Avatar Jake Sully (RDA)

December 27, 2009 | By More

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Mattel released Avatar Jake Sully (RDA) in 2009 as part of the initial wave of 1:18 scale (3.75 inch) figures devoted to the Avatar movie directed by James Cameron. This figure represents the main character from the movie, consciousness already transferred to his Na’vi avatar but still in the RDA payroll, as evidenced by his uniform.

NaviAvatar 018While true Na’vi wear little more than loincloths, the RDA version of Jake Sully comes with a tan outfit that wouldn’t look out of place worn by a modern day hiker, provided said hiker is about 9 feet tall and resembles a blue anthropomorphic cat.

The uniform is sculpted correctly, with natural looking folds and creases at the right places, but the overall look is rather plain and devoid of textures. In fact, the most interesting part of the sculpt are the shoes, which look rather comfortable and sports-like, complete with textured soles.

There is a little re-use of pieces going on with RDA Jake, other than the head sculpt, which is identical to the tribal version, the tail and the left forearm. The right forearm is possibly from a different Na’vi figure, since it lacks the heavily textured bracer that the tribal Jake has.

The RDA Jake figure is well sculpted, and it feels slightly bulkier than Tribal Jake due to the clothing. Mattel decided to give RDA Jake a short-sleeved jacket by doing the usual rubber torso piece that matches the sculpted upper sleeves of the figure, so it appears it’s all one garment. The rubber vest is actually glued down and cannot be removed, thus limiting somewhat the custom possibilities.

NaviAvatar 019The sculpted clothing on this figure does a better job of concealing the joints on RDA Jake Sully than in the tribal version, while also improving slightly the range of movement. Avatar Jake Sully RDA has the following:

Ball jointed neck. It actually works as a simple swivel because the ball rests too deep inside the head, but it rotates freely.

Peg & hinge shoulders. Excellent motion range.

Peg & hinge elbows. Very good 90° bend and 180° sideways rotation.

Swivel waist. Free 360° swivel.

Double hinged hips. These are designed after the same type of joint Mattel uses for their DC Super Heroes line, and allow the legs to extend sideways as well as rotate back and forth.

Peg & hinge knees. Very good bending range and sideways swiveling.

Peg & hinge ankles. Decent movement up and down and also allow for free lateral rotation.

Jake RDA BackAgain, wrist articulation was discarded on this figure, but the improved ankle joints provide better stability for dynamic poses.

The pieces that conform RDA Jake Sully figure are molded from light blue and tan plastic, with remarkably little paint operations on them. The T-shirt visible under his jacket seems to be painted dark brown over a blue plastic torso, while the paint applications on forearms and head match those of the Tribal version of the character. RDA Jake’s hair is painted gloss black and the eyes sport the same proficient two-color paint application from the Tribal version, complete with painted catch lights on the pupils.

The tan clothes have almost no paint on them whatsoever, except for the waist piece, which is blue plastic painted over in tan to match the color of the trousers and a few buttonholes on the jacket picked out in black. The overall looks seems fairly undetailed, compared to the tribal style figures.

Neytiri 004Avatar Jake Sully RDA comes equipped with a futuristic assault gun, molded out of gray plastic, and the corresponding iTag base plate. The iTag plate for this figure follows the Na’vi carving design and is molded out of translucent amber-colored plastic.

The sticker on top is a portrait of Jake Sully wearing the RDA fatigues and the CGI model the plate generates by activating the iTag at the Mattel site is that of a six-legged alien predator called Viperwolf. The creature looks fairly well detailed and has a few animation cycles thrown in to show it waving it’s tail and breathing.

PLACA RDAAfter the slightly lackluster CGI model that the Tribal Jake had, the six legged beastie turned out to be a much more interesting one to gawk at, and kind of makes me wish Mattel had an actual toy made of it.

As odd as it sounds, I think RDA Jake looks actually plainer than the Tribal Jake figure, despite the later being practically naked figure. It has to do with the distinct lack of sculpted detail on the RDA fatigues, which does nothing to offset the simplicity of the character design.

However, I must concede these are pretty good playthings and the line, as a whole, doesn’t seem to aspire much beyond that. Jake Sully RDA probably isn’t going to qualify as a “must-have” figure in many shopping lists, but he definitely is the more versatile of them in terms of blending in with other figure lines, a trait that might prevent this figure from becoming a peg warmer.

Errex Score: 80/100

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I've been collecting action figures since the original Kenner Star Wars days. Nowadays, I still collect pretty much anything that catches my eye.

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