Indiana Jones: Adventure Series Major Arnold Toht review

A nefarious agent of evil, Major Arnold Toht races against Indiana Jones to locate the lost Ark of the Covenant!

Though no one's ever said it on the record, there must be some restriction that says various toylines from one manufacturer aren't allowed to share parts among them. Like, Hasbro just announced a GI Joe Classified figure called Vypra, a female ninja in baggy pants. She uses the same molds as Akiko, logically, but the Marvel team just put out a figure of Elektra, a female ninja in baggy pants. Who has a different sculpt. Is there any reason Akiko, Elektra, and Vypra shouldn't all be able to use the same molds? Other than being from two different departments of the company, no. And similarly, here we have Toht, Raiders of the Lost Ark's creepy little Nazi Gestapo agent, who wears a simple black suit. And although Marvel Legends has a whole slew of suit bodies, nary a single piece of any of those molds has been used here. Once this line is dead (looking like September at this point), don't expect any of these parts to show up as Matt Murdock or anybody in the future. So sad!

Though Stephen Spielberg initially offered the role to famous child-rapist and international fugitive from law Roman Polanski, Toht was eventually played by Ronald Lacey, who shaved the top of his head for the role. This toy's hat is removable, but you don't get any of the stubble that could be seen in the movie. Just like with Indy himself, Toht's hat looks too large for his head - or rather, it makes his head look too small for his body. A body that already looked weird, proportionally, because the legs look huge and the upper body looks small (a choice made so that he looks correct when he has his overcoat draped on his shoulders, meaning that's what Hasbro considers his "default" style to be).

Since the toy has balljoints at both the top and bottom of the neck, the collar of his shirt is attached to the neck, allowing it and his necktie to move around independently of the rest of the shirt. Which is a neat idea, but for whatever reason, Hasbro didn't paint the area directly under the collar white, leaving a visible strip of pink skin unless Toht is looking down. What an oversight!

Until Hasbro decides to release a "German Mechanic (Post-Fight)" figure, this is easily the most mutilated toy in the line. Fist, we get his Nazi salute hand, which has the pattern of the Headpiece of Ra burned into it. Which, quick aside, is pretty stupid, right? Who picks anything up palm-first? If you're picking up a flat, circular object, you're not going to do so by laying your palm on it and then curling your fingers around; I realize it would never work for the story, but honestly just his fingertips should be burned. Anyway, back on-topic, we also get Toht's melting face from the end of the movie. It's sculpted screaming, and is covered in white and red paint - tallow and blood flowing off his skull.

In addition to the removable hat and coat, Toht includes a Walther P38 made from the softest, bendiest plastic imaginable. That's funny, I thought Hasbro didn't remember how to make this gun anymore? In the real world, the P38 wasn't produced until two years after the story is set, but then, we already know there are some things different between the world of Indiana Jones and ours.

He's also got the same Ark pieces as Marion: one side, and one end. The molds are even the same, so you don't have to worry about confusing them.

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13 Responses to Indiana Jones: Adventure Series Major Arnold Toht review

  1. Chris says:

    With most licenses yes they are restricted from using parts between lines. The designs are owned by the licensor so anything created based on those designs can only be used for that license during the license period. This is why we didn’t see any of the G.I. Joe movie character figure parts used for any of the post movie figures. Paramount owns the movie designs same as the Transformers movies.

    • yo go re says:

      "Didn't see any of the parts reused" other, of course, than Akiko and Vypra, the very example used to illustrate the point. It's more accurate to say we haven't seen any reused because there haven't been any characters who had the potential to use them before now.

      And it doesn't matter who the licensor is, you can't trademark the concept of "dress pants" or "coat sleeves." I'm not saying they should put an Indiana Jones head on a SHIELD Agent body or something... 🙂

      • Ai Muhao says:

        Which is a shame, because that would dramatically increase the available number of parts to mix-and-match.

        I don't much care for this Indiana Jones toyline, but I would love to get stuff like Major Toht here and Club Obi Wan Indiana Jones because I can easily see myself using them as props in class to teach my students about different types of clothing. Not many toys out there with an overcoat draped over their shoulders, yeah?

        The closest I had was Zoffy from Ultraman wearing his Ultra Mantle.

      • Chris says:

        That’s why I said most and not all licenses. And I was speaking about the 4” G.I.Joe figures, not the Snake-eyes movie. Again, most not all. Paramount and Hasbro/E-One likely had a different licensing deal for Snake-eyes than they did for the first two films.

        The only big exceptions to this that I see are the highly stylized figure types - Lego, Minimates and Pops to a certain extent, where the base figure is a canvas and the designs are applied to it. In these cases the figure form is generic and identical and parts are shared across all licenses.

        But yes licensing is a messy subject and we will likely never know the whole story.

        • yo go re says:

          The 4" movie figures definitely had their parts reused. Just off the top of my head and not looking anything up, Voltar was one of the speed suits, Hawk's body was pretty standard around the time Resolute was a thing, and Scarlett/Cover Girl's legs showed up again, too...

  2. Ai Muhao says:

    I know that crack about "not knowing how to make the Walther P38" is a dig at how Megatron can no longer transform into a gun (and even Titans Returns Sixshot lost his gun mode and had a submarine-that-looks-like-an-upside-down-gun mode in its place), but I'm just surprised the tip of the barrel isn't painted bright orange for safety reasons.

    I mean, even the older Reveal The Shield Legends Class Megatron, a toy that could in no way be confused with a real weapon due to the size, had the tip of his fusion cannon coloured bright orange.

  3. MontyPla says:

    I remember tweeting about the pants thing when Vypra was announced. It is weird. Like I get not being able to use certain parts- say anything with a sculpted logo or very recognizable, possibly copyrighted designs. Like the pants on a Star Wars Rebel pilot figure, for example. But for just a suit or baggy pants, it's odd. It's especially odd that Marvel and Indiana Jones can't share stuff since both franchises are owned by the same people.

    • Ai Muhao says:

      Well, like someone else mentioned above, the designs belong to the licensor, and there's a good chance they don't allow cross-pollination.

      I just had a look at a couple of the figures I own, and they have stuff like (c) Marvel. I'm guessing that means that every part designed for that figure belongs to Marvel and so can't be used for a Lucasfilm figure from a legal standpoint.

      Like, if Marvel, Star Wars and Indiana Jones are all separate licenses, then Hasbro probably can't share the parts between them compared to, say, having parts from Transformers get repurposed in G.I.Joe as weapons or something.

      • yo go re says:

        The designs do, but there's a limit to what can possibly count as "a design." There's a difference between "Captain America wears a chainmail shirt with a star emblem in the center" and "Phil Coulson's shirt has a wrinkle next to the third button and another by the right shoulder."

        If the licensors were covering part of the cost of the molds, I could MAYBE see it, but as long as the toy company is the one paying for everything, anything generic enough to not be copyrightable should be theirs to do with as they see fit.

        Clearly someone with access to contracts and an understanding of law should do a breakdown of all this, so the rest of us can learn the intricacies...

        • Ai Muhao says:

          Yeah, that sounds like it might be interesting.

          I can remember a couple of occasions where stuff that was originally made for Transformers was repurposed for something else (e.g. the G1 Deathsaurus toy was repainted as Red Geist for Legend of Braves Da-Garn, the Niagara Base playset from Beast Wars II is suspected of originally being designed for the Microman toyline due to elements like the size etc), but that was all internal stuff from TakaraTomy. I'm sure that there's different rules when dealing with licensors, especialyly nowadays.

  4. MRT says:

    Maybe its just that Hasbro is such a large company mixing and matching molds between departments leads to misplacement and scheduling issues...

    • Ai Muhao says:

      I suppose that's possible, especially if they use different factories for different brands (e.g. Factory A for G.I. Joe, Factory B for Marvel Legends, Factory C for miscellaneous).

      I'm aware that cutting steel molds is generally the most expensive part of producing a toy, and can also be quite bulky. The sheer logistics of moving them around might also be a factor.

      And while I'm only really familiar with Transformers, if I'm not mistaken sometimes you can't just mix and match molds. I remember the video they showed during the Haslab Star Saber campaign, and I seem to remember that, say, all the red parts were on one mold so it's not like you could just make more of his helmet or something. You'd have to make all those parts.

      Oh, to know for sure! Hahah.

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