When SOTA announced they'd be making figures based on The Chronicles of Riddick, a lot of fans were happy - they'd been after McFarlane Toys for years to put the Pitch Black star in their Movie Maniacs line. Of course, Todd was too busy reusing his Alien and Predator molds to bother making anything new.
The figures arrived a little bit after the movie, but not terribly so. They proved to be of similar quality to SOTA's previous movie line, Tomb Raider, but with a lot more variety: we got three villains, one ally and two versions of the man himself: one "regular" edition and one in a deluxe boxed set.
In this science fiction action-adventure epic, enigmatic anti-hero Richard B. Riddick may be the only hope against the ruthless Lord Marshal and his Necromonger Army intent on extinguishing life in the Universe. An apocalyptic battle erupts that leaves the fate of all beings - both living and dead - hanging in the balance.
The Riddick in this set is a good example of how reusing parts to make a new figure can work out nicely. Rather than sculpt all-new armor for him (thereby raising the production cost), SOTA borrowed the chest, forearms, boots and hands from their Vaako/Necromonger sculpt, attached them to the regular upper arms and head of Riddick and had a new offering. It looks good and keeps costs low - that's what toy fans like.
The facial sculpt is really good, definitely capturing the look of Vin Diesel. He's got a pair of removable goggles that conceal his bright silver eyes, and a really good "stubble" paintjob up on top of his bald head. Stubble's a hard thing to capture - just look at McFarlane's Sports Picks or some of the Marvel Legends to see that. SOTA's artists did a really good job.
To help him fight on the side of... whichever side it is he's fighting on, Riddick comes with a selection of three weapons: the large war-hammer thing that seems to be standard Necromonger issue, a triple-headed axe and a pair of curved, handheld blades. The right hand has a bit of a problem holding the small weapon, but it can be secured with just a little effort.
Since it's hard to make a deluxe boxed set with just one figure, Riddick is paired up with a Hellhound - one of the big beasties used to cull the prison population on the charmingly named Crematoria.
Sort of a lizard/bird/hyena mix, the Hellhound is detailed with tiny feathery scales. The effects guys who brought the creature to life in the film said that it actually had about 9,000 of the things covering it; that had to be real fun to try to animate.
Articulation on the Hellhound is disappointing - three of his legs are stationary, which means that if they're at all warped, you won't be able to get him to stand. The front right leg is the only one that moves (just at the shoulder), so if you want to have Riddick teach the hound to "shake," you'll be able. The dog's jaw is articulated, and he has an odd joint in his neck - though he can't really look side-to-side, the joints, covered by flexible rubber to conceal them, allow the Hellhound to raise and lower his head in a fairly natural manner.
The Hellhound is painted well, all blue and purple with hints of black in the scales. The places where his skin shows through have a natural epidermal look. If he had a better pose or more articulation, he'd be great.
Due to a production error, a few hundred of the Riddick and Hellhound boxed sets were given a sticker proclaiming them SDCC exclusives - in reality, there's nothing else to set those apart from the regular versions. Still, the set is limited to only 5,000 pieces total, and is available only at the Media Play/Sam Goody family of stores. Overall, this is a good set, definitely worth a purchase.
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