Indiana Jones Collectors Review:  Indiana Jones with the Crystal Skull

(Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Review and Photography by Jeffrey A. Gouse (SithLord0498) 

Review Date: May 21, 2008

 

 

FIGURE SPECIFICATIONS 

  • 14 Points of ArticulationBall jointed: head, shoulders, elbows, knees, ankles;  Swivel jointed: wrists, waist, legs

  • Accessories:  Hand with Crystal Skull, “Gun Grip” Hand, Revolver, Bullwhip, Removable Fedora

  • “Hidden Relic”:  Eye of the Peacock (Army Intel #9909022)

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull brings us an Indy that is as sly and daring as before.  Age hasn’t slowed him down, and the forces of evil are just as strong even if the faces have changed.  Leaving behind an era of Christian relics, Indiana now finds himself in search of a very alien-esque artifact that can harness the psychic powers of the mind.  Of course, he must find it before the Soviets do. 

With such a compelling story, it would be foolish to exclude a figure of Indy carrying this particular prize.  Fortunately, Hasbro gave us such a figure in its inaugural Crystal Skull wave.  With the Crystal Skull of Akator in hand, this figure shows us just how much and how little the years have changed Indiana Jones.

 

PORTRAIT:  Average (Bordering on Below Average) 

The first thing that needs to be said about this portrait is at least this one looks more like Harrison Ford.  The paint deco on the hair is a mixture of predominantly gray with a brown wash scattered throughout, and it works effectively enough to simulate an older Indiana.  As with the “Temple Idol” version of Indy, the subtle paint around the mouth and lower face does an excellent job of creating stubble.  As it has come to be expected in this line, the portrait falters with the painting on the eyes.  Not only are they painted different sizes but the wideness of them makes Indiana look stupefied.  The last notable flaw is that the paint does not completely fill in the bottom of rear hair sculpt, leaving exposed plastic where there should be “hair” painted.

 

COSTUME:  Above Average 

For the most part, the costume is either kit-bashed or tweaked from the “Temple Idol” version.  However, that approach makes good sense here as Indy’s wardrobe changes very little between the two movies.  The leather bomber jacket looks like a straight re-use of the Raiders version but without the dirtier paint deco seen on the “Temple Idol” figure.  The detail, flow, and texture have all been ported over successfully, keeping the high quality of the jacket intact. 

Moving onto the rest of the costume, it looks as though the shirt and legs have also been re-used from the “Temple Idol” Indy.  Again, this is perfect acceptable because the costume is virtually identical.  Plus, Hasbro hit a home run the last time, so why fix it if it isn’t broken?  As for the paint application, the only oddity is that the color palette for the shirt and trousers do not quite sync up with the publicity stills.  However, only close side-by-side comparisons between the two will show this. 

There are two elements to this Indy’s costume that are significantly different from the earlier-reviewed “Temple Idol” Indiana, and they differ greatly in the quality of their execution.  The belt is the first element.  Hasbro improved on the original sculpt and crafted a belt that hangs looser and more naturally from the figure’s waist.  Additionally, the holster is now a sculpted piece, and the detail is incredible.  Look closely, and you’ll see the outline of Indy’s revolver pressing out against the leather.  Switching to a non-functional holster was a smart move because the proportions on “Temple Idol” Indy’s holster were grossly out of whack.  This version looks more realistic.  The second element is the inclusion of a removable fedora.  It was a good idea, but it didn’t translate well.  It looks far too big and disproportionate on the figure.  The sculpted approach used on “Temple Idol” Indy works much better.

 

ARTICULATION:  Excellent 

The articulation is on par with “Temple Idol” Indiana Jones, and many of the same comments apply here as well.  The joints are identical and have equal ranges of motion.  The amount of ball-hinged joints translates into increased poseability and a flexible center of gravity.  Honestly, this is an extremely well articulated figure, and the only room for improvement would be in the use of the same articulation structure that was used in the recent Commander Gree figure from the Star Wars line.

 

ACCESSORIES:  Above Average 

Yet another stellar set of accessories for the Indiana Jones line.  The revolver is once again well-made—mostly because it’s a re-use of the one included with “Temple Idol” Indy.  While he uses a different gun in Crystal Skull, the design is similar enough to excuse the recycling.  The extended bullwhip follows the same design as well except with a different motion path.  The only omission is the coiled bullwhip.  Considering the amount of recycling used so far in this figure, it’s a curious omission—especially since Indy still has the belt hook for it.  It’s the only deficiency in the set and the reason for falling short of an “Excellent” rating.

 

The standout accessories in this set, though, are the Crystal Skull itself and the interchangeable hands involved with it.  The skull has a good amount of detail, which is most noticeable in the contours of the alien-esque forehead.  The foggy translucent plastic is a decent simulation of crystal, something that is difficult to reproduce with the types of plastic used for toys in this price range and production quantity.  It also demonstrates how Hasbro has addressed the issue of the figure not being able to securely hold the artifact.  The Crystal Skull is permanently molded to the hand, and an alternate “gun grip” hand is included for poses without the skull.  While changing the hands does require a little effort, it is a painless swap, and they stay connected to the wrist socket very well.

 

OVERALL RATING:  Average (Above Average) 

“Crystal Skull” Indy makes an excellent companion piece to its younger “Temple Idol” counterpart.  Because it has a virtually identical costume, one has see how Indy has changed (or not) over the span of the screen saga.  As a figure, it is slightly less appealing than the “Temple Idol” version, mostly because of the work done on the portrait and the omission of the coiled bullwhip.  However, it is still a decent figure and the preferred version of the two Crystal Skull Indy figures currently available.

 

 

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