Thursday, April 22, 2010

"This is Sparta!" more Hot Toys King Leonidas Review 2

continued from my earlier post...

The Spartans used the same typical hoplite equipment as their other Greek neighbors; the only distinctive Spartan features were the crimson tunic (chitōn) and cloak (himation). Spartans were also armored with flanged bronze cuirasses and leg greaves. Another widely known Spartan symbol, adopted in the 420s BC, was the letter lambda (Λ), standing for Laconia or Lacedaemon (a prefecture of Greece), which was painted on the Spartans' shields. Spartan hoplites were often depicted bearing a transverse horsehair crest on their helmet, which was possibly used to identify officers. [source: wiki]

In Frank Miller's "300" which is a historically-inspired fictional retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae, the Spartans wore very little in terms of body armor (they had none!) but they looked real good and the heavily stylized slow motion fight scenes were like poetry in motion IMHO. 300's director Zack Snyder stated in an MTV interview that "the events are 90 percent accurate. It's just in the visualization that it's crazy.... I've shown this movie to world-class historians who have said it's amazing. They can't believe it's as accurate as it is."

"The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many, and before this battle was over, even a god-king can bleed." King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) from the movie "300".

Here we see Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece Series MMS114 1/6 scale 12" King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) collectible figure with his crimson red fabric cape, his wolf’s tooth necklace, Sword (Xiphos, Greek: ξίφος) and faux-leather scabbard, Battle damaged Spartan shield with faux-leather hand hold and spear (dory, Greek: δόρυ), all ready for battle.

With his Spartan helmet with its real-like horsehair crest, now he's truly ready. "Spartans! Prepare for glory! "

Daxos (Andrew Pleavin): "Glory? Have you gone mad? There is no glory to be had now! Only retreat, or surrender or death!"
King Leonidas: "Well, that's an easy choice for us, Arcadian! Spartans never retreat! Spartans never surrender! Go spread the word. Let every Greek assembled know the truth of this. Let each among them search his own soul. And while you're at it, search your own."

Even King Leonidas' scarlet cloth velvety cape has weathering details as the ends where it touches the ground is blackened to give the impression of wear and tear over time.

The dory (Greek: δόρυ) is a spear that was the chief armament of hoplites (heavy infantry) in Ancient Greece. The flat leaf-shaped spearhead was composed of iron and its weight was counterbalanced by a bronze butt-spike.

From almost every angle, you cannot see the joint lines as the entire muscle body appear seamless. The skin is made entirely of rubber and is very compact (which makes the 12-inch figure heavier than the standard TrueType or any other 1/6 scale figure), and looks like it is used to encase an articulated "skeleton" underneath as you can still move the joints and limbs to achieve quite a number of poses. Can't say the same of statues. Those look like Medusa had stared them in the face and had turned them into stone sculptures. Not so this all-new muscular type body by Hot Toys.

"Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty... For tonight, we dine in hell!"

Dilios (David Wenham): "We did what we were trained to do, what we were bred to do, what we were born to do!"

As mentioned in the earlier review, this is the other 1/6 King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) head sculpt with slight battle scar (small scratch over the left eye) that is included.

[Dilios is putting a patch over his eye]
King Leonidas: "Dilios, I trust that 'scratch' hasn't made you useless."
Dilios: "Hardly, my lord, it's just an eye. The gods saw fit to grace me with a spare."

And here's a close-up shot of the wolf’s tooth necklace, a souvenir from when Leonidas, as part of his rite of passage at age 15, lured a wolf into a narrow passage and killed it.

The ripped body and muscles stretches and forms like how a real body would, and you still can get quite a number of poses in. Hot Toys must have geniuses working for them to produce something of this quality and standard.

Here's a closer look at King Leonidas' 1/6 scale sword in its faux-leather sheath attached to a belt worn around his waist. The Xiphos (Greek: ξίφος) is a double-edged, single-hand sword used by the ancient Greeks. It was a secondary battlefield weapon for the Greek armies after the spear or javelin.

And now a look at pictures of the Spartan helmet with its real-like horsehair crest. The helmet isn't made of metal although it has been painted to look like bronze.

Let's not forget the battle damaged Spartan shield with the letter lambda (Λ) on it

The Spartan shield comes with faux-leather hand hold. The shield too is plastic molded and then painted to look bronze. Awesome paint job all round. You couldn't pry this figure from me even if you tried. Truly a wonderful piece of work by Hot Toys. Living up to its name, a Masterpiece!

Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey): "Spartan!"
King Leonidas: "Yes, my lady?"
Queen Gorgo: "Come back with your shield, or on it."
King Leonidas: "Yes, my lady."

Even more of Hot Toys "300" King Leonidas HERE


Lucien said...

I have read on the 1/6 warrior forum that some people are put off by an apparent 'gap' where King Leo's inner thighs meet his crotch. Does this gap seem as obvious as they say, or doesn't it bother you at all? From the pics you have posted this figure looks awesome. I posted a comment yesterday about not considering buying this one until I saw your pics, and my finger is hovering over the left-mouse-button to pre-order. My finger's getting heavy Alex! It's about to drop! I have enough cash for either Leonidas or Sideshow Vader and I'm leaning towards 'The King'... any thoughts?

alex teo said...

hey Lucien, I'll put it all on Leonidas, no second thoughts about it. The King trumps over the Sith Lord anytime, man. There is a slight gap when Leonidas does a horse stance or decides to take a dump but we all know he never does that in the movie; Spartans do it standing up LOLZ :> I do not find that to be an issue at all.

Sideshow Darth Vader is nice but Hot Toys King Leonidas is AWESOME and truly a piece of ART. Grab it before it becomes unavailable. If you don't like it, sell it and make a profit (I'm sure the demand will not wane) then go back and buy Vader but I seriously doubt you'll do that once the Spartan King is in your hands.

My two cents ;p CHEERS

Lucien said...

Ha ha, I was filling out my billing details for Leonidas when your reply came through! Vader will have to wait :)

This figure collecting comes with a weird sensation... last time I felt it I was a six years old on Christmas eve. And now here I am, a grown man, excitedly chewing my lips simply because I'm waiting for the postman to bring me a... toy!

I can see I'm going to be poor... but very happy ;)

alex teo said...

Yeah Lucien, I know what you mean. That's only because Hot Toys has elevated toy making into an art form and rest assured, you won't feel that this is a toy (we like to call it a "collectible figure" and not a child's play thing - ha! ha!) when it arrives at your doorstep.

I've been collecting since 1994 but everytime something new and innovative comes up, I still feel the rush :)

Be HAPPY, be VERY HAPPY - that's all we live for CHEERS

Covenant said...

Brilliant review and photos of a true work of art. Once again I am amazed by the skills of the Hot Toys masters!

alex teo said...

thank you :) Hot Toys ROCK!!!

peredevis said...

I follow your blog often but never left comments... so that's the firt time :)I'm waiting my HT King Leonidas also... the matter is I found the elbow articulation quite weird when the arm is bent. I was wondering what kind of articulation is, since it appears to me too thin (in bent possition).
Thanks for that good job you do.

alex teo said...

Hi Pere, thanks for leaving comments. It lets me know who visits and who appreciates my work :)

I don't know if you have ever come across those rubber bendy toys where they mold a rubber body over a bendable metal skeleton in order to get some bendy action without joints. They didn't work very well as it wasn't natural.

Hot Toys has taken that concept and improved on it as the skeleton inside the hard rubber body actually has some articulation to hold quite a number of poses. However, because of the use of the rubber material for its stretching capabilities, some of the poses with elbows bent result in the thin-ness of the joint as you have so keenly observed. I guess that's a minor issue compared with the many PLUS points of this figure.

CHEERS and all the best with your HT King Leonidas figure :>

peredevis said...

Thanks for the complete explanation. Yes, I knew these bendable toys with wire armatures, they used to be very popular when I was little.

As for the Leonidas, I read some days ago at onesixthwarriors forum that although he has a PVC armature inside, Hot Toys put wires on the elbows. I found that (if true) a bit dissapointing as for longevity. Specially when plastic articulations worked fine with other muscular bodies (like the Hellboy figure, which features a very sturdy ones) What about this?

Saludos from Spain!

alex teo said...

Hi Pere, I think what you read concerning the elbow joints could be true because it bends differently from the shoulder and knee joints. Those guys at OSW do know their stuff :) CHEERS from Singapore

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