#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.

#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.

#2932: B’omarr Monk

B’OMARR MONK

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

So, these days, I fear, like, nothing, but other people do fear things, and one of those things, at least pretty consistently, is spiders.  Seriously, when I bring up my lack of fears, it’s like a 50/50 chance that the next question that follows is “Even spiders?”  Why am I talking about everyone’s fear of spiders?  Well, I wanna be kind to my readers who aren’t so big on them, so I’m gonna give a little bit of a content warning on the pictures that go along with today’s review.  Enter at your own peril.

Continue reading

#2918: Gamorrean Guard

GAMORREAN GUARD

STAR WAR: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“The brutish nature of Gamorreans, along with their great strength and violent tendencies, made them excellent mercenaries and guardsmen in Jabba’s desert palace.”

Jabba’s green pig-man guards make for a rather distinctive introduction back into the world of Star Wars during Return of the Jedi‘s opening scenes.  They’re a great merging of puppetry and prosthetics, making for a generally pretty unique design, and one that’s not quickly forgotten.  It’s hard to imagine the whole Jabba’s palace sequence without them present in some fashion, so when Kenner turned their sights on building up that particular locale for Power of the Force in the ’90s, the Gamorrean Guards were right there, along for the ride!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Gamorrean Guard was added to Power of the Force II in 1997, a year that, as I noted last time, is quite packed with Jabba-related characters.  This marked their first time in toy treatment since the vintage line, as was the case for most of these guys in the ’90s.  The figure stands just shy of 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  The vintage Gamorrean sculpt was definitely not bad for the time, so this one had a slightly higher bar to clear than other offerings.  That being said, creatures are certainly where the ’90s line excelled, especially early on, so they were in pretty safe hands here.  The sculpt’s a pretty strong one.  It’s a little bit more pre-posed, but that’s largely just to allow the arms to be bent for holding the weapon just a bit better.  Otherwise, it’s nothing too crazy, just a generally looser stance, I suppose.  The detail work is generally pretty good.  Perhaps a little softer than a modern figure, but very good for the time.  It does a good job of capturing the design of the creatures as we see them in the movie, and it also maintains a generic enough appearance that you could pick up multiples for the purposes of army building, and it would still work pretty well.  The Guard’s paint is pretty basic and overall pretty drab, but that’s as expected, and it does a perfectly adequate job of recreating the base colors as seen in the movie.  I suppose some accenting would do a bit to help the sculpt pop a bit more, but that wasn’t really what this era of the line was about.  There is at least a little accenting on the face, and it does look quite nice.  The Gamorrean was packed with a single vibro axe, which is pretty standard issue for these guys.  It fits nicely in the left hand, and generally looks appropriately menacing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Gamorrean has never been an essential piece of my collection, as much as I do enjoy their presence at the palace.  As such, I was never in much of a hurry to get this one, especially with it not being particularly rare, either.  I wound up snagging this one a little over a year ago, when one with a less than stellar box got traded into All Time.  He’s a pretty cool little figure, and he does what he needs to, which is always nice to see.

#2876: Jedi Spirits

ANAKIN, YODA, & OBI-WAN

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Yoda — three individuals with lives intricately intertwined. Before Obi-Wan Kenobi was forced into a life of hiding, before Anakin Skywalker gave in to the dark side and became Darth Vader, even before Yoda was known as the last Jedi Master, a young Anakin was presented to the Jedi Council for permission to train the boy in the ways of the Force. Many years later, the Galactic Republic crumbled and the evil Empire rose in its place. Only after the defeat of the Empire, at the hands of Anakin’s son Luke Skywalker, would the three great Jedi be reunited after death as spiritual guides for Luke and the New Republic.”

First hinted at during A New Hope’s climactic battle, when Luke hears the voice of the recently killed Obi-Wan during his run on the Death Star, the force ghost concept fully appears during Empire, when Obi-Wan fully manifests in spirit form.  He shows up again during Return of the Jedi, and is ultimately joined by both Yoda and Anakin in the film’s final moments.  They don’t really do much other than stand there, but it’s a distinctive visual, and one that stuck with fans.  So, toys, of course.  The first one we got was an Anakin, during the original Power of the Force run, though it was handled slightly differently than now.  A more conventional take on the concept in toy form hit the ’90s line as a mail-away figure, the Spirit of Obi-Wan.  Not content to let Obi-Wan have all the fun, Kenner put him out again, this time alongside the other two, as one of their Cinema Scenes, which I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Jedi Spirits set was part of the 1998 Cinema Scenes line-up for Power of the Force II.  They were one of two Jedi sets released that year, as the line began to be more focused on the final film.  They included a stand, based on the edge of one of the Ewok structures from Endor, where they are seen in the film.  Interestingly, they were all three screwed into the base in addition to the usual foot pegs.  Not entirely sure why that was the case; maybe there was some concern about potentially damaging them by twisty tying them in like the others?

ANAKIN

He’s been subsequently replaced by Hayden Christian in more recent editions of the film, but the original version of Jedi gave us a look at an Anakin from a potential version of events where he never fell to the dark side to become Darth Vader.  It’s honestly sort of sensible, since it also means he would, you know, look vaguely like the guy whose face Luke actually saw earlier that day, so he might be able to know it was his father, and all.  But that’s probably all very silly, I suppose.  The elder Anakin got a sort of force ghost-y figure in the vintage line, designed to sort of be the best of both worlds.  Power of the Force II split it into two figures, with this being the more overt ghost one.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches all and he has three points of articulation…technically.  The neck definitely moves…a little.  The arms also move, but as you can see from the photo, they tend to just fall out of the socket more often than not.  Not sure why, but that’s how it is.  He was an all new sculpt, based on Sebastian Shaw’s brief appearance as Anakin from the movie.  It’s distinctly different from Obi-Wan, so that’s certainly a nice touch.  There’s some nice texture work going on as well.  While the mail-away Obi-Wan was just translucent blue with no paint, they mixed things up a little bit for this set, adding some dry brushed white, to give him a little more depth.

YODA

Yoda was totally without any force ghost figures at this point, so him finally getting one was certainly an accomplishment.  While there were a few Yoda molds to chose from, this one was a new one entirely.  He stands about 2 1/4 inches tall.  You can sort of get some motion at the neck and shoulders, but nothing much, and it feels like it doesn’t want to really move.  Beyond that, it’s a nice enough sculpt.  It’s good for just standing there, which is all he really needs to do.  It’s more accurate than other molds from the same line, and the stance in particular is a little closer to the actual puppet, since he doesn’t have to contend with needing to move.  Also, the arms stay on him, so that’s a plus over Anakin.  Good for him.  His paint works pretty much the same way, although it’s not quite as intense in its application.

OBI-WAN

Obi-Wan is, of course, the figure in this set that was the least new, especially at the time of his release, with the prior version having hit just the previous year at the time.  That being said, Kenner did at least make him a little different, even if it was just for the sake of being different.  The figure is 3 3/4 inches tall.  He’s sort of got the same articulation as Yoda, where it’s *technically* there, but very limited and not really ideal for any proper use.  His sculpt is largely the same as the mail-away version, but he changes out the right arm for one with a different pose.  So there’s that, I guess.  It’s not a bad sculpt, so I can get behind it, especially without the one arm just kind of sticking out like on the prior version.  His paint matches the other two in the set, which looks a fair bit better than the unpainted version.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had none of the Cinema Scenes sets as a kid, so obviously that’s not where this one came from.  It is, however, one of the earlier ones I picked up once I actually started doing such things.  I snagged this one when it was traded into All Time, almost exactly two years ago, at this point.  I know, I’ve got quite a PotF2 backlog, don’t I?  It’s not a terribly playable set, but at the same time, it really seems to get the feel of Cinema Scenes down the best, because it’s a distinct visual, and these figures are always gonna be a tough sell by themselves.

#2862: Jabba’s Dancers

RYSTALL, GREEATA, & LYN ME

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Deep within the dimly lit halls of Jabba the Hutt’s palace on Tatooine, the musical combo, the Max Rebo Band, entertains some of the galaxy’s most notorious smugglers, mercenaries, and bounty hunters. Besides offering great music, the multispecies band has three of the galaxy’s best back-up singers and dancers. Greeata, a Rodian who is also a capable kloo horn player, joined the band at the same time as its lead singer, Sy Snootles. Rystáll, an exotic near-human raised by a pair of Ortolan musicians, was a slave under the crime lord Xizor until Lando Calrissian won her by defeating the lord in a sabacc tournament. Lando freed her and Rystáll’s travels eventually brought her to Tatooine. The third singer is a Twi’lek named Lyn Me, recognized by her people as the greatest dancer out of all the Twi’lek clans. Together the trio of singers/dancers helped the band secure a lucrative, extended contract playing in Jabba’s court until a visit from the Jedi Luke Skywalker cause the Hutt’s criminal empire to come crashing down.”

As I discussed last week, in its second year, the “Cinema Scenes” Power of the Force II sub-line shifted from purely scene-accurate recreations to a way to get out three figures that otherwise might not see release.  In light of the release of the Original Trilogy’s special editions in theaters, Kenner added a handful of the newly added characters to the line.  Included in that second year were Rystall, Greeata, and Lyn Me, three dancers from the extended musical number in Jabba’s Palace from Return of the Jedi‘s special edition release.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

“Jabba’s Dancers” was one of the Cinema Scenes sets added to Power of the Force in 1998.  It was one of two Jedi-themed sets from that year, and the only explicitly special edition-based set in the line.  Like the rest of the line, this set featured a display base for the three figures, though for some reason, this one places all three of them at the far end, which makes them look quite off balance.

RYSTALL

Rystáll Sant, as is her full name, is a human-Theelin hybrid.  What’s a Theelin?  Apparently a race that got a fair bit of use in animation, it would seem.  How about that?  Anyway, Rystáll stands 3 3/4 inches tall and she has 6 points of articulation.  Her sculpt is more on the pre-posed side, since she’s in the midst of a dance, though it’s admittedly a more reserved sort of a dance.  Mostly, it’s just the shoulders that really have that sort of strut to them.  It’s not ideal for a lot of variety in actual posing, but it looks decent enough when compared to the shot of her from the film.  In general, it’s a pretty nice sculpt.  It’s fairly basic, but all of the important details are present.  She also stands alright on her own, which is always a plus.  Her paint work is also rather basic.  There’s some slight shifting of colors from piece to piece, which is a little distracting, but otherwise, things work.

GREEATA

Greeata Jendowanian is a female Rodian (aka the race of Greedos), who’s fairly distinctive, so that’s going for her.  Yay, more Rodians.  The figure is the same height as Rystáll, and keeps effectively the same articulation scheme.  Her legs are a touch more restricted, thanks to that skirt piece, but overall, you get okay poses out of her.  She’s also posed mid-dance, and it’s again very much carried in the shoulders.  In her case, the posing winds up making her a little more off-balance, so she tends to topple quite a bit.  But, if you can keep her standing, she does look pretty nice.  The detail work on the texturing of the skin in particular is quite impressive.  Greeta’s paint work is slightly more involved, but generally works out a little better than Rystáll’s.  There are no drastic shifts in color between pieces, and there are a few spots of accenting that work quite nicely.

LYN ME

Not to be confused with Oola, Lyn Me is the *other* Twi’lek dancer from Jabba’s palace.  See, she’s not green, she’s white.  But, you know, actually white.  Chalky white.  Alabaster.  Real pale.  That’s her.  Apparently, she’s an even better dancer than Oola?  That feels a bit ret-con-y to me, but that’s kind of Lyn Me in a nutshell.  Lyn Me is yet another unique sculpt.  Like the others, she’s also in a dance pose, though hers is a little more intense than the other two.  Not incredibly so, but she’s still a little more pre-posed.  It works out okay, though, and I think makes her look a bit more interesting on her own than the other two.  Generally, it’s a pretty nice sculpt, and probably the best of the three included here.  Her paintwork is decent enough, though some of her black wrappings are a little messy on the application front.  Overall, though, not a terrible piece of work.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked this pack up from All Time at the same time as the Cantina Aliens set last summer.  I wasn’t quite as immediately familiar with this set, at least as a kid.  I became aware of it later, but I don’t really remember seeing like I did the others.  Whatever the case, I picked it up mostly for completion’s sake, but I do ultimately like the three of them a fair bit, even if they are Special Edition characters.  They add some nice variety to the Jabba’s palace display, and there really are worse things.

#2813: Emperor’s Royal Guard

EMPEROR’S ROYAL GUARD

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“Only the most promising soldiers are chosen to serve as Emperor Palpatine’s personal guards. Experts in many forms of combat, both armed and unarmed, they are conditioned to automatically react to the Emperor’s will.”

Introduced in Return of the Jedi, the Emperor’s Royal Guards don’t really do much of anything on the screen.  The just stand there.  They look cool and all while doing it, but still, it’s just standing.  Then they reappeared in Revenge of the Sith, and did some more standing.  Also got force thrown around by Yoda a bit, which is something, I suppose.  But mostly still with the standing.  The toys, at least early ones, kind of go along with this, being built mostly for said standing.  Behold, a figure that stands!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Emperor’s Royal Guard was added to Kenner’s Power of the Force line in 1997.  This marked the second figure of the design, following up on the vintage release from 1983.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and has a whopping two points of articulation.  Okay, technically three, I suppose, because the neck is sort of jointed.  Doesn’t really move, but they tried.  The Royal Guard was the type of figure referred to as a “salt shaker” by the fanbase, due to his skirted design meaning that his torso was all one immobile piece, much like a common table salt shaker.  While the original figure had placed a whole body beneath the figure’s cloth cape, the cloth pieces weren’t really a thing at this point in the line, and so Kenner just made the underlying body one solid block.  The red cloak is still a separate piece, so you can lift it up and see that they’re nothing impressive beneath it, if you so choose, but it hardly seems worth it.  At the very least, the helmet’s pretty cool.  It’s nice and sharply defined, and just looks pretty clean.  The arms, on the other hand, look kind of chunky for some reason.  Odd choice there.  The paint is virtually non-existent on this figure, apart from the black on his visor.  That was it, with nothing more.  I mean, I guess it works, but it’s not terribly exciting.  The Guard is packed with his little poking stick, and, if you were lucky, a Freeze Frame slide.  I was not lucky.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Seeing as they only really stand there, I never had much attachment to the Royal Guards.  They look cool, but that’s it.  And, when it came to this figure, that really was it.  There’s virtually no play value at all here.  He stands real good, because, well, there’s not actual legs, so it would be hard for him to fall over, now wouldn’t it.  This figure wound up coming to me through a trade I did with Max a couple of years ago.  Mostly I got it because I’m getting all of the Power of the Force figures, and I kind have to get this one, now don’t I?  Honestly the sturdiness is nice from a display standpoint.  If you just want an army of them to stand behind Palpatine at attention, as in the movie, this is honestly your best bet.  So, maybe he’s not without value.  But he’s still not a great toy on his own.

#2792: Ishi Tib

ISHI TIB

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“The Ishi Tib characters come from the planet Tibrin, where they live in the cities built atop coral reefs. Ardent freedom lovers, several Ishi Tibs offered their talents in service to the Rebel Alliance.”

Ah, good, the bio pretty much answers any questions I had.  Well, that sure is convenient.  That’ll do, bio.  That’ll do.  Now, when you look at a character like this, a wonky looking alien, if you will, from the Star Wars universe, most assumptions go to it being from one of two places.  Either it’s a patron of the Mos Eisly Cantina, or one of the hangers on from Jabba’s palace.  This one is, shockingly, from neither of those.  Nope, this one’s instead from the Rebel briefing from Return of the Jedi, which looked to amend the overly human representation of the first two films by adding an assortment of its own wonky looking aliens.  And boom, here’s the Ishi Tib, who are, in fact, a race, and not just one guy.  Obviously.  Ishi Tib’s clearly not a name, you guys.  Why would you think that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Ishi Tib was added to Kenner’s Power of the Force line in 1998.  It was a good year for characters from Jedi‘s Rebel briefing, so the Tibs fit in well with that.  The figure is just shy of 4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  The movement on this figure is somewhat restricted by its design, with the head’s shape limiting what can be done with the neck joint, and the robe piece limiting the arms and legs.  The robe is designed so that it could be removed in theory, I suppose, with slits up the side, and a fully detailed sculpt beneath it.  However, the shaping of the head kind of keeps it stuck in place, unless you want to risk mutilating it.  It’s honestly a pretty nice sculpt, overall, though.  The head in particular holds up, and feels on par with more recent offerings.  I suppose it could use some extra texturing, but ultimately I think all the necessary details are covered.  The paint work on the figure is subtle, but well handled.  The base work is all cleanly applied, and there’s even some slight accenting on the head, which is pretty cool.  The Ishi Tib is packed with a somewhat goofy looking blaster rifle, as well as a Freeze Frame showing a shot of the Rebels all being briefed.  I don’t believe any of the Ishi Tib are actually visible in the shot, but it’s admittedly hard to tell.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t really familiar with the Ishi Tib prior to acquiring this figure.  I mean, I knew the general design of them, and all, but I certainly wouldn’t have guessed this wasn’t just one guy named Ishi Tib prior to reading the figure’s bio.  This one is one I wound up grabbing during one of my big PotF pushes, in the fall of 2018, alongside a whole bunch of other figures.  I mostly grabbed this one at the time because I liked the more unique alien look.  It’s admittedly pretty cool, so I can get behind it.  It’s just a nice, fun figure.

#2779: Boba Fett

BOBA FETT

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“During Luke Skywalker’s daring rescue of Han Solo above the Sarlacc, Boba Fett was sent careening into the side of Jabba’s sail barge before tumbling into the man-eating pit.”

Oh, man, Ethan’s reviewing a Boba Fett figure.  There’s always bound to be trouble with these posts.  Probably because I do like occasionally poking the bear that is Boba Fett fans.  I mean, it’s just so much fun.  Almost as much fun as making fun of Boba Fett, and how ineffective he is.  Okay, I actually have to retract that: Boba Fett is no longer useless, because after 40 years of existence, Boba finally got stuff the do in The Mandalorian last year.  And good for him.  I’m sure his fans are all universally happy about him actually getting to be a bad-ass, right on the screen and everything.  Oh?  They’re still conflicted and angry?  Sounds about right, I guess.  Well, whatever the case, I’m looking at another Boba Fett figure, and I feel like I should just get down to business on it.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Boba Fett is a deluxe-sized offering, as part of Phase IV of Hasbro’s Black Series.  After seven years of re-releases of the Series 2 figure’s Empire-based sculpt, we have officially moved on, and are now, finally, getting Fett based on his adjusted appearance from Return of the Jedi.  I’m okay with this, because I actually kind of like the Jedi armor a little bit more than the Empire look.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  One of the biggest change-ups between this figure and the last (beyond just the differing source material, of course) is how the articulation works.  Hasbro’s gotten a fair bit better at implementing the articulation on their Black Series offerings, and Boba showcases this, in much the same way as the recent updated troopers we’ve gotten.  His range of motion on his elbows, knees, and neck is much improved, while also being better worked into the sculpt aesthetically.  Additionally, there have been some adjustments made to how some of the armor and hook ups work, so, for instance, his arm tubes are now far less at risk for breakage from regular posing.  Lastly, he also addresses the one notably missing joint from the last release: the range finder.  It can now be adjusted for proper use the way he never really does in the movies, but you always wished he would.  In terms of actual sculpt quality, this release is pretty top-notch.  Like the recent Troopers, his helmet is a separate piece, placed atop an actual sculpted head under neath.  Said head is unpainted, but fully detailed.  Likely future-proofing for the inevitable Mandalorian variant of the character.  The helmet came out of the box looking a touch misshapen, but after a few days, it’s taken its proper shape all on its own.  The torso armor is also a separately sculpted element, distinct from the underlying torso, again likely as part of a plan to re-use elsewhere.  This also helps to give Boba a little more depth to the detailing on the sculpt, which works in his favor.  While the last Boba had a cloth half-cape thing, this one’s got a sculpted done.  It’s a little stubborn, but does wind up looking a little bit better, at least comparing my two figures.  Boba’s paint work is up to modern Black Series standards, which is to say a bit better than the original.  The work on the silver weathering looks well-lived-in, and his small little insignias also look nice and crisp.  In order to justify him being a deluxe, Boba has been given a decent helping of accessories.  He gets his rocket-pack, now with a removable top-rocket, as well as articulated thrusters on the bottom.  He also gets two versions of his blaster rifle, standard, and split from after Luke slashes it with his lightsaber, as well as a flamethrower effect piece, two thrust effects for his rocket pack,  and a clip-on grapple line.  Ultimately, the grapple piece is a little goofy, and is limited in its application, but the rest of the parts are all definitely fun extras, and help to make him feel more worth the heftier price point.  It gets more back to Black Series’s original one-and-done philosophy on these designs.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Joking about the character aside, I do like me a good Boba Fett toy, and as much as I like the original Black Series release of the character, I definitely was starting to see the sculpt’s flaws more and more, especially as other main characters got properly updated releases as the line progressed.  Fortunately, we had this secondary design in the pocket, making him an easy addition to the line.  I definitely liked how this one looked in the renders, and was eager to get it in hand.  My initial reaction was a little bit let-down, but after I opened him up and actually started messing around with him, I really found myself liking the figure.  Definitely Hasbro’s best take on the character, and I look forward to seeing them tackle his Mandalorian look.

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