Check out this incredible and in-depth review of the Black Bolt Statue by XM Studios.
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Hey everyone. It’s Bmutha here. This is my first review of 2016 and it is Blackagar Boltagon, better known of course as Black Bolt. This is a statue from XM Studios, very highly anticipated statue. Lots of people were very excited to see how this one turned out. I’ll admit, right off the bat, I don’t know a lot about this character. I know of him, I know king of the Inhumans, he doesn’t talk, he’s got the destructive voice. That’s really about all I knew about him. I didn’t order this statue of the initial pre-order. I passed on it, again, because I don’t know a lot about them. But a friend of mine on Facebook had to let their pre-order go and so I kind of jumped on it from there. I thought, “This thing looks too cool. I need to see it in person.” I’m really glad I did. This thing is massive. It’s one of the biggest statues I’ve ever seen or ever owned. To the top of the scepter here, it’s a little over 36 inches. It’s huge. It’s a beastly statue. You’re going to need a lot of space for this one.
But anyways, let’s get into the review. We’ll talk first about the sculpt. The sculpt on this piece I think is really, really well done. I really like the physique on the figure itself. He’s really big and powerful looking, but he’s not overly muscular. Some statues out there, some sculptors like to detail every tendon and every single muscle fiber. This one is not like that and I actually like that better. I like the muscles to be a little less defined. I think it looks a little more realistic like that. The sculptor did a really good job of that. They added some texturing to the suit itself. On the chest here, you can see, there’s like a hexagon pattern down the chest and it goes down the inside of his legs, it’s across his back as well in here and down on the back of his knees. Some nice detail to the suit, but not too much. It’s not overwhelming. I really like what they did with the suit. Actually, the suit is probably one of the more comic accurate suits from XM. They do like to put their own spin on things. I don’t know if I’ve seen this exact pattern of lines on a comic. But again, I haven’t read too many with Black Bolt in it, so maybe it exists. But it’s pretty comic accurate I would say.
One thing XM gets a lot of flack for is its portrait sculpts. On this one in particular, I think they did a really nice job. You’ve got this one here, this is the screaming portrait and it really shows a lot of rage and it really using his power there. Then of course, you’ve got the regular head sculpt here which is fairly calm expression to it. But this one is kind of interesting, it depends how you look at it. If you look at it straight on, it looks just like a serious, calm dude. But if you look at it sort of at a bit of a downward angle, he really looks bad ass, really intimidating look to that. I really like the [sculpt?], I like both of them actually. I think they did a really nice job on both.
Now, let’s talk about the base. This is only a portion of the base and I’ll show you the top half a little bit later in the video. But what it is, it’s some kind of ruined relic of some large statue that’s been destroyed somewhat. But I really like– it’s got lots of details in and of itself, but I really like how they’ve given it that really worn and aged look. It really looks like an ancient relic of some kind that has just deteriorated over time. It’s really nice. Even when you turn it around the back, there’s not a lot to it. But again, it’s got that really aged and worn look to it and they didn’t– they could have easily just left the back of the statue fairly undetailed, but they did a really nice job in that area as well. I think the base is really cool on this statue. Overall, I’m really happy with the sculpt. When you look at the scepter as well, there’s lots of nice ornamental detail along the top of the scepter and everything. Good portraits, good physique, very nice base, very nice sculpt. Good job by XM.
You’ll notice, I switched up the display option a little bit here and I’ll talk more about that a little bit later in the video. Right now, I want to talk about the paint. There’s really not a lot to say about it. It’s really a nice, clean paint job, very nice, clean lines. I like the colors they used. The silver and the blue really complement and contrast each other quite nicely. When you see it in person – and it might show up in some of the photos – that the chest part, the textured part of the suit on the chest and around the legs and things is actually a little bit darker blue than the rest of the suit. Again, that’s a nice look to it when you get to see it in person. The base, it’s gray, it looks like rock. Paint job there does what it needs to do. It looks good. On the faces, I like the skin tones. They look fine to me. I don’t have any issues with those. Overall, the paint is really nice.
We’ll talk a little bit about the production and build quality on this one. You probably come to expect a certain standard from XM. If you have any of their statues or you’ve seen them or I’m sure you’ve seen them discussed at least in the forums and Facebook and whatnot. This is no different than what you’d expect. It’s a great quality piece. It’s got that very sturdy and heavy feel to it. I know a lot of people like to have some weight to their statues. This definitely has that. It’s a very top quality piece. I’ll tell you a little bit about how it goes together. The base is actually few different pieces. You’ve got the top half here that comes off and at the beginning of the video it was off, so you can see what it looks like without it. This big shield is a separate piece and it slides out or it fits into the base with a metal peg. There’s actually this little piece here. It’s like a little piece of a broken shield that you’ll find and it’s actually to plug the hole on the base. If you move them up to the upper position on the base, you can use this little thing to cover up that hole. That’s a pretty thoughtful detail. I like that.
Black Bolt himself, of course the head has come off, they’re intact with a magnet. It’s not as strong of a magnet as some of the other statues, so be careful with that if you’re moving around. Both hands come off of course to the glove line – the silver line on the glove – and it comes off there. It fits on with the magnet. There’s actually a little groove inside there. You pull it off, there’s a little groove on the key there and a key inside the wall there, so it can really only go on one way. I’ve never seen that on any statue before, but it’s neat to see. Then the wings, the wings in the back, they do just come off with a magnet. There’s a slot on its back and they fit into that. Everything is really high quality, top notch production on this. The only issue I can find is with the wings. They don’t quite touch the arms on the back of the statue here. There’s a little bit of a gap there, but that’s something you’re not going to see from most display angles. You really have to get down low and look up at it or look at it from the sides like this. Like that, you’ll see it. But otherwise, from the front, it’s something that you’re not going to really notice.
One thing I was a little bit concerned about before I got to see it in hand was the fit of the head onto the body. I thought it looked like there was some gaps there especially on the screening portrait. But actually in person, it’s not like that at all so you don’t have to worry about that. It actually looks like when it’s assembled in front of you, the chest piece, the chest armor comes up over his neck a bit and his collarbone and goes under the chest piece. It actually looks pretty cool in person. There’s really no issue there. I was a little worried about it. But again, no issue there. There’s almost no issues anywhere on this statue. The production quality is really, really high end. Exactly what you’d come to expect from XM.
Let’s get into the design of this piece because I think that’s really where this one shines. Now, this is one of the– XM had a contest for– I believe it was three statues; Black Bolt, She-Hulk, and Doctor Strange where they actually invited fan submissions for the design and picked one of those submissions for a winner. That winner got to work with XM on the design concept and I believe they also got a free copy of the statue they helped make. The winner of this particular one is someone named Arlen Caraang. Hopefully, I’m pronouncing that correctly. If not, I’m sorry. It’s a really cool concept. What is really awesome about this statue is you get two– you’re basically getting two statues in one. The switch out options really change the dynamics and change the feel of the statue.
You’ve got the different positions on the base, you can have them in the front here where he looks like he’s really coming and floating at you or you can put him up on top of the base where he’s raging and really looks like he’s levitating above the statue. Really cool, different dynamics between the two poses. Then the two different portraits, I mean, it’s a totally different feel again. You’ve got this one here. This is the calm or the regular portrait I call it. He just looks very intimidating. It’s an intimidating pose. When you place him down on the bottom of the base, like I said, he looks like he’s just kind of floating at you. I imagine him floating towards an audience of some kind in his royal throne room or whatever, a display of power to intimidate the people in front of him.
Then when you put him up here, you can have the screaming portrait and then the fingers out stretched like this and furled like that. It’s total rage mode. Just a totally different feel. I really like those two different options. I’m not sure which one I like better. I don’t know how I’m going to display it. I’ll probably end up changing it up several times over time. The design is great. I really like this one. I think that’s what elevates this statue into that upper echelon of pieces from any company really. I’m really, really happy with it. I like, again, the different options. Just really, really cool and a lot of thought went into it.
I’ll wrap up the review here. I am extremely pleased with Black Bolt from XM Studios. I think it’s another home run from them. You’ve got an excellent sculpt, excellent paint, top-notch quality all around, and of course the design, the different display options. It’s just, like I said, it’s almost like two statues in one. One thing I forgot to mention, the little antenna or prong thing on his forehead is actually made of real silver. XM included this little certificate to prove that it’s actual, an actual precious metal. That’s a pretty cool feature. Of course, you get the awesome art print. I think that’s probably the best art print that they’ve done so far. Really, really cool. If you want to display that along with the statue or hang it up somewhere, it would look great. The packaging of course, it’s the same big black box with the straps. It’s very high quality packaging. There’s no coin with this one. I think Thor is the last one to come with a coin. Thor is not out yet, but none of the other ones after Thor will have a coin. I’m really, really happy with this statue. It turned out great.
Everyone is going to ask or debate, “What’s the best statue from XM?” I wouldn’t argue with people to say that this is their best one yet. It’s definitely for me, it’s top two. I still really like Magneto. I know some people are sick of hearing about that one, but I still really like it. Of course, it just won statue of the year in the Statue Forum Awards. But yeah, this is definitely top two. It might even be their best just because of the awesome display options,- the totally different look and feel. I’m really blown away by that if you can’t already tell. Anyways, hopefully you enjoyed the review. Black Bolt from XM Studios, amazing statue, huge statue. I’ll reiterate that. I mean, look at this thing, it’s massive. Make sure you have lots of shelf space if you do get it and you’re lucky enough to get it. Anyways, that’s it for the review. Hopefully you guys enjoy it. We’ll talk to you guys next time.