I give to you, Colonel Vogel and the Grail Knight! Both these characters come from my favouritest Indy movie of all-time, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It's a pity that the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull turned out to be quite the dud, but the great thing is that a year down the road, the toys are going for clearance!
For all you Singaporean readers out there (or not ;P), I found these Inidana Jones figures going for S$1 (US$0.70) a pop at Carrefour Suntec City toy clearance about 6 weeks back. And boy did I grab
Finding the Grail Knight and Colonel Vogel has got to probabaly be the BEST toy hunting experience ever. For one, I got these rare guys for next to nothing (especially the Grail Knight, who sems to be chase/rare/short-packed in every toy form) and two, Colonel Vogel's body and accessories have been reused for a Marvel Universe character--you guesed it: SDCC Red Skull!
So the plan was to get Vogel and Red Skull and do a head switch whenever the evil Nazi villain felt like a change of costume. After all, there's gotta be at least 4 different versions of Captain America out there, so why shouldn't ol' Skull face have his own variant too?
So how do these year-old Hasbro 3.75" figures comepare to the new Marvel Universe and GI Joe Rise of Cobra figs? Find out after the jump!
Like: That both these guys are highly detailed in sculpting, have good paint, and come with relevant accessories. Starting with heads, which captures the greedy, lustful and proud look of the German Vogel, and the expression of weary vigilance on the Grail Knight, Hasbro really gave us a sneak peak at how great their future head sculpts were going to be. Both these characters are old, and both don't just have white hair, they have wrinkles on their faces which have been molded on.
Like: From head to bodies, or rather, torsos. The details on Vogel's uniform are simply superb. You can see every medal, every pin, and every crease on him. My favourite is the pin on his chest that holds his inner shirt frill in place. It's picked out by a tiny bit of gold paint. Bravo, Hasbro!
As for the Grail Knight, there's just so much detail I don't know where to begin! His tunic, the chainmail gloves, the Templar symbol on his chest, his awesomly voluminous cloak, it's all a big wow, really.
Leif Erikson! The stuff of legend, that. ;)
The Grail Knight himself comes with an artifact as mysterious as the knight himself: Sir Richard's shield. I assumed this was the shield of a young King Richard the Lionheart before he ascended the throne. But a search yielded many a Sir Richard, casting the origins of this artifact right back into the shroud of mystery from whence it came. I can safely say for sure it's not the shield of one Sir Cliff Richard. That has defeinitely not seen a battle. :P
Like: That Vogel has a working holster.
Dislike: That the Grail Knight's scabbard looks useable but is actually filled in. I was really looking forward to having him sheathe his sword. One less cool look, more money saved my Hasbro. Bummer.
Dislike: The articulation is pretty bad for this line as a whole. It's funny, beacuse every time I see a place where Hasbro seemingly has cut back on to save $$, I tell myself it's beause hey want to put the money towards making u better Joe figures with tons of guns, and better Marvel Universe figures in a myriad of colours and costumes. And guess what? This sort of reverse wish-fulfillment is working! I know! It's nuts! Haha.
Grail Knight: 9.7/10 - Anyone who's seen the movie will instantly recognize and get excited about this guy. Heck, I didn't even know he existed till they were restocking at the clearance sale and the guy working there pulled him out of the box to place him in the clearance bin. He didn't stay there for long at all.;)
Vogel: 7.5/10 - Ugh. But still, better than expected. Definitely not Marvel Universe standards in terms of points of articulation, but then again, Vogel/Red Skull is expected to give the orders, not fight in the frontline.
Grail Knight: 7/10 - Double Ugh. His right foot's fixed in a pivot, so he's perpetually got his toe pointed upwards if you straighten his right leg. This also means he can't stand on his own without the help of his cloak. Takes the term "bending the knee" to a whole new level. Heh.
Vogel: 9/10 - He's my Red Skull variant so hey, I can't complain. (I just have to paint the neck red to match his skull.)
Grail Knight: 9.5/10 - There's just something about a poseable 3.75 inch knight. I don't think there've been other knights in this scale. This means a useable 3.75" broadsword and a 3.75" Holy Grail too! The Holy Grail!
Vogel: 10/10 - A $1 toy is not always worth a dollar. Most times it's worth much less. But on some rare occasions, it's worth more, much, much more. And hey, this is one of those times! Vogel comes with his pistol (Luger) and that annoying stickonly available to evil military personnel.
Grail Knight 10/10 - I'd give this guy an 11 for rarity but an 11/10 would be a miracle of God, wouldn't it? ;)
Vogel: 9/10 - I like this guy. Throw him in a tank/hummer/on foot and he can be the leader of some evil army charging your Joes or your Captian America. Throw in the red skull of the Red Skull and you can replay the events leading to the creation of Cap's greatest nemesis.
Grail Knight: 9.05/10 - If you find him, get him! If you're an Indy fan, he's a must have. If you like knights and such, he's a must have. If you seek the Holy Grail, he's got it, so you gotta get him first!
Just look at what drinking from it can do for you:
*Doesn't the Red Skull look brilliant in white?
*Yes, Red Skull looks like Jim Carrey in "The Mask" with his skin tone neck, only his face is red. It's like Red Hulk. Here it's Red Mask. Lame. I know.
*Hulk's fancy cape is a fancy piece of Kleenex
*Held together by a fancy piece of scotch tape. Hah.