A massive disappointment at the box office and in the minds of the majority of critics (the film has a 30% score on Rotten Tomatoes), The Lone Ranger carries with it a stain of failure that will likely never wash out. When we see or hear about that movie and anything connected to it, it conjures negative thoughts, but in truth, there are a lot of people who really liked Gore Verbinski’s take on the legendary Lone Ranger/Tonto mythos. I’m not one of them, but there are a lot of people. I have proof.
Going back to Rotten Tomatoes, 53% of polled viewers “liked” the film and, despite the deluge of negativity that swirled around the film following its theatrical release, The Lone Ranger actually cleared $41 million in home video sales.
My point? Though Hot Toys’ Tonto Sixth Scale figure seems like an odd choice to join a lineup that features characters from beloved Marvel projects, DC projects, Star Wars, GI Joe and the like, there is likely a group of collectors that will be interested in this figure beyond Johnny Depp obsessives (these people would have bought a playset from The Tourist if given the chance) and those who are lucky enough to be Hot Toys completists who gobble up every luxurious figure released (I hate your face and the fat wallet in your pocket).
The question is, should they? Should you? Thanks to our friends (well, I’m more a friend of a friend) at Sideshow Collectibles, we were provided the Tonto figure for the purposes of this review and — for your benefit — we beat the living shit out of it!
Nah, this figure was treated with extreme care and grace. Like a princess. Anyway, the toy. The toy. You are here to read about the toy.
It comes in a box. A pretty box. Off-white with a matte finish, the outer box has a sepia toned image of our man Tonto with an orangish (I’m color blind) and stylized glossy “Tonto” logo and the “Lone Ranger” title card at the bottom. Also, there is a bird, which makes it art. I JUST TOLD A PORTLANDIA JOKE! #Clever #IHateMyself
The die cut bottom of the box, which revealed the brownish, almost rust colored main box is a nice addition as well. If you’re a collector, I doubt that you are going to be so anal as to keep this in both the main box and the outerbox, but I think I just painted an erotic picture with words for all of you specialty retailers out there.Once we remove the outerbox we see a full window display showing Tonto and his myriad of accessories that I promise not to put in my mouth (don’t you put them in your mouth either.) Round back, Sideshow lists the creative team behind the project, which is a thing that I enjoy even though I’m not at a point in my life where I can dedicate myself and my mortgage money to the purpose of collecting only Kojun head sculpts, though that would be lovely. As for the rest of the team, Howard Chan and JC. Hong served as creative producers, with Hong also working as the head painter (the guy/gal who paints the head or the person in charge of all the painting? I am unsure) and art director. Sherman Li is the product designer and a pisces… maybe.
I feel bad that I’m not naming everyone who had a hand in the creation of this figure, especially Monster Jr., but I have to save some mystery for you, the consumer.
So, by this point, I have un-boxed the Tonto figure and I am marveling at the craftsmanship that went into the facial sculpt because it is, of course, sublime. This is where Hot Toys earns its money — the shock and awe of design perfection. You’ll notice from some of the pictures below that there is a cracking of the white face paint and great shadowing around the eyes. The slightly pursed lips and the eyes are so very Johnny Depp, as is the nose. It’s a creepily accurate representation.
Moving up to the top of head, we have Tonto’s head wrap and, of course, the bird. Tonto’s scalp is molded, not real hair, but real hair hangs down from the head wrap. I confess that I am not at all a fan of real hair with my collectibles and it’s not something that Hot Toys seems to do often but despite that, it looks quite nice and the team does a nice job mixing the tones so that it looks like real hair with a hint of black, brown and reddish brown even.
I also like that the decorative hair that is attached to the very well made chest plate looks nothing like the hair on Tonto’s head from a tonal perspective. It’s a small detail, but it shows that the artists behind this figure were aware of such things and didn’t want to look lazy by simply reusing the same hair.
The body is muscular but lean and the coloring is consistent throughout the trunk. There is a seam that runs along the left side from the belt line to the arm pit that was obviously unavoidable, but if we’re being extremely picky, it would have been nice to not see that. I like how there is a purposeful yet faint patch of white body paint on the shoulder and that it naturally fades and smudges down the neck.
While the coloring on the trunk is outstanding, I’m a little less enamored with the body paint on the arms. Here’s a picture of Tonto in The Lone Ranger film paired with a closeup of the action figure version’s arm. Note that the detail is a little bit lacking and that the painters went more for a tonal match. Again, for me personally, that’s a minor complaint, but there are people who are for more picky than I.
The bracelet accessories (there are 2), the arm band (1) and the differently positioned hands (there is a pair of open hands, a pair of clenched fists, slightly open fists and a 1 wide open left hand) are well made and, in the case of the bracelets and bands, can be used to cover partially or draw the eye away from the joints. Again, a small complaint and one that Hot Toys doesn’t usually have to deal with because most of their figures don’t have exposed arms, but it would be fantastic if they could develop a way to cover the arm and wrist joints with some kind of skin as they have with the torso.
The legs are covered with a pair of brown fabric slacks that feel a touch thin. There are more hair strands sewn into the seams to add some detail and three belts — one rubberized one that detaches, a cloth printed belt and a leather-type belt with a weathered looking large buckle.
In terms of poseability, the large and flat feet provide a solid base and the legs are extremely pliable but also firm when positioned — this figure has amazing balance and can be posed in any number of ways without having to worry about it toppling over. There is, of course, a display stand with a “Tonto” name plate as well, should you be less adventurous.
Further accessories include two large but differentiated hatchets with a faux wood handle and a dulled and weathered looking blade, a pistol, a knife and sheath, a small cloth satchel or pouch that matches the fabric of the pants, two additional ball joints, the previously mentioned additional hands and bracelet/arm bands and two pocket watches that are detail rich. Of all the accesories, I was most impressed with those, but to adorn Tonto with all these things would be seemingly difficult.
As for re-boxing: I hate go off on a philosophical tangent, but where is the fun in keeping something like this in a box? Toys should be played with and handled and occasionally taken into the bath. Un-cage your love and find your smile, anti-box breakers! Re-sale value be damned!
Overall, The Hot Toys’ Sixth Scale Tonto is a fitting addition to the Hot Toys line, even if it is from a movie that isn’t universally beloved. There are a few minor cosmetic quibbles, but the awe inspiring head sculpt, attention to detail, and overall build quality scream out high caliber collectible.
I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.
The Sixth Scale Tonto sells for $204.99. To pre-order or learn more information about this figure, click this link to go to the Sideshow Collectible web page.