Medicom's Dr. No James Bond
A review

Hey! How about that? I managed to fit those two babes into yet another picture...


This ain't your typical review: If you want to see some more pics of the fully outfitted James Bond, check out Jun Matsui's M's Deck web site.

A few quick notes: I love the facial sculpt, but some might think the expression is a little goofy looking. (As I initially did, but it's a very characteristic Sean Connery/James Bond expression.) However, I wasn't too impressed by the tailoring of the outfit. First, it's a synthetic fabric-- the kind that snags on your cuticles. The jacket has a strange cut, and doesn't hang very naturally, so you have to coax it to look just right. The pant legs are thin; they're not tight because his legs are so long and skinny. It just looks odd, in my opinion. Overall, the outfit doesn't look horrible, or really bad, it just could look better. It reminds me of a Ken doll outfit-- cheap materials and shortcuts--just enough to make it look right. One other observation: The pistol appears to be a large-ish Baretta, not a Walthers PPK... I don't know if that's accurate to the movie, but I always thought he carried a PPK?

For me, the most interesting part of this figure was the "New Combat Joe" body. From what I understand, this is not the same as the original Takara body with a similar name. (per Keiji Goto, DejaNews) I'd previously bought Medicom's Alien and Predator figures, and liked what I saw. This figure let me finally see a "pure" example of Medicom's body design.

From the picture, you can compare the general proportions to the Cotswold "Elite Brigade" and Chronicle Book's "Masterpiece Edition" figures. The size relationship should be fairly accurate too, since I swapped them out at the same location. (Excuse the slighly altered ME, but it was just hanging out at the top of the heap.) This gives you a clue as to why JB's trousers appear so skinny-- the guy's got loooooong legs. This body style is very similar in its articulation layout to the traditional elastic-tensioned Joe, but it's not tensioned by elastic. In some respects, this makes it more like the CC Joe body style, and consequently, can assume a sitting position. Big difference though: all the hinges are tensioned by metal eyelets, and the hard plastic parts are screwed together. This means that you should be able to work on it when it gets loose. It's also a fairly light body, so it seems to stand reliably without external support.

The top picture shows some of their unusual approach to articulation. The neck pin is held in place by a clear plastic peg. The material seems like it might be more brittle than nylon, and it doesn't seem to have the same wear resistance of nylon. Too many removals and insertions might make for a loose fit, but this is just a wild-assed guess. At any rate, the standard remedy for that sort of problem is a wrap of Teflon tape. Also of interest in the top picture is the head-neck connector. You may notice that the neck pin has machining which might indicate that it would mate with a groove on the soft plastic head. But look inside the head's neck: no groove detail. It just slides over the neckpin. It seems sort of lazy-- especially since designing interlocks is fairly standard for mass-production items. I'd expect this from lazy customizers like myself...

The rear view pic gives you a little more insight into the construction. Even the hip joints follow this threaded pin design, which is repeated throughout the figure: it appears on the hands, the elbows, the knees and the feet. One of the unusual things about this is the fact that the pins are rather loose within the threaded holes: Definitely not as tight as the pins in most Joes. This makes the parts easy to remove, and doesn't stress the plastic shell into which they're inserted (the cause of some hairline stress fractures in Joes). The drawback is that it makes the figure feel as if it were rather tentatively assembled. Sort of like the fit of the head on the neck. Neither of these are really drawbacks if you don't consider this a toy that you'd give to your kid to play with. (For the price, I think you'd be wise not to.)

Despite my nitpicking, this is a really neat figure-- hey, it's James Bond, and it really looks like him! It doesn't have quite the "awe" factor of the Alien & Predator figures though, maybe because the total figure can be more easily compared to a standard Joe. Although I consider this body style better than the CC Joe, I still prefer the elastic tensioned body, despite the fact that the ball joint doesn't permit sitting positions. That design just seems more reliable to me, which is an important criteria for a critical joint. As for the tailoring-- the outfit looks right ( I think he looks better without the jacket), as long as you don't nitpick it for esoteric qualities. Having seen quite a bit of really good tailoring, I think I've gotten spoiled.

-Jimbob, 12/20/98

Christmas card of Khadiya & uncle Bruno (head courtesy of F. Tavares): "Season's Greetings and let God sort out the bodies. --Luv, Bruno & Kady"

Last modified: Saturday, January 6, 2001 6:20 PM