The Video Review
Introducing the HOT TOYS 1/6 scale ED-209
OCP ED 209
I'm not going to address the new movie at all in this article. This feature is about the original and still best movie monster ED-209.
In movie terms, ED-209 is a bipedal reverse knee joint robot ( "It's got chicken legs!" - Gir ), and stands from seven and a half to more than nine feet tall. In 1/6 scale terms, in a neutral standing position, this monster is fourteen and a half inches tall. He will NOT fit on a normal shelf. In point of fact, I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do with him now that the photography is done. I may return him to his box for now.
I do not possess the 2006 release version of this figure, but I've seen images of it, and the 2014 version appears to blow it away in overall detail and realism. THIS IS the definitive version of ED-209 anywhere. Based on what I've seen, if you bought the original, you shouldn't feel bad about buying this one, it's a completely different game now.
There are a few YouTube and other articles online about people building full scale versions, but their dimensions are all off. Something people don't think about with movies is that the focal length of a lens, and the size of the film/sensor you are shooting with AND the distance you are from the object GREATLY alters its dimensions. They used very short lenses in the film, especially the opening scene of ED-209 walking into the conference room. You can tell because the head looks MASSIVE compared to the pelvis and legs, and those aren't the actual correct dimensions.
Gotta give it to HOT TOYS for doing it correctly, and obtaining precise measurements that don't rely on looking at the movie. I understand that a full sized prop still exists somewhere, but I do not know if they visited it.
NOTE - I apologize for the low quality/lack of staging of the images and video for this feature. I recently had to move to a much smaller space, and thus I don't have the space to separate the figure from the background as much as I'd like or position lights as precisely as I'd like.
If you’re an avid 1/6 collector, skip this section.
1/6 scale ( pronounced “one sixth scale” ) is a format of collectible figure referring to a figure that is literally, or more accurately “approximately” 1/6th the size it would be in full scale. So if a person is 6 feet tall, they would be 12” in 1/6 scale. Therefore, most of these figures are around 12” tall. Some are taller or shorter than they should be in order to accommodate the format expectations.
A huge amount of R&D goes into each figure, from sculpting to tailoring to painting. No matter how you feel about the subject matter, each of these is a remarkable work of art.
How Scoring Works for this format
The expected conventions for High End collectible readers are quite different from the ones I use on uryaen.com. In this series, I will combine the format that people expect to see in the places where my work is republished, and I will add my particular touch to the process for here on uryaen.com.
Packaging - ***
HOT TOYS boxes have been steadily improving lately. The smaller figures, as of last year, still come in plastic holders and thin boxes, but the big stuff comes in classy foam and thick boxes.
Compared to the JACK SPARROW box, this one is a let down. It's classy and textured on the outside, but is merely a conventional box and contains a stiff foam insert that slides out. The figure ships unassembled, as you would expect, but the foam is very stiff, and not luxurious. The figure is HEAVY, so this makes some sense, but I can't help wondering if a more collector friendly solution couldn't have been created.
Although it appears to be possible, I'm really not keen on removing the legs again as I fear wear or breakage in this case because the joint that connects to leg sections is the load bearing portion, and the connection point is two tabs.
The packaging is serviceable but underwhelming for a figure like this.
Sculpting - ****
Flawless, as usual.
I already mentioned above that it's easy, and has happened, that people measure things from movie stills and then build something awkward looking. I could go on for several thousand words how this happens, but I'm not going to link to any particular projects.
HOT TOYS created the definitive sculpt, and it's hard to imagine that anyone could do better this year at this price range.
I do feel a bit nervous that the entire figure is plastic and rubber, and there doesn't seem to be any die cast parts. I would think that it wouldn't have cost too much more to reinforce the load bearing joints a bit, which always suffer in figures like this, but so far it's pretty solid.
Assuming all goes well, I should be receiving ThreeA Metal Gear Rex and Ray in Sept/Oct, and I'll be able to better compare other large bipedal, 2014 figures for stability.
I realize that not all collectors will agree with this stance, but that's my assessment. I'm not docking the score over it though.
The dome is actually a type of rubber, and is very tacky to the touch, which is an unexpected bonus. They could have just as easily done that in plastic, and no one would complain, but this is also why I feel that having some die cast parts would have MADE this perfect.
Paint - ****
Once again, my figure came with perfect paint. A figure like this can be challenging due to the large areas that require air brushing, and the "scratches" that show bare metal under the rich steel-blue color of his skin. This is something that I've NEVER seen another ED-209 toy even come close to doing correctly, and they nailed it.
Articulation - ****
Anyone who owns a LARGE figure like this has the same fear about articulation. Too much weakens the integrity of such a large and heavy figure, and too little and it's just a statue. This guy has I'd say 90% of the articulation of the full size movie monster. The legs lack some of the flex of the full size, so posing him "mid walk" is a bit challenging, but all of the important points are movable. The toes are even articulate. You'll see various poses throughout this feature.
You'll see some neat stop motion in the video but I really wanted to do a fully effects laden shot of him firing the machine guns, but getting the arms to move front to back smoothly is impossible, thus I abandoned that idea. When you see the insane detail of the arm joint, it's kinda hard to complain.
In the video, which you should also view, you'll see that the rubber hoses and wires are actually soft rubber, not a hard molded plastic.
The missile launcher is fully articulate, which is a nice touch, but the method by which it holds the missiles makes me fear damage to them. The missiles are tiny, and VERY VERY pointed. I had to get some foam on the end of a pen to push them in, and they go in a certain orientation, so look out for that.
The movie versions were actual model rockets, which were fired from the actual launcher. You can still see the guide wire they used in the final movie.
Accessories - ***
ED-209 really only comes with two things:
A battle damaged left arm, which looks great, but maybe not shaded as much as it could be paint-wise.
A completely worthless "sound gimmick". I'm not going to dwell on this, and I didn't even bother to record it for the video, but the sounds are poorly done, sound terrible, and the remote doesn't work well on mine. I have to move it around hitting the button many times to get it to work. Even stopping and hitting the button in the same spot doesn't always produce a sound.
The remote doubles as a clever title card, so there's that.
I removed the batteries and left it at that.
I really don't know who these sound gimmicks are for. The type of collector buying a $400 figure probably doesn't care about or will ever use them, and true fans of the source material will HATE the voice that comes out it. I'm not sure if they simply re-recorded it, or did a weird job extracting it from the movie audio ( something I can do as well, so I know ), but it's just a poorly executed tack on. I would have preferred die cast support joints over this.
Fun Factor - ***
On one hand, he IS sturdier than the average human 1/6 scale figure, but on the other hand, none of them is a "toy" to be played with.
For display, he's capable of pretty much any stance you want, but other than the battle damaged arm, lacks any visual variety.
Value - ****
If you look at it for what it is: THE definitive collectible for ED-209, you get exactly what you pay for, and he's worth every penny.
Things to Watch Out For
Removing the arms is nerve wrackingly difficult, even for one of these kinds of figures. I find that if you brace the whole joint against your hands, and roll it out on the side, it pops off without stressing it.
Find somewhere safe to store the damaged arm, or put it back in the box, as it is very delicate.
You really CAN extend the leg joints, but they're VERY stiff, and I wouldn't extend them more than two or three clicks. The knees do flex, but don't hold his weight ( thus my concern about the material ).
Depending on where you live, the rubber dome will gather dust VERY effectively. I used canned air to clean it, as it was getting dirty even just in the few days I was photographing it.
Overall - ***3/4
Well, until they release one that walks and talks on its own in 2021 or so, this is the best version of ED-209 money can buy.
The cheap sound gimmick feels undignified, and the lack of metal makes me nervous considering his size. If he had come with some metal reinforced joints and a better packing design, he'd be four stars easy. You might not agree with that, but I can't say he's perfect the way he is.
It's nice to see HOT TOYS release something other than Iron Man lately. I get that certain properties are more important/popular than others, but it's frustrating when you see literally EVERY incarnation of Iron Man over all the films he's been in, but you get Babydoll without three of her friends from another movie. Releasing a new ED-209 is justified, and I'm extremely thrilled that they did so, and I want to see more variety from all the big 1/6 scale makers.
No issues so far.
If things stay on schedule, I SHOULD have the new Robocop with chair in August, so that review will be sometime around then or Sept. I'll get more opportunity to shoot them together, so that should be fun!