Reviews

THREEZERO SANDOR CLEGANE (THE HOUND) EXCLUSIVE VERSION REVIEW

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“Hate’s as good a thing as any to keep a person going. Batter then most.”
― Sandor Clegane

Who doesn’t love The Hound? Being a fan of both the show and the books, the character of Sandor Clegane is one that has not just translated well to the screen, but the writers and actor Rory McCann have managed to make the character more interesting, well-rounded and even sympathetic.

ThreeZero’s Hound is the fifth release from their Game of Thrones series  (Daenerys Targaryen is in pre-order and will be the sixth) and joins Eddard Stark, Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister and his brother Jamie. The figure was offered in both standard and exclusive versions, the latter of which I’ll be reviewing here.

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WHAT’S IN THE BOX

• 13″ tall Sandor Clegane figure with rooted hair, dressed in detailed armor featuring gauntlets, greaves and belt decorations, belts and sheathes for all weapons
• Greatsword, longsword, dagger, and katar
• Two pairs of interchangeable hands including pairs of relaxed and weapon holding hands
• Hound’s head helmet unique to the exclusive version with stand

 

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SCULPT – 8/10

ThreeZero’s line of Game of Thrones figures has been a bit of a mix of success sculpt-wise. Ned and Jon were marginal, Jamie a bit better with Tyrion being arguably the best up to this point. I have seen repaints of a few of them and in some cases the sculpts themselves are vastly improved with a quality repaint, so the issues seem to lie there.

The Hound is one of the better sculpts but the paint app lets it down a little. Repaints I’ve seen of it are amazing so the sculpt is there just the paint is lacking a bit. Hot Toys has set a pretty high bar for sculpts and paint apps as of late but smaller companies don’t sell the quantities of product that HT does and most just have not reached that level on mass-produced figures.

The Hound comes with rooted hair. The hair is the same synthetic type found on many female figures with rooted hair. It’s a little “poofed” straight out of the box but responds well to some styling especially with a product. I use floor wax which was recommended from a painter/”hair guy” and helps give it that matted, thinned-out look especially on the scarred side of his head.

 

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CLOTHING/ ACCESSORIES – 7/10

The armor here is very well done and highly detailed. The material used for the chain mail is quite convincing and the solid armor is well painted, formed and realistically weathered.

Clegane comes with four weapons; two swords, a dagger, and a katar – a kind of large, wide dagger with an “H” shaped handle. All the weapons are plastic, which is always a bit disappointing, but expected, being that all the other GoT figures have plastic weapons.

All GoT figures save for Jamie Lannister were released in Regular and Exclusive versions. Some were more impressive or arguably essential than others; Ghost for Jon Snow and Ned Stark’s sword “Ice” were two of the better ones. Sandor’s exclusive was the hound shaped helm. Although he wears it rarely on the show, I regard this as one of the more desired/essential extras. It’s nicely constructed with a separate neck guard and hinged jaw. It goes on very easily and really adds some presence whether he’s wearing or holding it. There is also a simple stand for the helmet to display it separately, which is a nice touch.

As with the whole GoT line, no figure stand is included. This is less of a problem with the Hound than it is with say Jon, who didn’t stand very well on his own.

There are only two pairs of hands included; two open hands and two weapon gripping hands. This is a bit of a letdown and I would have liked some “specialty” hands; a pointing hand maybe, or some closed fists. But again, the other GoT figures came with only four options for hands as well so it’s in keeping with the line.

But the biggest issue is with the weapon hands; they don’t hold the swords tightly enough for them to even stay in place! Both swords are extremely loose in both hands and the katar just barely fits (I thought I might break it if I forced it anymore). For shelf posing and photos I needed to add some blutac to hold them in place. This is just inexcusable and this takes this category from a possible nine to a seven since weaponry is his raison d’être and you’ll be posing him with a sword for sure. I may try to take a hair dryer to them to reshape them to fit better, but I shouldn’t have to.

ARTICULATION – 8/10

A new body was apparently created for Clegane (due to the fact that he’s a tall “f**ker” I’m assuming). The body has a kind of “ratcheting” feature to the joints; the “click” as you move them. It’s a little disconcerting at first – I thought I broke something the first time I heard it on another figure – but the joints do hold their position very well even if it’s a little noisy getting them there.

As they usually are with armored figures, the gauntlets are separate from the gloves allowing full wrist movement and the hands switch out pretty easily. The shin guards are separate from the armored shoes/boots allowing for good ankle movement. Due to the armor, the upward shoulder movement is a little limited but no more so than other armored figures. Double jointed knees and elbows allow for a nice range of motion.

Forward and backward waist movement is pretty limited due to the body armor, but you can get some movement left and right.

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PRICE POINT  – 8/10

The retail price for the exclusive version is $210. The regular version was $195 so for $15 you got the really cool-looking hound helmet. This keeps it just under the average Hot Toy price, but not by much. The figure itself is very nice but the plastic weapons, only four hands, and a lack of stand bring this category down a bit. The hound helm keeps it from dropping another point here.

 

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OVERALL DESIGN – 8/10 

As the Hound himself does within the realms of Westeros, the 1/6th version makes quite a first impression. It’s a lasting impression as well. He could stand for a more detailed paint job, but the likeness is there and the armor and other clothing details are fantastic. A couple more (and better-formed) hands, die-cast swords and to a lesser extent a branded stand would take this up at least a point.

But what would your growing collection of GoT figures be without The Hound? Throw him a 1/6th chicken every once in a while and your collection will be a lot safer with him on the shelf…or will it?

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wptrevor

Trevor is a New York-based Creative Director and owner of The Brand Counselors. He has a growing collection of 120+ 1:6th scale stock and custom figures (and more and more Lego sets). Toy photography melds his childhood dreams of comic book illustration and film directing with his design talents and – in his mind – justifies the money he spends on these things. He has been featured on CNN.com and Spoiler Free Movie Sleuth. When he’s not shooting, he enjoys kayaking with his wife, catching up on good TV and building seemingly endless custom figures.

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