I consider Ponda Baba one of the essentials of any Star Wars action figure collection. He's part of a key iconic scene and that Kenner action figure was such a memorable part of our Creature Cantina playset. Hasbro delivers an "ultimate" Walrus Man with awesome detail, super-articulation, and features that set him evolutions apart from any previous version.
Appearance: A New Hope
Includes: SE-14C Blaster Pistol, Glass, 4 Interchangeable Hands (2 Flippers, 2 Claws), Removable Right Arm with detachable severed forearm
Released: September 2011
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! [MORE IMAGES]
SCULPT/PAINT: I can only say that the sculpt on this figure is "exquisite". Unlike the top heavy iterations of the past, he doesn't suffer from 80's shoulder syndrome and is well proportioned. The sculpt is full of detail on the "motorcycle" jacket with well placed wrinkles and folds on his outfit to give it an added dimension. Hasbro wasn't satisfied with only one set of "blooper" furry hands, but his actual proper fins that has sculpted fingers underneath to hold his weapons. The headsculpt is amazingly accurate to character with the correct darker color tone, and the severed arm has nice charred details, but no Aqualish blood, for obvious kid friendly reasons. You can always paint your own, right?
The boots aren't painted in the ball joint, and that's a flaw. Hasbro may have good reasons in order to avoid paint rubbing off, but it does look a bit imperfect for such a perfect figure.
ARTICULATION: Ponda Baba has 14 points of super articulation for good poseability that includes ball joints in the shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles. He's able to belly up at the bar, cross his legs, and imbibe on some filling alien beverage.
ACCESSORIES: He comes with Dr. E's SE-14C Blaster Pistol so it's an incorrect weapon, but it fits and looks good in and out of the holster and doesn't bug me as much as it should. The bar glass, unlike the plain pieces that came with the Cantina sets, has a white beverage inside, which is a nice added detail.
CARDBACK: Like the Hoth Rebel Trooper, I would have preferred Hasbro leave perfection alone and used the original cardback art instead of the photo. The character photo doesn't look bad, but I like original Coke.
TOPPING THINGS OFF: I have no complaints about the new Ponda Baba aside from minor quibbles about the cardback and the paint on the boots, which were the same quibbles I had about the Hoth Trooper. But the strengths of this figure.. the sculpt, articulation, the thought and design put into the arms and interchangeable hands... far outweigh everything else. You're not going to get a better Walrus Man for a long time. You need to collect this, if you can find him along with the rest of this wave. He gets the highest grade.
RATING: MOST WANTED