Released December, 2003
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on January 28, 2003
It has been several years since we last got a new 12" Cantina alien, but Hasbro came through finally and gave us Garindan who appears here for the first time in this size. This is also his first appearance in plastic since the action figure and Action Fleet versions hit around 1997.
The figure includes a removable cape and a communicator.
It's a familliar 12" body, and there are some familliar parts. But the important thing is that it looks new enough so you'll actually want one.
While I initially thought the figure was completely recycled parts except for the head and communicator, I'm glad to say I was wrong. Sure, there are a lot of recycled parts here, but this it seems the cloth components are new, or are at least new-ish.
The head is a brand new and nicely designed piece of work. The paint really brings out a lot of details that I frankly wouldn't have expected, namely lots of stitches where the snout meets the head, rubbery goggles, and stitches at the top of the mask. There are silver details on the snout, and a little metal bolt or buckle or something between those red lenses. The level of detail isn't exactly high, but the paint and sculpt combined result in a fairly nice looking product that's better than a lot of what Hasbro has done in this line over the years.
At first glance, the costume looks like a Jedi Luke cloak over a black Imperial Officer outfit.. but this isn't the case. Yes, the hands, boots, and belt were all the same as they were on the AT-ST Driver, but the outfit itself seems to be new or at least heavily modified. Unlike what we've seen on Imperial uniforms, there are no pockets here, but there are lots of snaps replacing the bulky, ugly velcro and the end result is a far more elegant looking uniform. Customizers will probably want to buy this guy to make more custom Imperial Officers.
I don't have my FAO Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker handy, and as such, I'm not able to tell you if this is or is not a new cloak. It is nice, and it fastens around the neck via a small piece of velcro that looks good and works right. Basically, it's almost perfect, except it seems the hood on my review sample is just a little smaller than I'd really like it to be. It isn't bad, it's just a little on the wee side. The way mine was stitched also lends itself to being able to be put in two positions, one of which really drapes over his head nicely.
Despite being made of several existing pieces, there's a lot to love here. The body is cast in black plastic (as far as I can see) and is one of the more posable ones which, as you know, I love. As far as the figure goes, there's not a lot else they could have done short of new boots or something like that, but let's face it-- boots are boots with most of these aliens.
The set includes a communicator.
They look familliar, but they do the trick. Good detail, nice paint, and solid, sturdy construction make these quality firearms. When an aspiring customizer decides it's time to scrap this Padme in favor of a superior model, these parts are keepers.
The late 2003 styling that I hate but seems to now be the norm for Star Wars. The dark blue window boxes with a gold stripe are OK, but frankly just keep reminding me how much I loved the 1996-1997 packaging that had a nice big flap on the front.
You might have noticed that it's worth a whopping 40 Jedi Master Points. You can stash these with your Saddam Dinars and maybe, just maybe, they'll be worth something again some day.
I have yet to see this guy in stores, but I hear he'll be $19.99-$24.99. If you can get it online for that, you should.
This is one of those rare times that I feel very, very happy to have had the opportunity to tell you how great a 12" figure is. It isn't perfect, and a few shortcuts were taken, but the end result is quite gorgeous and I don't think there's a lot I would have changed in making this toy. As time goes on, competing 12" figure makers give fans more for less, but most of us aren't collectors of other figures in this scale. As such, this figure is net enough to warrant a purchase if you really like Star Wars aliens, and if you made it this far, you probably do.
Here's hoping Hasbro cranks out at least one more Cantina alien before ending the 12" line, whenever that may be. And Hasbro, if you're listening, I want that figure to be Momaw Nadon.
Our sample was obtained from Entertainment Earth in December 2003.