Zartan (2012 Retaliation)
Is Zartan going to look like this in the new movie?! Uh, no. By all appearances, the master of disguise is going to look like Jonathan Pryce for most of the movie. I’m bummed that the filmmakers haven’t been able to throw even a little nod to the character’s iconic look. Sure, the 80’s style is kind of out-there, what with the hood and armored belly shirt. Then again, look at what Sideshow has done with bringing an updated design to the table. In the live action movies, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow and now Cobra Commander have some resemblance to their toy counterparts, so why does Mr. Z get the shaft?
The fact that the first series of Retaliation figures were fast tracked to market was our gain, as the figures ended up as interesting designs not dependent on a movie aesthetic. So here, instead of an old white guy in a suit, we got a figure that closely resembles the Renegades version of the character. I’d call that a win-win. There are some differences from the animated version, most notably the addition of long gloves and boots. The overall look is more lanky than the on-screen Zartan, who was a bit of a stocky fellow. It would have been a cool touch for the figure to feature a sort of clear holographic look to the arms and legs, but the lack of a perfect rendition isn’t a big deal.
The accessory complement is impressive, and both the scabbard and quiver can attach to his back. Extra heads are also included, though their use is limited when the hood is placed over them. The Snake Eyes head is the best of the four included, and I really like the style of the visor.
Poseability is a mixed bag, as were many of the initial Retaliation figures. Zartan lacks ankle and double jointed knee articulation. Neither of which bother me all that much; in fact it could have been worse (see any Retaliation driver figure).