|Ringwraith Bust Review Capsule
|One of many, many 1/4 scale polystone collectible busts from Sideshow Collectibles. Since it's really just a costume without a human face to reproduce, it makes the translation to this medium particularly well and is sure to please those who enjoy such things. MSRP $65.00, worth snagging if this is your bag.
Statues are an interesting beast, as they allow you to have a single nice big piece that's usually fairly high quality instead of a smaller, if often just as interesting, action figure. While the statues usually allow for a better likeness, what can one expect when there is no likeness? Authentic reproductions of helmeted characters have proven quite popular with Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings has managed to capture the look and feel of a headless cloth hood with this Ringwraith Bust.
The most amazing thing is not that they managed to capture the look and feel of cloth in a rocky material, but that they managed to give a hood some personality. We should note that, in person, the bust appears black but due to our lighting, it seems slightly more grey here.
It's moving. It's thinking. Perhaps it's smelling the air for halflings. When dealing with a costume, it's easy just to make a bland reproduction of the suit and leave it at that, but in this case Sideshow-Weta managed to capture some of the bloodhound-like qualities of the character that helps make this a sinister bust and not just a hood.
It's a fairly nicely sized piece, roughly eight inches tall. For comparison, it comes up just below the shoulder on a 12" action figure but feels far more massive as it's a solid piece.
As usual with busts, you don't get a complete figure, nor do you get a figure that's complete from the waist-up. You get the head and shoulders as well as the right hand, which is holding the cloak around the neck. It's a great pose, but as a spoiled rotten fan I like to get as much of the figure as possible. It would have been nice to have part of the left arm, but apparently that goes against the design aesthetic.. and probably raises the cost. Regardless, as is, it's a nice piece filled with the kind of detail you'd expect at this price point without any shortcuts. At least, not as far as we could tell.
The bottom of the base, which looks like wood but isn't, lists the film, copyright information, and the sculptor. We at 16bit.com love to see who is responsible for making our collectibles, so we can go out of our way to thank them if and when we have the chance. Today, we would like to give a shout-out to Brigitte Wuest for her work on a job well done.
Like most FOTR-era merchandise, it comes in a green box.
There's a foam insert along with some paperwork inside, nothing really of great importance and certainly nothing to warrant an added photograph. Since the box really only serves as a device to transport the item, it really doesn't need to be much, and it's not a particularly exciting design. It does the trick, though, but certainly doesn't highlight the item like the window boxes that Sideshow used for their Star Trek busts do.
This item is available directly from Sideshow and a variety of other sources. Shop around if you're so inclined.
While the Wraith is one of my favorite designs, it's not exactly a hard one to reproduce as a collectible. This piece is a magnificent replica of a very striking item, but it doesn't have the ornate detail work that a helmet might have, or a face like you might see on Sam or Frodo. Regardless, there's a lot to like here. If you look into the hood, you can see the armor just below the neck-- there aren't any shortcuts being taken here, and the final piece is quite impressive even at $65.00. If you need a gift for someone, or need the ultimate desk decoration, this is something you should consider. Of course, there's always a $7 action figure as well, which doesn't have the same weight or shelf presence... but it is 90% cheaper.
This is a good piece well worth tracking down if you have the means and a place to put it. And, of course, no pets to destroy it. It's nice and hefty, but not so big as to be a burden. Despite the fact that it's expensive, it does feel worth the money for what it is.
Reviewed and photographed by Adam Pawlus
Sample received on December 20, 2003
Reviewed on December 22, 2003.