[Toy Review] Defo-Real Kong vs Skull Crawler released by Star Ace
Updated: Jun 15, 2020
[Hey yo, it's me Shon ~ Welcome back to my blog and "Des-is-for-real", let's get on to review!]
In this post, we will cover the Star Ace Defo-Real Kong vs Skull Crawler vinyl figure set. (This is the combined set, not the individual version.)
A Little Backstory
Kong: Skull Island was a remake released 3 years after Legendary Godzilla made its first appearance in year 2014. Both movies were produced by Legendary Pictures, with the aim to expand a cinematic universe like MARVEL - just that it revolves around monsters (kaijus) instead of super heroes. This monster cinematic universe is called the "MonsterVerse".
So after Godzilla 2014, Kong: Skull Island 2017, and the recent Godzilla: King of the Monsters 2019, we can expect an ultimate battle pitting against the two protectors on earth in the upcoming movie Godzilla vs Kong (date is not specified).
Anyway, this Defo-Real combined figure set is based off the movie Kong: Skull Island. But instead of released by the X-Plus from Japan like the usual, it was released by Star Ace from Hong Kong. (Read more about Star Ace here.) Likely due to licensing issue, all the Defo-Real products related to Kong were done by Star Ace.
Critics on the Star Ace Defo-Real Kong vs Skull Crawler Vinyl Figure Set
(i) Box Packaging
Let's start with the box packaging, shall we? Just look at the box [Image 3-4], what a beautiful box we have here! For sure, I will keep this box! This box is definitely aiming for the box collectors!
The box consistently shows the official logo of Kong: Skull Island at 4 areas: window front, the 2 sides and on top of the box.
Most importantly, the cool graphics on the box make me want to keep it! Especially, I'm in love with the back of the packaging where it showcases the concept artwork of an iconic scene in the movie: the battle between Kong and the giant Skull Crawler [Image 5]. Just a special sharing, this concept art behind the box is similar to the one which is featured in The Art and Making of Kong: Skull Island [Image 6].
This figure also comes with a printed backdrop with about 300gsm artcard (glossy finishing) for photo-taking purpose (how sweet ~) [Image 7].
(ii) The Pose
This Defo-Real figure set serves as the Ric Exclusive version of the two figures, just that having them combined together to portray the iconic battle scene in the film. [We will discuss about the normal releases of these characters (individual release, Standard version) later in part (viii)].
However, this actual pose of the Defo-Real figure set is slightly different from the pose that we have seen at the back of the box. [Image 8]
Nonetheless, the pose is gorgeous! As toy collectors we all might know, a good pose plays a big role in toy figures/collectibles/sculptures. What define a good pose? Well, it must be dynamic, engaging and interesting poses that evoke certain feelings to the viewers. In addition, the poses must be able to explain to the viewers what is going on.
The dynamic pose of this Defo-Real figure set directs your attention to start from the head of the Skull Crawler to flow through its body to the face of Kong, and then all the way down to the right foot of Kong (which is tangled up with Skull Crawler's tail). [Image 9]
On a second look, the pose actually seems like it is inspired by letters "K" and "S", just my 2 cents :D [Image 17].
(iii) Sculpture of Kong
The sculpt: I love everything about the Kong. The detail of the fur is on-point, the scars on its chest are on-point [Image 18], but, the head-sculpt of Kong is my favourite!
Its facial expression is really well-sculpted, perfectly throwing a "don't you bloody mess with me" kind of feeling. The anger is showing through his pair of eyes, the frown, and his teeth snarling with the mouth wide open [Image 19].
Paint job: What I especially in-love with are the paint job of its eyes and the mouth cavity! The paint job of the eye balls has tiny brush strokes for the pupils, as well as faded strokes at the sides of the eye balls suggesting the veins. [Image 20]
Whereas for the teeth and the gum, I really love how the paint job shows the condition of the dirty yellowish teeth and black lines around the gum. [Image 21]
What I think can be done better? The colour of the scars (scratch marks). Currently, the colour is too dull that it blends in with the greyish hue of the chest. It would be interesting to see saturated red colour is applied which gives the idea of fresh wounds. Another improvement would be the paint job of mouth cavity should be covered with a glossy coating to give the "wet look" of the mouth, so it will be presented consistently with the glossiness of the eye balls.
(iv) Sculpture of Skull Crawler
The sculpt: In fact, I prefer the sculpt of Skull Crawler more than Kong! The detail for Skull Crawler is magnificent, and of course, I would always go for monsters more than anything else! Below are some of the parts I love about the Skull Crawler:
What I think can be done better? Perhaps a translucent body will make the Skull Crawler even more badass! Casting on a clear vinyl and only paint certain parts of the body to achieve the semi-translucent effect: exactly how it looks like in the film. It will be interesting to apply especially along the spine of Skull Crawler, where the bones seem to protrude out of the flesh.
Similar to Kong, another improvement would be the paint job of mouth cavity to be covered with an additional glossy layer to give the "wet look" of the mouth, as currently only the tongue has a glossy look as compared to the rest of the mouth cavity.
(v) The Base of the Vinyl Figure Set
The base of this figure set is a hollow oval shape plastic with length of 14.5cm, breadth of 9.5cm, and thickness of 1cm. The logo of Kong: Skull Island with graphics of sky and trees are imprinted on the top surface of the base. It also comes with a supporting holder to hold the body of Skull Crawler. [Image 29]
This Defo-Real figure set (without the base) is measured at a height of 19.5cm, length of 14cm, and breadth of 12.5cm [Image 31-32]. Whereas for the measurement of the base, kindly refer to section (v).
How much did I get: ≈USD109 (SGD155) including shipping fee
This figure set was purchased thru a toy seller in Singapore: Marvelous Toys (www.marvelous.toys) Does the figure deserve the price that I paid? Hell yes!
(If you are interested on purchasing any Defo-Real figures, please visit my blog post here.)
(viii) Individual and Special Releases
Star Ace Defo-Real Kong (Individual/Standard version): ≈USD65
Features: Both arms are slightly different as compared to the Kong in the combined version. Its right hand is holding a propeller with metal chain coils around it. All these are extracted from the final battle scene in the movie too.
Star Ace Defo-Real Skull Crawler (Individual/Standard version): ≈USD65
Features: This sculpture is the same as the figure set version.
Star Ace Defo-Real Kong 2.0 (Octopus Version): ≈USD80
Features: The sculpture is according to a scene in Kong: Skull Island, where Kong battled a giant octopus and later consumed it.