For bodies I’d slot them below DAM as there are still inconsistencies. On at least some of the bodies I’ve been seeing issues where the screws for the upper half of the body (lower abdomen up to shoulders) are backing out with relatively little normal usage like posing. In some cases the screws are loose from the factory and in others they are working their way out with movement. To me this suggests the plastic used from the body may be too soft or the screws they are using have too fine of a thread. You have to be careful when re-tightening them as they can strip the threads in the plastic, which again makes me think it’s a combination of those two factors.
When I have encountered the screws backing out I’ll put a bit of CA glue on the screw threads and re-tighten them and that seems to hold better. This has been most noticeable with the shoulder joints where they connect to the body as well as the screw that controls the rotational tension of the arm. In the case of the latter there is a spring held against a screw so you have an additional force backing the screw out. Soldier Story uses the same screw/spring mechanism here, but I haven’t seen the same backing out of screws with their body.
Whomever is manufacturing the bodies is aware of the issue as you can in some of the screw cavities they are putting an adhesive like material on top of the screws, presumably with the hope it will hold them in place. Unfortunately what ever it is, it is corroding the screws. It’s a bit difficult to capture in a picture, but here is an example. That’s a relatively decent ones whereas with some others I’ve noticed the philips head is almost completely lost it’s 4 indexing notches.
I haven’t noticed this on every ES body but I’m also not testing them for repeat use. The rest of the body is good, hip joints have good tension for the legs, elbow and knee joints are fine, and the ankle pegs are consistently tight. It is an odd issue as I’ve never seen screws backing out from normal usage and isn’t consistent across all of the bodies from them.
DAM’s bodies have been virtually problem free in comparison. For all but 1 body I received in 2018, they had no obvious problems and that is with a large sample size. On that example one leg was noticeably looser than the other and wouldn’t hold in position. Apart from that I’d happily use it over just about anything shy of a premium body like the Hot Toys truetypes. If you like tinkering you can convert the DAM body over to Hot Toys neck peg sizing as well, which covers a wide number of heads on the market. I’m brand agnostic generally, but the DAM body easily has the best quality control on the market, probably a sign of their ambitions to compete directly with Hot Toys with licensed products.
Soldier Story’s current body still suffers from some niggles as well. Again the bottom half of the body is generally very good, but the hip joints still use a ball socket which means the leg tension changes as you rotate the leg inward and outward which can cause floppy legs until they are realigned straight. I prefer the implementation DAM and Hot Toys use as the tension isn’t dependent on the alignment of the leg. The arms on the Soldier Story bodies still have a problematic ratchet joint that controls the upwards extension of the arm. The plastic teeth are relatively weak and you’ll often find one arm holds better than the other. The paint they use for the rubberized upper torso and their arms is also relatively easy to rub off.
The good news is the three bodies are close enough in proportion that swapping clothing and equipment between the three is generally possible (in a few cases ES has used smaller nylon webbing on strapping that goes around the body to secure a chest rig for example) without any practical or aesthetic concerns unless you are a serious stickler. It is also a case of six of one, half a dozen of the other as the quality control of paint applications for ES head sculpts runs rings around that of DAM, and to a lesser extent Soldier Story.