December 22, 2009 | By More

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Out of the first wave of figures from Mattel’s Avatar toy line, I must say that the Na’vi seem to me to be the most interesting. Among them, is Tsu’tey from the Omaticaya clan.

Tsu’tey is a male Na’vi hunter, and like most members of his species, he wears little more than a loincloth and a few choice extra items. Surprisingly, Tsu’tey is a whole new sculpt, as no pieces seem to be shared with any other Na’vi figures. Right off the bat, his physique is leaner than that of Avatar Jake Sully, showing clearly the difference between a vat-grown body and wild, home-grown Na’vi.

NaviAvatar 013Muscular tone is still on the thin side of things, but the indentations at the torso are more pronounced and well defined. The distinguishing trait of this figure is that he wears a heavily textured leather gorget around his neck and a similar piece of leather armor around his ribcage. The loincloth rubber piece is glued to his waist at the front and is a completely unique sculpt. The attire is completed by a couple of sculpted armlets at the biceps and a leather bracer on the right forearm.

Tsu’tey’s head is a pretty neat sculpt. The shape of it doesn’t quite match the CGI model from the movie, but the end product it is a reasonably close approximation given the scale. Tsu’tey wears his hair in what can only be described as cross between a Mohawk and a mullet, with a couple thin braids hanging from one side and the mane and Na’vi queue falling down his back.

NaviAvatar 012Articulation is identical to that of the Avatar Jake Sully figure, and consists of:

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

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.

Hinged ankles. Pretty good movement up and down but no lateral rotation whatsoever.

NaviAvatar 016Once again, no wrist articulation, but considering how thin the limbs are, adding a joint there would not have been feasible. This time the rubber tail is thinner and more flexible than Jake’s, and also the loincloth is shorter, so sitting poses are less of a chore to achieve.

Tsu’tey figure is molded entirely of light blue plastic, with tan/brown rubber used for the loincloth. Like all Na’vi, Tsu’tey sports the deeper blue tiger-stripe pattern on his skin, and his hair is also painted glossy black. The eyes are painted neat and clean in black and white, complete with white catch lights on the pupils.

NaviAvatar 014As a hunter, Tsu’tey comes equipped with an alien looking double bow, sculpted with an arrow on it. The bow is molded out of dark brown plastic but the point of the projectile has a metallic purple application at the tip. Overall the execution of the weapon is pretty lackluster, as is often the case with toy bows, but Tsu’tey manages to achieve a few natural looking shooting stances despite the lack of wrist joints.

Of course, the figure also comes with a Na’vi iTag plate, molded out of translucent, amber-colored plastic and sculpted to resemble a carving. The sticker on top shows a close-up portrait of the character.

To fully make use of the iTag gimmick one needs to have a fairly modern web cam and high speed internet access in order see what CGI model your iTag has assigned at Mattel’s Avatar website.

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Overall, the gimmick works fairly well, but it sores me a bit to know that the service is conditioned to availability on Mattel’s site, and that you don’t get to download the actual CGI model or the stand-alone renderer to use offline if you desire so.

I must say that I’ve warmed up a bit to these Avatar figures, especially the Na’vi. The craftsmanship is pretty good and the tribal character designs really pop-out on my shelves, although price is still something of an issue for me at these scale.

Tsu’tey has a pretty satisfying level of detail, and it is actually quite refreshing for me to be able to actually notice individual differences between members of the same species (unlike most Star Wars aliens, which for the most part tend to look pretty much identical). So, even though individual characters in Mattel’s Avatar line so far have been hit or miss, I’d say Tsu’tey is definitely among the hits.

Errex Score: 85/100

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Category: Avatar, Toy Reviews

About the Author ()

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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