Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Sideshow Abraham Lincoln, A Historic Action Figure That Will Make 3000 People Happy!

The Good: Great sculpt, Decent accessories, Stand, Rarity
The Bad: Balance issues
The Basics: Abraham Lincoln was a great President and he makes for a pretty exceptional Sideshow Collectibles doll.

At my annual Star Trek convention in Maryland a week and a half ago, I found one of the Sideshow Toys President Lincoln dolls, which the dealer was trying to sell, capitalizing on the 200th Birthday of Lincoln. I figured it had to be kismet; I sold my final 12" doll from Monty Python And The Holy Grail for the exact price that would allow me to by the Lincoln doll. So, between having a gift for a historian in my family and having something new to review as part of the write-off, I felt compelled to purchase it.


The Abraham Lincoln 12" action figure is essentially a doll from Sideshow Toy's Brotherhood Of Arms line. Limited to 3000 pieces, this doll is a masterwork of sculpting and clothing. Standing the full twelve inches tall, the Lincoln doll is an amazing sculpt of President Abraham Lincoln, at least given every photograph and historical document I have seen. This doll bears a strong likeness to Lincoln's visage and the detailing in the face and hands is extraordinary.

Lincoln's body is molded out of hard plastic and is fairly standard for any doll. Considering that only the head and hands are visible, the essential sculpting details are all in the head and this Lincoln lives up perfectly. The hands are detailed so precisely that the doll has molded fingernails (essentially indentations at the tip of each finger, but they fit the bill!) that fit the overall level of detail of the doll. Lincoln is molded such that there is incredible detailing in terms of the hair on the head and beard. Instead of essentially being a painted splotch, the beard is molded into the face, as are the eyebrows, with faint molded lines to indicate a sense of realistic texture.

While the eyes of the Lincoln doll are piercing, but have white pupils, the rest of the details are lifelike realistic! What this means is that the face has darker cheeks than most dolls, which fits the weathered look late Lincoln is portrayed as having. The gaunt cheeks have realistic reddish shading to give depth and realism to this Lincoln doll. Yes, for anyone who has ever seen an image of Abraham Lincoln, this is instantly recognizable and is possibly the closest most people will ever get to looking at Lincoln in realistic flesh tones.

The detailing on the Abraham Lincoln doll from Sideshow is not only present in the face and sculpt, but it extends to the statesman suit Lincoln is wearing. Recreated from famous portraits and photographs, the suit is black cloth for the pants and suitcoat and white cloth for the button-down shirt (which is actually fastened with tiny snaps). The clothing on the Lincoln doll is immaculately detailed with a black tie that appears to be hand-tied around the doll's neck. This figure is coifed perfectly to appear like President Lincoln.


Abraham Lincoln, in the Sideshow doll form has great detail, not only in the sculpt and costuming, but in most of its accessories. Lincoln comes with his top hat, a copy of the Gettysburg Address, a theater program and his display stand. The program and Address are essentially little rolls of paper that fit in either of the character's hands. They have tiny writing on them, but only the first lines of the Address are actually legible. These are, sadly, somewhat lame accessories.

What isn't lame is the top hat. The hat is an inch in diameter and an inch and a half tall. The hat fits loosely atop Lincoln's head, but it actually balances surprisingly well. Considering that most people who purchase this doll will not remove it from the package (whatwith it being a collectible) and those who do are likely not to play with it, the way the hat rests atop the figure's head and can fall off is not likely to be much of an issue. After all, when the figure is standing in a balanced position, with the head up, there are no issues with the hat balancing or even vibrations knocking it off (less earthquake level vibrations!). This is an iconic accessory for the action figure and it looks good on the toy.

Finally, the Abraham Lincoln doll comes with a pretty standard doll stand with an Brotherhood Of Arms logo on the base. The base is a four inch in diameter circular plastic disc with a plastic and metal rod (for lack of a better term) that fits into it. The plastic rod fits into the stand and is three inches long. The metal portion, with two prongs, extends up from that with the prongs that fit around Lincoln's waist. The stand holds the figure stable and perfectly supports it from the waist.


Seriously, who is going to play with an Abraham Lincoln doll? What does one do, have him line dance with the Lee figure? Arm wrestle Grant? Sit in quiet contemplation with the George Washington doll? I don't know. I suspect most people will keep it mint in box as a collectible and the few who take it out are likely to simply stick it on the stand, perhaps get a decent globe to cover it so it does not get dusty. One suspects most people will not play with it.
Those who do remove it from the package will discover that this doll maintains the ridiculously high standards Sideshow Collectibles is known for. The figure has thirty points of articulation with joints at the ankles, knees, groin socket, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and neck with some of the joints having extensive articulation. So, for example, the shoulder socket is a true ball and socket and offers the doll a full range of motion, as well as rotational motion for the entire arm. The truth is, the doll is over-articulated for the figure, especially considering few will actually play with the doll. The figure moves with entirely realistic ranges of motion on all of the limbs and torso movements. Still, the head joint is slightly limited with less of a range of motion than some dolls.

The only real problem with this Abraham Lincoln doll is that the joints are perfectly articulated, but they lack a muscular system. The result is that the joints loosen a bit and the figure tips over relatively easy. The figure does not have have great balance without the stand and tips too easily. Ironically, the costume supports the doll in some places better than the joints do!


Sideshow Collectibles lives up to its name with this Abraham Lincoln figure from the Brotherhood Of Arms line. This doll is strictly limited to 3000 pieces and Sideshow Toys has a strong record of improving the value of toys as investments. This one has skyrocketed this year from its initial issue price in the fifty dollar range due to the bicentennial of his birthday.

Sideshow Collectibles puts extraordinary detailing into the boxes of its toys and the Abraham Lincoln doll is no exception. It comes with a picture window and "cover," like a book cover. Held closed by Velcro, the bookcover box opens and has all sorts of information on Lincoln on the inside. One may also see the toy and all its accessories without removing the figure from its box. Glossy and classy, the box itself is a little work of art, accenting the action figure.


The Sideshow Collectibles Abraham Lincoln doll, outside the tipping over (without the stand), is a great toy and a wonderful collectible for those looking to commemorate the former President of the United States. And if one has to collect dolls of former presidents, this might well be the best one!

For other doll reviews, please check out my takes on:
Hot Toys 12" The Dark Knight Joker
Tonner Twilight Bella Swan doll
Masterpiece Edition Aurra Sing doll


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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