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Friday, September 11, 2015
Action Figure Review: Big Knight's Castle by Schleich
Components: Gatehouse, two walls, two stone walls, stone dungeon, tower, three crests, four flags, and two figures
Non-Scalper Price: $60-$150 dollars
Height: 3 3/4 inches tall
Articulation: Swivel left shoulder
This is a cool looking figure. The paint's a little messy in spots but overall he looks quite nice. His ax is wicked looking!
Griffin Knight Spy
Height: 3 3/4 inches
Articulation: Swivel left shoulder.
I love his claw but the knife in his left hand is bent out of shape. His armored mask is rather fearsome looking, though. He really looks pissed.
*The drawbridge housing is about 11 1/2 inches tall and 18 inches long. The stone pieces are removable in case you don't want to use them. The quality of the plastic is excellent on this set for the most part. The castle walls themselves are a thick, sturdy plastic while the stone pieces are durable but hollow.
* The crest on the drawbridge is removable and reversible. One side has an image of a griffin while the other has the image of a dragon. You ca switch them around to show who is currently in charge of the castle (the tower door also has this feature). The bridge has a nice wooden grain to it and the metal pits are cleanly painted.
*The back of the gatehouse shows off the stone steps leading up to the castle walls and the wooden floors up top where you can have your troops standing. You ca see that while the castle wall pieces fit together perfectly, the stone pieces here have some visible separation.
*This handle allows you to drop the drawbridge while the wheel next to the handle allows you to raise it. It's a nice feature that works quite well. There's a hinged floor here that allowed you to see the chains wrapping around their spools. If something gets stuck, you can easily go inside and fix it.
*And here's the drawbridge! The chains are actually metal! They look really nice and give the set a very high quality feel.
The stones of the castle walls have some nice paintwork on them. Various colors give the walls much more depth than just the colors they are molded in.
*The set comes with two stone walls. These can be used to attach together the two regular castle walls that come with the set. They're both identical and have some nice sculpting. They're made from a softer plastic that feels rotocast, but they're sturdy. The various pieces of the castle don't attach but merely sit side by side.
* The castle comes with two of these walls. They're each about 8 1/2 inches tall and 13 1/2 inches wide. They sculpt and plastic quality is excellent. They have a bit of a curve to them so that they begin to form a semi-circle around the castle keep.
*This is probably my favorite piece. It's a pain to assemble but it stays tight. It can function as an excellent backdrop for action figures by itself or it can be used in conjunction with the castle. It doesn't attach to the walls but simply sits beyond them.
*The interior is hollow and can be accessed through this door. It feels sturdy enough and easily opens and closes to access the interior.
*There's also a secret entrance. I guess you can use this to escape from the dungeon or it opens to allow easier access to play underneath. The rock piece is neat and also makes a nice backdrop or accessory.
* Here's a torch. I wish the flame were translucent as a simple red flame is a bit lame. Still, this is no ordinary torch. Twist the torch and the trapdoor on top activates to drop enemies into the dungeon.
* Here's the trapdoor...
* And here it is opened!
*The tower is around 13 inches tall and is designed to stand atop the dungeon/ tower base (which makes it 21 inches tall). It's a gorgeous piece and features plenty of windows, excellent stone sculpting, and a drop down ramp.
*The ramp features a crest that is reversible (like the drawbridge) and can drop down to allow access to the inside. It also functions as a walkway from the top of the drawbridge gate housing to the tower.
*You can see the bottom floor (which is usally over the dungeon grate) and the middle floor (which has an opening access door on the floor). It's cramped in here but you can fit figures inside.
*Here's the top of the tower. Any figure standing up here is well protected and can climb down into the tower through the opening hatch.
* I haven't talked much about the figures, but one of the cool things about them is that they each have a hooked weapon (ax or claw) that allows them to climb up to the top of the tower via the windows. It's a neat little feature.
*There is a lot of playspace in this playset. There aren't too many "features" like many other playsets, but the amount of room that can be used to store figures is quite nice.
So, who can use this castle? While you can definitely use individual pieces as backdrops for a variety of figures, it's definitely a bit small for most larger lines like Masters of the Universe Classics or Toy Biz's Lord of the Rings. Things don't look bad at a glance but give it time and soon you'll realize that these characters could clamber over the walls.
I've reviewed a couple of other castles on Action Figure Barbecue:
The Vampyre Castle from Lego's Monster Fighters and the Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull by Mattel.