John Ary here with a quick look at a few toy lines that are making news this week. As always click on the photos for an embiggened look and for more information check out the preorder links.
STAR-SPANGLED CAPTAIN AMERICA FROM HOT TOYS
Hot Toys unveiled its 2013 Toy Fairs exclusive version of The First Avenger. The company has released very little information so far about this item other than this pic, but we’ll keep you updated as to its availability, accessories and price.
1/6 PROTOTYPE ARMOR BOBA FETT FROM SIDESHOW COLLECTIBLES
Back in 1978 Joe Johnston created an early prototype armor for the galaxy’s most infamous bounty hunter. The original ‘Supertrooper’ design was completely white and included prototypes of his trademark weapons. Now Sideshow Collectibles wants to bring the first draft of Boba Fett to 1/6 scale toy fans with a new deluxe action figure. He will feature a helmet with rangefinder, a rifle, blaster, jet pack with grappling hook, fabric cape and a Sideshow exclusive Star Wars beach towel cape and figure base. He blasts off in February or you can preorder him here.
NAKED BROCK SAMSON FROM BIF BANG POW!
The macho secret agent and star of The Venture Bros. will soon get an exclusive San Diego Comic Con action figure. This 3.75-inch toy features a lot of blood and not much else. He will come packaged with a removable piece of black tape covering up his pelvic region (apparently with no “junk” behind it) and a knife. This student of the great Hunter Gathers, former member of the OSI and current member of SPHINX will be available at Entertainment Earth booth #2343 with left over figures going on sale here after the con.
KICK-ASS 2 WITH UNCENSORED PACKAGING FROM NECA
Fans of the upcoming Kick-Ass sequel may want to pick up these action figures at San Diego Comic Con this summer. That's the only place where you'll be able to find these 7-inch characters featuring uncensored packaging. The actual figures of Kick-Ass, Hit Girl and the evil The Motherf*cker are the same as the retail versions which will hit retail in August.
THE WALKING DEAD COMIC SERIES 2 FROM McFARLANE TOYS
McFarlane Toys has released new pics of its latest series of The Walking Dead action figures. The wave includes Glenn in Riot Gear, Michonne’s Pet Zombie, Penny and The Governor. These 5-inch toys should be hitting stores sometime this month or you can preorder the set here.
AND FINALLY THIS WEEK, AICN's Russ Sheath gives us an in-detpth look at the 1/6 scale Snake Eyes and Timber set from Sideshow Collectibles...
“I love that Snake Eyes proves himself not by witty dialogue, one liners or a look on his face. He proves himself by his actions alone, that's my kind of hero. He cuts through the bullshit and his eye is always on the ball. Complete focus. Complete bad ass”.
Jon M. Chu - Director GI Joe: Retaliation
Enigmatic Commando. Mute Ninja Master. A lone wolf yet an integral team member of America’s fighting elite, GI Joe. Even the origin of this enigmatic character is shrouded in mystery.
Created by Larry Hama using only the guideline of ‘commando’ as a foundation for the character, the original Snake-Eyes figure was produced with a simple, all black paint job as a money saving effort by the toy company but which became an integral part of the character’s identity. 30 years later Sideshow Collectibles, the purveyors of arguably some of the finest collectibles available, have bought Snake-Eyes bang up to date in what can only be described as the 'Ultimate' Snake-Eyes figure.
The Snake-Eyes and Timber set is the first 1/6th scale figure I’ve owned and right out the box it’s pretty amazing but the first thing that strikes you is the packaging. Emulating the classic 1980s Hasbro packaging design, there’s no doubt that the figure comes incredibly well presented for collectors who want to keep their toys pristine and on display. In the case of Snake-Eyes and Timber the packaging keeps the figure safe and collectors are able to display effectively even without opening the box. Also following the classic 80s motif is the ‘file card’ that outlines Snake-Eyes mysterious past and has that same ‘clip out and keep’ outline in a familiar nod back to the figures 3 3/4” origins. For Sideshow, the devil is in the details and its amazing that they even have magnets keep the packaging closed and secure.
I’m all about displaying the figure so I dive right into the box to extract Snake-Eyes and Timber. The Snake-Eyes figure, as I understand it, is based off one of several bodies that Sideshow use for their range of 1/6 figures. This one in particular is the ‘prometheus’ body and it suits the character particularly well. Snake-Eyes outfit is quite amazing. In fitting with the ‘modern take’ on the character, Sideshow have taken the key, classic elements of the Snake-Eyes we know and love both from the original ‘commando’ design and from the ‘ninja’ version. I’d argue that this figure leans more towards the ‘commando’ influence at least in his outfit but with it adds a modern twist. The Snake-Eyes portrayed in this set offers an aesthetic that would be equally at home on the modern battlefield or in Call of Duty. With a military style cargo pants not too dissimilar to real-world ‘Crye-Precision’ style pants, a fleece jacket and NAVY SEAL style lightweight boots Snake-Eyes is ready for action and really takes the ‘commando’ look to the next level.
One of the great controversy's that surely sends Snake-Eyes fans frothing at the mouth is the mask and I’m very much drawn between the ninja and the commando look. I think the ninja look has so many variable interpretations, especially around the look of the visor, and it depends very much depends on the artist portraying Snake-Eyes as to whether it works, or not. The visor has always ‘worked’ in the comics where the look on film has never quite ‘got there’. Likewise, the commando style from the original Snake-Eyes figure, while classic at the time, now looks a little ‘paintball’ for my liking.
As a happy medium, I kinda like the look that J. Scott Campbell went for in his recent cover for IDW’s Danger Girl / GI Joe comic, combining the two looks. If you haven’t checked out the series I recommend it as a must for devotees of the classic GI Joe series and IDW’s modern take, alike. Fortunately for fans, we get the best of both worlds as Sideshow’s Snake-Eyes comes with two head sculpts, so whether you are a fan of the original commando or classic ninja look, you can pick and choose. I went with the ninja head out of the box because I’ve always liked how distinctive the visor is, but both head sculpts depict the character so well I know that I will be interchanging between the two, before long.
Snake-Eyes is prepared for war with an impressive array of weapons and accessories and its testament to the team at Sideshow that they have ventured into this figure quite literally ‘all guns blazing’. One of the iconic elements that Larry Hama gave Snake-Eyes is his Uzi and the figure comes, not only with that sub-machine gun complete with silencer but also its modern day equivalent (also seen in the GI Joe: Retaliation movie) the HK MP 7. I loved this touch as it plays service to the fan base as well as keeping with the modern take on the character. The Uzi is a pretty dated weapon but the outline of that classic weapon in the hands of Snake-Eyes is ‘classic Snake-Eyes’ so its great to see that history acknowledged here. Snake-Eyes Uzi and MP7 are intricately detailed, both coming complete with magazines, retracting stocks and slings. Even painted rounds of ammunition are loaded into the mags proving that no detail is too small for the team at Sideshow. A rifle, that my research tells me is an ‘XCR PDW’ with M203 launcher, adds to Snake-Eyes compliment of weapons. This particular weapon feels slightly out of character to me where perhaps, if we are offering additional weapons, perhaps a sniper or long range rifle would have been more fitting with the Snake-Eyes we know from the comics. A pistol (Colt 1911??) rounds out the amazing array of weapons which again comes with magazines and a cool, real world Blackhawk style thigh holster. Snake-Eyes wouldn’t be complete without his katana and for the ninja devotees amongst you the figure comes complete with deadly sword as well as a fighting knife in ankle scabbard for those silent incursions into the midst of Cobra territory. I’m pretty amazed at the detail in the figure’s battle gear!
Miniature versions of hip and thigh pouches, right down to the clips and buckles used, are highly detailed and provide a home to the numerous flash-bang, frag and M203 grenades that accompany the set. A ‘battle bag’ rounds out the accessories that accompany the figure, leaving him fully laden and ready for action and able to adopt multiple poses thanks to the interchangeable hands and feet.
Accompanying Snake-Eyes is his loyal wolf ‘companion’ (it seems wrong to call Timber a pet) and again the craftsmanship that has gone into creating the figure is not to be underestimated. With two heads, you have a snarling portrait as well as a more placid version. Highly articulated, Timber is a 'big ol beast' and is quite heavy too. Whichever you choose, both look amazing and fit any scenario you seek to re-enact on your bookshelf battleground and ever caring, Snake-Eyes even carries a water bottle accessory for Timber.
In this box set you have a great, value for money but ‘high end’ box set that looks awesome sat atop my book shelf next to my GI Joe graphic novels and 3 3/4 25th Anniversary figures. Representing a ‘real world’ take on Snake-Eyes while combining the classic elements from the two most notable incarnations of the character from the last 30 years, fans of great 1/6 scale figures or of Snake-Eyes and GI Joe in particular will love this set.
Being my first incursion into Sideshow territory I was unsure of what to expect from a 12” figure depicting, hands down one of my favorite characters from comics and I wasn’t disappointed. There are a lot of collectibles out there but Sideshow, without a doubt make some of the best. The attention to detail in this figure is second to none and the build quality combines with those ‘elements’ that take something ‘cool’ and turn it into a ‘must have’ collectible. From the thoughtful added extras such as additional weapons to the fan pleasing elements such as the inclusion of Snake-Eyes Uzi and offering alternative heads, all these things combine to make the Sideshow Snake-Eyes and Timber a more than worthy addition to any shelf.
As I sit here and type I’m already browsing the Sideshow website for an accompanying figure or diorama base to do justice to this excellent figure, I’m hooked and can’t wait to bring you more insights into my adventures in Toyland and in particular Sideshow’s unique range of collectibles. You can order Snake-Eyes and Timber here
Follow Russ Sheath on Twitter @Russellsheath. That's it for now. For more action figure news follow my toy blog ArticulationTimes.com on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to the AICN Youtube channel.