Monday, June 7, 2010

Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom Figure Review

Images of The Temple of Doom action figure line were released during the San Diego Comic Con 2008, which created quite a stir in the action figure community.  Without a doubt, everyone wanted two or more of each.  Unfortunately, I missed out on these when they were finally released months after Comic Con (I blame work and my forgetfulness; both an equally lethal combination, especially when it comes to collecting).  It took about several months before I (gave in) and paid an inflated price for the entire Wave 4 (Temple of Doom) line.  All I can say is that it's a real shame that it took three waves of the Indiana Jones action figure line for the level of sculpt to reach new and amazing heights. 

Flavor Text:

"Fleeing the Temple of Doom with an army of Thuggee hot on his heels, Indy is suddenly cornered on the treacherous edge of a ravine.  As the trained, red-turbaned fighters advance on him, he reaches for his pistol, only to find it has disappeared during his frantic flight.  All he has left to use against Mola Ram's fanatic army is the sword in his hand.  He backs out onto the ancient rope bridge over the ravine, preparing for the fight of his life."

The Good:
  • Indy has 13 points of articulation: ball-jointed neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel [left ]wrist, swivel waist, swivel hips, swivel/hinge knees, and swivel/hinge ankles.
  • Indy comes with only 4 accessories: 1x coiled bullwhip, 1x sword, 1x satchel; and 1x "hidden" [Easter Island statue] relic (and sticker of said relic).
  • I thought the facial sculpt of the Indiana Jones (King of the Crystal Skull) figure was amazing, but this Indiana (Temple of Doom) figure is just spectacular.  I'm not sure if it was intentional but Indy's face expresses some concern about something, instead of the typical "neutral" face.
  • It's really nice to see that Indy's joints are surprisingly tight, despite all the bending and twisting I've put him through for action poses.
  • I just can't stop adoring the sculpt on this figure.  Everything about is just amazing!  The tattered "open" shirt reveals Harrison Ford's slight muscular build.  His right arm is also sculpted to show his muscular arm (it even has a vein sculpt!).
  • The sculpted-on lashes (found on his back) that Indy has endured during his time in the Temple of Doom is a really nice touch (definite plus for paying attention to this type of detail).
  • What was an especially nice surprise is that Indy's satchel can be opened to reveal [two] Sankara Stones.  The sculpted details (on the outside) of the slightly "bulging" satchel is also a nice touch.
  • Although there are a few spots where dried paint "chips" fall out (mainly because they're on the joints), overall, the paint application is well done.
  • What really impressed me was how and where the paint was applied: take for instance, the tattered edges of Indy's shirt.  Upon closer examination, one can see the paint application is expertly applied to give off the impression that that part of Indy's shirt is drenched in sweat.

The Bad:
  • The major drawback is that Indy can't hold onto his sword accessory.  The sword handle should've been a bit thicker to accommodate Indy's slightly large pre-posed "open-grip" right-hand.

  • On the inside of Indy's right-hand, you'll notice that the bandage has mysteriously "disappeared."  It's possible that Indy could've had a better grip on the sword were the sculpted-on bandage continue to wrap around his hand.

  • Indy's sword accessory a bit on the thin side (both the blade and handle).  However, it's plagued with another problem: the blade's tendency to curve to one side.
  • In terms of movie-accuracy, I'm pretty sure Indy had more than two Sankara Stones in his satchel before his final fight with Mola Ram.  During his fight with Mola over the ravine, most of the Sankara Stones fell out.  This leaves me wondering why Hasbro sculptors decided on having two Sankara Stones in Indy's satchel.

The Ugly:

  • At a brief glance, one can already tell the level and quality of the sculpting on this figure is far superior than its predecessors.  I wonder why it took so long for Hasbro to come out with these sculpted figures of this particular caliber?  There are just too many questions regarding how Hasbro handled the quality and distribution of the Indiana Jones action figure line.
  • If there's anything ugly, it's the packaging: (1) The design looks as if to appeal to a much younger age group (and probably is, otherwise there would be no guarantee this line would make that much money to justify continuing production of Indiana Jones figures) and (2) The amount of effort to remove the figure is a bit excessive.  Do you know how many pieces of tape and plastic I had to get through just to get the figure out?  That's far too many.
  • Although I can understand how some may view the inclusion of "hidden relics" as a neat idea, but it seems rather.... childish.  I wish Hasbro would stop including such things and instead use those materials to further improve their figures rather than worry about including something "extra" (aka unnecessary).

Additional Notes:
  • Just a few gripes: (1) I really wish Indy came with an alternative "hat-less" head; and (2) It would've been really nice to include at least one removable Sankara Stone that could be placed within Indy's satchel.
  • Unfortunately, this line has been long DEAD.  To make things harder, this particular (TOD) line was VERY popular and HIGH in demand due to both the small supply and amazingly sculpted details of these figures.  You will have a far harder time tracking these figures down and getting them at any reasonable price.

This figure was purchased as a "Temple of Doom" set online via eBay at an inflated price of $86.89 (includes S&H charges).  From what I've just seen, your best bet is to shop for it on eBay.  However, if you'd rather get is from somewhere within the U.S., I reluctantly recommend Brians Toys because they always sell their action figures at highly inflated prices even when the figures are available at other retail stores.  Because this figure was released sometime in 2008, they're no longer available at BigBadToyStore or at Entertainment Earth.


After careful browsing of the Internet and other toy sites, I settled on purchasing this particular Indiana Jones figure as well as others.  Despite the negatives I've listed above, overall, I think this figure is well-balanced and [fairly] indicative of what to expect from the rest of the Indiana Jones action figure line.

Score (out of five):

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