Packaging - ***
The box is relatively collector
friendly, although I have no idea why Hot Toys continues to use not one
or two but FIVE twisty ties to hold him in the plastic tray.
Considering that there are two, count them TWO, plastic lids on the
tray to hold him in place, plus an outer sleeve over the main box, it's
unlikely that the figure is going to get loose.
Speaking of that outer sleeve,
what's the purpose exactly? Since a fifth panel box is under
there already, I'm not sure why it's included. It's pretty
and all, but cut my price by fifty cents and lose the sleeve.
Sculpting - ****
I had an issue or two with the original FB Rambo sculpt, but this one
is a huge improvement. I think it's the best Rambo Hot Toys
has done so far, with the classic Stallone eyes captured extremely well.
He even looks good in profile,
which is often a problem for sixth scale likenesses. The long
hair is nicely detailed, and the expression is world weary without
The hand sculpts are a smidge
dull, coming across more generic and G.I. Joe-like than I'd
like. They also don't do a terrific job holding the
accessoris (aka the knife), but they're adequate.
The size of the head, hands and
boots are all proportionally accurate, and this adds to the realistic
appearance in photos.
In fact, this Rambo is SO good,
that I'll be selling off the original version on Ebay. I
really only need one John Rambo, and this one is the definitive version.
Paint - ***1/2
Some aspects of this paint job
are outstanding, and he was *this* close to getting four stars here as
The beard stubble is
particularly well done. This is worth noting because it's an
aspect that is so difficult to capture, and other companies have failed
on numerous occasions. Here, it actually looks like he hasn't
shaved in a few days, rather than looking like he has dirt smudged
across his face.
The head and face also have a
matte finish, a big improvement over the glossy look we saw with early
Hot Toys figures.
My biggest issue here is the
hair line. The skin tone rides up on the hair, especially
along the sides, making it clear that it's paint. This was
enough for me to pull him down that half star from perfection.
Some folks may also have an
issue with the skin tone itself, which is quite
dark. Both the face and hands are much darker than
the base body too, which makes the dark color all that more
obvious. It wasn't a huge issue to me - he's going to sport a
pretty serious tan, living outside and all - but it's worth noting.
Articulation - ***1/2
Most folks would give this body the full four stars, and I almost did
as well. But the legs just didn't give me as much of a
natural look as some past Hot Toys figures. Interestingly
enough, I felt the same way about the first First Blood Rambo.
The ball jointed neck works
great though (Sideshow take note that he can look down), as do the
majority of the rest of the joints. Hot Toys has very little
to correct with this latest body, and Sideshow could do a lot worse
than to go with their model.
Accessories - ***
There's not a ton here, but what is here is of the best quality.
The Lile knife and pleather
scabbard are the same ones we got with the original HT Rambo.
They look just as good here, and the materials are high quality
stuff. I pulled out a few hairs over the effort of getting
the scabbard on his belt, but once it was there it looked good.
I mentioned earlier that the
knife doesn't fit particularly well in either hand, but that's not the
fault of the knife but the hand sculpts.
There's also his sleeping bag,
which has a very high quality zipper and even a hooded
section. The straps work well, and you can pose him wearing
it in a number of ways. Or he can roll it out and take a
little nap on the shelf.
The last accessory is the black
display stand, which is nice to get but not particularly necessary.
Outfit - ***1/2
In person, I have to admit that I wasn't quite as impressed with the
outfit as I had expected.
The boot sculpt is excellent,
but it looks like the two boots are identical - I couldn't tell his
left from his right. It's only noticeable on close examination, but
small details like that is what takes a figure to the next
level. With a company like Hot Toys, a had expected the boots
to be differentiated a bit better.
The jeans fit great, have real
pockets in back, and even metal rivets! The belt fits well
with a good buckle, and again, I was surprised to actually find a metal
end on the belt!
The red turtleneck has full
sleeves, even though you'll probably always have him in the
jacket. I wish the neck of the shirt came up a bit further,
but it's a minor quibble.
Finally, there's the
jacket. The M65 is the centerpiece of this outfit, and is
what really makes the figure so definitive. In person, it was
a bit bigger than I had expected. In the box, the ties at the
waist are tightly tied together, but you'll have to untie them to get
the scabbard on the belt. Once I did, getting them retied in
a good way was beyond my clumsy fingers. Or at least it was
if I wanted to not lose my patience entirely.
The zipper on the jacket is also
too big. The zipper at the collar and the zipper on the
sleeping bag are both in scale, so I don't know why they went with the
oversized zipper on the jacket, but it's as bad as the one we saw on
the Medicom Ghost Rider jacket. Thankfully, it's usually hidden by the
My last complaint about the
jacket is the large collar. He really should have the collar
up (although the photos of the figure on the box have it down), but
it's tall enough to reach his nose. Futz with it a bit and
you can get it looking reasonable, but it's one of those issues of
trying to get a heavy piece of clothing to look right in this scale.
Other than that, the jacket is
amazing. The real pockets, the American flag, the additional
interior pull string around the mid-torso (which could be used by an
enterprising guy like John as a garret), the small snap over the
zipper...every other detail is great.
Fun Factor - ***
Small kids could put their eye out - or more importantly, your eye out
- with the included knife. And I'm not sure you want them
dragging a $75 figure through the sand, or tossing it off the top of
the monkey bars. However, if you were so inclined, they'd
have a ball doing it.
Value - **1/2
Sideshow's prices have risen to $65, making this figure a 'getting what
you pay for' value at $70 - $75. There's some re-use here
with the accessories, and other than the jacket, the outfit isn't
particularly complex, but there's enough quality in the materials and
workmanship to be worth the slightly higher cost.
Things to Watch Out For
Take your time when working with the belt and when working with the
drawstrings. They're tiny, but with a little effort you can
get everything in place.
The drawstring around the bottom
of the jacket is quite stiff, and once it's untied it tends to stick
out in funky ways, but if you work at it over time you should be able
to get it to hang a bit more naturally.
Overall - ***1/2
Jeff loved this figure a little bit more than I did, but I think I'm
getting pickier these days. There are some aspects of this
guy that are outstanding, but there are just enough issues holding him
back from that perfect four star score. Still, I highly
recommend him for the Rambo fans, and if you can only get one of the
Hot Toys versions, this is the one to snag.