Ephant Mon (Jabba's Head of Security)
Hasbro
Released September, 2002
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on October 16, 2002

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The Fan's Choice polls seem to be the subject of much debate, no matter who wins each time around... although for the first time, I don't think anybody will complain in the slightest.

The figure includes one Vibroblade and one Cane.

Sculpt/Articulation/Gimmicks/Paint

Ephant Mon has appeared in countless publicity shots from the Return of the Jedi from before the flick came out, and at one point was paired with court jester Salacious Crumb. (Who may well have the best name in all of Star Wars. But I digress.) As with the Duro from the Cantina Ellorrs Madak and Amanaman before, it's obvious Hasbro spent their time making this figure. There are folds of skin and cloth, wrinkly knuckles, gnarled broken teeth, hair, dirt, more dirt... this is yet another sign that Hasbro can compete with any toy company on any level and still do a great figure at a better price.

Short of scanning the suit, this is as close to perfect as I can imagine expecting this character to be. The cloth drapes nicely, it's well articulated, and those joints aren't easy to see. While the jaw is a little obvious, the neck, shoulders, wrists, and hips aren't especially obtrusive and add a little depth to a figure that probably would have been just fine as a statue. While the sculpt makes him a little unstable-- that cane really comes in handy-- you can move the legs to guarantee he does not fall over.

The paint job is superb. You may see an odd splotch here and there, but overall things are where they belong and it seems a lot of work went into making sure this looked better than Hasbro's best as far as appearance goes.

It's big, heavy, and gorgeous. While some say it is the largest Star Wars figure to date, this is not so-- Graxol Kelvyn from the Watto's Box cinemascene from Episode I still is the tallest, but Ephant may well be the heaviest and, overall, thickest.

Accessories

Never mind the fact you get the heaviest basic figure to be offered to date, you get some accessories too!

The vibroblade is pretty nifty, as it bears a striking resemblance to the pikes used by Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard, POTF2, 1997), Weequay (POTF2, 1997), and some of the Skiff Guards from Jabba's palace. It's a nice weapon that can be stashed mostly out of sight if you don't like it due to a place to hang it on his person. In other words, this is a sign of Hasbro doing things right. Hooray!

The cane is a real treat, as it's probably painted better than most of the first few waves of POTF2 figures in the mid-90s. It's molded in the right color, has a nice gnarled sculpt, some teeth and string around the grip, a black wash, and most important of all, Jabba's symbol is on the grip. You heard right-- the infamous Hutt's tattoo insignia (seen on Big Gizz, the vintage Jabba toy's arm, and elsewhere) is there for the seeing. It's like more thought went into this than some entire action figure lines... it's a sign of good things from Hasbro and proof positive that despite the naysayers, Hasbro can make a truly amazing figure when they want to.

The really spiffy thing, though, is the bottom of the cane has a hole in it in which you can stick the vibroblade (see back of packaging.) This allows Ephant a larger weapon with a bigger, far less awkward grip. But wait-- this is a play feature on a toy designed for the collectors of Star Wars? Egad! Hasbro even made this one fun for the kids!

Since the figure was perfect, and the accessories were perfect, what more could you ask for? (Aside from more, which would be greedy.)

Packaging

After nearly 50 figures in Saga, this is the first to deviate from the standard packaging template. Fron a head-on view of the front, the first think you should notice is a return of the Fan's Choice sticker, only this time it's in red. While I applaud the decision to showcase the fact that the fans have had a say in the character selection process, nowhere does it explain what "Fan's Choice" means to the layman-- if you're unaware of the voting as done on Hasbro's web site, then this label means nothing to you. A brief blurb on the cardback explaining what it is, when it was, whom he beat out would have been a nice extra, but its absence is understandable.

While the cardback design is essentially the same, the bubble is not. To date, Hasbro has used one uniform bubble size for the entirety of Saga... this one is roughly 50% thicker. As such, this means the size of the Saga cases that ship from Hasbro to the stores is slightly larger... emphasis on slightly.

As such, it may not fit in your typical protector cases.

Availability

As of now, I have yet to see them in stores, although some places (such as our sponsors) may have them for sale online. He ships two to a case now, and due to his massive packaging size, may ship two per case until he disappears-- somebody has to compliment that massive bubble.

Fin

At roughly $5-$7, this figure is far superior to most if not all offerings in the past. The only other figure to come close as far as "wow" goes this year would be the new Bespin Luke with his army of extras and articulation. Hasbro would have to pull out something astonishing to make a better figure in 2002.

The first two Fan's Choice figures have been great, even if they're widely available on clearance at some chains still. This figure is a worthy addition to the series, providing an obscure character only a fan could love, only this time it's a real bargain. If you only buy two or three Star Wars figures in a year, make sure this is one of them.

Our sample was obtained from Entertainment Earth in October 2002.









 
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