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REVIEW: Ambush at Weathertop ShopAFX.com Exclusive

September 18, 2003 at 2:32 am by PlasticEnt  - 
Plastic Ent Reviews
plasticent@theonering.net
‘Ambush at Weathertop’
Collection
  Packaging 9
  Sculpt 10
  Articulation 7
  Accessories 9
  Paint 10
  Value 8
  Addiction Factor 10
  Overall 9
Purchase at: ShopAFX.com

AOME — Ambush at Weathertop Collection — Exclusive Set

PlayAlongToys and Action Figure Express have combined forces to bring us an exclusive boxed set of the figures from the Ambush at Weathertop scene in Fellowship.

This set combines figures from two of the three-packs: Frodo, Sam and the Witch-king from Ambush at Weathertop, and the two black-robed Ringwraiths from the Ringwraith set. You get two extra Ringwraiths (duplicates of the two from the Ringwraith set) and an exclusive, available nowhere else, Strider figure. In total: 5 Ringwraiths, two hobbits, and one pissed-off looking ranger.

A look at the FiguresPackaging: 9 out 10

Attractive — more so than Toy Biz figures or any other LOTR items I’ve seen. PlayAlong has used a light-blue themed box featuring an image of the Uruk-Hai marching on Helm’s Deep. There is a large window displaying the figures nicely, with a printed map of Middle Earth on the insert behind the figures. The back of the package features a nice cross-sell, showing all of the figures currently available and some upcoming three-packs and deluxe figures. Simple, elegant, and well-done. Some poor fellow has mixed up the Mordor Orcs with the Moria Orcs — but we’ll forgive him.

The figures are held securely (overly so) in the blister with twist ties. Get your clippers ready — you’re going to need to snip two or three twist-ties for each figure, and another one for each base. Then you’ll need to battle the scotch tape holding the weapons in the blister. It took me nearly 10 minutes just to open it — nothing is coming loose until you break out the heavy weaponry — this is a well-packed set.

Packaging Packaging - Back

Sculpt: 10 out of 10

Aside from Eowyn, this set includes all of my favorite basic figures released to date.

Frodo — Fantastic figure, as close to Elijah Wood as can be captured in this size. Cape is billowing behind him as he scrambles for safety… 9 out of 10

Samwise — One of the best figures in the line. Cape, backpack, shoulder-slung pouches and canteen — everything is here. 10 out of 10

Witch-King — the best of the Ringwraiths because of the fantastic pose, and the leg armor on the forward leg. Robes look fantastic. 10 out of 10

Ringwraith #1 and #2 — Lumping them together, because they’re similar in pose and sculpt. Both good, with nice detail on the gauntlets and frayed robes. 9 out of 10.

Strider — the best reason to buy this set. My favorite basic figure version of Aragorn. He’s challenging the Nazgul with a screaming expression, hair blown back and angry. He’s wearing his bed roll, quiver, bow, pack, and scabbard. Every stitch of the clothing is sculpted to give him the dynamic pose as though he’s blocking a swing from a Nazgul blade while preparing to deliver a devastating blow with the torch. Awesome fig. 10 out ot 10.

The Hobbits are SurroundedArticulation: 7 out of 10

Were these figures in a larger scale, this score would be much lower. To be fair, I don’t see how PlayAlong could have included any more articulation than they have.

Frodo, Sam and Strider have movement at the neck, shoulders, and waist. 8 out of 10.

The Ringwraiths have articulation at the shoulders, but the robes block any real movement. 6 out of 10.

Accessories: 9 out of 10

You get six unique weapons with this set, and 9 total. The Witch-King and one of the Ringwraiths use the same sword, and they’ve included two of the same sword for the other duplicate Ringwraith.

The Witch-King sword is well done — with the notched blade and jagged handle. Frodo and Sam’s short swords are what you’d expect, but Strider is the real winner here. He comes with both sword and torch — dealing out two-handed destruction.

Bases: this is a mixed bag. The Ringwraith bases all work well — but they all stand up just fine with or without the bases. Frodo and Sam don’t fair quite as well — they can’t stand up without the bases, but even with them, Frodo is not always very cooperative (I suppose he’s entitled to be a bit tired after the big fight and being stabbed…). Strider is posed so that he must use the stand — and he will lean heavily on the outward foot — balancing him so he looks good takes a little bit of patience.

Paint: 10 out of 10

The set in ActionThe paint work is where this line really excels. I am incredibly picky about paint, especially on faces. For the three figures with faces — they have lips, eyes, and hair where it should be, and Strider even has the dirty faced beard stubble — just enough and not too much. My favorite detail — the hairs on the hobbit feet. Nicely done, PlayAlong.

The Ringwraiths all have silver amor with a dark wash, covered by the robes. They aren’t simple black — they have pale blue highlights dry brushed over to bring out the detail in the folds and frayed edges. The Robes are also dirty around the edges — all looking very natural and not overdone.

Value: 8 out of 10

At $24.99 plus shipping, this set is going to cost you a little over $3 per figure when all is said and done. A fair price for what the set, but not the best value I’ve ever seen. But compare this to $20 for three Star Wars figures (Sage scene three-packs), and you’ll appreciate the price a bit more.

Overall: 9 out of 10

I’m extremely happy with this set. This is a great introduction to the line, and gives me three members of the Fellowship plus five of the Ringwraiths in one fell swoop. It’s a nice looking package, decent value, and a lot of fun to display.

Purchase this ShopAFX.com exclusive set today! [Purchase]

Addiction factor: 10 out of 10

Yes, after opening this, I need more… more AOME now!

You’ll need three more three-packs to complete your Weathertop collection:

  1. The Comic-Con exclusive three pack including the clear Frodo variant — Twilight Frodo, plus two more Ringwraiths — bringing your Black Rider total to seven.
  2. The Ringwraith three pack — including the Twilight Witch-King figure. Yup, now your Twilight Frodo has somebody to be afraid of. Plus two more Ringwraiths — now you have all nine.
  3. The upcoming Merry/Pippin/Boromir three pack. The two missing hobbits can help Sam defend Frodo.

And if you really like Ringwraiths, and you now have the five from this set, you might want to pick up two of each deluxe Black Rider on horseback — completing your Ringwraith force. See, many ways for you to get all nine.

That’s all for now, folks.

– PlasticEnt (plasticent@theonering.net)


Purchase this Exclusive set at ShopAFX.com. [Purchase]

Posted in Old Special Reports on September 18, 2003 by

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