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The Lone Ranger - Tonto 1/4 scale
NECA

Tonto Lone Ranger 1/4 scale action figure by NECA


Every preview I see for the new Lone Ranger film just makes me want to see it more. Previews are always a terrible way to judge a movie, but I have to admit that they have me intrigued.

My current favorite company is NECA, due to their willingness to take risks with licenses and formats, and manage to do it in such a way that they still turn a profit. They've been cranking out quarter scale figures for the last few months, and as a lover of the size and style, I have to say I'm very pleased.

The latest releases in this scale are the Lone Ranger and Tonto from the aforementioned summer blockbuster. While I love this scale, I don't need a bunch of characters from the same license - I prefer one here, one there, to make for an eclectic display. I chose Tonto over the Ranger because of the unique look that he has on screen, making him an eye catching addition to the shelf.

These will run you around $85 at most retailers, although I have a new sponsor who has an amazing price of just $69 on this guy. Check out the Where to Buy section at the end for more details.

Packaging - ***
As I said with the smaller figures, I like the desert theme to the packaging, and the large box is just about the right size to house Tonto. You can see him clearly through the window, and the box is very sturdy, able to handle peg and storage wear quite well.

There are an awful lot of twisty ties, and these are the super industrial kind. You could save them and re-wire your house. I highly suggest having a pair of wire clippers handy when you de-box him - it will save you tons of time and frustration.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Tonto Lone Ranger 1/4 scale action figure by NECA
Tonto Lone Ranger 1/4 scale action figure by NECA
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Tonto Lone Ranger 1/4 scale action figure by NECA
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Tonto Lone Ranger 1/4 scale action figure by NECA
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Tonto Lone Ranger 1/4 scale action figure by NECA
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Tonto Lone Ranger 1/4 scale action figure by NECA
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Tonto Lone Ranger 1/4 scale action figure by NECA
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Tonto Lone Ranger 1/4 scale action figure by NECA

Sculpting - ***1/2
This is pretty much the same exact sculpt as the 7" figure, just a whole lot bigger. Therefore, it shouldn't be surprising that I like it quite a bit.

There is something slightly weird going on with his left eye, but I believe that's not a sculpting issue, but rather a problem with the paint. The left eye is sculpted to be slighlty more open, but if they'd got the paint job right, it would have looked like a squint, not an aberration. Therefore, I'll be discussing it in more depth in the next section.

The sculpted, cracked texture on the heavy face paint looks great, and there's a ton of small details in the various aspects of the costume. Beads, feathers, fur, folds, wrinkles, textures - it all looks very realistic and lifelike, even though it's all plastic at heart.

At this scale, you are able to appreciate the work on the small bag, or his long hair, or even the very cool crow, far more than with the 7" figure. The crow is worth special note, and I added a couple extra photos to show off just how well done the features and feathers are.

He's a full 18" tall, fitting in fine scale-wise with other licenses in this style. The hands are sculpted to hold the accessories, and he stands terrific on his own.

Paint - **1/2
Since this figure is an upscale version of a figure I already love, you'd assume I'd love everything about this one too. But the Paint is one category where there can be a ton of variation, even from figure to figure let alone scale to scale.

The paint work here isn't quite as nice, especially on the eyes. They are such a critical area too, since your eye is drawn to them immediately. The left eye is wonky, bigger than the right, and I don't think this is a sculpting issue. I believe that they've oversized the pupil and iris on the right with the paint, making it more googly than the right.

The rest of the paint isn't terrible, but the quality still isn't quite as perfect as I'd like. The silver beads in the hair has lots of slop around the edges, and the paint on the arms has too much of the muddy look, lacking the white that is apparent on the actual character on screen. Perhaps it will look more like this in the actual film, but in the 'making of' special, Tonto has striping on the arms as well. It was hard to see, but it was there.

On the plus side, the face paint looks amazing, and the blue/black highlighting on the crow's feathers is terrific.

Articulation - ***1/2
As I said, this is just a much larger version of the 7" figure, and he has all the same articulation. Considering how well articulated the little guy was, that's pretty impressive.

There's a good ball jointed neck, as well as ball shoulders and hips. They added a 'clicky' feature to the hips though, so that the joint stays in place in deeper stances, even supporting the extra weight of this larger figure.

There's the same pin/disc style knees and hips, a cut waist and ball wrists and ankles as well. The joints make for an excellent combination of articulation and beauty, taking very little away from the overall appearance yet working with maximum mobility.

This is a category that really sets these newer quarter scale figures apart from the older ones from NECA, as well as from companies like McFarlane, Mezco, and SOTA.

Accessories - ***
There are two accessories - the exact same two that the 7" figure has, the tomahawk and knife. The nice thing about this scale is that you can better appreciate the detail work on both of these in terms of sculpt and paint. They look terrific, and both are scaled nicely to fit in either hand. The knife also fits in a small sheath on his belt.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
Pick up the pair, and they can do battle with Hellboy, or Pumpkinhead, or Gollum...the potential backyard battles are endless! The excellent articulation really makes these much better toys than the releases from a few years ago.

Value - **1/2
While $85 is a lot, this is not only a huge quarter scale figure, it's a true quarter scale ACTION figure, with far more articulation than we used to see in this style. That makes the slightly higher price point much easier to take, and a welcome release compared to some of the higher end collectibles in this scale.

Things to Watch Out For -
If you have a store locally where you can buy these, be sure to watch for the best eyes you can find.

Overall - ***
I'm thrilled with NECA right now - they are doing some terrific work across a bunch of licenses. I can't wait to see their Celebrity Simpsons...

Unfortunately, this Tonto has a wonky eyeball. Hopefully, this is a one off situation, created by bad paint work on my figure and not consistent across the line.

Ignoring that issue, you'd get another half star overall. I love the sculpt, and the articulation is outstanding for this style figure.  The work on this figure and Iron Man has me interested in picking up some other quarter scale releases from them in licenses that I might not otherwise go after. That's the kind of reaction I'm sure NECA is hoping for from lots of collectors.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Drakeship has an amazing price at just $69.

- Fanboy Collectibles comes in at $85.

- Alter Ego Comics has him for $85.

- Big Bad Toy Store is also at $85.

- Urban Collector has Tonto and the Lone Ranger as a set for $164.

- Entertainment Earth is another retailer at $85.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Earlier this week, I checked out the 7" versions of both the Lone Ranger and Tonto.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Tonto Lone Ranger 1/4 scale action figure by NECA


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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