If this is indeed the last wave of this line we will see, Hasbro certainly went out with a bang, as this is collectively an absolutely outstanding wave of figures!
Many forum members have already posted in-hand pics and I will endeavor to do the same. Additionally, a nice visual guide can be found here -
On with the review!
Many people think this figure has the best headsculpt of them all. I'm not entirely sold on that, but it is a great sculpt, robust and sporting clear, solid features not like some muddled, indistinct faces we sometimes get. Certainly far superior to the ROTLA basic figure.
I think he bears a closer resemblance to Bruce Willis rather than Harrison Ford, but it's a very good head nevertheless.
Indy appears as he did near the end of the movie, so there are some great details here, like the fragment of cloth (from his shirt?) that is wrapped around his right hand, along with tears in his shirt on the back from when Mola Ram's goon tore into him with his own whip.
There are sweat stains around the front of his shirt where it is open on his chest, a tear in his pants on the left leg and some other nice texturing and details. He is also very muscular, particularly his right arm, which, true to the end of the film, has no sleeve.
This Indy feels a little bigger than the other figures. Compared to TLC Indy, he stands about a quarter of a head higher, but his stance his less wide than most Indies so maybe they are roughly the same height if they were standing in the same manner. He definitely just seems like a slightly bigger guy in this version, though.
There are a few minor details to nitpick - the handle of his coiled whip is not painted a darker color like in the other version of the figure. I'm not sure which is more "screen accurate", but I do miss that detail.
Indy's shoulder back in this version has an awesome added feature - the bag itself opens revealing two Sanakra stones sculpted inside. Sadly, they are not removable, but this is as close to a properly scaled set of stones that we're going to find. I just love this extra feature!
However, to nitpick again, the strap on the bag itself is shorter than in other versions and I think it makes the bag hang a little too high.
Indy's bag should rest well below his belt line, but in this case, the top of the bag is just a little higher than his belt/waist, which feels off. A minor detail, but it bugs me just a little bit.
The articulation is everything you could ask for. He's SA with the exception of his right wrist. Given that his entire right arm is exposed, I don't really blame them for not putting in a cut wrist here. It would have been nice, but it's a forgivable oversight.
In terms of accessories, Indy comes with the aforementioned bag, coiled whip (no unfurled whip in the entire wave, but I think we all have enough by this point anyway) and his machete/sword. The sword feels just a teensy bit too short, but it's a cool weapon and he looks good holding it.
His relic is a very nice looking miniature Easter Island head which I like quite a lot.
Though I am also a big fan of the LC Indy, I think this one is probably the best Indy we have seen all around.
Willie is a very lovely figure but she doesn't have a great deal of play value. While her head sculpt doesn't bear a great deal of resemblance to Kate Capshaw, it is nevertheless a very pretty, attractive face.
Sculpted into her curly-ish blonde hair are some nicely painted pieces of jewelry and her head is topped off with a great looking flowing softgoods veil which reaches almost all the way down to the ground. Maybe it's a bit on the long side, but it looks lovely.
Around her neck, Willie wears a lei and an elaborate, attractive and well-painted necklace. If you take her head off her neck peg, it is easy to remove the lei. The necklace can also be removed, though I would caution against taking it off and putting it back on too much, it will probably stress the necklace (given its snug fit) if it's abused too much.
Removing the lei and necklace exposes her rather impressive decolletage. In short, Willie has the finest breasts of any action figure since Aayla Secura - and maybe even better. Good work, Hasbro sculptors!
Below the waist, while the aesthetics of the figure are quite pleasing with a nice flowing skirt highlighted with silver ribbons, she comes up short in the articulation department.
She's really not far off from a "salt shaker", beneath her skirt her legs have zero articulation, not even ankles which would have helped her stand. It's a little tricky to get her to stand up straight. She can certainly rest on her skirt, but that gives her a little lean. It's a bit of an unfortunate shortcut. Knees would be superfluous given the rigid skirt, but ankles would have definitely helped.
Shortcuts are taken in her arms, as well, as she lacks wrist articulation on either arm and the wrists could easily have been hidden by the silver bracelets she wears.
My figure has an unfortunate extra swath of silver paint on her right forearm which I hope to remove, but fortunately the rest of her paint apps, on her eyes, face and even the tiny details in all her jewelry, is terrific. I'm very impressed with the necklace in particular and the silver jewelry "strings" in her hair. The painting on these extremely fine details is very, very clean.
In terms of accessories, she only comes with a small dagger and her relic, which is a large diamond of some kind. I personally find the oversized relics to be annoying and useless and this is, thankfully, the only dud in the wave. On its own, it looks nice, better than the Peacock's Eye diamond, thanks to a nice blue hue, but I have no real use for it.
In summation, she is a very beautiful figure with lots of fine detailing, but she definitely has limited play value. She is pretty scene-specific as well, her complete look representing her appearance just prior to her aborted sacrifice in Kali's lava pit.
Though small in stature - and maybe just a little bit smaller than the character should be, Short Round is a fun figure, though not the best looking one in the bunch.
The sculpt is decent enough, but the face lacks the cuteness of the character. In my version, the face also has a few tiny hairline fractures here and there in the plastic which make it look just a touch weirder at very close distances.
Shorty is nearly super-articulated. His wrists are not articulated and his ankles swivel, but are not ball jointed.
His body sculpting and painting is good, but not extraordinary. He lacks the super cool details that Indy and Willie have, but that's partly due to the costume and partly due to the size of the figure. The plaid pattern on his jacket, however, is impressive.
The hat, sporting, alas, not the complete logo of the NY Giants, looks very spiffy.
Truthfully, though I like the character and I'm glad he was made, he's probably the least exciting character in the bunch. Nice, but not spectacular.
Short Round comes with the same dagger Willie does along with a rolled up bunch of "gear." In the movie, when Shorty escapes from the Thuggee chain gang, he brings this bundle with him when he finds Indy again in the temple.
The bundle presumably contains Indy's hat, which Shorty returns to him, though that's not visible here, along with Indy's jacket and tux which Willie was wearing earlier. Wrapped around it is the whip and Shorty can wear the bundle around his neck and over his back as he did in the film.
Shorty also comes with a very cool torch, handy for snapping your friends out of the Black Sleep of Kali. This is the one which was scheduled to be included with Sapito, which sadly won't happen. A very great accessory, much needed for the Indiana Jones universe and different from the torch included with the Sallah figure.
Shorty's relic is another winner, a miniature statue of Anubis. Perhaps it's supposed to be a mini version of the massive statues from the Well of Souls, as its arms are raised as if it's holding something up. Very cool nevertheless.
Chief Thuggee Guard
An impressive and imposing figure, the Chief Thuggee guard is ready to lay the smack down on Indy and his friends.
Though his range of motion in his elbows and shoulders is somewhat impaired by his outfit and the size of his muscles, the figure is super-articulated with ball-joints all the way and cut wrists.
The Chief boasts some really terrific sculpting and attention to detail. My only minor gripe about the outstanding head sculpt is that his mouth is sculpted into a kind of evil grin or grimace, but I think that look would have been better if the rest of his face matched. If his eyebrows were scowling or something his evil look would have been enhanced.
The sash and straps he wears on his torso are actually separate rubber pieces that can theoretically be removed, though I doubt without destroying them. This led me to an interesting theory - it's conceivable that the same torso would have been used for the cancelled German mechanic. After all, the same actor played both characters and it would have been an easy and barely noticeable way for Hasbro to save some dough. Customizers, take note!
In terms of accessories, the Chief comes with an awesome looking scimitar with the head of some kind of lion or other large cat carved into the hilt. He also has a cat o' nine tails for abusing the helpless little slaves on his watch and one of those Thuggee "hand dagger" thingies.
He sports two functioning straps on his rubber clothing to sheath both weapons, which is a truly awesome touch.
His relic is a great looking Spartan helmet which, sadly, is a little too big to properly fit in with the scale of these figures. A near miss, but a cool-looking relic nevertheless.
All in all, he's a big, cool, scary-looking bruiser, an excellent choice for a figure with flawless execution.
The only army builder in the bunch, sadly the Thuggee Guard, like all the other figures, is only packed one to a case. I think it will be nearly impossible to gather yourself a small squad of these guys, which is a damn shame. The figure is another winner.
Despite the presence of a long skirt hanging down over his legs, this character is also super-articulated. Fortunately, the skirt is cut high up the thigh and is made of a much softer plastic which has a rubbery texture and gives the character more freedom of movement than most "skirt" wearing figures.
The elaborate Thuggee face paint is a wonderful detail which is perfectly executed on my figure. His turban is wrapped around the bottom of his face and the exposed top part looks amazing. A shame we won't be able to get future variants on this figure with different head sculpts, as not all Thuggees had the same look.
The sculpting on his body is excellent with some lovely attention to detail in his outfit, including the folds of his tunic and other details like a sculpted silver Thuggee medallion around his neck and a similar design molded onto his wonderful looking belt.
The character, like his boss, the Chief Thuggee guard, sports loops for his two weapons, which are also the silver animal-handled scimitar and the Thuggee triangle-headed "hand dagger."
Unfortunately, he really can't hold the dagger in a natural position and it only wants to stay in his left hand. It looks great (if maybe just a TOUCH too big) stuck in its "holster" on his chest.
The only accessories he sports are those two weapons, but his relic is an Aztec sun calendar with some very fine detailing. It's one of the best relics in the entire lines and looks just great.
Mola Ram boasts, quite simply, one of the best, most accurate headsculpts Hasbro has ever made. Period. It's sensational and, along with the Henry Jones figure, is easily the best in the entire Indy line.
His articulation is a bit limited, owing to his long flowing plastic skirt. He has no knee or ankle articulation. Knee articulation, again, would have been superfluous but ankles are always nice to help stand the figure.
In this case, Mola Ram has no trouble at all standing and looking like the scary, imposing bad-as$ that he is.
The sculpting is terrific, not just with the amazing head, but again with all the details in the outfit and the body. As the only "main" villain in the series to ever go toe-to-toe with Indy in a physical fight, Mola Ram is well-muscled and ready to kick butt.
His outfit is a bit simple, but Mola Ram wears several bone necklaces around his chest which are very nicely detailed. Impressively enough, one of these necklaces is sculpted onto his bare chest, but continues onto the rubber togo-like outfit on the outside.
As a separate piece from his torso, again it would be possible to remove the outer parts of the toga, but not without ruining it.
He also has some red tattoos or paint on his shoulders and, of course, his trademark red-painted scalp.
Atop that aforementioned scalp is his great removable headgear. The details here are quite nice, even if the shrunken head is just a little indistinct. But, hey, how could it not be at that tiny size?
Mola Ram is also loaded with great accessories including, not only the aforementioned headgear, but a unique dagger, a softgoods red and black scarf or wrap (I think the figure looks just fine without it and I can't even find a good place for it) and a properly scaled Chalice of Kali. I'm thrilled they included another Chalice and one the right size for Mola Ram's Thuggee recruiting efforts.
But the most delightful accessory is, of course, the flaming heart, which he can hold aloft in his right hand to truly scare the crap out of all the kiddies in the audience and help usher in the PG-13 rating. It's impossible not to be tickled by the inclusion of this awesome item.
Mola Ram's relic is a red Chinese Guardian Lion (sometimes called a Foo Dog) which is very nicely sculpted.
In summation... Hasbro has really outdone themselves with this wave.
I thought the "Last Crusade" wave was a terrific all-around group of action figures with great accessories, great aesthetics, great articulation....but the Temple of Doom wave is even better.
Believe the hype here, folks, this is one of the best single waves of figures Hasbro has ever released. The figures are loaded with articulation, chockablock with phenomenal accessories (and great relics) and boast absolutely superior sculpting and paint applications.
As a long-time fan and defender of "Temple of Doom" - a terrifically entertaining and unfairly maligned entry in the Indy canon, I am over the moon that we've gotten this fantastic batch of figures.
What is also nice about this batch is that it feels more "complete" than most of the other waves.
While I was crushed by the realization that we'll never get the hinted "Club Obi Wan" wave, that opening sequence, while amazing, is almost a mini-movie that is separate from the rest of the film.
We definitely have the core, major characters for the bulk of the story represented here, along with an important army builder. While it'd be great to have Chattar Lal or Blumbert or the Maharaja, I don't feel the same sense if incompleteness that I do with the other movie waves which have more glaring absences - Donovan, Brody, Dietrich, etc.
Granted, that is partly due to ToD having a smaller core cast, but I really do feel like the film as a whole is well-represented by this wave.
That said, it is definitely an unfortunate oversight that we weren't given proper Sanakra stones in this wave. Hasbro said they were planned for another cancelled future item, but it seems very weird that they wouldn't have been included with Indy or Mola Ram.
Still, if this truly is the end for the Indiana Jones line, at least Hasbro is going out in style with a grand slam homerun of figures.
Aside from extremely minor oversights like the occasional lack of ankle articulation, this wave of figures is nigh perfect and is definitely worth the trouble to track down.