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Astrid, Dark Elf (both Elder Scrolls) and DOOM Space Marine
Symbiote Studios

Skyrim and Doom action figures by Symbiote Studios


I'm writing this review while kicking back in a park in Noblesville, Indiana on the fourth of July. I hope all the Americans reading this, wherever in the world you might be, had a terrific holiday. And to everyone else, while it might have just been another Thursday, I hope your day was great too.

Symbiote Studios has been doing various unique and unusual products for several years now. They've recently released several of their small designer vinyl figures based on video game licenses, and tonight I'm checking out two from Elder Scrolls (Astrid and a Dark Elf), as well as one from the classic DOOM, a Space Marine.

These guys can be picked up direct from Symbiote for $15 each, or your local comic shop may be carrying them.

Packaging - ***
The package is pretty straight forward - a small box, with the figure and accessories inside in a sealed bag. There's no waste due to over sized packaging, which is a good thing in our current times. And while it's pretty basic, the box is colorful and includes some decent character specific text.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Astrid Skyrim action figure by Symbiote Studios
Doom action figure by Symbiote Studios
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Skyrim action figure by Symbiote Studios
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Doom action figure by Symbiote Studios
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Skyrim action figure by Symbiote Studios
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Doom action figure by Symbiote Studios

Sculpting - ***1/2
While all three of these are based on the same 3" scale base bodies, they add detail to them with paint and accessories.

I like this basic body too, with its no frills approach. It works across licenses easily, and they sell DIY versions so you can paint and create your own characters.

As I said, these are small, coming in at around 3" for the base body. Something like the Dark Elf, with his big horns, comes in closer to 3 1/2" tall.

The majority of the sculpting is on the accessories and helmets, where they have an appropriate amount of detail, considering the overall style. The large head and stubby arms can make it tricky to get the accessories into the hands in all poses, but you'll find some looks that work.

Paint - **1/2
Much of the paint work here is done with tampos, particularly the faces and eyes. The work is straight and even, but I did notice some nicks and scratches right out of the package.

Where there is traditional paint ops, like on the helmets, there's some slop around the edges. At this price point, it really needs to be a bit cleaner.

Articulation - **1/2
These are small figures, done in the designer vinyl style, so you aren't expecting a ton of articulation. The neck is a cut joint that can turn, and the shoulders are cuts as well. That's it.

The shoulders might be tough to move at first - mine were paint stuck. A little pressure should free them up though, or you can us some hot water.

Since the Space Marine is wearing a helmet that encloses his face and head, you can tilt that helmet to give the impression of the head being tilted.

Accessories - Doom, Dark Elf ***; Astrid **
I'm going to pretend that I received the Blade of Woe with my Astrid. It was supposed to be in there, but sadly, it was not. That's very likely to be a one off issue though, more so than most, and the odds you won't get one are pretty slim.

Even with the sword, she's still pretty light, especially when compared to her two partners here. The Space Marine comes with his large removable helmet, and his classic BFG. The Dark Elf does even better, with the sword, shield and intricate removable helmet.

While the sculpts and paints are reasonable, one negative across the board is the very soft, very rubbery material they've used for the weapons. If you live any place warmer than say...Alaska...these are going to melt and droop right in their hands on your shelf.

Fun Factor - ***
While they aren't super articulated, the inclusion of the weapons and the cool helmets make them quite a bit more fun for kids and collectors alike.

Value - **
These are on sale right now through the Symbiote store for $15, but even at that price, it's a bit much. You can bet that the production runs are low, but the bodies are all the same, making it hard to justify the price tag.

Things to Watch Out For -
Those soft weapons can tear easily, so take some extra care.

Overall - Dark Elf, Doom ***; Astrid **1/2
I like the basic vinyl figure body that Symbiote uses, and these are certainly licenses that lend themselves to the style. I particularly like the look of the Dark Elf, and my son loves him. He already has the earlier released Dragonborn figure, and was thrilled to add this one to his shelf.

Of course, for us old school gamers, the DOOM figure brings back fond memories. It would be great if we could get a shelf full of these little guys, commemorating more of the classic games.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - Doom, Dark Elf ***; Astrid **
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **
Overall - Dark Elf, Doom ***; Astrid **1/2

Where to Buy -
Your best bet to grab these is directly from Symbiote Studios where they are currently on sale for $15 each.

Related Links -
Other cool products from Symbiote includes the Dr. Tran bobble heads, the Super Meat Boy vinyl figures, the large Monkey Island statue, the zombie head cookie jar, and the excellent Sam and Max large statue.

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

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Doom action figure by Symbiote Studios


This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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