Few companies have been able to capture a performer's likeness as well as the artists at Hot Toys. It is no wonder they have been able to make such an impact on the collectible toy market, raising the bar to an almost unforgivable height.
Today we are going to explore one of film and comics iconic characters, one that was played by the same man, Hugh Jackman, for nearly twenty years.
TM © 2009 Marvel. © 2009 Fox.
This X-Men: Origins figure captures the visceral nature of the Wolverine character in a way the Benioff penned film could not.
Sculpted by Kojun, part of Hot Toys dream team, this figure captures all of the detail that you would expect from the company that has produced so many incredible 1/6th scale figures. Combine the talented hand of Kojun with the expert eye of JC.Hong and you have one of the best best likeness released at the time of the film's release.
One aspect of the figure that is especially noteworthy is that they used a new material for the head, which produced better skin texture and was used in in the production of later figures as well. The body was based on the newly developed hirsute muscular figure body which had over 30 points of articulation and stood approximately 30 cm tall.
No figure from HT is complete without a mix of features and accessories.
© 2013 Hot Toys Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Following on the heels of X-Men: Origins - Wolverine the artists at HT refined their take on the character, bringing the even event higher level of detail into the mix. This time the tailored clothing play an even bigger role in making the action figure come to life.
With the release of "The Wolverine" figure JC. Hong maintained his role as painter, this time working over the very competent work of Lee So Young, with Kojun providing art direction for the whole project.
The figure comes with five pairs of interchangeable palms including:
X3 Motion Picture and Images from Motion Picture © 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.
© 2012 Hot Toys Limited.
A The Last Stand what can we say about it that fans haven't already said a million times? Regardless of where you stand you can't help but be amazed at the work HT put into this 1/6th scale collectible. Besides being released the year before the above entry it captures a harder more comic book likeness of Hugh that isn't present in the other artists' work. This time Im Jung Hyuk was tasked with sculpting the head, though Kojun and JC. Hong maintained their positions of art director and painter respectively.
I find it remarkable that, though each head is specially hand-painted, they seem to maintain a strong consistency and quality rarely found in the collectible toy market. When you see the prototype you know that that is most likely what the end product will look like. With that said the paint work was a monumental achievement with this figure. Check out these close-ups to see for yourself.
We have written extensively about the Wolverine figure from X-Men: Days of Future Past. If you want to know the complete story of that figure you should check it out. For the sake of completion I wanted to include some shots of that incredible piece of art. If you could label an action figure a masterpiece then this definitely goes into that category.
Retro action figures are definitely part of collecting. Not everyone enjoys this aspect or actively follows it, but for some the desire to reclaim a portion of their childhood is a strong indicator on whether or not figure X is desirable. Of course we can't all go down that path, there is a finite number of toys still in existence (and most of these are in less than stellar condition) but we are in luck. There has been a growing trend among the toy market to produce modern figures in retro styles. Super 7, Funko, NECA, and others have given us many of the figures we dreamed about as children or similarly styled characters from modern franchises. Yet, that still leaves a lot of room for expression and one company has worked actively to fill that void.
When I learned of Figure Toy Co. I was intrigued by the large assortment of figures they have to offer. The figures are true to the 8" doll style of figures popularized by Mego, yet they offer figures the former manufacturer never did or could. Much like the Retro Daredevil released from Diamond the lines produced by FTC are true to their genres and the look that has since become iconic.
I was first introduced to them through their Super Friends line based on the long running DC cartoon series (of which I was a devoted fan of as a child). When I saw the Super Friends Darkseid figure I knew that I had to report on this stellar find.
Darkseid, at 8" tall is massive, but that is not the only thing that makes this entry so fun. Everything from the head sculpt to the sewn costume fits perfectly with what you would expect from a figure of this type.
We have seen a lot of amazing John Wick action figures in recent years. Namely those produced by DST have turned heads here at the Toy Keeper's Lair when you are in the market for 6" highly articulated figures. But none can compete with the expert craftsmanship of the toy makers at Hot Toys.
Few can hold a candle to the skill of their sculptures and when you have Yulli producing the head sculpt there is little any company can do to compete. Add to that the painting skills of JC. Hong and you have a nearly unbeatable combination, one that has produced the most realistic Keanu Reeves to date. This is not just the ultimate figure if you are a John Wick fan but the ultimate for Keanu fans as well.
Hot Toys is known, not just for their expert sculpting but their tailored clothes as well and that skill really shines with this 1/6th scale figure. You could almost swear that this is a life sized mannequin, so detailed are the clothes, but the detail doesn't stop there, in fact it goes all the way through the secondaries just as you would expect from HT.
The figure stands approximately 31 cm tall and sports over 30 points of articulations. Not only that but you get an assortment of interchangeable hands including:
You will need all of those hands because with a character like John Wick the weapons make up an integral part of the appeal.
Besides the all of that the figure comes complete with a nice assortment of miscellaneous accessories:
® & © 2018 Summit Entertainment LLC. All Rights Reserved.
© 2018 Hot Toys Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Back when the original Star Wars was released nobody expected it to be a success. Seriously, why would it be a hit? It didn't have any of the hallmarks of a classic. It wasn't original from a film making perspective, nor was it visually appealing. Who would want to play with those action figures? Mego passed on the option. Well, we know how that went, history and more than 250 million Kenner action figures can speak for themselves.
Once Star Wars broke onto the scene everyone wanted a piece of the sci-fi pie. You got shows like "Battlestar Gallactica," films like "Flash Gordon" and a little known 1979 Disney entry, "Black Hole," which was their attempt at capitalizing on the genre in that traditional Disneyesque style.
Whether you're a fan of the film or the classic 70s aesthetic appeals to you, DST has something to sooth your cravings ... these Black Hole action figures.
Diamond Select Toys' Description:
The ultimate fan-demanded action figure line is here!
Featuring characters from classic Disney action films, this assortment of 7-inch-scale action figures includes robot V.I.N.CENT (with B.O.B.) and evil robot Maximilian from “The Black Hole.” Each figure includes multiple interchangeable parts, and the Black Hole robots each include part of a diorama base from the interior of the USS Cygnus. Each comes packaged on a blister card. Designed by Yuri Tming, sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios!
Of course these aren't the only toys ever produced for the space opera, Mego produced a series of figures, both in the 8" and now iconic 3 3/4" lines. Do you notice and inspiration for another popular line of figures?
Diamond Select Toys known for producing high quality action figures for popular franchises like John Wick have produced other less known lines. One of those lines is the focus for today's entry into the Toy Keeper's Lair, their 8" Marvel Retro Daredevil dolls.
When DST produces a figure a lot of work and planning goes into it, when they take a stab at something they want to hit their mark and this addition to the Daredevil fandom is no exception especially if you are into retro action figures and can't find (or afford) the 70s originals. (Collector's note: Mego never produced a DD doll.) Much like the noteworthy work that Figure Toys Co. is producing, this line captures the retro 8" standard fabulously which was first popularized by Mego in the 70s.
Mego Corporation became known for this line once they started to produce licensed figures for film, television and popular culture. Now they are a piece of toy collector history and a genre noted for its unique vintage aesthetic.
The Marevel Retro Daredevil comes with his iconic red or original yellow costume as well as in a Matt Murdock variant.
Diamond Select Toys' Description:
Finally, the devil has come to the Marvel Retro line!
Never released in the classic Mego toy line of yesteryear, streetwise superhero Daredevil is the latest Marvel character to get the Retro action figure treatment from DST! This gift set features one classically-styled red-costume Daredevil figure, in a vintage-style box, plus two additional heads and outfits: his original yellow costume and his alter ego, blind lawyer Matt Murdock! With interchangeable heads, hands, costumes and accessories, you can display your Daredevil however you want! Packaged in a full-color gift tray with a booklet about Daredevil, retro-style figures, and the creation process! Designed and sculpted by EMCE Toys!
This John Wick action figure improves on Gentle Giant Studios' already phenominal sculpt work of the first figure. Combine that with the quality we've come to expect from DST and you've got the perfect combination of elegance and action.
Diamond Select Toys' Description:
John Wick is back with an all-new action figure inspired by the second John Wick film!
Based on his appearance in Chapter 2, this figure bears the likeness of actor Keanu Reeves and features the most articulation ever put on a Select action figure, for a wide range of poses. Wick comes with his nameless dog, an arsenal of accessories, and a blood oath marker. Packaged in display-ready Select action figure packaging. Designed by Yuri Tming, sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios.