The GeeksverseREVIEW | Azog (The Bridge Direct)

REVIEW | Azog (The Bridge Direct)
Published on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 by
Now that the holidays are over, I am catching up on my lapsed action figure reviews. Hit the jump for my take on The Bridge Direct’s Azog figure, based on the character from Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Our Editor-in-Chief received a promotional copy of this awesome figure right before the Thanksgiving holiday from the nice folks at The Bridge Direct. However, between holiday distractions and other miscellany I have not had the opportunity to devote the proper time and attention to this sweet one-armed SOB. Now that I have elbowed my way into some free time, I am devoting my efforts to getting caught up.

I do want to insert a disclaimer here; I am not overly familiar with The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, so I am hoping any inaccuracies herein are not met with me receiving a colonoscopy with the Torch of Gondor from our more well-versed readers.

Design

The Azog figure stands at a standard 6″ in height, and bears an exacting resemblance to the character as portrayed in the recently-released film. However, there are enough differences in the sculpt from the CGI model (primarily in the facial structure) that I would surmise that The Bridge Direct chose to hand-sculpt the figure as opposed to exclusively relying on the CGI masters. This alone is deserving of props in my book, as I believe many other manufacturers would not have taken this artisan approach. The trade-off is a more square-jawed and human appearance as opposed to the almost feral look of the on-screen character. His trademark scarring is present in the sculpt, with his pale-hued skin recreated with some subtle variations of gray and white tones.

Azog has all of the leather adornments present and crafted in detail, with the inclusion of what appear to be faces emerging from the loincloth. I tried to do some research on the character to see if I could determine why he appears to have tortured souls trapped within his man-skirt, but found nothing. Either way I thought it was a clever touch. His mace and funky gimp hand are also intricately detailed both in sculpt and paint applications, with the prosthetic hand having an authentic looking metallic appearance. It definitely makes Captain Hook come off as rather weaksauce and pedestrian by comparison. His boots are similarly done in a manner that convincingly conveys the leather and metal materials.

Construction

Azog is crafted out of plastic resin, of similar quality to comparable collector-oriented figures on the market. The joints are durable and pleasantly stiff so that posing and stability are a non-issue. He features an impressive 23 points of articulation, however this is significantly hampered in the hip area by the aforementioned “loincloth of slack-jawed tortured souls.” This means that while the upper body is fairly articulated, the legs need to remain relatively straight taking away the complexity of poses available. The weapons and accessories did not have the fragile feel sometimes expected from collector-oriented figures, and Azog overall seems to be solid and durable.

Conclusion

While The Hobbit and related properties are not necessarily my can of Red Bull, I can always appreciate a quality action figure. Azog is a faithful representation of the movie character, and is all around well made. My solitary criticism would be of the hindered articulation in the hips, but this is more to do with the character design than the sculpt. If you are a Tolkien fan this is a solid pick up. And now I leave you with the blank, soulless stare of the crotch ghost:

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