Thursday, August 19, 2010

Death Watch

I'm not a huge fan of the new Clone Wars cartoon on Cartoon Network. I think the show is beautiful... don't get me wrong. I think it's one of the most cutting-edge animated features on TV. I'm just not happy at all with the overt preachiness of the whole thing. They take every opportunity they can to cram some of their world-view down the viewer's throats-- that's fine if you dig it-- I don't. That's just my gripe-- it's distracting to me. Classic Star Wars was a LOT more subtle about its social commentary.

That said, one of the most enjoyable aspects of the show was the injection of Mandalorian awesome that came this last season. The introduced the Death Watch, a group of Mandalorians who wanted to return Mandalore to its warrior past directly conflicting with the (hyper-unrealistically) pacifistic leadership of the Duchess of Mandalore. The leader of the Death Watch was the governor of the moon Concordia, Pre Vizsla. For those of you who may not know it, Pre Vizsla was a baaaad dude. If you can find episodes online, try to watch the episodes The Mandalore Plot, Voyage of Temptation, and Duchess of Mandalore-- trust me... the way they handled the Mandalorians was just awesome.

Enough back story... people don't come here for TV show reviews... they want TOYS!!!

I found the Pre Vizsla figure in town last night. I've been waiting for this figure since those episodes aired. So... how is the toy? Let's find out!

This is the new packaging for the latest line of figures. Yawn. I throw packages away anyway, so this isn't really my thing. It's a pretty darn busy looking card and bubble though... a lot going on here, mostly pitching the game that you can now play with figures. You know... when I was a kid I didn't need a game to play with my figures. I wonder how much of this game thing is the company trying to pitch games because they think kids like them or because the company just wants to sell game junk. I dunno... kids are weird these days. It's not their fault... everyone else is doing their thinking for them.

The package uses a LOT of plastic. the bubble is just gargantuan. Everything that comes in the package could fit in a MUCH smaller bubble. Seeing the new vintage styled figures sitting next to these on the pegs makes me laugh... they look so much better than these. Just a tiny little bubble over to the left with a HUGE picture of the character on the right: EPIC.

I hate how they only show a few figures on the backs of packages anymore. You want to sell stuff to kids? Give them a flippin' checklist like we used to have on old-school Star wars figures. For years I had a box of old Star Wars card backs with the little pictures of the figures I wanted circled. You know what? It made me want to collect them all. Seeing 3 or 4 pictures of figures doesn't give me much idea of how many are in the series so I can COLLECT ALL THESE AWESOME CHARACTERS!!! Sheesh, Hasbro... do some darn marketing research that doesn't involve asking execs who never collected toys what they think sells toys.

So here he is in all his glory. I think he's a pretty spiffy looking figure. He has some issues, but I'll get to those in a few. You can see the parts of the game that come with him. The display stand doubles as a holder for the game card and you use the included die to roll for all of his abilities. Yawn. If anyone wants his card, stand, and die, just let me know... I don't need them. I'll mail it to you free.

Here's one of my big beefs with the figure: the cape is just horrible. It's huge and the way it's made it never wants to sit correctly. This is one of those few instances where I think a plastic molded piece would have been better. I like the fact that they're doing more fabric pieces, but this one would have benefited from being more rigid and form-fitting.

Still... he looks darn smexy with his sword and cape... when you can get it to settle on the figure properly... annoying thing...

He's a pretty darn poseable figure... this is one of the VERY few Star Wars figures with pin and post hips, so he can be posed in more dynamic stances.

See what I mean?

He has two really well-sculpted and painted blaster pistols that fit in holsters on his thighs. Nice touch!


Here's another one of my big issues with the figure... the jetpack falls off if you look at it wrong.

The back is made with this big concaved section where the jetpack is supposed to fit.

Unfortunately, the pack wasn't made with the concave section in mind, so the peg baaaarely fits into the hole on the back. I'm probably going to have to put a new, longer peg on it, which is a fairly simple procedure, but when I'm paying 8 bucks for a tiny little toy I shouldn't have to do anything to it to make it work properly. Shame on you Hasbro!

Here he is with other figures. You'll notice he's more in line with the Clone Wars cartoon figures (unless Boba Fett is just a really short dude). That makes sense... since the toy is of a character from the cartoon... duh!

All in all, this is a REALLY nice figure. It has a couple of flaws, but nothing that should prevent anyone from buying it. I wish Star Wars figures cost a couple of dollars less, but it looks like Hasbro is setting the price of 1:18 scale figures right around the 7-8 dollar mark. It's not bad when you buy one or two figures out of a line, but collecting a whole set gets pricey. I guess there isn't much to be done about it. Toy prices are going to keep going up as the costs of making them go up. I'm happy with my purchase, because it's a well-made figure that looks great and poses REALLY well.

Do I recommend the Pre Vizsla figure from the new Clone Wars figure series? Yes... yes I do!

I'm holding out hope that they'll release an animated version of Boba Fett using this mold. We need a sleek Boba Fett like this!