Monday, October 15, 2012

Revenge of the Action Figures

I photographed a lot of Star Wars Prequels figures over the weekend. They will start showing up on Action Figure Adventures along with all the other toys I post about. I first wanted to re-post this article I wrote for another site ( ) back when the third prequel movie came out. It's crazy that I wrote this right after I graduated from college, and now I've been teaching for eight years. (although the job mentioned was a summer job, while interviewing.)


Well, now that Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is a couple of months old, I figured I better get around to writing my article about the movie and its toys before they aren’t on the shelves anymore. I actually took all these pictures just a week or so after the movie came out and all these figures still had that new toy smell. Then I got a job and became a productive member of society instead of a productive pop culture internet reviewer.
Blue Lightsabers

 I am starting the review with Anakin and Obi-wan because they are the first two figures I bought from the movie. I got these figures the first day they were out, although I did not partake in Star Wars Toy Midnight Madness because I was student teaching at the time and staying up that late was out of the question. The figures look pretty good although the hair color is not really correct on either figure. Anakin’s should be darker and Obi-wan’s should be lighter. 
Anakin’s lightsaber is permanently attached to his hand, but the hand is removable and can be interchanged with an open hand or a hand holding a red lightsaber. Since he never uses a red saber in the movie I’m not so sure about that accessory. I think they went with the interchangeable hand over a normal hand and saber because a Mace Windo figure from Episode II had a similar “Light Saber Slashing” action feature that usually resulted in the weapon flying across the room never to be found again.
Obi-wan has a more traditional lightsaber/hand setup and a “Jedi Kick” action feature. I don’t think I saw him do a flip kick in the movie anywhere but the feature is kind of neat expect for it only works if you stand him on the figure stand he came with.
Neither figure is amazing; as usual both figures articulation suffers at the hand of their action feature. Since they are main characters they are hard to pass up.
Features no action
The Senate, home of many heated galactic debates, has been represented in several exciting pieces of plastic. Unlike their Jedi counterparts, none of these figures have action features. I guess it is easier to make punching and kicking features than gavel pounding and finger pointing. (Left to Right) Bail Oragan is a huge figure (is Jimmy really that tall?) compared to Palpatine and Padme (although you can’t tell from the picture). Bail and Paplatine’s plastic robes make it so they can’t sit down. I guess it is not the end of the world, but both of them have major scenes where they sit. Now that would be a great action feature, “Sits on his galactic politician ass”. It looks like Hasbro is going to follow by their long standing rule that boys will not buy toys of girl characters. They are only giving us one Padme despite her dozen or so costumes. The real reason why no one is going to buy this figure is because it is Fugly! The sculptor of this toy should be smacked. How can you make such an ugly toy of such a hot actress?
 On to some more interesting figures. General Grievous and his body guards were pretty cool in the movie, and turned into pretty good toys as well. Hasbro had me worried about the General. They put out two basic figures of him and a deluxe figure. I don’t really like to buy several figures of the same character unless they are dramatically different or are an army builder figure. I opted to get two of the three Grievous figures. They made a basic figure that had a cape and only showing off two arms. This figures torso explodes to recreate his death scene. There was also a basic figure with four light saber slashing action (pictured above) that did not have a cape. The deluxe version which is in the title picture for this review has a crappy feature that makes his two arms split into four. The deluxe figure’s coloring is a little dark based on how he looks in the movie, but has better articulation (elbow joints are a plus) and a removable cape so based on what I know now the deluxe version would have been the only one I would have purchased.
 The body guards are nothing special. They have an action feature that makes them attack with their pikes, but their plastic capes make the feature not work real well. They also have very strange hands that make it hard to remove the staffs from their hands, but at the same time do not grip the staffs hard enough to pose them well.
It might be alas something or other.

Luckily Christopher Lee’s scenes were not cut out of the final Star Wars movie like they were the last Lord of the Rings movie, but he did not do a whole lot. For having only one scene in the movie he go one of the best action figures. The articulation is great and his hands are positioned nicely so one can hold his lightsaber while the other one works well for using the force or holding a skull to recreate the famous scene from Hamlet.
Brian gave me this Palpatine who features interchangeable hands and head as well as a lightsaber slashing action. The interchangeable parts make him go from the handsome lightsaber wielding Chancellor Palpatine to the disfigured force lightning throwing Emperor Palpatine. If you give him his disfigured hands and position his arms right his action feature makes him clap nicely.
There's a moon out tonight
Here is a bunch of figures I bought in an effort to own most of the main characters. Little did I know they would barely be in the movie. I knew they would die, but I thought Vader would hunt them down and kill them resulting in some cool fights and perhaps a chance to get to know the characters a little more. Instead they get shot in the back, and most of them don’t even have a single line in the movie. As a side not Ki-Adi-Munda the Jedi with the penis shaped head is nicely articulated and probably the figure most worthwhile as far as purchases go.
Wookie rage vs Battle droid
  It’s almost a wonder that they needed Yoda’s help to win that fight in the movie. This massive wookie figure, that has the thickest limbs I’ve ever seen on a small action figure, came packaged as a bonus with a clone speeder bike. In an attempt to keep my Droid army growing I picked up a Battle Droid, Destroyer Droid (Not Pictured) and a Super Battle Droid. The basic battle droid is the same mold as the Episode II version of the character. It’s a good sculpt, but because of how thin his legs are they tend to warp and bend easily making it impossible to stand him up. The Destroyer droid is less articulated than the awesome episode I incarnation, but features missiles that fire from his guns (if you are into the forced play feature Hasbro likes to include with figures “cause the kids like ‘em”). The Super Battle Droid had an interchangeable regular arm and giant spring loaded missile firing canon.
He wants a hug. I mean...Just wants a hug, he does.

  Next up is Yoda and R2D2. Yoda comes with a giant wookie crossbow that I never saw him shoot in the movie, a little lightsaber, and a plastic robe. Once you get the robe off it is easy to se how well articulated this figure is. I had him in some great Kung Fu poses, too bad I didn’t have a picture of that. As for R2, if you have just about any other versions of him don’t bother with this one. He comes with his little rocket boosters and a giant robot hand that can stick out of the top of his head, but I’m generally unimpressed with the toy.
Boss Hogg be sittin' pretty.
  I saved the best for last. The figures that make up the Grand Army of the Republic are some of my favorite toys. Starting on the left we have the clone pilot. He is a preview/throwback to the AT-AT Driver from the original trilogy. Not a bad figure, but I wish his eyes had been sculpted and he had a clear visor instead of painted plastic. Next comes the Clonetroopers with “Quick Draw” action. Awesome figures, in fact my favorite Episode III figures I own. I have picked up two more since I took this picture. Yeah, they have an action feature which I am usually against, but it’s not so bad and did not cause them to have any crappy visible buttons or horrible articulation. After the troopers comes the Clone Commander, another fine figure. I just recently picked up my second one. He has a cool visor that flips down, two pistols with working holsters and a large rifle. Unfortunately like most figures with capes, skirts, or robes his legs are about worthless. Finally we get to the Clone Speeder bike similar to the ones featured in Return of the Jedi.
As a whole the Episode III figures are better articulated than all previous Star Wars figures and the action features are activated by less noticeable trigger like squeezing their legs together rather than buttons on their backs. I’m sure I will be getting more figures, and hopefully some of the larger vehicles. So don’t be surprised if there is a follow up to this article, although I make no promises.


  1. Wish I had those figures! I just started my Star Wars this year...

    1. I've got Star Wars figures from every era. I actually gave some of these guys (with weird action features) to my little cousins after more articulated versions were released.