Sunday, April 27, 2014

Review 1: ACI Toys "Total Rome!" 1/6 scale Roman Legionary Optio 12-inch action figure

This is the recently released ACI Toys "Total Rome!" 1/6 scale Roman Legionary Optio 12-inch action figure and I certainly have some PROBLEMS with it :( I have had very good experience with ACI products previously – ACI 1/6 Roman Gladiator "Flamma" 12-inch Figure (reviewed in my toy blog posts HERE and HERE) and ACI Toys Warriors III 1/6 Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius 12" Figure (reviewed HERE, HERE and HERE) – so I was really looking forward to the release of this figure. Unfortunately, this figure turned out to be too delicate and fragile, and it was a rather DISAPPOINTING experience. I wouldn't buy this figure again :(

According to wiki: An optio (plural optiones; Latin: optio, optiōnēs, from optāre, "to choose", because an optio was chosen by his centurion), sometimes anglicized option (though rarely, to avoid confusion with "option"), was a soldier in the Roman army who held a position similar to that of an executive officer in modern armies. The optio seems to have held a rank roughly equivalent to that of a modern lieutenant, reflective of his status as the second in command of the century in which he served.

Scroll down to see the rest of the pictures.
Click on them for bigger and better views.

ACI Toys "Total Rome!" 1/6 scale Roman Legionary Optio 12-inch action figure comes with Newly Sculpted 1/6 scale Head, Medium Built Body Christian Version 4 12-inch figure body, Four pairs of hands, Roman Imperial Gallic Style Helmet, Roman Style Armor - Lorica segmentata, Tunics and Pants / Braccae, Focale (Scarf) and Headband, Hooded Cloak, Legionary waist belt with apron, Roman Leather Baldric, Sandals (Marching Boots), Gladius (Sword) and Scabbard, Pugio (dagger) and Scabbard, Javelin, Scutum (Shield), Staff (metal)

Comes with instructions / user guide on how to wear the helmet and assemble the Cingulum belt

The basic ACI Roman Legionary 12-inch figure out of the box. He comes bare-footed so you have to wear his Roman sandals. That's not the problem. The PROBLEM is with the Roman Style Armor - Lorica segmentata. Taking off is NOT recommended but one of the brackets (right side) broke when I tried to hook the torso segment to the chest piece. Then the left hook came off completely. Applying SuperGlue was a bad idea as the metal plate reacted to the glue and turned black - see pictures below.This was the FRUSTRATING part and now I have a limited edition "battle-damaged" ACI Toys "Total Rome!" 1/6 scale Roman Legionary Optio 12-inch action figure :(

1/6 scale Roman sandals comes loose and you have to wear them for the figure

Instructions / user guide for wearing the Roman sandals are quite clear. You just need to spend some time on this process.

Here's the ACI Toys "Total Rome!" 1/6 scale Roman Legionary Optio 12-inch action figure complete with his Roman sandals, Gladius (Sword) and Scabbard, Pugio (dagger) and Scabbard.

Scroll down to see the assembled sandals. Very authentic and detailed.

An optio's armour would be more like those of the common legionary. He could wear the lorica segmentata or a lorica hamata as well as have his gladius on the right not left side. One thing that did separate him from the common legionary was the staff (called a hastile) - see picture at the bottom of this post, which was used to keep the legionaries in line. This staff would be roughly as tall of the optio himself.

The Lorica segmentata (segmented plates) consisted of metal strips ("girth hoops" fashioned into circular bands), fastened to internal leather straps.

You can see the broken catch / bracket on the right and damaged hook on the left. They could have been made better. Everything was falling apart on this figure - When I pulled out the sword, only the handle / hilt came off, the blade remained in the scabbard. Then one of the ear flaps of the helmet fell off. Utterly disappointed.

Turnaround views of the ACI Toys "Total Rome!" 1/6 scale Roman Legionary Optio 12-inch action figure

An optio has his gladius on the right not left side. The gladius, or Hispanic Sword as they called it, is the iconic short sword of the Roman army. In combat the gladius could be used for stabbing or slashing, although it was primarily used for stabbing. In the crush of battle that often occured when two forces pressed against each other the gladius shined. It was ideal for stabing in these conditions where longer weapons became useless due to the lack of room for long slashing swords and thrusting spears.

The pugio was a dagger used as a sidearm by the roman legionnaires. It featured a wide leaf shaped blade and was about 9.5" - 11" long.

ACI 1/6 scale Roman Imperial Gallic Style Helmet and Scutum (full body shield)

The 1/6 scale staff (called a hastile) carried by a Roman Optio which was used to keep the legionaries in line. This staff would be roughly as tall of the optio himself. Strangely, this ACI version is made of metal and is rather heavy. There's also the Hasta, a Latin word meaning spear, which was the first and last main Roman weapon. A hasta was about 6.5 feet (2 m) long with an iron head and a shaft typically made of ash. The pilum is the heavy javelin used by the Roman legionnaires. Along with the sword, the pilum was one of the main weapons of the Roman military and provided each man with mobile, short ranged artillery ability. It is perhaps one of the biggest reasons for Roman dominance of the ancient world, along with the full body shield and gladius.

1/6 scale Hooded Cloak. Two types of cloaks were used, the sagum and the paenula. Both were made from wool, which insulated and also contained natural oil to repel water. It was fastened with a fibulae. The paenula was hooded in colder climates.

NEXT: Fully dressed and armored ACI Toys "Total Rome!" 1/6 scale Roman Legionary 12-inch action figure


Rashpal said...

Very impressive figure. By the way Alex, if you were to ever get transported back in time to the Roman era, at least you will know how to lace your sandals properly courtesy of this figure, lol.

Michel R. Gramond said...

Is really insane that you have to lace the sandals :S I love that feature from the Dotore figure, but because it came with its sandals already on :/

alex teo said...

Lacing the sandals wasn't as daunting a task as it looks. Quite therapeutic actually (like knitting haha). cheers

Jonloh said...

I hear you bro on the pain to repair and having a scared product. I had my fair share of glue incidents. Anyway, I ordered my first ACI, 'ACI17C - Warriors - Greek Hoplite Black Helmet J Crest Ver'. I'm kinda of not expecting to have to lace the sandals.

alex teo said...

That one looks good :) The pre-order detail says "sandals, tied / worn on figure's feet". Looks like no more tying required haha

Anonymous said...

I was also very disappointed. Ordered the elite roman optio, paid 250 dollars for a figure, and it broke just out of the box. I'm quite careful with figs and statues. I customize and paint figures all the time, so I'm not a brute with those.

Still. ACI's optio was so fragile it was frustrating. The straps of the sandals fell apart when I tried to put it together, so I had to glue some pieces, the helmet broke when i tried to fix the crest. I tried gluing it, but the glue ruined the top of the paint. Now theres a black stain there.
Also, the armor plates , as you said, were too brittle ,the hooks holding them together give me the scare. I can't sell this figure to anyone else because I don't think its fair.
The right side of the helmet fell off, so I had to glue it together. Didn't stain, but now its fixed, doesn't move.

I sent some email and messages to ACI, and also on ebay, I'm waiting for their reply. Hopefully they'll offer some solution

PS: on the promotional pics, the crest was super full, mine was SO sparse.

compare this :

to this

and its not just photoshop because the figures they took to events were obviously better than the final product .

Anonymous said...

great review! i wish i would have read it before i paid for my pre-order. I can just hope the ones being released in a few days are somehow better done. I don't have high hopes though. For the price everything should be perfect. Did you contact them about your issues? and did you hear anything quality wise about the centurions? i have those pre-ordered too. thanks

alex teo said...

As the saying goes "Once bitten, twice shy" Not getting the Centurions after this ACI Roman Legionary Optio debacle.