Toys City US Navy SEAL SDVT-1 ( TCT-9020 )
Toys City has been churning out modern era military themed figures at an almost alarming rate. This can be considered a good thing for the sake of variety, as well as for the sake of having more modern era military themed figures.
The latest in Toys City modern era military themed figure line is a US Navy SEAL, in the SDVT-1 configuration – or should I say designation. I had to look this one up to clarify what the SDVT-1 was all about – and no surprise the acronym stands for “SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One”. I guess that is as good a designation as any for this figure being he has wetgear. For the sake of edification ( mine as well as anyone else who doesn’t already know ), here is a little information on the SDVT-1:
SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One ( SDVT-1 ) is commanded by a Navy Commander ( O-5 ). The table of equipment for the unit includes three operational SEAL Delivery Vehicles ( SDV ) and a Dry Deck Shelter ( DDS ). The normal table of organization includes three task units and a headquarters element. Each SDV Task Unit operates independently from a host submarine in the conduct of Naval Special Warfare missions. SDV Task Units typically deploy aboard host submarines, but may be deployed from shore or surface ships. SDVT-1 conducts operations throughout the Pacific Command’s and Central Command’s geographic areas of responsibility.
A bit of an acronym stew there – but acronyms ( and initialisms ) are fun to unravel, so the more the merrier. I guess the only question that I have with respect to part of the above is would it have been better to have this guy clad in a wetsuit? I will touch on that more later in the review, so we can park that question for now.
This time out I have decided to add a new element to my review. The figure’s individual parts, or gear, will be referenced as per usual: categorical breakdowns with the manufacturer release verbiage, or descriptions of said parts. This is the list that we would see on Toys City’s official site, within the content of Toys City’s forum press packet, and on the various e-tailor sites that will be selling the figure.
I have touched on this in the past, by listing said list of parts verbatim, but have never fully committed to the level of research and cataloging that I put forth here. This will be evidenced in my addition to the manufacturer list – adding my own identifications and addendums where applicable.
This is not only for my own edification – the learning as I go through research – it is also for the edification of the reader. Having concrete proof of identity ( or as close to concrete as possible ), should be both fun and interesting. Not to mention helpful. I have misidentified some of the parts on the list – or missed a cue here or there, but for the most part, I am confident in my research and in my findings. I hope that this allows for each of us to learn just a little bit more about the real world fullscale equivalents that were the inspirations for the sixthscale parts herein.
Head-sculpt and base body…
We receive the usual ( expected assortment ) in this case. We also have a new head-sculpt to consider, so let us start things off with that. But first, here is the Head-sculpt and base body breakdown:
In keeping with the stealth-look and feel of this figure, we have a head-sculpt with what I will call stealth camouflage paint application. This stealth-ness is revealed ( although to reveal stealth-ness would be contrary to the purpose thereof ), in the form of a nifty camouflage paint up on the figure’s face. It may be fun for those of us with overactive imaginations to visualize the figure itself applying and blending the camo paint… Why not right? I mean, most of us probably grew up playing with our action figures, so injecting a little imagination here and there is a normal and healthy byproduct ( read residue ) or our childhood. Just try not to get too carried away.
For those of you who may be new to my series of sixthscale action figure reviews, I tend to rate the realism of a sixthscale head-sculpt ( in part ), in two areas.
1. The area(s) where an opaque paint technique has been applied ( the hair and eyes ).
2. The area(s) where a pigment has been applied ( the skin surfaces of the sculpt ).
I use the term “skin” without being specific to any one part of the sculpt, but as you can well imagine, this applies to any area that is not the eyes or the hair.
So why use pigments ( in this case mixed into the material in which the sculpt is cast ), and not paint to adorn and finish the flesh portion(s) of a head-sculpt? To answer that question we have to first look at the makeup or structure of human skin. And since I am neither a dermatologist, nor cosmetologist, I am limited to an elementary exploration of the subject…
Our skin is comprised of several layers; the Epidermis, the Basement Membrane, the Dermis, and the Subcutaneous Layer. Each of the layers varies in thickness, and structure, and each is an integral part of that fantastic, mysterious, and at times alluring organ that we call skin.
At first glance, we might surmise that our skin is completely opaque ( non-transparent ) – which is good, because otherwise we would be able to see each other’s internals – which would be unsettling and borderline gross. Yet believe it or not, our skin is not ( strictly speaking ) opaque. It is, in fact, semi-translucent – sort of akin to beeswax or a delightfully sharp Wisconsin cheddar. Please remember what I said about not being a dermatologist or cosmetologist, so it will not be necessary to hunt me down and pull my license for comparing human skin to wax or cheese.
In a nut shell, skin’s semi-translucent quality can be expressed thusly…
Normally we might expect light to simply bounce off of our skin, but it actually passes through our skin ( to a degree ). This can be described as a diffuse phenomenon. Some the light rays do bounce off, but some also penetrate. These rays of light pass through, or are absorbed, and then bounce back and out at a different angle than that from which they entered. There are even some rays of light that make it all the way down to your bones. Wow, talk about the need for a really heavy sun screen…
There is also a measure of scattering – hence the term “Sub Surface Scattering ( or Sub Surface Light Scattering – we’ll just say SSLS for short ). One way to exhibit this phenomenon is to take a high output penlight, or flashlight, and shine it through a thin area of skin. Think earlobe, the webbing of your fingers or toes, the lobes of your nose, your nuttsack, etc… When you direct the beam of said light through the portion of said skin, you will notice a warm reddish glow. And hopefully there wasn’t a warm reddish glow there to being with. The same effect can be seen when sunlight backlights one of those thin areas of skin.
All of this means that skin cannot be realistically rendered or represented with the use of a mostly opaque coat of paint. Hence the need for flesh-tone pigments mixed into an already semi-translucent polymer medium such as polyurethane. You may have noticed how difficult it can be to “paint” a head-sculpt and have it look reasonably lifelike. This is not to say that it is an impossibility – there are certainly more than a few very talented sixthscale artists out there who have proven this point time and again – but to achieve the semi-translucent SSLS look, you need to have a semi-translucent base.
Sixthscale companies seem to have picked up on this about two years ago – and we have seen stunning examples of the use of semi-translucent pigment mixed polymers from each of the current crop of sixthscale heavies ( Hot Toys, Soldier Story, Playhouse, etc. ). And Toys City can add their name to that list as well. However, it must be noted that companies like Mattel, and Hasbro, were casting head-sculpts using semi-translucent pigment mixed polymers decades back. Even TUS ( The Ultimate Soldier – or 21st Century Toys ), had a bead on this as far back as 1997. So chalk up another sixthscale first to the old timers…
The other area ( which although it was first on my list, is being covered last ), is the paint application as seen on the hair and eye portion(s) of the head-sculpt. No amount of realistic skin effect will be enough to catapult a sixthscale sculpt to the level of fine art without careful consideration and attention to craft and detail in the area of paint. In fact, subpar hair and eye paint applications have been known to incapacitate a sculpt as surly as a wild hound will incapacitate a pack of foot long wieners.
So how do the hair and eye paint stack up on this latest Toys City sculpt? They stack up very well. And although the camouflage element is used sparingly, it is still very effective. In addition, the eyes are well painted and crisply detailed – and the hair ( including the eyebrows ), is realistically rendered. The overall effect is very lifelike.
Alright, now for the bad news…
The Toys City base body has what I consider to be a couple of major, but fixable problem:
1. While the Toys City T2.0 does have the requisite articulation cues, it has what I will describe as a slightly bizarre muscle structure on the arms, torso, and legs. This is not a deal breaker – but does, in my opinion, limit the wardrobing options of the figure.
2. Floppy joints. This is one of those problems that just about every sixthscale company has, at one time or another, had to address with their base body. Floppy joints are not only a setback when it comes to posing a figure, they can also result in that age old bane of sixthscale figure display – the shelf dive… Shelf dives are a pain in the neck for several obvious reason, and are responsible for more than a few broken rifles, and NVG’s. Besides, I have actually been woken out of a sound sleep by a figure taking a shelf dive off of the shelf that suits right alongside my bed. And believe me, it is a pisser when a figure takes an 8-foot free-fall straight onto your shinbone while you are dreaming of a summer afternoon swim with Cote De Pablo, and Natalie Zea… .
The solution to the last is probably easier said than done. But both the long and the short term benefits could be immeasurable. We know that I am not talking about that afternoon swim anymore right?
I have heard that in some cases a company may have to hold off on the redevelopment of a given item until they have had a chance to cycle through the surplus stock of that item. That they may be sitting on so many – base bodies let’s say – that they first need to burn down enough stock to recoup their costs. I suppose that that makes perfect sense.
As for the issues surrounding the creative arrangement of muscle structure(s) on the T2.0, I suppose that Toys City has to prioritize their technical hitches – and that aesthetic fixes would most likely take a back seat to matters concerning function. Fix the gription issues plaguing the joints, and then give the body some new muscles. Kind of like healing your orthopedic issues before you start in on the American Funboy Muscle Beach Cowboy Workout.
By the way, I want to recommend a resource for both Toys City, and for any artists out there who are interested in studying the human form, as it pertains not only to muscle structure(s), but also to orthopedic structure(s), locomotion, and body morphology ( the balance of Mesomorphic, Ectomorphic, and Endomorphic principles ).
It is a book called the Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist, by Stephen Rogers peck. It was first published by Oxford University Press in 1951, and is one of the best resources that I have come across. I am actually going to amend that to say that it is the BEST resource that I have come across. There are PDF downloads available, but they tend to cost about the same as a good used copy of the book… So I highly recommend that you get a real copy and not go the download route. And to help that, the book has been republished many times over the years, so there are a surprising number of copies floating around. They can be found at all of the usual online places, such as, Barnes & Nobel, Amazon, and even Walmart.
Alright, let’s wrap up this category by saying that the base body needs to be fixed – and that Toys City is most likely well aware of this. They did, after all, fix the back-bending Scooby Doo Shaggy knees after only three or four rounds of figure runs. So it is not outside of the realm of possibility that they will eventually take a shot at fixing the rest of the problems that vex the T2.0…
The score for the head-sculpt and base body will be based more on the head-sculpt than on the base body. In fact, it is the head-sculpt that will save this category form getting what would be close to naught… Sorry, but as much as I really like toys city, and as much as I really appreciate the work they do, and the product they produce, I don’t like having to replace the largest item in a figure set.
I am therefore going to give this category a two and a half out of five stars. With a better base body – or by judging the category on the head-sculpt alone, that score would be much higher.
This figure comes clad in that tried and true fashion hallmark Basic Black. Here is the breakdown:
Black Filed Shirt Navy Cut ( read: CRYE Precision Field Shirt AC Navy Custom Combat cut )
Black Filed Pants Navy Cut ( read: CRYE Precision Field Pant AC Navy Custom Combat cut )
Gen 3 Maritime Assault Boots ( MAB ) ( read: Whites EVO 3 Boots )
Diving Gloves ( read: Deep See 2mm Barnacle Diving Gloves – and yes, the company that makes these is called “ Deep See “ spelled with 2 e’s )
Black Combat Belt
The first thing I had to ask, was where is this guy’s wetsuit… Moreover, I have asked this same question each time a modern era military sixthscale figure with SCUBA gear has hit the market – sans wetsuit. And I am reasonably sure that I’m not the only one out there who shares this sentiment… We like to see sixthscale MILSPEC or TACOPS SCUBA themed figures… In fact, we are almost craven for them – we have most likely even done a little loose part SCUBA stocking up as well. So it sort of goes without saying that sixthscale MILSPEC or TACOPS SCUBA themed figures are an easy sell. So who misplaced or forgot to make all of the sixthscale wetsuits with which to supplement our sixthscale MILSPEC or TACOPS SCUBA operators?
Anyone who has been in the hobby long enough can tell you, sixthscale wetsuits have never exactly been plentiful. Over the years ( since about 1993 ), Hasbro, SOTW ( Soldiers of the World ), BBI ( Blue Box Incorporated – Elite Force ), DML ( Dragon Models Limited ), Triad Toys, and HT ( Hot Toys ), have all taken a shot ( or two ) at making a sixthscale wetsuit. Some have been good, some have been great, and some have been downright dreadful. But when there are so few sixthscale wetsuits available ( each of the aforementioned sold out years back ), even the dreadful and inadequate become highly sought after. Such a shame that companies do not recognize the opportunity presented here. Lack of supply drives demand, demand drives the opportunity for sales, and sales drive profits.
Profits are money – to buy stuff with.
One might argue that part of the reason we have not seen more wetsuits in sixthscale is that there are too many challenges presented in the development and production of said suits. That the challenges far outweigh the opportunity for profit, better to be safe than sorry, use something that we already have, and that is that. One might argue that the materials involved are either too expensive or too difficult to work with. I would respectfully disagree with both of these arguments…
Here are my arguments to the arguments – my rebuttal…
1. Taking into account the level of technical acuity and expert tailoring exhibited in the construction of sixthscale sewn items ( circa 2012 ), the construction and finishing of even the most complex 1/1 scale wetsuit equivalent ( in sixthscale ), should be a walk in the park.
2. The materials involved, while somewhat exotic, are not what would be described as rare or premium. If you look around, you can see a myriad of examples of stretchable poly rubber finish materials, used in everything from rain suits, to camping equipment, to exercise gear. Even some so called disposable ( supposa-disposable ) items use this, or similarly fashioned/formed materials.
From what I have read, Hot Toys did have issues with the durability/longevity of the material that they used for their wetsuits ( circa 2005 ). Luckily, I didn’t experience any issues with the half dozen or so samples that I ended up with over the intervening years. Yet there are still other examples of companies not having problems. Triad Toys is one of those companies that seems to have found a highly effective and durable fabric type – one that stretches without tearing, and doesn’t breakdown or deteriorate with time.
Maybe it is just a matter of not having a good enough design from which to work. If that is the case, maybe Toys City will give me a jingle, and I can design a wetsuit or two for their next MILSPEC or TACOPS SCUBA themed figure.
Alright, all of my quibbling and consternation aside, I am still well pleased with the uniform choices included herein. The CRYE Precision Field Shirt AC in the Navy Custom Combat cut, and the CRYE Precision Field Pant AC in the Navy Custom Combat cut, are a nice choice – and are suitable for just about any sixthscale modern military figure application. There are some exceptions of course, but for the most part, these two uniform elements are versatile enough to be used in several ways.
The cut and quality ( tailoring ) of the pieces is well executed and detailed; the material is scale appropriate/practical; and the velcro details are established/executed with microscale, or low profile, velcro – a must for sixthscale uniforms and softlines. Strictly speaking, my only real gripe is that we don’t have that wetsuit. Although in the spirit of MILSPEC or TACOPS SCUBA authenticity, a wetsuit may not always be the most logical choice.
The Whites EVO 3 Boots that come with the set are a nice inclusion. The detailing is crisp, and the overall look is very appealing. I am happy to see that Toys City did their homework here to come up with an original to sixthscale MILSPEC or TACOPS SCUBA boot option. We have certainly seen a need for something new in this area since the 2000-2007 UDT reign of BBI and HT. Even Sideshow Toys Abe Sapien got that some pair of BBI/HT SCUBA booties.
To round out the set we receive a pair of Deep See 2mm Barnacle Diving Gloves, and a black duty type belt. The belt is fairly ubiquitous, and really differs in no way from duty belts that we have seen in the past. But the Deep See 2mm Barnacle Diving Gloves, are something else altogether…
While these gloves are not made specifically for MILSPEC or TACOPS SCUBA, they are still are great fit ( in keeping ) with the theme. The reinforced knuckle detailing, and the overall technical look of the gloves make them seem right at home with the rest of the figure’s gear. And who knows, maybe while he is doing some underwater stealth UDT mission stuff, he may want to scrape some barnacles off the hull of a Tango Water Craft… A little post op barnacle stew back at the SCUBA Shack maybe?
Okay, let’s get to the score for the uniform element category… Despite the lack of a wetsuit, I have to commend Toys City for coming up with two new to sixthscale elements in the form of the Whites EVO 3 Boots, and the Deep See 2mm Barnacle Diving Gloves. Both are exiting new goodies that will undoubtedly be welcome additions to existing UDT figures and UDT parts bins alike. This, combine with the quality and versatility potential of the CRYE Precision elements, adds up to a four and a half out of five stars.
Softline elements ( web gear and pouches )…
As with the uniform elements, Toys City has gone the extra mile to add in some new to sixthscale goodies in the softlines category… Here is the breakdown:
Black 2199D MOLLE Harness ( read: LBT ( London Bridge Trading Company ) LBT-2199D MOLLE Harness )
Black M16 Double Mag Pouch x 2 ( read: LBT ( London Bridge Trading Company ) LBT-6159B Modular Double M4/M14/MP5 Mag Pouch )
Black Single Pistol Mag Pouch x 2 ( read: LBT ( London Bridge Trading Company ) LBT-9012A Modular Single 9mm Pouch )
Black Medic Pouch ( read: LBT ( London Bridge Trading Company ) LBT-9015A Modular Medical Kit Pouch )
Black Utility Pouch ( read: LBT ( London Bridge Trading Company ) LBT-6109A Medium Modular Utility Pouch )
Black 2684A Waterproof Diving Equipment Pack ( read: LBT ( London Bridge Trading Company ) LBT-2684A NAVSEA certified UW Waterproof Pack )
That is a whole slew of LBT parts – indeed, this may be the first time that we have seen an all LBT ( London Bridge Trading Company ) softline kit featured with a sixthscale figure – and it will not be the last time I reckon. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, and the more I have researched modern military kits, the more I have noticed LBT gear making it’s way to the forefront. This can be seen not only in sixthscale, but can also be seen in fullscale – and even fullscale in the arena of Airsoft enthusiasm. Almost makes me want to have an LBT something or another – although I really have no need for any LBT stuff – it would just make me look and feel like a poser. Still, one of those LBT-1961G harnesses would be neat have for woodland hikes.
In addition to the LBT ( London Bridge Trading Company ) harness and assorted pouches, we receive an interesting looking and expertly rendered pack: The LBT-2684A NAVSEA certified UW Waterproof Pack. And I have to say, it is a great inclusion with this guy – and stands as yet another example of Toys City carefully researching the equipment they chose to include with the figure.
This is not the first example of a maritime use pack in sixthscale – Hot Toys can claim that distinction with the pack that came with their first UDT HALO figure ( way back in 2000 ), and again, with an updated version with their UDT HALO ( in 2007 ). In both cases the pack(s) were constructed from a rubberized cloth material – which makes sense being these packs are intended to be waterproof. There were even some nifty looking equalization/inflation vent or valve features on the 2007 version – giving it a maritime suggestive ( and cool ) look.
Okay, that is good news for anyone who happens to have nabbed either or both of those packs. And I wish that I could say that Toys City followed Hot Toys lead here – using a rubberized, or rubber backed material with which to construct the LBT-2684A NAVSEA certified UW Waterproof Pack. I am adding a provision that this may not be featured on the fullscale equivalent – something I was unable to determine in my research. Therefore I cannot count the use of non-rubberized material as a score deduction. It could very well be that this is an accurate rendering of the pack, and that Toys City knew exactly what they were doing.
Note: As of the publish date of this review, I was able to track down some information on the LBT-1562CC Large Waterproof Backpack. It seems that in the case of the LBT-1562CC , the use of a rubberized material is standard.
However, in the case of the LBT-2684A NAVSEA certified UW Waterproof Pack, the outer pack material is actually 500D Cordura. Very interesting…
So bottom line, Toys City did do their homework, and did give us what is more or less, an accurate depiction/rendering of the LBT-2684A NAVSEA certified UW Waterproof Pack. To further clarify, here is some feature verbiage form LBT’s site:
UW Waterproof Pack
•Replaceable inner waterproof submersible lining (conforms to NAVSEA Certification)
•Outer shell made from durable 500D Cordura
•Modular web attachment points
•Outer document window
•Dual carry handles and concealable adjustable padded shoulder straps with sternum strap
•Four cinch straps with side releases to compress contents
•Large external pocket with dual para cord sliders (not waterproof) (13″ L x 11″ W x 3″ H)
•Oral inflation valve on top of pack
•Overall dimensions: 14″ L x 12″ W x 18″ H
•Weight: 5.2 lbs.
•Capacity: 3025 cubic inches
Now that I have that clarified, I feel confident that I can get to the scoring portion of the softline elements category without any uncertainties. Given the quality of the LBT parts herein, and the fact that Toys City went with an all LBT kit, I have to go high with the score. I cannot go a full five out of five though – I am still going to make a deduction for what I consider to be subpar fastex buckles. When and if Toys City corrects this, I feel that they will upgrade the overall look and appeal of their softline compendium of parts. In the meantime, my score for the softline elements as featured in the US Navy SEAL SDVT-1 kit, is four and a half out of five stars.
Hardline elements ( tools and sundry parts )…
Toys City has included some pretty decent UDT/MILSPEC/TACOPS/SCUBA gear in this set. There are also a couple of new to sixthscale pieces as well. Here is the breakdown:
Black FAST Bump Helmet ( read: Ops Core FAST Carbon Helmet )
NVG Shroud ( read: Ops Core VAS NVG Shroud )
NVG Mount ( read: WILCOX G24 NVG Mount )
Helmet Rail Connector ( read: Ops Core FAST-ARCs )
PVS-18 Night Vision Goggle ( read: AN/PVS-18 M983 Gen III Monocular )
Helmet Light ( read: Streamlight Vantage Tactical Helmet Light )
LAR Rebreather ( read: Dräger LAR V Mod 2B UBA )
LAR Life Preserver ( read: Dräger Life Vest II for use with the Dräger LAR V Mod 2B UBA )
Diving Weight Belt ( nothing to add )
Military Diver Navigation Broad ( read: RJE TAC-100A Diver Navigation Board with Underwater Compass ( TAC-100-2 ), Depth Gauge: TAC-DG/I ( 0-50ft ), and Dive Chronometer ( TAC-Chron ) )
Diving Compass ( read: XS Scuba Wrist/Hose Mount Diving Compass )
Diving Depth Gauge ( read: Tekna-type Capillary Depth Gauge )
Diving Watch ( read: Suunto-type or Casio-type Digital Diving Watch )
Diving Combat Lanyard ( nothing to add )
Diving Goggle ( not sure on this one – but reminds me of either the Sea Vision Ultra Mask, or the TUSA Liberator Plus Scuba Snorkel Mask )
Force-Fin ( read: Force Fin Pro Military SCUBA Fins )
Q-OPS Waterproof Headset ( read: Silynx Micro C4OPS Tactical Headset System Cables and ear Buds/Mic )
Q-OPS PTT ( read: Silynx Micro C4OPS Tactical Headset System PTT )
Q-OPS Wireless PTT ( read: Silynx Micro C4OPS Tactical Headset System Picatinny Rail Attachment Weapon Mount Remote Control ) I will discuss this piece in the Weapon Element category.
OTS Underwater Radio ( read: OTS ( Ocean Technology Systems ) SSB-2001B-2, 2-channel 5 Watts Output Power Diver Transceiver )
VIP Strobe Light ( read: Adventure Light Inc. VIPIR Signal; Light: The Original VIP ( 5 LED ) )
Signal flare & holder ( read: Signal Illumination Ground White Star Parachute M127 A1 Flare )
MK-124MOD0 Smoke Illumination Grenade ( read: NAVSEA Signal Smoke and Illumination Marine Mk 124 Mod 0 Flare )
M-18 Smoke Grenade x 2 ( nothing to add )
D ring ( nothing to add )
Patches ( nothing to add )
Military Tape ( nothing to add )
Normally, I don’t spend much time covering the hardline elements of a set…But then normally there aren’t that many hardline elements to cover in the first place – or more to the point, new to sixthscale hardline parts. In this case, there is one new to sixthscale addition in particular that immediately caught my eye – The Silynx Micro C4OPS Tactical Headset System…
Rather than try to describe the fullscale real world inspiration in ,y own ( woefully inadequate ) words, I will include an official type blurb from Silynx:
The Micro C4OPS is a 20m immersible software defined, tactical hearing protection/hearing enhancement headset system. It incorporates all the functionality and enhanced capability of the C4OPS in a smaller and lighter form factor control box. The modularity of the system enables the operator to use a variety of headset configurations based on the operational profile. The Micro C4OPS Control Box headset lead includes a quick disconnect connector that allows the attachment of various headset configurations (see optional covert and 20m immersible low noise headsets below). The Micro C4OPS Control Box includes 3 radio/intercom leads (primary, secondary, auxiliary).
Sound familiar? It should – the same system will be released with Soldier Story SEAL TEAM VI Operation Neptune Spear figure.
So is the Toys City version in fact, new to sixthscale? Technically I suppose that it is not as the Soldier Story figure was announced – and pics released moths before the Toys City US Navy SEAL SDVT-1 was announced. So not new in that respect, but new in the fact that Toys City was the first to get it into our hands. And therein lays the competitive nature of this or any other market.
The same thing happened in the case of the Ops Core series of helmets that Toys City and Soldier Story released… Who get their version(s) produced and released first, who will have the better version, etc. This can be incredibly good for any market – competition and jockeying to see who can provide the best product.
There are some subtle and not so subtle differences between the Toys City and Soldier Story version of the Silynx Micro C4OPS Tactical Headset System. For one thing, the PTT portion is different ( visually ) in both versions, and so is the radio to which the Micro C4OPS interfaces.
In the case of the Toys City version, the system radio is modeled after the OTS ( Ocean Technology Systems ) SSB-2001B-2, 2-channel 5 Watts Output Power Diver Transceiver. For those of us who had the ( or are familiar with ) the 2005 Hot Toys UDT figure(s), this radio will be familiar. I thought that this was a particularly good choice for it’s unique and rugged look. It just looks right at home on a figure that will be splashing around in blue water. The name alone tells you all you need to know – OTS ( Ocean Technology Systems ).
The detailing on both the OTS ( Ocean Technology Systems ) SSB-2001B-2, 2-channel 5 Watts Output Power Diver Transceiver, and the Silynx Micro C4OPS Tactical Headset System, is very nice. I was happy to see that Toys City once again went with what look like pad stamped verbiage detailing as opposed to detailing applied with sticky back decals. That pad stamped technique may not be what was actually used – I am just referring to a technique that would work for this type of detail. But irrespective of how the verbiage details were applied, they are crisp, vivid, and clearly visible.
The next item I want to discuss, is the Ops Core FAST Carbon helmet. It really wasn’t all that long ago that the only sixthscale FAST helmet on the scene was the one that Kingship developed. I think quite a few of us visited the thread in which the Kingship FAST pics were posted. Hoping that one day we would see one ( hopefully his ) produced in sixthscale… One that we could lay hands on and enjoy…
Toys City was the first to bring us the Ops Core FAST Carbon, and Ballistic helmet. Remember that? I do – I remember desperately wanting to track one down to pick up as a loose parts purchase. But as is most often the case with a new to sixthscale item, the price of the loose part is always high. Of course that price point eventually goes down as more versions of said item are produced. Once again we see how supply and demand, and market competition can be helpful when it comes to keeping costs competitive.
Another nice inclusion with the set is the Dräger LAR V Mod 2B UBA rebreather, and the Dräger Life Vest II life preserver – or BC ( Buoyancy Compensation vest ). Toys City gave us the same Dräger line up with their U.S. Navy SEAL Recon Diver. The other reissued Toys City U.S. Navy SEAL Recon Diver parts that we receive with the US Navy SEAL SDVT-1, are the RJE TAC-100A Diver Navigation Board with Underwater Compass ( TAC-100-2 ), Depth Gauge: TAC-DG/I ( 0-50ft ), and Dive Chronometer ( TAC-Chron ), the Tekna-type Capillary Depth Gauge, the Suunto-type or Casio-type Digital Diving Watch, the Diving Combat Lanyard, the Sea Vision Ultra Mask, the XS Scuba Beta Titanium Dive Knife, and the Diving Weight Belt.
No complaints there – all are well made and are very similar to the same said items that came with both the BBI Stingray UDT ( 2001 ), and Hot Toys 2005-2007 UDT(s).
Okay, shall we have a score for the hardlines then? I have to give props to Toys City for coming up with some new items in this category. Soldier Story and Toys City have some of these parts in common, and we could argue the finer points of both. In this case, I have to give points for execution more than for originality. I therefore feel that a four and a half out of five stars is fair for the hardline category.
We have some very nice elements to cover in the weapon category. Here is the breakdown:
M4A1 Assault Rifle ( read: Colt =type M4A1 5.56x45mm NATO gas-operated rotating bolt carbine rifle with Vltor Basic IMod ( Improved Modular ) Stock – CLUBFOOT with butt pad, and TDI ( Tango Down Industries ) BP-4 Rail Grips )
30 rounds M16 Magazine x 3 ( nothing to add )
20 rounds MP Magazine x 2 ( read: Magpul PMAG 20-round 5.56×45 mm NATO ( .223 Remington ) Polymer magazines )
PEQ-15 Laser Indicator ( read: Insight ATPIAL ( AN/PEQ-15 ) Advanced Target Pointer/Illuminator Aiming Laser )
CQ-T Optic Sight ( read: Leupold Mark 4 1-3x14mm CQ/T Optical Sight )
Tactical Gun Light ( read: Insight Technology M6X Tactical Gun Mount Laser Illuminator )
Tactical Fore Grip ( read: TDI ( Tango Down Industries ) BGV-MK46 Vertical Foregrip )
Tactical Sling ( nothing to add )
Pistol Magazine x 3 ( nothing to add )
P226 Pistol ( read: Sig Sauer P226 pistol – wish it was the Navy/Mk25 )
Black P226 6004 Holster ( read: Safariland Model 6004 SLS ( Self Locking System ) Tactical Holster )
Combat Diving Knife ( read: XS Scuba Beta Titanium Dive Knife )
I really want to focus on the two new to sixthscale items in this category:
1. Insight Technology M6X Tactical Gun Mount Laser Illuminator
2. Silynx Micro C4OPS Tactical Headset System Picatinny Rail Attachment Weapon Mount Remote Control
I decided to cover the Silynx Micro C4OPS Tactical Headset System Picatinny Rail Attachment Weapon Mount Remote Control, in the weapon element category as opposed to the hardlines ( where I listed it ), because even though it is part of the communications system, it is still directly integrated into ( onto ) the rifle.
I think that the first time I saw one of these was with the pre-release press packet pics Soldier Story SEAL TEAM VI Operation Neptune Spear figure. At first I thought this interesting looking little gizmo was the battery/switch for a powered RIS ( Picatinny ) rail. I thought that I had seen something like this on some tactical news site or another, but I have since been unable to find it – but maybe it was something that Troy Industries came up with??? At any rate, the detailing and fit of the Silynx Micro C4OPS Tactical Headset System Picatinny Rail Attachment Weapon Mount Remote Control is decent, but the true appeal, for me at least, can be expressed in it’s coolness factor. And why not, it is after all, a cool item – both in the practical sense, as well as in the overall aesthetic appeal/coolness sense.
The second item I want to discuss is the Insight Technology M6X Tactical Gun Mount Laser Illuminator. I was a little surprised that with all of the research that I have been doing of late, that I had not yet seen one of these. It is similar to the Insight Technology M3X Tactical Gun Mount Flashlight, with the addition of a military-proven visible aiming laser. Again, a very cool item for it’s practicality, as well as for it’s aesthetics. It is also a welcome addition to the sixthscale weapon accessory line up. I have to give kudos to Toys City for their originality.
We also get a pretty cool looking and somewhat exotic ( to sixthscale ) optic: The Leupold Mark 4 1-3x14mm CQ/T Optical Sight. It has been awhile since we’ve had one of these in sixthscale… There was the version that came out with the Hot Toys SCAR rifle collection ( Weapon Seriers 4, and 75th Ranger ), and then there was the version that came with the Cal-Tek collection of HK G-Series of weapons. In each of those cases the optic was very nice, and was a nice accompaniment to weapons spanning across manufacture lines.
Personally speaking, I really like the Leupold Mark 4 1-3x14mm CQ/T Optical Sight, for it’s exotic look – and have even considered it for use with science fiction themed customs. The unusual lines and appointments, can lend a rifle a unique look… This especially so at a time when Eotech and Raytheon SpecterDr optics are all the rage in both sixthscale, and seemingly in fullscale ( or lifescale ). Good stuff.
There residue of the weapon elements that come with the SEAL SDVT-1, are similar to what we have seen with other Toys City releases. Each element embodies all of the requisite bells and whistles we have come to expect in a time of sixthscale detail and function that borders on high art. I particularly like what both Toys City and Soldier Story, and now Playhouse Toys, have done with their M4 rifles. In each case we receive what must be very similar design wise to what one would find on a fullscale M4, in the form of the same, or similar breakdown feature and control surfaces.
To further comment, I really like this breakdown feature(s), as it allows for increased weapon modifications and hop up options. And for a guy like me, who loves to kitbash and heavily customize sixthscale weapons, breakdown features are a great inclusion. Plus, the fact that the sixthscale version shares some of the same design functions and features as it’s fullscale inspiration is impressive. Of course that is completely speculator on my part as I have never owned or broken down an M4.
To touch on the secondary weapon, the Sig Sauer P226 that Toys City produces is also well made and highly detailed. The stand out detail component for me is the imprinted manufacturing and model stamps found on the slide and handgrips. I have to wonder how this sort of detailing is accomplished – I think maybe it is a sign that I am listening to Stairway to Heaven right now, and Robert Plant just sang the lyrics: “ And it makes me wonder…” Cool eh?
Getting back to the review, and our discussion of countersunk verbiage details on sixthscale Sig Sauer P226’s, if I had to venture a guess, I would imagine that a CAD machine of some description or another is used to etch in the details in question. I would love to know the process involved – can you imagine how great – how much fun it would be to have access to that kind of technology? To sit down and design a sixthscale version of a weapon that already exists in fullscale? Or to design a new weapon, born out of your own imagination? Your imagination could run wild… Kind of makes you wonder…
Alright, let’s get down to the score for the weapon element category. Although we didn’t see a new rifle design this time out, we did get some neat new accessories to add to an already cool and well-crafted sixthscale rifle. I therefore feel that a four and a half out of five stars is in order for the weapon element category.
All in all, I feel that this is an interesting and well executed figure set. True, I would have been happier to have seen a wetsuit with this guy, but given that we do receive a well-crafted CRYE precision set, I don’t really feel like the lack of a wetsuit is a major setback. Still, someone out there needs to take this challenge on – make a UDT, or MILSPEC, or TACOPS SCUBA, figure – and give him a sweet ass wetsuit. Maybe even a similar set up in a drysuit variant to add to the fun. I am available to lend a hand – I know how to sew, and I did design some of my own clothes back in Jr. High School… I think I even tried on a wetsuit in an Army Navy Surplus Store when I was 15-years old, but that is another story…
All suit considerations aside, I think that this guy works well as both a waterborne, and land based mission operator. With just the right amount and assortment of uniform elements, softline gear, hardline gear, and weapon elements to transition between those two AOR’s. I have to tip my hat to Toys City for yet another in what is becoming a long line of fun and interesting modern era military themed figures. One has to wonder what will be next…
Head-sculpt and base body: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Uniform element: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Softline elements ( web gear and pouches: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Hardline elements ( tools and sundry parts ): 4.5 out of 5 stars
Weapon elements: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Grand total: 4.5 out of 5 stars
What I changed or added…
Preparation wise, I left this one as is ( or stock ) out of the box. No custom touches were applied in this case. I did nevertheless go about the usual finishing procedures that I use when unboxing and gearing up a figure.
Part of the finishing process that I use with most if not all of my figures is a technique that I call Thread Patrol. I have discussed thread patrolling in more than a few of my reviews, and I hope that it is one of those tidbits that readers will try with their own figure sets. I have to give thanks to the father of one of very best friends Corey Ficken for teaching me the technique. Corey’s father, Chris Ficken, was having lunch with all of us young whipper snappers, back in the mid 1990′s ( and yes, I was wearing a NIN tour tee ), when he noticed me tugging at a loose strand of thread connected to my brand spanking new Nike ACG Air Moab trail runners. Chris stopped me right before I very nearly undid a critical seam with my increasingly frantic thread tugging. He told me about a nifty little trick to remove errant threads using a butane lighter so as not to compromise a seam. He demonstrated the technique, and the offending thread was vanquished. Unfortunately, my Moab’s didn’t last much more than a year or so after that day, but the trick with the butane lighter stood the test of time… And I am happy to say that it still serves me well to this day – both in sixthscale, and in lifescale. Thanks again Mr. Ficken.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with what I have termed thread patrol, here is a breakdown:
One of the byproducts of sewing is leftover thread. This is an unavoidable outcome that can be solved with some deft scissor work. For the most part 1/6 companies do a fair job of removing the surplus thread remnants, but there is always something leftover. Often times the amount of leftover ( overlooked ) thread remnants is roughly equal to the quality of the garment – better sewing and better finishing, less loose thread. And in some cases ( I won’t mention names as I don’t want to hurt any feelings ), the amount of leftover thread can be downright ridiculous.
With that said, part of my preparation of a figure always includes the removal of the thread remnants from any and all of the cloth elements. I feel it just looks a whole lot better to have the figure’s uni and gear neat-looking and squared away. My preferred method for removing the pesky threads is the use of a butane lighter. I simply pass the flame over the loose end of the thread and viola… it’s history. In cases where the loose thread is longer than an inch or so I will trim it down with scissors before giving it the butane lighter treatment. The lighter not only burns the thread down, it also cauterizes ( or seals ) the end of the thread thus helping to keep the seam from unraveling. This method requires some practice as you want to melt the thread without burning the garment. Once this form of thread dispatch is mastered, it can become an invaluable finishing tool.
Well here we are at the end of another review. I have to say thank you to all involved, and to those who have taken out time to read even part of the content herein. I realize that these review are long ( I hate to say winded ), and that there is way too much detail – or at least more than enough. I would just ask to have it known that these are not just breakdowns and observations of the constituent parts of a sixthscale action figure, but are brief historical perspectives on the hobby, with a small measure of personality thrown in to sweeten things up a bit. And that, is what is known as a run on sentence.
Best regards as always, Mike