ANAKIN SKYWALKER — PADAWAN
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
“A hero of the Clone Wars, Anakin was caring and compassionate, but also had a fear of loss that would prove to be his downfall”
Okay, so we were looking at some figures from Empire, the second installment in the Original Trilogy, which everyone loves. Now, let’s jump forward (or is it backward?) to Attack of the Clones, the second installment of the Prequel Trilogy that most people don’t love. I’m with most people on this one. Delving back into my archive of old reviews tells me that the only other Anakin Skywalker figure I’ve reviewed here was back in May of 2014, and was another version of him from Attack of the Clones. So, let’s do more of that, I guess?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Anakin Skywalker (Padawan) is figure 110 in the Black Series line-up. He’s from the latest assortment of the main line, which is an entirely AotC-based line-up. It’s also the last line-up before the line ditches the overall numbering scheme and goes to more themed subsets starting in the fall. Gotta say, ending the longest running incarnation of this line with an all Attack of the Clones assortment is a pretty baller move. Go for it, Hasbro. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation. A lot of this figure’s parts are shared with the Revenge of the Sith version of the character, released way back in Series 4 of the original Black Series incarnation. Remember in my Luke review on Tuesday, when I mentioned how nice it was to get an all-new sculpt for the Snowspeeder gear, even though they might have been able to try for some re-use? Well, that feels somewhat relevant here. Anakin’s look in the two films isn’t terribly different, so on one hand, some re-use is sensible. However, it has the side effect of putting this guy on a base body that’s from 2014, which, from both a sculpting and an articulation stand point, puts him rather behind the times. The torso in particular is rather boxy, and the movement on the elbows, waist, and knees is quite limited, especially when compared to more recent offerings. He does at least get a new head, right forearm, and belt, which help to change him up a bit from the prior release. The head is probably the strongest piece, and manages to give us a solid rendition of Hayden Christiansen. It’s certainly an amazing improvement over any of the prior versions of him we’ve gotten, especially when it comes to his AotC appearance. They definitely got that broody facial expression down. The only slight issue with mine is that he’s got a bit of flashing on the right side of his jaw. The new forearm is really just meant to mirror the left side, since this is a pre-robo arm Anakin. It’s a real shame they didn’t take the opportunity to make it more easily removed at the elbow, to simulate some battle damage. Of course, they also left Bespin Luke without an easily removed hand, so maybe they’re just really banking for potential variants down the line. In terms of paint, this figure tries, but has one major issue, which is that his neck and face just don’t match. Sadly, this is the potential problem you face when you’re painting one and molding the other in the appropriate color. More recent figures have been using the double ball joint set up so that the neck is separate from the torso, allowing it to also be molded in the appropriate color, but no such luck here with this older mold. At least the face printing looks pretty good. In terms of extras, Anakin’s pretty light. He gets his lightsaber…and that’s it. It’s not even a really great mold, since the hilt feels somewhat oversized. I’d really liked to have seen an alternate arm with his robot hand, or a robe, or even his green loaner saber from the end of the movie, so that we could properly set up the duel with Dooku (I had to steal one from Grievous to set up the shot at the end of the review). Given that the figure whose mold he’s using most of included an extra head in addition to the lightsaber, this feels like a real missed opportunity.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I feel the need at this point to say that not only has my “no prequels” rule with this line been broken, it’s been poisoned, shot, stabbed, clubbed and finally drowned. Very Rasputinian, if I do say so myself. I’m really just all in at this point, honestly. It helps a little that I already had Dooku, and also that I’m becoming increasingly in touch with the nostalgic twinge I have for Attack of the Clones, especially when it comes to toys. This guy’s got his flaws, and in some ways feels a touch phoned in, but as a whole, he’s still a very enjoyable figure, and I’m hoping I can manage to snag Obi-Wan to go with him soon.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review. If you’re looking for Black Series, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.