There was a lot of inspired casting in Sin City - really, if you've read the books, you can't imagine anyone else filling those roles as well as what we saw on screen. It's certainly not because Frank Miller's characters are anything new. The grizzled cop who's one day from retirement? The stripper with the heart of gold? Been done before. But that doesn't make the stories he tells with those characters any less impressive, and that's why big-name actors were jumping at the chance to play in them.
The little snot. He ought to be dead. His arm blown off. His nuts and his pecker blown off. But here he is. Back in action. And he smells awful...
Nick Stahl got the role of the Yellow Bastard after Leonardo Dicaprio bowed out, leaving many fans asking "who the hell is Nick Stahl?" Well, we'd say he's the guy from Terminator 3, but it'd be better if we could mention a movie that people had actually seen. It's not like anyone's going to recognize him after this, either, because to be the Bastard, he was wearing more makeup than a high school girl. It paid off, since he looked like a piece of Miller's artwork come to life, but he's not gonna get mobbed walking down the street, you know?
TYB was sculpted by Ray Santoleri, and he looks awesome. Bastard's just a pot-bellied guy in boxers and gloves, but the look is accurate - the underwear, for instance, is sculpted so well that it looks like real cloth. Until you touch it, you might not be able to tell it's solid plastic. His otherwise-nude body is skinny (other than the bulging belly, obviously), with visible ribs and ropy little muscles. He's a bit knock-kneed, and once you get him balanced he'll also be slightly pigeon-toed. Geeze, no wonder he's such a bastard.
Articulation is about as good as you'd expect from a 7" movie figure - he moves at the neck, shoulders, upper arms, wrists, waist and thighs. The lack of elbows limits the poses you can get from him, and the upper arm pegs are just odd. The paint apps are surprisingly complex, with highlights and shadows - he's not just flat yellow.
Actually, the makeup wasn't yellow, either - it didn't stand out enough against the green screens in front of which the actors were performing, so they had to paint him blue and digitally correct him in post production. He's like a giant, evil Smurf!
Yellow Bastard is one of the few characters in the film who aren't portrayed in black and white (hard to be yellow when you're gray), so there isn't a paint scheme variant for him. However, NECA wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to double-dip on a character, so TYB gets an actual sculptural variant: one head grinning maliciously, the other pissed as all hell. Neither is harder to find than the other (unlike the Nancy variants), so pick the one you like best.
The sculpt on both heads is quite good - el Bastarde has bags under his eyes and a slight bit of hair on his face and around the back of his head, all brought out nicely by a brown paint wash. His ears poke out to the side, and if you get the happy version, you'll even get to see his tiny little teeth.
Both versions of the Yellow Bastard have the same three accessories:
a whip, a knife, and a hypodermic needle. The detailing is excellent on all of them, but only the knife has any decent uses: the lack of elbows means you can't give him any good whipping poses, and his hands aren't really designed to wield the needle properly, which is a shame, since NECA went to the trouble of making the plunger actually work.
Sin City kicked all kinds of ass in theatres, and the figures live up to that high mark. That Yellow Bastard isn't the best movie toy ever produced, but he's a one-of-a-kind character and NECA gave us a figure that's a lot better than some companies would have done. Now hurry up with Series 2!
It was a hard choice: would you have gone for the happy or angry head? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.