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Indiana Jones

Raiders of the Lost Ark
by yo go re

Oh, I guess Hasbro is still making Fortnite toys after all!

Indiana Jones embarks on an adventure to find the Lost Ark of the Covenant, facing insurmountable odds and opposed by notorious villains!

There's a new Indiana Jones movie cresting over the horizon, so naturally there are new toys. And excitingly, for the first time they're being done in the 6" scale! Now, either the line is drastically under-ordered, or they're proving highly popular, because the line's been out since around Easter, two months ago, but the odds of you seeing them in stores is still hovering somewhere around 0%. It honestly could be either: 6" Indy figures are a thing fans have wanted for years, but also everyone remembers how the Crystal Skull toys sold, so maybe retail buyers are ahying away from the man from Marshall College. But even if you do find a store that has one or two of the figures in stock, you know Indy himself is going to be the first one to sell out. Because if you're only going to bother getting one figure from the line, who's it going to be: Indy, or Sallah?

When the Star Wars Black Series started, the Harrison Ford likeness was a point of contention. Did it look enough like him, or was it done wrong? We're about to go through all that again, because while this does look like him, it doesn't look like the right era: like, this isn't an early-80s Harrison Ford, it's a late-90s Harrison Ford. Did the guy from Hollywood Homicide wear a hat like this at any point? The face is a little too thin, exacerbated by the hat being a little too large. It would be a terrific Last Crusade Indy, to be fair, but this is supposed to be Raiders. Tighten up that skin, Jones!

There's not much point in having an iconic costume design if you're not going to use it, so Indy is wearing his brown leather jacket, dirty cream shirt, and khaki trousers. Evrything looks appropriately rumpled, but the jacket seems to ride too high on the shoulders - he needs more neck. If you pull the head up on the balljoint slightly, it looks better, but overall the impression is that of someone who has physically diminished but is still wearing the clothes that used to fit them. Is it possible for a plastic action figure to look tired? It wants to take a nap. It's making me want to take a nap while writing this.

...

But the tornado warning siren says I must continue! Indiana Jones is not a colorful character, and so this toy isn't, either. Can you imagine a world where Indiana Jones got a Ghostbusters-style Saturday morning cartoon or a '90s toyline and so was redesigned to be some neon color instead of brown on brown on brown? The shade chosen for his whip is weirdly red, which is already hinting at what we might have seen in that alternate reality. Usually when people complain about "paint issues" as a way to rag on the superior windowless packaging, my response is "suck it up, you infant. If there's a problem, just take it back to the store and get a new one like a sane person would do, instead of blaming your problems on a box" because I don't respect that opinion and am rude. But I heard of at least one person who got an Indy missing the stubble paint app on one side of his face, and this figure is rare enough right now that getting a replacement isn't feasible. So that person will just have to wait before they can do the simple and obvious solution. (I am rude.)

The Adventure Series articulation is equivalent to the Black Series: barbell head, balljointed neck, pec hinges, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, tiny balljointed wrists, balljointed waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge knees, and swivel/hinge ankles; all very suitable for a live-action human being.

The line really takes advantage of the windowless packaging, printing the bags the figure and accessories are in to look like old-timey maps, and putting BAF assembly directions on the cardboard tray. Smart! It really is a shame Hasbro's going back to the old style on some lines.

Indy's accessories include the Hovitos' golden fertility idol (Lucasfilm has seemingly given up on fighting the fan notion that the opening is set in Peru, but that doesn't mean we have to), his pisol, and two versions of his whip: one coiled, one ready for whipping. And both almost red. His satchel is a separate piece, but you'd have to take his jacket off to remove it. The gun and coiled whip can be stored on his belt, but it's such soft PVC that the little pegs that are supposed to go into holes to hold them in place just squish ineffectually against the surface. Ask your dad what "playing pool with a rope" means. And even if you can manage to get the loop around the whip, brushing it with his bag or jacket will just make it pop right out again, making for a very frustrating toy.

Buy the five non-exclusive figures in this first series, and you can build a complete Ark of the Covenant. If you don't want to buy all five, Indy's got the angels that go on top, which look enough like standalone pieces that they don't feel like a waste here.

On the face of it, the idea of 6" Indiana Jones action figures should be really exciting: it's a property we love in the scale of modern action figures for the first time; sounds like an automatic winner, yeah? But there's just something uninspiring about the line. They're hard to find, but there's no telling whether that's a sign of popularity or stores ordering conservatively, looking to avoid a glut of product shelfwarming until Giftsmas. Even after getting Indy himself, I'm lukewarm about the idea of the Adventure Series. And when the main star of the line doesn't make you anticipate getting the rest, that's not a good thing.

-- 06/17/23


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