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Review : Labyrinth Jareth the Goblin King "Dance, Magic, Dance" McFarlane Toys


The McFarlane range of Labyrinth figures started in 2018 with the release of Jareth the Goblin King in his masked ball outfit. The second release is another version of Jareth, this time in the more casual outfit as seen in the Dance Magic Dance sequence.

Packaging 3/5


Jareth comes in the same window box as his predecessor which does not thankfully maintain consistency across both figures - McFarlane have changed some packaging mid-range before. The box is headed with the Jim Henson's Labyrinth logo, under which is a window box that partially wraps both sides. Under the window is confirmation of the figures name, listed as "Dance Magic Jareth".


To either side of the box is a repeat of the character name and Labyrinth logo. Round the back is an image from the movie poster showing Jareth holding a crystal ball. There is no background text or bio, simply another logo underneath the image.


The most interesting part of this relatively bland box is the top flap which captures Jareth's eyes staring out at you from a larger version of the image from the box reverse. The pack opens via this top flap, or the bottom one, and the figure slides out in an inner tray that sits in a cardboard surround. The cardboard looks a plain pale yellow but on closer inspection carries a faint image of Sarah in the Crystal Ball with the Labyrinth behind her.



Paint & Sculpt 5/5


McFarlane sculpts are among the best out there presently at the £20 price point and Jareth does not disappoint with a stunning head sculpt likeness to David Bowie. The face is painted very realistically with emotive eyes peering out from under the fringe. And this hairpiece is brilliant with layers on top of layers and all of it naturally coloured.


Compared to the first Jareth, this one is more plainly dressed with a frilled open neck shirt, grey waistcoat and grey trousers. Being so plain there is not a lot to colour or paint and the only obvious paint issues are around the chain on the waistcoat where silver paint has bled out to the side.


The shirt is not a clean white and has been weathered with subtle shades to dirty it up. There is also a subtle wash ot the trousers. Jareth is also wearing his pendent which is also neatly painted with black strap and silver pendant with gold insert.



Accessories 4/5


Jareth comes with a McFarlane circular display stand. This is a standard for McFarlane products now and features the Labyrinth movie logo. It has a peg that slots into the hole on the right foot only. For those that like display stands, it looks fine, but as we will see in the articulation segment it is not too practical.


The other accessory is Jareth's cane. This is cast in very thin plastic that is also quite brittle, so watch out for this snapping under a bit of pressure. One end is feathered like a brush and the other sculpted and painted with a silver cap piece.


Only the right hand on Jareth is cast as a gripping hand. Slotting the cane in place is tricky, especially considering the risk of it breaking. But once located Jareth holds this fine.



The final "accessory" is a Goblin, one of the Jim Henson puppet creatures that serve Jareth. This one is a beaked faced beast with a round body and stumpy arms and legs. It is a single piece with no articulation and is cast in a seated position with its tail sticking out at the back.


It is painted in a brown overall finish with dry brushing to the fir. The beak is grey with bone and grey marking around the red and yellow eyes.


This choice of Goblin is an odd one considering the other various Goblin characters we see in the movie. He is very small and not greatly detailed - and after watching the scene a few times (see below) he seems to be a very brief background Goblin towards the start of the musical piece. In terms of display and posing he can only really sit at Jareth's feet - which means he does get lost on display. I would have preferred McFarlane to go with a larger armoured Goblin or perhaps gone one better and done a deluxe release with Jareth's throne and a handful of Goblins to surround him.



Articulation 2/5


McFarlane's articulation over the past few years has been steadily improving, and Jareth comes with 14 points of articulation. This is better than the earlier Colortop figures, but not quite up to the standard being used in the Fortnite figures


Head : ball joint neck

Body : rotating waist

Arms : ball joint shoulder, single rotating elbow, rotating wrists

Legs : T-Joint hips, single rotating knee, ankle rocker


The head, even with the hair piece, has a good range of motion. And the arms too can do a number of gestures and poses with or without the cane. The elbow bend does go to 90 degrees, and includes a very satisfying ratchet when bent.



Sadly the same cannot be said of the ankles which are once again very weak. Even on the stand the figure falls over after a while as the ankles can't hold the weight of the figure. I expect any figure I buy to stand either on its own or with a stand. Jareth can do neither and to display him I will need to either pay out for a waist clip stand or glue his ankles into a fixed position - this is an ongoing McFarlane issue and one they do need to resolve.


Above the ankles the knees are single joint and can only bend so far with the hips still using that older T-Joint design which does work - but looks pretty ugly when opened up. These two joints will allow Jareth into a seated pose (just) so that throne idea would have worked?



Summary


I am going to sum up Jareth the Goblin King in a very similar vein to a lot of other McFarlane reviews... He looks stunning, you cannot fault the sculpt or the paint apps on a £20 price point figure. The packaging is a bit "meh" but I can look past that.


The issue lies in the articulation once again, and its not just the reduced range that 14 points of articulation brings - but it is the ankle issue again that fails to keep the figure upright even with the included stand.



Jareth has scored top marks on looks, but low on articulation due to these issues and overall weighs in just above average with a 3 out of 5.




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