Chadwick Boseman’s measured performance of the hero-king of Wakanda in Captain America: Civil War was a highlight of Marvel’s eight-year box office reign. But Black Panther wasn’t just one of Civil War’s best characters, he was also one of the truest comics to screen adaptations. Panther was handled with respect and reverence to the character persona and classic look. Marvel did him right.
Thanks to his debut in Civil War, this character, who’s history has spanned 50 years in the comics, is on the pulpit of pop culture like never before. To commemorate Black Panther into the MCU and beyond comes a 1/6th scale collectible figure from Hot Toys.
Nerd Bastards was fortunate to receive a sample figure from our friends at Sideshow Collectibles. Join us, as we marvel at it’s splendor.
Reminiscent of the Civil War comic books, from which it is inspired, the package has that signature empty white space on the bottom with action shot of the title character above. Around the packaging is art depicting the epic showdown fight at the airport terminal with Captain America, Ant-Man, Iron Man, Falcon, Winter Soldier, and Black Widow mid-battle. The whole outer package puts emphasis on Panther while keeping it tied to Civil War.
Sliding off the outer sleeve reveals a window box. One that, unfortunately, suffers from CSS – Can’t. See. Sh*t. Black figure sitting in a black try. If “stealth mode” was the look Hot Toys was going for, then they succeeded. Why have a window if what’s behind it cannot be seen? A different colored tray would have helped the figure pop out from the window.
Whatever short comings are with the lack of sight from the window box, can be made up for the fact that Hot Toys makes their collectibles with the collector in mind. A lot of toys are often packaged in what would seem Vibranium, so difficult are they to release from their holdings. But that’s not the case here. No twisties or clamshell plastic to tear through. The figure can be removed and replaced back without any damage to the box. The makes for two magical words: “Value Retention”.
One of the defining things that has come to be expected of Hot Toys, is their dedication to meticulous detail. Not ever are they remiss in capturing a characters likeness and costume. No detail is sparred. From screen to 1/6th format, everything is 100% accurate. And as so often the case, figures like this give new found appreciation for the costumes seen on screen. It takes a figure like this, to be up close and personal with it, to see what the eyes cannot see on screen. That is very much the case here.
Black Panther from Civil War can easily be described/remembered as wearing an all-black body suit, with silver claws on hands and feet, as well as silver necklace. It, however, is not that simple. While the suit is all-around smooth and clean looking, it is in fact a meticulously tailored black and silver colored suit with extremely fine details and textures. Defining lines and embossing run throughout the entire body from head to toe. While these appear to be just tribal in design, and in some areas they are, upon closer inspection, reveal that the suit is multi-layered – looking wrapped in parts (notably in the knees, neck, and shoulders/arms), it’s more tapestry than spandex. The entire suit itself is very well textured with a look attributed to Kevlar.
The helmet itself, carries with it its own multitude of textures and silver trims. Intricate are the tribal inscribing running over the brow/scalp, bold silver trim accents, divots in the ears, and meshing in the jaw and eyes.
The underlying body matches almost identically to the physique of actor Chadwick Boseman. Full muscular chest, chiseled abs, runners thighs, and what can only be assumed as a well-endowed crotch. The suit flatters the body and the body flatters the suit.
One drawback to this fitted costume, however, is that it restricts mobility of the figure. It has a noted 30 points of articulation. There is some give in the torso/midsection, and nice rotation/movie in the head, wrist and ankle joints, but the costume just does not allow for the full range of movement that the underlying body is capable of. Arms will bend at the elbows and raise laterally but that’s it. The costume cuts off movement at the shoulder, cannot bring arms back or raise them upwards,. Same goes for the hip joint. While there is reasonable bend in the knees, the tightness at the hips prevent any forward/backward/lateral movement.
The figure comes with no accessories other than Six (6) pieces of interchangeable gloved hands and a figure stand. The hands include:
– One (1) pair of fists
– One (1) pair of clenching hands
– One (1) pair of clenching hands with claw
Not much variety in hand gestures. Closed or clenched. As limited as the hands are in form, switching from closed fists to open-clawed does very much bring the figure to life. Cock the elbows up, with a clawed hand or two and Black Panther is a prowling cat ready to strike. Quite dynamic looking.
Figure bases are generally considered as additional pieces that one could do without; only really ever needed if the figure has a hard time standing on its own. Black Panther is a very balanced figure, standing on its own with ease. So the stand is not quite necessary, but keeping in mind that this is a black colored figure (#notracist), it does blend in dark areas. The colorful stand with chrome plate, helps break up the dark shadowy palette, drawing eyes to the figure.
CRITICISM (The Not So Good Stuff)
As already noted, limited is the figure in its movement. While that is to be expected with a suits of this kind, and w/ respect to Hot Toys who couldn’t have engineered it otherwise without making severe alterations to the suit, the lack of poseable display options is an issue.
Most Hot Toys collectible figurines come paired with either an alternative head sculpt, or a variety of accessories, or sometimes both. This is usually in association with signature items the character(s) have been notably seen with; i.e. Captain America and his famous patriotic shield. In Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther came with nothing but himself, curiously form fitting suit and all. So no fault at Hot Toys for pairing this figure with next to nothing because, well, there was nothing to pair it with. At the least, however, an alternative head, an un-masked facial sculpt of Chadwick Boseman for example, could have and should have been included.
It is sour grapes to see Black Panther come with so little, when compared to other figures, at around the same price point, that often include so much more.
Mustachioed comic book crusader Stan Lee and legendary penciler Jack Kirby created Black Panther (real name: T’Challa) back in 1966. His first appearance was Fantastic Four #52 and he has the distinction of being one of the first black superhero in comics. The Black Panther paved that rocky road for the likes of Luke Cage, Misty Knight, War Machine, John Stewart Green Lantern, among a few others. So it’s fair to say, this character means so much to a lot of people. For reasons that include but are not limited to: representation, diversification, symbolism, heroism, and so much more. Given this characters storied history and influence, it’s been a shame, that up until last few years, there hasn’t been many toys/collectibles of him. But now, thanks to his cinematic debut in Captain America: Civil War, he’s come into the pop culture fray, fully embraced, with fans eager to see more of him. And here we have an awesome toy company like Hot Toys following suit.
The 1/6th scale Black Panther figure is made with flawless respect to its celluloid counterpart. Marvel did right by the character and so did Hot Toys. It is the best idol to the character a fan could ever want. The term “bad-ass” is very overused word, generally used by those too lazy to pull more descriptive adjectives but in this case, it very aptly applies. As they say, “everything is better in black”.
Black Panther retails for $219.99 and is currently on a wait list. He is a figure worth holding a out for. Get your name in now. Reserve HERE.
Like our review? We have more! Check out some of our recent Sideshow Collectible / Hot Toys reviews: