#2489: Prince Xizor VS Darth Vader

PRINCE XIZOR VS DARTH VADER

STAR WARS: SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE (KENNER)

In the time between Han Solo’s capture by the Empire and his delivery to Jabba the Hutt, a secret struggle for power took place within the shadows of the Empire. A clash between power hungry crimelord Prince Xizor and the dreaded Darth Vader meant certain death for Luke Skywalker. As the Rebel Alliance’s only hope, a band of heroes led by Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, and Dash Rendar set out to rescue Solo while protecting the young Jedi from a horde of bounty hunters and assassins.”

Oh, I bet you thought I was done with Shadows of the Empire, didn’t you?  Well…I wasn’t…so, you know…here we are?  Yeah, I know, I’m not thrilled about it either, but think of it this way: after today, the Shadows figures can’t hurt you anymore.  See?  Doesn’t a little but of optimism go a long way?  Okay, let’s get through this together guys.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Xizor and Vader are the second of the two Shadows of the Empire comic packs, the other being the Boba Fett and IG-88 set.  That one is, admittedly, a little more of an exciting prospect than this one, what with our only PotF2-style IG and all, but this one has value, too….there’s, um…a comic?  And the figures, too, I guess.  While the Xizor was technically distinct from his single-card release, this Vader would also end up single-carded in a Power of the Force assortment later down the line.

PRINCE XIZOR

“Xizor is the head of Black Sun, an intergalactic criminal empire that supports literally millions of outlaw organizations and activities. Since entering the service of the Emperor, the Dark Prince is widely considered one of the powerful individuals in the galaxy. He controls his operations with cold, deadly accuracy assuring that those who dare challenge Xizor meet with swift death, often by his own hand. His hunger for power has put him at direct odds with Lord Vader, But Xizor is afraid of no one; his hunger for power has driven him to dispatch an onslaught of assassins with orders to eliminate Luke Skywalker. Xizor plots to spoil Darth Vader’s promise to deliver Skywalker to the Emperor alive — a maneuver that would undermine Vader’s reliability and secure Xizor as the Emperor’s most favored ally.”

Prince Xizor was Shadows‘ primary antagonist, and that netted him not one, but two figures in Kenner’s tie-in line.  I’ve already looked at his single-carded release here on the site, but the two-pack was *slightly* different.  He’s only *mostly* the same.  That’s not quite as bad as *all* the same, right?  Well, actually, that’s probably up for debate, because if they were all the same, I’d only need to own and review one of them, rather than two.  Damn you Kenner and your making me right about Prince Xizor twice as many times as I needed to!  Like the single card, this figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Also like that release, his movement’s incredibly limited by the braids on his head and the thick plastic robe, and even further hindered by the tweaked posing of the arms, which prevents them from being quite as useful.  As far as parts, this guy and the other Xizor use the same head, torso, and pelvis, and he’s got ever so slightly tweaked arms and legs, which now are more pre-posed than the prior ones.  The robe also remains the same as the other release, despite this figure’s more dynamic pose.  In my review of the single Xizor, I remarked that I didn’t feel his color scheme was very Star Wars-y, and I stand by that here.  Application of the paint is at least still pretty good, so I guess he’s got that going for him.  This Xizor trades out the last release’s weird fan blade things for a battle staff, which works a bit better with the pose, I suppose.

DARTH VADER

“Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, has instilled terror throughout the galaxy since the beginning of the Empire. His devotion to the Emperor and mastery of the dark side gives him more power than any single individual in the galaxy except for the Emperor himself. Draped completely in black and wielding the ability to take a life with a mere gesture, Darth Vader stands as the incarnation of evil. His dislike of Prince Xizor is intense and his distrust well-founded. Though Vader would gladly eliminate Xizor, Emperor Palpatine has need of Black Sun’s shipping operations to speed construction of the new Death Star. Xizor had best watch his back however, as Vader’s control of the dark side of the Force makes him a most formidable foe”

Though a notable player in Shadows, Vader faced the problem of not actually having his appearance change at all from his normal look for the purposes of the story.  That’s a little hard to sell as a separate figure, so Kenner had to figure that out.  Enter the pre-posing.  Effectively, this guy takes the initial PotF2 Vader and sort of bends and contorts him a bit.  Now he’s different!  Yay!  Honestly, it’s not terrible in terms of design, and he balances on those mid-walk legs better than you might expect.  His cape gets a little more flair to it as well, which works out pretty well.  He gets the same saber as his standard counterpart, as you’d expect.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I have trouble fully articulating how little I care about this particular release.  I literally only own it because a) I’m collecting the whole line, and b) it was bundled with the IG-88 and Boba set, which I actually wanted.  Neither of these figures exactly has much new to offer, and furthermore, I just don’t care about Xizor in the slightest.  So, here’s this set.  Cool.  I’m done now.

Thanks to my friends at All Time Toys for setting me up with these guys.  They’ve got a decent back stock of Power of the Force, and other cool toys both old and new, so please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2482: Lando Calrissian in General’s Gear

LANDO CALRISSIAN in GENERAL’S GEAR

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Proving his impressive flying capabilities and natural leadership qualities during the battle of Taanab, Lando is appointed General in charge of the attack on the second Death Star.”

In addition to a whole stock of disguised looks for their infiltration of Jabba’s Palace at the film’s beginning, the heroes of Return of the Jedi all also get new, fancy, high ranking uniforms as the film progresses.  No longer content to just steal Han’s clothes, Lando picks up some new toggs to go along with his promotion to general within the Rebellion ranks.  It’s pretty standard Rebel officer fare, but with the addition of a cape, because if you’re gonna be as suave as Lando, you gotta have a cape!  It also serves as the perfect excuse to give Lando just a touch more toy coverage, thereby giving me more things to review.  Alright!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Lando in General’s Gear was added to Kenner’s Power of the Force II line 1998, and was the third, and final, Lando to grace the line.  It’s honestly not terribly surprising; they really just added his looks in the order that they appeared in the films.  I suppose they could have throne us a curve ball and given us Lando in Smuggler’s Gear (i.e. Han’s clothes), but the world just wasn’t quite ready for that yet.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  His sculpt was all-new, which actually surprised me a bit, because I could have sworn the head remained the same between all three Landos.  It’s very similar to the one used on the other two, but not quite identical; his features are a touch more refined.  The rest of the sculpt is notable because, despite the fact that by 1998 the line had pretty well abandoned the hard pre-posing of earlier years, this guy’s stance really isn’t neutral.  I mean, sure, it’s not quite as disco-ready as the first Lando, but he’s definitely got quite the wide stance going there.  Among other things, it makes it quite hard to get him into the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon, which is sad, given that’s really the primary purpose of this particular look.  Pre-posing aside, this is actually quite a nice sculpt.  The detail work is all pretty sharp, and the texturing on that removable cape in particular is really sweet.  The paintwork is pretty standard for this line, so application’s more on the basic side, but generally pretty clean.  Some of the details are a bit sharper than previous Landos, especially on the face, showing the line’s upward trend of improvement.  Lando was packed with a blaster pistol and a freeze frame slide showing him in the Rebel briefing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My Lando figure growing up was the Skiff Guard Disguise version, but I recall my cousin Rusty having this version of Lando among his collection.  In fact, through various interminglings of our collections, I believe I even managed to wind up with the cape floating around my collection for a good while.  The figure, however, I waited on.  He came from a large trade in at All Time, and was one of the few I didn’t already have, so boom, there he was.  He’s probably the best PotF Lando, truth be told, though maybe not quite as fun as disco Lando.

Thanks to my friends at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy.  They’ve got a decent back stock of Power of the Force, and other cool toys both old and new, so please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2475: Darth Vader with Removable Helmet

DARTH VADER with REMOVABLE HELMET

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Luke Skywalker removes his father’s head gear so that Anakin may look at at his son with his own eyes for the first time. Darth Vader became one with the light side of the Force when he rescued his son from the clutches of the Emperor.”

Remember last week when I was talking about the difficulty of coming up with credible variants for certain characters in Star Wars, given how little they change between installments?  Good, because it remains relevant for today’s review!  Darth Vader’s one of those tricky things to balance for toys, because the guy’s kind of the face of the franchise, but he also looks the same in all of his appearances (to the untrained eye, anyway).  For the vintage line, he only had one figure throughout the whole three movie run, and at the outset of Power of the Force II it looked like history might repeat itself.  That standard Vader did get a re-card, and even a slight tweak on posing to keep him on shelves, but by 1998, Kenner was doing revamps on all of the core characters, and Vader found himself on the receiving end of such a revamp, one which even gave us something we’d never seen on a Vader before: a removable helmet!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Darth Vader with Removable Helmet was added to the Power of the Force line in 1998, as the line’s third basic Vader release.  Unlike the line’s prior Vaders, which were all sort of amalgams of his designs from all three films, this one was the first to specifically replicate one design, in this case Return of the Jedi.  The figure stands a little over 3 3/4 inches tall (as they were back to acknowledging that Vader was taller), and had 7 points of articulation.  Just like the Bespin Luke figure from the same year, Vader is granted an extra point of movement on his right wrist, thanks to a removable hand (again making this a more Jedi-specific release).  I’ve actually looked at the bulk of this figure’s sculpt before, when it was used for the “Escape the Death Star” Removable Dome Vader release.  It really was the best sculpt Vader got out of PotF2, so I definitely can’t complain too much.  It’s far less beefy than the initial Vader, and even adds the missing inner robes that hadn’t actually been done in action figure form at this point.  The main distinguishing feature on this guy is the unmasked head, which is a pretty solid recreation of his unmasked appearance in the film, especially given the level of detail we typically got from this era of figure.  In terms of paint work, this figure marked another improvement for the line, with more than just the straight black of the initial Vaders from the line.  This guy also gets some of the proper silver detailing on his shoulders, plus all of the various colors he should have on his chest panel and belt.  And, of course, he gets a fully painted face under the helmet, complete with eyebrows, meaning he’s pre-Special Edition!  Vader was packed with his lightsaber (whose blade has a tendency to fade over time for this particular release), as well as a Freeze Frame.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Add this Vader to the list of figures I didn’t have as a kid (which, to be totally fair, is all of the Potf2 figures I’ll be reviewing from here on out), but it’s one I very much wanted and never managed to get.  One of my parents’ friends had both this and the Bespin Luke when they were released, and I always wanted this guy to pair off with my own Bespin Luke, but I never quite managed it.  Over the years, I kept an eye out, but he doesn’t crop up as much as some of the other entries in the line, so it took a little while.  Fortunately for me, one wound up floating around the back room at All Time for a little bit, so I was finally able to snag him.  He’s definitely the best Vader for this line, so I’m very glad to have him.

Thanks to my friends at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy.  They’ve got a decent back stock of Power of the Force, and other cool toys both old and new, so please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2474: Rhino Alien

RHINO ALIEN

ALIENS (NECA)

NECA’s Aliens used to be a rather frequent feature around these parts, but the line has slowed down a little bit as of late.  The core stuff right now has been a handful of one-off releases, largely centered around Kenner-inspired variants on previously.  A few months ago, I took a look at their Kenner-ized Drake, and now I’m jumping over to another one of the Xenos.  As I’ve no doubt brought up before on this site, Kenner took the concept of the Dog Alien from Alien 3 and really ran with it, creating all sorts of Xeno off-shoots.  NECA’s crafted a few of them in their 7-inch line, and the latest of the bunch is today’s focus, the Rhino Alien!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Rhino Alien is a standalone release for NECA’s Aliens line, loosely meant to coincide with the Kenner Drake figure, though it’s at a different price point and in a totally different style of package than Drake.  It started hitting shelves not too long after he did, although due to some production errors I know he’s been rolling out a little more sporadically.  At full height, this figure’s a whopping 10 inches tall and has 34 points of articulation.  Of course, given that he’s based on one of the Kenner line’s quadrupedal Aliens, he’s not really meant for standing at full height, and is instead meant for posing on all fours.  Fortunately, the articulation works well enough to make both types of poses possible with this guy.  The hips can be a little tricky, but for the most part he’s pretty easily posed, and I don’t feel quite as worried about breakage as on other NECA offerings.  I’m still going to be slightly cautious, because I’ve been wronged before, but it does seem a little better.  In terms of sizing, this guy’s one of largest Xenos (barring the Queen, of course, which is in a class of its own), not just in height, but in bulk as well.  He achieves this through an all-new sculpt, and a pretty impressive one at that.  It’s somewhat patterned on Kenner’s own Rhino Alien, of course, but it’s worth noting that in terms of body construction, it seems to be taking more of its cues from Kenner’s Bull Alien.  The Kenner Rhino’s anatomy was a bit more further removed from the standard Xeno’s, while the Bull had something a little more in line with the Dog Alien’s merging of the Xeno with a quadrupedal design.  Ultimately, I think the Bull’s approach worked a little bit better, and as an added bonus, this leaves the door open for a possible Bull Alien later down the road, which would certainly not be a bad thing.  The quality of the sculpt is on par with NECA’s other Xenos, so the details are all quite sharp, and follow all of the broad strokes of the original Kenner figure, while also filling in some of those smaller parts.  The head dome has been designed to be removable, revealing a whole bunch of further details, which had been hidden under the dome.  This is probably NECA’s most impressive Xeno sculpt, honestly.  In terms of paint, the figure steps things up for Xenos.  He’s molded in orange, with black, brass, and some purples painted over top.  It makes for an incredibly impressive appearance, and looks pretty sick when it catches the light just right.  In addition to the previously mentioned removable dome, the Rhino also includes a reprint of the “Ice Storm” minicomic that was included with the original Kenner figure.  It’s definitely a fun read, but very much a product of its time.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I haven’t been quite as completist on the Kenner-tribute Aliens as I was the movie stuff, so there were a fair number I’d missed.  Because of that, I wasn’t 100% certain I’d be getting this guy, but after seeing him in person, it was definitely hard to say no.  It’s a very, very fun piece, and definitely the best of the Xenos I’ve gotten.  It’s just so much fun to mess with, and pairs off well with the Space Marines I’ve picked up.

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

#2468: C-3PO with Removable Limbs

C-3PO w/ REMOVABLE LIMBS

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

A short stay on Bespin’s Cloud City left protocol droid C-3PO dismantled and dependent on his Rebel companions.”

There’s a bit of difficulty in Star Wars lines to offer decent variants of a handful of the characters, specifically the ones whose designs don’t really change throughout the movies.  For instance?  C-3PO.  He’s got the exact same design in all three of the original films, so any OT-based line definitely has a little trouble differentiating.  Fortunately, there’s at least one solid gimme for a 3PO variant: removable limbs.  Yep, if you want to really want a good Empire variant of 3PO, all you gotta do is make those limbs removable for his encounter with the Stormtroopers in Cloud City.  The vintage line started things off, and Power of the Force II followed suit, with the figure I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

C-3PO with Removable Limbs was added to the Power of the Force line in 1998, and was the line’s third variant of 3PO, following the initial release and the Purchase of the Droids variant.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation…or at least he should, though the waist joint on mine definitely isn’t moving.  Stylistically, the sculpt on this guy is really similar to the revamped 3PO sculpt from the Purchase set.  Much like the various nearly identical Farmboy Lukes produced later in the line, the two sculpts aren’t really the same, but are virtually indistinguishable for the most part.  The main difference between the two, aside from the whole “removable limbs” thing, is the lack of restraining bolt on the upper torso.  Also, there’s the removable limbs.  Those are a difference, too, I suppose.  They come off pretty easily, though the way they attach does ever so slightly impact the posability a little bit.  You can still get full range out of them, but they might need to be popped out and repositioned for some poses.  Like the “Purchase” figure, this 3PO’s color scheme starts out with the vac metalizing again, but this one takes the grime even further than that figure did, making for what is probably the dirtiest of the PotF 3POs.  I’m not entirely sure why the Empire version would be the dirtiest, but I guess it could be worse.  3PO is packed with a cargo bag, perfect for placing him in and allowing him to be carried on Chewbacca’s back.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have this 3PO figure as a kid, but I remember seeing him on the back of the packaging, and always kind of wanting him to do the whole “carried on Chewy’s back” set-up.  I never did get it as a kid, but it was definitely on my short list when I started filling in the holes in my collection.  He’s pretty darn nifty.

Thanks to my friends at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy.  They’ve got a decent back stock of Power of the Force, and other cool toys both old and new, so please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2461: Ugnaughts

UGNAUGHTS

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Ugnaughts, the humanoid species found on Bespin’s Cloud City, manned the controls of the freezing chambers where Han Solo was encased in carbonite.”

Okay, right, weekend.  Time for another Power of the Force review.  What am I reviewing this time?  Ugnaughts?  What are the Ugnaughts?  Well, it says right up above, doesn’t it?  That’s pretty convenient isn’t it?  Too many questions, Ethan.  You need to move onto some declaratives.  Right.  Ugnaughts.  Let’s do this.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Ugnaughts were added to the Power of the Force line in 1998, and were our second go at this particular race, following a figure in the vintage line.  They joined Lobot in filling in some of the Bespin crew the year they were released.  Much like the Jawas, Kenner took advantage of the Ugnaughts’ smaller stature to offer up a pair of them, rather than one single.  The two included are distinctly different Ugnaughts, both of them from the film.  The vintage figure actually amalgamated a number of elements from these two, before they were split apart for this release.  Both figures stand 2 1/2 inches tall and each have 4 points of articulation (they’re articulation ceases below the waist).  Both sculpts are completely unique parts-wise, though they do share the same basic pose and build.  They hold up well given the time they were produced, and honestly wouldn’t look too terribly out of place with more modern lines.  Of the two, I think the one with the smock is the slightly better offering, as the separate smock piece adds a little more depth, and his facial features are a little more distinct.  He also pulls ahead a little bit on the paint front, thanks to a few more details, though it’s worth noting that both figures sport decent base level paint work.  Curiously, the red-headed Ugnaught’s skin tone is molded, while the smock Ugnaught is painted.  Not sure why they’re different, but they both look decent enough.  The two Ugnaughts include one single toolbox for them both to share, as well as a freeze frame slide.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Mandalorian is legit the first time I’ve ever cared about an Ugnaught, so I can assure you I didn’t get these two new.  In fact, they were one of those things I didn’t even realize were even in the movie until I was an adult.  They definitely don’t have the same fun factor as, say, the Jawas, but I guess they make for a decent scene filler.  I have spoken.

I got this pair from my friends at All Time Toys.  They’ve got a decent back stock of Power of the Force, and other cool toys both old and new, so please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2460: Batgirl

BATGIRL

BATMAN & ROBIN (KENNER)

“Gotham City becomes a very cold place when Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and Bane triple team to plot the icy demise of Batman and Robin. The crimefighters respond immediately by using the Batcomputer deep within the Batcave to develop an array of cutting-edge weapons that can be used in their battle against this multitude of fiendish foes. Discover the Secrets of the Batcave! – secret technology that gives Batman , Robin and Batgirl the ultimate ability to save Gotham City!”

Back in April, I jumped into the Batman & Robin line with a look at the “& Robin” portion of the film.  Today, I look at the central character who doesn’t get named at all.  I mean, seriously, isn’t it a little odd that the film where you explicitly call out Batman and Robin as your title characters is the one where you add in Batgirl as your third protagonist?  Isn’t that a little weird?  I think it’s a little weird.  Look at me, armchair quarterbacking a movie from 1997.  That’s a real good use of my time, right?  Yeah…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batgirl was released in the first wave of Batman & Robin product from Kenner, hitting shelves in 1997 to tie-in with the film.  Unlike the various Batmen and Robins, she didn’t get any sort of adjective in front of her name; she’s simply “Batgirl.”  Man, no goofy Kenner name is just a bummer.  Did they even try with Batgirl in this thing?  Oh, right, I’ve seen the movie: the answer is “no.”  The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and she has 5 points of articulation.  So, right off the bat (heh), let’s address the inaccuracies of the figure.  As I brought up in my Robin review, the whole Batman & Robin process was quite expedited, so the figures were working from early costume designs.  In Robin’s case, that was all well and good, because he kept his design, but in Batgirl’s case, that means she’s a bit off from her film appearance.  The big change is the full cowl in place of the domino mask she was sporting in the final product.  It’s not a particularly attractive design, at least as implemented on the figure.  She’s also got the wrong version of the bat symbol, and is missing a lot of the ribbing and such that ran throughout the body suit, making for a much more basic looking design.  There is also a removable cape, which actually is a pretty decently designed piece. Her paintwork is fairly basic stuff.  She’s rather monochromatic, but that’s honestly a bit more faithful to the film than most of the color schemes to come out of this movie.  Batgirl was packed with a “Battle Blade Blaster” and “Strike Scythe,” which are the weird green and black things.  They don’t correlate to anything in the movie, but they certainly exist, now don’t they?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I mentioned in my Robin review, Batman & Robin was the first Batman movie I saw in theaters, and despite its lackluster quality, five-year-old me really enjoyed it.  Being the big thing of the summer, a whole bunch of the tie-in figures wound up as birthday presents for me that year, including Batgirl here.  She’s not necessarily one of my favorites, and that was the case even as a kid.  She really only served as my Batgirl until the Animated figure found its way into my collection and replaced her.  She’s okay, I guess, and like the rest of the line, honestly better than the movie that spawned her.

#2455: Lobot

LOBOT

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“As the cyborg administrative assistant to Cloud City, Lobot made certain that Lando Calrissian and his Rebel companions would safely escape the Imperial occupied city.”

That he sure did.  Yeah, so, it’s, uhh, Lobot.  You know?  Lobot?  The cyborg administrative assistant to Cloud City who made certain that Lando Calrissian and his Rebel companions would safely escape the Imperial occupied city?  Like it says in the bio?  …Yeah, I don’t have a ton to say about Lobot, I guess.  He’s the guy with the funny looking techno earmuffs who dresses like he’s going out to the discotheque.  Seems like he’s pretty fly.  And hey, he’s had a few toys, so how about that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Lobot was released as part of the basic Power of the Force II line in 1998.  It marked his second figure, following his vintage release.  He’d get one more in 2004, and then that would be it for poor Lobot.  I guess not everyone’s rushing out to get those funky techno earmuffs.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Sculpturally, this figure feels like something of an anomaly for the year he was released.  By 1998, Power of the Force had lost a lot of its early installment weirdness, what with the wonky proportions and the goofy posing and all.  The original likenesses for both Luke and Leia had been dropped in favor of slightly more accurate ones, and in general earlier core figures were getting reworked into slightly less weird monstrosities.  But Lobot?  Well, you’d be forgiven for assuming Lobot was a year one figure.  He’s oddly proportioned, rather light on detailing, and one of the more heavily pre-posed figures to come out of the line (further highlighted by the fact that Lobot never does much other than just stand there, making the usual Star Wars pose kinda perfect for him).  He’s got a disco-esque pose that rivals the original Lando, further pushing that “year one” feel on this guy.  You almost have to wonder if Kenner knew that Lobot was destined to stand right next to that Lando, and rather than doing an updated Lando so that neither would look out of place, they opted to instead make Lobot a proper companion piece.  Alternatively, maybe he was just a leftover sculpt from earlier in the line that took a while to get a proper release.  It could really be either.  Whatever the cause, it’s really darn goofy looking.  I do have to give them some credit on the paint front, though.  He could have been quite bland, but there’s quite a bit of detailing going into the headset, and it actually looks pretty cool.  Lobot is packed with a blaster pistol and data pad, for both sides of the sensible disco cyborg’s life.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My first introduction to Lobot as a kid was not via the movies, or even via this figure, but rather via Lego’s Cloud City Car set, which I got as a birthday gift the year it was released.  I had no clue who the heck this guy was, and the internet wasn’t quite the fountain of knowledge that it is today, so I went a little while without knowing anything about him, until I noticed him in one of my rewatches of Empire.  This particular figure was another from the large batch of figures I picked up a couple of falls ago, as I was working towards filling in my PotF collection.  He’s sooooooo goofy, but if I’m honest, after a bunch of “they’re fine figures, but a bit boring”, Lobot’s something of a breath of fresh air.  I mean, at least he’s memorable.

Thanks to my friends at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy.  They’ve got a decent back stock of Power of the Force, and other cool toys both old and new, so please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2447: Dengar

DENGAR

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

Why is it Dengar always ends up the last Bounty Hunter I review in a given Star Wars set?  I mean, it’s probably that he’s my least favorite.  That’s probably it.  I made a lot of fun of him in my review of the Black Series figure.  I guess I’ll spare him the mocking this time around.  Even if his idea of an imposing look is wrapping himself in toilet paper… I mean, in this day and age, I guess that could be seen as a status thing, couldn’t it?  That’s some pretty valuable armor, right there.  Perhaps Dengar was just getting ahead of the game.  Yeah, that’s it.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Dengar was added to Power of the Force in 1997, the same year as both Bossk and 4-LOM, making it a bounty hunter-heavy year.  While most of the bounty hunters were Empire-based, Dengar is actually based on his brief appearance from Return of the Jedi, as denoted by his lack of backpack.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and sports 6 points of articulation.  While the pre-posing was working its way out by this point, Dengar still gets just a touch of it, which has the unfortunate side effect of making him quite difficult to keep standing. That’s rather annoying.  Aside from that, the sculpt’s an okay offering.  Obviously, it’s not as technically impressive as the Black Series release, but for its era, it’s a fair recreation of his gear from the movies.  Some of the details are a little soft, but, well, that doesn’t look super out of place on Dengar.  By design, this guy’s a little schlubby.  Dengar’s paint work isn’t the most thrilling combo of colors, but it’s certainly accurate.  There’s also a fair amount of solid accent work on the grime and dirt, which makes him look appropriately like he’s been mucking around in…uh, muck, I guess.  Dengar is packed with two blasters, one long, one short, which is a solid arsenal.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My general dislike of Dengar goes back to when I was a kid, where I never really found him to be terribly impressive.  The result of that, of course, is that I didn’t own this figure growing up.  He got added to my collection in the last two years, as I’ve been really laying into this “complete run of PotF” thing.  He’s okay, but he’s still Dengar, and the fact that he’s so darn hard to keep standing certainly doesn’t help him out.

I got this guy from my friends at All Time Toys.  They’ve got a decent back stock of Power of the Force, and other cool toys both old and new, so please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2440: R2-D2

R2-D2

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Inside the Imperial Death Star, R2-D2 uses one of his many mechanical assets to rescue his Rebel companions from certain death within a rapidly closing trash compactor.”

As I was mentioning last week, droids make up quite a subset of the Star Wars universe, be they background, or even main characters.  Of note are C-3PO and today’s focus R2-D2, who have appeared in every film in the franchise to date, making them the real connective tissue that holds things together.  Being as frequently appearing as they are in the films, they are similarly pretty frequently appearing in the accompanying toy lines, usually with some sort of gimmick to help set them apart from prior releases.  Let’s dig into what makes this specific R2 so unique.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

R2-D2 was released in 1998 as part of Kenner’s Power of the Force line.  He’s the second R2 to be released in the line, following the more standard version from ’95.  The figure stands 3 inches tall and has 3 points of articulation.  This R2 was a totally new sculpt.  It’s not terribly different from the initial figure, but it’s different enough to be noticeable.  Unlike the prior R2, he doesn’t have the retracting third leg, or any third leg at all.  Instead, he makes use of the extra space in the torso to add a slightly different gimmick: a retracting datalink arm.  It’s a cool enough feature, though it would probably be cooler if it hadn’t immediately broken on mine.  Maybe I’m just too rough on my toys?  He’s also got another built-in gimmick, a  pop-out scanner in his head dome.  That one works a lot better, and is probably my favorite part of this particular release.  The paint work on this guy is a definite step-up from the prior figure.  He keeps the chromed head (this was a wonky licensing thing with Lucasfilm, despite its inaccuracy), but corrects the missing third blue stripe on his “face.”  He also gets quite a bit of weathering on his lower portion.  While he’s *technically* a New Hope R2, this added dirt means he pairs quite well with the ESB Dagobah figures, which is another plus in my book.  R2 is packed with both a grasper arm and a saw arm, both of which can plug into the front of the figure.  He also included a Freeze Frame slide depicting R2 and 3PO on the Death Star, though I somehow managed to misplace that one.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really only had the need for one R2 growing up, so this guy got left out.  He’s one of the ones I was more interested in when I started to go back and fill in the holes in my collection, though, and wound up as part of one of my earlier splurges of PotF figures back in 2018.  He actually sat packaged for a good while before I finally got around to opening him.  Issues with the datalink aside, I think this guy was the best of the R2s offered up by this line.

Thanks to my friends at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy.  They’ve got a decent back stock of Power of the Force, and other cool toys both old and new, so please check out their website and their eBay Store.