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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It took me a long time to decide that I wanted to collect the bounty hunters from Empire Strikes Back. It was not until relatively recently that I got my first Boba Fett, and I felt like a typical fan boy for getting him; at the time I had no plans to get further bounty hunters. But reading reviews (like Michael Crawford's reviews of Sideshow's IG-88, Bossk, and 4-LOM) gradually eroded my restraint. Of course, I arrived late at the gate, and had to look for each of these on the secondary market, where they were being sold for generally inflated prices. In my effort to economize, I picked up the Medicom 4-LOM, although I realized it would be smaller than the standard sixth-scale figures. Although he was indeed a bit shorter on film, he really did not fit in. So I ended up getting the Sideshow figure anyway. What to do with two 4-LOMs? A comparative review, of course!

Here they are, side by side:


The most obvious difference is that, although both figures are supposed to be sixth-scale, they have a very different stature. Medicom's 4-LOM (2011, part of their Real Action Heroes line) stands just under 11 inches (28 cm) tall; Sideshow's 4-LOM (2016) stands 12 inches (30 cm) tall. Compared to average sixth-scale figures, the former is too short, the latter perhaps just a tad too tall for what it should be (but it fits in far better overall). But there are plenty of additional differences, and the advantage does not always lie with Sideshow's 4-LOM.

In terms of articulation, Medicom has more limited leg articulation at the hips and features non-articulated (I think) elbows. Sideshow's legs are still fairly limited in their range of movement, but their articulation is better; better yet, the elbows here are articulated, and the pistons slide along their grooves as they are supposed to (unlike those on Sideshow's earlier C-3PO, which would rather snap and break than budge).

In terms of paint, overall, Medicom's 4-LOM has the more striking appearance, due to the more emphatic use of rust-like weathering on that figure. Compared to the actual appearance of the character on film (HERE and HERE), Medicom has exaggerated, while Sideshow has understated, the weathering: the "truth" lies somewhere in-between. A close look at the weathering on the Medicom figure reveals a rather abstract, artsy painting of the rusty areas that does not look realistic; but from a little distance it creates a much more striking and worn effect than the restrained paint job on the Sideshow figure. (I should note that there is more rusting/weathering on the Sideshow figure than readily apparent in the photos, but it is certainly less impressive than what we see on the Medicom figure.) The rather organic-looking metal (?) sections of the head are painted more silverish on the Medicom figure, and darker on the Sideshow one. Here the Medicom figure is perhaps more faithful to the film appearance of the character. That is certainly the case with the dark paint used on the Medicom figure for the indented round "tip" of the "nose" and the four "nostrils." On the other hand, the translucent green crushed-glass appearance of the "eyes" on the Sideshow figure is both more accurate and more striking than the green-painted "eyes" of the Medicom figure; Sideshow's translucent "eyes" appear to have a reflective backing on the interior, and "glow" when hit by the light.



In terms of sculpting, there are plenty of minor differences. Many of these are difficult to verify due to the scant availability of images of the movie character, and I do not know what reference material was available to Medicom and Sideshow, respectively, and what (if anything) their sculptors created from their own imagination. There are minor differences in the sculpting of the organic-looking head (with greater detail and depth in the Medicom sculpt); the shoulder joint circles on the Medicom figure have a multi-grooved surface as opposed to a plain surface on the Sideshow figure; the five raised sections on the upper-back panel have a different relief on the two figures; the Sideshow figure has a little raised disk at the end of the spine and a raised circle on the upper thigh; the hands on the Sideshow figure have fairly plain insides, whereas those on the Medicom figure have 14 raised rectangular bumps (for better grip?) each -- I don't know if this is movie-accurate, but is certainly the more interesting hand sculpt by far. The exposed mid-section of both figures shows nicely sculpted and painted wires: those on the Medicom figure are more striking, but those on the Sideshow one are a separately sculpted layer hanging over a ribbed background. There may be additional minor differences I have overlooked of forgotten to mention.

In terms of accessories, both figures come with a limited but reasonable range. Both have stands and one partly articulated weapon (as with the body, the Medicom one has more impressive -- or should I say expressive -- weathering, but it is also shorter and less sturdy). The Medicom figure only has the two relaxed hands that come on the body; the Sideshow figure comes with two pairs of interchangeable hands: relaxed and gun grip ones (these last come on the figure).

Overall, except for the eyes, I find the Medicom figure the more striking one. However, the translucent/glowing eyes, taller stature, and articulated elbows on the Sideshow figure make me prefer (and keep) it. The beautiful little Medicom is earmarked for a friend. But before he goes, he gets to star in his mini vignette:





Hope you enjoyed the little comparative review and photos. And maybe it will help you decide which (if any) of the two figures you might prefer.
 

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I too have a collection of Star Wars Bounty Hunters, which includes the SideShow 4-LOM. I don't think it is a great figure but necessary for a collection of the ESB bounty hunters. The eyes are very special on it though and do put it a cut above the other 4-LOM figures which are to be found. I am waiting on the upcoming Dengar release now, and possibly their Zuckuss too when it come out, although I have a modified Hasbro Zuckuss that I am quite happy with, so may not bother with that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you cdn_rhino and Paul!

cdn_thino -- good luck picking it up for a decent price. Since I experimented with getting the Medicom one first, I waited so long that the Sideshow one sold out from Sideshow and had to look for it on eBay. Luckily, I found it used for a price that was not quite as astronomical as it might have been. Also, I forgot to note that there is a common issue with the neck of the figure, which does not want to turn much; my used one had no such problems, as its previous owner had forced or broken it, and so now it can rotate completely. ;)

Paul -- I know, your collection is one of the factors that inspired me to collect the bounty hunters. I too am waiting on Sideshow's Dengar and Zuckuss (have them preordered). For now, the Hasbro versions are filling in. Someone in Britain customized a Hasbro Dengar, mounting it on a higher end body and hollowing up the head sculpt so that the bandages and turban fit over a separate head; anyway, it looks quite decent and it's being sold on eBay. Hasbro's Zuckuss is really quite decent and even impressive (like the weathered leather-like cloak) by itself, but I think the head is very big (no surprise there) and the detail on the eyes seems rather remedial to me, which is why I decided I will be going for the Sideshow on that one too.
 

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They're both really nice! I just use my Hasbro one as all he has to do is stand there and have his blaster rifle ("no disintegrations!" Nerdy fact: Disintegrator weapons were actually illegal under Imperial law) rested against his hand.. can't do that a lot of the time but a stand helps!
 

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Paul -- I know, your collection is one of the factors that inspired me to collect the bounty hunters. I too am waiting on Sideshow's Dengar and Zuckuss (have them preordered). For now, the Hasbro versions are filling in. Someone in Britain customized a Hasbro Dengar, mounting it on a higher end body and hollowing up the head sculpt so that the bandages and turban fit over a separate head; anyway, it looks quite decent and it's being sold on eBay. Hasbro's Zuckuss is really quite decent and even impressive (like the weathered leather-like cloak) by itself, but I think the head is very big (no surprise there) and the detail on the eyes seems rather remedial to me, which is why I decided I will be going for the Sideshow on that one too.
Yeah, I am tempted by Zuckuss, and I understand the short comings of the Hasbro, but if it comes down to only getting one it will be Dengar. A lot will depend on how available they are in the UK, as I believe both are limited to 2000 pieces as was 4-LOM. I know of one UK dealer that has them advertised as "coming soon", but they don't do preorders. I could pre order from Sideshow, but then as anything over a value of £15 gets taxed coming into the UK from the states, I would get hit with 20% VAT (UK version of sales tax), probably import duty, and almost certainly a handling fee for the privilege of having to pay the duty on it. That would probably add another £100 or so to the cost for me.
I gave my Hasbro Zuckuss head a blast of matt clear paint from a rattle can and repainted some of the details. Also used a couple of washes on the eyes to get them looking better.
I saw the Dengar on eBay that you mentioned but, already having my stock Hasbro with a bit of a repaint on the backpack I am happy to wait for the SideShow release.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you, shovelchop81!

Paul - I agree. If you have to get only one, Dengar is the better choice -- here the Sideshow product (if one may judge by the prototype) is a big improvement on Hasbro's, whereas the Hasbro Zuckuss already looks quite decent. Besides, he is very much a background character (and, unlike Dengar, you don't need to worry about human features with him). But from my own recent experience with going for the bounty hunters late, if you do decide you will want a Sideshow Zuckuss eventually, you better decide sooner rather than later; these do sell out, and increase in price (even when not completely new/mint). Good luck either way!
 
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