LABRIA, NABRUN LEIDS, & TAKEEL
STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)
“Their remote location makes the spaceports of Tatooine havens for many suspicious travelers from across the galaxy. At the Mos Eisley spaceport, Chalmun’s Cantina is a popular hangout for the rough crowd and deadly violence breaks out on a daily basis. Takeel, a Snivvian, is known to dabble in bounty hunting and smuggling. The horned Devaronian Labria calls himself an ‘information broker,’ though his information is questionable at best. No one knows for sure what the Morseerian known as Nabrun Leids looks like underneath his breath mask, which he must wear in all non-methane environments. The former fighter pilot will fly anyone or anything anywhere, if the price is suitable. These kinds of patrons have helped make Tatooine’s spaceports famous as a wretched hive of scum and villainy.”
Initially more focused on actually replicating scenes from the movies with maybe one new figure, and a few retooled ones to better fit the set-up, Power of the Force‘s “Cinema Scenes” line fairly quickly became a way for Kenner to quickly drop three whole new figures, very frequently of quite obscure characters, all in one shot, loosely connected by the theme of all being present in a given scene or locale. We got two sets dedicated to the Mos Eisly Cantina. The first was more plot relevant, depicting Obi-Wan facing off against Ponda Baba and Dr Evazan, but the second stuck to the background a bit, and gave us some obscure alien patrons.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
The “Cantina Aliens” Cinema Scenes set was added to the Power of the Force line in 1998, as part of the middle year of this particular sub-set. After quite a bit of focus the first year, this set was the only one in 1998 to be based on A New Hope, and would likewise be the last of the ANH Cinema Scenes.
Officially named “Kardue’sai’Malloc”, this guy’s a weird looking devil dude with a sort of unfortunate name here. So, you know, there’s that, I suppose. He’s about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation. He has some trouble balancing, at least on my copy, made even more difficult by the cape, which also cuts down on his shoulder articulation a little bit. His sculpt is totally unique, and it does a respectable job of capturing the design from the film. He’s in line with the rest of the mid-run PotF figures, with a slighlty bulked up build, and a bit of preposing (which also contributes to the difficulty standing). The cape is removable, and has a rather nice draping effect which keeps it over the shoulders. Honestly, one of the better capes from the line. His paint work is pretty basic, and fairly monochromatic, but it gets the job done, and there’s more to it than it could be, so kudos to Kenner there. He’s packed with a small blaster pistol.
That freak! In the gas mask! …no, wait, that’s a different guy. Sorry. Nabrun Leids is another of the Cantina denizens, characterized by his face obscuring gas mask. Slightly less obvious are the extra arms, but they’re there too. The figure stands a little under 3 3/4 inches tall and has 8 points of articulation. He’s granted two extra joints, thanks to the two extra arms. His sculpt is another unique one (though it did get a repaint early in the ’00s as well), and it’s honestly not bad for the era. It pretty much follows the design, at least what we can see of it, from the movie. The paint work is again pretty basic, even more so than on Labria. I do dig the pearlescent white plastic for the jumpsuit, though. Nabrun is packed with a larger blaster rifle. He has a little trouble holding it, but it’s a cool design.
Last up is Takeel, a character that kind of already had a figure before this one, depending on how you look at things. Takeel is part of the race commonly referred to as “Snaggletooth.” There were two different Snaggletooths in the vintage line, one from a Cantina set, so arguably he’s technically a remake, I guess? But the name’s unique to this one, so it gets murky. The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation. His sculpt is pretty decently rendered. It’s certainly a better take on a Snivvian than the original, and one that doesn’t look too bad in a modern light. I suppose there are some areas that could benefit from maybe some additional texture work, but it’s still a solid offering. The paint’s again on the basic side, and he’s probably the one figure in this set that could benefit from some extra accenting on the paint work, but the basics work out alright. Takeel is packed with a smaller blaster rifle.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I snagged this set when it was traded into All Time last summer, as part of a larger collection of figures. I recall seeing this set, but it never much spoke to me as a kid. None of these particular designs really jumped out at me, I guess. I wasn’t expecting much from it when I cracked it open, but I honestly was pretty pleasantly surprised. They’re all pretty solid aliens, and fill out the scene really nicely.