This week is going to be all about wrapping up loose ends, as I finish off looking at some figure waves that I started, in some cases, weeks ago. I try to keep my promises, but sometimes it can take me a little while! So, let’s kick things off by checking out the last two figures in the first assortment of Hasbro’s 6-inch Indiana Jones Adventure Series and then build us an Ark of the Covenant! So far, I’ve been up and down on this wave with mixed opinions on Indy as well as Toht and Belloq, so let’s see what happens in the final lap.
Once again, we get completely enclosed boxes with pictures of the figures. We already know that Hasbro will be stepping away from these and going back to window boxes for most if not all of their 6-inch figure lines. With that having been said, I think the art design on these does a nice job of conveying the heart and soul of the film franchise. At the same time, these also illustrate why these types of packages border on false advertising. And when it comes to disparity between box pictures and actual figures, Sallah and Marion are two of the biggest offenders in this wave. It’s probably always best to let the figure speak for itself through a window, even if it does mean shaving a few hundred years off of the planet’s lifespan, right? OK… let’s start with Marion…
This is Marion in the outfit she wore in Cairo, and to be honest, I think I would have preferred the version we got in the old Kenner line in Belloq’s dress. Kenner did do a version of this Cairo Marion but only as a static piece to go inside a basket in their Cairo Playset. Hasbro later did a 3 3/4-inch version in their line that released alongside Crystal Skull, and that brings us to now. To cut to the chase, this figure is what I would call passable. It doesn’t excel in any particular area, but it’s not a total trainwreck. I think the colors on the outfit are nice, and there’s some sharp printed patterns on her blouse, but ridiculously puffy garments don’t usually translate well to plastic, and I’ll just say that Hasbro probably did as good as anyone could turning this type of outfit into an action figure.
The portrait looks better in hand than I expected. There’s definitely some Karen Allen in there, but I think the zombie-like expression sabotages whatever credit the likeness may have had. I like that they printed her freckles and the hair is sculpted pretty well too. Then again from some angles any semblance of the likeness disappears. For a company that has a long history of failing to capture a certain actress’ likenesses who played a character in a galaxy far, far away, I don’t think this is that bad, but it’s not particularly great either.
Articulation is solid enough for this type of outfit, but those rotating hinges in the sculpted billowy sleeves can barely do 90-degrees and the same goes for the knees. You also get rotating hinges in the shoulders, wrists, and ankles. The hips are ball jointed and you get swivel cuts in the thighs. There’s also a ball joint in the waist and ball joints at the top and bottom of the neck. The ankles joints are big and bulbous balls, which are fine for posing, but look pretty bad. Fortunately they’re somewhat obscured by the billowy cuffs.
Marion comes with a frying pan, which if you ask me is a pretty sexist accessory for a female action figure. Yeah, I kid. It was actually used as a weapon while she was being chased through the streets of Cairo. And overpowering a dude that has a knife using only a frying pan is pretty bad-ass. The frying pan looks as basic as you can get and it’s made out of super thin plastic that looks almost translucent if you shine a light through it. Hasbro put no effort into it at all.
More impressive is the little traitor monkey bastard with his teeny tiny vest. This is a pretty great sculpt for such a little accessory and the paint is decent too, but it looks no where near as good as the picture on the box. There’s articulation in the neck and the base of the tail, which surprised me. I think he could have been sculpted a little better to attach to Marion’s neck or shoulder, but eventually I was able to make it work. Overall, this figure is OK, but it’s pretty lacking for a premium 6-inch collector line. Let’s see if Sallah does any better.
The short answer is… Nope. Again, there’s some stuff here that is passable and I have to acknowledge that it’s a guy in beige robes and there’s only so much you can do with that. There aren’t any flashy colors to draw the eye or complex costume to sculpt. The lower half of the robes are cast in soft plastic with slits running up the sides to help give his legs a bit of space to move. The robes are textured and there’s some brown sandy weathering brushed on here and there. The tan belt looks nice and I like the vest with the black fringe down the sides. I did find this figure very difficult to keep standing, as he kept wanting to fall backwards and I’m not entirely sure why. In terms of the body, it gets the job done and that’s about it.
The portrait is at least recognizable as John Rhyes Davies, especially in the eyes and nose, but the beard looks bad. The paint is sloppy and uneven. And what is going on with this neck? They gave poor Sallah some kind of turkey neck that’s way too long and juts out unnaturally. It looks like some kind of NPC video game glitch. Mine is also covered with mold flashing that makes his skin look like it’s peeling off. What a mess!
To add insult to injury, Sallah comes with some pretty crappy accessories. The shovel is a good call, but it’s just a warped wreck. The handle is all bendy and the shovel itself is made of the same super thin plastic as Marion’s frying pan. Even in the relative low light of these pictures you can see the light bleeding through the plastic. The handle is also too thin for him to really grip it very well.
The other accessory is just a coiled rope, and oh boy is that a fun accessory! You can put it on his shoulder or have him hold it. I would have literally rather just got a coil of actual string. At least that would have added some play value. How about a torch? How is it we didn’t get a single torch in this entire wave? I just don’t have anything more to say about this figure, other than it would be acceptable as a 3 3/4-inch figure, but not in this scale and certainly not at this $25 price tag, and that’s mostly how I feel about Marion too, albeit she is definitely the better of the two. Let’s move on to the Ark!
The Ark is assembled from a total of twelve pieces scattered across the five figures of the wave. Half of the pieces make up the carry poles, leaving the top and bottom, side pieces, and end pieces. As I collected the pieces together I did not have high hopes for this thing. It seemed like it was going to be way under scaled and some of the plastic looked terribly thin and cheap.
But, to my surprise, once it was all together I was pretty happy with the final result. The poles are a bit bendy and soft, but I think the finished Ark looks pretty damn good. It feels like it’s scaled quite well for the 6-inch figures and the carry poles work really well. I think the gold finish looks pretty nice, with more of a satin finish as opposed to high gloss. At least there’s none of that awful looking swirly plastic gold Hasbro uses from time to time. The bulk of the sculpted detail is in the lid, and that is indeed the real showpiece here. The angels look beautiful and the intricate sculpting on the little fence around them is quite well done. You did good on this one, Hasbro!
So yeah, this wave has been a bit of a roller coaster. It’s still odd to say that I still think Belloq is the best figure in the assortment, with Sallah taking the dubious prize of being the worst. Toht and Marion fall somewhere in the middle. As for the star of the wave… I had a lot of nitpicking with Indy, and while I think the figure showcases a lot of inexcusable little fumbles, he’s grown on me a bit more since that review. Indeed, he’s been on my desk for weeks now and I really enjoy picking him up and fiddling with him on my downtime. And despite my lackluster reception to this wave, I have decided to press on and pick up a few of the future releases in this line, so we’ll see how things go from here.
Indiana Jones will return!