Some of you may know that I have been hooked on TBLeague’s series of Egyptian themed sixth-scale figures. It felt like this line began as a few isolated one-off releases, but it’s grown to include a series of beautiful ladies, as well as both mythological and historical figures. And as much as I love this series, I was planning on just sticking to the ladies. If I’m being honest, that’s always been what has drawn me to TBL’s figures in general. But, an online retailer put Ramses up for sale at 50% off, and I couldn’t resist giving him a go! This figure was offered in three different armor variants. This one is the Black version, while the other options were Blue or Gold. And to be fair, even if all three were on sale, I think this is the one I would have gone for anyway.
As usual, the figure comes in a shoebox style package with a trifold lid that secures to each side with magnets. The box is made of heavy stock and the figure comes laid out in black foam that smells like lemony ice tea. Seriously! TBL usually adorns the front of these black boxes with a symbolic rendering that’s related to the character, but in this case we get a really lame cartoony portrait of Ramses, and I don’t like it at all. I mean, what the hell were they going for here, I just don’t know. Fortunately, the back panel has a great picture of the figure itself. As with most TBLeague figures, there’s a little bit of set up involved, so let me get that out of the way and we’ll have an audience with Ramses The Great!
And great he is, indeed! But before getting to the aesthetics… the first thing I noticed about this figure was the extreme heft. It’s my first male example of the Phicen seamless body, and it is one meaty slab of silicone! Ramses sports an impressive physique and looks absolutely smashing in his regal armor. The cuirass is cast in black plastic and adorned with crisscrossing gold bird wings front and back, along with a plastic belt and sash, all over a delicate black cloth tunic. And boy is that tunic a magnet for cat hair, as you can probably see in some of the pictures! The leather segmented shoulder armor is comprised of one piece that goes over his neck and secures via straps under each arm and around his biceps. Attaching these straps is the most challenging part of the set up, as those clips are tiny and it’s tough to get the loop through them. On top of the leather shoulders sits a plastic gorget with intricate sculpted patterns, all beautifully painted. The grieves and arm bracers are slightly pliable plastic sleeves, which slide on, and he has decorative bicep cuffs on each arm as well. Finally, there’s a thin leather belt that fastens around his waist with loops to hold his weapons. I’ll circle back to those in a bit.
I think the costume looks outstanding, with my only gripe being the jumble of lacing that holds the cuirass on and gathers below his left armpit. It is, however, easily fixed, as a lot of this extra sting can be trimmed and the knot tightened up. The sword belt is a great addition, as a few of my fantasy figures from TBL have come with swords in scabbards but no way to secure them to the figure, so that is much appreciated. Ramses doesn’t show as much skin as most of the ladies, but his exposed elbows and knees do showcase the seamless body quite nicely, while the grieves and arm bracers do their part to obscure the jointing in the wrists and ankles. The skirt does a bit to inhibit the hip articulation, but otherwise the excellent articulation of the figure’s steel skeleton can be taken advantage of to the fullest!
TBL did a wonderful job with this portrait, and I think in terms of realism it exceeds many of TBL’s female portraits. Not that those aren’t impressive, but they do tend to still have something of a doll like quality about them, which isn’t the case here. Ramses sports a prominent brow and nose and an intensive gaze worthy of a Pharaoh. The skin tone is smooth and even, with a bit of flush to his cheeks. This is a fantastic head sculpt with the paint to back it up! The paint and texturing on the lips is impressive, and while the eyes don’t quite have that spark of life we get with Hot Toys figures, they’re still pretty good.
The headpiece is patterned with a sea of concentric circles and a cobra protruding from the front. There’s a bit of a blue and gold gradiant to the helmet, with some gold trim. It’s cast in a slightly pliable plastic and is removable.
In terms of weaponry, Ramses comes with both a dagger and a sword. The dagger hangs off his right hip in an ornate plastic sheath. The hilt looks a bit more Roman to me than Egyptian, but either way it’s beautifully sculpted and features a leaf-shaped blade with a dark iron finish to the plastic blade. Yeah… TBL sometimes uses diecast metal for their sword and dagger blades, but that seems to be a thing of the past. I’m really OK with that, as the heavier blades sometimes take their toll on the figures’ joints.
The sword has a blade similar to the dagger, with a leaf shape and a somewhat dark finish. The guard almost resembles a heart and has some nice sculpted scrollwork patterns, a ribbed grip with painted gold bands and a flattened pommel. The scabbard is plastic, mostly textured black but does have gold painted fixtures. You get a pair of hands perfect for holding either of these weapons, as well as a pair of fists and a pair of relaxed hands.
In addition to the cutlery, Ramses also comes with a very long spear with a pointed tip and bottom, and boy both of these are damn sharp! The shaft has a sculpted woodgrain pattern and there are painted gold rings at the base of the blade and top of the end cap.
And last but not least, you get a round shield. This piece has some great texturing on the outside surface that looks like it’s been covered in stretched leather, as well as some raised gold floral patterns. The interior has an elastic arm strap and a grab bar to secure it to the figure and the system works quite well.
Ramses also comes with a figure stand, which is packaged separately from the box in a Styrofoam brick. It’s a round base with dark, rocky terrain and a bendy post attached to a claw that grabs the figure around the waist. It’s a great looking stand, but it doesn’t feel like it was really intended for this figure. The dark rocks don’t strike me as very Egyptian themed and the claw feels like it was made for one of the female figures, as it’s a pretty snug fit around Ramses waist. I’ll never complain about getting a figure stand, especially one that looks as good as this one, but I may end up handing this one off to one of my other fantasy themed TBL figures, where it will be more appropriate.
Ramses originally sold for $179, and I was thrilled to get him for half that. This is an absolutely striking figure to behold and he’ll look great among my bevy of TBL’s Egyptian ladies… many of which I still need to get around to featuring here. Sure, the overall design needs to be taken with a grain of salt in regards to its historical accuracy and I still consider this Egyptian line to be fantasy concept figures. The Egyptian flavor is certainly there, even if it’s something more akin to Hollywood History rather than being totally accurate. I believe TBL is currently offering an Egyptian throne accessory, and I may splurge for that to give this Pharaoh a place to sit!