Lobot
Hasbro
Released July 2004
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on July 7, 2004

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When Hasbro released this figure in 1998, it was one of the few times fans collectivly looked and said "try again." Lobot has been revised in a nice, normal pose with lots of articulation to allow him to gesture and be posed in a few different ways, instead of some truly odd action pose that was hard to pinpoint during POTF2.

This figure is packaged with a removable cyborg implant, and also has a comlink, base, and datapad.

Sculpt/Articulation/Gimmicks/Paint

While some fans would rather have a root canal than see a slot on the release schedule filled by another revised version of a figure they own, this is one of those times fans probably won't be complaining too much.


One of the first things you may notice is that the colors are different from the 1998 release, and the head sculpt is very different too.



While the original figure was priased for a great looking headsculpt, it seems Hasbro decided to go ahead and do a new one-- with mixed results. The resulting figure looks much younger than the photographs with fewer wrinkles and darker eyebrows, but it isn't a bad headsculpt. There's not a lot of detail you can put into a bald guy who doesn't do anything but blink, so with the given resources, I'd say Hasbro did well.

While not spectacular, the outfit and body sculpt is quite good. The colors seem to be more accurate to the character in the movie, and the costume isn't exactly what you would call ornate. The wrinklies in the pants and shirt are better than those of the last release, but you can only make grey pants so exciting. That said, Hasbro did an excellent job making sure everything looks better, and that the fabric hangs just so. The belt has some added deco n it this time around, and overall, this figure is sculpted to make a much better toy and diorama piece than the 1998 Lobot.

Paint is lacking, mostly because he doesn't need it. Aside from his shoes, belt, and head, the figure is molded in color. This results in a much cleaner looking figure with little in the way of stray paint, and of course, this is a plus. The vintage release had painted hands, and the fleshy paint often bled over onto the wrists during the ESB production run of the figure. So, kudos to Hasbro on molding the hands in flesh color.

This, of course, brings us to articulation. While the figure isn't brimming in joints, he does have the basic six points of articulation plus cut joints at the wrists and elbows which allow him to have his arms at 90 degree angles. This is good for a variety of functions, such as holding his datapad. Laptop. Whatever. Accessories

This set includes the traditional stand, a comlink, and a datapad. Also featured here is the removable cybernetic implant.

The base is nothing new. It serves its purpose.

The comlink, I believe, is true to the film, but I don't have reference handy to check. Sure, it looks like a meat thermometer, but it's painted nicely and does resemble some communications devices in the trilogy. The original comlink with the 1998 Lobot looked downright odd, so this one is acceptable.

The datapad is basically a little laptop, and looks pretty nifty. You can see a purple image of the Cloud City on it, and Hasbro sculpted tons of keys on the keyboard. A lot of work went into such a small accessory, and this is great to see for a change.

When it comes to the implant, the words "missed opportunity" come to mind. The electronic piece is molded in clear plastic, and it looks like Hasbro intended to make it so light could pass through "lights," which are unpainted on the figure's electronic components. Problem is, the sculpt has nowhere for light to pass through it, and as such the painted lights on the 1998 version are significantly more vibrant than this release. If Hasbro wanted to put an LED inside the head so when you push down on it, it lit up or something, OK, that makes sense. As the final product stands, having a clear, removable cybernetic implant is just kind of odd because it looks like the lights are out. Making it a separate piece, though, was an excellent move so this way customizers would have a great bald head on which to build if they were so inclined.

Packaging

Ladies and genltemen, boys and girls, behold. This is it. This is the cardback you've wanted from the start.


There's a lot to the packaging, surprisingly. The double-border is just like the original Kenner packaging, and the black background is also very similar to the old toys. Also, the font of the name plate is similar to (if not the same as) the old days. Beyond that, there aren't a lot of similarities to the old days. Instead of a big photo, there's a background showcasing the environment that character belongs in. The Cloud CIty Walkway is an appropriate choice, and is much better than having him floating out in the gassy clouds of Bespin.

The back of the card is completely new, but quite colorful and striking. It's a departure from the past few years, but it's a welcome improvement and something I'd like to see more of in the future.

The nameplate for the figures is a sticker, and the plastic bubble is grooved so it fits snuggly in place and won't be off-center. Customizers will probably have a field day with this packaging, as there are a lot of generic elements you can easily change out andcreate a package that's very specific to your tastes.

Availability

As of today, this figure is just becoming available in the USA, but looking at future assortments he should be really easy to get and shipping for a good long time.

Fin

You could do worse than a new Lobot. The figure's neat, fun to pose, and looks better than the old Lobots-- which, alone, should make it a worthy purchase. If Hasbro were planning another Lobot down the road, I'd say to wait and see on this one, but I can't see much you could really do to improve this figure, so go ahead and snag it. You won't be sorry.

This is one of those rare no-brainer purchases. If you see it, buy a couple.

Our sample was obtained from some guy in June 2004.









 
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