Dengar (Executor Meeting)
Released April 2004
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on June 23, 2004
During the early days of the new Star Wars toy line, fans never once expected to see resculpts of figures with improved articulation and authenticity. However, when Dengar first hit in 1997, jaws dropped, for the first time saying "let's do this one over again," While the figure wasn't really all that bad, it was a little bulky, significantly less impressive than Bossk (having just been released a few months earlier), and when unconfirmed word came down that it was done by an outside sculptor fans weren't happy. Flash forward seven years, and now Hasbro gifts us with, Dengar (Executor Meeting).
Unlike the new Bossk, Dengar is a whole new action figure from the ground up.
Some figures were hard to improve on, and Dengar wasn't one of them. Even knowing we'd be easy to please here, Hasbro took the high road and came out with a truly wonderful rendition of a character that some fans love, and others... not so much.
As you can see, he now has his backpack, just like in the vintage days. The figure looks much less like the Mummy going to war and much more like a bodybuilder in a baggy outfit with bits of leftover armor from other scenes in The Empire Stikes Back, just the way we like it.
Like Bossk, the new Dengar is a little more animated and a little more angry. The grimace shows his teeth, which betray a slightly more active disposition than the very deadpan 1997 version. The head has significantly more decoration as well, with scars, dirt on the front and back of his head, and a vastly improved sculpt. There's a lot to like here.
Unlike previous versions, this one is jointed nicely. He has ball jointed shoulders, and he has joints at his wrists, neck, waist, elbows, and hips. As such, you can get some action-oriented poses out of him, unlike the "I am standing awkwardly and am holding a gun" pose from before. Now he can stand normally and hold a gun, or aim it, or beat someone over the head with it. For those who would like to see the awkward pose, we present the following.
The joints are well-hidden in the new version, and its likely you won't even notice the ball joints on the shoulders at first glance. By integrating these into the toy's design, Hasbro draws more attention to the wrinkles in the fabric of his suit, the highlights and dents in his armor, and the added color to his boots. There are seams on the sides of his pants, nicely detailled gloves, and so much more... Dengar is one of many figures this year that acts as evidence of a new, vastly improved Hasbro. If this is the quality we received from here on out, I doubt Hasbro would lose many fans after the films ended.
This set includes a base and a gun.
The base is nothing new, so you know what to expect from the gunmetal grey rectangle with the Star Wars logo stamped on it. You probably have one or several. They're nice.
While his rifle looks a lot like the CommTech Stormtrooper's rifle, it isn't merely a repainted weapon. As far as I can tell, it's all new. There's a lot of detail in it, with grooves and two colors of paint, and the end result is really quite striking. It's a definite improvement over previous weapons.
The backpack was the original highlight of the toy when announced by Hasbro last year. While some fans furrowed their collective brows with disinterest at the mention of "Dengar with Backpack," the actual backpack is just as good as the figure. Well, it's sort of as good as the figure-- after all, it's just a backpack. The level of decoration is excellent and appropriate, and the sculpting is top notch. Some additional paint would be nice to have seen on it, but as it is, this isn't a figure you'll be displaying backwards. So enjoy it, it's good.
For 2004, the late-2003 revision is still being employed. More of the same, folks.
This figure is not scheduled currently to be repackaged later this year.
He's around, but tends to come and go quickly. Snag it if you see it.
If you don't have a Dengar, or realize that your Dengar is now currently outdated, you should look into buying this one. This is a superior toy, not just compared to his previous counterpart, but to most other Star Wars figures. There are imperfections to be found here, but the final result is so good you may as well not pay them any mind-- this is a great piece and well worth the $4.99 plus tax and/or shipping.
Our regular sample was obtained from Entertainment Earth in May 2004.