#2052: Wedge Antilles

WEDGE ANTILLES

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

Despite his presence in all three films in the original trilogy, two-time Death Star run survivor Wedge Antilles didn’t get figure release during the vintage line’s run.  What’s more, his first ever figure wouldn’t even come as a single release.  Instead, Wedge found himself as the selling point of a carrying case shaped like the Millennium Falcon.  Why Wedge, a character who never even stepped foot on the Falcon was included with the carrying case is anyone’s guess, but I don’t think anyone was going to complain about finally getting a Wedge figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The carrying case that included Wedge hit shelves in 1997, as part of the Power of the Force II line.  There were actually two versions of Wedge offered with the case.  The first shipments gave Wedge an inaccurate color scheme and markings on his helmet, which were corrected in later sets.  The figure I’m looking at here is the corrected version.  Wedge stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  He’s largely the same sculpt as the Luke Skywalker in X-Wing Pilot Gear, meaning that, like that figure, he’s not actually wearing X-Wing gear at all, and is instead based on the cold-weather gear he sports during the Snowspeeder sequences on Hoth in Empire.  It’s actually the only time we’ve gotten Wedge in this particular get-up.  It also gave the line its second Snowspeeder pilot, allowing for that poor Snowspeeder to actually have a two-man crew.  Despite its exaggerated proportions, it’s not a terrible sculpt, and it has a lot of great detail work going on.  Wedge does get a new head sculpt, and while it’s not a spot-on Dennis Lawson or anything, it’s distinctly a different face from the head used on Luke, which is really the most important thing here.  Wedge’s paintwork actually changes things up a fair bit from the Luke figure, with different colors for his gloves, boots, and belt, as well as a radically different set of details on his helmet (though the original release actually had the same helmet detailing).  It’s a nice paint scheme, and again helps to sell him as a distinctly different figure from the Luke release.  Though more an accessory himself, Wedge still included one accessory of his own.  It’s a re-packaged Han Solo blaster pistol, which was actually the standard issue Rebel blaster for this line, so it certainly fits.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Wedge is one of those figures that has long been on my want list, but he’s a slightly rarer item from the line, so I hadn’t really come across him.  Fortunately, I was able to find him loose and on his own during one of my PotF binges last December.  He’s not an amazing figure or anything, but I do find myself having something of a nostalgic twinge for him, even though I didn’t have him when I was younger.  Plus, he’s the first Wedge figure, which is pretty cool in its own right!

#1962: Bossk

BOSSK

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

When ranking the distinctive Executioner bounty hunters from Empire Strikes Back, the top spot is always, unquestionably going to go to IG-88.  There’s no contest there.  If I’m picking a number two, I think I’d have to go with Bossk, that shoe-less lizard guy in a Doctor Who costume.  Because, hey, lizards are cool!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bossk was released as part of the Power of the Force II collection in 1997.  He was one of three bounty hunters released that year, alongside 4-LOM and Dengar, all of whom were finally making sure the poor Mr. Fett wasn’t quite as lonely as he’d been since 1995.  This was Bossk’s second figure, following his original vintage release.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation, not surprising for this line. The sculpt was all-new to Bossk, and, amazingly, would remain unique to PotF; a couple of the other Bounty Hunters would keep their PotF sculpts in circulation for a little while, but Bossk was one and done.  Despite the willingness on Hasbro’s part to move past this sculpt, it’s really not a bad offering.  As an alien, Bossk benefits from being what this line excelled at.  The details are sharply defined, pre-posing is at a minimum, and he’s just a generally nice looking figure.  Even the paintwork on Bossk is pretty impressive.  Many of the PotF figures were more basic in their paint application, but Bossk has quite a bit going on.  There are one or two un-painted sculpted elements, but for the most part everything is painted up to properly match his on-screen counterpart.  Bossk is packed with a pair of blasters.  He has his rifle seen in the movie, which is decently sculpted, but there is unfortunately no way for him to actually hold it.  There’s a sling molded to it, so it can go over his shoulder, but it’s still a slight let-down.  He also includes a smaller blaster, which looks to have been made up for this figure.  Fortunately, this one can actually be held.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The only Bossk I had growing up was actually the vintage one, not this one.  This one proved a little trickier to track down than the other PotF bounty hunters.  Fortunately, I was able to get one from my friends at All Time Toys when a loose collection came in.  Bossk’s not without issue.  The inability to hold the gun is really frustrating.  Beyond that, though, he’s a really fun little figure.

#1957: Han Solo

HAN SOLO — THE SCOUNDREL

STAR WARS: GALAXY OF ADVENTURES (HASBRO)

“A smuggler and a scoundrel, Han Solo proves that he can also be a hero when he rescues his friends and helps in the Rebellion against the Galactic Empire.”

Accessibility is always a major concern with long-running brands, and Star Wars has always wrestled with the best way to keep their most prominent players consistently represented and available to an all-new audience.  Pretty much in tandem with that, Disney is working to keep the Star Wars universe fresh and on-going while still giving new fans a chance to get up to speed.  Put them together and you have Galaxy of Adventures, animated re-tellings of old-school Star Wars stories, with a toyline of heavy hitters to match.  Today, I’m diving into the line with a look at “The Scoundrel”, Han Solo!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han was released as part of the second round of Galaxy of Adventures figures, which started hitting stores just after the new year.  All of the figures in this line are reissues of prior offerings, most of them pretty recent.  Han mixes things up ever so slightly, not by being a new figure, but by being a slightly older one than most of his pack-mates.  Rather than the post-Force Awakens product of most of the line’s sculpts, this one is a Saga Legends release from 2015.  Somewhat surprising, since we got a Bespin Han figure from the Last Jedi line, but that one wasn’t a great sculpt, and this one was always a little difficult to find so yay, I guess.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  His sculpt predates the move to ball-jointed necks for the heads, so just a cut-joint on this guy.  It hurts his posability a little bit, but on this style of figure, it’s not a huge impact. The sculpt is actually a pretty nice one.  Of the lowered-articulation figures, this is definitely the best younger Han Solo.  The likeness on the head isn’t a spot-on Ford likeness, but it’s still one of Hasbro’s better attempts.  The figure also has a very easy time staying on his feet, which is always a definite plus for a Star Wars figures.  On a whole, despite being a slightly older sculpt, it’s a much better offering than the TLJ Bespin Han sculpt.  The paint work on this figure is pretty basic, but pretty decently applied, and a good match for his colors from the film.  Han is packed with his signature blaster, which can be held in his hand or stowed in his holster.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t collecting Star Wars figures regularly when the Saga Legends version of this guy hit, and he was kind of rare, so I never saw one.  I did my best to make due with the Last Jedi release, but it wasn’t as good a figure as I’d hoped.  While the Galaxy of Adventures stuff hasn’t largely been up my alley, I was definitely happy to see this guy crop back up.  He’s a nice figure, and will definitely be my default Han on the shelf for the time being.

#1912: Princess Leia Organa – Hoth

PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA — HOTH

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Princess Leia Organa was one of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest leaders, fearless on the battlefield and dedicated to ending the tyranny of the Empire. In the battle on Hoth, Leia helped evacuate rebel forces as Darth Vader and his fleet descended upon the rebel base.”

Empire Strikes Back is a lot of Star Wars fans’ favorite movie of the franchise.  While it’s not my personal favorite, there are certainly a lot of things I can appreciate about it.  The design work on the film is undoubtedly some of the best to come out of the franchise.  In particular, it’s more battle-ready takes on the power trio are really my favorite looks for all three of them, and they were the looks I wanted most when Hasbro launched The Black Series back in 2013.  We got Luke’s Rebel attire pretty quickly, but it’s been quite a wait for Han and Leia.  Han finally found his way into the line over the summer, and we got a teaser for Leia’s main look with the Bespin Escape release in November, but now we’ve finally gotten a proper release for Leia’s Hoth gear.  Is it worth the wait?  Let’s find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hoth Leia is figure 75 in the Black Series line-up, the second of this latest assortment’s OT-based figures.  If you want to get technical, this is actually the second release of this figure, as she was previewed in a con-exclusive two-pack this past fall.  Aside from this figure getting more accessories and not coming packed with a Han Solo, the two appear to be more or less the same.  This figure represents Leia from the first half or so of the film’s run time, prior to the Falcon‘s arrival on Bespin. By far her most prominent appearance from the movie, as well as one of her most remembered just in general.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  As I touched on in my review of the Bespin Escape figure, there is a fair bit of parts re-use between these two figures, given the fact that the two designs are pretty darn close and all.  This figure has a unique head, hands, left forearm, and boots, as well as a new vest piece.  They jibe pretty much perfectly with the prior parts, which makes a lot of sense, since I imagine they were actually designed for this figure first and then re-purposed for the exclusive offering later.  I do prefer this one’s boots, as it makes her a little easier to keep standing.  The new head is a decent piece, certainly one of Hasbro’s nicer offerings.  I think the exclusive figure has the superior Fisher likeness, but this one’s certainly not bad.  The paint on this figure isn’t much removed from the Bespin figure; there’s not a ton going on for most of the body, but I’m still okay with that, since accenting on white can go very bad very quickly.  The majority of the work is on the head, which is once again sporting a printed face.  Like the sculpt, the facial likeness isn’t quite as spot-on as the prior figure, but it’s still very good.  Like yesterday’s Dengar, Hoth Leia stands out in an assortment of rather lightly packed figures.  She gets her DH-17 rebel blaster rifle, which is a standard accessory for this version of the character.  In addition, she also has a welder and a pair of welding goggles, from when she was working on the Falcon.  While I might have liked to also get one of the breathing masks like we got with the SDCC Han, I think these are a solid selection of extras.

 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is a figure I’ve been waiting a good long while for.  She was my #1 wanted Leia from the minute the line was announced, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting her release ever since she was finally shown off last year.  While the wait was long, it was most certainly worth it, especially since it means this version of Leia hit during the line at its strongest, and is therefore unlikely to need a replacement in the near future.  The same can’t be said of poor Empire Luke, who looks more and more out of place with each new figure we get.  There’s a lot to like about this figure, and I imagine she will be the go-to Leia for a good many collectors.  I myself am going to have a tough time choosing between this one and the Bespin Escape variant, because they both have a lot of points in their favor.

#1911: Dengar

DENGAR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Crude and slovenly, Dengar was nonetheless an effective bounty hunter. While some hunters prided themselves on finesse and style, Dengar preferred firepower and destruction.”

Every group has to have their weak link; the unfavorite; the guy on the receiving end of every pot-shot.  Well, in the case of Empire’s distinctive band of bounty hunters, that person is undoubtedly, without question today’s focus: Dengar.  Be it his less put-together appearance, his nature as a schlubby-looking middle-aged guy, or perhaps the fact that he appears to have wrapped himself in toilet paper, Dengar’s a character that doesn’t quite inspire the same cool factor as the rest of the group.  But, like so many weak links before him, he gets to ride along on everyone else’s coat tails, which means he has the same number of figures as all of the others.  And now, following the trend, he’s also got a Black Series figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Dengar is figure 74 in the Black Series line-up, and is the first of the three OT-based figures in this latest assortment.  As I touched on in the intro, he completes our line-up of Executor Bounty Hunters, which is a pretty big deal for a large portion of the fanbase.  Dengar stands 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  His sculpt is unique, of course, and, as much as Dengar is a bit of mess design-wise, the sculpt is certainly a well-put-together mess…if that makes any sense.  The piecemeal nature of his design allows for Hasbro to put a good deal of smaller sculpted details.  The head wrappings and the actual head are separate from each other, which I believe is a first for this Dengar.  It certainly looks nice, and gives his face a slightly less lumpy quality than prior Dengars.  His face actually looks stern and determined, not goofy and schlubby, so he seems a little less out of place with the rest of the group in that regard.  Something that really impressed me about the sculpt was how little it interferes with his range of motion.  I had expected for him to be severely limited, as is usually the case with Dengar figures, but this guy can definitely get in some decent posing.  I mean, he won’t be pulling off any Spider-Man poses, but it’s certainly serviceable.  Dengar’s paintwork is a little cleaner than I’d expected, but upon comparing him to his on-screen counterpart, not too far off from the real thing.  He’s got enough wear and tear to make him believable and augment the sculpt well enough.  As will all the new human characters, he’s got a printed face, which includes the nasty scar running across it.  He lacks the burn scarring that he appears to have in the film, but it’s a relatively minor detail, so I can kind of forgive it.  In an assortment of somewhat lightly packed figures, Dengar is actually pretty darn well accessorized.  He has a larger blaster rifle, a blaster pistol, and a very detailed back pack.  It’s all stuff we see him with in the film’s one scene that features him, so obviously accurate, but that hasn’t stopped prior Dengars from lacking them, so it’s nice that nothing was cut.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I feel maybe I was a little harsh on Dengar up in the intro.  I’ve never had much of an affinity for the character, and I’d easily rank him as my least favorite of the Bounty Hunters from Empire.  With that said, I was still looking forward to this figure quite a bit, thanks to Hasbro’s accelerated efforts to complete the line-up in the last year.  The high of 4-LOM and Zuckuss and how awesome they were did a lot to give me some extra excitement for a character that might not have otherwise been too keen to pick up.  Despite my misgivings about his whole design, Hasbro’s definitely put in the effort to make him a good figure, and the end result is a fun toy that will no doubt please any Dengar fans out there.  Because there has to be someone *somewhere* right?

#1900: Luke Skywalker: Rebel Commander – Bespin

LUKE SKYWALKER: REBEL COMMANDER — BESPIN

STAR WARS: HEROES OF THE REBELLION (SIDESHOW)

“The only son of Padme Amidala and Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker is the Jedi Order’s last remaining hope in restoring balance to the galaxy. Unaware of his own true potential or parentage, Luke has sworn himself to the rebel cause and fights valiantly alongside his compatriots in the Battle of Hoth. It is there that Luke has a vision of his fallen friend and mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi, who instructs Luke to travel to the Dagobah system and seek the great and powerful Jedi Master Yoda.”

When Sideshow was really just starting to get their foot in the door with their Star Wars line, the initially focussed more on getting out suitable variants of the franchise’s main characters, especially Luke, Han, and Leia.  Luke was definitely a favorite of theirs at the start, with his Jedi Knight variant kicking off the line, and versions from A New Hope and Empire following in short succession.  My personal favorite Luke look has always been his rebellion-issued fatigues from Empire, and I’ll be looking at Sideshow’s take on that design today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke Skywalker (Rebel Commander — Bespin) was released in 2007 as part of Sideshow’s Heroes of the Rebellion line, which, of course, placed its focus on the Original Trilogy-era heroes of the Star Wars saga.  As with a lot of Sideshow offerings, there were two versions of this figure available: the regular release, and the Sideshow exclusive.  The figures proper are the same, but there were some extra accessories with the exclusive.  Luke stands just under 12 inches tall and he has 30+ points of articulation (whatever the proper count should be, he’s down two, due to this body being notorious for one half of the double jointed elbows being frozen in place).

The headsculpts for this line were, perhaps, not its strongest suit, but given what we were getting from Hasbro not long before, they were a breath of fresh air at the time.  Nevertheless, Luke was one of the slightly weaker offerings, though I think the biggest issue may have been a manufacturing issue of some sort.  For whatever reason, Luke’s head looks kind of flattened from certain angles; the left side of his face is sunken in too far compared to the right.  It strikes me as an issue with the molding process, but it afflicts the whole run of this figure.  It’s not terrible, though, and you can hide it with some careful posing.  Moving past that, it’s a fairly respectable ESB-era Hamill likeness.  The detail may not be 100% lifelike, but it’s certainly clean, and he’s recognizable.  The paintwork is a little primitive, and very thickly applied, but it looks passable.  The eyes on my figure are slightly goofy, and not quite as realistic as other figures from the line, but they’re still serviceable.

As you’d expect, Luke’s costume is a mixed media offering.  His shirt, jacket, and pants are all tailored cloth pieces, and they’re alright for the time.  The stitching is a little on the large side, and his shirt ends up having a much more involved collar than in the movie, due to needing to cover up his neck joint.  The pants suffer from being on the old Sideshow Buck, which was really starting to show its age at this point, and didn’t really look natural wearing much of anything.  The jacket is actually more accurate than it may appear in these photos, due to me being a dingus.  See, the collar is flipped down in the box, but it should be flipped up.  When it is, it looks a lot more like it should.  As seen here?  Well, it’s close, but looks slightly weird.  Luke’s belt is itself a mixed media affair, with a mostly pleather construction as the base, and plastic for the buckle and pouches.  His holster is quite impressive; the strap is magnetic, allowing for easy removal of the gun.  I always really liked that touch.  The boots are just a straight sculpted piece, but they’re still actually boots, as Sideshow hadn’t started doing molded feet at this point.

Luke was build on a modified version of the Sideshow Buck body, which had shortened arms and legs to reflect Hamill’s smaller stature.  The arms were a big deal for this release, as the Jedi Luke figure’s arms were standard length, making him look like a bit of a monkey.  The Buck body is the aspect of these figures that has aged by far the worst, and it was almost a decade old by the time it was used here.  Another decade hasn’t helped things.  It’s stiff and awkward, and just doesn’t look great with the clothes on it.  Or off it, I suppose.  It just doesn’t look great.

Luke was pretty well accessorized, with his lightsaber in two configurations (ignited and not), his blaster pistol, two pairs of hands (gripping R and L, trigger finger R, and open palm L), a stump for recreating the film’s most famous scene, and a display stand.  That was a solid offering for the main figure, but the exclusive upped the anti, adding in the auto-tourniquet he uses for his hand after the battle.  Sadly, mine’s just the basic release.  Guess my Luke’s stump won’t be getting proper treatment.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Luke is one of the figures that actually got me into the Sideshow Star Wars line.  I had attempted to jump on the Hot Toys bandwagon by asking for a Hot Toys Dark Knight Joker for Christmas in 2008.  However, delay after delay after delay meant that wasn’t to be that year (it’s okay, things worked out better the following year), so my parents let me trade in the value of that figure for something else.  It ended up being enough for three of these guys, so I got a Luke, Han, and Leia right out of the gate.  In addition to being my favorite Luke design, this figure was also the cheapest version of the character on the market at the time, so he was an easy choice for me.  Ultimately, he’s far from a perfect figure, but he’s looked pretty nifty on my shelf for the decade I’ve had him, so I really can’t complain.

#1899: 4-LOM

4-LOM

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

A couple of weeks ago, I looked at the Power of the Force II version of the Gand bounty hunter Zuckuss.  Today, I follow that up with a look at the Zuckser’s usual partner in crime, 4-LOM.  It’s been a good year at the site for these two, since I wrapped up their Black Series versions a couple of months back.  So, without further ado, here’s another 4-LOM!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

4-LOM was released in Collection 2 of the 1997 assortment of Power of the Force figures.  He joined Bossk and Dengar as that year’s bounty hunter contingent, and predated his partner Zuckuss by a year.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  As with all figures of 4-LOM, his construction is fairly similar to the line’s version of C-3PO.  It is important to note, however, that as similar as they may be, there are actually no pieces shared between the two.  As a slightly later figure, 4-LOM shows the changes in the line’s aesthetics, so he’s not as muscly and pin-headed as earlier offerings.  While his sculpt doesn’t quite show the same level of detail as his equivalent Zuckuss figure, but he’s definitely still a lot better than the average figure from the line.  In fact, the sculpt was good enough that Hasbro still felt comfortable reissuing it in a boxed set from 2004, where it didn’t look too out of place.  4-LOM’s paintwork was a nice departure from the generally pretty basic detailing of the line up to this point.  The standard work is still pretty good, but now he’s also got this sort of rust detailing throughout via a orangey-brown wash.  It’s not the most advanced detailing, nor is it quite as impressive as Zuckuss, but it’s certainly better than no detailing at all.  4-LOM is packed with his usual long blaster rifle, as well as a smaller blaster rifle to mix things up a bit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I mentioned in my Zuckuss review, Getting the Black Series pairing of Zuckuss and 4-LOM got me more invested in the characters.  And, since I’ve been steadily working together a complete PotF2 collection, this pair made their way to the top of my want list.  Since All Time Toys got in a sizeable collection of PotF2 figures, I was able to pull both of these guys out at the same time.  Zuckuss was the star figure to be sure, but 4-LOM is no slouch himself, and as a pairing, they’re quite hard to beat.

As I mentioned above, I got 4-LOM here from my friends at All Time Toys, at the same time as the Zuckuss figure.  They’ve got a solid backlog of Power of the Force figures, as well as Star Wars figures from all eras, old and new.  Check out their website and eBay store to see for yourself!

#1894: Princess Leia – Bespin Escape

PRINCESS LEIA — BESPIN ESCAPE

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Princess Leia Organa was one of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest leaders, fearless on the battlefield and dedicated to ending the tyranny of the Empire. With her quick-thinking and inspired leadership, Leia ranks among the the galaxy’s great heroes.”

For a number of reasons, December has a tendency to put me in a rather Star Wars-y sort of mood.  Be it the fact that three of the last four films have hit this month, or how I tend to make watching the Original Trilogy an annual occurrence, or perhaps just the fact that I have a tendency to get a lot of Star Wars stuff around the holiday season, whatever the case, I’m certainly in a Star Wars-y mood today.  So, in a vaguely holiday spirit, I’m taking a look at this Leia figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Princess Leia — Bespin Escape is a Target-exclusive entry in The Black Series.  She first started showing up intermittently in the early fall, but seems to have been arriving in full force in the last couple of weeks.  This version of Leia is an oft-overlooked variant from the climax of Empire, during her, Lando, and Chewie’s chase to re-claim the frozen Han Solo.  It’s really just a dressing down of her main Hoth gear that she wears for the majority of the film.  It’s the similarity between those two that generally causes this one to be overlooked.  Nevertheless, its presence during a fairly important section of the film makes it a reasonable choice for a figure, especially an exclusive one.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Her scaling matches perfectly with the ANH figure, which is a nice bit of internal consistency that we don’t always see in this line.  Her sculpt is totally new, but hasn’t remained unique to her, thanks to the almost concurrent release of the proper Hoth Leia.  Regardless of origin and uniqueness, it’s a strong sculpt.  The head sculpt has the strongest Carrie Fisher likeness we’ve seen to date for this line (or any of the smaller ones, for that matter), and they’ve even nicely translated her hair braids.  I imagine this head will be seeing a re-use at some point for a Bespin Gown variant, or at least I sure hope it will.  Mine has an unfortunate error on her left ear, with a small chunk missing out of the lobe, but it’s fortunately not super noticeable.  The jumpsuit’s sculpt is nice and crisply detailed, and looks appropriately like a garment she’s been running around in for a substantial amount of time.  The paintwork on Leia is largely pretty basic; the jumpsuit’s just molded white plastic, and they’ve let the sculpt do all the lifting.  This is one of those times I don’t mind the lack of accenting, as accenting on white can go very badly very quickly.  She does get the printed face; she’s the first Leia to get this treatment, and it works very well for her.  I especially like how they handled the hairline, which is a frequent slip-up on such figures.  Leia is somewhat sparsely packed, with just a stolen Stormtrooper blaster alongside her.  It’s scene-accurate, of course, but something else would have maybe added some extra excitement.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Leia sort of just started showing up, without too much fanfare.  I wasn’t initially sure I was going to grab her, what with the Hoth Leia on the horizon.  However, I was at Target looking for something else, which I was unable to find, and when I came across Leia.  Determined not to let the trip be a waste and impressed by how the figure looked in person, I was swayed into getting her.  She’s a decent enough figure, but I will curious to see how she performs once the Hoth Leia is more readily available.  She’s really the sort of figure that is really aimed at the more hardcore collector.  Which, of course, is me.  So, hey, how about that.

#1885: Zuckuss

ZUCKUSS

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Zuckuss answers Darth Vader’s call for bounty hunters to help locate the Millennium Falcon and her crew.”

I’ve established a loose ranking of Empire Strikes Back’s bounty hunters throughout my various Black Series–wait a minute…this isn’t a Black Series review.  That was my Zuckuss review from two weeks ago…this one’s very different.  For one thing, he’s about 2 inches shorter, and for another, he’s 20 years older.  But he’s still Zuckuss, and he’s still getting reviewed.  So there.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zuckuss was released in Power of the Force II‘s 1998 assortment.  Like with the Black Series releases, he followed his partner in crime 4-LOM, who was released the prior year.  The figure stands 3 1/2 inches tall (befitting Zuckuss’ slightly smaller stature) and has 6 points of articulation.  The articulation is ever so slightly hampered by the nature of the character’s design and its implementation on the figure, which sees Zuckuss’ robes recreated through a thick rubber piece, similarly to the line’s take on Obi-Wan.  This time, however, the robes cannot be removed, due to the figure’s somewhat oddly shaped head.  It’s a shame, really, since there’s a fully detailed body under there, which is a lot of fun.  Oh well.  The sculpt that you actually can see is still a solid offering, to be fair.  The aliens were always where PotF2 shined, and Zuckuss is no exception.  The detail work is nice and crisp, and he’s a fairly spot-on recreation of Zuckuss’ on-screen appearance.  Zuckuss’ paintwork is actually some of the best we got from this line, by virtue of not being as cut and dry as most samples.  The robes in particular really benefit from that dry-brushed weathering that’s been placed all along them, giving them a more real-world-feel than most of his compatriots.  Also, quite impressively, the painted detailing extends under his robe, meaning if you find a way to remove it, he’ll still look all finished and proper.  Zuckuss is packed with his blaster pistol, which is a fairly standard inclusion.  And, as a 1998 figure, he was also packed with a Freeze Frame Action Slide, which shows off Zuckuss and his fellow bounty hunters on the bridge of the Executor.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Completing my Black Series pairing of Zuckuss and 4-LOM got me interested in the characters, and their prior figures.  I’ve been steadily piecing together a PotF2 collection, and, as luck would have it, my friends at All Time Toys just got in a fairly substantial collection from someone.  I never had Zuckuss growing up, but he looked cool enough that I just really felt compelled to buy him.  He’s an example of how good this line could be when Kenner really pulled their A-game.  Definitely one of my favorite figures from this line.

So, as I mentioned above, I got Zuckuss here from my friends at All Time Toys.  They’ve got a solid backlog of Power of the Force figures, as well as Star Wars figures from all eras, old and new.  Check out their website and eBay store to see for yourself!

#1875: Zuckuss

ZUCKUSS

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“A Gand bounty hunter, Zuckuss heeded the Empire’s call for mercenaries to locate the Millennium Falcon and bring her fugitive crew to justice, receiving his orders on the bridge of Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer.”

I’ve established a loose ranking of Empire Strikes Back’s bounty hunters throughout my various Black Series reviews of them, and if you’ve been following those, you’ll know that my top three slots (IG-88, Bossk, and 4-LOM) have already been covered.  So, where does that leave today’s entry, Zuckus?  I’d probably stick him in the number 4 slot, though it’s largely due to his pairing with 4-LOM.  It just feels odd to break those two up.  And, it would seem that Hasbro agrees, since they always release them in close proximity to each other.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zuckuss is a Disney Store-exclusive Star Wars: The Black Series offering, who started showing up within the last month.  He is one of three exclusives for the line that all hit at the same time, and he’s another displaced TRU-exclusive, though there was evidently enough time to at least remove the sticker from him.  The figure is 5 1/2 inches tall (Zuckuss was the shortest of the Bounty Hunters) and he has 26 points of articulation.  Zuckuss is a brand-new sculpt, and he falls back a bit more on the earlier Black Series tendency for mixed media affairs.  He’s got an underlying sculpt, with a cloth robe over top, and an overlay piece holding it all together.  It’s all *technically* removable, but it’s gonna be a pain to get it off and back on, and he underlying body isn’t really designed to be seen, so I elected to leave mine in place.  while some of the earlier mixed-media offerings from this line were a bit iffy in execution, I think it works out a lot better with this figure.  The cloth sections are definitely better tailored on this figure than prior figures, and the additional overlay piece helps to keep everything more properly shaped.  As far as visible sculpted pieces, the head and hands definitely show some very strong work; the texturing on the gloves is quite realistic, and the head matches nicely not only with his on-screen appearance, but also pairs well with the prior 4-LOM figure.  The bulk of the paintwork on Zuckuss is on the head, which has a dark wash to help bring out its details.  After so many figures without any such detailing, it’s nice to see Hasbro returning to it.  Zuckuss’s only accessory is his distinctive blaster, which fits nicely in his hand.  It’s a little bit on the smaller side, but given all of the other work that’s been put into this figure, it’s acceptable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since picking up 4-LOM, I’ve been anxiously awaiting Zuckuss’s release.  After a particularly bad day at work, Super Awesome Fiancee was looking to cheer me up, so she took me to the closest Disney Store, where I had no trouble finding him.  He’s a fun figure, and he brings us one step closer to a complete line-up of the Executor Bounty Hunters!