Exclu reviews featuring the photography of Dan Leonard – written review by Jack Sturman.
“Strong man is strongest alone.” You ever heard of that?”
The next figure in our ongoing look at the Beast Kingdom DAH Justice League line is The Aquaman himself, Arthur Curry in what is one of the stand out figures of the line to date matching a great overall finish with some surprisingly effective accessories…and a mystery to-boot.
- Aquaman figure
- Figure stand
- Poseidon Trident
- 2 Wave effects
- 3 Pair of hands
- 1/9 Scale
- Made of Plastic and die-cast
- 30 Points of articulation
- A Previews exclusive
- Made with real human proportions
- Pre-Order Bonus Parts (Headsculpt – NOT the one currently shown on pre-order listings strangely, we’ll get to the Headsculpt mystery)
Starting off the with the characters sculpt and we find a variety of situations before us so lets start with the most pressing and the most confusing. Namely the standard head-sculpt that you find already on the figure when you open up isn’t anywhere near a close likeness of Jason Mamoa and is actually pretty naff but once you open up the entirety of the box you find a small plastic bag containing a secondary head which is near spot on in its likeness. What appears to be the case here is a late development in the figures production resulting in a primary head of a non-likeness with a vastly improved sculpt / license coming later in production. We very quickly disregard the first head and focus solely on this “Preorder Bonus head” as it elevates the figure to a whole new level showing how a simple head-sculpt can make or break a figure.
Default Headsculpt :
Secondary (Accurate) Headsculpt :
The second point, and this is a purely positive area, is the detailing and forming of the costume Aquaman don’s during the fight scenes of Justice League with intricate detailing and patterning across the entirety of the body extending outwards onto the limbs. Theres very little to fault here with the increased scale of the figure allowing for a higher level of tooling detail then perhaps a figure of a 1:12 scale. So all-in-all, lets just pretend this comes with 1 headsculpt as the figure, and your disposition, will be all the better for it.
Now what good is great tooling and forming if the paint application is lacking? Well thankfully we don’t need to worry about dealing with that situation as the paint here is just as good as the sculpt and I really think that this increased scale of 1:9 is helping Beast to perfect the painting game on a larger body sculpt allowing a far better finish provided that due care and attention is still given across the board. The facial sculpts are clean with their paint lines with minor overspill on the facial hair but its something we can look past on the secondary sculpt.
Theres a great washed and worn texture applied across the figure in the high traffic areas of the armour to give a lived in feel to the piece. The trident being cast in solid metal already gives it a great washed out look as opposed to a shiny gleam but the added blackwash again helps to give life to the character and bring it into a lived in environment where you get the sense that Aquaman is a rugged and ready character who doesn’t concern himself with the details but rather the bigger picture. Another nice touch here is the general trim of the armour which is painted well and between the lines leaving us with very little else to add in this department – a job well done!
The articulation appears to the one of the sticking points thus far in the two DAH figures that we have sat down to the review. Like Cyborg before him, Arthur’s articulation is adequate and allows him to pull off a variety of movie scene and museum style poses but perhaps not quite the full range that we are creative toy collectors are accustomed too. Its not all negative as there are some great features here with the paint and sculpt covering for this one downside of the figure – Although it feels harsh to say “Downside” as its functional just not spectacular and hopefully a point that they’ll be able to improve in future additions to the line.
For those reading in the states you can pre-order Aquaman in a variety of places for $64.99 which exchanges roughly to £50 here in the UK keeping him in line with the Cyborg we previously reviewed which is a great price when you consider the scale, finish and the box contents. The metal Trident, pretty amazing wave effects and the overall figure are easily justifiable for this price and I’m actually pretty intrigued why that RRP isn’t higher but perhaps its more of a trial point to test the waters with a brand new line – only time will tell if that price rises with later releases but as for now, its a great deal.
Going back to the wave effects quickly, they can be compared to a Tamashii Nations Effects stand alone pack which can be picked up for around $25 and although you may get more instances in the Bandai Wave pack, it still means that you are getting these bundled with the figure without the added cost picking up extra display / photography aids.
Its here that we pick up on the actual forming of the accessories here which include extra posed hands to increase the variety of poses that can be achieved but also the fantastic metal trident which was a nice surprise when lifting out of the box and helps to make the figure feel really well made – they could have quite easily opted for a cheap plastic alternative here and it wouldn’t have had anywhere near the same effect or added value. On top of this as mentioned above are 2 wave effects which sit flat with a cresting feature which lends themselves to different poses allowing Aquaman to ride the waves in badass style.
Looking onto the box for those who like to display the boxes as I do as they are part of the larger design of the figure, you’ll find a nice central viewing window which is always a massive plus as opposed to those tiny port holes some figures have. Following this there’s character-based detailing on the side of the boxes complete with numbering allowing you a running theme across all the boxes when displayed next to each other which is a great touch that I really appreciate.
Check out Dan’s thoughts from the time he has spent shooting the figure :
Again its a great sculpt with a fantastic paint job. Under arm sculpting is weird as lifting the arms reveals a detailess hole but perhaps the most critical point is the shambles of a standard head when you consider the second heads spot-on likeness of Jason Mamoa.
My overall thoughts here is that again he have a fantastic figure for the price point and the 1:9 scale is proving to make a lot of sense as a balancing point for detailing, articulation and tooling across the figure not to mention some fantastic accessories.
Aquaman is currently available to pre-order and is slated to be released later this month and we’ll have further reviews and image galleries of the rest of the Justice League / BvS DAH range including Beast Kingdom’s 2018 Convention exclusive colour ways!
For more reviews and new from across the toy community, stay tuned to Exclu.
Thanks to Beast Kingdom for providing this figure for free for review. All pricing information correct at the time of writing.
Last modified: August 24, 2018