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REVIEW: The Shadow

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Background

First appearing on the July 31st 1930 Detective Story Hour radio show, The Shadow is a crime-fighting vigilante often cited as the inspiration for Batman. The character is known for sporting a girasol ring that helps focus his hypnotic abilities, a black slouch hat, a black cloak and a red scarf.

The character has also appeared in pulp magazines beginning in 1931, was voiced for a year by Orson Welles, and - oh yeah - there was a 1994 film starring Alec Baldwin as the title character. Needless to say, over 82 years of existence, the character's story has evolved.

But what's really surprising, is that with all of that history, this is the first time we're seeing a sixth-scale version of The Shadow. Go Hero and Executive Replicas have teamed up to bring Lamont Cranston aka The Shadow to fans and collectors.

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"

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The Facts

The Shadow
Manufacturer: Go Hero x Executive Replicas
Sculpted by: Joy and Tom Studios
Material: Plastic Articulated Figure
Dimensions: One-Sixth Scale
Points of Articulation: Over 20 points
Outfit: Black Suit and Tie; White Shirt; Red Posable Scarf; Black and Red Posable Cape; Black Gun Holster; Black Shoes and Socks; Black Plastic Slouch Hat.
Accessories: Two Handguns; Two Sets of Flesh Hands and One Set of Gloved Hands, all with The Shadow's Ring; The Shagow Branded Figure Stand.
Edition Size: 750 pieces
Pricing: $129.99

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Packaging

The Shadow's packaging has that nice, classic pulp magazine feel to it. Featuring original artwork on the front, back and interior panel, the box gives the vibe of an old-timey collectible figure. Like most sixth-scale figures, there is a plastic window pane hidden behind the front flap. You also have some good background character information (and details about the toy) on the rear of the box.

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Our Opinion

Everyone knows The Shadow's tagline, right? “The Shadow Knows!” But how does a character that's been in radio serials, magazines, comics, and films never see a sixth-scale version released? (Have you seen some of the random characters that get their own 1/6 scale toys?) I guess if you were hoping for this toy back in the 1930's, you're one relieved 90 year old.

Of course, Go Hero and Executive Replicas have brought this sixth-scale The Shadow to life (or at least to toy-life). We first reported  about it back in May 2010, so even young collectors have been waiting a little while to get their hands on this figure. Was the wait worth it?

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I'm not going to pretend that I have a wealth of knowledge about The Shadow. I've never listened to the old radio shows or read the comics or watched any film with Alec Baldwin portraying a superhero. But comparing the figure to all of the illustrations I've seen of The Shadow, it looks like a pretty good likeness. Of course, the first thing you notice is that distinct Aquiline nose peaking out over his posable red scarf.

The entire outfit mimics The Shadow's iconic look: black suit, white dress shirt, black tie, black shoes, black cape, black slouch hat, and red scarf. The red scarf is pretty long, but it has wires that allow you to pose it in all sorts of flowing positions. There are three options as far as hands: gloved, flesh for holding guns, and flesh relaxed hands. He includes a pair of basic handguns (they don't have a working slide like some higher end sixth-scale figures). And if you strip the figure down to his dress shirt, you'll see that he sports some holsters.

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I didn't find any problems with the stitching on the clothing or the paintwork on the face. It was all nice and clean, which is what you hope for at this price point. As far as pricing, the $129.99 mark is around the average for a licensed sixth-scale figure of this quality and with the number of accessories it carries. For comparison sake, Sideshow's average licensed piece runs around $150, while Hot Toys is usually at that $200-$250 sweet spot.

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Both Go Hero and Executive Replicas have released some great sixth-scale figures based on classic licenses. The Shadow follows in that tradition. Collectors and fans will appreciate finally being able to put The Shadow alongside of their Batman collectibles...or maybe on their Philco Wooden Radio where they can show it off to their friends over a game of pinochle.

You can pick one up at the following:

Go Hero: $129.99
Sideshow Collectibles: $129.99

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