How to start this review out…hmmm. Well, it’s Black History Month (African-American Heritage Month? <– that’s BS) and it’s time to celebrate the ultimate Black power couple. Of course President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama. Okay, I have a confession. I started this review 4 months ago. Then a lot of stuff happened. Now, I’m going to get a chance to finish it…
I’ve been wanting some decent dolls/figures/statues to pass on to my daughter to commemorate the first Black President who held office before she was even born. Many have tried to profit over the “first Black President” bandwagon so I had to pick and choose where to spend my money. Famous doll-maker Ashton Drake recently started to solicit the collectible Michelle Obama and Talking Barack Obama dolls. So this was a no-brainer, right? However, how many things can turn out so dang wrong?! Read on…
As always, I start off with packaging. Packaging for these (porcelain?) dolls were pretty exceptional. The collectible outer box opened easily enough and both the Barack and Michelle figures were wrapped appropriately. Especially with Barack. I bet I could have drop-kicked the box across the street and he would have probably turned out okay.
I pulled off all of the plastic and foam surround their various body parts. One thing to note, unless you are very meticulous (I’m not) trying to put everything back on to store your prized doll in the attic somewhere may prove to be difficult. I didn’t mind because I was ready to put mine on display. But trying to put all that wrapping back on is just way ridiculous.
I believe they justify all of the padding in the box because parts of the figure itself is porcelain. Okay, I’ll give them that. With that said, I want whomever came up with the packaging scheme to be my partner in the elementary school egg drop. Because pending someone coming by and banging into this thing with a sledgehammer, ain’t nothing penetrating that bubble wrap.
It was kind of annoying trying to take it off, but on the other hand, it is well justified. Because of that, I’ll give them a solid score.
Packaging Score: 7 out of 10
These figures each came with a display stand that usually come with figures above 12″ or so. These measure in at I believe 16″, so they rightly qualify. The First Lady’s display stand is pretty plain and is mostly covered by the elaborate dress. President Obama’s display stand prominently display his name and is a little more…dare I say it…”presidential”…than the first lady’s.
These are the only accessories that come with these figures, but really, what would you expect for this couple? Well, I guess you could include maybe a presidential podium or maybe have their daughters come as accessories for Mrs. Obama. But that would mean this would be well planned out and orchestrated rather than thrown together…
Accessories Score: 5 out of 10
Ok, I’m going to score this sort of the low side. Not because it does not look like them. It absolutely has some elements of both the FLOTUS and the POTUS. BUT (and a rightly huge BUT), I feel like this is not what I was expecting. When I first ordered both the President and the First Lady, the only photos that Ashton Drake had placed on their website was pretty much what I have come to expect from things such as Japanese-made Hot Toys. I look at my Nick Fury and I can tell you this…there is no mistaking that THAT IS SAMUEL L. JACKSON! You wouldn’t have to watch the Avengers. Matter of fact, you would only have had to seen him as the crackhead in “Jungle Fever” to recognize that my Hot Toys Nick Fury is absolutely without a doubt Sam Jackson.
This is definitely not the case with these figures. I was sold two figures thinking that they would look exactly like the President and the First Lady. What I got was a figure with a vague likeness to the First Lady and a figure that looks nothing like the President…unless I squint and the room is dark and I was standing on the opposite side of the room…and I was high. The first two pictures are what Ashton Drake are advertising to this day:
The next picture is actually what I received:
As you can see, the figures they are advertising look NOTHING AT ALL like what you receive! If I didn’t have other reasons to be keeping these figures, they would definitely be going back to them. As it is, maybe with this review I will be helping someone decide if they would like to purchase these figures or not. I would not be appalled if it wasn’t such a blatant piece of false advertising! I’m getting so worked up, that I’m going to give them a lower score than what I originally thought I was going to give them! ( I increased it a little only because Michelle’s dress is kind of accurate).
Sculpt/Likeness Score: 2.5 out of10
This is usually the section where I take a picture and break down the articulation of a figure. Although the President is advertised as being fully articulated, his body is actually like a bean bag with pipe-cleaner wires inside it. That is the extent of the articulation. And it is not even done nicely. It’s not like I was going to put the President in some high action pose or b-boy stance, but I would have liked to have the ability for him to put his arm around his wife and it look somewhat natural. That’s a negative. Michelle has no articulation at all and is more statue than doll. At least they can stand…
Articulation Score: 1.5 out of 10
Why was I stuck on this review for 4 months? There are several reasons why, some of which I will not get into here. But the main reason is that my site is called Black ACTION Figure…emphasis on the ACTION. No ACTION going on here. No vetoing bills…no dodging scathing comments and blows from conservative peers…nothing. Yes, the President Obama figure can give a speech…but the recording of the speech sounds like it came from someone in the middle of the audience. Yes, you hear the speech, but then you hear everything going on around the speech…especially the crowd murmuring and clapping. Ashton Drake was unable to get anything better than that?
I was bored to tears doing this review. I’ve fallen asleep twice trying to finish it. In my humble opinion, these are awful…however you clarify them, whether they are figures, dolls, statues, or otherwise, I honestly have to say that this was a bad purchase on my part. I had to open a Hot Toy War Machine II (Spoiler alert! My next review!) just to get over the trauma of having to do this review.
So why am I keeping them? I’m keeping them for my daughters. For them to grow up and look upon these figures and think that they were born during the administration of the first Black President. For them to know that one day, that could be them…