So I was pretty excited when I heard news of their Frodo and Sam release, but that was dimmed once photos of the head sculpts surfaced. I was hoping there would be some final production tweaks, but the final sculpts are not that great. Watch and read on more below!
Click through below for my fill video review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel :)
The packaging art continues the LOTR style, and the insert shows the edition number. Seems like they have gone with numbering these with a limited edition size, which should please some collectors. I don't really mind either way to be honest, as long as the figures turn out well!
Similar to the previous Merry and Pippin figures, the accessories are nice, and the outfits are particularly well tailored with a variety of materials. The layering of the clothes, and the display options for the accessories adds some great display value.
Sam in particular gets a nice set of cooking ware that you can strap to the backpack. Getting the strap through the tiny holes in the accessories was an absolutely pain in the arse though, so be wary of that!
But despite the great clothing and accessories, the main feature that everyone looks at first in a 1/6th scale figure is the head sculpts. And this is where the Frodo and Sam figures disappoint. The Merry and Pippin sculpts weren't that great either, but are definitely better than Frodo and Sam for me.
The area in which Asmus has improved on the head sculpts is the hair. The stranding is much more detailed and finer than on Merry and Pippin. This gives the hair a much more realistic finish. However, the likenesses themselves are off. There is a slight resemblance, and the character is recognisable thanks to the outfits. But if the head sculpts were viewed in isolation, it would be rather difficult for people to pinpoint the actors, especially Sam.
The major issue for me with the sculpts is a slight deformation in the mold. Asmus has had a bad track record in this regard, with some previous figures like Gandalf the White and Tauriel exhibiting some obvious deformation in the sculpts. It's slightly less noticeable on Frodo, but Sam definitely shows it where his left side of the face seems to be pushed to one side and down. You can see it slightly in Frodo's eyes too where the left is lower than the right.
I am not sure why this keeps occurring in Asmus production, but this is one area they need to fix as soon as possible.
In the cabinet, they look good. If Asmus can improve the sculpts, these would truly become very sought after figures. Every other aspect of the figures is excellent, so they need to put in some more effort to resolve the sculpting and mold production issues.
Hopefully they can fix all that before they release Legolas. The recent teased head sculpt looks pretty great, so to ruin that in production would be a massive letdown. Either way, I'm all in on the Fellowship figures from Asmus - here's hoping for announcements on Gimli and Boromir soon!