Monday, June 5, 2023

Action Figure Review: Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark) from The Adventures of Indiana Jones Retro Collection by Hasbro


   Similar to their Star Wars: Retro Collection, Hasbro is now offering a retro inspired series of figure based on Kenner's vintage The Adventures of Indiana Jones toyline. The Adventures of Indiana Jones Retro Collection currently features remakes of five of the figures from the vintage Kenner line based on Raiders of the Lost Ark and a number of new retro-styled figures based on Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade. While I'm currently holding off on the 6 inch Adventure Series until they announce Mola Ram or I find certain figures on sale, I was interested in this guy because while I do have a vintage Indy, he's never had any accessories and he's not in the best shape. I wasn't even born when Kenner's vintage The Adventure of Indiana Jones line first came out and the only figure I ever purchased firsthand in a store was Toht. Somehow, we were at some store when I was a very young kid that had a selection of older toys and I picked him up. Weird, huh? Anyways, my original vintage Indy was acquired at an antique store near Etna, OH back in 1996 when I was first getting into Star Wars. I remember picking up him, Belloq in his ceremonial robes, Luke Skywalker in Bespin fatigues, and Han Solo in Bespin gear. Back then who knows how much I paid for them? They were all used and worn but I still have them all. Eh.. enough rambing; let's see how Hasbro's Retro Collection version of Indiana Jones from Raiders of the Lost Ark turned out...

The Facts:

Height: 3 3/4ths inches

Articulation: Hinged knees, swivel hips, swivel left shoulder, spring swivel right shoulder, and a swivel head.

Accessories: Revolver and whip

Non-Scalper Price: $12 dollars


* On the left is the 2023 Retro Collection Indiana Jones while the vintage Indiana Jones figure from Kenner's The Adventures of Indiana Jones line is on the right. The new Indy has a softer, slightly less detailed sculpt and his pants and boots are lighter while his jacket is darker. His hat is also more of a chocolate brown and the face seems softer and more rounded. He feels more rubbery than the vintage toy, too, especially the legs.

The Positives:

* I actually bought my Indy for under retail price as part of an Ebay auction that also included the recently released Star Wars Retro Collection Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight) and Han Solo in his trench coat, so I didn't get the pleasure of removing him from the vintage styled blister card. There's definitely a cool, nostalgic feel to the figure and considering my vintage Indy has always been kind of beat up, getting a fresh one was definitely appealing. It's not a perfect approximation of the vintage toy, but it's in the same ballpark (though there are some inferior aspects compared to the original). While he's one of the most iconic characters in film, Indiana Jones has a simple look and this figure captures all of those elements; the jacket, button up shirt, belt with holster, and khaki pants are all here.

* For a vintage Kenner styled figure this isn't a bad headsculpt, though I'm not sure it's as good as the actual vintage toy. Some of the Retro Star Wars figures look to be a bit improved over their vintage counterparts, but not Indy. His likeness resembles that of a 1978 Kenner figure more than a 1981 Kenner figure. I still like it as it definitely reminds me of the vintage Han Solo figure, though. The hat looks good here and I like the brown color of it more than the actual vintage toy.

* Indy can sit! The Indiana Jones line has some interesting DNA as the style of the figures and even some of the elements of the toys like the horse, the quick draw feature, and other elements, came from Kenner's toyline based on the film  Butch and Sundance: The Early Years" which wasn't a success. The line was supposed to transition into a general Western line called "The Real West in 1980" but that didn't happen, either. Still, those lines provided the design for Indy who has hinged knees and is made to sit on a horse. He has the classic Star Wars articulation plus the hinged knees and a spring action right arm. 

* The spring action right arm allows Indy to draw his pistol or to swing the whip. The spring function works whether you're pulling the arm down or pulling it back, which is pretty neat. It's a fun feature and it works just fine here. It's a nice little nostalgic touch. 

* Indy's revolver is really cool. It's nicely detailed for a vintage inspired piece and looks fairly accurate to the vintage accessory, though not exact. 

* You'll have to mess with it a bit but it is possible to fit the revolver into Indy's holster. He can draw it, too, using the quick-draw action. 

* Indy's whip can coil around the loop on his left hip. How many action figures from this time or before could carry their accessories like this and have their hands free? I can't think of any off hand unless you start getting into larger figures like classic G.I. Joes or Big Jim.

* Of course Indiana Jones comes with his whip! It's quite simple, like the vintage toy: A string knotted through a plastic handle. 

The Negatives:

* The handle on this figure looks to be much thicker than the vintage accessory. I can understand Hasbro wanting to differentiate a bit, but this handle is barely usable. It's way too thick for Indy to hold. It needed to be a thinner handle. 

* It's really weird that the detail is less crisp om this newer figure than the vintage. Furthermore, the jacket is so dark that it looks black. It seriously is tough to see any brown in it. 

* Also, Indy's hips and legs are rubbery. It's really bad. The vintage figure isn't rubbery like this, so do be careful. From the waist down Indy feels kind of like a bendy figure. That might be a slight exaggeration, but just barely. 

* What is up with Indy's hands? I mean, just look at them and you can tell there is virtually no way he's holding his accessories. I could stick stuff in there for a second for the pictures but they'd fall out shortly afterwards or anytime you move or handle the figure. Some of the Star Wars: Retro Collection figures that are remakes of the vintage line have this problem, too, though the new retro figures hold their accessories really well.

  Honestly, I'm pretty disappointed with this figure. I really like the Retro Collection for Star Wars and I was very excited to have a "vintage" Indy complete and in great shape, but it's baffling to me that he can't really interact with his accessories well. That, his rubbery articulation for his lower body, and the softer detail on his torso and head just make him not all that much fun. If you're keeping him packaged on the card, which is probably the intention, he's probably a lot more pleasing. Loose, however, he's kind of a bummer. I'm giving Indy an Eh and a 1/2. Oh, it breaks the heart. 

 Looking for more of Dr. Henry Walton Jones, Jr., better known as Indiana Jones? Then check out my reviews of Indiana Jones with Ark and the two Indys from the SDCC "Lost Wave" set: Indiana Jones and Indiana Jones in German Uniform, all from Hasbro's 2008 Indiana Jones toyline, and the Indiana Jones: Worlds of Adventure Indiana Jones with Adventure Backpack.

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