Friday, October 17, 2014

Out of the Box: Wolverine (Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece Series)

Hot Toys' Wolverine
(outfit #2).
I've had my eye on Hot Toys' releases for several years now - every time I see a figure licenced from a property I'm a fan of I've been tempted, but until now I've never owned one of these.  The amount of detail on these 30cm/12" figures is impressive, but I've never been 100% certain if they're worth the prices (which are in the high range for action figures).  Additionally, I've always been on the fence about whether the amount of detail means an awesome degree of realism as opposed to an awkward trip into the uncanny valley.

But a recent sale on some of the older figures over at Sideshow Toys happened to overlap with one of their free shipping periods, and that was enough to get me past the "But they're so expensive!" reaction and finally bring one of them home.  That one being the tie-in from last year's The Wolverine - I'd been hoping to see other X-men characters at some point, but hey - a sale is a sale!

Even before getting to the figure I was impressed, because the box was almost a work of art on its own - and quite large as well (The toys are similar in size to standard Barbie dolls, or to Sideshow's own figure line, and yet the Hot Toys box is a good third larger than either of those).
The box.

Upon opening the box, I was struck by the number (and quality) of the accessories: in addition to the default outfit and stand there are five sets of hands (fists, open hands, weapon-holding hands, bone claws and metal claws) as well as extra shoes, trousers, wrist pieces, and an impressive sword and sheath.

The figure and accessories.
The default outfit was epic in its own right, consisting of a coat, jacket, shirt, tie, trousers, socks, shoes, and undershirt plus a stocking layer (presumably meant to prevent staining from the dark clothing).  The stand is a solid saddle-type, and is functional if not particularly impressive.

The default outfit and stand.
Of course the clothes aren't even this lines claim to fame: that would be the realistic head sculpts.  And this figure is no exception - the details of the face and hands are very impressive and the paint work is stunning.  It isn't the perfect likeness of Hugh Jackman that appears on the box, but it certainly looks like it could be his miniature brother.  To be honest, I find that to be a little less creepy than a perfect replica would be, but I realize that some people might be a little disappointed given the (slight) differences from the promotional photos.
A closer view of the face.

The hands and torso are also very well sculpted and painted, and that impressed me almost more than the face since those are details that are frequently overlooked - I have a number of dolls and figures that are fantastically detailed in every way except the hands, so it was great to see that this line lives up to the hype in that sense.

The extra hands.

With another layer of clothing removed.
Amusingly, the metal claws are actually sharp!
All that said, there was one major problem - the elbow joints.  Every other joint on this figure has a wide range of movement that allows for some impressively realistic posing, but both elbow joints on this guy are significantly more limited.  Given the poses I've seen other Hot Toys figures in, I think it must be a flaw specific to this one piece, because they're clearly intended to have a wider range of movement (I took the arms apart to see if there was an easy fix - I couldn't find one, but I'm going to give it another go at some point).

Regardless of that issue though, this is still an impressive-looking doll with an impressive array of accessories, so I'm happy to have added him to my collection.  Whether they're worth the retail price is a complicated one though (I wouldn't have bought this one if he hadn't been on sale), and I'm not sure that I'm going to feel any drive to pick up more Hot Toys figures in the future, but we'll see.

He's glaring at you.

13 comments:

  1. LOVE this action figure!!! Hot Toys are amazing, and I like a lot of their figures, but Wolverine is one of the best for me! Everything looks great for me: the clothes, the body, the face sculpt, ... I don't think I will ever own one, but just looking at the pictures is awesome :-D.

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    1. Thanks! They really do impressive work on all the details - and I see they've released another version of Wolverine now, so maybe there's one in your future? ;)

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  2. He looks amazing but for about 20 bucks,NECA releases some pretty good looking figures,too.I picked up a Neca Dutch figure a couple years back and I still cant get over the incredible likeness to Arnold.Great pick up though!You got your first Hot Toys,toy ;)

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    1. Thanks!

      Yeah, NECA puts out some solid figures (especially for their price range) - I've always wished they did more with the Borderlands licence - I'd love to have seen figures of more than just Clap-Trap! I've never found any of their larger scale figures in person though, so now I'm wondering what those are like...

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  3. Overall, he is magnificent, but like you say, not an exact match to Hugh Jackman. More like he's Hugh Jackman's stunt double... which still looks hot to me.

    Yeah, just like with Fashion Royalty, I will never own a doll like this unless I find it at the thrift store. But hey, I found an Integrity Toys Janay there, so hope springs eternal.

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    1. Heh, yes - the hot stunt double is a perfect description!

      And a Janay at a thrift store? That's a brilliant find!

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  4. At least they got the hair and the overall silhouette right. I wonder if they need an actor's permission to make a likeness, which would add to the cost, if the actor even agreed.

    I generally don't care much about men's fashion, but they did a fantastic job on his clothes.

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    1. I believe they do buy the rights to likenesses (I think that's true for all types of figures - I remember reading that certain Sin City characters would never be released because the actors weren't willing to sign off on them). Given the greater resemblance of the promo shots, I suspect it's just a fluke of manufacturing that it's not a more perfect likeness.

      And the clothes are a definite highlight, it's true! :)

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  5. Perfect likeness? No, but he's good looking and he's got a presence. He stands out. Congrats on getting him ;-)

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    1. Oh and THANKS for the review.

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    2. Thanks! And true enough on the presence! :)

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  6. ooOOoo, he's NICE. I recently bought my first Hot Toys, an Amazing Spider-Man. Love him! I have a Marvel Select Wolverine still in the box from this movie franchise that's a jaw-dropper... need to crack him some day...

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    1. Thanks!

      If you ever open that Marvel Select Wolverine, I'd love to see the photos!

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