REVIEW: Indiana Jones – Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Indiana Jones - the world-renowned adventurer and professor of archeology - has been portrayed by actor Harrison Ford for nearly thirty years. The character has hit the big screen four times, with the most recent being the critically-mixed Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
After an incident with the Soviets led by Irina Spalko, Dr. Jones is placed on indefinite leave from his position at Marshal College. Mutt Williams seeks out Indiana Jones on behalf of his old colleague, Harold Oxley, who has disappeared on an expedition to find Akator, the lost city of the Mayans. Deciphering Oxley's letter, Indy quickly realizes that his old friend, trailed by Spalko and her Soviet agents, is after the Crystal Skull. Heading to Peru, Mutt and Indiana Jones must find Oxley and get to Akator before the Soviet agents!
Sideshow Collectibles continued their run of 1/6 scale Indiana Jones figures by releasing a version based on the 2008 film. Albeit slightly older, the authorized likeness of Ford is the third Indy that Sideshow has released in 12" form.
Indiana Jones - Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Series: Indiana Jones 12” Figures Manufacturer: Sideshow Collectibles Material: Fully articulated hard plastic figure Dimensions: 12” tall Points of Articulation: Over 30 points (Prometheus body 1.0)
Outfit: Tan shirt; Khaki pants; Brown faux leather jacket; Tan belt; Worn brown boots Accessories: Belt with holster; revolver with extra empty chamber; Articulated bullwhip; Coiled bullwhip; Nazca Dagger; Green shoulder satchel; Orellana mask; Crystal skull; Extra set of fist hands; Refrigerator made of polystone and metal (Sideshow Exclusive Edition); 12” display base with Indiana Jones logo Edition Size: Regular - 1,250 pieces; Sideshow Exclusive - 600 pieces
Sideshow’s Indiana Jones line features packaging similar to their Star Wars and G.I. Joe series. It features a magnetic front flap with a photograph of the dressed figure on it. The rear of the box has another photo of the figure, along with several stills from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Inside, the figure and accessories are packaged in separate dual, interlocking plastic trays. Behind those trays lies poster artwork from the 2008 film. (Always our favorite part of the packaging)
It's obvious that reviving a popular film brand character such as Indiana Jones, after nearly 20 years, will have critics and fans buzzing. While some wanted to see the character return because they loved the first three films, others thought an aging Ford (and suspect script) might not hold up the Indy legacy. (We all remember what George Lucas did the the Star Wars films...)
I actually enjoyed Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It was my least favorite of the four Indy films and there were some parts (the vine swinging, killer ants, Mutt Williams) that I found brutal. But...it was still an enjoyable movie.
So did it make sense for Sideshow to release another Indy, based on the least popular film of the quartet? Yes and no. Yes, because it's fresh in people's minds. Crystal Skull was released in 2008 and folks who don't remember the first films (shame!) might connect with the elder Ford captured in this sculpt. No, because collectors want to see different characters from the films (Sallah, younger Marion), not a third version of Harrison Ford. Sideshow did the same type of thing with their Star Wars line, releasing multiple Han Solo and Luke Skywalker figures.
With all of that being said, how did Sideshow do with the Crystal Skull Indy? The first thing you'll notice is that you receive the motherload of accessories. Sideshow has done well stocking their Indiana Jones line with film-accurate accessories. The key accessory to this version is probably the Crystal Skull. It's a great looking replica, and probably the one you would choose to pose the figure holding. But there are plenty of other accessories.
Comparing the outfit to film stills, I can't pick anything out that doesn't look film-accurate. Everything looks spot on color wise, and even the leather jacket is hit with a worn look.
As far the sculpting goes, I like that they went with the head with the sculpted hat. You rarely see Jones without his classic fedora. While it's another great sculpt of Ford, there are a few areas that I would have changed - his mouth and eyes. His mouth is slightly open, so it looks like he was caught in mid-sentence. I prefer a closed mouth sculpt. Not a big deal. But the eyes just look very squinty and (accompanied with the open mouth) give the figure an almost angry look.
Overall, this is the best 1/6 scale version of Indiana Jones that Sideshow has released. They've done a good job with the paint (check out the comparison above - less glossy!) and are making a push into the Hot Toys realm with the great combination of sculpting and paint work.
You can pick one up at the following:
Sideshow: $89.99 ea. ($174.99 Exclusive) Both Wait List
Indiana Jones - Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Grades