Saturday, June 18, 2016

Firestorm Replica Leather Jacket

Ever since Firestorm appeared on Legends Of Tomorrow in an actual costume (as opposed to the look he had on The Flash), I've been waiting for someone to produce a replica costume. They've now started appearing for sale online, so I took the plunge and bought one. There are a few different places selling them, which I'll cover later, but for now, I present to you the Firestorm jacket!

I'm going to take a detailed look here, but a few initial thoughts:
  • The chest plate is removable. This to me was a major selling point, as it can be used as a regular jacket the other 51 weeks of the year when the local Comic Convention isn't in town.
  • The obvious flaw right off the bat is that the positioning of chest logo is not quite right.
  • The colour is a fair bit brighter than the show, I'm contemplating getting it dyed a darker red. It's passable as-is though.
  • Overall I'm quite happy with it. It appears to be well made, the leather is soft, and despite the problems I'm going to highlight below it's appearance is effective. It's not like I was ever going to whip out my sewing machine and make a leather jacket.
Here's an initial comparison vs a promo shot from the show:

Here's a comparison vs the eBay listing I bought it off:

Three things that jump out from this comparison:
  • The chest icon is wrong on the finished jacket
  • The ribbing over the abdomen is too close together
  • The stripes down the arms are angled incorrectly
The picture from the listing looks a lot closer to the show version than the finished product. This was something I was wary of when buying it given that there were no modeled photos to go off. Like I said earlier, it's passable and most people aren't going to know the difference, but I want to take a bit of a "screen accurate" view here.

A closer look at the chest:
Icon aside, the other problem here is the big black line at the bottom. The show version is more molded in the chest which is too much to expect for a replica, but they overdid the shading quite badly.

The full chest piece:

I'm contemplating unstitching the reverse of the chest and putting it on the front since it's cut the same. It would fix the black line and let me put a better icon on it. I was planning on making a more "show accurate" icon (complete with lights) when I ordered it, but this version needs fixing first.

A closer shot of the piping on the torso:

A comparison of how the straps attach the chest piece:

The show version has the loops sewn directly in the chest piece, with rivets either side. The replica has an extra loop.

The straps themselves are loops secured by velcro:

Now here's an example of the show shifting the goalposts over the course of the season:

The replica has the right idea initially- ribbed straps. However by the time the final episode rolled around, they were using flat black straps on the suit.

On to the arms, because that's the other major thing that the replica gets wrong:
As you can see the stripe is supposed to be two distinct sections, which the replica doesn't do.
If you're a stickler for detail, the paneling on the shoulder is also wrong:

A close-up of the zipped cuffs (nothing wrong here, just figured it was worth showing every detail I could)

Now, the jacket itself:

It has two pockets which, weren't mentioned in the listing (this is a big plus). If, like me, you're thinking that the ability to wear it as a regular jacket is a plus, there are a couple of things to point out. The first is the shading:
The manufacturer obviously shaded it while the chest piece was attached, as the jacket under it is completely clean and there's a bit of a "v" outline at the top of the chest. The other thing to consider is the six metal loops that connect to the straps:
Not really a big deal, but worth pointing out.

So that's basically it for the comparisons. There are a couple of extra things that are missing:

  • There should be elbow pads
  • The back of the suit is supposed to be yellow, not red. To be honest, I'm willing to give them a pass on both of these as there really wasn't an extended clear shot of Firestorm's back until the final episode of Legends Of Tomorrow.

A note on sizing: I got a Medium, and it's pretty snug, especially with the chest piece on. I typically wear Large tshirts etc, but last time I bought a leather jacket at a proper store the assistant recommended a Medium, and I have to say she knew what she was talking about. So that's the approach I went with here. The replica is tighter than my other jacket, but then that's had the benefit of the past year to stretch a bit so I can't really give you a definitive answer. It kinda feels like an extra inch in the shoulders might be a good thing, but not to the extent where I'm regretting it or hesitant to wear it. I realise I've basically said a whole lot of nothing in this paragraph; Just think about it before you buy (oh yeah, the neck is a pretty close fit also)

There you have it. A final note about where I bought it, and a possible alternative: I got mine on eBay from this seller. The listing said the jacket was made in the USA, but it shipped from Pakistan, so I kinda doubt that ;) It took 5 weeks to get to me, which frustratingly was two weeks after my local convention (although I was buying it just to have it, the con was a coincidence). It cost $150US.
Now, a quick google search will show a few outlets selling replica jackets. They pretty much all have the same stock photos and are around the same price, so I assume from that that they are selling the same jacket that I received.
There is one site selling the jacket, which actually has multiple shots of it being worn:

The site is (which as I post this is currently not working, but it was yesterday). As you can see from the picture above, it gets right all the major things that my jacket gets wrong. From memory (since the site is currently down) it's a fair bit more expensive, and made of synthetic leather. But the fact that they have modeled photos leads me to conclude that they are legit and the jacket you see is what you'll get. If you care about being as close to the real thing as possible, I would consider trying them (disclaimer: I'm totally guessing here).