Yoda (Kashyyyk Transmission)
Hasbro, Target Exclusive
Released April 2 (or 10), 2005
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on April 19, 2005

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The concept is a simple one-- how could one possibly do a movie-based repaint without having to do new tooling? While Hasbro experimented with holographic figures before, Yoda (Kashyyyk Transmission) was a great (and I daresay better) one than many of the previous attempts. Jedi Luke's holo figure had questionable paint, and the Episode I Darth Maul and Qui-Gon were more chess pieces than toys. Despite being free of paint, this new Yoda really turned out well, and looks to be dynamic and exciting, too.

The figure includes a lightsaber and a base.

Sculpt/Articulation/Gimmicks/Paint

While we got a dead clear Yoda, this is the first living clear Yoda. Is it better? We think so.

Originally packaged on a little floating platform with Bear Clan member Chian, this mold hasn't seen a lot of heavy-duty use. It was also the source of some scrutiny in that this Yoda has five toes, and most Yoda figures have had three over the years. While it's not a significant oddity (or even visible on this release, really) it does make this a unique figure in more ways than one.

While the Lava Vader was criticized for having weird paint jobs, rubbery plastic, and an excess of "new figure smell" as well as being a rehash of a mold nobody really wanted to see again, Yoda manages to bring "less is more" back to the exclusives game.

The head sculpt before was a little bland when it was painted, but unpainted, the figure looks surprisingly grand. His head is the same as before, as far as we can tell. Cast in a clear almost purple color, his serene features shine through and a slight smirk seems to pop out of his face-- although this just might be a trick of the light. Also, his features tend to melt into his face except in very exacting lighting, which is a little unfortunate. Hasbro proved with its Spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi from the OTC line that they could easily decorate a figure in a translucent state with some proper detailing, and odds are a light wash or maybe a different color of plastic could have properly, but thankfully the rest of the figure shows texture nicely.

Again, the figure is very similar to the 2003 release. The articulation is good, with both elbows and a wrist jointed in addition to the shoulders, neck, and a uni-leg. The cloth is hard to translate to translucent, mainly because you can see through the cloak-- holographs aren't x-rays, but the nature of the design makes it seem like they are. It's a clever use of an existing mold and quite possibly the best choice of the Yoda molds for this particular exclusive. Even if it wasn't, we dig it a lot anyway.

And now for the obligatory comparison shot. I like this mold better in clear.

Accessories

2003 lightsaber, 2005 stand. A good mix, or it would be if Yoda could use the stand.

The lightsaber is just a paint-free version of the original lightsaber included with this figure. The stand is the same mold used for Kashyyyk and Felucia, a fungal planet from the new movie. The stand is actually pretty useless, because Yoda doesn't have any foot holes. This isn't immediately obvious from looking at the bottom of the foot, because there are indentations that at first do look like foot holes. So it's a stand you can pose Yoda on, but he can't be plugged into it. As such, another accessory would have made a heck of a lot more sense.

Packaging

New for 2005: the flaming head of Vader. With lots of Yoda photos on the back.

A more or less typical ROTS card with a special cardback featuring many shots of the CG Yoda. The front of the card has a Toys "R" Us logo and a sticker on it, so you see the TRU icon in two places. It isn't too spiffy, really, except that it is-- I really dig the fact that we're seeing the store logo on an exclusive. It makes it seem a little more special.

The actual cardback is pretty much the same as the insert, as you can see. Same basic lava template, same basic design with the same Vader graphic. It's a good design but we'll be ready for something new when Hasbro has it ready to go.

Availability

It should be everywhere on April 2, 2005-- or April 10, depending on the store. Amazon.com sold this for $9.99, as did Toys "R" Us. It could also be had for free with a $25 purchase, but these dried up pretty quickly.

Fin

With a Holographic Leia confirmed for later this year, it's official-- Holos are the new Silver. Anakin is rumored to be on tap, and Yoda is great. Just like Palpatine. If you like the idea of this figure, this figure will make you happy. If clear sounds lame, skip it. In person it looks quite good, and some photos make the toy look better than it is while others make it look a lot worse. It'd probably be to your benefit to look at one in person prior to making a purchase.

With Leia on tap and Anakin rumored to be on the way, what else is there? Well, a Nute Gunray prototype is floating around and has probably been cancelled more times than I'd care to count. Wal-Mart "chess piece" holo Obi-Wan Kenobi and Queen Amidala were cancelled way back from Episode I, so these could still someday be good candidates for release. Some Jedi Knights & Masters are doable, as is Darth Vader, and that's really who we'd like to see at this point. That or a big Death Star holo, that'd be sweet.

Our review sample was obtained from Amazon.com in April, 2005.









 
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