Here are the Nth releases of these characters within the past 4 months that could potentially cause some redundancy and over saturation in retail. From the head up, they're excellent, and you may argue that at least one or two are the best yet. But the 5 points of articulation are causing much menace for a few collectors, especially since these head sculpts are meant for more action.
DUEL ON NABOO
Includes: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn
Appearance: The Phantom Menace
Accessories: Lightsaber (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Double Bladed Lightsaber (Darth Maul), Lightsaber (Qui-Gon Jinn), (3) Galactic Battle Game Character Cards, (3) Bases, (1) Die
Released: April 2012
Description: Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi battle Darth Maul during the invasion of Naboo. The two Jedi encounter the Sith Lord in the palace hangar and fight a fierce lightsaber duel that ends in the Theed Generator Complex. Obi-Wan becomes separated from Qui-Gon by the complex's security shield, and can only watch as his Master continues the battle alone. But when the shield lowers once more, Obi-Wan attacks Maul with grief-stricken determination.
OBI-WAN KENOBI: Kudos to Hasbro for nailing a Padawan McGregor likeness in 3.75 inch scale and certainly the best one yet. If they can re-use this head sculpt for future, more articulated purposes, it can probably be considered as the ultimate version of this character. This head sculpt is so under served by 5 points of articulation, it's screaming to be popped off and switched out. But unfortunately, the ball peg socket is too small to be used for the 2009 TLC/Vintage body, but if you want to go the extra step of using some dremel, it could be done. Side by side, this head sculpt puts that figure to shame from the neck on up. The body itself has nice detailing in the sculpt and quite well proportioned. Hasbro didn't over accentuate the shoulders like with the recent Movie Heroes Light-Up version. Of the three figures in this Battle Pack, Obi-Wan is the more trickier to stand upright due to the pre-posed, angular positioning of his feet. The lightsaber also fits a little loose on both hands and can tend to fall off.
DARTH MAUL: I love this head sculpt. The nuances of Maul's facial tattoos have been captured quite well and the details on the eyes and teeth are outstanding. This figure is an improvement even from the Vintage Collection version. If you consider that these paint applications are done by human hands on such a mass scale, it's quite impressive. Again, this head sculpt is meant for more super-articulated action, but the details on his outfit are nicely done. If you judge this figure from aesthetics and proportionality alone, he's very good. But with the limited poses and the glaring fact that he can't even hold his double bladed lightsaber with both hands, it's a mediocre "action" figure.
QUI-GON JINN: The Movie Heroes Light-Up Saber head sculpt edges this one slightly due to the lighter application of facial paint, but this is a good sculpt that certainly out classes that 2008 Evolutions figure that's been recycled repeatedly. Like Kenobi, the merits of his body sculpt alone is fantastic. His right hand has the two-fingered "Force" sign and left hand able to hold his lightsaber adequately well, probably because the hilt is particularly larger and wider than normal. Like the other two figures in this set, Qui-Gon features swivel articulation in the neck, shoulders, and hips, just like a Kenner figure, but with a much better, modern sculpt.
PACKAGING: The 2012 Battle Packs have been minimized and simplified to a large blister card which means less packaging materials and friendlier for the environment. It shares the same Maul packaging theme as the Movie Heroes assortment without the designation. A rendering of the Theed Hangar composes the packaging background. The back of the card interestingly (and somewhat sadly) shows the figures in action poses they could never possibly be manipulated to, but Hasbro puts a "Product shown in Fantasy Situation" disclaimer on the bottom. Oh, wouldn't it be nice to imagine so, Hasbro.
TOPPING THINGS OFF: These three figures are excellent from the neck up. If you choose to display them one or two ways, I don't think you'll be that disappointed. They're all new sculpts, which are a definite plus, but the lack of articulation causes pain for many and severely limits the potential and "definite-tivity" of these action figures. If one wanted all three characters featuring new, yet under-articulated sculpts for a little over $7 bucks a piece MSRP, there's some value there. But there's also the problem of redundancy on a retail shelf. With each character having a Vintage version, 2 sets of Movie Heroes versions, and Discover The Force versions, there's a lot of Naboo Dueling going on in the same space. If you're a loose collector who likes new sculpts, this one isn't a bad proposition. But is it enough to compete for your dollars?
RATING: CARGO HOLD (3 out of 5 Bounty Points)
Review sample provided by Entertainment Earth.