Whenever you get a full-fledged action figure from one of your favorite movies, the bar is set pretty high, so it’s almost impossible to live up to exactly what you want/need for it to be.
The Crow would be on my list of ten Perfect Movies. A tragic story born out of tragedy that resulted in its own tragedy with the death of Star Brandon Lee, it’s a movie that has been mythologized by the unfortunate events that surround every aspect of it. It’s hard not to watch the star-making performance and wonder what kind of career this movie would have led to.
I am in for any Crow action figure. I bought the very very old McFarlane Crow figure way back when they were all “What’s articulation and where does it go,” so it was more or less able to stand around and laugh at anybody calling it an “action figure.”
I bought the Hot Toys Crow figure, which remains the pinnacle of Crowiness. I even bought the little 3 ¾ inch Reaction figure. But what I’ve been waiting for is an actual regular sized ACTION figure, one that can actually action. Well, as luck would have it, two options have popped up. This Diamond Select version which is in the 7 inch or 1/10 scale range, and an upcoming Mezco 1/12th (ish) scale version, which I will preorder as soon as preorders are preorderable.
With so much desire riding on this figure, it would be frankly impossible for it to live up to what I want out of a Crow figure. And it does fall short in some ways, many of those I pretty much knew going in based on the Diamond Select figure creating model. I will say up front that it’s not a bad figure at all if you know going in that it’s not going to be able to get into extreme poses. If you are predisposed to the Marvel Select way of doing things—balancing sculpt with minimal articulation without going full on Spider-Man with poseability—then it’s probably completely fine.
However, I will admit to an upfront bias in that I want a Crow figure that can do a bit more than this figure allows. Some of that has to do with the jacket, other to do with the articulation.
First off, the overall appearance is excellent, with a well sculpted body that hits all the right black on black notes. The head looks better in person than in pictures I had seen, but it still seems a little off. Not too off, but I think the chin is a little long or maybe a little too bulbous. The hair looks great and hangs just like the cinematic equivalent.
The little details seem to be all there: his necklace with Shelly’s wedding ring, the random cuts and tears, the rope, the black electrical tape, the opened boots, all the little things that make up the total package. Everything has an appropriate finish, whether flat or glossy, to add to the air of authenticity. In short, I like the way it looks.
Now I don’t want to get too down on the articulation. If you’re not wanting to put him into crazy poses and just want to get one good broody pose for your shelf then this figure nails that. But I want to point out the areas that bug me in case you’re an anal retentive psychopath like I am about things.
The neck is good. It’s a ball jointed with a decent range outside of going backwards, which is restricted by his hair. It can do a good head tilt.
The shoulders are good. The elbows are only 90 degrees, which is actually better than I was expecting but still a little limiting. The wrists are in and out, which are fine. He has grabby hands but no trigger finger for obvious reasons. That said, if you have a 1/10th scaled sword or gun, I think he’d be able to hold it with some fiddling. I’m going to have to do digging and scrounge something up for him.
The torso has a ball jointed swivel crunch that is mainly held back by his jacket. It doesn’t appear to have much range, which I’ve read is a Diamond Select issue with much of their torso joints. A lot of people seem to do some dremeling to open up that area a bit more.
The hips are that weird DC Universe Classics style joint that just feels archaic now when compared to the Hasbro style joints that many Diamond Select figures use. I guess this type of joint was used in an effort to “preserve the sculpt,” which I guess it does, but it does so at the cost of a lot of his forward motion. Granted, there is a huge lateral spread afforded by this type of joint, but it still feels like something that has no place in a modern action figure. I don’t hate it, but I don’t like it much either.
The knees are maybe the biggest offender, being single swivel-hinge joints that don’t get a full 90 degrees. Even though his cape is on the stiffer side, I still would have liked a better range in the knees for those “crouching on the edge of something” poses. Or even sitting cross-legged on the edge of a long table while threatening to kill everyone.
Both legs have a cut joint at mid-thigh in addition to the motion given by the swivel-hinge.
The ankles have Hasbro style pivot hinges so you can get his feet flat regardless of how wide his stance.
For accessories, he comes with an extra “gunhole” hand, a wings-spread Crow and a resting Crow that can perch on his tombstone. You know a toy is hardcore when he comes with his own tombstone. He also comes with his guitar, so he can upset the neighbors with his rooftop soloing. The guitar is well sculpted and holds it perfectly. As a guitar player I love it when a figure comes with a guitar.
I know it sounds like I’m being hard on this figure and I will admit I am holding it to a high standard just based on the fact that I have wanted a fully poseable Crow action figure since 1994. Don’t even tell me how close we are to that being 30 years ago. It is a fun figure, it looks great and I don’t regret getting it or having it at all. My biggest issue is I wish the articulation scheme matched up a little closer to what the character should be able to do in order to be a fully realized interpretation. But it’s still light-years better than that old McFarlane one with the cut joints and static legs, and for that, I am truly grateful. There is a Walgreen’s Exclusive version without a jacket that I’m probably going to try and get also.