Pros: Angry scottish dwarfs with many axes are cool.
Cons: Sculpt and articulation are a little off, that ^$%@$ action feature
Straight from the brand spanking new movie by J.R.Tolkien and directed by Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring comes a line of 6" figures based on the major characters from the film. Today we're looking at the dwarf fellow Gimli, the dwarf representation of the fellowship from the book/film, one of the figures from the second series of the line and my favourite overall character from the LotR action figure set. Other major characters in the 6" line include Gandalf, Frodo Baggins, Saruman, Legolas and Strider, each with various weapons, accessories and part of the Middle-Earth map included in the packaging. Each retails for about $8. An enormous (and decisively crap) boxed set, the Cave Troll, retails for $20, and many fans are looking forward to a future Balrog boxed figure, and possibly (on my own personal wish list) a Sauron (and here's hoping he's a damn sight more impressive than that Crap Troll).
Gimli comes packaged in the same intreguing little card as the other 6" figures. A bright green border surrounds the ring, which reveals the figure and it's accessories in the middle of the package, which is shaped like a half-tube, the figure in the centre to be cut out. This is good packaging for both the MOC collector and the child-like open collector. With a bit of cutting, The card is opened and the plastic can be removed, to observe the Middle-Earth map underneath. With a lot of collecting, you can supposedly get the entire map, but it'd take a stroke of genius to put it all together, though it's a nice gimick. The back of the packaging details the action feature of the figure, plus some character background and pics of the other figures. It's nice and easy on the eyes. Top points.
Outside of the package, Gimli stands just under 5" tall, dressed in a red-crimson suit, adorned with chainmail, and gauntlets on each hand, as well as golden mini-shoulder pads. This isn't correct to the film, but looks decent enough; it seems to be the same forumla of clothing, but a different color scheme. Missing his helmet and his green cloak, Gimli's face is nicely sculpted and detailed with an angry look in his eyes and a realistic-esque platted beard and ponytail. The paint is well applied and the sculpt is decent, although it misses the same savagery and lack of wit that the bloke carried in the film. Still, he's an angry scottish dwarf, and that's the important thing.
Accessories is where Gimli jumps out at you. He comes with 5 pretty axes; a two handed, double sided battle axe, two single bladed axes (one with a 'break' action, more on that soon) and two different hand axes. He's a proper little axe maniac, this 'un. He can hold three at a time, due to the handy clip on his belt which will hold a hand axe for him. While the sculpt on the axes is pretty good, the paint is applied sloppily and I repainted them to make them look better, although their color scheme matches his own. This is all pretty nifty, but the big accessory that comes with the fellow is the one ring, on the round-ish table from the scene in the film where the fellowship is formed. With a quick repaint over the sloppiness, this is the perfect centrepiece for your LotR display, and the ring is even almost in scale. Forget that shoddy plastic thing that comes with Frodo, this is the king. I'm making a little medival display with various medival figures and pewter wizard/demon statues, and this looks brilliant in the middle. It also lends itself to the silly 'action' feature.
In the scene from the film where the fellowship is formed, Gimli jumps at the chance to destroy the ring in his dwarf silliness and hits it with an axe. The Ring gets all ancy about this and the axe splits in half and breaks. To re-enact this, one of the axes will break when you hit the ring (or anything else) with it; except that it rarely works. The peg inside isn't much of a peg at all, and you can either put it on so that it wont break at all, or put it on slightly so it will fall off with the slightest movement. Stoo-pid. Gimli also has an action feature which devoids articulation in his right arm; if you raise his arm and axe above his head and squeeze his legs together, he'll drop the axe, hitting something, though usually not the target. It's annoying really, and while it doesn't completely screw the fellow (like the stupid STUPID RingWraith) it is annoying, and it can make standing a little tricky. The breaking axe is also rendered basically usless, but since he has a surplus it's no problem.
He's pretty well articulated for a tiny dwarf - neck, shoulders, legs and wrists - and despite that being less than the mild Harry Potter toys, the combination of slightly bend arms, cut joint wrists and ball jointed shoulders enables for plenty of neat poses - for example, angry dwarf man going to attack with arms raised, or the immortal angry dwarf man cuts enemy in two with strategic 'angry' movements, or my favourite angry dwarf man about to kill cactus after some drinky drinky with a broken axe and Mr Bigglesworth. As mentioned, the leg articulation is shifty thanks to his 'action' feature but with a little reposing (ie superglue) you'll have no problems.
Gimli is my favourite from the LotR 6" line, and will only be surpassed if they make a Sauron figure. He's the only one I really recommend, and he gets an extra star thanks to the nifty one ring, which is an ideal centrepiece for a display.
Concluding, this is a fun guy to own and he should fulfil your need for angry scottish dwarfs with axes without having to watch the midget fights on Jerry Springer.