An Exclu Review by Trevor Williams (@onesix_shooter)
Arise! Arise, riders of Théoden! Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered – a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises! Ride now! Ride now! Ride! Ride for ruin, and the world’s ending! – King Théoden
In Tolkien lore, Théoden was the seventeenth King of Rohan. I think he may be the 27th LOTR- related figure from Asmus Toys (not counting some double-packs) but either way, let’s see if he’ll ride his way into your LOTR collection…
- Asmus Toys KP+ 1.0 male body with over 32 points of articulation
- Six pair of gloved hands; relaxed, weapon-holding, and fists
- Dark red sleeved robe, green collared shirt
- Dark red long pants
- Two-piece boots (enhanced ankle joints)
- Shoulder and body armor, forearm gauntlets, shin guards
- Scaled armor skirt
- Die-cast Herugrim sword, belt/sheath
- Shield and helmet
- LOTR branded stand
Asmus has had a pretty good track record of late with sculpts. It also has to be said that it’s been a little erratic at times thought they’ve done a good job at refining sculpts that customers have given preliminary feedback on.
Let’s start with the good; the likeness is really nice. I think it may be just slightly elongated and could have been a bit squarer, but there is no doubt who this is and he looks good with or without the helmet on. I prefer the helmed look though, more on that below.
Preview images were looking really good for Thóden (as they will, usually) – the paint there looked really nice, but in final production, the paint has lost some of that nice depth. It’s still pretty high quality though.
I was never a fan of the sculpted hair they showed. Unfortunately, I’m still not. I really think this was a prime candidate for rooted hair as they’ve done before on both Aragorn and Boromir. He has a straight center part and in the films, the hair was always a bit tussled and had just a slight wave to it. Aside from that, blond hair is notoriously difficult to make look good with paint and while they did an OK job with it, it just always looks yellowish and… off. I would have liked more variation in tone on the beard as well, which looks flat compared to the promo images.
Molded in soft plastic for some flexibility, the hair is removable (held in place by a strong magnet) to replace it with the helmet. The way they’ve done it though is a little problematic in my opinion. The seam is in the widow’s peak/part on the forehead, the underside of which is part of the head, while the rest is separate. In theory, this should work well, but the gap between the two is noticeable and its being right smack in the middle of the face, makes it hard to ignore.
Other owners have said they don’t mind the seam/hair and there does seem to be a split among collectors as to molded or rooted hair is preferred, but personally, I’ll probably look into adding rooted hair to my Théoden.
As is almost always the case, the clothing here is beautiful. The detail Asmus manages to achieve in both the clothes and accessories never cease to amaze me. They also do a great job of choosing materials that have the right look but don’t add to much bulk even when there are multiple layers (as there often are with LOTR characters).
Theoden comes with his helm, which is an amazingly detailed piece – truly well done. The only thing I didn’t like was the padding inside – meant to keep the helmet from scratching the face I assume – is too visible when it’s on. It’s easily fixed by cutting it back with an Xacto knife though and looks much better after and the face is still protected.
Both the shield and the sword are also nicely detailed and as previously mentioned, the sword is die-cast. The belt/sheath is the only part you have to fit on the figure and that’s relatively easy to do, thankfully.
There are three sets of hands including hands to hold the sword and shield, as well as open and closed fists. There’s not a ton here, but what is included is very well done.
As I mentioned in the clothing section, Asmus does a great job of keeping things from getting bulky but the reality of armored figures is that they have limitations in movement. Real armor is segmented to allow for movement – like the upper arm padding and shoulder armor present here.
While the arm pads don’t hinder movement, the shoulder pieces, which are glued directly to the main torso armor really limit the range of arm movement. In the image below, I actually broke the glue on the left shoulder to get this much movement. Some elastic between these parts might have helped but may have been a cost factor. The elbows are double-jointed, however, which allows for good posing. The joins on the Asmus bodies are tight and they support the heavier die-cast weapons very well.
Leg movement, on the other hand, is good, with just about 45º rotation front to back and to the sides as well as a single-jointed 45º bend at the knee.
The boots here, as with most (but not all) of the other LOTR figures are two-piece allowing for some great ankle movement. Asmus does a very good job of creating a seamless look when in “museum” pose though and I greatly prefer the pose-ability over perfect aesthetics.
King Théoden retails for $200 which is a nice price for any officially licensed 1/6th figure these days. Lately, Asmus has been running sales on him taking the price down to a crazy $150! If you can catch that deal and you’re any kind of LOTR fan, this is a no-brainer. Even at the full price, it’s a nice-looking figure – especially with the beautifully detailed helmet on.
Théoden isn’t a figure I necessarily thought I needed in my LOTR collection but the beautiful details of the armor and/or clothing present in most of the offerings from this line from Asmus make them hard to resist.
If they had gone with rooted hair on this, I have a feeling it would have been a knockout. But it still has great shelf presence – especially with the helmet on!
Thanks to Asmus Collectible Toys for providing Thóden for review. For more from across the toy community, stay tuned to Exclu.
Trevor is a New York-based Creative Director and business owner. He has a growing collection of 200ish 1:6th scale stock and custom figures (and more and more Lego sets and Mezcos). Toy photography melds his childhood dreams of comic book illustration and film directing with his design talents and – in his mind – justifies the stupid money he spends on these things. When he’s not shooting, he enjoys kayaking, catching up on good TV and building dios.
Last modified: January 13, 2020