I am certainly no stranger to Game of Thrones merch. I’ve looked at most of Funko’s Legacy Collection figures and even delved into the lowest corners of Fleabottom with some of their shitty 3 3/4-inch figures. But today will be my first trip to the higher end of Westeros with a look at one of Threezero’s sixth-scale figures. I’ve been tempted by these in the past, but I did not want to commit to the investment of going all in, and so I was waiting for just the right character to come along. That character was indeed Sandor Clegane, aka The Hound. I should note that I’m still considering Jamie Lannister, but if Threezero ever decides to give us Jorah Mormont, Sir Davos, or (ohplease, ohplease, ohplease) Bronn, I would jump on any one of those immediately.
Clegane comes in what at first appears to be a fully enclosed box, but is actually a very tight sleeve over a window box. This presentation is a bit minimalist, but also feels really classy and artsy. The outer sleeve is comprised of textured yellow cardboard with embossed crests (which sadly barely show up on my picture), the Game of Thrones logo, and the character’s name on the front and back.
Remove that snug fitting sleeve and you reveal the window box. The box inside has the character name and crests printed on the side panels as well as the back panel. The figure inside is cradled in a clear plastic tray. Overall, this sleeve and window box is similar to what we’ve been getting from Hot Toys and about on par with the presentation there. Some may be looking for something a little more premium when dropping nearly $200 on an action figure, but it looks nice and gets the job done, so I’m happy. I should also point out that I’m looking at the standard version of the figure. There was an Exclusive, which included Clegane’s trademark Hound Head helmet. I thought about chasing after that one, but in the end, I realized that everything that made Clegane an interesting character comes after he practically discards that helmet, and I didn’t really need it. The Hound comes out of the box almost ready to go. You just have to attach his sword scabbards to his belt and shoulder strap, and place his katar dagger and his smaller knife into their respective sheathes.
I’m a fairly prolific collector of Hot Toys and Sideshow figures, but this is my first figure from Threezero, and I have to say Clegane here impresses right out of the box. Everything about this figure reflects quality, careful attention to detail, and just overall fine craftsmanship one should expect from a high end figure. There are a few hiccups here that I’ll be mentioning, but relatively minor ones. I was pleasantly surprised by both the ratchet joints in the underlying body and how posable this big fellow is. As a rule, I don’t expect a whole lot of articulation from my Sixth-Scale figures, often because the costumes are restrictive and I’m afraid to test their limits. I tend to put these figures in fairly conservative poses on the shelf and maybe change them up once every month or so. Clegane, on the other hand, really begs to be fiddled with, even under all that heavy armor. And since I mentioned armor, let’s take a quick spin around his outfit.
The execution of the plate armor on his shoulders and arms is spectacular. These pieces are painted to look exactly like well-worn steel plate with scrapes and scratches and weathering so real that it actually surprised me when I touched it and feel plastic. The segmented plates are molded to look like separate pieces, complete with the faux rivets “holding” them together and the underlying material is totally convincing as chain mail, even though it’s simulated. I particularly dig the dents in the shoulder pieces and the detail poured into those gauntlets. The illusion of realism created by the paint here is simply a triumph.
The Hound also features a heavy mail overcoat, which feels like rubber to the touch, but it looks like a reinforced coat of leather with an intricate system of hammered rivets. The waist belt has some beautiful attention to detail in the scroll work patterns and includes a looped sheath to hold his stag-handled knife on his right hip.
On his left hip, his belt features a leather-like “frog” to pass the smaller sword scabbard through, which it holds in place very well. I’ll confess I was a little nervous getting it all the way in there as it’s a very snug fit, but a little patience got it in there without incident. The “frog” features an aged leather look and features brass painted fixtures. I love the attention to detail on the sword hilt. It features a ribbed grip and more of that great weathered finish on the pommel and crossguard. His shoulder strap includes a sheath for his katar, which he wears just to the front of his armpit. This shot shows off the “chain mail” material under the armor plates a little better and more of the amazing finish on those armor pieces. The look of the gear on this figure is just amazing.
From behind, you can see more of the riveted gorget he wears around his neck as well as the greatsword that is slung across his back. There’s some more lovely attention to detail on the hilt here. The finish on the grips looks like real, polished wood and the pommel resembles a studded club. I know, I’m gushing a lot about the paint, but I can’t overstate how well Threezero has been able to simulate different materials with painted plastic. Just look at the worn leather look of the scabbard. Very impressive!
The trousers feature a rough-looking material that resembles calfskin. The boots feature sculpted belts and buckles and more riveted plates. These are all sculpted from one piece, but they look like they’re actually secured together by real belts. The mud and weathering on the lower parts of the boots is especially well done, and the silver paint on the buckles and rivets is meticulous.
And that brings us to the portrait, which I think is excellent, even if it isn’t up to Hot Toys standards. That is in no way meant as a slight on this figure, because let’s face it, Hot Toys remains more or less untouchable when it comes to recreating lifelike portraits and reproducing the likenesses of actors. Now, I think the likeness here is spot on to Rory McCann in his burned makeup. What it lacks a bit is the uncanny lifelessness that we see in Hot Toys’ work. The skin texturing is looks a little more plastic, the whisker sculpt and paint is a little less convincing, and details like the part between the lips is a little too soft. But even with all that being said, I have to still applaud what Threezero has done here. This is great work and certainly worthy competition for what Sideshow is currently putting out.
Clegane also features rooted hair, which I realize is a thing that still gives some collectors pause, but in this case I think it was the only way to go. I can’t see this working with a sculpted plastic coif. The toughest thing about rooted hair on figures is getting it styled right, but in the case of Clegane, his is generally an unkempt mess and that look certainly works here and I did next to no futzing with it for any of these pictures.
Before taking a closer look at some of The Hound’s arsenal, let’s talk hands. Clegane does not come with a large collection of hands, instead you just get two pairs: One relaxed set, and one weapon-holding set. These hands can be tough to swap out. They use the same standard hinged pegs that I’m used to seeing with Hot Toys or Sideshow figures, but these are designed to pull out at the wrist before pulling out of the hand. At that point, I’m left with trying to work the other peg out of the hand and that can be easier said then done. It’s a mighty tight fit and I worry about snapping them, especially since there aren’t any extras in the box. I was able to get the relaxed hands swapped to the weapon holding hands without any disasters happening, but I’d be inclined to not swap the hands very often. OK, let’s talk weapons!
The two smaller weapons don’t fit all that great in his hands. The knife, which I imagine is reserved for dispatching chickens, is very loose in the grip, but I was able to get him to hold it fairly convincingly. The katar has the opposite problem, where the knuckles are a little too broad for it to fit comfortably. I was still able to get it in there, but it’s a very tight fit. Here’s an example of where Threezero might have considered adding extra hands specifically for these weapons, especially since their competitors usually toss in at least three or four sets with their figures.
Both of the swords draw very easily from their scabbards and they each feature beautiful blades with just the right amount of weathering and surface rust. They’re made of fairly stiff plastic, so you don’t have to worry about them warping. On the downside, the feel pretty delicate, so a modicum of care is recommended, especially when fitting them into the hands. The fingers are hard rubbery plastic, so you just need to part the thumb a bit to get the grip into the hand, but I could easily see the swords snapping if not handled carefully. I think die-cast blades on the swords would have really enhanced this figure. I don’t think they could have looked much better, but it would have given them a better feel and made them not so fragile.
I also would have liked a tighter fit on the grip, as both weapons tend to float loosely in each hand. I was almost always able to find a sweet spot that would support the sword for most any pose I wanted, but it’s odd that these hands feel like they weren’t designed with these swords in mind.
A few issues with the hands, not withstanding, I do need to sideline all my gushing and get one more gripe to get out of the way. Clegane doesn’t come with a figure stand. Now, I’ll confess that I knew that going in, and I have a decent supply of generic Sixth-Scale figure stands so that I can give him one. But to me, when I’m blowing nearly $200 on an action figure, I don’t think a stand is too much to ask for. It doesn’t have to be anything special. I don’t even need it to be personalized with the characters name. Just give me something so that I can display this amazing figure without worrying about him taking a shelf dive! Clegane has a solid balance to him, but who in their right mind is going to stand him on a display shelf without some kind of support.
But hey, I certainly don’t want to end this review on a downer, because I really am very happy with this purchase. The best praise I can give him is that he had me seriously considering picking up Jamie, and I still am. He’s not perfect, but a few tweaks with the hands and and he would have been pretty close. So how many chickens did Clegane set me back? Well, thanks to a bunch of Rewards Points at Sideshow, I got him for just a smidge over $100, but his full retail clocks in at just under $200 and as of now he’s sold out and converted to Wait List status. Now, I’ve made a lot of comparisons to him and Hot Toys and Sideshow figures, but let’s remember that neither of those companies put many figures out for under $200 these days. Still, it would be safe to say that Threezero is at least in the same neighborhood. And while the portrait isn’t quite to where Hot Toys is at these days, the costume and body are certainly rivaling some of their efforts. And that’s high praise, indeed!