Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Wrapping Up 2023: Skull Temple from Indiana Jones: Adventure Series by Hasbro


   I've got another Indiana Jones: Adventure Series review lined up for today, but this one isn't a figure; it's actually the Skull Temple, one of the Build-an-Artifacts from the line. Only three were released (or have been released, if we're remaining optimistic): The Ark of the Covenant, the Grail Table, and the Skull Temple. The Skull Temple was part of the second series of figures released and came spread out over five figures, three from Temple of Doom and two from Dial of Destiny. Hasbro calls this the Skull Temple in all of their promotional material and such, so I don't really know a better name for it. It's a skull shaped altar used to hold the Sankara Stones that stands underneath a large statue of Kali in the Temple of Doom. While I think these might have been better as deluxe sets, the Build-an-Artifact idea is clever and it helped sell me on a few figures I wouldn't have likely grabbed. I actually skipped the Ark, though, as I preordered the Mezco One:12 Collective Toht with the light up Ark. Ready to check out a fixture from the Temple of Doom? Then join me after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 5 1/2 inches (including the snake)

Articulation: None

Accessories: 3 Sankara Stones, 3 glowing Sankara Stones.

Non-Scalper Price: N/A. To build him you need the parts from Indiana Jones (Temple of Doom), Short Round, Indiana Jones (Hypnotized), Helena Shaw, and Indiana Jones (Dial of Destiny). 

The Positives:

* The Skull Temple altar is 4 1/4ths inches tall without factoring in the snake on top and 5 1/2 inches with it. It might seem a bit short but it seems to be setting up on top of a platform in the film. Set it on something or use it with the 2008 1/18th scale line; it works fine with both, I think. 

* The sculpt is really impressive as it has a weird texture to it, definitely like it's carved from some sort of rock found down in the mines below Pankot Palace. Hasbro didn't leave it unpainted, either. There is a nice mixture of red and black paint effects to add some depth and texture to the look of the skull. The skull is hollow inside and is built from three pieces (a large back, the upper face, and the lower jaw), so you could certainly some LEDs inside to give it an eerie glow. 

* Here's a closer look at the teeth. They're rally quite creepy and look fantastic. I could see this skull altar being a popular item for fans of other fantasy lines. You don't see many of these listed on Ebay or other sites and the ones that do tend to go for about $60 to $70 dollars, so there may just not be as many of these floating around fully assembled as you might think. 

* The back of the skull is fully rounded (not just flat, like a relief or a diorama piece) and it has the same paint work and texturing as the front. 

* I always forget about the Indian Cobra mounted on top of the altar. It gives Indy a startle in the film, too. This is a pretty creepy looking piece with some really nice texture for the scales and some fairly detailed paint applications. I hate snakes, too, so this one gives me the shivers even though it's plastic and pretty small. As far as I can recall, this is the only snake in the Adventure Series line.

* The Indian Cobra is removable and can be used as just a regular snake if you so desire. Use him in your Well of Souls display! The snake piece comes with the Dial of Destiny Indy and the pictures on the packaging even show it being used as a regular snake.

* All three Sankara Stones are included. These three and the glowing set of stones come with the Hypnotized/ Black Sleep of Kali Indy figure, so it could possibly said this set of stones are accessories for him. They're marbled and the center one, Shivalinga, has the notches in it that represent the three levels of the universe. That's the stone that the Thuggees stole from the village of Mayapore.  

* The second set of Sankara Stones is glowing. Pretty cool! You don't even have to say "Tum Shiva ke vishwaas-ghati ho!" This set looks much more dynamic housed in the skull altar. 

* There are little divots for the Sankara Stones to fit in. The one resting in the skull's nose is easy to put in place but the two in the eyes can be tricky as the skull is hollow and they tend to fall back in there. 

The Negatives:

* The snake doesn't attach to the Skull Temple altar very tightly, so it can easily slide off or get bumped out of place. The same goes for the Sankara Stones. Be careful about where you display this so it doesn't get rattled and the stones go rolling this way and that. 

   How do I feel about the Skull Temple? It's pretty impressive. While I'm still really frustrated with this line (the character selection baffles me in places), Hasbro did manage to get the MacGuffin from each film in the original Trilogy out in an impressive manner. While I wouldn't take the Skull Temple altar over, say, Mola Ram or Willie Scott (I'm a weirdo who would prefer an "Anything Goes version of Willie over her white dress), it really does make for a nice centerpiece for the really limited number of Temple of Doom figures Hasbro released. As an extra that you can use with the Adventure Series or the 2009 with just a little futzing, it's an Epic piece. It's pretty accurate, versatile, and quite a nice surprise for the line. 

This is the first rendition of the Skull Temple altar I've reviewed o the site. For more reviews from the Indiana Jones Adventure Series, check out the following:


  1. i dunno about a willie figure. I feel like if I had such a thing in my house I could hear it screaming even if it had no sound function whatsoever.


    1. If they included a sound chip it would make a great con exclusive. Imagine folks at SDCC just hearing Willie screaming from every inch of the convention center.


What'chu talkin' 'bout?