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REVIEW: Sideshow's Fertility Idol
17/03/10, 12:43pm EST

There are many props from the Indiana Jones film series that Indyfans have been dying to get their hands on. While imitations of Indy’s famed fedora and whips have been around for years, it has been nearly impossible to become an "obtainer of rare antiquities", such as authentic prop replicas.

There have been some fantastic recreations over the years (the amazing work of prop master Anthony "Indy" Magnoli come to mind), but there has been little "official" licensed products from Lucasfilm made available. Recently, the Noble Collection offered up the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra, Mutt (or rather Spalko’s) sword, Indy’s TOD machete, and whip. However, one signature item, or rather idol, is instantly recognizable to Indyfans, and even non-Indyfans, has eluded fans. That would be the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol first seen in the opening sequence of 1981’s classic film, Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Sideshow's Fertility Idol
Sideshow's Fertility Idol
(Life-Size Prop Replica)
USA; 21st century
Phoney gold
Now, you don’t have to travel to Marrakech or borrow several thousands of dollars from a museum curator to try and obtain this golden idol. The artisans at Sideshow Collectibles have trekked through the Peruvian jungles, braved the attacks from Hovitos, the betrayal of untrustworthy guides and even eluded the giant boulder to bring to market a 1:1 scale replica of Indy’s first treasure! Just released is the Fertility Idol, this heavy duty prop replica is breathtaking in its detail (and I do mean heavy duty as the box weighed in at 10 pounds). If one were to throw it in exchange for a whip, they will need some serious muscles, or be on the receiving end of a severe bruise if they didn’t catch it right!

The packaging, like all previous Sideshow offerings, is impeccable with great graphics, and even includes that rare and controversial image of the idol with real human eyes. It gives a brief description on the pursuit of the idol, from Forrestal’s failed attempt to the brief and successful retrieval by Dr. Indiana Jones. The story goes on to tell of how Indy did in fact get back "in his hands" from Rene Belloq, and return it to the National Museum after the events of Raiders.

click to enlarge
Fertility Idol collection.
Some fans have been criticizing the Sideshow Fertility Idol sculpt and claim it is not film accurate. As one who has over a dozen variations of the fertility idol from miniature Hasbro action figure accessories to knock-offs purchased on eBay to the great Diamond bank, these remarks are too nit picky to detract from the look. The likeness is terrific in my book; from the hideous open mouth expression to the creepy "child" emerging beneath it, it is simply amazing. Most striking is the material used to give this idol its shine, the process used to give it that "metallic" luster is the big selling piece. The eBay knock-offs I own, have never got the color just right, the gold was either too flat, or when sprayed with gold paint, never shined like the prop in the movie. The Sideshow Fertility Idol has a polished, mirror-like golden finish, and makes me feel that I should wear gloves when handling it as not to smudge it with oils from my fingertips.

The idol comes with a "temple-like" pedestal, which is carved in the style of the architecture seen in the opening of "Raiders". The attention to detail even has some moss-like material engraved in it to give it that added touch of screen authenticity.

As with all pricey collectibles is the inevitable big question always is; "is it worth it"?

The answer is A RESOUNDING "YES"!

Inverse-Face Beaker
Inverse-Face Beaker
Sicán (Lambayeque),
Peru; 9th-11th century
Hammered gold
In my opinion, as one who has purchased many big ticketed Indiana Jones related items, as well as other film prop replicas, this is one of the best ever done. I admire the skill labor that Sideshow’s designers put into it, and will not squabble over the curve of the mouth or roundness of the eyes as I have read some fans mention. It is immediately recognized as the idol from Raiders when my family and friends see it, and because of the sophisticated construction of it, it really does look like it "belongs in a museum". In fact, after just returning from a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, I saw many South American small golden idols that look very similar to the Chachapoyan fertility idol, and would not be surprised if they were the inspirations for the Indy’s onscreen treasure. My only complaint is that it did not come with a small canvas bag of sand as an exclusive that you could put on the pedestal when you "borrow" the idol.

Do I recommend that Indyfans seek this out, again, if you can afford the $189.00 suggested retail price, by all means go ahead and try and find it and purchase it. With only 1500 made, the wait list on this at Sideshow is full; perhaps tracking it down at a local comic shop or online might be a great source. I bought mine, as did the songwriter behind "The Ballad of Indiana Jones", High Adventure’s Glen Nelson, at the Alternate Universe comic shop in Connecticut. They were only made available two weeks ago and have disappeared off the shelf, so start tracking yours down, immediately.

Now, if Sideshow would continue this line of 1:1 Indiana Jones prop replicas, I would like to add the Holy Grail, Sankara Stones (that light up), the Cross of Coronado, and maybe the remains of Nurhaci (the crystal skull from Uncle Milton is fine enough). Are you listening out there Sideshow?

Here’s offering my sincerest appreciation on a great job and kudos to Sideshow Collectibles on the Fertility Idol. I hope I can get to it without causing my house to collapse and the giant boulder rolling after me.

Sideshow Fertility Idol Product Size:
10" H (254mm) x 10" W (254mm) x 10" L (254mm)
Product Weight: 10.00 lbs (4.54 kg)
Run: 1500 pieces.

For more information and images visit Sideshow Collectibles website.

Posted by Mitchell Hallock


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