“It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing… such a little thing…”
It’s no small thing to take on what is arguably the most beloved fantasy story of all time to produce anything that will be held up to the scrutiny of its fans worldwide. When Peter Jackson announced he was going to – finally – bring the tale to the screen the news was met with a mixture of hope and dread. It turned out that he was the person to take on the epic, even leaving a big distributor because they wanted to make it into one single movie.
Asmus Collectibles has been producing sixth-scale figures based on the film versions of the LOTR characters for several years now and they have had their hits and misses along the way. Until last year, the Asmus Fellowship consisted of Gandalf, Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippen, and Aragorn. Last summer, the archer Elf, Legolas joined his Lothlorien-robed partners and was followed by “slim” versions (reissues with fewer accessories) of Aragorn and more recently Merry and Pippen.
But the long, hard wait for a complete Fellowship is nearing an end with the upcoming reveal of the everyone’s favorite grumpy dwarf, Gimley and it’s newest release; Boromir.
Boromir was released in two versions; rooted hair and molded hair. I opted for rooted and I will be reviewing that version here.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX
- Boromir figure clad in authentically styled clothing from the film
- Five pairs of hands including relaxed, weapon holding and fists
- Cape with Fellowship/Lothlorien leaf pin
- Belt with sword and dagger sheaths
- Long sword and dagger
- Horn of Gondor
- Fur/velvet cape
- LOTR branded figure stand
SCULPT – 8/10
I have to hand to Asmus, they do take feedback on prototypes into consideration and even engage their active customers/followers in the process occasionally. They did this with Boromir on their Facebook feed – showing the digital renderings and asking for feedback. I even threw my two cents in.
In the end, I think the changes they made from that helped a lot. That said, it’s still a sculpt that can look fantastic at some angles in some light and then – just a bit off – in another. It’s certainly Sean Bean, but maybe with some sharper features. The bridge of the nose may protrude too much? The nose too long? Nostrils need to be more flared?
I’m not sure. But he’s there, though maybe a little idealized. Part of the key is the hairline. As I mentioned in the intro, Asmus released two versions – sculpted hair and rooted hair. The initial reviews on the boards are that people like the sculpted hair a lot. It’s much easier to create volume and keep hairlines in place and wisps and strands showing and this does add a lot to the likeness. Personally, though, I prefer rooted hair on figures with long hair. It’s obviously a much more realistic look but it comes with some challenges.
Asmus uses a something in their rooted hair (note to self: I need to ask about what this is!) to keep it styled. It can look ok, if a bit flat if you leave it like this, but what certified one-sixth collector simply takes the figure out and places it on the shelf as-is? You know you love to mod!
In the case of both Aragorn, and now Boromir, I have carefully combed almost all of this stiff-stuff out. I cut a few strands in front so they hang over his forehead. After trying some other products, I recently found out about “Dax Wax”, a hair wax that works very well for shaping/styling rooted hair. After doing this, the likeness really takes a big leap forward. In conclusion, I’d say out of the box as-is, it’s about a seven, but with a little bit of work, it’s a solid eight.
CLOTHING/ACCESSORIES – 9/10
As I’ve stated before in the Aragorn Slim and Legolas reviews, Asmus does an excellent job with clothing. There is a lot of intricacy and detail in the clothing of the LOTR saga, and with few exceptions, Asmus has done a nice job of translating them to scale.
Boromir comes dressed in long pants, red velvet tunic, blue surcoat, black boots, Gondor vambraces, and belt with sheaths. The velvet tunic has very nice gold detailing and under this is the “chain mail” which I believe is attached to the tunic mid-arm. The outer surcoat has a good leather look. I like it better than the material used for Aragorn’s coat as its “heftier”. They’ve also done a pretty nice job of weathering it.
The gauntlets are the same ones that came with the slim Aragorn (Aragorn took them after Boromir’s death…ah, sorry…spoiler alert?) They are well-detailed. The belt has a good embossed leather effect to it with screen-accurate buckles and other detailing. The boots are one-piece and molded, though in a soft, somewhat flexible material which allows for some ankle movement (see Articulation notes below)
Two cloaks are included; the Fellowship cloak with the Lothlorien leaf pin (which doesn’t sit properly sideways as it should – common to all the figures in this line) and the stand-out piece of clothing in my opinion; the patterned, fur-edged cloak. It’s tempting to have the full Fellowship displayed with the Elven cloaks but the inclusion of the velvet cloak that Boromir wears before receiving the gift of the Elves is just too nice to keep in the box! The fur may be a bit out of scale, but it still looks great.
Boromir’s accessories include his instantly recognizable shield, longsword, gold-handled dagger and the Horn of Gondor. Everything is nicely detailed, well painted and well constructed. The handle of the shield did pop off while posing him, but it was an easy re-glue and holds well now.
Also included are five pairs of hands – six gloved and four bare hands in various positions – and a branded stand.
ARTICULATION – 8/10
I assume this is the same KP01A+ male body used for Legolas, Aragorn and other figures from Asmus, though I haven’t encountered the “clicking” when moving joints that I have with the others so it may be different.
Knees and elbows are double jointed and it’s really just the clothing that hinders any movement, but you can get very dynamic poses with some care to moving the clothing along with the body.
As with Aragorn, the boots are molded. I thought that the material was a bit softer on Boromir, but they look to be the same material and thickness. What is different here is that there are pegged feet in these boots unlike the slim version of Aragorn that, for some reason (possibly cost-cutting) was just a leg – no ankle peg or foot or even socket in the boot. So you get more stability with Boromir and the boots do bend somewhat with the foot/ankle pegs when posing to keep his feet just about flat in a wide stance.
PRICE POINT – 10/10
At a price of $219, the rooted hair version is $30 more than the molded hair version. You’ll have to decide if the difference is worth it to you to have the look of real hair or not. As I mentioned, reviews from owners have been good for the molded hair and it does look good, but I opt for the rooting if it’s available and it’s worth the extra cash for me.
Accessories are on par with other LOTR figures from Asmus including the recently released Legolas (molded hair) at $199. Even over the $200 mark, this is in the realm (like it or not) of the average one-sixth figure price today. The quality of the clothing, the accessories including metal weapons, and the rooted sculpt all make this a good buy for the money.
OVERALL DESIGN – 9/10
Overall, Boromir is a solid release and one of the best of the Fellowship released so far. The likeness is there, if not 100% – maybe 80%. If you can work on the hair (should you opt for the rooted version) it helps immensely. The clothing is detailed and very well made as are the accessories. All in all, a solid buy.