To celebrate the very long and very much anticipated release of the Indiana Jones trilogy to DVD, OAFEnet is happy to present you Rustin Parr's very long and very much anticipated return to action figure reviews... or at least that's what I like to tell myself in the night... in the dark... alone...
Today I get to deal with something related to two and a half major parts of my life: Action Figures and Disneyland (and the "1/2" refers to Indiana Jones, something of which I'm a fan, but not so much so it could be put on the same plain as the aforementioned). You see, hearing the desperate cries of all of us collectors and Indy fans, they came to the rescue by releasing this Disney Park exclusive Indiana Jones figure. He came a year or two ago and was just recently joined by a variety of new friends (Indy without his trademark jacket, Marion, Arab Swordsman, German Soldier and German Mechanic), but is this figure really worth your time and money? Well that's my job, to answer that question. And that answer is... Being withheld, because if I've gotta type all this junk out, then you're sure as hell going to be forced to read it!
Skip the above, begin reading here: So, allow us to begin where we always do: my refrigerator, so that I can stock up on ice water and carrots (what? Toy reviewers can want larger busts too, can't they?). And from there, we shall journey into the heat-ridden, sweaty corridors of the South American rain forest, where both danger and fortune await us. Remain in single file and please, for the love of god, don't touch any fat little golden babies!
Dr. Jones comes fully equipped to battle with any number of Nazis, Arabs, Darkness and/or Heights. Packaged with this figure are a handgun, a scimitar, a torch and a whip. For its size, the gun's sculpt is pretty good. I think there might even be a two-color paint job on this thing; gunmetal gray for the metal and flat black for the handle, but I could be wrong. The real problem here is that the gun, or at least the handle, is just too small. Indy can't hold it in his right hand, and can barely hold it in his left. The scimitar is cast in a pretty flimsy plastic but is a decent enough sculpt, the two-toned paint on the handle helps legitimize it too, but ultimately, who cares? It's not like anyone would actually want to display him holding the darn thing.
The torch is cool. I have a thing for fire toys, always have always will. I'm not sure what it is, but plastic fire (perhaps the title of my next pornographic film) has always been a "turn on." Unfortunately, here it is not translucent, as is my preference, but is a yellow paint with an orange wash or spray over it. This dual-layer paint helps to sell the effect. Finally, the whip: it's okay. There is a very odd, big loop at the base of the "handle" which makes the whole thing look more like a noose than a whip, but it's most likely easy to cut off, if you're into that sort of thing. The plastic is nice and soft, but there's not much you can do with it in terms of poseability. However, there is an impressive amount of crosshatch detail on the entire whip that adds a sense of realism you would really expect from such a thing.
Indy's articulation is the simple "Big Five": neck, shoulders and hips. Not much you can do with it, but for a Disney thing, you don't really expect much more.
The paint is impressively good. One would expect the "cheapness" of the articulation to be characteristic of the whole figure, but the jacket and shoes have very nice subtle washes on them that really add to the overall aesthetic value of the figure. The zipper on the jacket, buckles on the belts, and button on the gun holster are even painted silver. The ribbon or belt or whatever on the hat is also painted as are the buttons on the satchel. There's even a nice soft spray on the face to suggest stubble. Not a new trick, but one of the more effective uses of it, in my opinion.
The paint is really the thing that sets this figure apart from what you might expect it to be. It adds a good deal of "perceived value" to the figure and really helps its aesthetics. (I also just noticed the gold buckle and buttons on his waist-belt and shirt, as well as the black on the buckles on the sides of the jacket; the paint detail is really quite impressive [at least for such a figure]). What the figure lack in sculptural detail, it makes up for in paint apps.
Speaking of which, the sculpt is really very average. Not much to brag about here. Indy is sculpted in a decent generic pose. There is a subtle bend at the left elbow, but a more pronounced one at the right. While there isn't much you do with the articulation, the designer and/or sculptor were kind enough to allow Indy to hold something upright without looking totally ridiculous. There are some broad wrinkles and seems in the clothes, but nothing that would really make McFarlane Toys run for the hills.
An interesting side note is that the hat is a separate sculpt, cast in a softer plastic, but is, for some unknown reason, not removable. Oh, I suppose I should mention the scale. This figure stands an unimpressive, but non-inhibiting 4 1/2 inches. But I know what you're all waiting for, how's the likeness?
Well, rumor has it that, well... before I go there, another rumor has it that Harrison Ford does not sign off on his likeness without huge sums of money for it (of course Star Wars is the exception, apparently, because, well, we all know about Lucas' original contracts, etc.), therefore, the first rumor to be mention here has it that these figures are technically (read "legally") based on the Indiana Jones Stunt Show Spectacular at Disney World. Thereby, they pull a fast one on Lucasfilm, and don't have to pay for the movie rights, just the show-merchandise rights. But, ultimately, as you have now guessed, the likeness is not that good. The figure looks far more like Rick Moranis rather than Harrison Ford.
So where does this put the figure? A mediocre sculpt with a good paint job and a nice variety of okay accessories. But, is this figure ultimately worth it? I can't say. I like it, but it's really a personal decision. Normally I'd say that the price ($8.00 + tax) is about twice what the figure is actually worth, but, then again, it is an exclusive and the closest thing to a good Indiana Jones figure we'll probably ever see. I'm glad I got it and plan on getting the other figures, but if a yes or no is what you're looking for, then I'd say get it. The comparable wealth of accessories and the very subtle paint balance out the "quality" of the sculpt. That being said though, it might be a tough find now. I haven't seen it at Disneyland in awhile, and it'd been seemingly replaced by the aforementioned "Series 2" figures.
How would the movies have been different if Rick Moranis really was Indy? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.