Head Play - A First Look

It’s truly amazing how little details can really make the difference between a good figure, and an excellent figure, and none so important than the actual head itself.  I wouldn’t class myself as a ‘brand snob’ sticking only to one manufacturer, indeed I have a variety of different heads on my figures ranging from original Dragon sculpts (mostly re-painted by myself) to some higher end ones.  I had however not tried any sculpts from that well known company ‘Head Play’, that was until recently.

I’ve always thought there were a little over-priced if I’m being 100% honest.  It is true that the price does vary and in some cases you can get a sculpt for as little as £15 from eBay, although they tend to be some of the more unpopular or less sought after sculpts; the average tends to be around £20.  So it was when I found Head Play products on a website named K G Hobby for only around £12.50 each that I jumped at the chance of purchasing a couple to see what the quality was like.

For those who don’t know, Head Play primarily specialise in movie or celebrity likenesses, with the odd few fictional characters thrown in for good measure.  Just like the range of sculpts they cover can vary, so indeed can the quality in terms of likeness vary.  Of course, this is largely open to own opinion but there a few cases where the sculptors of Head Play missed the mark completely.  This can be very frustrating when you’re trying to achieve a specific look on a project; you want 100% likeness, not something that would pass at a distance.

By in large, the majority of sculpts produced by Head Play are absolutely fantastic, with some notable mentions being Johnny Depp, Gary Oldman and Williem Dafoe to name just a few.  Head Play also take good care to carefully package their 1/6 creations in foam lined boxes with a magnetic clasp (pictured below), excellent presentation which can only be competed against by Loading Toys and their ‘Gas Tank’ packaging solution.

Some of the sculpts lend themselves perfectly, if not so 100% accurate movie likenesses, to being ‘generic’ military or civilian forces figures, and it is two of those sculpts that I chose for projects that I’m currently working on.

The first sculpt we will look at is the Jake Gyllenhaal head, which was modelled on his role in the film ‘Jarhead’.  Whilst not the best likeness (I would say the Hot Toys TTM-19 head version is more accurate) it’s still pretty darn good, and a perfect ‘generic military’ type of sculpt.  The paint application on the sculpt is truly outstanding, and of the two purchased this is definitely the more realistic, in fact eerily so!

My main two criticisms of this head is the very visible seams behind the head and across the head which come from what appears to be a two-part moulding process, and the overall length or height including the neck joint gives a disproportionately long neck once on a post and mounted on the body.  Whilst the latter is easily resolved with a dremel tool to remove a few millimetres from the bottom of the neck, the first issue regarding the moulding seams cannot be rectified without some major work – work that is just not worth the hassle.

(photo comparison of other headsculpts: 'knock off' eBay far left, Toys City 'Green Beret', Head Play 'Jake', Toys City NSW Marksman, Loading Toys 'Marcus)

The second head I purchased was the Channing Tatum sculpt, captured from his role playing ‘Duke’ in the 2009 GI Joe movie – ironic seeing how GI Joe was there this hobby all started!

Again, not strictly 100% accurate, but another fantastic ‘generic military’ sculpt that lends itself perfectly to ones needs.  In fact, I’m using this one as a PMC but would equally be at home as a Marine or alike.

Although with this one, the paint applications is not as realistic as Jake’s (I found the skin tone to be too pale and lacking in definition) the moulding is of slightly better quality; still with seam lines although less visible.  I also found that once mounted on a post and on the Toys City body, the length of the neck was in good proportion with no further modifications necessary.

(photo comparisons above)

My conclusion?  At around £12.50 each, I will certainly be purchasing some more Head Play sculpts as the quality for that price cannot be matched.  I possibly wouldn’t pay too much more unless I was putting together something very specific and was limited for choice.  I think around £15 should be the absolute limit for these sculpts which bearing in mind I’ve seen Toys City sculpts for more than that, is unlikely that it will be the benchmark price.  Overall, as a first time Head Play buyer, I’m very satisfied and will continue to look for them at bargain prices.

(These heads were purchased from K G Hobby, and you can view all of the sculpts on display here: http://www.kghobby.com/1-6-male-head-sculpt/)

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