Exclu Reviews By Jack Sturman. Imagery from Spencer & Patrick.
For those who have been following us for a while now, you’ll be aware of a preview feature we ran back in E4 (June’17) which focused on an up-and-coming toy studio called JackalX. They were showing off the early prototype and overall design of their debut 1/6th scale futuristic soldier Sgt. John Reese with the promise of production samples to review first hand. Well a year on and we have our hands on not only on the standard John Reese but also the exclusive “Death Squad” variant for us to play around with and see if they’ve been worth the wait.
1x 1/6th Sgt. John Reese Figure – Camo Body pattern
1x Neck scarf
1x Assault Rife – W/ Attachments
1x Long Shotgun – W/ Attachments
1x Magnum Sidearm – W/Attachments
2x Arm Bracers
2x Ammo Clip
1x Shotgun Shell bandolier
1x Figure stand & base
2x Frag Grenades
2x Smoke Grenades
1x “The Making of booklet”
1x Serial number card
Exclusive Death Squad
Includes all of the above with weapons clad in black paint finishes and darker tones across accessories.
1x 1/6th Sgt. John Reese Figure – Full black Body pattern
1x Skull visor detailing
With Reese, there’s no facial sculpt to speak of, instead the character is equipped with a futuristic combat helmet with a magnetic visor clasp. The helmet itself is informed as part of the characters narrative and makes for a practical addition to the character with the added intrigue of the Reese’s likeness. Looking to the main body sculpt and we find a very traditional body mould that we’d expect on this genre of figure where heaving clothing and accessories conceal the need for any detailing leaving us with a few areas of traditional sculpting to cover.
One area is the hands which are of standard design with detailing on the back to match the overall combat rig and that’s all there is to really say on that front. The functionality of the hands I have found to be somewhat lacking as fresh out of the box they are very stiff and I found myself having to have a really good go at slotting in the weapons but once they were in they weren’t going anywhere in a hurry. The other area where sculpting comes into play is across the multitude of accessories and weapons that come both editions of the figure. The guns are modestly sculpted without being too indepth and the same is so for the knee pads, boots and combat arm braces. Where it does really come into its own is across the smaller accessories such as the grenades, sidearm and machine gun clip with a solid amount of detail and attention given to them raising the overall quality of the figure.
For a debut figure you could be forgiven for not expecting much in the way of accessories, but JackalX have other ideas. The box is a treasure trove of varying layers of accessories from weapons, grenades, pouches, bandoliers, backpacks and holsters all of which can be attached to the character in any form and format you wish. The variety on show here is one of the figures highest point of recommendation and the detail present here is really something with tiny clasps and clips perfectly scaled to the 1/6th character. The stitching and detailing on the main body clothing is also up to par which continues to surprise when you remind yourself that this is a debut figure.
The drawback on the detailing is the fiddly nature of the clasps and strings which are used to attach the pouches to the character which can be tedious at times. Looking over at the weapons and theres a several attachments involved here including scopes, grips and silencers as well as 2 ammo clips with a great little detail of a painted bullet at the top of the case. Another area of detailing is an extendable stock on the assault rifle.The attachments can be moved about and taken off of the figure which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Its good in allowing maximum customisation but its real downfall here is when it comes to posing the weapons in Reese’s hands.
The problem that I found the most abundant was with the grip, as soon as I slotted it into the hand and then proceeded to move the arms slightly to better post him , the movement would pull the grip off of the weapons. This made posing somewhat tedious as every moment would then disrupt the placing of the weapon. Overall though the range of military accessories available here for the price is more then adequate and is a great selling point for JackalX.
As with most 1/6th scale figures that I’ve come across ,we sacrifice articulation for detailing but thats not necessarily the case here. The main body can pull off all the poses you’d expect from a military style character with the only hampering coming from the excess of accessories attached to the body which can restrict movement in places. The joints are the good side of stiff and are able to hold poses without loosening which helps to pull off the dynamic poses. The main area of critique I have here links back to the accessories issue whereby as soon as you have the weapon posed within both hands, any movement from here on will the pull the attachments off of the gun. To get ahead of this you need to post the arms first and then try to fit the weapon into that as doing otherwise will just result in a tedious process of reattaching and reposing the hands and guns.
In regards to toy photography, John Reese is hugely photogenic and the articulation helps this tremendously as witnessed with the gallery displayed throughout this review allowing the character to role play a variety of poses and stances.
When considering all of the above, with the accessories, sculpt and articulation it would amount to a higher price point. Now when comparing this figure to large license characters from Marvel or Star Wars which retail above $200 for the most part, the figure more or less can justify its price point of $200 on the dot depending on your source here in the West. Some 1/6th collectors may find this a tad too high for an unlicensed character and would be happier around the $175 area.
Again I find myself coming back to the notion that this is their debut figure and theres a lot of production cost to carry forward. We’re playing the neutral party as with the figure in hand you can see the justification of the price point when you consider everything in the box but we can also understand those who feel that for an unlicensed character it might be slightly above the sweet spot.
Overall we as a trio are hugely impressed with this debut figure from JackalX are now looking to the future with anticipation on whats next to come. Across the board here there are some great elements at play with our favourite being the wide variety of well scaled accessories allowing the character to role play a wide variety of military guises. There are some areas of improvement however which we hope with time and experience will be covered and pick up on.
For starters some area of plastic are brittle leading to the holster on my sample breaking off the upper leg right out of the box which was echoed with other plastic detailing breaking with Patrick and Spencer. I’d love to see how JackalX could improve the attachment of the various pouches to the character. Out of the box, Reese already has some elements pre-attached from the factory but its up to us to then fiddle around with tiny string and clips to attach the remaining pouches. The magnetic clip of the visor is another area that could be strengthened with the clip failing completely one of our samples and I’d love to see the hands made more malleable to help with weapon posing, but stepping back, these are small drawbacks on an other wise thoroughly well made figure.
When viewing this figure you really do need to remind yourself that this is a debut figure from a widely creative studio who have not only created the character but also a whole wealth of narrative and back story in an expanding license. The good points on the figure are made even better when keeping this in mind and the flaws are also pulled up and can be forgiven for a maiden voyage into the creative toy market.
Two samples of JackalX Sgt.John Reese where provided to Exclu Media at no charge for the purpose of unbiased and transparent review and professional photoshoots.