Monkey Man

July 3, 2009 | By | Reply More


Monkey Man, Indiana Jones®, Raiders of the Lost Ark®, Hasbro, Action Figure Review

Monkey Man, Indiana Jones®, Raiders of the Lost Ark®, Hasbro, Action Figure Review

Indiana Jones coming back to the big screen has given Hasbro a reason to give us new Raider’s figures.  If you’ve visited the site before, you’ll know that I’m a pretty big fan of the vintage Kenner Indiana Jones line.  I will say that I don’t have a complete collection.  I don’t have a complete Well of Souls or Ceremonial Belloq.  Also, I don’t have any pieces of the Streets of Cairo set.

The Streets of Cairo set featured a cart and market place accessories.  It also came with the “Monkey Man.”  The mysterious figure that spies on Indy as he tries to outwit the Germans.  The Monkey Man accomplished his mission by using a monkey with a sweet tooth.

In the vintage line, Kenner apparently figured kids wouldn’t buy MM by himself.  So they turned him into a deluxe figure.

In today’s world, even characters with 10 seconds of screen can make a single carded release.  So, this time around Monkey Man makes his appearance without all the fruit and baskets.

Monkey Man, Indiana Jones®, Raiders of the Lost Ark®, Hasbro, Action Figure ReviewAppearance:

The Indy films are full of actors playing multiple parts and the Monkey Man is no different.  The Monkey Man was portrayed by 
Vic Tablian
, who also portrays the duplicitous guy who tries to shoot Indy in the back during the opening sequence. I’m sure that was done to save money, but it also pays tribute to the serials the Indy films were inspired by.

This figure reminds of a guy you would find in a 40’s swashbuckling film.  The sneaky backstreet informant or pickpocket.  Of course, that’s what he is.  He’s an average one-eyed guy in robes trying to make a buck.

The outer robe looks pretty close to the screen version.  The horizontal stripes are the right approximate thickness, or at lest close enough at this scale.  The only real issue with it, is MM had a bit of a cuff on each of his sleeves.  That may have been a continuity thing, though. Present in the pictures I found, but not in other scenes. The under robe looks okay at first glance.  There are a couple of things that kind of strange about it.  First, it would have been nice if the neck was sculpted slightly open.  It would have made it look that much more real.  Second, the stripes are off on this portion of his costume.  They’re a little larger than the film version, and also the colors are a bit off.  Again, at this scale, they’re not bad.

The strangest thing about the under robe is it’s design.  It’s glued to his front like an apron. I’m sure this was done to cut down on expense and bulk.  But, it makes for one odd looking figure when you take his outer robe section off.

Monkey Man, Indiana Jones®, Raiders of the Lost Ark®, Hasbro, Action Figure ReviewThese couple of picture will give the customizing crowd an idea of what they have to work with under the robes.  I was thinking without the outer robe, he might be able to become a Cairo Henchman variation.  That’d be more work than a simple repaint, however.  When I saw the figure in the package, I thought Hasbro had re-used Fireside Padme’s scarf.  It’s not, but it I had to find her to be sure.

In this case, the scarf doesn’t have the cut in the back to get it on and off, which is a huge improvement.  However, I don’t recall him having a scarf like that.  Maybe some small tied cords orsomething, but not this little brother choking monstrosity.

Monkey Man, Indiana Jones®, Raiders of the Lost Ark®, Hasbro, Action Figure ReviewThe paint work over all is good.  With all of the stripes on this figure, it could have went horribly wrong.  For the most part the stripes look okay.  The tops of the arms are a little funky, but not bad.

His face and head are probably some of the better work I’ve seen on one of the new Indy figures.  The one eyebrow and eye don’t seem TTFT angry eyes huge.

There are two areas where the paint could have been improved.  One, the skin tone on the hands and face don’t quite match. Overall, I think the skin is too dark. I asked Mrs. Nerd for an unbiased second opinion and she thought it was fine.  So, you’ll have to decide for yourself.

The other area where this guy could have been just a little better, is his appearance.  Monkey Man in the film was a filthy alley dweller, this guy looks like he just got his outfit from the drycleaner.  A little wash would have helped, in my opinion.

Fun:

Monkey Man, Indiana Jones®, Raiders of the Lost Ark®, Hasbro, Action Figure ReviewThe robe hinders MM’s movement a bit.  But, the arms are nicely articulated.  What I can’t figure out, is his ankles. They are articulated.  He did ride a motorcycle in the film, so maybe they were planning on that.  Of course, he couldn’t sit on it with his robes.  So, who knows what they were thinking?  Deluxe soft goods, motorcycle riding Monkey dude in the future perhaps?

He does come with two accessories.  A knife that we never saw him use in a film and his monkey, of course.  A sheath or place to stash the knife would have been a nice touch. The knife reminds me a bit of the knife the thug in the marketplace pulls on Marion.

Monkey Man, Indiana Jones®, Raiders of the Lost Ark®, Hasbro, Action Figure Review

The Monkey is the same one from the Cairo Marion two-pack. Marion’s monkey is the one on the right.  I think the paint work on the Marion Monkey is better, and more screen accurate.  The painted nostrils on MM’s are just spooky.  The paint on both seems to be second rate compared to the paint on the figure.
The monkey sculpt has a curve to the bottom to fit to an arm or a shoulder.  The articulated tail can help that as well.  A bendy tail would have allowed for more poses, especially when putting him on a figure.  For a “Monkey Man” figure, I expected a bit more from the monkey.  I mean the figure has “monkey” in his name, for crying out loud.

Monkey Man, Indiana Jones®, Raiders of the Lost Ark®, Hasbro, Action Figure ReviewThe single carded releases are coming with “relics.”  They are miniature versions of some of the more memorable objects Indy has come across.  Each comes packed in a small “crate.”
Presumably, so you can build your own warehouse scene.  It’s awfully tempting to scan some of these and make a printable sheet for download.  Maybe if somebody asked me nicely….

Inexplicably, Monkey Man comes with the Nurhache Urn from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”  The sculpt on the item is good.  It doesn’t open for the truly curious. What would have made it better is if it had been molded in a translucent green white, with a darker green wash.  That would have made itlook closer to the jade it’s suppose to represent.

Monkey Man, Indiana Jones®, Raiders of the Lost Ark®, Hasbro, Action Figure ReviewOverall:

One of the issues with the vintage line was that Indy didn’t have enough foes to go up against.   Out of 11 figures, three were Indy and two were Belloq.  It’s good to see plenty of bad guys with the new Indy line. Of course, Monkey Man never met Indy face to face.  But now, thanks to a little plastic magic, he can on your desktop.  Or, he can lurk the back alleys of your streets of Cairo diorama.

Engineernerd Score: 87/100

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Monkey Man, Indiana Jones®, Raiders of the Lost Ark®, Hasbro, Action Figure Review

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