British Paratrooper - 21st Century

I've been waiting for these guys to go on sale - Target has had them for quite some time, and actually lowered the price several weeks ago to $19.99.  But that was simply a reduced price.  This week they started down the Target sale-price-slide.  First stop, $13.90 - and that's why I did this review!  If you think you might want one of these, I'd grab them now, because I don't think they're going to last very long at those prices.  You might get lucky and see the price drop once more, but I'm not sure I'd count on it.

Scupting - ***1/2
Some people do not like the sculpting on the Ultimate Soldiers line - I'm not one of them.  I think this sculpt captures a British soldier fantastically, and is far superior to most of the current 12" head sculpts out there.  Yes, Dragon also does some beautiful work, but I think 21st Century has their moments as well and this is one of them.

Paint - ***
Paint application is good, and the accessories are particularly well done.  The face paint is clean and neat as well.



All of the WWII figures produced by 21st Century have been terrific, I have to admit.  Not perfect, mind you, but certainly better than 80% of what's coming out of Hasbro these days.

Packaging - ***1/2
Excellent artwork and a very well done history on the inside flap.  The figures are packaged so that you can see all the pieces easily, and can appreciate the quality even if you're a MIB collector.  The boxes are also quite sturdy, and aren't prone to alot of shelf damage.  My one compliant - would it kill them to include a simple instruction sheet showing you how all the pieces are intended to attach?  I spent a good 45 minutes working it all out, and I doubt I have it right yet.

Articulation - ***
Better than Hasbro, but not quite up to Dragon quality yet.  I like the heavier bodies though, and have certainly not been disappointed by the range of motion and display possibilities.

Accessories - ***1/2
A terrific arsenal of well sculpted and accurate accessories come with this figure.  They get the ***1/2 stars based on sculpt quality and accuracy - they don't make it to **** because quality is often a problem (once again, I had to glue a couple straps that fell off immediately) and the softness of the rubber used for the knife and bayonet is not to my liking.  BTW, he also comes with a standard helmet, but I much prefer the beret.

Value - ***
If you grab this baby on clearance at Target, you're getting a fantastic value!  At the original price of $25, it isn't quite as good, but better than many of the other 12" figures out there.

Overall - ***1/2
 This is a wonderful figure, but it's not perfect.  Slightly better plastic used in the accessories, and slightly tighter quality control, and this figure would have been pushing a **** rating.  But at $14 or less, he's a terrific addition to your Allied forces.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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