Yoda (Clone Wars)
Released September, 2003
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on October 1, 2003
At first a laughable, unnecessary resculpt, Clone Wars Yoda turned out to be a fairly interesting chunk of plastic.
Yoda is packaged with a lightsaber, a poncho of sorts, and a Hoverchair.
It took Hasbro nearly two years to figure it out, but Yoda is hot. They can crank out new versions all day long and they'll sell in days. As such, what better time to release a Yoda figure than when you have an excuse to redesign him?
Straight out of the package, Yoda looks a little odd. A sash or bandolier covers a fairly flimsy looking poncho, and one has to wonder what purpose, other than an aesthetic one, it could possibly serve. Hasbro wisely kept the color scheme of Yoda unchanged, and while he's not exactly draped in robes and walking in a hunched-over position of wisdom, he does look like he's ready to pound some Separatists into the ground. The robe itself is not listed as removable, but Hasbro said during the unveiling of these toys that these accessories would come off for the fans that didn't like them, which is a nice extra that really adds to the play value.
There's really not much you can do with a brown body suit, and it shows. The articulation is limited to the neck, shoulders, and waist and there's really nothing groundbreaking here. Yoda's head is essentially the same as the one used in the first AOTC version last year, but he does have a great little pose that lets him outstretchhis right arm in a fairly grandiose gesture.
The figure has very little to offer in the way of anything groundbreaking, and the design reminded many of the stereotype of an old Mexican revolutionary, and short of a moustache and a couple of revolvers, it's easy to see that. This Yoda also looks a lot younger than before, mostly due the outfit and pose, but it's a neat new way to present a character that hasn't changed all that much over the past 20 years.
This set includes a lightsaber and a Hoverchair. Why Hasbro calls it a chair, I don't know, because he can't sit in it.
With such a short General, it was obvious that not even the finest elevator boots could lift him high enough to see his troops. As such, he's got this nifty platform with four moving "legs" to give him some extra height.
He can be placed upon it without a problem, as his peg holes and the pegs in the platform align perfectly. It's great to see a figure interact with his accessory so flawlessly, and as such, it more or less is a winner. It does have a shortcoming in that the legs of the chair are very floppy, and if picked up and set back down, they might reposition themselves so that without further manipulation, it might fall. Still, it's a nice extra and better than getting a figure without it.
The lightsaber is an all-new sculpt, which is both good and bad. A plastic version of Yoda's lightsaber (as opposed to the metal one) was released with Yoda & Chian earlier this year, and this one is completely new... and wrong. If you look closely at where the blade touches the hilt, you can see that the hilt is much longer than it was painted. Apparently the original plan was to have a full-size hilt with a short blade but it didn't get painted that way.
This isn't a huge blunder, and due to the bright plastic it's likely many people won't notice it unless it's pointed out to them, but it is amusing. In the end, Yoda's accessories work, but not perfectly. He can interact with them just fine, but it's the accessories themselves that were a little funky.
New for 2003, the Clone Wars package theme.
The same figure was also packaged in a Wal-Mart exclusive Bonus Pack with a yellow Clone Trooper Commander.
Seemingly the most popular of the initial Clone Wars series, Yoda comes and goes fairly quickly and has been spotted both online and off. If you want one, keep looking, he's around.
It's a truly bizarre idea to rework the wheel, and Hasbro managed to do it. This is a lean, mean, grean fighting machine and he's ready to do battle. The question is, will fans buy the idea of Yoda as a great warrior, despite have having said that "wars not make one great."
It seems, so far, that this was a good figure for Hasbro to produce, and it is a fun little toy. It seems sturdy, it looks good, and it's a popular character. For five dollars, it's worth it, and for five dollars with a bonus clone trooper, you'd be crazy to pass on it. Be sure to snag one to populate your desk when you see it.
Our regular sample was obtained from Entertainment Earth in September 2003. Our bonus pack sample was purchased at a Scottsdale, AZ Wal-Mart in September, 2003.