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· 1:6 collector
2,502 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Drive was considered one of the best films of 2011. I am not quite sure I would agree (it was a bit too consistently awkward, gritty, gloomy, and moody for my taste), but it was certainly a serious piece of entertainment imbued with a certain feel and presented by an excellent cast. Now BBK has produced the film's protagonist, the anonymous Driver (Ryan Gosling) as a high-end sixth-scale figure, with enough in the way of outfits and accessories to recreate his signature looks from the film.

Since Michael Crawford seems to be backlogged and since I don't have the time to spend on a super-detailed review and photos, here is a slightly simpler but still detailed review of the figure in hand, with 12 photos. I hope you like it.

1. Packaging: 3/4 stars
The shoebox-type container comes with a thin cardboard outer wrap you have to slide off before opening the box. The front features the product's name ("Drive" rather than the expected "Driver") and a gritty shaded image intended the to remind us of a critical scene from the film. The sides of the wrap show off the figure in two different looks, while the back does the same, but also highlights the five accessories. Nothing too astounding here, but nicely done. The box opens with a little difficulty. It contains a deep black foam tray with its own black foam lid. Everything is very collector friendly, but some of the small accessories had taken a walk around the tray during transportation. Luckily nothing was damaged. Apart from the slightly awkward choice of product name, the wrap cover features a few lines of text that were probably intended to be inspirational, but are utterly undermined by the poor phrasing: "Let's have been rushed forward, fire" and "This is a safeguard the dignity of war, we must continue to fight." Now I don't expect everyone to practice fluent English, but this is too much sloppiness for my taste. Surely if they wanted to bother adding English text, they could have done better than the choppiest machine translation, and there are plenty of people in China (as well as Chinese living abroad) that could have been consulted easily enough to produce something that made better sense and sounded right. As it is, they would have done better to skip these lines altogether.

2. Sculpting: 3.5/4 stars
Overall, the sculpt is very good. By this I mean primarily the head sculpt. Ryan Gosling is a relatively goofy looking handsome bloke, and his features are perhaps difficult to reproduce, yet critical to get right. I am impressed with how well they did. Which is not to say it is perfect. I am not certain I can spot everything that bears to be improved, except for two things: looking at the profile, the nose juts out just a little bit too far forward; in many (though certainly not all) of his facial expressions, Gosling brings his eyebrows a little closer together and upwards, which might have made for a slightly more recognizable look than the one we get here. Overall recognition, as often, depends in part on the angle of viewing and the direction of the light and shading. There is a nice degree of detail, with the minor wrinkles on what was still a pretty young face, a mole on the left side of the face (perhaps a tad exaggerated), and pretty good hair stranding (though not quite a Hot Toys job). The gloved hands and the shoes are sculpted quite well, too.
The figure stands about 12.25 inches tall, which is just a tad taller than it should be (Ryan Gosling is exactly 6 feet tall) and, combined with its slim physique and slightly long arms (probably due to the fact that the gloved hands do not overlap the wrists), this results in a rather lanky look. (For this, see photos further below.)

3. Paint: 3/4 stars
Overall the paint is quite good but not perfect. The eyes are nicely glossy, a good color, but possibly in danger of being very (very!) slightly cross-eyed. The driving gloves feature both leather and bare skin, and while I see no major mistakes, there are areas where the color for the leather does not seem to have quite reached the necessary edge. But these are extremely minor nits to pick. The more noticeable problem area is the hair. The difficulty of painting blond sculpted hair, even dark blond sculpted hair, is well-known. There are essentially three fairly discrete hair color areas here: medium brown on top of the head and most of the sides; a narrower transitional area (with a wash) below it on the sides; and a much lighter area at the bottom of the sides and the sideburns. Now I know that hair is not always even in color and also recognize the difficulty of coloring the "phasing" from very short to slightly longer hair along the back of the head. But the execution still leaves much to be desired, there is no color variation except in the transitional area and the lighter shorter hair at the bottom, and the transitions between the three hair color areas are a little too clean/sharp.

4. Articulation: 3.5/4 stars
The elbows and knees are double-jointed, the waist rotates well, the shoulders are also well-articulated, and there is a decent ab crunch. The ankles work very well too, but probably only because the connection with the "foot" is quite high up inside the shoe. The problems are with the neck and wrists. I imagine that because of the character's short hair, they went with a head with permanently attached neck (which, as often in such cases, also means a greater propensity for giraffe neck syndrome). This means we get one point of articulation for the head and neck instead of two, and it also creates an unsightly visual effect where the neck meets the rest of the body. Given the character's look in the film, that is quite unfortunate. The wrists have theoretically good articulation, but this is slightly impeded by the gloved sculpt of the hands. Moreover, you will need to remove the hands to change outfits, and the wrist pegs require careful heating with a hair dryer: I managed to break one when I first tried to remove a hand, and there are no spares that come with the figure.

5. Accessories: 3/4 stars
The Drive action figure comes with five accessories: LA Clippers baseball cap, sunglasses, wrist watch, hammer, and cell phone.
Of these, the hammer and cell phone are flawless, and while I have seen nice sixth scale hammers, the cell phone is the best and most detailed I have seen in the scale.
The wrist watch is also nicely detailed, but its tiny sculpted plastic buckle is too narrow and too weak: it split on my second attempt to pass the plastic sculpted strap through it; speaking of which, the strap is not quite enough, as the wrist watch needs to go on top of the left hand glove. In most of the photos here, the wrist watch is held together with tape.
The baseball cap is also very nice (with a well-scaled logo of the LA Clippers), and a reasonable size (considering also the constraints of the head sculpt). For cool effect, it has a functional adjustable strap in the back. Which is annoying, because it slipped out while being placed on the head, and it was bloody murder (plus clear nail polish to stiffen it) to plug back into the buckle. Functional straps and buckles look like a good idea, but are not always a very practical solution.
The sunglasses are nicely executed and have translucent lenses, but they are wrong: the sunglasses used in the film were somewhat darker and had larger, rounder lenses.
Let's consider what we do not get with this figure: there are no spare hands, and it would have been nice to have them; all the more so as the gloved right hand we do get is permanently in hammer-holding grip, and also because in the film the character's hands are not always gloved. We also do not get any kind of action figure stand, but that is a much less annoying omission. And here is something that would have been really cool to include: the simple rubber stuntman mask which the Driver wears both on the job and on his revenge mission in the film. I suppose a sixth sale toothpick would have been too much to hope for.

6. Outfit 3.5/4 stars
The Drive action figure comes with the potential for at least three different signature movie looks. These are the all-denim look (which is how you take the figure out of the box, as in the accessories photo above), the white t-shirt look, and (most recognizable of all) the white quilted jacket look. To be sure, there were other looks in the movie (e.g., with a blue t-shirt and with a scorpion-emblazoned black jacket), but this is pretty representative. To get a film-accurate look, you would do well to remove the white t-shirt if you are displaying the action figure with either the denim top or the white jacket closed, as the white t-shirt was usually invisible in such cases onscreen, but pops out over the collar on the figure. The white t-shirt, the belted jeans (with functional pockets) and the denim top (also with functional pockets) are near perfect. However, the buttons on the denim top are on the wrong side. The white jacket looks great (including the scorpion image on its back), but should have been a little bit longer in front, and with deeper pockets. I noticed this while trying to get a hands-in-pockets look (the promotional images for the action figure might have achieved that by removing the hands first). I have discussed the baseball cap in the accessories section above.

7. Fun Factor: 4/4 stars
The variety of outfits, the several appropriate accessories, and the good articulation lend this action figure to plenty of potential fun. It is unlikely that we are going to get any other characters from the film, which would limit the potential for interactive posing (at least within the universe of the film), but this is hardly an inherent problem.

8. Value: 3.5/4 stars
This is a hard one to estimate. On Ebay the figure retails for a range of prices from about $110 to $150 (sometimes including shipping from Asia). This, in itself, is quite good for a high end action figure. Then again, there are the various problems, shortcomings, and oversights noted in the review above. I may be erring on the side of kindness with this rating.

9. Things to watch out for:
The wrist pegs, the watch buckle and strap, the fragility of the sunglasses, the size of some of these small accessories (most notably the phone).

10. Overall: 3.3 (***1/2)
While there were several things I wish were done better or added to this product, and I am tempted to swap the body (on account of the wrist issues) with another, I think this is a pretty good offering of a sixth scale representation of a cool character.


· I've been Minimoyzed
14,304 Posts
Great review :thumb Thanks for sharing.

The head is good, but I think I prefer the DiD SWAT Driver head for accuracy over this one(I wanted the body on that one too, but it sold out fast, and now I just have the head to make a custom figure with). It looks well done. As you mentioned there is a height issue, and I wounder if they shortened the neck just a bit, if it would look better, and more proportionate.

· 1:6 collector
2,502 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you and welcome, cdn_rhino. Yep, you are right, the DiD SWAT Driver head does look a little bit more accurate (which is pretty amazing) than this one and the neck-less K-Hobby one (usually sold "unbranded" on eBay). You are of course right about the neck, but if you will display him with a collar that sticks out above the shoulder line, the giraffe neck might be useful (speaking in general). My personal preference in general is for neck-less head sculpts where the inside neck connector fits a little loosely, allowing for custom positioning.

· Pug Lord
1,244 Posts
Nice review. I especially enjoyed his victory over the Lego Castle. I actually missed this movie when it was out and have never managed to catch it. It's now on my "want to view " list so I can relate to the figure better. Thanks!

· 1:6 Acquisitionist
13,360 Posts
The neck post can be shortened using a Dremel.

A former friend/collector did the same with certain head sculpts where the neck post is a bit too long. He shortened it with a Dremel and then mounted it on a DML style neck post where it would look significantly better without the giraffe appearance.
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