• Sean Chong

[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).

[Image 1] Theatrical poster banner of Kong: Skull Island 2017.

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

Holly molly.

[Image 2] Promotional product image of Star Ace Defo-Real Kong vs Skull Crawler.

(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.

[Image 3] Box packaging of Defo-Real Kong vs Skull Crawler.
[Image 4] Box packaging of Defo-Real Kong vs Skull Crawler.

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].

[Image 5] Box packaging of Defo-Real Kong vs Skull Crawler with detailed concept art.
[Image 6] The graphic behind the box is similar to the concept art which is featured in the art book.

This figure also comes with a printed backdrop with about 300gsm artcard (glossy finishing) for photo-taking purpose (how sweet ~) [Image 7].

[Image 7] A 3-fold printed backdrop is provided for photo-taking purpose.

(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]

[Image 8] Battle pose printed on the box (Left) vs actual pose of the figure set (Right).

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]

[Image 9] The dynamic pose of the Defo-Real figure set.
[Image 10] The dynamic pose of the Defo-Real figure set.
[Image 11] The dynamic pose of the Defo-Real figure set.
[Image 12] The dynamic pose of the Defo-Real figure set.
[Image 13] The dynamic pose of the Defo-Real figure set.
[Image 14] The dynamic pose of the Defo-Real figure set.
[Image 15] The dynamic pose of the Defo-Real figure set.
[Image 16] The dynamic pose of the Defo-Real figure set.

On a second look, the pose actually seems like it is inspired by letters "K" and "S", just my 2 cents :D [Image 17].

[Image 17] Silhouette of letters K and S which may symbolise the initials of Kong and Skull Crawler.

(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!

[Image 18] The fur and scars on Defo-Real Kong.

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].

[Image 19] Kong is telling you that it is f***ing pissed!

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]

[Image 20] Close-up on the eye of Defo-Real Kong.

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]

[Image 21] Close-up on the mouth cavity of Defo-Real Kong.

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:

[Image 22] The spine of Defo-Real Skull Crawler
[Image 23] The spine of Defo-Real Skull Crawler
[Image 24] The detail on Skull Crawler is impressive.
[Image 25] The head-sculpt of Skull Crawler.
[Image 26] The head-sculpt of Skull Crawler.
[Image 27] The head-sculpt of Skull Crawler.
[Image 28] The left arm of 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]

[Image 29] The base and supporting holder.
[Image 30] The bottom of the base.

(vi) Size

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).

[Image 31] The length and height of the figure set.
[Image 32] The width of the figure set.
[Image 33] Size comparison between the figure set with an apple.

(vii) Price

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.

[Image 34] Star Ace Defo-Real Kong (Individual/Standard version).

Star Ace Defo-Real Skull Crawler (Individual/Standard version): ≈USD65

Features: This sculpture is the same as the figure set version.

[Image 35] Star Ace Defo-Real Skull Crawler (Individual/Standard 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.

[Image 36] Star Ace Defo-Real Kong 2.0 (Octopus Version).

(ix) Special Guest

Oh hey ~ wait a minute, we have a special guest in this figure set! If you remember watching this final battle scene in Kong: Skull Island, Kong did grab something in its hand: YES! It's Brie Larson (lol)

[Image 37] Kong held Brie Larson in its palm in Kong: Skull Island.

The last battle between Kong and Skull Crawler was too intense that Kong swung Skull Crawler then accidentally hit a hill where Brie Larson was standing on top, causing her to drop into the water and sink downwards. Later, Kong rescued and held her in its palm. [Image 37] Just right before Kong had the time to react on this, Skull Crawler threw a final sneaky attack upon Kong and wanted to eat what's inside its (Kong's) palm. This led to the battle pose that we are seeing all this while in the figure set.

Therefore, I strongly believe that Brie Larson is right there all this while inside Kong's hand XD

[Image 38] Do you think Brie Larson is right inside Kong's palm? XD

Alright, enough of goofing around ~

So, what's my verdict... ... On Point!!! It's REALLY a gorgeous figure to keep! From the details to the dynamic pose, magnificent! Let me know what you think about this figurine.

My Rating Scale

5 - On Point!!! [A "must have" figure.] 4 - Surprisingly Good! [Good ~ It exceeds my expectation.]

3 - Acceptable [Not a bad figure.]

2 - Kinda Regret [Well, I should have thought twice.]

1 - :/ [... ...]

#XPLUS #少年リック #デフォリアル #ゴジラ#godzilla #gojira #kingghidorah #godzillakingofthemonsters #seanchong #sculptchamber #toyreview #deforeal #defaultreal #deformedreal #deformationreal #rodan #mothra #spacegodzilla #anguirus #biollante #destoroyah #burninggodzilla #shonenric #rictoy #ricboy #kaiju #monsters #starace #kong #kongskullisland

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Sean Chong - Specialise in Design and Illustration, love to make clay sculptures, and obsess with Monsters (Kaijus)!

© 2019 by Sean Chong.