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Indiana Jones

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Indiana Jones Forever

Indiana Jones Poster Montage

The man in the hat finally returned to movie theatres in 2008 and Hasbro did a pretty decent job with both their 1/6th and 1/18th scale lines of Indiana Jones figures.  Below are reviews of four of my favorite large sized Hasbro offerings.

For other Indy related merchandise, you can check out
ThinkGeek.com
 to see the Indiana Jones Officially Licensed FedoraIndygear.com has some neat stuff too, so be sure to check 'em out.  But of course, the ultimate Indy source is the official site, Indiana Jones.com.

As far as Indiana Jones movies are concerned, I'm sure most folks would agree that the original film, Raiders of the Lost Ark is the best.  I like them all, including and especially Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  Yeah, it's different, but I personally don't think it departs as much from the spirit of the older films in the series as some have contended.

1:6 Scale Indiana Jones Figures from Hasbro

Hasbro's 2008 1/6th sized line of Indiana Jones figures aren't too bad, given their pricepoint.   Too bad we haven't yet seen more characters from the Indiana Jones series of films produced in that scale.

 

The 1/6th scale Talking Indy figure is pretty cool, except that the head sculpt just isn't quite as good as it could be.  I think the main problem is simply that the mechanism originally used on Hasbro's G.I. Joe Talking Duke figure that lies beneath the soft plastic face doesn't quite conform as well as it should to the dimensions of the facial sculpt.  It actually makes Indy's famous mug look a bit too chubby.

The body used for the figure is not bad, though it isn't highly articulated because it's basically the same as the original Classic Collection G.I. Joe body.  If you're looking for a large scale Indy figure with a lot more points of articulation (usually 30 points), try Sideshow Collectibles or Hot Toys.  Both have offered 1:6 scale Indiana Jones figures, but they are expensive and not necessarily designed for young collectors or anyone on a limited budget.

At least this figure (unlike the Talking Indiana Jones reviewed below) actually does have a removable hat.  It doesn't look quite as nice as the one on the Whip Cracking Indy though, mainly I suppose, because it has to fit on an otherwise nicely sculpted head, made inordinately fat because of that pesky talking mechanism that was originally designed for a totally different figure.  But all in all, at the $19.99 price point, this Indy is still a good buy.

Below are front and back views of the actual insert that comes with the figure.  It lists the eleven phrases Indy says when you press the button on his abdomen.  What really impressed me the most about this set when I opened it was the quality and detail of the accesories.

Two whips are actually included.  One is permanently molded in a coiled up position and hangs from Indy's belt, but the other is actually very cool because it is made from a really soft, flexible plastic and is highly detailed.  It even functions very much like a real whip too!  All the accessories are sculpted quite nicely, but what I really get the biggest kick out of is the Gold Temple Idol from Raiders of the Lost Ark that is included with the figure.  I'd have killed for an Indiana Jones toy like this when I was a kid!

Talking Indy

Talking Indy Back

Indiana Jones Talking Indy Instructions

Indiana Jones Talking Indy Instructions Back

Whip Cracking Indiana Jones

Now this is an outstanding 1:6 scale Indiana Jones!  I think the figure would have been better without the "whip feature," but the mechanism does work pretty well and certainly adds a whole lot of kid friendly appeal.

Whip Cracking Indy

The head sculpt on Whip Cracking Indy is definitely much better than the one on the Talking Indy figure, but interestingly, I have viewed a number of these toys in package at the store and they tend to vary somewhat in face paint and what even looks like varied casting results.

The one I have looks quite a lot like Harrison Ford (crooked nose, chin scar and all), but I have seen a few that, because of various minor details, just don't look quite right.  A good example is one Whip Cracking Indy I came across once appeared to have a slightly narrower head, which distorted the face just enough to make him more closely resemble noted actor Scott Bakula, than Harrison Ford.  Imagine that!

Besides the well designed and sculpted accesories (whip, pistol, holster, belt and shoes), this Indy comes with a working cloth satchel with a "pleather" shoulder strap.  I was also really impressed with the shirt.  The buttons, stitching detail and dirt deco appear to be screen printed on, Mego style no less!  What impresses me most about the shirt though is the detailed pockets and shoulder tabs.

Most of the accessories are sculpted quite nicely, but unfortunately this Indy doesn't come with a removable hat or his trademark leather jacket.  That's a bit of a let down for most collectors I guess, but I tend to see this figure as being most closely based on the Indy we saw in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  In that film, he doesn't seem to be wearing the jacket as much and his shirt does look disheveled in a fashion similar to the way it appears on screen.

Below are front and back views of the actual insert that comes with the figure.  The whip included is really nicely sculpted and even functions quite similarly to a real one when using the whip cracking mechanism.  This feature is powered by 3 1.5V "A76" or LR44 batteries, which are included.

Whip Cracking Indy Back

 

Whip Cracking Indy Instructions Front

Whip Cracking Indy Instructions Back

The Cairo Swordsman

The Legendary and Loveable Cairo Swordsman

And now for the pièce de ré·sis·tance!  This Cairo Swordsman figure is definitely my favorite of Hasbro's 12" Indiana Jones line thus far.  The head sculpt is absolutely superb and I honestly cannot see any other company doing a whole lot better in this scale, especially since this figure was produced using - SURPRISE! - the excellent 1/6th scale super articulated G.I. Joe body, right down to the trademark (quite literally) inverted thumbnail on the figure's left hand.

The facial sculpt really is fantastic.  It looks EXACTLY like the swordsman in the famous scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.  This version of the infamous Cairo Swordsman is superb, but I'm not sure if he sold all that well in retail stores.  If not, it's a real shame because, in my book, this is honestly one of the best large scale Hasbro toys I have ever seen.

The scimitar included with the Cairo Swordsman is really great and features a simple, but effective paint scheme.  the costume is even more impressive.  Certainly, his black robe is nothing fancy, but the turban is extremely well tailored and comes right off and goes right back on like a cap, without much adjustment needed to make this infamous movie badguy come to life right before your very eyes.  He's also wearing a pair of nicely sculpted black boots and a bright red sash at his waist.  It's a velcro fastened affair, but works well while still being cost effective.

I'm not entirely sure why, but the Swordsman comes with two snakes; one a rearing brown cobra and a metalic copper colored rattlesnake.  At roughly $19.99, with a super articulated body and such a extraoridinarily accurate head sculpt, I'd have been happy with just the inclusion of the sword, but I guess any set of Indiana Jones figures isn't complete without a whole lot of snakes!

Cairo Swordsman Back

The German Officer

The German Officer from the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was my choice for a 4th figure.  Hasbro also produced a 1/6th scale Mutt Williams but apparently the figure didn't look real exciting since it didn't seem to sell as well as the other characters in this series.  I'd personally rather have seen a 1:6 scale Salah (Raiders, Last Crusade), Marion Ravenwood (Raiders), Short Round or Willie Scott (Temple of Doom).  Hopefully, Hasbro will decide to add some of these great characters to their 12" line at some point in the future.

German Officer Front View

This is a really interesting figure because it actually features a recycled G.I. Joe head sculpt!  Minus Joe's trademark facial scar, of course.  This has always been one of my favorite sculpts from Hasbro so I was happy to see it re-used.  The face always did look suitably Germanic to me, so I'd say this was a good cost saving choice on Hasbro's part (though it would've definitely been much nicer to see an all new sculpt of that suitably evil looking fellow in The Last Crusade - Colonel Vogel (Michael Byrne).

This figure, however, is based on the German officer who burst into the room while Indy was trying to rescue his father from Brunwald Castle on the Austrian-German border.  The sculpt doesn't look much like that officer, but I suppose that's okay.  Indy actually wasted him in the movie with his own MP-40!  "Junior!  Look what you did!"

Most of the other items that come with the figure seem to be recycled as well, including the pistol, holster and brown pouch hanging from his belt.  I'm not at all sure about the MP-40 though.  It looks brand new, with a removeable clip, working slide (DEFINITELY COOL!) and collapsable stock.

Companies like Dragon Models LTD. and BBI have definitely offered 1:6 scale MP-40s like this before, but it's really nice to see Hasbro issue one since the $19.99 price point is so much more palatable than the 2 to 3 times more that you'd pay to get a similar accesory with a figure from one of those other companies.  The jack boots are also an old favorite of mine.  They've been used on a number of Hasbro offerings in the past and I am always delighted to see them turn up again and again because they are so well done.

German Officer Back View

There's really only one problem with this figure as far as I'm concerned and that is definitely the uniform.  The gray-green color would be right if it wasn't so pale.  I'll have to research this, but it does look a bit light to me, especially in comparison to everything that I've seen Dragon Models, BBI and 21st Century Toys put out in the past.  The black collar seems a bit big too.  I mean, 1970s BIG and I'm not quite sure it's the right color either (probably should be dark green), but this German Officer is still a really nice offering from Hasbro.  I love it.  And as always, an extra bonus is the super articulated body.

The Ark of the Covenant

Each figure came with an "Ark sticker."  Once you'd collected 4 stickers, you simply applied them to the redemption certificate provided and mailed it in with a $9.99 ($12.99 Canadian) check or money order made out to Figure Redemption Inc.) and in a few weeks, you received a gleaming 12" scale Ark of the Covenant, just like the one in the movie.  Naturally, the offer was only valid in the U.S. and Canada.

Indiana Jones Ark Stamp Sample

Indiana Jones 1/6th Scale Ark of the Covenant

Indiana Jones Remption Certificate Outside

Indiana Jones Remption Certificate Inside

Indiana Jones and all related characters, marks and images © Copyright Lucasfilm Ltd.
Indiana Jones Soundtrack music by John Williams

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