There was a time when Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom was considered the least favorite of the Indy Jones movies. That was, until 2005 and the Kingdom of The Crystal Skull dethroned it and ushered a collective “ehhhh” from fans, What with a rope swinging Shia Lebough, CGI monkeys, an over the top cartoonish Russian Villain and an ending that gave the guy from Ancient Aliens an excuse to “Be in his Bunk” with a case of heavy breathing. Reflecting back, Temple of Doom holds up better than one might remember and perhaps might actually be better than its precursor Indiana Jones Raiders of The Lost Ark. As Sheldon’s girlfriend on Big Bang Theory once said: “Indiana Jones plays no role in the outcome of the story. If he weren’t in the film, it would turn out exactly the same”. At least in Temple of Doom, Indy’s actions actually lead to a positive outcome – saving a few hundred enslaved kids, returning some ancient glowing sacred rocks, and dropping the films lead bad guy into a pit of crocodiles. And as far adventure goes, it’s perhaps one of Indys most thrilling – a night club fight, a plane crash, weird foreign cuisine (chilled Monkey brains anyone?), bug infested tombs of death, lava pits, voodoo dolls, and a thrilling mine car chase. All in a day’s work for our favorite Cambridge Archeologist.
All the excitement of Temple of Doom has led the high-end figurine company Sideshow Collectibles into making Indy into a relic worth collecting, in the form of this desirable 1/6th scale figure. Sideshow was courteous enough to send us one for review. Join us as we ascertain its quality and argue whether or not it needs to be in a museum (Short answer: It does!).
“If adventure has a name… it must be Indiana Jones” a classic Indy quote featured on the upper left hand corner of the box. How true that statement is, and one, that must have been a mantra for the packaging designers. This package screams adventure and tugs on that sense of 80s nostalgia. It also, may look a bit familiar….
(Original ToD poster)
Since Indy and his adventurous icon-ism is so recognizable, there is no sense in getting cute and creative with the marketing material. The outer cover of the box depicts text and graphics from one of the original Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom posters. Riffing off an old poster may be considered lazy to some, but really, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” That image of Indy standing heroically, with sword and whip in hand, is just as striking today as it was in the 80s. To Sideshow’s credit, instead of just re-using the exact image from the original poster, they recreated it using the actual product/figure as the center model. And damn if it does make you take a double take, easily forgetting you’re looking at a figurine and not Harrison Ford himself. The back of the box features a supplemental portrait and the films synopsis.
Of course, much like every Sideshow 1/6th scale figure, the package is collector friendly. Machete not required to open and free the figure from its confines. It’s a shoe box style package with two inner plastic trays, one on top of the other, and these are held together with a cigar band style cardboard slip. All its contents can be removed and repackaged. That means you don’t have to rip into it like Mola Ram while chanting “Kali Ma Shakti de“.
Harrison Ford‘s mug has always looked hard-bitten and weathered. He’s face has got a lot of, shall we call it, “character”. His gritty and worn visage has been captured near perfectly in this fact sculpt. From the heroically square jaw, overly manly 5 o’clock shadow, bothered and frowned brow, and eyes that say “Listen, Kid” this figure is the plastic manifestation of Ford; even right down to that slanted scar on his upper chin. This is also a beaten and tumbled Indy, and the bruising on his cheek and lips, along with the scratches on his face, and bloody nose adds to the story this figure tells.
Unfortunately, that’s were the positives on the head ends (mind you, that’s a lot of positives). While the hair is sculpted to look like that wave/swooped and possibly palm-aid stylized hair that Dr. Jones always sported underneath that hat, there is a problem, a glaringly awful problem. This figure has swappable hair that is held in place with a magnet. Pop it off and pop on the hat, also held in place with a magnet. Which would be fine, but there is a god awful seam right where the removable hear meets the head. It is so unsightly and down right sinful. So much so, that displaying Indy without his trademark fedora really isn’t an option. For a $200+ figure, you expect better than that. Tsk. Tsk.
The entire figure stands about 12 1/2″ tall from hat to foot. The torso and waist, along with the hips, knees, thighs, and ankles, allow for copious lower body poses and firm stances. Even the feet get a good range of movement. The feet, much like everything else, have joints that are tight and solid. While this figure comes with a base, it is not needed. You can station this figure in any position you like and its as resilient as Harrison Ford is in real life (what with the plane crashes and Millennium Falcon doors falling on him).
Tying the whole figure are the clothes. The outfit consists of the torn shirt, torn pants, belt, hat, and shoes….
Indiana Jones did for the Fedora what Odd Job did for Bolo hats. A very popular hat made famous by the escapades of one Dr. Jones. Sideshow Collectibles certainly captured the recognizable look of the fedora but what a shame to see it be a piece of molded plastic instead of real material like the rest of the figures attire. It also sits a little high on his head and is perhaps a little too tall in the crown.
The tan shirt and brown pants are colored and tailored to that of what you see on-screen. They’re quite recognizable to Indy’s field attire, but, they’re both too clean and pressed. For not the tear in the pants at the knee, and the bloodied whip lacerations on the back of the shirt, this outfit looks like it came straight out of the dry cleaner. A dusted and stained look would have upped the realism.
Some great Moms have once said “you can judge a man by the shoes he wears”. The same applies to 1/6th scale figures. The paint work is, like the rest of the figure, superb. But it’s the laces, man… they’re actual threaded laces. That’s something you so rarely see, even on high-end figures such as this. Nobody is excited about shoelaces in real life, but on a figure, it’s that little extra somethin’ somethin’ that takes it from toy, to luxurious collectible.
Anyone whoever has ever complained about Sideshow Collectibles not including enough accessories in their 1/6th scale line of figures, have very little, if anything, to refute about with this tribute to Indy from TOD.
Let’s start with the hands, five sets and one extra for a total of eleven. All come with their own pegs. The right hands are all bandaged, as per the film. These are designed to work with the various accessories, and there are hands are sized/positioned just right for the stones, the whip, the gun…etc.
Speaking of the gun, it’s the Colt .38 revolver that we see him use, particularly in the early part of the film. The sculpt and paint work are top-notch, and you can even see the cartridges inside the cylinder. The cylinder does not swing out, however.
The gun fits snugly inside the holster, and the holster strap is held in together by a wee magnet.. The holster belt rides a little lower on his hips than the regular belt, and likely seems to stay in place by the anti-gravity power of the bulge in Indy’s groin. The holster includes a loop for the coiled whip, which is held in place by another magnet.
He has not one but two whips. One is permanently coiled, and can be attached to his belt with a loop. The uncoiled whip is just one long piece of plastic, and cannot really be posed with – unless, of course, an extended arm with a flaccid whip is the look you’re going for then right on. A thin internal wire would have helped make this secondary whip a more versatile accessory.
Indy also carried a machete during key scenes in the film, particularly the end with the bridge scene. This machete is included as an accessory, and bravo, for Sideshow using actual metal. A lot of companies would have just molded a grey piece of plastic. Not here, this is real metal and if you sharpened it, would make for a great paring knife.
The regular release includes rabbit poop… no, wait, the three Sankara Stones (which do look suspiciously like rabbit droppings). These are painted as we saw them during most of the film, and the scale is quite good. They fit nicely in either the intended hands or in his man purse. The “exclusive” release of this figure includes three more, done with the same sculpt but molded in a translucent plastic. This plastic ‘glows’ when light passes through it, or is supposed to anyway – honestly, who’s gonna be holding up a flashlight under these? Wouldn’t have been great if they had a light up function.
Speaking of his man purse, it’s one of the best items he has this time around. The interior has multiple layers and pockets, with plenty of room for all three stones and a nice magnetic closure.
Last but not least…maybe…is his small display stand. As far as stands go, it’s adequate. Nothing too particular special about it, black hexagon. Would have nice to see one of those world maps that you see on-screen every time Indy globe trots.
CRITICISM (aka The Not So Good Stuff)
Circling back to the earlier grievance with the seam on the scalp, it needs to be said again, it’s bad – you can ride a mine car through that crevice. It really spoils, what is otherwise, a near perfect figure. There are other smaller issues, namely detail orientated lapses, to squawk it. Like how clean and pressed the outfit is. How none of the right hand grips a formed to hold his gun. How there are bloody lacerations on his shirt, but no red and bruised whip marks on the figures back. How the uncoiled whip is as about as useful as a wet noodle. Or how there’s not a secondary head sculpt (Where’s that Harrison Ford smirk?). Or how about the severe lack of chilled monkey brains or Snake Surprise as an accessory?
Aside for the atrocious seam on the scalp (which can thankfully be covered up by the hat) all those other contentions aren’t much to bemoan about. Would the figure be that much better with those things, yes absolutely, but they don’t take away from it either.
Indiana Jones has had 4 movies (and a TV series – The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Memba that?) with a 5th one on the way. Everyone has their favorite movie (though if you have friends that like Kingdom of the Crystal, you maybe don’t need those kind of people in your life) but the one constant is how relatively unchanged Indy looks throughout the series. The man wears the same clothes and practically never ages. And yet, out of the entire series of Indiana Jones figures from Sideshow Collectibles (they have a figure for every movie) this is, far and above, their very best. It’s so life-like, and probably works as a voodoo totem more so than that burlap doll in Temple of Doom – burn this figure and Harrison Ford will get burned in real life. Throw him down in an airplane and… oh, wait. Better not say anything further.
This figure is much like the movie, worth a second glance. He’ll run you $229.00 (and that’s like what the value of 3 golden idols?) but is has everything you could want out of a collectible of everyone’s favorite whip swinging rugged hero. If $200+ still makes you pray to Sheeva to save your wallet, consider Sideshows affordable payment plans. Follow this link (HERE) and get your Indy today!
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