Norm Spellman RDA

September 5, 2010 | By More

Norm Spellman is another of the figures released in Mattel’s line dedicated to the James Cameron’s Avatar movie. The figure depicts the character in his human body, freshly arrived on Pandora along with the twin brother of his late friend Tom Sully.

Norm here wears pretty much the same attire as his Avatar; maroon t-shirt, a tan utility vest, brown loose pants and hiking shoes. Each piece of sculpted clothing has a nice, albeit simple, amount of detail, including subtle folds and wrinkles in the right places.

The one thing that Mattel nails each and every time with these figures is the head sculpts, and Norm Spellman is no exception, although this time the resemblance to actor Joel David Moore may not be immediately apparent due to the painted stubble on his face being a little too thick and maybe a little too dark.

Norm’s body proportions seem correct; he doesn’t have a heroic physique, but he is no scrawny wimp either. Even though the human figures in this line are noticeably smaller than figures from other manufacturers working the same scale, Norm can still blend in without much problem into the 3 ¾ – 4 inches range of figures.

Norm Spellman has the standard articulation for RDA-affiliated figures (humans or Na’vi hybrids), consisting of:

  • Swivel neck. Full, unimpeded 360° rotation.
  • Peg & hinge shoulders. These allow for great lateral extension and full rotation.
  • Peg & hinge elbows. Rotate 360° sideways and can bend slightly over 90° going forward and almost 90° bending backwards.

  • Swivel waist. Full 360° swivel.
  • Double hinged hips. Trademark Mattel design, allowing 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. Excellent movement up and down, as well as sideways rotation.

Only the right hip joint has some limitation due to the non-removable rubber belt piece, which has a molded pouch/case right in the way, although Norm can still sit or ride with legs wide apart.

The paintwork is very sparse because most of the pieces were molded in the right colors of plastic to begin with, but what little there is very neatly applied, with the more complex paint operations going onto the face.

Norm Spellman comes armed with what appears to be an assault carbine in a bull-pup configuration. The weapon is molded in the standard gray rubber used for other accessories in the line, with the butt of the ammo magazine painted in a blue-ish silver color.

Norm’s iTag base plate is molded in the square-ish, machined look of the RDA dog-tags instead of the organic look of the Na’vi base plates, but it still has a sticker on top with his portrait in human form. The CGI model the plate generates after you log into Mattel’s Avatar site is a rotating image of Pandora itself, complete with cloud formations and a night/day line rolling over the surface as the moon turns. On the plate there is also the usual Info icon that sprouts trivia facts about both Pandora and Polyphemus.

In general, human figures in this line have a hard time competing against similar offerings by rival toy companies, but RDA Norm Spellman turned out to be quite nice, even though I admit he isn’t as visually exciting as his Na’vi version.

Errex Score: 80/100

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Category: Avatar, Featured, 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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