The poet Charles Baudelaire (or was it Verbal Kint?) once said that "the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist." This new Darth Sidious figure is certainly a revelation. We were completely prepared to be underwhelmed by Hasbro's latest effort of "The Phantom Menace" himself mainly because he didn't look anything special in the package. The VC12 Darth Sidious, while certainly sporting a great face sculpt, fell short with the soft goods and fur coat giving him more of an evil "bag lady" look.
Technically speaking, this isn't a "Character Debut" for the Naboo Royal Guard since a version was released in 1999 for The Episode I Collection. Aesthetically speaking, this all new iteration is worlds and 12 years of sculpt and design evolution apart from that TPM figure. This Guard deserves a variant head sculpt/running change for troop/squad building purposes. You can head swap yourself with the ball jointed neck so pick a couple up for that Naboo Hangar diorama that will be immediately enhanced by this worthy upgrade.
Hasbro expanded upon The Phantom Menace Celebration scene finale where we witness little Ani in full Padawan garb. The figure includes a lightsaber, training helmet, and training remote orb. This is a super articulated, with great likeness, vast improvement from the 1999 "Naboo" figure, which until now had been the only version of Padawan Anakin released. It's worth the wait as Hasbro packed in 14 points of articulation, incredible detail, and even a soft goods skirt to plus it up. Can I get a "Yipeee"?
Hasbro has hardly disappointed with the various versions of Queen Amidala and her ornate dresses. We're glad they ditched the salt shaker bodies and went with sound design. While not super-articulated because it doesn't make much sense unless they can engineer appropriate soft goods, they do include swivel elbows and sculpted legs. The likeness is decent and the sculpt and paint app for the Foreign Residence Dress is superb.
We like our Jedis dark, brooding, conflicted, and dreadlocked with warpaint. Easily one of my favorite figures of this wave, the new Quinlan Vos is finely detailed and articulated to include ball jointed hips to be battle posed in many ways. Vos was a blink and you'll miss him Easter Egg in Episode I, but Hasbro made every effort to make sure this figure stands out as one of the better ones to kick off 2012.
Images of the upcoming Return of the Jedi Deleted Scenes wave including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, General Cracken, Lando Calrissian, and the Mon Calamari Rebel Pilot have been posted at Sandtroopers.com. Due to a lack of good source photos, Hasbro had to rely on composite art and these turned out fantastically in our opinion.
The Hasbro Darth Maul Giveaway site is now live. The grand prize is a life sized Darth Maul signed by George Lucas himself. 100 Force FX Lightsabers will be given away as a first prize. Entry forms can be found inside 2012 Vintage assortment figures and vehicles.
Walmart continues to be the destination for Star Wars 2012. Along with new Movie Heroes, Clone Wars, Vehicles and Battle Packs, the retailer is now receiving and putting out the new The Vintage Collection The Phantom Menace wave. These were found at a Scottsdale, AZ store and retailed for $8.96 each. Note that these cards do not have the Maul promotion sticker and entry form. Happy Hunting!
Hasbro does a great job with an all new, nicely articulated Logray and even better having him in his original Kenner card. While the figure included in the POTF2 Ewok 2 pack wasn't bad for its time, this will be the definite version of the furry shaman for awhile.
A head swap for Rebel troop builders is always welcome. Hasbro essentially took the head from the TSC 2006 Rebel Trooper and popped it into the new TVC body and voila! "New figure". Both head variants are readily available on store pegs in both the "Return" and "Revenge" cardbacks.
A slightly repainted figure from the 2008 Rebel Pilots Evolutions set (which one can still find lingering around a few ToysRUs shelves by the way), Keyan Farlander's timely release nicely converges with that of the K-Mart B-Wing. While the figure is redubbed after a character from the 1993 X-Wing PC game, he's still one of the original Kenner 93 and neat to see in a Vintage style card.
As we first reported in New York Comic-Con, Hasbro will be releasing 3 non-OT vehicles in Vintage style packaging for the January 30th launch. These include the AT-AP, V-19 Torrent Starfighter, and Obi-Wan Kenobi's Jedi Starfighter. The Hasbro site has these listed at $29.99 each.
It appears white is in vogue these days, especially when it comes to iPhones, ninjas, and bounty hunters. The mailaway figure for 2011 gives tribute to another sidestory in Star Wars production lore; that of the first "prototype" white Boba Fett. While the figure itself is a repaint of the most excellent 2005 VOTC Fett and holster from the TAC Animated Fett, it's not as accurate to the prototype design as we'd like it to be. However, the overall presentation is superb. For $6.99 and 5 UPC codes, you can own one and don't forget you only have until March 31st!
When Hasbro released this Slave Leia figure in 2009, she came with interchangeable legs to be alternately posed sitting down in Jabba's throne. From a purely aesthetic point of view, we thought the POTJ Deluxe Slave Leia was one of the better versions of our bikini clad Princess, but the '09 figure was truly creative. Slave Leia never was released in the Vintage line making VC64 a pick for carded collectors.
Hasbro updates their site with new product info and photos for their 2012 line. Of particular note are the new prices for The Vintage Collection ($9.99) and Clone Wars ($8.99) as well as their new Movie Heroes line ($8.99) which technically replaces Saga Legends in the hierarchy. What are your thoughts on Star Wars figures going up a buck? Post your feedback in our comment box!