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Lara Croft in Bomber Jacket

Tomb Raider: Adventures of Lara Croft
by yo go re

It's nearly time to seal up this tomb.

International action hero Lara Croft has conquered the darkest jungles and topped the highest mountains - all for the thrill of the challenege. She starts every day someplace new. Each exotic location more deadly than the last, Lara fights her way past beast and man in search of the world's greatest treasures. The odds are always against her - just the way she likes it.

When Playmates Toys was doing their Tomb Raider: Adventures of Lara Croft line, the first series was totally plentiful, while the second was decidedly less so (and we all know what happened with Series 3). But during that initial boom, they also offered this exclusive figure through ToyFare magazine. I had terrible luck receiving my ToyFare exclusives (still waiting on that Radioactive Homer you were supposed to send out, guys), but Lara definitely beat the odds there.

Since this is the seventh Lara we've reviewed (ie, "the entire line as it exists"), the particularities of the sculpt are no longer a surprise. The face is flat, with a very narrow jaw, a straight, narrow nose and eyes that would put Battle Angel Alita to shame. It's weird, but it's how the character looked in the '90s, so it counts as "good."

Like the Tibet and Motorbike sets, this Lara is wearing a bomber jacket, but unlike those two, here it's a separate, softgoods piece. It's not quite "removable," because the lower edges are held together by a single stitch. The majority of the figure is the same mold as Jungle Lara Croft, though there is one new piece: the chest. Yes, though you'll never see it, they had to create a new upper body for her. Why? Because all the others had a backpack. Even if they'd just counted on the coat hiding the spot where the backpack plugs in, the existing bodies would have had straps over the shoulders, and this one definitely doesn't.

The articulation is light, but that's no surprise. Lara has a swivel neck, swivel shoulders, swivel waist and a V-crotch, but it's the swivel joint at the right elbow that really makes it clear what figure donated its molds. Since her jacket is real cloth, it moves with the body when you pose her. That crazy-wide stance does limit in how many poses she'll stay standing, however.

Lara has her silver pistols in her holsters, but that's not all. Since this exclusive doesn't comes with a large, exciting Adventure Diorama (it's just sold in a small window box with brick graphics similar to the main line, so there'd definitely be no room for any of that), we instead get something else: taped to the back of the plastic tray is a baggie containing all the guns the other figures came with: an M-16, two MP5s, and a shotgun. The only thing absent is Deep Sea Lara's harpoon launcher, because that is more for watery locations.

The Adventures of Lara Croft line really was one of the best of its time, thanks to the default inclusion of awesome, playable scenery. But for people who didn't have space for all that amazingness, this ToyFare exclusive was a great option: you get the figure with a unique change and a panoply of accessories for her. Hard to beat that!

-- 02/21/19

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