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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Gaming Heads 1/4 Lara Croft Review (Exclusive Edition - Temple of Osiris)

Having gone through a lot of different collections throughout my adult life; from Transformers to Play Arts Kai, to Hot Toys and what-not, there is this line i never really imagined i would be dabbling in, all those years ago. Though i'm not a complete stranger to it, Polystone statues are a whole new different ballgame for me, but I guess i just can't deny the fact that i'm a video game fan, first and foremost, which pretty much explains my long winding interest with Play Arts Kai figures. Now when it comes to figure collecting this is what most collectors would consider as the final process of the "evolution," IF you follow the path that i have. However, I cannot simply stray too far from my gaming roots and since THE Playstation 1 represented my generation, i am all too aware that in turn, it was also represented by no less than that legendary Tomb Raider herself, Lara Croft.
I guess i don't need to introduce her anymore so i would rather ramble a bit more about my small, private adventure of trying to get 1/4 scale statues of characters (ideally, if there are any) representing each franchise i have a PS4 Platinum trophy in. Of course it is a given that i'll be getting the Playstation Icons first such as Lara, Kratos and Drake. It was a tough choice between the Gaming Heads Lara Croft and the Sideshow version but, in the end, i went for the classic, dual-pistol wielding version which, to me, characterizes the definitive version of Lara Croft. Indeed, this version is remarkable...

First things first though, what made this particular acquisition difficult was that there are no longer any supplier of Gaming Heads statues locally. I had to find a hook-up who then informed me that the only ones left are the Exclusive edition Laras. Left with no choice, i had to bite the bullet and get the EX, which comes with that Osiris staff that i really don't care much about. Believe it or not, the Regular edition is pretty rare over here, let alone the Exclusive one. Extra points for wallowing in that satisfying feeling and letting it sink in.

I never played Lara's Temple of Osiris game though in my defense i would say that i did play Tomb Raiders 1 to Revelations and i even got a Platinum for the reboot, Rise of the Tomb Raider. I'm not gonna pass on this one, by far she's simply the most classic Lara statue i can find complete with all the details we are all familiar with and love about her: that tank-top, the aforementioned dual pistols, brown shorts, detailed holsters, hiking boots and ponytail, oh, don't forget that ponytail.

It sure helped that her face sculpt is pretty awesome, it was a fine representation of what i would imagine Lara would actually look. Far from a bland, generic emotion, she's got that fierce look that is typical Lara Croft; a strong female lead who helped prove that girls are more than just NPCs to rescue in a video game. 
Moving along, the paint job is absolutely gorgeous on the piece i got, #056 out of 500 pieces worldwide. I have a couple of Gaming Heads statues so far and i'm yet to encounter problems with their paint job though i've seen the older Survivor Lara Croft statue and, compared to this one, the paint is far, far inferior. But considering that their release dates are separated by only a year and a half or so i am happy to see the great strides Gaming Heads is taking when it comes to the quality of their statues in terms of paint and sculpt.

The details on the base run rampant and, for someone who's fascinated with ancient Egypt for some reason, as i do, it was really impressive. An extra point for blending well with Sideshow Nathan Drake's base from Uncharted 3 (partially pictured on the left side). I doubt that we will see a crossover anytime soon of these two adventurers, with Nate being retired and Lara being rebooted so this is the closest a fanboy's fantasy mashup can get.

Like i mentioned earlier the exclusive edition's got the Staff of Osiris, a piece that i'm not particularly fond of but, admittedly, it actually works. I opted to use it for display so that her background wouldn't be too bare. I don't want to keep it lying around, unused, since Nate might take a fancy to it. 

Scale-wise, she's a bit on the smaller side of 1/4 scale statues. It's noticeable when you place her side by side with the Sideshow Premium Format version. Beside Drake though her scale looks pretty normal. I'm not gonna complain since the last thing i need is a Lara Croft that is bulkier in build than both Kratos and Nathan Drake. Aside from the price tag and delay, which is expected, i honestly can't pinpoint any other misgiving about the statue.

I can live with the fact that i can no longer play with my collection now but having "physical trophies" of my Platinum trophies makes collecting more interesting for me and it actually took me out of my semi-retirement. In my book, those awesome dynamic poses beat any that any Play Arts Kai or 1/6 scale figures can actually pull. I also find this line more economical albeit their high price tag since there's a lot of waiting time in between statues. Having classic video game icons such as Lara Croft only makes the deal a little more sweeter.

If you can find one of these i suggest that you go for it especially if you're a Tomb Raider/Lara Croft fan and/or a video game fan. I don't see myself getting another classic Lara Croft statue though i may get the rebooted version soon. The Gaming Heads Lara Croft Temple of Osiris 1/4 scale statue isn't perfect but, as far as i'm concerned, this is the best Lara Croft piece out there right now.

I'm giving her 4.5 Fist Bites out of 5


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