Review – Hot Toys 12″ Rambo III

31 07 2007

Rambo III was the movie that Sylvester Stallone had the best physique… ever. Watching this movie never fails to motivate me to get in shape… at least while the memory of scenes in the movie was still fresh. Stallone’s lats were bloody huge and the demarcation of each muscle group was never more chiseled. The audience was never in doubt that John Rambo was a veteran soldier capable of taking out an army.

Although critics hated Rambo III, I find it interesting that it depicted that period in history where the U.S backed Afghan fighters to remove Soviet presence from Afghanistan. This was the period where the CIA trained and supplied Afghan fighters in this conflict. The rest is history. Of course as a kid watching the movie then, it was all fiction to me.

Reading the plot of the upcoming John Rambo movie on the Internet made me roll my eyes. After Afghanistan, Burma seems a much safer backdrop for a movie. And it’s becomimg pretty standard for Rambo to fight an army of oppressive soldiers. I just hope that the execution of the plot will surprise me… but I think not. And to think that First Blood started on a very different premise.

I can’t believe someone wants Stallone to reprise this role at his age. A look at the recent John Rambo trailer confirmed that Rambo had gone horizontal… and he looks terrible with that hair. Violence seems to have upped a notch in the area of gore. It’s pretty graphic now. Decapitating, maiming, gutting and the works. With 221 body counts in the Guinness World of Records for Rambo III, I wonder if a determined effort was made to surpass that figure in this latest installment.

It’s sad how the Rambo franchise has evolved. But for the 12″ collector, it’s never been better. Hot Toys Rambo III looks the best of the preceding 2 Rambo figures and it reminds us of how Rambo was in the prime of his movie days.

On to the review…


The Hot Toys Rambo III is probably the best looking figure of Sylvester Stallone’s cult character among the 3 Rambo figures. The headsculpt is great and beautifully detailed. Resemblance is dead-on as well. The use of the muscular body is a fantastic choice although articulation will take a hit. The array of accessories is fantastic. But be careful when handling them because there are some small fragile parts.

What’s good:

  • Best Rambo headsculpt of the 3 from Hot Toys.
  • Muscular body.
  • Good array of accessories!
  • Excellent overall construction and details.
  • Splendid box art.

What could be better:

  • Muscular body restricts articulation.
  • Use of twist ties.
  • Hands with limited use.
  • Fragile accessory parts.

Review Details


Hot Toys take on the Rambo series has always followed closely with the movies’ posters. It is no difference for Rambo III. If you find the front box art familiar, chances are you’ve been there when the movie was released. Anyway, the glossy box sleeve is pretty standard these days from Hot Toys. They are always very well designed and give the extra shine to the product. From the pictures in the Incoming post, you can tell how many unique coloured panels were used on the box. That’s some effort. Kudos to Hot Toys in this aspect!

Boxes from Hot Toys are also known to be collector friendly. And Rambo III’s box is just that… except somehow twist ties are used again. I wonder what is the reason since I have not seen them on Hot Toys figures for some time. Maybe it is a sharp-nose figure and they want to prevent the paint on the nose from smearing on the box’s plastic screen during packing. But I do not recall the Superman Returns figure being bound with twist ties. Anyway, if Sideshow can go the no twist ties direction, I believe Hot Toys could too.


There’s no doubt that Stallone is staring at you when you look at the Hot Toys Rambo III. The resemblance is fantastic. The droopy eyes are there. And the stubble on the face is a great detail done to an equally great effect. It gives further realism to the figure. The accuracy of the facesculpt is no doubt the best detail of this figure!

The expression is one of silent pondering. You can imagine some colonel ordering Rambo not to go into a hot zone and Rambo is standing there listening. But in his mind there is no doubt what he plans to do.

Quality of Product

The quality of the figures from Hot Toys are becoming consistently excellent. The construction of every part of this Rambo III figure is no exception. The use of the muscular body is a great choice albeit the lack of articulation. It correctly depicts the Stallone’s excellent physique in the movie. The different muscle groups are very well molded. Throw some light and shadow effect on it and muscles become chiseled! Veins pop up adding realism.

This Rambo III figure is simple in the clothing department. What we have is a black fitting singlet, a pair of black trousers and the boots to match. Rambo’s trousers are seemingly folded up to the top of the boots. It looks ok when the figure is upright. But get it into a kneeling position and the trouser legs rise and show off a hairless shin underneath. I’ll have to re-watch the movie to ascertain whether Rambo folded up his pant legs or had them tucked into the boot!

While aesthetically this figure wins hands down, the functional aspect of it is questionable. The hands, for example, are a mystery. Both the hands in this package are unable to wield the dagger… which is one of the included accessories. Both hands seem unsuitable to wield the combat knife. The trigger hand works but it is still loose and the index finger sticks out.

I believe this figure was not meant to be posed in a bow-firing pose since no suitable hand to hold the end of an arrow is included. What Hot Toys could have included was a single hand that could hold the dagger and fire the bow. Sideshow did it with their Legolas figure. Here we have an awesome compound bow with an awesome array of arrows but no way to put this handsome figure to use it properly. Honestly, it’s like titillating without climaxing. Ha.


An issue regarding quality (or lack of quality) I noticed was the combat knife sheath. The strap which was meant to lock down the knife came undone. I realised it was glued onto the sheath and the adhesive had somehow dried up. Maybe nano construction of 1/6 stuff still has a way to go to mirror the ways in the 1:1 world. Be careful not to yank the strap out unknowingly.


Although using a muscular body, the Hot Toys Rambo III is stable standing upright. No problems getting it onto its feet for the camera. However, poseability takes a hit (as with all muscular bodies). For once, I was not able to do much with a rifle other than to let it be wielded single-handedly because I could not get the other hand to support it. Don’t think I’ll be any luckier getting the figure into prone position with this level of stiffness!

Until 1/6 muscular bodies evolve to be more flexible and yet continue to depict muscle mass realistically, poseability will continue to be deficient.


Here’s another area, the Hot Toys Rambo III excels. And here’s the list of the accessories that comes with this figure:

  • Combat knife
  • Dagger
  • Knife sheath
  • Bow
  • 4 Arrows
  • Leather quiver
  • Dragunov SVD
  • Watch
  • Choker with pendant

Pretty impressive list of accessories. My favourite of the lot is the Rambo III combat knife. It’s as wicked as seen in the movie. It brings to memory Rambo digging it into the sand and unearthing anti-personnel mines like a piece of cake. Unlike the Rambo blades in First Blood and First Blood Part II, this knife is a full tang knife without the hollow handle storage space. The other blade included in this package is a dagger… which strangely… cannot be grasp by any of the hands.

The compound bow and arrow is also an ingenious inclusion with this Rambo III figure. It’s truly awesome. The arrows have 2 different tips. One is the serrated standard arrow tip while the other is the unforgettable explosive tip. Who could forget Rambo firing one such arrow at a Hind in the movie! While the compound bow sports pulleys at both ends, I believe the bowstrings are not really designed to to be pulled. Try it at your own risk.

A gripe I have about the bow is that there are several fragile parts. Most notably is the arrow rack that comes with the bow. It’s a fantastic feature on the bow but to get an arrow fixed in the rack required some serious pushing of the arrow into one of the clips. Be careful because the rack parts bend considerably. In the end, I avoided putting up the arrows altogether. A real pity since it looks fantastic on the box when all the arrows are snapped onto the bow! It’s a plus to have details on the bow to be designed as movable parts but if they are fragile, it looses the fun of fiddling it.

The Dragunov SVD sniper rifle is impressive. It comes with a removable magazine which is cool but it can fall off easily. So keep an eye on it. There is no doubt that the detailing of this weapon is top-notch. However, there are also small fragile parts. With the weapon’s grip built into the stock, my lumbering fingers had to hold onto the rifle body as I negotiated the hand onto the rifle grip. Some pushing is required. And in the process of doing this, I unknowingly pushed one of these parts to near breaking point. Thankfully, I noticed it and found other ways to get Rambo’s hand to hold the rifle. I would rather have weapon parts to be molded together firmly than to have a movable/individual part which serves no purpose other than to highlight depiction accuracy.


The rest of the accessories like the choker, quiver and watch are a welcome as they add details to the figure in their own ways. Particularly, I felt the jade green choker was splendid. I remembered Stallone’s thick neck was accentuated by an impossibly tight choker in the movie.





17 responses

6 08 2007

Thanks for the thorough review and great pix as always Vince

6 08 2007

Thanks. Glad it was helpful!

14 08 2007

Thank you for the excellent review, you have sold me on this figure! I can’t wait to get it! 🙂

15 08 2007

Go get it, NightCreeper!!! Look out for the upcoming new First Blood figure as well!

21 08 2007

Oh yeah man, I already pre ordered the new First Blood Rambo, that one looks amazing.

But I just got my Rambo III Rambo and HOLY CRAP! Amazing figure. It is seriously probably my favorite figure. I like it better than my HT Captain Jack, Superman, Clark, even the Colonial Marines. The likeness is dead on and I mean its Rambo in 1/6 form, Just awesome man!

I can’t wait for the new First Blood Rambo.

By the way swftoys, do you have the original First Blood Rambo? The likeness doesn’t look to good, but I really like the dress attire for him in first blood, what do you think of that figure if you got it?

21 08 2007

Hi everybody

I wondered when i see Sylvester and his Physiq.
Okay leave it. If you want to travel don’t forget to read Travel Equipments that all about your travel needs.


18 09 2007

I got this figure as soon as it was released! I promised my wife only 2 figures a month but i was way exceeded my limit then. So I persuaded my beautiful wife to buy it first so that it won’t run out of stock and I can keep my promise to her (really difficult to do because there are so many temptations out there). Later I had to buy from her at a higher price..haha…it works! No regrets to get it because it is AWESOME!!! Best Rambo figure ever produced so far and I don’t think any one can do better for a long long time to come. Again i have to compliment you on your great and honest review. All that have been mentioned were so true whether good or bad. Well done buddy!

18 09 2007

Ian! You just proposed a viable alternative toy-purchasing system! I’ll consider this the next time I can’t help bursting the monthly toy quota. Honestly, it’s better than using the credit card. At least our wives gets to earn the interest. Ha.

30 01 2008

Nice! BTW, can that SVD’s scope mount be moved forward? It looks strange, since the normal mounts arent that far back.

3 02 2008

if war is in your blood, killin’ is easy as breathin’

24 03 2008

hej min helt

24 03 2008

hej vadan gor de

3 09 2008

I was personally disappointed in this figure and have sold it after a few months of displaying.

Yes the head sculpt is amazing, but they have chosen to reuse the same muscular body from the Rambo2 figure. The difference in Sly’s size between the 2 movies was massive, and it just looks bizarre for the perect Rambo3 head to be on the body he had in Rambo 2.

Also, the sniper rifle? What the hell man ? When did he use a sniper rifle in the movie? How about including the batons for his sport fight at the start? How about a pair of hands with the fight wrapping (the Rocky figures have multiple sets of hands a) gloves b) fight wrapped hands)
Or the massive cool machine gun with the underneath grenade launcher that he uses in the finale of the movie.
Those things included instead of the sniper rifle would have made it sooooo much cooler.


13 11 2008

Hi swftoys…Speaking of Rambo, have you heard any rumors of HT doing a figure from the new Rambo movie that came out in 2006, I think….I know thats a much older Stallone, but would be cool to have a figure from that movie too….


18 01 2009
Nick Walters

outstanding review!! love his bow, arrows and quiver!!

31 05 2011
Tarun Sachdeva

Hi All

From where can i order the rambo collectibles online?
or Does anyone know from where to get them in NCR, India?


5 02 2015
brad pitt movie list

brad pitt movie list

Review – Hot Toys 12″ Rambo III | SWFTOYS – Reviews, Showcase and Musings

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