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Vault Review: Skeleton Army
(Sci-Fi Revoltech #020)

I was surprised when Kaiyodo announced number twenty in their Sci-Fi Revoltech line was going to be a skeleton warrior from the film Jason and the Argonauts. The works of Ray Harryhausen are perfect for this line, and there’s no better figure to illustrate this point than the reanimated skeleton warrior.

Ray Harryhausen is one of the greatest special effects artists of all time. Before computers and CGI even existed, he was using stop-motion animation to incorporate the actions of people with fantastic and bizarre creatures on screen. One of the most memorable of these scenes for me is the battle with the skeleton army in Jason and the Argonauts. As a kid, seeing what looked like real skeletons battling with swords and spears was amazing. Even looking back at that scene I’m surprised at how well it holds up. The animation is so seamless with the actors’ choreography that you’d never guess the skeletons were miniature puppets that were added in later. The love and attention to detail Ray put into his work is evident while watching this five minute fight scene with the knowledge that it took four and a half months to animate.

I bought this figure for two reasons. First is my love of Harryhausen’s creations. I never considered Kaiyodo would use his creations for their Sci-Fi Revoltech line, but I’m extremely happy they did. I can only hope that we see more of his work in the future of this line.

Second, this skeleton is so masterfully sculpted by Kawada Hideaki that it doesn’t matter what the source material was. Even with the slight embellishments here and there, this skeleton still looks and moves so realistically that you can use it as an artistic reference.

Besides the perfectly sculpted form of this figure, there are also tons of tiny details. The major plates of the skull are all separated by slight cracks. While the individual teeth and even the palate has raised ridges and texture. The bones of the spine have their own sculpting and have been glued to the back of the ribs. Even the tiny textures between the bones of the hands and feet are given detail.

Each skeleton is molded in a light gray plastic and then given a dry wash of dark gray. Since the dry wash is random with where and how heavy it sticks to the figure, each skeleton has its own unique look. This is great if you’re buying more than one figure. One of mine even ended up with a dark smudge on one of his teeth. It makes him look like he has a missing tooth, giving him a different personality from the other two.

The skeleton is probably one of the best articulated Revoltech figures I own, which is saying a lot considering how well Revoltech figures are usually articulated. His head, base of his neck, shoulders, elbows, mid torso, waist, hips, knees, and ankles are all revolver joints. His wrists are swivel/hinge joints, while his jaw is a hinge. This gives him the full range of human anatomy without those pesky constraints of muscles or clothing that most figures have. Continue to Page Two….

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12 comments to Vault Review: Skeleton Army
(Sci-Fi Revoltech #020)

  • Isn’t it a good thing that ‘logistics’ and ‘development’ aren’t watchwords with this line? :)

    That base is awesome. It just about qualifies as its own toy!

    I want a Ymir.

    Another great review! Makes me kinda wish they could tap the Universal Monsters license.

    • AdventureVault

      Yeah, it really puts Matty in perspective when a company like Kaiyodo does so much right and goes out of their way to give back to the fans.

      I’m really happy with the base, and a Ymir would be awesome.

      They might do Universal Monsters some day, which I would totally buy. It just depends how much they are willing to spend on the licensing I guess.

  • Superdadd2

    I really dig these figs… I just wish they were taller. I didn’t know about second wave, but figured Revoltech would make a second wave after they came out the second alien from “Aliens.” So, I just got the two. Thanks for the update.

    That’s also a great price on these.

    Awesome pics as always!

    • AdventureVault

      Thanks Superdadd. Yeah, I really love this line. The different scale bothered me at first, but I think I’m used to it now. I do wish the skeleton could fit in with my Simon Belmont figure though.

      AmiAmi.com always has the best import prices. That’s where I get my stuff from usually.

  • Fire King Xi

    Where did you find the Skeletons for $25/each?

    These guys look great. I would love to see Revoltech branch out into other mythology movies like “Clash of the Titans”, “The Odyssey”, any number of Hercules films and so forth. Imagine what Kaiyodo could do with Medusa, Pegasus, or the giant scorpions.

    Speaking of stop motion sfx, have you seen the original Mighty Joe Young. I think the fight between big Joe and Lion still rates as some of the best sfx work done in films.

  • dayraven

    AV, you’re way off on MJY… touching, yes, but it doesn’t hold a candle to kong.

    the skellies are just too small/too expensive to really army build (seriously, wouldn’t we all like about 20 of these things?) they look fantastic, but they’re that damned revoltech scale that’s too big or to small for about 90% of other toy lines. they’re pretty much “plays with HALO!” and that’s about all. but the craftsmanship is definitely there, and on their own, they look absolutely excellent.

    • AdventureVault

      Sometimes you just have to buy a good toy because it’s a good toy. You can’t let the constraints of scale dictate every purchase.

  • PrfktTear

    These look great!

    In the front row on the right, what is that rather plasticy lookingy Skeleton with the hinges? It looks very familiar.

  • Adam

    Exactly how tall are these figures? 6 inches?