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I won’t lie, it’s been a challenge to try and figure out how to frame this review. One of the inherent issues with reviewing action figures is that you can only frame your opinion around what has been in existence at the time that you do your review. If you’d asked me to review A Real American Hero Hit & Run in 1988, I probably would have given it 5 stars. Looking back through the reverse-rose colored glasses, that kind of score seems laughable compared to the quality, ingenuity and technical improvements of action figures these days.
I ran into these issues with G.I. Joe from 2009 – 2012 all the time. In 2009 I gave City Strike Snake Eyes a 5 Star Review because it was one of the finest examples of the G.I. Joe Commando released to date (in my opinion of course). Little did I know two years later the Pursuit of COBRA version would be released, not to mention the G.I. Joe: Retaliation version which manages to do great new things for the figure as well. So, stepping back, both City Strike and PoC Snake Eyes received 5 star ratings… are both figures equal? No, I’d say definitely not. But I can only review figures based on my impressions at that time.
Which brings me to my current conundrum.
Yes, the Vitruvian HACKS Knights of Accord action figures are some of the finest 1:18 scale action figures I have ever seen. Coming from someone with only a passing interest in medieval history and fantasy, this figure is perfect in nearly every single way.
Thing is, I said the same thing about the Spartan Warrior a couple of years ago. At the time, the Spartan Warrior is a nearly perfect action figure (and still is) but the Knight eclipses it in almost every way. If they end up with the same score, are they “equal”?
I’m spending way too much time thinking about this.
Anyway… putting aside any comparisons to past reviews, looking at the Knights of Accord, this figure does pretty much everything right you would want an action figure to do. The sculpting of the layered armor on the torso, the nearly seamless integration of armor and cloth garments underneath (truthfully, I didn’t even know the gauntlets were removable until I stumbled upon it by accident) all comes together to give us a terrific, bulky, yet supremely well articulated action figure.
Some folks have pointed out that the huge shoulder pads could conceivably limit the arm motion of the Knight, and in truth, yes they do. The new plug system which enables these shoulder pads to fit perfectly into the shoulders (and be swapped with others) allows for the pads to be removed if you want your knight to be more mobile, and come on, let’s face it, I’m pretty sure guys walking around in bulky suits of armor back in the day had some issues lifting their arms above their heads, too.
The Knight is 100% new tooling for the first time since the Spartan Warrior was first released (well, except maybe for the neck barbell) with new parts from neck to toe, and he is terrific. Range of motion throughout all joints is fluid, yet rigid meaning they move easily, yet hold their pose well. Underneath the removable thigh armor and shin armor is some pretty normal looking cloth pants which could work well for other future customs as well.
On his torso is some great angular armor with a great design aesthetic that maintains its range of motion even being bulky and imposing. What really brings the figure to life, though, is the layered secondary accessories. A removable belt and cloth add some nice flair to the figure, as does the thigh armor, shoulder armor and gauntlets, adding thick layers of armor while not greatly restricting articulation.
Knights of Accord are many in number, and Boss Fight gives this figure three separate heads so you can build you armies and maintain a sense of individuality among your ranks. Just looking at the base figure itself, it’s clear that there’s a level of playability and customizability here that is more or less unparalleled. And I haven’t even touched on the accessories yet.
Yes, along with the impressive base figure, the Knights of Accord come with a veritable armory of great looking weaponry. Two different helmets combine with three different face plates (that works with one of the helmets) and provide a number of different looks and different combinations. The helmet that doesn’t work with the face plates is an ornately designed and sculpted helmet with great wings flaring out on each side of the face that looks really gorgeous.
Along with the helmets he has a sheath that plugs in nicely to a port on the right hip of his belt (though it takes some pressure to get it hooked in there). There’s another port system on the other side that doesn’t appear to work for anything included in this figure, but I’d imagine there are some things still to come. His sword fits in the sheath perfectly, and he also comes with a great two-bladed axe just in case the sword doesn’t do the job.
His angled shield is nicely designed with a much improved grip system (though it would have been cool if the grip could be reversed so left-handed knights could use it as well). The leather straps are soft and pliable and easily moved to wrap around the forearm and the hand fits the handle well. In fact most of the parts feel a bit softer and more malleable than those same parts in the first series, just one of the many different improvements from two years ago.
This knight is spectacular. I love the different head sculpts, I really enjoy the combination of bulky, layered armor with impressive articulation and the customizability of removable parts and pieces. Even with these first four figures I’m starting to see a wealth of different options of the first figures (not to mention Series 1) really bringing this whole Vitruvian HACKS theme to life. I can only imagine how things will continue to improve and evolve as Series 02 continues and stuff like the mini-kits start getting released. These figures manage to be the perfect blend between fantastic action figures and an entire system of figure build pieces that can keep collectors happy and excited for years to come.
Pre-Orders available at BossFightShop.com!