Lara Croft vs. S.I.M.O.N.
Tomb Raider (Playmates)
I'm a big fan of the Tomb Raider franchise, and loved the first movie even though most everyone thought it was mediocre. It's one of those guilty pleasures, and seeing Angelina Jolie as the character was my sexual awakening of sorts when I was about 8.
I jumped at the chance to purchase this when my local toy store was having a clearing out sale. First off, the SIMON robot. It's apparently named after the director, Simon West. In the DVD special features, it is said that the toy designers visited the set, and that the two prongs on top of the toy robot's head were actually clamps holding up the prop on set. There's an action feature where the four arms pop out when you hit the button on its chest, which is cute. The robot appears pretty plasticky, and has far less points of articulation than the design implies. You'll also have some trouble getting it to stand. On the whole though, it looks great when posed with Lara.
The Lara figure has a pretty decent likeness to Angelina Jolie, apart from a slightly silly lopsided grin. The pose is pretty much fixed as the figure has very limited articulation (only four points). On the whole, the sculpt is nice and there's some nice fabric texture going on in the shirt. She is able to grip her pistols with mild adequacy - they are too small, are flat silver-coloured, and are basically the same pistols that came with the earlier game-based figures also from Playmates (although those had black highlights). The skin on the figure is a little too glossy and plasticky, but it's not a huge problem.
The base that comes with the figure looks great, and is a good representation of the training area in the movie. The sandy texture and colour are great, and so are the tiles. The broken pillar and fallen pillar section add a nice touch, and the two sections actually match, so the fallen section could have broken off the standing bit. Lara also gets an oversized rocket launcher with a projectile to shoot at SIMON.
On the whole, it's a pretty nice deluxe pack that captures the opening sequence of the film pretty well. And hey, a little plastic Angelina Jolie on your shelf - who can complain?