#2325: Boba Fett vs IG-88

BOBA FETT VS IG-88

STAR WARS: SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE (KENNER)

“Boba Fett, infamous bounty hunter and weapons master, vanished from sight after Darth Vader turned over the frozen body of Han Solo. Boba Fett was expected to deliver his bounty to Jabba the Hutt’s palace on the planet Tatooine some time ago. Knowing the value of his shipment and the various hunters determined to take it from him, Fett disappeared into the mists of the galaxy’s Outer Rim to bide his time. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca and Princess Leia search the galaxy for his ship, Slave I, with the hopes of freeing Solo from his carboinite prison, Fearless, clever, and always full of surprises, even the Empire cannot pinpoint this master hunter’s whereabouts.

The battered war droid IG-88 was among the bounty hunters commissioned by Darth Vader to hunt down and capture the Millennium Falcon after the Battle of Hoth. IG-88 is one of five droids created by Holowan scientists, who deliberately programmed the units to maximize their freedom of action in combat. This experiment proved tragic when, upon activiation, the new IG prototypes eliminated their programmers and escaped to fulfill whatever mission lie within their distorted metallic intellects. IG-88’s programming has caused it to value Imperial credits over organic life, making it a devastatingly efficient hunting machine. It is loaded down with a mass of heavy weaponry such as a heavy blaster and blaster rifle as well as a flamethrower, sonic stunner and grenade launcher.

It has been rumored that IG-88 is one of the many bounty hunters seeking Boba Fett and his prisoner. Though bounty hunters rarely break their vocational code by stealing or eliminating one another, the capture of Han Solo promises enough credits to cause most hunters to forget this formality. This is especially true for IG-88, who has little regard for laws, especially unwritten ones. The droid is literally a killing machine and one of the most dangerous hunters in the galaxy. Many consider it the equal of Boba Fett, who is generally known as the most effective bounty hunter anywhere. Upon entering the Tatooine system, Boba Fett was ambushed by the droid in its ship, IG-2000. Certain of his ability to destroy the droid, Boba Fett soon discovered that IG-88 had a few tricks of his own…”

Man, those Kenner cards sure were wordy, huh?  Guess they really wanted to fill this pack’s extra card back space.  Not much else I can add here that wasn’t already said, I guess.  So, uh, let’s look at Boba Fett and IG-88, shall we?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

There were two comic packs released as part of the Shadows of the Empire subline of Power of the Force in 1996.  While the other was just slight re-poses of Vader and Xizor, this one paired off a valid variant of Boba Fett with the as of yet un-produced for the modern line IG-88.

BOBA FETT

One of the earliest Power of the Force figures, Boba Fett was also one of the most sought after.  This pack was one of the handful of attempts to alleviate that issue.  He’s really not all that different from the single carded figure overall.  The construction is essentially the same, with the figure standing 3 3/4 inches tall and having 6 points of articulation.  His sculpt keeps the same general aesthetic as both the single card and deluxe releases, but with a slightly different pose.  This one’s got more of a basic “just standing around” pose.  The main change that occurs for this figure is a paint one; while both the single and deluxe releases used the slightly more colorful Return of the Jedi color scheme for Fett, this guy goes with the original, green-heavy Empire design, making this actually the first truly Empire accurate Fett in figure form.  Fett is packed with his rocket pack, scarf/braid, and his blaster rifle.

 

IG-88

IG-88 is the only of the Executor Bounty Hunters not to be released in PotF2 proper, with this being the only way to get him until he got another figure in Power of the Jedi.  I guess getting an IG-88 is worth getting saddled with another Boba Fett.  This figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Unlike most Power of the Force figures (but, by contrast, like a lot the PotF vehicles), IG’s sculpt is actually just slightly retooled from his vintage release.  Given that was one of the very best vintage sculpts, it’s an understandable choice, and also somehow makes IG one of the least dated looking ’90s era figure.  The sculpt has been slightly reworked in order to add a mid-torso joint, bringing him in line with the rest of the figures of the era.  IG-88’s paintwork is pretty decent; it’s more involved than either of the vintage offerings, with a lot of variance to the actual finish of his metal parts.  It looks a little more movie accurate than the prior versions.  The figure is packed with two blasters, one long, one short, both modified to make them easier for IG to hold.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I wasn’t quite on the IG bandwagon when this set was new, I recall my cousin Noah having it, and it stuck in my memory for a while.  When it came time to fill in the holes in my PotF collection, I knew I needed an IG for sure, and was lucky enough for this pack to be traded into All Time early last year, so I was able to grab one.  IG’s definitely cool, and honestly, this Boba’s better than the single carded release, so I’d consider this pair a win.

#2311: IG-88

IG-88

STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (KENNER)

Everybody’s got their own personal favorite bounty hunter from the Star Wars verse.  Well, okay, maybe not everybody.  That seems a little presumptuous.  Some people don’t like Star Wars.  I know, I know, that’s a hard pill to swallow, guys, but lets be real.  Now, for the Star Wars fans out there, we can at least all take solace in knowing that we all agree that the best bounty hunter, bar none is IG-88.  We all agree on that, right?  Right?  Come on guys, Star Wars fans are always a really agreeable bunch, right?  Anyone?  Anyone?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

IG-88 was released in the first assortment of Kenner’s The Empire Strikes Back line, debuting alongside the movie in 1980.  There were two notable variations of IG-88, most easily identified by the finish of the plastic.  Early IGs were a more metallic silver, while later in the run he was shifted over to a duller grey.  The one up top is the silver, but there’s a comparison shot of the two at the end of the review. No matter the variation you have, the figure stands about 4 inches tall (he was a tall boy) and he has 5 points of articulation.  The two versions of the figure actually had slightly different molds, although they were more or less the same sculpt, just with some minor manufacturing tweaks.  The initial sculpt is actually really strong, quite possibly the best sculpt to come out of the vintage line.  While he fits right in with the rest of the figures stylistically, he’s incredibly sharply detailed, and sports pretty much all of the elements he should for a proper screen accurate IG.  The sculpt was so good, that Kenner actually ended up re-using it with just one tweak when it came time for the PotF IG-88, but that’s a discussion for a later review.  For the later run IGs, the sculpt is slightly downgraded.  It’s still one of the best of the vintage line, mind you, and all of the important elements remain, but some of the smaller details are lost and the overall crispness of the sculpt is also gone.  There’s also one piece completely mission on the right leg, and protrusions from the head are generally cut shorter.  If you don’t compare the two, you wouldn’t really know what you were missing.  For the paint work, IG-88 was kind of light, with molded plastic making up most of it.  The bandolier is painted black on both figures, and the lights on the head are red on the silver figure and orange on the grey.  The application on the silver is a little more precise, lending to more of that sharpness like we saw with the sculpt.  Both versions of IG-88 were packed with two blaster rifles, one short, one long, molded in a dark blue, which is probably the thing that most gives away this figure as vintage.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always had a soft spot for IG-88.  Since he wasn’t in the original movie (and therefore one of the figures I inherited from my Dad’s childhood collection), he wound up being one of the earlier vintage figures I tracked down for myself, picked up from an antique school sometime during my high school years. That was the grey version, and was just on his own without the accessories.  I picked up a complete silver when it was traded into All Time a couple of months ago.  Silver is the superior release, but grey has his own charm.  I appreciate them both for what they are: two more pieces for my awesome IG-88 collection!

#0806: IG-88

IG-88

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

IG88a

It’s day 5 of the Post-Christmas gift reviews, and today I’ll be looking at the first example of one of the themes to my gifts this year: Star Wars.  I can’t possibly imagine why that was the case.  It’s not like there was a new movie or something.  Of course, today’s figure isn’t from The Force Awakens, he’s actually from the original trilogy.

Empire Strikes Back is a lot of people’s favorite Star Wars movie (Not mine, but that’s a whole other thing).  There are a number of reasons for that, but one of the most prevalent, especially from a toy-buying perspective, is the bounty hunters.  Moving past the disproportionately popular Boba Fett, the film introduced five rather unique bounty hunters, all of whom do little more than fill the background of a scene on a Star Destroyer.  Still, those unique looks certainly made them all pretty memorable, and it also made them pretty good choices for action figures.  One of my personal favorites has always been IG-88, who is the focus of today’s review.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

IG88bIG-88 is a part of Series 9 of Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series line, released alongside Leia as Boushh and Clone Commander Cody.  He was one of the last figures to hit before the switch-over to Force Awakens-branded product.  IG-88 is numbered 15, which places him right before Leia numerically.  The figure stands just shy of 7 inches tall and has 21 points of articulation, which is pretty darn impressive for a character of his build.  There are certainly some parts that might benefit from improved movement (seriously, those cut-joint hips are killing me), but he’s overall a lot more mobile than I would have expected.  IG-88’s sculpt is seriously top notch.  It’s pretty much a pitch-perfect recreation of the design from Empire, right down to all the little tacked on bits.  Perhaps the only inaccuracy is the head, which is generally a bit sharper, and has a few more molded lines than the real thing.  However, the end result looks a bit better, so I can’t really complain on that one.  His elbows both have a rubber covering to mask the joints.  It looks cool, and it retains mobility, but I do have to wonder how long those pieces will last.  His bandolier is a separate piece, affixed via a small peg on the figure’s shoulder.  It sits nicely, ans allows for stowage of one of his guns and his bladed item.  The paintwork on this figure is probably the best I’ve seen on a Black Series figure in some time. To be fair, this does seem like a hard paintjob to screw up, but this is Hasbro we’re talking about here.   He actually goes beyond the simple gun metal grey we’ve seen on prior IG-88s and some brasses and browns, to give him that nice old and worn look.  IG-88 is packed with two blaster rifles, one long and one short, which can be attached to his hands through use of the small pegs on his forearms.  He also has a blade/axe thing, which can be placed in its spot on the bandolier.  All of the extras are very nicely sculpted and wonderful additions to the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I was fortunate enough to stumble across his series-mate Leia at an out of the way Walgreens, I had no such luck finding IG-88.  Fortunately, my parents seemed to fair a little better, as he was amongst the gifts I received on Christmas morning.  He’s a pretty stellar figure, from start to finish.  The sculpt and the paint really work together on this guy, and he ends up being one of the best figures to date that The Black Series has spawned.

IG88c