Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on August 29, 2003
WARNING/GUARANTEE: This is a review of a product that appears to be a final production piece, but was not a packaged sample. A figure was purchased through eBay minus the drinking glasses and bar stools, and was packaged in a small nondescript clear plastic bag. We do not know where you can obtain a set at this time, and these figures have not been cancelled yet, nor have they been released, nor has a set released date been given.
The final production Kitik Keed'kak was originally scheduled to include three small glasses and a base/bar section. The sample used in this review included no accessories, but as the accessories are identical from the first wave, they are reviewed anyway.
The item reviewed here looks and feels like a production toy, and is treated as such. This isn't a first shot, or some sort of painted sample made of resin. As far as the look, feel, and even smell goes, it appears to be a final production figure.
While new Cantina aliens are far and few between, it's always a pleasure to see a new one, even if it isn't as true to the movie as it could have been. This is assumed to be a result of much of the photography of this particular bit of set dressing appearing in black-and-white.
Zorak, she ain't. While there have been many Cantina aliens produced in the new line since Momaw Nadon and Greedo in 1996, this makes only the second female, with the first being Kabe. Granted, she doesn't look especially feminine, but there's the dress. Which probably counts.
Each of the six Cantina figures that were produced or intended for production as Wal-Mart exclusives had some small changes made from a previous release except this one, as there was no previous release. Kitik Keed'kak is 100% new figure, and the sculptors really did a nice job here. Aside from the obvious details on the body, arms, and skirt, there's a whole figure under the garment-- legs, a body segment, even hip joints for the legs. If you were so inclined, you could remove the skirt and probably have a very decent mantis alien. Of course, in this figure's current level of availability, this is simply foolishness. While there is some nice detail under the dress, it's nowhere near that found on the top half of the figure. Considering the limited reference material Hasbro sculptors most likely had to use when making this figure, there's a huge margin for error, and a few mistakes here and there would probably go unnoticed.
Even the head has a marvelous silver segmented eye on either side. It really is quite nice.
This is a fairly old-fashioned figure in some senses, such as articulation. Only the arms and waist have any articulation that matters, as the leg movement-- while welcome-- is rendered useless by the skirt. No action features of any kind were included here.
Over the years, few pictures of this creature have surfaced, some of which were black-and-white. As such, this would mean that any coloring done on the figure would probably be up in the air, but as it turns out the figure is supposed to be green. It's brown. Various images from the card game and elsewhere show that this is a less than fully authentic design, and as such, Hasbro would be wise to make a few deco corrections before gearing it up for wide release.
This set includes a Cantina bar section and three cups, same as those seen with Greedo, Ponda Baba, and Momaw Nadon in 2002.
As you can see, it's a pretty nice base. Figures can sit at it, drink at it, stand behind it, and so on and so forth and they connect to other Cantina bases. It makes for a good display piece if you have several.
While Hasbro has no plans to make a curved end cap to the bar sections, it should be noted they don't have any plans to make the parts of the bar that go in between these sections. And officially, they don't even have any plans to go ahead with the figure I just reviewed here.
This figure does not interact well with its accessories. Actually, the fact that they included glasses is just a little bizzarre, as this figure can't hold anything, sit, or even be placed anywhere on the base to stand other than on top of the table. Of course, if you've been keeping up, the base is moot, and the figure is the important thing. Better accessories would have been great, but the figure's new and worth tracking down even if it costs a few dollars more.
If it comes on the 2002 packaging like seen previously, it's just more of the same. The front of the package designates this as 2 of 3, and the image on the cardback to use as a backdrop is the same as the one that came with Greedo, who was 2 of 3 in the first series.
It's very appropriate, but it isn't special or particularly amazing to look at.
As of today (August 29 2003) this figure is not available to the public. It is not known if or when it will be released, or if it will be released in the same packaging.
As such, a surprising quantity have been showing up on the grey market, eBay and elsewhere. As these would have cost roughly $10 each in the stores, and as they aren't due to show up in stores in 2003 and maybe not even in 2004, there's a lot to consider if one were to happen on these figures.
As far as I can tell, Hasbro has never made a figure in the modern Star Wars line that surfaced as a packaged sample and then never made it to production. Many figures, however, have gotten to production-level or near-production-level stages in the development process. One thing is certain: if Hasbro never releases the Cantina Bar Section with Kitik Keed'kak, a basic, carded version of the figure is something that we can probably expect in the next couple of years.
It works. The coloring is a little off but as nobody really saw it on screen anyway, odds are it won't be noticed much. Fans are usually always happy when a new Cantina denizen makes it to plastic, even if it's a super-lame design like Djas Puhr. This figure is much better than Djas Puhr. However, it can't sit at the bar sections it was to have been packaged with, nor can it really make use of the base in any capacity. Removable stools would have helped here, but obviously, that's not a change that will be made at this stage in the game. It's a good, sturdy figure that can stand up and would make an excellent addition to any collection. Given the opportunity to buy this figure for $10, it's something any fan of aliens, the Cantina, or the classic Trilogy should be happy to have on thier desk. It's just such a bizarre alien that it's hard to fault, miscoloration and all.
As a $10 toy, it's a worthy purchase. As a rare commoditiy, it's a no-brainer-- if you see one and can afford the asking price, jump on it. Especially if that asking price is about ten bucks, which, lately, it has been. Obviously a piece on the secondary market is only worth what one is willing to pay for it, but this seems more than worth dropping a few Lincolns on. Perhaps even a few Lincolns and a Washington.
This figure will most likely be released as you see here in the package at some point in the future. Just don't hold your breath... the Star Wars license is good at Hasbro for another decade and a half, making the future a long way off.
Our sample was obtained via eBay in August 2003. The original samples used in these photographs showed up in the Fall of 2002.