Planet of the Apes 12"
Cornelius and Zira

When Sideshow announced they had the Planet of the Apes license, there was much rejoicing.  Fans of sixth scale were thrilled that they could add a wide range of figures from such a fantastic series of movies.

It took Sideshow awhile to actually get the product to us, but now it's hitting fast.  I reviewed the regular and exclusive Dr. Zaius just a couple weeks ago, and now the famous monkey couple, Cornelius and Zira, are hitting mail boxes and door steps.

We should see a number of other POTA figures hitting very soon, along with the ultra cool 18" polystone Lawgiver statue that will make for a kick ass display!

There are no Sideshow exclusive versions on this pair, but the edition size is not yet set.  Since Zaius was set at 3000, you might expect to be these at 5000 or less.

Retail price on both is $40, but I have some suggestions at the end of the review of sponsors that have these as much as 20% off. 


Packaging - ****
I've been pretty hard on Sideshow packaging lately, complaining more than complimenting, and that's not really fair.  They produce some of the finest packages in the business, and perhaps the nicest in the sixth scale world.

These boxes are a great example.  The graphics are excellent, using the prototype figure for many of the shots, but including key images from the film.

They are also quite collector friendly, and like Zaius, they do not have the twisty tie going all the way through the cardboard tray.  Unlike Zaius, they do not have the annoying dental floss around the neck, making them the best of all worlds.

Sculpting - Zira ***1/2; Cornelius ***
Both head sculpts capture the look of the characters in the film, but Zira seems to be closer to the most common look.

I complained about the soft nature of Zaius sculpt, with a lack of detail in the hair and face.  Both of these are a little softer than the prototypes as well, but not nearly as much as Zaius was.  Perhaps it's that they paint ops do a better job of bringing out what detail there is, or perhaps there's simply more depth to the details.  Either way, both head sculpts are an improvement over the old orangutan.

Zira is nearly perfect.  She looks like she's contemplating something deep...or perhaps she's scolding one of her lesser peers.  She looks almost identical to the film makeup, and the choice of expression works great.

Cornelius also matches the film version extremely well, but I'm less enamored with the expression.  The detail is good, especially around the eyes, where both figures have quite a bit of life.

But Corny looks pissed, angry, and downright mean here, something that was rather rare in the films.  I would have prefered something a little more inquisitive or thoughtful, something a less gorilla and more chimp perhaps.

The hand sculpts are very well done, and they are designed and sculpted to hold various accessories.  That's always a nice touch, particularly in the sixth scale arena.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint ops are great, highlighting the detail that's here, and bringing out a nice realism in the eyes and mouth.

The hair line has the rough edge, with paint brought out onto the face on purpose, giving it a more realistic appearance from a slight distance.  I like the effect, and think it works very good with the monkeys.  The darker hair also looks much better than the rather plain colors of Zaius.

The clean paint ops extends down to the hands, where there's great detail and consistent tones with the face and hair.

The bodies are sculpted in a dark brown to avoid any issues if the sleeves or pants should ride up.  The booted feet are less detailed than you might expect though, both in sculpt and in paint.

Articulation - ****
I don't know how I managed to not mention it with Dr. Zaius, but this line represents a huge new change to the Sideshow body - they're smaller!  Both the male and female body has been scaled down to allow Sideshow more variety in future lines.

It works tremendously well for this line, where the chimps need to be smaller than the gorillas and humans.  This attention to the scale within the line is going to make the overall display that much more exciting. 

The rest of the body and it's articulation is just what you'd expect from Sideshow, with all the standard 12" body joints, plus their super cool ankles and wrists.  The joints were all tight, and I had no issues getting these into various poses and holding them.

Accessories - ***
Zira comes with six accessories, Cornelius with four.  They fit in well with the movie, and make quite a bit of sense.

First, both figures come with the usual Sideshow display stand, emblazoned with the POTA logo on the base.  They look nice and work well, but you really won't need them, since the figures stand great on their own.

Zira also has two monkey scrolls, reused with Zaius and even Cornelius, a paper airplane, the note from Taylor, and a small pad/pen.  The pen is sculpted onto the pad, but the combo fits perfectly in her left hand.

While the plane and note are pretty cheap accessories, they are actually very appropriate and fit with the character and her experiences on film perfectly.  You can get picky and point out that the paper plane in the film had a pointed nose, while this one has a blunt nose, but then again, you could always adjust the folding to your preference.

Cornelius has that damn, dirty scroll again, along with a pretty dirty doll and a map of the Forbidden Zone.  The map is attached to a plastic bar, the sort of thing you roll up a soft papyrus map on.

Again, both accessories look great, and are very movie specific.  I think I would have put the doll with Zaius rather than Cornelius, simply because of what it's discovery meant to that character, but it's great to have in any case.

The doll probably looks the least like it's movie counterpart, mostly because of the hair.  Getting the dirty, wild doll hair right in this scale was going to be difficult no matter how they chose to go, but they did what they could with a patch of glued on hair.

Outfit - ***1/2
The outfits on both chimps are much closer to the regular Zaius in quality and design, and don't have the cheaper appearance of the exclusive Zaius.

The stitching and material are top notch, and the tailoring is truly perfect.  The clothes hang on both bodies very naturally, and fit properly all around.

The tunic designs match the film extremely well, although there are some *slight* differences.  After going back and forth though with some stills from the movie, I have to say I'm very impressed with how well they captured the look.

One slight disappointment is that the shirt underneath on Cornelius, which we see as the softer sleeves poking out from the arms of the tunic, are not a separate piece.  They are sewn to the tunic at the elbows, making it clearly cheaper to produce.  Zira doesn't have this issue, as the design of her tunic would have made that impossible.  Her shirt is actually sewn to the skirt though, making it all one piece.

One thing about Zira's costume that is well worth complaining about though is the color.  In the film, at least as far as I can recall, the color of her outfit and Cornelius' was the same - dark brown.  Even Corny's is a little light, but hers is green!  It might add a little color to the old display, but it's certainly not accurate to the film.  UPDATE!  Okay, I'm now debating with people on the color of the outfits.  I've been informed by my wife that yes, my color blindness is working overtime again, and both costumes ARE green, as they were in the movie.  I'm still complaining though because there is such a distinct difference between Zira and Cornelius.

The chimp booties work fine, and I like that the men's pants were given a stirrup on the bottom to keep them pulled down close to the feet.  Zira's feet are green here, and that's definitely not right.  Overall, the outfits look great, and the only real problem is the color of Zira's boots and the great difference in the shades of green.

Fun Factor - ***
I'm sure kids could find some great uses for monkey figures whether they like the old films or not.  Had these came out back in the 70's, they would have been tremendously popular with the under 12 set.

Value - ***
I'm going to give these a slightly better value score than usual for Sideshow, since the accessories are a little interesting, and the quality of the sculpts and outfits is so good.  If you pick these up for closer to $32 - $35, this three star value is even more appropriate.

Overall - Zira ***1/2; Cornelius ***
The POTA line is starting to look up, and with Taylor and the gorillas right around the corner, it's going to start filling out nicely.

These two are very nice, perhaps two of my favorites from Sideshow this year.  While the sculpting is still a little softer, especially around the eyes, than I had hoped, it's an improvement over Zaius and bodes well for the rest of the line.

I can't wait til the Lawgiver statue and the rest of the line are here, ready for one huge display!  I don't know how much further they'll be able to take the line, although I'd love to see at least one chimp in and astronaut suit before it's done.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Not a thing this time around.

Packaging - ****
Sculpt - Zira ***1/2; Cornelius ***
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ***
Outfit - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***
Overall - Zira ***1/2; Cornelius ***

Where to Buy - 
I picked up mine directly through Sideshow, but since neither of these are exclusives (or have exclusive versions), you can find them at many other online sites as well:

- as always, Sideshow has both Cornelius and Zira for $40 each.  They also have the exclusive Ape Maurader that you'll only find there.  He should be shipping in the next couple weeks.

- Alter Ego Comics has these and most of the rest of the line for 20% off, or $32 each.

- Southern Island has them listed at $35 each.

- Likewise, Killer Toys has them listed at $35.

- Fireside Collectibles doesn't have the POTA stuff listed, but they have excellent prices on most other Sideshow merchandise, including the figures and busts.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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