Realm of the Underworld Skeleton

Realm of the Underworld
Archfiend
5 3/4 Inch scale
By: Zoloworld
$23.00

Realm of the Underworld’s Wave 2 goes up fro pre-order this Friday and to help count down, we’re going to finish up our reviews of the ROTU first series. Up first we’re looking at one of two skeletons or “Archfiends” as they’re known in the Realm of the Underworld toy line. As I mentioned in my Hercules review, these guys are designed to fit in with all the vintage He-Man knock off lines of the 80’s.

He-Man Knockoffs
Of course Remco was the main supplier of those types of barbarian lines and Zoloworld have perfectly recreated these concepts with their own twists. One of the most popular and sought after figures, were the Remco skeletons. You could spend hundreds of dollars on those vintage skeletons, or you could snag one of these really nice homage recreations from Zoloworld for a fraction of the price. Getting these classic designs into the fold, is one of the key elements that make Realm of the Underworld such a fun purchase for classic figure collectors.

Ray Harryhausen Skeleton
There’s something about these vintage skeletons that immediately harken back to the late, great Ray Harryhausen’s Jason and the Argonauts stop motion creations. This certainly isn’t lost on the folks behind Realm of the Underworld and I couldn’t help but put a few of the Archfiends into action against Hercules and recreate some of that action. These are just fun toys to mess around with and the Archfiend is no different. But does he hold up as well as the others in the line?

Packaging:
If you liked the first package, you’ll love this one! These all use the same retro style packaging. The only downfall would be that they aren’t in collector friendly resealable packages. Zoloworld does sell some plastic clamshells you can put them in, should you like, though.

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The package obviously harkens back to those old Remco classics. If you’re a fan of that sort of thing, you’ll love this. If not, you’ll probably be a bit underwhelmed.

Sculpt/Paint:
The sculpt and paint here are really simple. While that may turn some people off, this line really isn’t for hyper detail or anatomic authenticity. This is about fun toys of yesteryear, brought into the modern age.

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That’s not to say that there aren’t some nice details here or there.

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The spine of the Archfiend has some nice skeletal structure as an example.

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There’s some interesting scale here, as the skeletons are actually bigger than the humans. A lot of that has to do with a slightly oversized skull head. Not that scale is necessarily the most important thing in a line like this.

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There’s a few splashes of paint wash to give him a little color, but it could probably be done a little better. The face is painted pretty well, however, as is the belt buckle.

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The arms, legs and head can be removed. This allows you to swap parts between other figures. Unfortunately a lot of the skeleton parts can’t be swapped onto the human bodies. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, but it’s a shame that things couldn’t have been slightly retooled to allow such stuff to happen.

Articulation:
The articulation is pretty basic in nature, but it’s been revamped enough to allow the legs greater posing than some of the vintage counterparts.

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This definitely adds to the value. You won’t get the loose, floppy legs of yesteryear. Although the vintage skeletons didn’t usually suffer from that.

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I don’t feel the need for wrist swivels as much on this figure as I did about Hercules, but I’m sure articulation junkies may be a bit put off.

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One of the nicest aspects of these figures is that reinforced core, which allows the figures to keep their balance and hold poses pretty tight, even after swapping limbs.

Accessories:
One of the best and worst parts of this figure is the accessories. First, let me be clear, I love the accessories themselves.

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The Archfiend comes with a nice broadsword that really looks like the type of thing you’d find on a barbarian battlefield. The problem is that it doesn’t fit as tightly into the hand as it should. It works better than the other Archfiend’s weapons, but still not that great.

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The shield works okay for me. You can have him hold it in a variety of ways. Of course, he can’t really hold it in the ways you might expect, but I didn’t have too many problems with it. The cod piece or whatever you call it, is nice as well. It’s adjustable so it can be swapped between figures.

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Mixing and matching accessories is one of the best parts of this line. With a little bit of window dressing, you can make the characters really stand out.

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I found that a lot of old TMNT weapons fit into the hands of the Archfiends fine, so it does make me wish that either the hands or the weapons had been retooled for a tighter fit.

Value:
The price will be a sticking point for a lot of folks. That’s why if you’re interested in these guys, I suggest preordering when they go on sale. You can shave a few bucks off the price and that will no doubt greaten your enjoyment of these Realm of the Underworld figures.

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Score Recap:
Packaging – 9
Sculpt/Paint – 6
Articulation – 7
Accessories – 9
Value – 7
Overall: 8

I’m sure I’ll take some heat for my ROTU love, but either you get these guys or you don’t. I really “get” them. Ever since I’ve had them, I have been messing around with them almost daily. I really can’t thank Zoloworld enough for getting these figures into my hands. They are just downright fun retro toys.

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As always, your mileage may vary. I think the general consensus on these ROTU figures has been quite good, but not everyone is a fan. I, however, am looking forward to Wave 2 and beyond! To me this is everything that MOTUC just isn’t anymore.

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