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Published: February 18, 2009 at 3:32 PM
My Sideshow Collectibles' exclusive Dr. Rene Belloq 12-inch figure (with Idol Chamber Environment) arrived via UPS, yesterday. Like one of my previous UPS shipments, the box had a gratuitous gaping hole at the bottom, so my excitement was mixed with the concern that something had been damaged. Luckily, I avoided disaster yet again, but still contest that brown is an appropriate metaphor to describe UPS' service.
Out of the box, Belloq's suit is a little wrinkled so you may want to press his coat and pants. The material and tailoring are well done and the stitching is clean. His pants are...well they're hiked up high enough to raise anyone's voice a few octaves, so you'll most likely want to display him with the coat closed. The problem with that is the clasp used to button the coat shut was applied slightly higher than it should have been (curse the factory!), so it gives the coat the appearance of being tight. Moving the clasp should help alleviate the fat guy in a small jacket appearance.
I was a little disappointed by the quality of Belloq's tie. The tie is pinned into a knot with a piece of thread, instead of being tied or glued to achieve a realistic look. This looks cheap, but thankfully can be remedied with a bit of innovation as seen on the Sideshow Collectors forum. There's also some debate amongst diehards on the Sideshow Collectors forum regarding the color accuracy of Belloq's shirt. I'm going to let this one slide since there are film stills that depict both white and blue shirts, so it can go either way (though blue looks to be the correct version).
The Belloq figure is built on Sideshow's new Prometheus body, which debuted on their Raiders of the Lost Ark version of Indiana Jones, late last year. The body has since been improved with tighter joints and limbs that aren't as loose as they were on the majority of the Indy figures. In fact, the figure holds poses well and I haven't had an incident of 1/6 leprosy, where a joint on the figure falls out of the socket. Belloq's shoes connect directly to the legs with a socket so there are no feet included. This is no big, but there aren't any socks included. This means Sideshow either missed this detail or Dr. Belloq was not only scholarly, but had an incredibly forward-thinking fashion sense in wearing a linen suit with no socks (think Miami Vice).
Belloq's likeness to Paul Freeman isn't bad; at profile it looks like Freeman, but the resemblance isn't completely there from the front. The figure's brown hair should have been highlighted with a touch of gray, especially on the sides. The proper highlights would have helped improve the likeness. Thankfully, the hat covers enough of the hair to hide the fact that Sideshow wasn't accurate with their paint applications. The hat itself is made of a soft plastic and fits snugly over the sculpted hair. I wish Sideshow would have used the same approach with the hat on their Indy figure because it looks great and works well.
You have several options in accessorizing Belloq including a pocket watch, a bottle of liquor with his family label and a MP-40 machine gun. I was hoping the pocket watch would have a “glass” face, but it didn't achieve that level of detail. The watch chain is a vast improvement over the chain Sideshow used for the necklace on their Lord of the Rings Frodo because it doesn't clump and knot. The detail on the MP-40 is also an improvement on what has come to be expected from Sideshow. The gun is molded in several pieces that fit together, has a removable clip, a spring-loaded chamber, a strap, and a working, retractable stock. In addition to the open/gripping hands, Belloq includes a pair of interchangeable clinched fists.
I obviously have a few gripes with this figure, but I consider them to be more lapses in detail than serious flaws. The problem is that Sideshow isn't demonstrating the same level of detail that Hot Toys is putting in their 1/6-scale figures and collectors are starting to recognize it. I personally like this figure and believe a few corrections to the lack in detail I mentioned above would vastly improve it. As a result, I give Sideshow Collectible's 1/6 scale Dr. Rene Belloq a 6 out of 10, which is a shame because it really should have been an 8 or higher. The Exclusive Belloq is limited to 1000 pieces and retails for $139.99 and as I'm writing this, is still available for order on Sideshow's Web site.
Stay tuned, tomorrow, for my review of the accompanying Idol Chamber Environment.