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  • Writer's pictureMephitsu

Review: Indiana Jones Adventure Series Indiana Jones Temple Escape, Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Indiana Jones Adventure Series is still within its first year, but as expected there have already been a number of Indy variants released or announced. The Temple Escape deluxe set is the first repeat release in the line and comes just a few months after the release of the Raiders of the Lost Ark Indy in the launch wave. This Temple Escape set is a Deluxe format for the line and features a diorama piece along with the figure - in this case, the temple plinth from the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors as seen in the opening scene of Raiders.

The Temple Escape set comes boxed and plastic-free. The box is squared off like the single releases and is the same height but is deeper and wider to accommodate the additional content. The size is the only differentiating factor from a general release with the box carrying an image of the contents on the front, some artwork to the right-hand side, and a checklist of some of the other releases on the left. The back carries a detailed illustration of the content but fails to detail any context of the scene or characters it represents.

In the box, we pick up a Raiders of the Lost Ark Indiana Jones figure and a bag of accessories all wrapped in waxy paper. To address the elephant in the room, this is the exact same Indiana Jones as was released in Wave 1 with the Ark piece. There have been no significant changes made to add value for collectors with just the odd paint variation noticeable. The likeness to Harrison Ford is good, without being outstanding as the line finds its feet. The photo-real tech is applied to the face adding a more lifelike look to the eyes and a more subtle unshaved look that paint can’t always get right. The hat remains glued in place and the line feels like it is crying out for a removable hat Indy. The jacket is weathered to look like worn leather, but the trousers and shirt remain a touch too clean considering what Indy gets up to.

Articulation totals 18 joints, all pinless and sculpted as part of the body. This does limit the movement slightly, but there are plenty of options to utilise the included accessories. Said accessories are also identical to the original release and include the revolver, Golden Fertility Idol, coiled whip, and unfurled whip. Indy is also carrying his satchel, although this is a loose piece but fitted under his coat so is not easy to remove. The figure has been designed to include a hand to hold the pistol which still looks and feels a little small. This same right hand can hold either of the two whips and the whips themselves do a good job with the unfurled version having plenty of flexibility but it may need a bit of heat to make it go where you want.

The gun fits into the holster on Indy’s belt but the flexible plug-in strap to hold the gun in place remains as useless as it was on the first release and so fiddly they might as well have left it off. If we are taking it as an update, I am pleased to say the flexible strap for the coiled whip on Indy’s belt is improved on this second release and while it is still tricky to plug in - securing it is possible and it holds the whip on the belt for display.

The Gold Idol is cast in the same glossy gold colour as last time and still looks a bit ‘plasticky’ rather than gold metallic as we see on screen. The left hand of Indy is made to hold the Golden Idol in a semi-extended palm pose. This is not at all shaped well and Indy cannot hold the Idol by gripping the piece. You may be able to balance it in the palm but in reality, you will need some form of aid (Blu Tac) to keep it secured. Again, the Indy line is starting to feel like it is missing the additional hand options we see used so well in Marvel Legends.

The Temple Escape Set features two new parts, the first is an additional accessory in the shape of the bag of sand Indy tries to use to trick the temple as he swaps it out for the Golden Idol. This new piece is shaped so it looks to be sat on the plinth but also fits into Indy’s multi-purpose right hand.

The Temple Plinth is a hollow grey plastic piece with intricately cast engravings around the entirety of its circumference. There are also cracks and fractures added to the sculpt to create age and a texture to the top and base to represent stone. The plinth is washed in a darker grey to extenuate the symbols and to also weather and age the piece beautifully. Moss and plants have been added in the grooves and on the top and these are painted in a putrid green colour.

The proportions of the plinth look fine and your Indy figure stands behind it or you can coax the articulation into some stooping or kneeling positions if you want slightly improved accuracy - although these look a little awkward. All in all the overall look is impressive with the figure and plinth combined and the contents of the set certainly allow for a full recreation of that iconic first sequence.

The Temple Escape set is a Hasbro Pulse and Shop Disney Exclusive and has a £39.99 UK retail price. Considering the original Indy release was circa £23 including the Ark piece, that means the plinth and bag of sand accessory are coming in at around £17. I suspect the set will drive a lot of Indy figures to the secondary market as collectors pick up the set for the plinth accessory and then ditch the repeat release to recoup some funds. The set perhaps should have given us a variation for Indy - perhaps covered in cobwebs or with alternative “concentrating” head sculpt. The concept of the set does open up future diorama possibilities like the Tanis Map Room or the Grail chamber which would work well - and for now, I guess we need to support the line with our wallets - including these repacks - to get us to future sets like this and a wider character base from across all the Indy movies.

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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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