewed here), and Patsy
(reviewed here). That's 14 figures so far! Coming up is the Knight
of Ni (a web exclusive of only 1000), the Bridgekeeper,
of Swamp Castle, and Prince
Packaging - ***1/2
Sideshow has once again done their usual excellent job with the
packaging. There's plenty of Monty Python style humor on the box, and
its attractive and sturdy. It's not collector friendly - you'll have
to tear the interior insert if you want to use the stand - but otherwise
Sculpting - ***
This sculpt of John Cleese is by Oluf Hartvigson, who has brought us so many
terrific Sideshow sculpts. He does a great job on the face once again,
capturing the look of the French Taunter in an expressive moment. It's
tough to recognize as Cleese, but that's because of the facial expression,
in combination with the large helmet.
The reason this sculpt score is
lower than usual involves said helmet. It is permanently attached to
the head, and while I can understand their desire to do this, mine is
attached crooked. It detracts from the look of the figure, since it's
tough to even see his left eye, and throws off the symmetry of the head
The sculpted hands work fine,
and hold his lance properly, but I can't help but think that perhaps they
could have been given some form of taunting position.
Paint - ***1/2
The paint ops are quite good, although there aren't a lot. The skin
tone is consistent, and the lines around the facial hair are all neat and
It does seem as though he's
just eaten a cherry popsicle however, as his tongue is a very bright shade
of red. Overall though, the paint work looks terrific.
Outfit - ***
The oufit has several layers, including his vest, shirt, undershirt and
leggings. The quality of the material is ton notch, with terrific
stitching and lots of variation in style and type of cloth. So why the
slightly lower than usual score?
Two reasons - first, I'm
disappointed by the lack of boots. Yep, that's probably true to the
source material, since we never saw the French Taunter's feet, but no boots
work against him both in looks and in stability. He's much harder to
get to stand on his own without them.
The second problem is simply
one of character choice. The outfit for the French Taunter just isn't
that visually exciting. Sideshow has done a nice job here with what
they could, but he's not a figure that's going to take your breathe away.
Articulation - ***
There's plenty of articulation, with neck, ball jointed shoulders
and hips, double jointed elbows and knees, wrists, cut biceps and thighs,
ankles, chest and waist. The wrist articulation is pretty limited due
to the molded/sculpted glove hands.
Unfortunately, I had a tough time keeping him standing. It was
because of the lack of boots, and also because the floppy hip joint problem
seems to have struck my particular figure. Hopefully it's a fluke, and
not a return to the general problems that Sideshow's body exhibited months
Accessories - ***1/2
He has two major accessories, and a minor. The minor is the standard
display stand of course, which in this case I found more useful than usual.
The other two are his lance, and a chicken. The lance comes in two
pieces which fit together nicely, and look terrific. It's a great
sculpt, with equally nice paint ops. It's also fairly sturdy, and he
shouldn't suffer the dreaded droopy lance disorder over time.
One of the oddities of the French in the film was their hurling of farm
animals at Arthur and company. Clearly, this chicken is one of those
animals, and it is sculpted in mid-toss, scrambling to survive. Sure,
they could have included a cow, but I suspect that might have been just a
tad outside the price point.
Value - **1/2
I'm evaluating this at the Sideshow retail of $40. That's simply too
much for this figure, but that's where the effects of the market come in -
you'll be able to find retailers carrying this for $30 or less on-line, and
you can add a star if you can get it down around $25.
Overall - ***
If you've been collecting all the Monty Python Holy Grail figures,
you'll want to pick this up. If you have a particular affinity for
rude Frenchman, you'll want to pick this up. But if you're being picky
about which ones you are picking up, this would be a good one to think twice
Where to Buy -
Some specialty shops, and stores like Spencer's or Media Play, have
carried the previous figures, usually for around $30 each. On-line I had
some trouble finding these - both Sideshow and Entertainment Earth are all
sold out. Still, I found a few:
has a great price at $26 plus shipping.
has a pretty good price at $27 plus shipping.
Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.