I love Game of Thrones.
I realize that’s probably not the most original statement an individual with access to HBOs mega hit series can make, but I stand by it. Few shows have me waiting with baited breath for a fresh episode, season after season like GoT. Breaking Bad, LOST, The Walking Dead… Archer… the list of shows that have held that affect on me isn’t very long. The list of shows that would make for some amazing action figures is even shorter.
ThreeZero has practically made an art of snatching up some of the best licenses in the past couple years. At first, they snagged The Walking Dead and everyone lost their $#*% over the possibilities. Unfortunately, even with a few teased images of several lead characters (including seeing one in person at SDCC 2013) from the show… only Michonne’s Pets have actually seen light of day. (review here) We’re sure to get preorder info on Michonne, Rick, Daryl and all the rest fairly soon but the wait is killing me.
When ThreeZero announced they’d locked down Game of Thrones, I was both excited and hesitant to celebrate all at once. Would this be another situation of a single figure release followed with months of silence?
ThreeZero put their first figure from GoT, Tyrion Lannister up for preorder on May 26th, 2014. Almost immediately afterwards we started to see teased images of the follow up release, Ned Stark, who eventually went up for preorder in September. With two figures, released fairly closely to one another, there’s a good chance this license won’t sit idle for long. This also means, unlike those two zombies, I won’t have to worry about White Walkers roaming around my office unchallenged.
Ned will eventually have his day… but for now I’m happy to have the opportunity to talk to you about the Hand of the King, The Little Lion, The dude that always pays his debts… Tyrion Lannister.
*keep reading for the in depth review and check out our video review for the rest!
It’s rare that I get very excited about packing for toys outside of those doodled and painted on by artist. Most of the time they’re heavy with text and marketing mumbo-jumbo, feature some quickly tossed on box-art and are overall just aesthetically “blah”. Something to break down and toss in the recycle bin.*
*audible gasp heard from toy collectors the world over
Tyrion is packed in a red, ornately embossed pack that features a very nice, heavy stock slip cover over a large windowed box.
ThreeZero’s design reminds me very much of the type of box a nice bottle of wine or scotch might come packaged in. The kind you gift to Larry from accounting when, after 25 long years at the company, he’s retiring and moving with his wife to Miami. ThreeZero very easily could have smacked pictures of Tyrion all over it and put a bunch of GoT lore on the back.. but instead they gave us something clean and utterly classy.
We’ll have to wait and see when Ned Stark ships if this is the thematic design for the series or a one-off based off the characters “enthusiasm” for drink.
Tyrion Lannister may be the least “action hero-y”, action figure toy I’ve ever had. That said, he is definitely a very exciting and important release for ThreeZero. Not only is this the first of their highly anticipated Game of Thrones line… it’s the first figure they’ve released as a toy company with a realistic portrait (in the likeness of actor, Peter Dinklage). This includes their sister company, 3A.. which mostly caters to the stylized character designs of artist Ashley Wood. On top of that, he’s built on a very modified ⅙ scale body to replicate that of a little person.
Of course, the first thing of note is the head-sculpt. ThreeZero certainly flexed some sculpting muscles here as it’s a near spot-on likeness to Mr Dinklage. I’m not certain pictures do justice to it, really. The preorder images, while accurate to the release, didn’t really come across as realistic to me… but once I saw the figure first hand at last year’s SDCC, I was totally sold on it.
Whether or not ThreeZero can capture an actor’s character likeness as spot-on as a company like Hot Toys, is probably up to personal opinion, but I don’t think you can argue that they’ ve gotten very close. It also helps if you compare images from the show where Tyrion is sporting similar fashion, as below.
The hair is sculpted on and gives a little bit of a hair-helmet affect… but it’s not any worse than what you’d see from Sideshow or Hot Toys. The paint work is nice as well, though it may fall a little short of the detail and realism I’ve seen Hot Toys (Classic Batman) achieve down to the pore and stubble. All said, the headsculpt is a very recognizable and nicely sculpted/painted portrait of Dinklage’s visage.
I do take some issue however, with the hands. Some of them fair better than others, but overall, they’re oddly sloppy in their finish. If I had a pile of figures, torn apart into various pieces… heads, hands, torsos, etc… with no prior knowledge of which figure they belong to… I’m not sure I’d pair these hands with Tyrion. The general form is there, a hand shape is blocked in… but the fine details look like they were done with the end of a toothpick in modeling clay by an artist assistant while the regular sculptor took a smoke break.
On top of that, the paint appears practically slapped on. The hands look like they were simply dipped into a vat of flesh colored paint and left to dry. Worse of all is the amount of black wash buildup between the fingers. The rings look pretty nice though… a silver lining and all that.
I don’t know… it’s such a weird thing for there to be such a drastic difference in quality between the head and the hands. To compare once again to Hot Toys, their hand sculpts are clean and polished down to the finer details like wrinkles and nails. There’s nothing special about the various skin toned hand options that come with Winter Solider, but you don’t look at it and go, “That looks odd.” They’re realistically sculpted, minimally painted (with freckles!) and they work perfectly well in that toy’s context. Simply put, they don’t detract from the figure at all.
Depending on if you think getting an abundance of something that lacks luster to be a good or bad thing, you get 5 variations of hands to choose from. One of these comes with the ThreeZero exclusive “dagger and sheath” but the others come standard. One holds the wine glass, another lets him carry his book under his arm. The other two are basically relaxed/neutral.
ThreeZero didn’t include any extra wrist pegs, which is kind of a surprise given that with 3A figures, you usually get a spare set or two with every figure. The pegs that come with Tyrion are a little on the short side so they should hold up well to swapping Tyrion’s hands on and off, but having an extra set of them “just in case” would have been a nice gesture.
Or maybe ThreeZero is just getting cocky. 🙂
Looking at the clothing, I can see why they might. Tryion’s outfit is very nicely tailored. There’s a few different layers to it that add to the visual complexity. If you check some of the show’s reference material, you’d see that ThreeZero did a great job of nailing Tyrion’s outfit almost perfectly.
The overshirt, or whatever it’s called, may be a little delicate. It’s a thin leatherette material with a bunch of design-y holes cut into it. In fact, mine came with a little snag in it that looks like it could cause a tear if I don’t carefully snip it of. I doubt it’ll fall apart when you move him around, though and honestly feels more substantial and durable than those on the Hot Toys figures in my collection. The red/gold-ish undergarments look rich, with a nice texture and thread contrast befitting a Lannister.
The small shirt buckles are actually tiny buckles! I had the tedious joy of refastening one that wasn’t together out of the box. The good news is I didn’t break anything and they’re actually functioning well enough to hold up to the rigors required.
One area of his outfit I was quite impressed with, was his boots. They’re leather looking, with strappy bits wrapped around the ankle. There’s also the faintest hint of dusty weathering on the lower portion of them as though he just walked down a dusty hall. It adds a nice extra layer of subtle realism to the figure. It’s cool to have that little detail as they could have easily gotten away with simply slapping on a pair of squeaky clean kicks instead.
The only part of the outfit that looks a little cheap to me is the little Hand of the King pin. It’s made up of thin yellow/bronze colored plastic. I think it stands out as plastic because it’s right next to the metal-like buckles on his shirt. Why not make the pin out of the same material? Anyway, it probably wouldn’t have bothered me as much if mine had it not arrived slightly bent.
As stated before, this is the ThreeZero Exclusive version, so Tyrion also came with another belt, with a sheath and thin dagger. I don’t remember him having it in the show, but it’s nice to have the option to outfit him with something pointy and dangerous. The blade looks pretty nice but it is incredibly thin and easy to bend. The fist you squeeze it into actually makes for a pretty tight fit. so take your time when setting him up with it.
His other accessories are less action oriented. He comes with a large book, which is fairly apt for Tyrion…
…as well as a small copper goblet, which is probably even more apt for Tyrion.
It’s probably my favorite accessory to pose him with, but I ama little dissatisfied with it. I just wish it wasn’t empty. I’ve seen toy companies and model makers use clear-ish hardened gel-like stuff or other techniques to mimic liquids and I think it’d been great if ThreeZero had done so here. It’s seriously a little bother, but it’s emptiness (as well as the visible seam running down it’s side) does make the whole cup feel a little cheap and more toy-like.
Am I using the word “little” a lot in the review? I feel like I’m using it a lot. Ugh, I must be a little paranoid. DOH!
So. Tyrion actually has completely respectable articulation. I was very VERY tempted to strip him down to see what a ⅙ scale “little person” toy body might look like… but at risk of never returning him to his display worthy current state, I decided against it.
You can see a demonstration of his articulation in our video review below
Tyrion is able to handle a fairly wide range of poses. His torso is a little stiff for unseen reasons and his arms won’t raise much above his shoulders… but other than that, he seems to move around fairly unrestricted. He’s even got double jointed knees! DOUBLE JOINTED!
While most of your poses will probably be something befitting the character, like this…
…you could, if you were so inclined, absolutely put him into a groovy pose like this.
The Final Word
When I first saw Tyrion up for pre-order my first thought was, “It’s so cool that ThreeZero is making Game of Thrones figures.” My second thought was, “This has to be the most un-action-y, action figure ever… he literally comes with a book and a cup for wine.”
There’s no wine in the cup and the book doesn’t even open. His main “action” is to sternly grimace.
So yes, Tyrion may not be a super exciting, 3A Tomorrow King, Hot Toys Avenger, Play Arts Kai Solid Snake-like ACTION figure, but he’s still a really great toy.
I feel like ThreeZero has done a very great job at being true to the source material and offering fans what is no doubt the best Tyrion Lannister figure on the market.
Sure, I think it would have been cool if they offered an alternate portrait… perhaps one of his face after it was slashed during the Battle of Blackwater… maybe some armor and an axe to round things out, but maybe that’s aiming too high… or maybe that’s simply a future release.
Like Michonne’s Pets, the quality is all there. Also like them, Tyrion is currently a little lonely on my shelf. That said, Ned Stark is due to ship in a few months, just in time for the 5th season of Game of Thrones to come roaring back to our TV screens. (April 12th 2015!)
Winter is halfway over… but more ThreeZero Game of Thrones, is coming.
- Near spot-on, accurate likeness of Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister
- Nicely tailored clothes
- Good articulation, especially given the dimensions of the figure
- Very strong start to ThreeZero’s Game of Thrones line
- Hands needed another couple passes at the studio, look a little rough/sloppy
- Accessories are fine and appropriate for the figure but a little mediocre for fun
Thanks to Kim and Cody and all the rest of the gang at ThreeZero for sending Tyrion to us to review! It’s always appreciated! Please follow ThreeZero on their Facebook Page to stay up to date on their latest releases!