#3226: Air Assault Batman

AIR ASSAULT BATMAN

BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (KENNER)

“Gotham City’s most dangerous villains have escaped from Arkham Asylum! In order to save humanity. BATMAN and ROBIN have armed themselves with special rapid-deployment techno-cape backpack equipment and highly- camouflaged suits to track down every last criminal- no matter where they are hiding! Join the BATMAN Crime Squad on their life or death mission to save humanity from its most dangerous enemies!”

Last Friday, Kevin Conroy passed away.  Though perhaps not a household name, he was well known through the world of fandom as the voice of Batman for three decades.  He was the definitive voice for the character, and the one that legions of Bat-fans hear in their voice whenever they think of the character.  Like so many greats, I never met Kevin Conroy, but I’ve heard plenty of stories from people that did that support that, outside of being the definitive Batman, he was also just a really great person, who very genuinely appreciated the support of his fans.  Batman: The Animated Series launched the year I was born, so, for me, Kevin was always Batman.  There was no time where he wasn’t the voice I heard in my head, and his portrayal shaped my view on the character almost entirely.  It’s going to be very odd to not hear him as Batman in future projects.  But, there’s no denying the impact he had, and the legacy he left behind.  So, in his honor, today I’m taking a look at a Batman figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Air Assault Batman was released in 1995 as part of the “Crime Stoppers” sub-branding of Kenner’s Batman: The Animated Series tie-in line.  “Crime Stoppers” was designed as Kenner’s justification for doing a bunch of wacky Batman and Robin variants, under the trappings that these new suits were designed to aid in rounding up a bunch of escaped villains.  The first series has six Batmen and one Robin, and notably no actual villains for them to stop.  This guy was very areal themed, as you might guest from his name.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  His sculpt was largely unique, apart from sharing his head with all of the standard Kenner Batmen from the line.  The head was, admittedly, a pretty good recreation of the animation model, so it’s a respectable re-use.  The body sculpt was new, and sports a bit of an armored up look. Presumably, it’s to help combat g-force, or something like that.  It also looks pretty sweet, so it’s got that going for it.  The extra armoring details are rather fun, and do a rather nice job of changing him up a bit from the basic Batman look.  The color scheme on this guy goes for a very sky-oriented look.  He’s largely a light blue shade, with some white accenting that got a sort of art deco kind of patterning to it.  It’s funky, and honestly doesn’t feel too out of place with the overall aesthetic of the line.  The finish on mine has taken a bit of a beating over the years, but it’s not as bad as some in my collection.  Air Assault Batman only included one accessory, but it was the source of his whole gimmick: his Transforming Techno-Wing Backpack, perfect for all your assaulting in the air needs!  It’s honestly a pretty fun piece, with a bunch of moving parts, and just a cool overall look.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure’s pretty notable, because, while he’s not my first Batman (that was this guy), he’s still a very early one, more than likely my second, and very definitely my first Animated Batman figure.  I got him for Christmas in 1995, alongside my very first Robin, which sort of cemented the two of them as a pair, especially given their similar gimmicks.  He got a lot of play time as my go-to Batman, until I had more standard versions to replace him (and even then, he just got shifted to being Earth-2 Batman for all of my JLA/JSA cross overs).  And, of course, he always sounded like Kevin Conroy in my head.  Thank you for everything you did, Kevin.

#3106: Darth Vader – TIE Fighter Gunner Station

DARTH VADER — TIE FIGHTER GUNNER STATION

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

Back in the far off times of 2018, I reviewed two figures from the “Gunner Station” sub-branding of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line.  The gunner stations served as a more concise and themed continuation of the Deluxe sized figures for the line, and Luke and Han in their respective stations from the Millennium Falcon‘s dogfight in A New Hope were a pretty logical choice.  I guess Hasbro felt that they hadn’t quite heavy hitter-ed it up enough, though, so there was one more figure in the set.  It’s a Darth Vader, whose “Gunner Station” comes in the form of the cockpit of his TIE Fighter.  Yeah, it’s definitely a bit of a stretch.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Darth Vader with the TIE Fighter Gunner Station was added to Power of the Force in 1998, alongside the previously reviewed Han and Luke.  Where the other two have designs very much dialed into a very specific moment of the first film, this version of Vader continues the PotF Vader trend up to this point of being a loose amalgamation of Vader’s look in all three of the films.  The figure stands a little over 3 3/4 inches tall and he has a whopping 8 points of articulation.  Yes, in addition to the usual articulation for the line, this Vader also got knees.  It’s so much movement, you guys!  Structurally, he’s very similar to the other Vaders of the early run for the line, with the notable difference of having the knee joints, as well as a slightly more rigid stance.  Han and Luke both had some slight sculpting improvements from earlier releases, and this figure also came out the same year as the one with the removable helmet, which sported a far improved sculpt of its own.  So, this one feels a little behind the times, comparatively.  Beyond that, I guess he’s alright.  He keeps all the detail work, and swaps out the plastic cape of the prior figure for a cloth one, which is admittedly better for sitting in a cockpit.  The figure’s color work is generally pretty basic, with mostly molded black.  There are a few smaller accents, which follow the look from the movie closely enough, and keep him from being *too* drab.  Vader includes no smaller accessories, so there’s not lightsaber or anything.  He instead gets the Gunner Station thing.  It’s meant to look like the cockpit of his TIE Figher, which I guess it does alright.  There’s no upper half, of course, nor are there wings or anything.  There’s part of the window, and a weird handle thing, so that you can, like, hold it as a gun or something?  I’m a little confused about the exact intended use, to be honest.  It gets some missiles, which you can launch from the front of the “vehicle.”  And that’s really about it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is one of those items that’s so nonsensical and far reaching, that I actually don’t think I even realized it existed when I was a kid.  I remember the other two, of course, but this one just slipped from my radar, at least until I had reason to really look into it again, after digging more into the whole line.  I got one when it got traded into All Time, because, well, I didn’t have it, and it’s also just really cheap.  It’s an odd piece.  It just feels very forced, like they really just wanted another Vader on the market, but didn’t know exactly how to get to that point logically.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3101: Han Solo with Smuggler Flight Pack

HAN SOLO with SMUGGLER FLIGHT PACK

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Many labels can be applied to Corellian-born Han Solo: pirate, gambler, smuggler and Rebel hero. It is doubtful that the last title would have applied at all had he not agreed to transport Ben Kenobi, Luke Skywaker and two droids to Alderaan in his Corellian freighter, Millennium Falcon. After unwittingly becoming part of a mission to rescue Princess Leia, Solo was drawn more and more into the cause of the Rebel Alliance, becoming one of the most significant figures involved in the rebellion against the Empire. He played an essential role in the Battle of Yavin, and led the strike-team on Endor’s moon that facilitated the destruction of the new Death Star. He escaped form countless dilemmas simply because of his daring and skill as a blasterslinger and pilot – talents he retained form his days as a smuggler/gambler. He also retained a couple of other things, one of them being his trusty smuggler pack, a tool which served him extremely well during inner-atmospheric piracy jobs.

Designed and built by Solo with the help of Chewbacca, this item is basically a weapons-jet pack with a huge mechanical grappling claw attached at its base for massive lifting and cargo transport. It was assembled from old swoop parts, discarded starfighter pieces, and construction-machinery robotics. Much like the Millennium Falcon itself, the pack does not appear impressive or dangerous – concerning its appearance Solo often becomes defensive: “Well it isn’t supposed to look pretty!” However, the swoop engines provide break-neck propulsion while two repulsors engage a silent hover mode that allows atmospheric flotation up to a maximum of one-hundred meters depending on the cargo. The pack allows Solo some flexibility; he can dock the Falcon and then speed in below sensors with the smuggler pack, picking up any cargo or booty before transferring it back to his ship. Twin laser cannons, appropriated from a badly damaged stock light freighter, swing over his shoulders to create a high-powered defense module. The grappling claw has magnetized pinchers which can be de-magnetized at the flip of a switch. It is extremely durable and able to lift objects weighing up to fifteen metric tons.”

Well, with a bio like that, I hardly need much of an intro here, now do I?  Especially after more or less covering the weird Deluxe line-up thing for Power of the Force II with last week’s review.  So, you know, this one’s very similar to that, but it’s Han instead of Luke.  How about that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han Solo with Smuggler’s Flight Pack was part of the first Deluxe Series of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line, added in 1996.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Much as was the case with the Stormtrooper and Luke, Han’s sculpt is quite similar to the Series 1 Han.  Not exactly one of the line’s finest or anything, but it’s got this sort of charming quality to it, I suppose.  The only change of note between the two releases is the addition of a second vest to the torso.  You know, in case the single vest wasn’t enough, right?  Gotta add that second.  But certainly don’t add any extra sleeves.  That would be too much.  His color work is more or less the same as the earlier release.  There’s some orange and silver added for the new vest.  Doesn’t feel super Star Wars-y, but it’s not un-Star Wars-y, either.  The application’s pretty clean and consistent, so that’s good.  The big selling point for all of these was the big gimmick accessory, and that’s consistent with Han here.  He’s got his “Smuggler’s Flight Pack,” which the bio presents as a pre-existing thing that’s sort of a signature of Han, despite the whole “not showing up anywhere other than this toy ever in the whole canon of Star Wars” thing.  But, you know, there it is.  It’s big, it’s goofy, and it makes it virtually impossible to keep the figure standing.  I guess it’s kind of fun, but it also really doesn’t feel like a Han sort of thing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Deluxe Han really never appealed much to me as a kid.  It’s only recently that I’ve really started picking them up, and it’s really only because of ease of access.  Han came into All Time as part of a larger collection, and the seal on the bubble had broken, so he was a rather easy grab.  He’s goofy, and odd, but he’s still an intriguing look at that road not travelled.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3096: Luke Skywalker’s Desert Sport Skiff

LUKE SKYWALKER’S DESERT SPORT SKIFF

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

Power of the Force II was, at its heart, very much a product of its time.  And that time was the ’90s, a time for goofy, pointless variants of main characters.  While Star Wars has always had its own particular take on such things, and PotF2 tended to stick that, the line did dabble in the more traditional goofy variants territory, courtesy of its first round of “Deluxe” figures.  The first four figures in the set were all re-workings of standard figures, each with a big gimmicky variant.  Today, I’m looking at the Luke Skywalker of the set, packed with his Desert Sport Skiff.  Perfect for all those Desert Sport needs.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke Skywalker’s Desert Sport Skiff was released as part of the first Deluxe assortment of Power of the Force II figures in 1996.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  The sculpt on this figure is very similar to that of the line’s first Luke figure.  There are some minor adjustments; notably the legs are a little closer in stance, and the torso has had a peg hole added.  Not sure why on the peg hole, since there’s not practical reason for the addition, or anything, but it’s there.  Other than that, it’s the same basic sculpt as the first figure, with all that entails.  He’s still super buff, and not particularly similar to Mark Hamill in terms of look.  But, uhh, it’s consistent, right?  Who didn’t want another chance to get a real swoll Luke?  The paint work on the figure, much like the sculpt, is different for the sake of different.  Not very different, mind you.  The base colors are the same, just the exact shades are slightly tweaked.  It accomplishes the same end goal overall, so the changes are likely more of a difference in production year, and not something that was an intentional change or anything.  The main “selling point” on this figure, if you can call it that, is the Desert Sport Skiff, which was totally new to this release.  It’s a big skiff thing.  He stands on it, and it can fold up the sides, as well as having a missile at the front that can launch.  Truly thrilling stuff.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I discussed in my review of the Crowd Control Stormtrooper, these figures always seemed kinda odd to me as a kid.  They’re ultimately a little bit pointless, being mostly re-hash, at least at the core.  That said, there’s kind of a cool vibe of a road not travelled with these releases.  Sort of an alternate path that could have been taken had Kenner stuck to doing more conventionally toyetic variants of the main characters.  The big Skiff thing is goofy and silly, but also kind of amusing, and it’s fun to get another stab at the swoll Luke figure.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3091: Luke Skywalker and Tauntaun

LUKE SKYWALKER AND TAUNTAUN

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

My last Power of the Force review before my great big gap in Power of the Force reviews was a creature set.  It was, specifically, the line’s largest creature set.  So, there’s quite literally no topping that.  I guess I’ll just go to the opposite side of the spectrum, and tackle one of the line’s smallest creature sets…which was also kinda borderline one of the line’s smallest vehicle sets, I guess, depending on how you look at it.  Can a living being be a vehicle?  And, what’s the over/under on how long the Tauntauns actually live, and where that places them on this whole vehicle scale?  Eh, I think I’m going to deep on this, you guys.  Let’s just get to the actual review.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Luke Skywalker and Tauntaun were released in 1997 as part of the Power of the Force line’s creature-based sub-set, alongside Han and Jabba, the Sandtrooper and Dewback, and the Jawa and Ronto.  It was the smallest of the 1997 sets, though that didn’t mean it was any cheaper.  It was the only Empire-based creature set from the first year, and one of three overall in the sub-set (with this set effectively being split up and re-paired for the other two Empire sets the following year).

The Tauntaun was obviously the selling point of this set, having not been released in figure form since Kenner’s original Empire line.  While the vintage releases both more or less just averaged the appearances of Luke and Han’s Tauntauns, this one decidedly adapts Luke’s, so as to properly pair off with him in the set.  The figure stands about 4 1/2  inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  The sculpt on this one was unique at the time, though most of it would later see re-use for the Han and Tauntaun pack the next year.  The sculpt is a pretty solid one. It presents a slightly more active Tauntaun than its vintage counterpart, which seems more appropriate for how we see them in the movie, where they’re frequently in motion.  The details match up pretty well with the movie prop, though it is in some ways sporting some slightly more idealized proportions than the real thing.  The detail work isn’t bad, with some passable texturing on the fur, as well as plenty of extra work going into the harness and survival kit on the main body.  The paint work on this release is mostly pretty good.  There’s a lot of attempts at proper accenting which *mostly* work.  The shading on the fur and the white flecks for snow both work out.  The odd yellow on the arms and legs, not so much.  I’m not entirely sure what the aim was on those, but it missed.  The Tauntaun’s only real accessory is its harness/lead, which clips into the mouth, and allows for Luke to more properly hold on.

It makes very little sense to release Luke’s Tauntaun and not a Luke to go with it, I suppose.  There’s of course the single Hoth Luke release, but he notably lacks in the “being able to actually sit on the Tauntaun” department.  This one aims to fix that.  He stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and has 8 points of articulation.  The extra articulation comes in the form of actual knee joints.  Pretty crazy to see those, especially on a figure of this era, but they did happen from time to time.  Check out his actual sitting action!  From the waist up, he’s effectively the same as his single-release counterpart, with one minor tweak to the left arm, so as to slightly reposition his hand.  Other than that, he’s the same, which is good from a consistency standpoint.  The paint work likewise is pretty close.  It’s solid work, with clean application, and all the major colors it needs.  Luke is packed with his blaster pistol.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had the single Hoth Luke as a kid, and never got a ton of use out of creatures, so I never had this one.  I remember it, especially the way it lingered for a bit, but it just never really called to me.  As I’m working on a full set, I’m picking up a lot of items that I passed on over the years.  In some cases, it’s not so thrilling, but sometimes it leads to me discovering some items I really like.  This one’s part of that latter category, and I’m glad I finally got around to picking one up.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3006: Kalibak

KALIBAK

SUPER POWERS (KENNER)

“Kalibak, The Cruel Crusher! This massive warrior is incredibly powerful and nearly indestructible. A savage fighter, Kalibak wields the deadly Beta-Club, which can fire nerve beams powerful enough to fell an entire army.  Despite his size and strength, Kalibak is not too intelligent. He can be bested by an opponent like Superman, who combines his strength with a sense of strategy.”

When I last discussed Kenner’s Super Powers line from the ’80s, I was getting pretty deep into the Fourth World component of the line, which hit during its second and third years.  Thus far, I’ve looked at three of Darkseid’s lieutenants, as well as one of his sons.  Today, I look at the figure that combines those two epithets, Kalibak, half brother to Orion, and the brutish son of Darkseid.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kalibak was released in 1985, as part of Kenner’s second year of Super Powers figures.  As with the rest of the Fourth World figures in the line, this would be his debut action figure, and it would remain his only figure until Mattel got back around to him in 2009 as part of their DC Universe Classics line.  Heck of a gap there, huh?  There was definitely a preferred son of Darkseid in the toy world is all I’m saying.  The figure stands just shy of 5 inches tall (he’s got a bit of a hunch, which would place him at closer to Darkseid’s height were he standing straight up) and he’s got 5 points of articulation.  Kalibak lacks the knee joints sported by most of the line, presumably to give him a slightly more stable stance with the hunch and everything.  He still has a bit of trouble remaining standing even so, due to his hip joints being a little loose from how the action feature works.  Most of the Fourth World characters got rather changed-up designs for the line, still courtesy of Jack Kirby, of course.  Kalibak’s design was new, but he actually had a rather evolving design throughout Kirby’s actual run on New Gods, so this was really just the next step in that evolution.  It’s honestly one of the best of the updated designs, and the one that really has the most lasting influence on the character’s main look going forward.  The sculpt does a pretty nice job of capturing Kalibak’s larger build, and while he’s a little bit goofy looking, that’s on-brand for Kalibak, so it works out better here than it does for, say, Steppenwolf.  Kalibak’s paint work is pretty straight forward.  A lot of the Fourth World designs were heavy on green in the comics, and Kalibak was included in that.  For the Super Powers designs, they leaned a little more into browns and warmer colors, since there was kind of a shortage of those colors in the DC roster.  Kalibak is largely brown and yellow, with a bit of blue.  It’s not a bad look, and the application is generally pretty clean.  Kalibak is packed with his Beta-Club, which is convenient for use with his “Power Action Beta-Club Swing.”  When is legs are squeezed together, the left arm swings in and out, which is actually a pretty cool feature.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kalibak is the newest addition to my Super Powers collection, in the continuing tradition of my Dad getting me a Super Powers figure at Christmas.  He’s slowly but surely helping me make my way through the figures that remain between me and a complete run of the line.  Kalibak is one of those figures I wasn’t in a rush to get or anything, but I actually like him a lot more than I’d expected now that I actually own him.  And with that, I’m down to just 6 more figures!

#2995: Rancor with Luke Skywalker

RANCOR with LUKE SKYWALKER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Within Jabba the Hutt’s desert palace on Tatooine, there is a special pit that houses a rancor. Over five meters in height, this reptilian-like creature has long, exaggerated arms, dangerous fangs and huge claws — truly a fearsome sight. The crime lord uses the rancor as a means of eliminating enemies and failed employees. Its pit is located beneath Jabba’s court, providing an excellent view for the crime lord and his associates as victims struggle helplessly to defend themselves. That all changes when Luke Skywalker is dropped into the loathsome pit. Armed with only a large bone leftover from one of the rancor’s previous victims, the Jedi Knight conquers the horrible beast.”

Oh boy, that sure is a nice Rancor there.  Sure would be a shame if someone were to…SABOTAGE IT!!!!  Right?  Get it?  Because, it’s like the whole thing where a bunch of winy fanboys claimed that Hasbro was sabotaging their own product, and then it was ultimately the winy fanboys who…you know…actually sabotaged it?  Isn’t it funny?  Or is it just sad.  Oh, right, it’s probably just sad.  And I’m likely to piss someone off with this intro, aren’t I?  Ah well, these days I fear nothing, so I’ve really got nothing to lose.  Not even the Rancor.  Especially since I wasn’t backing the Black Series one anyway.  But that’s not the point.  What is the point is that I’m falling back on my classic Star Wars reviewing fodder, Power of the Force, and that’s where I’m staying.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Rancor with Luke Skywalker were added to Kenner’s Power of the Force II line in 1998, as the largest of the creature packs that they were doing.  They’re based on Return of the Jedi, of course, and were actually the only creature pack where that was the case, since Jabba was from his Special Edition appearance in A New Hope, rather than his classic Jedi look.

RANCOR

Certainly one of the largest creatures in the Star Wars verse, or at least one of the largest that’s justifiable in toy form, the Rancor has been getting toy treatment since the vintage line.  This would mark its second time in toy form.  The figure stands about 10 inches tall (thanks to the hunch) and has 6 points of articulation.  He’s not an overly mobile figure, but the Rancor’s also not an overly mobile creature.  It’s main purpose is really just to lumber menacingly, which this one does quite well.  It does have a little trouble standing up, but careful posing can help it find that sweet spot for staying balanced.  The Rancor’s sculpt was an all-new one.  The vintage figure had gone far more basic on its detailing, so this one stepped things up a bit.  The end result is quite a nice piece, especially when compared to some of the smaller figures of the same line.  He’s a respectable match for the creature we see on-screen, and there’s a lot of solid texture and smaller detail work.  Due to the nature of the softer plastic, some of the details are likewise a little softer, but it’s generally quite good.  The only downside to this one is the “Real Feel Skin” feature, which can make him prone to a bit of gunk build-up.  It’s not quite as bad as yesterday’s Clayface figure, but it does require some occasional cleaning.  The paint work on the Rancor is pretty solid, actually.  There’s some decent accent work on the skin, which helps to bring out more of the sculpted details, as well as add a little more depth to the figure’s overall look.  The Rancor gets no accessories of its own, but it does get…

LUKE SKYWALKER

…a Jedi Luke variant.  1998 had quite a few Jedi Luke variants, covering various deviations of his main look throughout the film.  This one is very specifically Jabba’s Palace, after he’s lost the cloak and saber, before he’s gotten shot in the hand.  It’s the only one to fit that very specific narrative.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  He uses the same head and torso as a few of the Jedi Lukes from the same year, which makes sense from a consistency standpoint, and also means he’s re-using some pretty decent parts.  The arms and legs are new, and designed with him leaning back to look at the Rancor in mind.  The legs do make him a little tricky to keep standing, and the arms are unfortunately rather stiff for any decent posing.  He’s not a bad sculpt, but he’s a more limiting one to be sure.  His paint work is a little more involved than other Jedi Lukes by virtue of him having a bunch of brown flecks to simulate Tatooine sand.  It’s all a ploy to keep his father at bay, really.  Luke is packed with the large bone he uses to defend himself against the Rancor, which is a pretty fun scene specific piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was definitely a Jedi Luke fan as a kid, and liked this particular scene a lot, but it was kind of an expensive set, and never a super easy one to find, so I didn’t get this one as a kid.  Instead, I got it quite recently, just over the last summer, when one of them came through All Time loose.  I’ve actually been low-key looking for one for a while now, so I was pretty happy to finally get one.  It’s definitely an important piece of the PotF collection, and one I’m glad to finally have.  There have been more involved Rancors since, but this one’s still just a very nice piece, and the Luke pairs off well with him.

#2988: Nien Nunb

NIEN NUNB

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE (KENNER)

“The outstanding Rebel Pilot from the planet Sullust, Nien Nunb served as Lando Calrissian’s copilot in the Millennium Falcon during the Battle of Endor.”

Though one of their most defining traits is their high rate of mortality, there are a few Rebel pilots from the Original Trilogy who actually survive their missions, at least a few times.  The run on the second Death Star actually has a few of its participants make it out unscathed, including today’s focus, Nien Nunb, who is Lando’s copilot aboard the Falcon.  Nien Nunb isn’t a major character, but he’s certainly visible, which makes him slightly more memorable, and he’s also one of the handful of minor characters to return during the Sequel Trilogy, which is kind of cool.  Let’s look at Nien Nunb!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nien Nunb was added to Kenner’s Power of the Force line in 1997.  He was a little bit isolated that year, as he and Ackbar are really the only later Jedi figures, and the Lando that matched wouldn’t be added until the following year.  This marked Nien Nunb’s second figure, following one from the vintage run.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall (Nien Nunb was a little shorter; he’d never pass as a Stormtrooper) and he has 6 points of articulation.  His sculpt was all-new, and remained unique to this release.  Ten Numb from the Cinema Scenes set was similar, but there are no actual shared parts between them.  Generally, it’s not a bad sculpt.  The head’s certainly the best part, and captures the on-screen puppet’s design pretty well.  The body is certainly a mid-run PotF body, so it’s ever so slightly pre-posed, and probably a little too bulky and puffy for true accuracy, but it works alright.  Nien Nunb’s paint work is generally pretty basic.  They match up with the colors on screen alright, application is clean, and no notable details are left unpainted.  In terms of accessories, he includes two blasters, one large, one small.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Not much of a story on Nien Nunb, really.  I always remembered the character, but in that sequence I’m usually fixated on Wedge being there, so I miss everyone else.  I didn’t have this figure as a kid, and wound up getting it in one of my batches of figures from All Time.  He’s an okay figure.  Nothing amazing, but he does what he needs to, and he’s another fun alien design.

#2981: Orrimaarko (Prune Face)

ORRIMAARKO (PRUNE FACE)

STAR WARS POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Leader of a resistance cell on his homeworld of Dressel, Rebel Alliance member Orrimaarko proved to be a fierce warrior against the evil Empire.”

When the face is a prune, action goes Boom! …or something like that.  There’s this whole subset of Star Wars characters I really only have any sort of attachment to because of how they were handled in the Robot Chicken Star Wars specials, and today’s focus, Orrimaarko, better known as Prune Face, is certainly in that category.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Orrimaarko (Prune Face) was added to Kenner’s Power of the Force II line in 1998, alongside fellow Rebel briefing room characters Mon Mothma and Ishi Tib.  This was Prune Face’s second figure, following the one he got during the original vintage line.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Prune Face was sporting an all-new sculpt, and one that remained unique.  Not a shock there, since, well, who else are you gonna use a Prune Face mold for?  I mean, maybe one of the other Dresselians, I suppose, but that’s an especially deep reach.  It’s a goofy sculpt, but Prune Face is a goofy looking guy, so that goes with the territory.  The face sculpt, as with many of the aliens in this line, is certainly the best part.  There’s a lot of solid detail work going on there.  The body is a little more on the pre-posed side, but not terribly so, and he can at least stand pretty well on his own.  While other Prune Face figures have made use of cloth capes, this one notably goes the soft plastic route.  It’s a little bulkier and more restricting to the arm movement, but it also means it actually holds a shape, which the others haven’t been so great at.  Prune Face’s paint work is generally pretty strong work, with a lot of accenting going on to help out the sculpt.  Prune Face is packed with a quite un-Star Wars-y rifle, which he’s not really meant to hold in so much of an actual gun pose, as much as just use it as a makeshift cane.  It’s a cool piece, fully painted, which wasn’t common on the guns at this point.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Prune Face isn’t one of those characters that I absolutely need to have or anything, but I’ll admit that I found the Robot Chicken sketch rather amusing.  Mostly, though, I bought him because of the whole completionist angle.  I picked him up during one of my big runs of the line a few years back, shortly after getting involved with All Time.  He’s goofy and hideous, but in a way that he’s supposed to be, so it works out.

#2974: Emperor Palpatine

EMPEROR PALPATINE

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE (KENNER)

So, umm, I’m not gonna lie, today’s review was supposed to be a totally different review.  It was supposed to be a review of the Power of the Force Darth Vader with Removable Helmet.  I took the photos, I did the background  research, I grabbed the text from the back of the box.  And then I pulled up my own prior reviews for some reference, at which point I discovered that I actually already reviewed that figure on July 25th of last year.  This is really embarrassing, you guys.  I don’t know how this happened.  I’m…I’m slipping, I guess.  Well, on the plus side, my slippage has given me something more interesting to talk about in the intro than whatever I was going to struggle to say about Sheev Palpatine.  So that’s a plus.  Anyway, here’s Sheev.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Emperor Palpatine was added to Kenner’s Power of the Force II line in 1997.  It was generally a Jedi heavy year, so Palpatine’s presence was a fairly sensible one.  Palpatine actually wound up getting three of his four PotF figures all in that same year, so it was a good one for him, I suppose.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 4 points of articulation.  Like the other PotF Palpatines, while he may *have* the articulation, there’s not much he can actually *do* with it.  At least this one’s got a little more to do with his arms, I guess?  The sculpt is quite similar to both the electronic and Cinema Scene versions of the character released the same year.  I guess there are really only so many ways to sculpt a wrinkly old guy in a robe.  They do an alright job of it.  There’s honestly not a ton you can do to dress up this design, so he does what needs to, really.  Honestly, it’s probably the best of the three, just given its greater versatility.  As with the other Palaptines, the paint work here is pretty much confined to the face and hands.  It’s thickly applied, which does make it kind of hard to make out some of the sculpted details, but it generally works.  At least they got the weird shading around the eyes.  That’s right out of the movie.  Palpatine was packed with his cane.  Sure, it’s not as technically impressive as that whole unlimited power bit, but he does gets some use out of it for walking purposes.  Yes, this is certainly a walking man’s Palpatine.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My generally middling opinions about Palpatine aren’t really a secret, so it’s not a shock that I didn’t own this one as a kid.  Instead, I actually got it as part of a batch of PotF figures I got from Max a couple of years ago.  Of all the Palpatines from the line, it’s the most average.  I guess that’s okay.  Not terribly exciting, but certainly not bad.  He’s good for standing on the shelf with other, more interesting figures.  In fact, he does that quite well.