Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review: Star Wars Vintage Collection 2011: Bastila Shan, Walrus Man, Hoth Trooper!

I'll try not to (once again) bemoan the circumstances surrounding me acquiring the three newest figures in Hasbro's 2011 vintage inspired line-up. (Long story short: I paid too much for them due to an online subscription service where, to paraphrase Lando: "This deal is getting worse all the time!"). But regardless of my woes, I do actually own these now, and although a mere three figures is a pretty meagre excuse for a "wave", they are all pretty awesome. Well.. except for... you'll see.

Join me after the jump and I'll take you on the tour - starting with my thoughts about ol' "Walrus Man". Or "Ponda Baba" as those embarrassingly in-the-know like to call him. I've always preferred "Scrotum Face" or "Mouthballs"... READ ON!

Seriously though, how magnificent and nostalgic is it to see these new vintage-styled cards. I don't care if you're now an embittered old cynic - the fact remains that if you were a child in the late seventies and/or early eighties then just seeing that packaging should make your heart grow three times in size. If you need a reminder of the original release then it is pictured on the back:

Ha ha! Check out the completely inaccurate orange leotard, blue tights and black flippers on that silly 1978 bastard! And look at his hideous ballsmouth in that original photo! Holy crap, George Lucas! It's like something out of a nightmare!

The newest figure has a far better sculpt and is much, much, much, much more screen accurate. He's packaged with his gun and a glass of space-booze. He doesn't come with a stand but I put them all on stands so I could photograph them:

All the details are pretty great although his chin-testicles are a bit sloppy. Their a flat pink colour and I wish the factory had taken the time to at least paint in some wrinkles and hairs. 

But here's the real attention to detail and screen accuracy (and a fun fact to boot!). Did you notice that in the film he actually has big flat ice cream scoop flippers for hands when confronting Luke, but then when you see his severed arm he has a more human-like hand with fingers and a thumb. CONTINUITY FAIL! But don't fret because Hasbro has your back bro! They should change their name to HASBACKBRO.

Ponda Baba is packaged with alternate hands so you can choose how to display him! They just clip into his wrist sockets like so...

Don't taze me, bro!
 And FURTHERMORE if you want to recreate his cruel dismemberment then there's also an alternate severed arm that plugs into his shoulder. Then you can display him like this:

HAHAHA! YOU POOR SONOVVABITCH! Ponda Baba is one of the most downtrodden characters in the Star Wars universe. Drink in moderation, kids!

Now we're all excited, let's calm ourselves with the least exciting figure. The Hoth trooper (snow guy)...

Not much to say about this obliviously lucky fuck who had no idea that he was about to end up on the package of an action figure. So let's talk about the promotional sticker for the mail away "prototype" Boba Fett. If you send in five proof of purchases, and some money, and are American or Canadian then they'll send you a white, unpainted Boba Fett. Zounds!

The back of the package shows that the 1980 version also elicited yawns:

That said, he's a nicely sculpted figure and you'll probably need a hundred of him for your Hoth battle diorama. He's probably the best of the (hundred) different Hoth troopers I already have:

He's also super-articulated which means you can... uh... well, do this, I guess:

Now we're talking! Work it, pal!

And last of all is my favourite of the wave, and a character that has never been made into an action figure before - mainly because she does not appear in any of the movies:

Yes! It's female jedi Bastila Shan from the brilliant classic Bioware rpg video game Knights of the Old Republic (set a thousand or two years before A New Hope)! I believe that this is also the first vintage style card to feature an "Expanded Universe" logo - Bastila Shan was chosen to be made after winning a fan's choice poll.

I have to say that I am in love with the art and look of this card. And it's a perfect specimen too, and it's unpunched at the top (it doesn't have the hole punched in so it can hang in a toy store). I don't keep my figures in packages, but I came very close to wanting to keep this one carded. If I see another I might buy it and do just that. Although I lost my resolve and tore this one open.

Here's the back though:

And here's the figure. She's cool, I like her look, but the face sculpt is a little soft for my liking - she's pretty vacant, which is a shame because the rest is great. And she has a honking big yellow double-bladed lightsaber!:

She does look better from other angles where you can see the details of her hair more clearly. She's also super articulated so she can strike some pretty cool poses. Regardless, I'll buy any Knights of the Old Republic based figures they release because I nearly married that game and I still pine for it at night...

And sadly that's it! Normally a wave would consist of six to twelve figures, but all we got were three. And it looks like a bit of a drought ahead because the next wave is mostly repackaged older figures. Sigh. What's going on Hasbro? I thought you "HAS my back, BRO!"

What do you think?


  1. I'm digging these guys designs, but your situation with the "subcription" is BS. I'd be curious as to if they would release a series of figures specifically for SW:TOR based on the game.

  2. Love this figure. It's on my list of must-haves, though I am not at all happy with her face. Looks nothing like the picture. Just glad Hasbro's done a better job of making female characters look as if they're actually females and not male cross-dressers (remember the 1995 Princess Leia)...

    1. Speaking of female figures, the Shae Vizla is one of my favourites from this year.

      I'll be reviewing all twelve figures from the recent wave with the realistic Ahsoka after Christmas too.