Updated: Dec 8, 2018
Review : Lord Marshall The Chronicles of Riddick, SOTA Wave/Series : Series 1 (one series only) Released : 2004
Price : N/A
12 years ago Riddick, as played by Vin Diesel, got a follow up to his debut in Pitch Black. The Chronicles of Riddick picked up Riddick's story after his escape in Pitch Black. And like any good Action Movie, a range of figures were released to support the movie.
The figures were about 7 inch in scale, and released by SOTA (State of the Art) Toys. SOTA had been making figures for about 4 years at this point, and would go on to be most famous for their Street Fighter and other Capcom licences.
The Chronicles of Riddick figures were released as a single wave containing 5 figures. There was also a special exclusive release of Riddick in Necro armour with Hellhound.
It has obviously been 12 years since these figures hit shelves, so buying them now is secondary market only and the majority of these now fetch at least double the £20 you would pay for a 7" figure. There are cheaper loose options, which is the route I have gone down, but watch out for missing accessories and some other "issues" which I will discuss over this course of reviews.
So in this 2nd review of our retrospective look, we stick with the Necromongers and take a look at the Lord Marshall.
All the Riddick figures were presented on a plain trapezoid card back, with blister front containing the figure. The front of the card depicts a monolith of the Necromonger on an orange, fiery sky background. The SOTA Toys logo sits in the top left aside the peg cut out. The blister, also Trapezoid in shape, contains the figure - surrounded by the associated accessories. An insert is placed into the front of each blister containing a head shot of the character on top of the Chronicles of Riddick log. Under this is the character name.
Round the back, and all the card backs are identical. The card background continues the Necromonger theme on a fiery orange finish. The films logo sits on top, under which is the statement "Action Figures with 16+ Points of Articulation". Under this is a couple of paragraphs that sets up the plot of the film.
Arranged in a V shape under this are the five key figures, with Riddick himself on the point of the V. The special Hellhound set then sits to one side in the bottom right corner as you look.
Lord Marshall Zhylaw stands at 7 inches tall and comes packed with a helmet, staff (missing from our review figure) and a Necromonger axe.
The sculpt is one of the stronger ones in the Riddick line, and a good match for actor Colm Feore who played the Lord Marshall in the film.The angular face is well painted, with particularly good paint application to the eyes. The hair, less so impressive, is almost a flat black on a particularly odd texture which tries to mimic the look in the film, but sadly fails.
The armour, like Vaako, is well done with plenty of detail built into the chest plates, shoulder plates and indeed down the arms to the bracers. Like Vaako though, Lord Marshall also suffers from sticky plastic and attracts a considerable amount of dust and debris once loose. This will discolour the chest armour and the shoulder armour which start to bleach with a white colour. This is a shame, particularly when you look at the deep black and gloss colour on the arms and legs which would have been particularly impressive if it had been carried throughout the figure. That being said, Lord Marshall's paint colouring on the armour is much closer to the film props than Vaako.
Articulation for these Riddick figures is pretty good considering the age. A ball jointed head rotates the un-helmeted head fully and he can look up and down. The shoulders, like Vaako, are on a ball joint but are held back a little by the shoulder pads which are move-able via pins front and back. The shoulder pad pins are very fragile, and my figure's right shoulder has already snapped under very little pressure.
The arms continue with bicep swivels and elbow joints and finish up with rotating wrists. Any waist joint is locked and there is no movement, so the next articulation are the two way hip joints and these will allow Lord Marshall to do the splits but forward movement is blocked for some reason and therefore the figure will not sit down or kneel. The thigh swivels are still there, and don't add much to the figure other than making the legs look odd when you rotate the thigh as the armour all slides out of line. The knees are a single joint and hidden neatly by the knee armour, and these will go to the full 90 degrees. Finally the ankles and these are on rockers so will rotate and flex to either side to support the feet being flat to the floor.
My Lord Marshall figure is much more stable than Vaako, but the hips do feel loose and the ankles not robust enough to support the weight of the figure - which is quite substantial as were most figures of that age (early 2000's).
The axe is really nice, with a brushed bronze finish. It fits neatly into the right hand and can be cradled by the open palmed left hand if needed. The helmet is also really well done. Sadly it is in the same material as the chest armour and therefore is both sticky and bleaching to a white colour. It looks really good when fitted, and can be worn forward with face exposed, or backwards with the sculpted Necromonger mask looking out. But to achieve this it is extremely tight to fit and just two or three occasions of putting it on and taking it off will generate paint rub, particularly the hair, but also down into the eye brows and nose.
Lord Marshall is one of the better figures in the Riddick range, and it is just a shame that the plastic chemical issues will cause any loose figures to degrade. Watch out for paint rub also and for those potentially weak leg joints which may well encourage shelf diving. All in all, and compared with the rest of the Riddick range and other figures of the era, I award the Lord Marshall a 3 out of 5.