Cylon Centurion Warrior (Silver)
Review by Sanjeev
...As the Reimagined Series draws to a close this month, let's take a moment to appreciate what has come before...
Mmm...can't beat that John Williams score...
Established toy retailer, Amok Time, has been involved in producing their own toys for some time now, and we're proud to have had the chance to review just a handful of them on CDX. About a year ago, when they announced that they were going to produce a series of 1/6 dolls from the classic 1978 television series, Battlestar Galactica, in their MONSTARZ line, I flipped!
I grew up watching the original BSG in syndication, and I always loved the Cylon's mechanical shock troopers, the Centurions. Their uniform, chromed look and menacing reciprocating red eye put them way ahead of Star Wars' Stormtroopers in my book! Oh, and their monotone robotic voice? Killer! Eat your heart out, Soundwave!
Granted, these dudes were just about as foppish as Stormtroopers: sure, they looked cool...but with a gun, they couldn't hit the broadside of a Basestar! But, hey, what can ya do? If Centurions were actually capable of taking out main characters effectively, you'd have...well...SciFi Channel's Reimagined Series.
The figure comes in a very nice, lidded window box shown above. The cardboard is thick and the graphics are glossy. The cover stays shut with the help of a couple velcro patches, and opening it reveals the doll, stand, and accessories, along with a brief synopsis of the first episode of the show on the inside of the lid.
Once you crack this sucker open, you have to wrestle with a few twist-ties and a couple clear elastic bands...and you've got yourself a 12-inch scourge of the galaxy!
In all its chrome toaster glory, the Centurion is exactly what you'd frakin' expect. Shiny. Menacing. Tough to photograph. ;)
This toy looks superb! Essentially, what we have is a typical-quality 1/6 ball jointed doll (BJD) wearing a stretchy black nylon suit. This suit has several velcro connection patches sewn onto it. The chrome armor bits slide onto the limbs or attach to these patches. And, oh, is that chrome gorgeous!? Some sprue bits are visible on the edges of the armor pieces, but it's very minor.
The boots and hands are molded in a very dense, but slightly flexible hard plastic. The sculpt detail on them is perfect. The arms feature flexible, ribbed sheaths around the elbows and chrome guards around the upper- and forearms. The legs have similar shiny vinyl covers that fit over the upper legs. Chrome armor bits rest over the calves, on top of the boots.
The backpack looks great--it perfectly captures the somewhat hunched appearance these soldiers had in the original show. Also, hanging from the back of the belt is a metal skirt brilliantly mimmicking the chainmail worn in the show. I swear, my girlfriend has earrings made of this stuff!
Now let's look at the accessories. First, the figure comes with a nice doll stand. Unfortunately, it's not adjustable: the support bar and flexible metal "tongs" are set at a height just above the Centurion's belt. That's fine, though--these dudes weren't exactly spry in the old show!
Honestly, the stand isn't even all that necessary. The figure has very solid hip and knee joints (and no ankle joints at all!), so he's very stable.
Next up, we have the weapons. The most common Centurion weapon was their rifle: a dopey-looking affair with a clear, light-up "barrel" at the end. This rifle, along with its short bayonet, is reproduced very nicely in this scale. The plastic is very matte, with a tiny bit of speckled silver applied to make it look worn. The barrel is, indeed, clear plastic.
The pistol is very similar in style and finish to the rifle--only no clear plastic tip...it's painted silver. The chrome sword is really just ornamental-only. I vaguely remember a Centurion drawing its sword once in a classic ep, but I always just assumed they were there to intimidate the Cylons' fleshy enemies. And appropriately enough, the handle on this toy version is far too narrow to fit in the doll's hands!
One thing to note about the sword, however, is that there's a peg right at the guard (on the opposite side shown in the pic above) that fits into a hole on one of the chrome plates adorning the Centurion's belt. With the chrome coat, the peg is WAY too thick to fit into this hole--I had to scrape off the chrome coating with a hobby knife to get it to attach properly. No biggie.
Next up, articulation! Unfortunately, this is probably where the toy loses the most points. If you're familar with BJDs, they can get a bit fiddly...especially with a lot of clothing/accessories attached to their bodies. The Centurion is no exception.
The shoulders can achieve a wide range of motion, but they're a tad looser than I'd like. Sometimes, when extending out one arm, and then adjusting some armor that's out of place somewhere else on the doll, the arm will flop back down. That's par for the course with BJDs, however. They're not so much meant to be played with as much as posed and put back on your shelf.
Anyway, when you're not shaking the thing around, the shoulders keep their pose fine. The elbows fare less well, though: those bendy vinyl sheaths aren't that bendable. The elbow joints are fine, but they're not strong enough to resist those sheaths flexing back to their original shape.
The wrists and neck just rotate: no ball-joint.
There is a double-jointed waist, but it's a bit awkward underneath all the armor (again, a flexible vinyl sheath) and the belt. It can get floppy at times, but it's not much of an issue.
The hips have a fantastic range of motion, and they're really sturdy. They have detents, but they're very coarse...so, when clicking the legs forward or backward at the hips, they rotate through quite a distance before locking into position. The knees are strong as well, and also have wide detents. Unfortunately, much of this added articulation is wasted because of one major omission: ankle joints. So, if you place the legs in any kind of action pose, the feet won't be flat with the ground and the figure won't be able to stand.
Sure, you can use the doll stand, but remember: its height can't be adjusted, so either the legs have to be more or less straight enough to reach the ground, or your "action pose" will make it look like it's flying! Again, these dudes weren't known for athleticism in the old show, so I'm not really all that bothered.
Overall, I'm very pleased with this figure. My only criticisms were regarding the articulation, but the reality is that this toy has all the flexibility of your typical BJD. And besides, you can easily achieve all the "classic" Cylon poses with no problem! Still...I may try to figure out a way to replace the elbow sheaths with something more flexible. Adding just that small amount of articulation would do wonders for posing the Centurion with its weapons.
If I could magically have my way, I'd have worked electronics into this toy. I'd add a red LED mounted on a tiny motor in the head to replicate the reciprocating red eye. Second, I'd definitely add a sound chip that played back classic Centurion lines in that crazy modulated voice! Ah, to dream...
Please...save a Centurion from forgotten obscurity!
Anyway, in the final analysis, this is one of the few toys of the classic BSG Cylon Centurion that actually features chrome armor and looks as fantastic as these guys did on the small screen. For that reason alone, you should pick one of these up from Amok Time Toys today!
|Posted 5 March, 2009 - 15:06 by Sanjeev|