STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (HASBRO)
“Pre Vizsla is governor of Concordia, the moon orbiting Mandalore. Vizsla appears to support peace and criticizes the Death Watch, a violent group of Mandalorians who want to return to their warrior past. But when Obi-Wan discovers the Vizsla is actually the leader of the Death Watch, the governor tries to silence the Jedi in a duel — darksaber to lightsaber.”
If you’re going to try recreating Boba Fett at regular intervals, I suppose sometimes it just pays to go back to the source. In The Clone Wars‘ second season, that’s what the franchise did, giving mass audiences their first glimpse at the Mandalorians. Oh, sure, it’s all very passé these days, since they now make up a very large chunk of the franchise’s offerings, but this was back before that, when we were just learning about it all. Leading the villainous contingent of Mandalorians was Pre Vizsla, voiced by none other than Jon Favreau, who was not yet involved in Star Wars. Oh how times have changed.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Pre Vizsla was released in the second wave for the 2010 incarnation of Hasbro’s Clone Wars tie-in line, a wave which, in what would become fairly standard for the line, had been preceded by one entirely populated by repacks of main characters. Vizsla was figure #8, making him the first of the new figures in his assortment, numerically. The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation. Hasbro was getting pretty serious about actually articulating these figures by this point, and Pre represents the line at its peak in terms of mobility, rivaling the ARF Trooper, which was the best of the Clones. It grants him quite a bit of playability, which is always a plus. The figure’s sculpt was all-new; parts of it would be re-used for the standard Death Watch trooper later the same year, but for the start it would be unique. It’s a pretty strong offering. He’s notably skinnier than the clones, which was true to the character. His helmet was a removable piece, with an unmasked sculpt beneath it. The unmasked head is a touch on the small side, but not terribly so, and it matches up well with Vizsla’s earlier appearances on the show. His half cape piece is cloth; it’s a little bit oversized for the scale, but it’s certainly a better set-up than a sculpted piece might have been, as it preserves the articulation. Vizsla’s paint work is decent; the base set-up is all there, and he certainly captures the color scheme from the show. You can see that they were intending the body to be re-used for standard Mandos from the start here, though; the Pre-specific elements are largely painted over the standard armor. Pre is packed with the Dark Saber (making its toy debut here), as well as two dual pistols, and a display stand.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
By the time of Clone Wars‘ second season, I was actually starting to get a bit more invested in it, and I remember the trailer that showed off Vizsla and his Mando goons for the first time. It was very cool, and I was very excited. This figure was one of the ones I was most looking forward to from the line, and I recall getting both him and the Mandalorian Police Officer while I was out buying things for my first college dorm room. They were meant to be my last toy purchase for a while but…uh, I didn’t stick to that for long.