I’ve previously reviewed both Barney Ross and Gunner Jensen, and to end this week of Expendables reviews, today I’m taking a look at the Heavy Weapons Specialist of the team, Hale Caesar. In the movies, Hale Caesar is played by Terry Crews, and is brought into the plastic world by Diamond Select Toys. Hale Caesar is one of my favorite characters from the movies, so join me as I take a closer look at the figure and see if it lives up to the character.
|PACKAGING – Hale Caesar comes in a classic style action figure packaging, much different from Diamond Select Toys’ usual large, cumbersome book-end style packaging. We’re given a simple blister displaying the figure within, with the character’s name at the bottom, and the Expendables 2 logo running down the length of the right side of the blister. Just like with the other figures in this line, the logo completely hides some of the accessories for the figure, which I really don’t get. There’s room for the accessories in other areas of the tray, so I’m not sure why they hid them behind that logo. Some people may end up accidentally throwing those away. So be sure to check behind there for the accessories.
The card back incorporates some really cool designs, with bullet holes, and using the Expendables skull logo with weapons for wings. It also has chunks missing from the sides, as if they’ve been blown away. The back shows off all the figures in this series, and gives bios for each character, which is always appreciated. This classic, traditional figure packaging really matches the style of the movie, and I dig that.
SCULPT – I really like Caesar’s sculpt. Just like the other figures, his lower body is completely reused from DST’s older Stargate toy line, but it works here as well. It doesn’t really look out place, especially because he has an all new belt with gun holster and knife sheath attached, as well as some knee pads, that help cover up the older legs and blend them into the character.
His torso is sculpted wearing the exact same flak vest Terry Crews wore in the movie, and his arms are sculpted realistically, without being overdone and match the style of the figure, and he’s got some nifty elbow pads as well.
His head sculpt is an interesting point of discussion, because as seen in these prototype photos, he was originally meant to be without a baseball cap. However, here on the actual figure, they sculpted him with his cap on. I don’t know if they were planning to make it removable, or have alternate heads, but he does have his cap. Customizers might be annoyed by that, but I don’t mind it at all. He wears the cap through most of the movie anyway, especially when he’s geared up for fighting, so it’s character and movie accurate. His face is a good likeness for Terry Crews. It’s not perfect, but you can definitely tell it’s him. Especially around the eyebrows and nose, which are very prominent on Crews’ face.
PAINT – The Expendables are not really a colorfully dressed group of individuals, which can becomes frustrating when you’re trying to paint them and make them pop, but DST was able to do just that. Utilizing black, and various shades of gray, they managed to really make the sculpt of this figure not only stand out, but look realistic.
His pants look dusty, and the bottom of the pants legs look to have dirt on them, thanks to the paint job here. His arms are a realistic flesh tone that matches Terry Crews rather well, and there’s some good subtle variation in them as well. There’s a good wash on them that has some areas being lighter or darker than others, which is very realistic. After all, nobody’s skin is just one solid color. And, unlike Gunner, Hale Caesar actually includes his tattoo on his right bicep. It’s a skull with a raven sitting on top with the word “EXPENDABLE” below it. It looks great and just like the tattoo he sports in the movie.
His neck and face have the same flesh tone, and his head in particular looks really good. The eyes are correctly aligned and look good, and his eyebrows and beard are painted on really well, and his lips are a different color from his skin. There’s also some good skin tone variation in his face as well. The baseball cap is painted great, and it has crisp lines where it meets Caesar’s head. He has some stray black paint smeared across the fingers on his left hand, but other than that there’s no paint flaws on the figure.
ARTICULATION – Hale Caesar has a ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivels, single elbows, wrist cuts, waist swivel, cut hips, thigh swivels, and single knees. It’s the exact same articulation model as the other figures.
His upper body is great for posing, and is able to hold his accessories naturally and look awesome doing so. There’s no ab crunch, but I’m ok with that. It wouldn’t make sense anyway considering he’s wearing that flak vest. His lower body is the only problem with his posability. If he had hinged hips and ankle joints, you could get a lot more poses out of him. Even with hinged hips there would be more posing options. But with the way the figure is, you’re only going to get 2, maybe 3 good poses out of the legs. The articulation there is mostly for balancing, but if you’re clever you can make them look good.
ACCESSORIES – Hale Caesar comes with three accessories: his signature shotgun, a pistol, and a knife. He’s able to hold both guns with no problems, though his knife can really only be held in his left hand, as his right hand is too open.
The pistol he comes with is an M1911, the same style that the characters carried in the movie. His shotgun is an AA-12 styled shotgun, and is referred to as the most powerful firearm in the world. It’s no wonder he loves using it. It looks great, and incredibly movie accurate. The barrel of mine came out warped though, so you may have to bust out the hair dryer to reset it. But it’s very awesome getting his signature weapon.
The knife he comes with isn’t his at all though, which is weird. The only knife he uses in the movie is a custom Straight Razor. The knife the figure comes with looks like it would be more at home with the Gunner Jensen figure. The grip and hand guard’s designs come from the one Gunner uses in the movie, while the blade is shaped more like the one Toll Road uses. It’s a very strange thing they did with this knife. Not only is it not Caesar’s knife, but it’s a mix of two different knives. It should be with Gunner Jensen, but Gunner comes with Barney Ross’s knife, and Barney Ross doesn’t even have anywhere on him to sheath the knife. Very confusing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome that he comes with more weapons, I just wish he came with his signature straight razor, and not Gunner’s knife.
You can also remove his belt, knee pads, and elbow pads. The knee pads just clasp together and can be easily removed, and the elbow pads can be slid off the arm. His belt just clasps at the buckle and slides off easily. You can also remove the watch he comes with if you pop his hand off. You might have to heat it up first to soften it, but with Caesar I was able to pop his hand off no problem by itself and slide the watch off. Very cool that you get these options with this figure.
FUN – Hale Caesar is a really fun figure. He’s not only fun to pose with the others, but he’s fun by himself as well. With the different weapons and display options, he’s awesome. And this guy is like a realistic looking, 7″ G.I. Joe figure. I love it. I mean, he’s the Heavy Weapons Specialist of the Expendables. Hale Caesar might as well be Heavy Duty from G.I. Joe. And it’s just very fun having a figure of a character from a movie you love so much.
QUALITY CONTROL/THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR – Nothing with this figure specifically, though be wary when you pick him up. Look for the best looking one on the pegs, because I had to go through three on the shelf until I found one with a good paint job. The others all had some weird, very noticeable paint flaw. So just watch out for that.
OVERALL – The sculpt of this figure is awesome. The paint job is great, save for the paint smear on his fingers. I love how they included his tattoo though. The articulation leaves some to be desired in the legs, but is great in the upper body. His accessories are really cool, except for the knife. That one does irk me quite a bit. I mean with figures my motto is “the more accessories, the better”, but I like them to be character accurate. Caesar has a very distinguishable blade he uses and this isn’t it. So yeah, that part does bother me and does hurt the figure overall in my opinion, along with the lack of leg articulation.
It’s still very cool though, and hopefully indicative of more Expendables figures to come. I hope DST releases more, at least the main 6 guys. We just need Toll Road, Yin Yang, and Lee Christmas to finish that out. Any other characters beyond that is just gravy to me.
I also really feel that a 3 3/4″ line of these characters could work. I know I keep comparing them to G.I. Joe, but if you watch the second film’s opening scene and look at those very distinct vehicles they’re driving, they look like something out of G.I. Joe. Someone should definitely capitalize on that. But I digress.
Hale Caesar is an ok figure, but DST definitely missed the mark with the accessories and articulation. I doubt if there are any more figures in the series the articulation will change, but hopefully from now on the accessories will be 100% character accurate, except maybe one of them will also come with Caesar’s Straight Razor as an extra pack-in.
If you’re a fan of the movies, you might like this figure despite the flaws. It’s a cool display piece of the character from the movie, and he’s really good for guarding your Old Spice products. However, as an action figure it’s only ok.
FINAL SCORE: 3 / 5
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Be sure to check out these extra photos below that couldn’t fit in the review.