Neimoidian Warrior (Neimoidian Weapon Attack)
Released May 2005
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on May 23, 2005
I don't think the next item on anybody's want list was another Neimoidian except for the die-hards that want everything-- but one has to give Lucas and friends credit for digging up an old style design from Return of the Jedi, tweaking it a lot, and coming up with this super cool Neimoidian Warrior. While we hear his appearance is blink-and-you'll-miss-it in Revenge of the Sith, this guy could find a happy home in a number of Original Trilogy dioramas, especially Jabba's Palace, even if he was technically never there.
In the employ of the likes of Nute Gunray, this figure is armed with the biggest rifle ever given to a basic action figure, and he also has a removable helmet to reveal that he is in fact a distant relative of Schlitzy.
He's a brand new figure, an army builder, and while he doesn't see a lot of screen time he can be placed in other scenarios. He's easy to like.
The pose isn't too action-oriented and you can get a lot of personality out of a face, so let's look at the head.
What makes this head particularly interesting is the actual toy versus the photo on the box. Here, you can see a squinty-eyed and somewhat mean looking creature-- and that's good for a toy of a bodyguard that's meant to be in charge of some very important persons. The photo on the box looks a little more like Greedo, and as far as personality goes, "bewildered" sounds about right. The figure doesn't attempt to capture that particular trait and is probably more successful for it, as most Star Wars fans aren't big fans of "the goofy," as it were. There's a little paint to define his texture on his face, and his eyes are two colors. The only obvious area from improvement outside an alternate head sculpt for army building purposes would be to paint the mouth in with black, but obviously this is a lot to ask in a year like this one. The head is good, and nearly great.
His action feature, much to the delight of adult collectors, isn't too obtrusive. This is good, but it's unfortunate that the "power smash" attack is just him twisting at the waist a little when you squeeze his legs. It's possible our review sample was just plain crappy, but as it stands it's a lame action feature. Thankfully it's one that doesn't make the figure look stupid or prevent him from sitting in a vehicle.
In terms of sculpt and paint, this one's cool because it's pretty simple. By looking like a cross between some sort of medieval armor and an unused Jabba's Skiff Guard concept, it's hard for a fan to look at this and not go "hey, that's pretty cool"-- if this were an Expanded Universe figure or Special Edition addition, it'd be right at home in a scene with the Hutt. The armor plating looks true to the photography and the paint needed to recreate him in plastic is minimal, so the end result is simple, elegant, and nicely done. There's not a lot to shout about because it's a simple figure done right, and as such, the articulation only helps it.
With a ball joint at the head and shoulders as well as its additional joints at the wrists, hips, elbows, and waist (sort of), it can pretty much handle most of what you ask it to do, although getting a cool pose with him holding his weapon is difficult because, well, look at the gun.
Back in 1996, people made fun of the POTF2 TIE Fighter Pilot because he included a second, very large gun. Well, that ain't nothing.
This gun is bigger and more detailed than some figures I've bought. It fires nicely, just not REALLY nicely, and it fits the aesthetics of the figure-- it's just DAMNED HUGE. It would have been nice if Hasbro included an alternate, slightly smaller weapon to avoid tipping-over issues with the figure, or perhaps even a base. It's a good design, it's just large and heavy. If it's true to the film it's all good, but obviously, this remains to be seen at press time.
New for 2005: the flaming head of Darth Vader.
This is a very ornate package. Despite being somewhat generic across the line, there are numerous layers at work here-- there are two cardboard inserts in the front, a plastic tray, and stickers all over to make this really stand out. The end result is a busy, flaming design you just can't ignore. It isn't as gee-whiz or gosh-golly cool as the packaging used for the Original Trilogy Collection but it looks like the most expensive cardback Hasbro has done to date and the new egglike bubble is a huge departure from the previous two decades and change of product from Kenner and Hasbro. The bubble is much like that of the G.I. Joe figures (two- and three-packs) from 2003-2005 in that the bubble wraps the card, hugging it, where it is taped in the back. This allows you to remove a figure a little more easily, although the folks at Hasbro secured it in more places so you'll probably rip most of these getting the figures out.
These started to unfurl the week before Revenge of the Sith hit theaters and they come and go with the wind.
I expected to like this figure, but it turns out it's one of my favorites from the film. Its generic nature, removable parts, and great sculpt make it a fine addition to any collection and while fans may not want to use it to re-create the scene from which he was originated, imaginative kids should love it as well as collectors that dig aliens and troopers. It's a good one, so buy a couple when you see them.
Our review sample was obtained from Toys "R" Us on May 11, 2005.