There comes a time when you’re going to come across an action figure and you will have no idea where it came from or its background…you’re just going to want it because it looks friggin’ sweet. So when I came across this Noland action figure, portrayed by an actor-favorite of mine, Lawrence Fishburne, I knew I could not pass it up. The only thing that kept me from hitting that “buy” button was the price. I mean, yes it’s Lawrence Fishburne, but I’ve never seen this character and I don’t intend on watching the movie anytime soon…so it was almost a wash for me.
Luckily, I came across a deal I couldn’t pass up and re-evaluated adding this character to my collection. At that point it was a “might as well” for me. After receiving the figure, I instantly began to open it and take pictures for the review. I got all the way up to the accessories before I realized, I still know nothing about this character. What if I just got a character I couldn’t stand? That would pretty much suck.
So I watched the movie. And it happened. I wasted two hours of my time that I will never get back and I’m quite confused how this relatively minor character even got the Hot Toys treatment. Were we starving for a Lawrence Fishburne action figure so bad that Hot Toys was like “okay, we’ll make a figure out of the very next film he’s in”. Maybe I would have done better with a “CSI” Lawrence Fishburne. Shit, at this point I would have even taken a “Black-ish” Lawrence Fishburne. But after working with the figure for a while, I have let it grown on me, so let’s take a look at the Noland action figure from the movie “Predators”.
I always wonder how much Hot Toys spends to produce their packaging on their figures. We all know that it is a premium product and as such, it deserves premium packaging. But sometimes I can get as excited (or more excited) for the box itself than the figure inside.
I once got a ripped box from Sideshow Toys for an admittedly Sideshow (not Hot Toys) action figure…and I was offered $30 for it. Can you imagine the box itself being worth $30?
The box itself has a sleeve surrounding the box. The front of the sleeve has panels of red clear plastic showing off the picture on the box underneath. The back of the sleeve starts to show off artwork of the figure inside.
Upon removing the sleeve, we start to see a clearer headshot picture of the Noland action figure. On the back of the box, we get another piece of cleverly laid artwork of the Predator’s helmet worn by Noland.
We finally get to the figure itself. The front of the box opens to display a picture of the action figure on the left along with a bio-blurb, and on the right, we finally get to the figure itself. If you are familiar with Hot Toys packaging, then you are familiar of how well packed and compact everything is inside the box. I’m actually surprised to how well everything fit.
All in all, opening the box was actually a little more (okay a lot more) exciting than the movie itself. It is definitely a treat to open a Hot Toys box and it lends to adding excitement for the figure inside.
Packaging Score: 10 out of 10
I have to admit that this figure came with more accessories than I thought it would. With this figure you get the Predator armor with the Predator helmet, various weapons including a blaster rifle, a make-shift jawbone machete, an expandable Predator staff, Noland’s jacket, and 6 different interchangeable hands.
Everything is movie accurate as close as I can tell. I say this because Noland (*spoiler alert*) was in the movie for all of 10 minutes. I don’t even think he interacted that much with the Predators. For someone who has survived so long and gathered bits and pieces of armor and weapons, he sure does die pretty quick in this movie.
The only problem I have with these accessories is that most of the armor that this figure came with comes off of the figure, so if you would like to display the figure completely armored, like I do, then it will take the better part of an hour (being careful) placing it onto the figures body. When it’s all said and done, the figure looks excellent. It’s just taking the time to do this can be a little daunting at times.
At any rate, great movie accurate accessories and makes this figure seem worth it.
Accessories Score: 8.75 out of 10
Starting with the head sculpt, let me just say that I have been following Laurence Fishburne’s career for a long time, since “Cornbread, Earl and Me” back in the 1970’s. Yes, this sculpt looks like Laurence Fishburne, but not completely like him. There are some similarities, but not enough for me to declare this Fishburne’s mini-me.
For one thing, the color is off. Now while people of color are able to variate their skin tones (yes Black people can tan too) the brown of the skin tone just never seemed right on this figure. Fishburne is more of a caramel and the figure is more of a milk chocolate.
Then there is the size of the head. Fishburne’s head seems a little more elongated while the figure is not.
So to me, while Hot Toys continues to be the premiere in actor likenesses (with other companies quickly catching up), this one was a miss for me. If anything, I will give the figure at least half of the points for having movie accurateness.
On another note, check this out…I got a rotating display stand for my bigger figures for my birthday!
Sculpt/Likeness Score: 4.75 out of10
Nothing can beat Hot Toys Articulation. This figure easily has over 30 points of articulation. I never do a diagram for a Hot Toys (or other 1/6 figures) because I’m bound to miss a few due to the outfits the figures are wearing. I am not going to strip a figure to find out how it bends.
With that said, I would really like to take a class on how to pose my figures. I’m not very good at it and I hate going online to see the same figure that I have dynamically posed in a way I would never have thought of in a million years. Maybe if I had more patience…
Articulation Score: 8 out of10
I can’t stress enough how forgettable this movie was for me. And as forgettable as the movie was, the Noland character was even more forgettable. He didn’t add any depth to the movie and could have easily been left out without it changing the outcome of the movie.
I do get a couple of good things from this figure. One we get a (pseudo) figure of Laurence Fishburne, and to me that’s always a plus in his almost 50 year TV and Film career (he started around 1968). I also sort of get an almost Predator figure…I don’t own any of the Hot Toys Predator figures and don’t really foresee me buying any in the foreseeable future (I hear my wife giving a sigh of relief from her chair).
So I will chalk this one up as a solid figure from the Hot Toys franchise that I will be happy to add into my collection. The figure is finally “Sold Out” on the Sideshow Toys website, but it was sitting there for awhile. I got it at a pretty good deal…I don’t know if I would have purchased it otherwise. If you really want it, you can still find it for a good price on both eBay and online retailers like Big Bad Toystore.