Friday, April 14, 2017

Action Figure Review : SDCC 2011 30th Anniversary Set from Indiana Jones by Hasbro

 Recently I acquired something I've wanted for a few years but haven't been able to get my hands on until now: The lost Indiana Jones wave from Hasbro's 2008 action figure line. Released as a SDCC exclusive in 2011 for the 30th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the set contains five action figures from Raiders of the Lost Ark that were originally intended to make up the 5th series of figures released by Hasbro (and another basic Indy tossed in for good measure). Unfortunately, the line ended before these ever made it to production (even the fourth series was fairly tough to come by) and thus it seemed like they would be lost to fans. For being as successful and as well loved of a property as it is (Raiders ties with Ghostbusters as my favorite film of all time) it's amazing how few Indiana Jones toys have been released over the years. Hasbro's series is the only toyline cover all four films and feature a wide variety of characters, so it was already streets ahead of the others. While it's far from a perfect toyline with its odd articulation scheme and some questionable likenesses, I absolutely love it. It's one of my favorites and I'm thrilled to finally have a "complete" collection. Let's take a closer look at this 6 pack after the break...



Indiana Jones

Height: 3 7/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, swivel/hinge knees, swivel thighs, swivel waist, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel wrists, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Removable jacket shell, display stand, satchel, revolver, torch, coiled whip, bag of dirt, and idol.

Original Retail Price: $64.99 for the set of 6 figures.





 * First up in this set is Indiana Jones. Yup, pretty much the standard Indiana Jones figure that was available at retail. Well, kind of. This version of Indy is a mishmash of pieces from a few different Indy figures. The torso and belt are from the basic Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Indy while the head is actually from the Temple of Doom Indy figure. The headsculpts on most figures in this line are pretty average at best; they might look like the characters, but not the actors.
 * My guess is that to try and ensure that these sets sold Hasbro wanted a classic Indiana Jones included for buyers who didn't collect the line three years prior. Indy here covers all the basics: Brown leather jacket, tan button up shirt, a belt with a holstered revolver and a loop for the coiled bullwhip, and Indy's satchel. The articulation is a bit weird on these figures (2008 was really right before Hasbro started nailing figures in this scale and went into the best years of the 1/18th scale Star Wars line) but the paint and details work.


 * Until I got my new camera with a designated macro lens, I never even picked up on how cool Indy's holster is. Check it out: You can see the outline of the Smith & Wesson revolver through the leather!


 * Here's a close-up of Indy's British MKVII gas mask bag. If you remove the jacket shell, you can remove this piece, too. It's a nice sculpt with a very detailed texture to represent the material the bag is made of.

* Of course Indy includes his bullwhip and his Smith & Wesson M1917 revolver. The revolver has a pretty nice sculpt and solid paintwork for such a small accessory (even if Indy's hands make it difficult to hold the accessory). He also has a coiled up bullwhip for the loop on his belt. Lots of other figures in the line included uncoiled whips, so the absence of that piece isn't too jarring.

* Indy also comes with the idol of Pachamama, the Chachapoyan goddess of fertility. This is a simple recast of the idol that came with the mass market Raiders Indy figure in a darker color of gold. The sculpt is still nice though, especially considering the small size.


 * Also included is the bag of dirt Indy used to try to fool the weighted plate in the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors. It's a repaint of the same small accessory included with the deluxe Indiana Jones with temple trap figure.









 * Indy also comes with a torch. It's the same sculpt as Short Round's torch, but it's a slightly different shade of brown. The translucent yellow flames on top look really cool. The inclusion of the torch definitely gives Indy something to help him stand out, though, because otherwise this guy looks like the rest of the Indy figures from the line in this exact same outfit. I really wish we'd have gotten a white suited Rene Belloq figure in Indy's place here.

 * Last, but not least, is a really cool display base. No other figures in the line included these but all six figures in this set come packaged with one. It works really well and definitely helps to make displaying these on your shelf a much easier effort.
 Indiana Jones in German Uniform

Height: 3 7/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, boot swivels, swivel/hinge knees, swivel hips, swivel waist, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel wrists, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Rocket launcher, display base
 * Indiana Jones in the German Uniform he steals from a soldier at Geheimhaven always seemed like a figure Hasbro would release in the line sooner or later. It was an easy Indy variant as it essentially was just a simple head swap with one of the German Soldier figures. That's pretty much what Hasbro did here, although the headsculpt is a bit nicer than most other Indy figures. I'm also digging the blood spot on the forehead. Considering that Indiana Jones in German Uniform was one of the vintage Kenner figures, he's really nice to have.

 * There's just something off about the arms, though; they seem just a bit too large for the body. They're also just a slightly different shade of green. The standard green army uniform still looks good, though, and has some nice details such as the web gear and ammo pouches along the waist.

 * Indiana Jones come with the rocket launcher/ RPG with which he threatens to blow up the Ark of the Covenant. It's a pretty nice sculpt (although a tad bit bent out of shape, but that will hopefully correct itself over time) with a really good dry brushing effect to give it a gunmetal appearance. There's also a leathery looking strap that is too small to fit around the figure's shoulder.
 * Due to the articulation and the handle being too big for Indy to hold (or are his hands too small?), there really isn't a good way for the figure to hold this accessory. It's a vital piece, but he's going to just kind of casually hold it instead.

  I'm glad we have this figure to nearly complete the vintage Kenner lineup, but I would have much rather had Belloq in his white suit, Capt. Katanga, Marcus Brody, or Col. Dietrich than him. 
 German Mechanic

Height: 4 1/16th inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, swivel/hinge boots, swivel hips, swivel waist, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Wrench, pistol, cap, and display base

* Now we're talking! The German Mechanic, played by Pat Roach, is definitely one of the most memorable Indy villains despite only having a few minutes of screen time. He was an excellent character choice for this set and you can tell Hasbro put some real care into him. The headsculpt on this guy is pretty good, helping to make him look really intimidating.


* The mechanic has a removable cap that stays on his head quite securely. It also looks to be very appropriately sized. Sometimes I forget it's a removable piece.
 * Someone give the German Mechanic a band-aid, because this guy is cut! Seriously, he's a big, buff dude and he makes Indy look small by comparison. The sculpt and paintwork here, while kind of basic, just works really well. The German Mechanic is another figure included in the vintage Kenner line, so it's nice to have him included here. He also has some cool accessories:


* First is a wrench, which makes an appearance during the fight sing at the German Flying Wing. I love the oil stains on it.

 * The second accessory looks like a Walther P38, although that would be a bit anachronistic for Raiders' 1936 setting, wouldn't it? Still, it's a cool pistol. The mechanic can't really hold it, though, as his gripping hand is very, very slim and tight.
 Marion Ravenwood

Height: 3 3/4 inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, swivel/hinge knees, swivel hips, swivel waist, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel neck.

Accessories: Snakes, torch, and display base

 * I'm really glad Hasbro chose to include Marion Ravenwood in the white dress in this set. It's such an iconic look for the character and, with it's inclusion in the vintage Kenner line, it's a figure fans really wanted to own. The headsculpt is actually quite gorgeous and resembles Karen Allen fairly well for a 6 year old 1/18th scale figure. This is one of the nicest headsculpts in the line.


* The dress is also very detailed, including this decorative element on the back. I don't know the technical name for it but it's a cool addition.


* I love the detail of the missing shoe on Marion's left foot! It's very scene specific, but so is this dress, so it works out perfectly.


* Marion comes with a torch to help keep the snakes at bay while in the Well of Souls! It's a cool piece reused from Sallah, but who cares, right? A cool torch is a cool torch!


* Marion's slickest accessory is actually a group of asps and a king cobra. The paintwork is pretty basic and toyish, but it's a fun little extra. I so with this toyline had existed when I was a child!
 Satipo

Height: 3 3/4 inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge knees, swivel hips, swivel waist, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Torch, display base, backpack, and tarantulas.
 * Satipo kind of seems like an out of left field choice but I love him. He's such a huge part of the intro to Raiders and Alfred Molina did a fantastic job in portraying the character in such a way that manages to draw out multiple facets Indiana Jones' personality naturally. The face has a pretty nervous expression, which fits the character well. I would have loved to have Barranca, too, but I'm thankful to just have Satipo.


 * The sculpting and paintwork is really good here. I love the worn and tattered look of Satipo's outfit. You can just imagine how sweat and grime stained this outfit must be! Underneath the jacket is a holster on one side and a belt pouch on the other.


* Satipo's knees are also filthy! I love these paint applications as they just add so much character to the figure.


* Satipo comes with his own unique torch to help guide he and Indy through the Chachapoyan temple. The flame effect is really slick here and he holds it well.


* Satipo also carries a backpack filled with all kinds of stuff: Cooking pans, pots, and more torches. It kind of reminds me of an accessory from a Toy Biz Samwise Gamgee figure.


* The funnist accessory, though, is this little piece that attaches to Satipo's back. It's a sculpted mass of spiders! What a fun accessory that pays tribute to a great scene from perhaps the greatest movie intro of all time.
 Toht

Height: 3 3/4 inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, swivel/hinge knees, swivel hips, swivel waist, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel wrists, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Coat, two interchangeable heads, hat, headpiece to the staff of Ra, two interchangeable right hands, and a fireplace poker.

 * If there was one glaring omission from the entire Indiana Jones line, it would be Arnold Ernst Toht. Ron Lacey's Toht manages to always be the scariest guy in the room despite his small stature and somewhat mousy appearance. This is a pretty nice Toht headsculpt, much better than the Kenner Toht from my childhood (the only Indiana Jones toy I had as a kid). His suit has a great pinstripe pattern and you can even see his SS pin on his lapel.


* Toht also includes his hat which fits him really well. Sometimes hats like this don't work in the 1/18th scale, but Hasbro nailed it here.

* Toht wears his coat over his shoulders, so that's what you can do here. I love the look of this. I'm not crazy about the cut waist joint's placement (it looks a bit awkward) but the figure manages to look pretty snazzy.


* One really cool accessory Toht includes is the headpiece to the Staff of Ra, a significant item to the plot of Raiders. An oversized version was one of the relics in the toyline but this is the first one available in scale with the figures. It's really nice!


 * Another rally cool accessory is Toht's burned hand. It's an alternate hand that swaps out easily and depicts Toht doing a Nazi salute with the image of one side of the headpiece burned into his hand.

* Another cool, scene specific item is the fireplace poker Toht threatens Marion with at her bar in Nepal. It's really rubbery, so that's a negative, but the paintwork actually makes this a convincing little accessory. Too bad Toht doesn't come with his coat hanger too, huh?
 * Last, and absolutely the best, is this alternate head for Toht that features his melting face. It is incredible and horrifying and I love it! How gruesome is this? The heads swap easily (although they don't stay on terribly tight) so there's no reason not to go back and forth when you are reenacting the end of Raiders during playtime. I wish we'd also gotten a Colonel Dietrich with a shrinking head and an alternate exploding head for Belloq.





  Giving this set a rating is going to be tough as it's 6 years old, incredible rare, cost me an arm and a leg, and has kind of been a grail piece for me for the past few years. Let me start with each figure, from my least favorite to most favorite: Standard Indy is standard Indy, the German uniform Indy could have been better, the German Mechanic is a great, solid figure, Satipo has an impressive outfit and some amazing accessories, Marion has one of the best headsculpts in the line, and Toht is flat out incredible. I'd argue this is a Great set that shows off the best and worst things about this line! Now, with a 5th Indiana Jones film already announced, let's hope that the line makes a return. I'd be down for some new figures. I will never be content until we get Indy in his tux from the Club Obi Wan, Willie in her performance outfit, Lao Che, and Wu Han. Oh, and a Marcus Brody figure. And Ox and Mac. Hasbro, make more!!! Make MORE!!!!


5 comments:

  1. This Is a great set.I've trying to cherry pick from the line ,coming away with only and Indie,Marion and Arabian guard(that gets crushed by the steam roller) figures.I'd love to track down that German mechanic some day as It was one of my favorite scenes In the film.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm so glad to finally own it!

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  3. Would you happen to have Marion for sale? I keep missing her on eBay or they want 500 for it.


    Bellis1@citadel.edu

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    1. I do not. This set is one I've wanted for quite a few years and I'm not letting any of them go! She definitely seems to be one of the more expensive loose ones, doesn't she? She's such an improvement over the original Marion in her Cairo outfit.

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