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Review of Tyrion Lannister - Game of Thrones Exclusive Action Figure

ThreeZero
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister action figure by ThreeZero

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Introduction

ThreeA and ThreeZero are not the same company, but they are kissing cousins, and they share many things.  ThreeZero was formed to handle the wide world of licensed sixth scale action figures, and they've already announced quite a few key shows and movies.

Two of these are very big nerd favorites right now - Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.  They've been pretty stingy with the Walking Dead so far, releasing only the Pet Walkers. Word on the street is that license is pretty open ended, whereas some of the others (including Robocop) have a tighter time limit and therefore were moved to the head of the pack.

I'm not sure where Game of Thrones falls, but thankfully we've finally gotten the first release in the series - Tyrion Lannister. There are two versions of this figure, a regular release and an exclusive. The regular is available at any number of online retailers (see the Where to Buy section for some suggestions), but the exclusive was only available for a limited time through their online store. Expect to pay $110 - $120, depending on the retailer.

The next figure in the series will be Ned Stark, with several other figures discussed at this point. Hopefully, 2015 will be the year that ThreeZero gets both this license and the Walking Dead rolling with regular releases.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister action figure by ThreeZero

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Packaging - ****
When I opened up the shipper box, I thought someone had sent me a bottle of finely aged Scotch whiskey. That's the sort of class - and dimensions - of this new packaging.

The tall, sophisticated red box has the Lannister lion embossed on all four sides. This outer slip cover hides a simple window box inside, with a couple plastic trays to hold the figure and accessories. There's no tape, no twisties, absolutely nothing to stop you from getting him out without damaging the container.

The logo is done in a gold ink, which contrasts beautifully with the red, textured outer slip. The exclusive has a beautiful sticker as well, proclaiming it's uniqueness.

Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister action figure by ThreeZero

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Sculpting - ***1/2
To get an appreciation for the head sculpt, it's always important to check out a few stills, like this one, or this one. That gives you a fresh mental image to work with.

But it's not just about matching a screen capture - it's about connecting with the image we have in our brains, the image we've created after viewing a person in character over and over again. And doing that can be the real trick.

I think ThreeZero has done a fantastic job here. There's a few nits - more on those in a minute - but the portrait is excellent. They've picked an expression that works for him, and they've captured the proportions and shape of his facial features beautifully.

They've also gotten that realistic texturing down, giving the skin that life-like look. This can elevate a great sculpt, taking it to a level we only see from the very best companies.

Ah, but there are a couple nits. With the portrait, my only real issue is with the hair. Tyrion does have a lot, but the figure ends up with a bit of a helmet head. The strands are detailed enough, but since it's a separate piece and fairly thick, it ends up looking a bit like what it is - a separate piece stuck on top of his head.

However, the issue that pulls this score down is the hands. While the head sculpt is excellent, the hands are not. I don't mind the chunkiness of the hands or fingers, since Mr. Dinklage has some pretty meaty paws. But the work is so rough, so amateur, that it hurts what could have been a four star execution. Mold lines or burrs run along the edges of the fingers, and the back of the hands have a lumpy, clay-like surface. They have included the rings on both the left and the right, but even this work looks clunky and rough. I'm not going to go a full star down because of it - it's still the portrait that's most critical - but you can't ignore the sloppy work on the hands.

As you are well aware, this is a sixth scale figure, which translates to about 8 1/2" tall for Tyrion.

Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister action figure by ThreeZero

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Paint - ***1/2
You can pretty much take the Sculpt category and repeat it for Paint - fantastic work on the head, terrible work on the hands.

The hair has a wash and wipe that gives him highlights and brings out the details, while the skin has that translucent effect and an excellent five o'clock shadow. The piercing eyes are even and straight, and the lips and eyebrows are just the right amount of subtle.

But, oh those hands. For some reason they applied a dark wash here too, creating a dirty, stained look. It's most pronounced in the spaces between the fingers, and around the finger nails, and it hurts what is already a weak hand sculpt.

Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister action figure by ThreeZero

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Articulation - ***
The underlying body is pretty chunky, no slim child body here. All the joints you expect are here as well, with an excellent double ball neck topping it off. With shoulder, elbow, wrist, ab, hip, knee, ankle and more, you'll have no trouble getting natural, flowing poses.

The boots do restrict the ankles, and the tight clothing makes the waist and hips a bit worthless as well. But Tyrion isn't the sort of character you expect to see in wild ninja poses.

More important for him is that you will have no trouble keeping him standing (there's no display base included), and the arms allow for some very relaxed, natural looking poses with the various accessories.

I did have a couple issues though, and they need to be considered as ThreeZero moves forward. While the hands swapped without much trouble, the short posts on the wrists did make it a little too easy for the hands to pop off. With no extra wrist pegs included, I'm worried that repeated hand swapping will make this worse.

My figure also came with the left arm popped out at the shoulder. I was able to get the post arranged and re-inserted in the torso without removing the complex clothing, but if it had fallen off inside the box, I'm betting it's going to fall off easily when changing poses.

Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister action figure by ThreeZero

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Accessories - ***1/2
Tyrion comes with a number of cool extras, most of which are quite appropriate to the character.

There is one extra set of hands to go with the pair he's wearing. These are designed to work with the accessories, as well as with a number of natural poses.

The exclusive includes a fifth hand specifically designed to hold the other exclusive extra, the dagger. It works well, but you will want to be careful slipping the hilt into the hand. The fingers are sculpted closed, making it a tight fit.

The knife looks terrific, with an ornate hilt and long, thin blade. This fits inside a solid scabbard on his hip, which in turn hangs off the extra belt.  That means that you are really getting not one extra with the exclusive (the dagger), but four: the dagger, the fifth hand, the scabbard, and the belt.

Both the regular and exclusive release also have a brass or gold cup, with a very nice paint job. It has a burnished look that's very realistic. Unfortunately, the sculpt isn't quite as good, with a burr along the one side. Still, it fits nicely in the supplied hand, and looks good with most poses.

There's also a large book, with gold inked text on the front and spline. It has something to do with the sieges of Westeros - it's the sort of thing Tyrion would love reading.

While Tyrion never really carried the Cat's Paw knife, including it would have been a nice touch. It's a very recognizable weapon, and it did play a key part in some of the events surrounding Tyrion in the first and second season.

While there's no display stand, I don't miss it. If it helps keep the cost down, I'm fine with it, since I rarely use them myself. Your mileage may vary, obviously.

One thing I do wish they'd include is extra wrist pegs. While I had no fear of breakage when I was swapping the hands, that doesn't mean it won't happen, or that the post on the wrist that goes in the hand won't start to wear. Hot Toys provides extra wrist joints - Sideshow puts one on every hand. I think every company in this market needs to follow suit.

Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister action figure by ThreeZero

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Outfit - ***
The outfit is bulky, no doubt about it. While the original prototype looked fine, the tailoring on the production run is not as good.

The biggest culprit is the red shirt, made from a fairly thick material. Add in a thick pleather camisole, and you end up with a chunky, heavy look to the body that's not necessary.

The black pleather camisole looks great in terms of design - the pattern, metal clasps, and Hand of the King pin are all terrific - but it's not just the fit that messes up the look. It also rides too high on the body and neck, making him look even shorter than he should. For reference, you can check this shot, where he's wearing this same outfit.

The pants and boots look good though, and the belt is a good fit and made from very sturdy materials.

Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister action figure by ThreeZero

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Fun Factor - ***
While this isn't a true toy, it does have a very solid build and high quality construction. With normal handling you should have no problems, making it a lot of fun to pose and display.

Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister action figure by ThreeZero

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Value - ****
Some companies are now charging $220 - $240 for their average release in the sixth scale market. A few are still hanging in around $180, but that number is getting smaller. While Tyrion is obviously shorter than a full 12", the cost of production is not going to be that different. The heads, accessories, outfits - these things will cost just as much.  Add in the development of this new, smaller body, and the fixed cost for this figure had to be fairly high, and yet ThreeZero has found a way to release him for just $120. That is a great value on the current market.

Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister action figure by ThreeZero

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Things to Watch Out For -
I already mentioned that the dagger is a tight fit in the hand, but if you turn it the right way, it will slip in.

Overall - ***1/2
I was a bit torn on this one, and almost dropped him another half star. There are aspects that are disappointing, most notable the weak tailoring on the outfit and the poor sculpt and paint on the hands.

But while the tailoring of the outfit might be off, the quality of the materials is top notch, and the rest of the accessories are excellent.  I'm also very pleased with the portrait, and getting all this at a price that's half what the current going rate is for most high end sixth scale figures is more than refreshing.

I'm hoping that ThreeZero takes some lessons from this first release, particularly around the tailoring, and ups the ante with the release of Ned Stark. I believe they are capable of producing quality at the highest level and competing head to head with the best in the market, if they listen to the constructive criticism out there and work to resolve the few issues.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***1/2
Outfit - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ****
Overall - ***1/2

Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister action figure by ThreeZero

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Entertainment Earth is at $120, but has free shipping.

- comes in at just $115.

- has the regular release for $120.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other figures from ThreeZero and ThreeA include Michonne's Pet Walkers from the Walking Dead, and Carter from Halo.

This isn't the first Tyrion figure either, although it's the first in this scale. Funko has done a 1/12" scale version, and Dark Horse has their 1/8th scale version.

And don't forget about the the 1:1 sale prop replica of the Cat's Paw blade, the knife used to incriminate Tyrion in the first season.

Discussion:
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Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister action figure by ThreeZero

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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