Image Bank Review: VC98 Grand Moff Tarkin

By Mike — Friday, June 1, 2012

With Grand Moff Tarkin never being released in the Vintage Kenner line despite being a key character in the film,  finally having a Vintage Collection style Star Wars card with a photo of Peter Cushing's iconic portrayal should be a day long remembered for collectors. But Hasbro made some design decisions on the action figure which are a few pegs below ideal. The head sculpt is unmistakably Cushing and one that's absolutely the best yet. But the inclusion of a soft goods skirt and a uniform that's probably too green takes away points on what's otherwise a superb figure. We'll take the mouse droid anytime of day though.



Appearance: A New Hope
Sequence: VC98
Includes: SE-14C Blaster Pistol, MSE-6 Repair Droid (Mouse Droid)
Retail: $9.99
Released: June 2012

Cardback:  Celebrate the legendary Star Wars saga that changed the universe forever! This collection brings to life the incredible story of good versus evil that captured our imagination and took us to a galaxy far, far away. Iconic Star Wars heroes and villains are captured with incredible detail and premium features to commemorate each epic tale in the Star Wars saga. May the Force be with you! [IMAGE BANK PHOTOS]


SCULPT/PAINT: There's no guessing that the all new super-articulated sculpt is a vast improvement over his POTF2, ROTS and Saga Collection versions. His head sculpt has an amazing likeness for this scale that captures Tarkin/Cushing's angular cheekbones and receding hairline. While his uniform is supposed to be a grayish, earthy olive, the color tone for this figure is a little too much on the green side and could use some more neutralness. Hasbro made the odd design choice of a soft goods skirt/tunic for Tarkin that clashes with the overall presentation. Unless there's a Death Star Conference Room environment somewhere in the horizon, this character mostly stands and hardly sits and a soft plastic molded skirt would have been just fine.















1378 1379













ARTICULATION: Grand Moff Tarkin features 14 point points of super articulation, including ball hinged shoulders and knees and swivel hips which are more than adequate given the limited action-ness and dynamism of the character. 














ACCESSORIES: An all new MSE-6 "Mouse Droid" is included that's smaller than the POTF2 version and  Saga Death Star Accessory Set from 2002. It has rotating wheels and some light paint application on the side panels for some added detailing. It's cheaper than finding one on a Vintage Collection "Revenge" card which was included in last year's SDCC Death Star set that's a POTF2 re-issue. That carded Mouse Droid alone is in the neighborhood of $200 on eBay these days, but  you now can get a smaller and better sculpted MSE-6 as an accessory. Tarkin is also armed with a SE-14C Blaster Pistol but does not include a holster.





















CARDBACK: Having a Grand Moff Tarkin on a chrome and black Star Wars card is a thing of art. This should have been designated as the 100th Vintage Collection figure to mark the occasion. The 2012 "14 back" vintage style graces the flip side with characters from the rest of Wave 5 as well as previous waves.
















TOPPING THINGS OFF: This action figure comes really close to being a definitive Tarkin based on his head and body sculpt alone. But the the soft goods skirt takes away from the overall aesthetic and his uniform could have been served better with a more muted shade of green. However, despite these drawbacks, the Kenner Star Wars card back makes this more than worth your while to collect. We may see an improved action figure of this character from Hasbro eventually, but you can't take anything away from the nostalgia and masterpiece of a Kenner Grand Moff Tarkin  blister card that's 35 years in the making.


RATING: WANTED (4 out of 5 Bounty Points)   




As cool as that cardback is,

As cool as that cardback is, I just can't buy a Tarkin with a "real-feel apron"...

That really does look horrible. They should've just stuck this new head on the Tarkin from the "Death Star Briefing" set.

Mike, can you add a comparison shot of all four versions of Tarkin?

There's a comparison shot

There's a comparison shot with the Saga Tarkin from the Death Star Briefing set in the Image Bank. This and the Comic Pack figure from 2007 uses the ROTS mold.

I'm hoping Hasbro re-releases this with a plastic tunic and a more muted grey/green because it actually is a great sculpt.

By popular demand, I added a

By popular demand, I added a comparison shot, from left to right, of the Mouse Droid from the 2002 Death Star Accessory set, POTF2, and the new Tarkin accessory. More photos of the new Mouse Droid have also been added to the Image Bank.