“Do you expect me to talk?”
― James Bond
While no one is expecting 1/6th collectibles to talk (not yet anyway), there has been a lot of expectation surrounding Big Chief Studio’s release of their figures from the 007 classic, Goldfinger.
For many collectors, the lack of figures representing the varied array of Bonds has been a big, missing gap in the one-sixth universe. Aside from the various, expectedly cheap-looking, mass-produced and unlicensed knock-offs or the very expensive, and long since sold out custom versions, there has not been a line of sixth-scale secret agents to fill that Aston-Martin-sized hole on the shelf of many Bond enthusiasts.
But Big Chief Studios, also a collectible figure distributor based in the UK and known recently for their line of Doctor Who sixth-scale figures, has finally secured the much-coveted license from the Flemming Estate, the custodians of the Bond brand. Their three initial releases are; James Bond (as portrayed by Sean Connery), Auric Goldfinger, and Auric’s lethal butler, Oddjob. I’ll be reviewing all three, starting with Bond…
WHAT’S IN THE BOX
• Sean Connery as Bond figure in authentically styled suit
• Ten interchangeable hands
• Display base with illuminated name plaque
• Walther P38 pistol
• Walther PPK pistol with suppressor (exclusive to First Edition)
• Large and small homer tracking devices
• Submariner wristwatch
• Mint Julep drink
• German bullion gold bar
• Fort Knox gold bar
• Secret message note and pencil
SCULPT – 8/10
Connery is sculpted by one of the best in the biz, Inigo Gil, who has also done some great work for BCS on their Sherlock and Who offerings. This is no exception to Inigo’s work and is a great likeness of Connery. The paint application is good, if not quite Hot Toys level yet, with nice skin tones, some skin “pore” detail, and good hair color with some high/low lights. The eyes – always the hardest part of a paint app – aren’t bad, but fall a bit short on close inspection. I think it’s just a lack of consistency; one eye on mine looks pretty good with some iris details and the other looks more “rushed”. It doesn’t suffer from “dead eye” though, which is good.
My only other nits are that the eyebrows could have been a bit darker and bushier, especially closer to the nose – paint may have been enough to fill that in where the sculpt doesn’t define them – and the skin pore detail (which looks “speckled” when you really zoom in on most sculpts) may be just a bit too pronounced here and could have been more subtle. Good from a regular distance and on the shelf, but noticeable in close-ups.
CLOTHING/ ACCESSORIES – 7/10
Getting a nice-looking suit done for a large-scale production figure is often a challenge. Given the intricacies of this suit, I think Big Chief has done a pretty admirable job here. While the material is thicker and the stitching larger than you’d find on say a small-production, third-party custom, all the details from the original are there – even a couple that were missed on an expensive custom I’ve seen. The french cuffs and rounded square cufflinks are there, the pocket square, the rounded ticket pocket on the left side, and the knitted necktie.
The actual suit was “tropical weight” – very light. Lightweight suits like this and silk suits are especially difficult to reproduce accurately at one-sixth scale because for the weight and thickness to look right they’d be very thin. So here it looks a bit bulkier than its 1:1 counterpart but with some light ironing of the lapels (if you’re so inclined) to flatten them a bit and some routine repositioning and “futzing” it can look very good.
As for the nits, there a just a few. It’s cut for the body provided, which could have had broader shoulders, in my opinion. This could have been made up in the suit and padded a bit (adding some padding might help if you’re up to it). I also wish the sleeves were just a little longer as the cuffs recede inside the sleeves when the arm is bent. For that matter, I wish the collar had been a bit longer as well. With a little work, I managed to adjust both so they show better though.
I personally don’t like plastic snaps for closing clothing. They are bulky and leave a noticeable gap and I’m constantly in fear that one of the little plastic “nubs” is going to break off rendering it useless (it’s happened to me). Magnets may not hold the vest well enough here but there are alternative claps/snaps that are smaller and I think they would bring the level of quality up a notch on a suit like this. The overall color is a bit lighter than the original, but material options for a small-scale glen plaid weave look are limited, so I think they did the best they could here.
OK, that’s a lot of info on the suit (but it’s important)…on to the accessories. BCS has provided a lot of nice props from a 007 movie that lacks a lot of the flashy “gadgets” or iconic accouterments. Aside from the ten hand variations (I’ll talk a bit more about them in Articulation below), the “First Edition” comes with two guns including Bond’s ubiquitous PPK pistol. The suppressor/silencer included fits both guns. There is the larger tracker that 007 places on Goldfinger’s car and the smaller one he keeps in his shoe (and his heel actually opens and holds this device as it does in the film). His watch, nicely detailed, two bars of gold, the mint julep glass and even the note he tries to send to the US agents tracking him and the pencil he uses to write it! Everything is adequately detailed and scaled and they even provide a second “shoe tracker” in the extras bag in case you lose it – and you likely will (or rather I likely will). Also a nice touch – the interior art card has the hallway from the prison printed on the back of it for use as a backdrop which fits nicely into a Detolf shelf. The illuminated nameplate on the stand is nice, though I’m not sure how often I’d turn it on.
ARTICULATION – 10/10
I think the body used is a decent fit for Connery aside from the shoulders being too narrow. It looks good after some working with it. It seems to be a nice, solid-jointed body. Articulation-wise, double jointed elbows and knees allow for good movement for those fighting Oddjob poses.
One thing I especially love about this figure; its hands. The hands are made from a soft rubbery material. The texture is a nice stand-in for human skin, if still a tiny bit reflective. The flexibility is fantastic though! Getting a gun in his hand is incredibly easy and it holds perfectly. It can even hold the small tracker between the thumb and forefinger without dropping it. Swapping out hands isn’t the painful and fear-inducing struggle it usually is with Hot Toys or many other figure lines; they pop on, they pop off. I’m not sure how well these would work if he had to hold something significantly heavier and it’s a bit of a challenge to get the wrist pegs to move with them – it almost easier to take them off and reposition the pegs – but overall, they’re great. They’re painted nicely too with the fingernails slightly darker and even some cuticle detail.
PRICE POINT – 8/10
His $249 price tag places 007 on the higher end of averagely-priced sixth-scale figs. But for all the accessories you get, including a base with an illuminated nameplate, I feel the price is justified. True, some of the included items aren’t exactly intricate in nature, but there are production costs involved with all of these things – no matter how simple – and there are a lot of fun pieces to display.
OVERALL DESIGN – 8/10
From the outside – the box graphics, reminiscent of the opening credits, are tastefully designed, complete with gold imprinted details and a clear sleeve with more imprinting – to the inside contents detailed above, this is a well-rounded package and a worthy tribute to the character and the man who many feel is the “definitive” Bond.
Trevor is a New York-based Creative Director and owner of The Brand Counselors. He has a growing collection of 75+ 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.