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  • Writer's pictureMephitsu

Review: Dungeons & Dragons Golden Archive Holga Kilgore, Honor Among Thieves

“We need to think of our own hides right now.”

Hasbro’s Dungeons & Dragons Golden Archive series of 6-inch collector-focused figures was built on the initial release of 2020’s Drizzt Do’Urden and Guenhyver set, and came into being on the back of the 2023 release of the new Dungeons & Dragons movie - Honor Among Thieves. This new collection kicked off with the odd release of the Gelatinous Cube and soon expanded into the first full wave of figures based on the movie characters.

Each figure is packed in a plastic-free windowless box with a top hanging tab and a corner angled off into a triangle a the top right, paying homage to the dice used playing D&D. The box is predominantly black with gold ornate trim surrounding the character image on the front and the logo with a picture of the figure and contents set into the front as an insert over the main image. To the left of the box is a larger image of the character, while the right side spine carries a brief character bio. The rear of the box includes a larger posed picture of the figure and further confirmation of the accessories as well as a QR code taking you to the DnD homepage.

Holga is wearing her barbarian clothing as seen throughout the movie. These are a mixture of brown cast elements like the legs and waist area, overlaid with darker leather look panels and off-white fur trim. The central chest armour also incorporates a silver central plate with brass fastenings and the outfit is finished off with a belt section with further hanging fur and a tied plaited rope fastening that hangs down almost to Holga’s fur-lined boots. The detailing is impressive, but it is all pretty much done in the base colour with no washes or highlighting which would have taken the various textures to a whole new level.

Holga’s headsculpt is pretty weak overall with no definitive likeness to Michelle Rodriguez of any description. The face is quite generic and is missing the more distinctive elements of Holga’s look, particularly the strong jaw, cheekbones, and that facial smirk she seems to carry off in most scenes. There is also a lack of any applied print technology, the eyes have almost reverted to the older white paint and black lining and iris we saw on figures some 5-10 years ago. The forehead feels too large and out of proportion with the head. The only highlight of the head is the hair piece with its variety of plaits and ties - it is just missing some added highlights or a wash to bring these details out further. While the head is disappointing, a brilliant job has then been done on Holga’s tattoos as seen on either arm - these appear to be decal applied.

You might expect Holga to get the same 20-point articulation count as Forge, but instead, she is sold short with just 16 points of articulation. Holga is particularly short-changed in the arms with only a single elbow joint that can't even make a 90-degree bend. There is also no bicep swivel and no butterfly shoulders. The D&D figures have not yet adopted the dual joint neck, so Holga’s head sits on a fixed neck with an upper ball joint - the head is then restricted considerably by the hair which forces the head to be looking down too much when moved. For a figure based on a Barbarian Warrior, this is really disappointing when it comes to wielding her included weaponry restricting Holga to neutral poses only.

That weaponry includes a short dagger, held in a working sheath on her belt. This features a gold-painted hilt and dark blade. The main weapon is the axe Holga takes from her would-be executioner. Like other accessories in the line, this loosely recreates the screen prop but in much more rudimentary detail, and what should be an impressive and ornate war axe looks sloppy and feels out of place with the detail on the figure itself. The axe is cast in grey with silver applied loosely in two areas of the handle, and the axe head is trimmed in a bronze metallic finish. The axe can be extended from a short handle to a longer grip not by some clever telescoping mechanism, but by swapping out the handles with two lengths included in the set. When not in use the axe can be holstered via a plug-in sheath on Holga’s back.

Like the other figures in the wave, a lot of work has gone into the costume that has not then been matched in the quality of head sculpt or the accessories. Holga is also disadvantaged further by reduced articulation on a character that needed the full arm options more than any considering her use of the war axe. At the £25 RRP this would have felt like a disappointing purchase, at the discount prices these are now reaching the figure is more palatable but that in itself is not a great sign for the longevity of this line.

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About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...




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