Friday, February 10, 2012

Let's Review a Few More New Phantom Menace Figures!

Phantom Menace hype has probably completely run its course by now, as disgruntled, whining fans all over the world have had their opportunity to relive the film in eye-licking 3D. Personally, I was a little underwhelmed by the experience, but it didn't stop me from perking up earlier today when I encounter a massive Star Wars action figure display.

Now, part of me (probably my brain) feels like a bit of a dope for buying new versions of some of these characters, especially when I overindulged on them all in 1999. But the thing is that the new versions are so much better in terms of sculpting, articulation and accessories that it's difficult to resist the urge to upgrade. That's how they get you, folks, and my constant donations ensure that George Lucas is always stocked up on the finest of flannel shirts.

I picked up four of them today, and they weren't without their surprises. Join me after the jump and I'll tell you exactly how it is!

Okay, so it's impossible to resist a Darth Maul on a vintage style card. It's an incredibly bizarre juxtaposition, sort of like seeing a dog wearing a pair of pants. Your mind goes, "WHAAAA???!?!" 

I already have about 35,000 Darth Maul's but surely this one is way better, right? He's got better paint, a better face, and lots of fancy articulation so he can flip around like a maniac slashing wildly at people. His tattered cloak and hood are removable so you can show him off like this:

And it's kind of cool that his blade splits into two separate blades PLUS (there's more!?) he also comes with an unignited hilt that clips onto his belt. Or, if you do want to cloak and hood him up you can also display him with his Nintendo 65 controller binoculars, like so...

He is a very versatile Maul for me, the very versatile man on the go!

So that was the good one. Now here are the embarrassing ones...

YIPPEE! It's Baby Vader Jnr! The funny thing is (I mean funny as in "peculiar" - you won't laugh at this), a couple of years ago when I met Anakin Jr. actor Jake Lloyd at a con, I told him that I owned a ton of figures of him but don't remember buying them. Like, I didn't intend to own a dozen child Anakins, but yet somehow, strangely have ended up that way. Like they're multiplying overnight. I said to him, "That probably sounds a little weird, right?" And he agreed with me.

So here's another one, but once again, it's so much better than the one I had previously. This is the padawan version of Anakin from the very end of Phantom Menace and the old version was covered in a brown plastic coat that looked like a hard chocolate shell. This one is far more accurate and is super articulated for... um... spinning? That's a good trick!

But what really sold me on this dapper little nugget is that he also comes with Baby's First Lightsaber and his padawan training helmet and ball. We never saw baby Anakin train in the films, but now I can act it out on my filthy carpet like so:


Heavy is the head that wears a huge frigging training helmet.

OK, you didn't like that one so much, but bear with me because this one's pretty great. It's the evil, shrouded phantom menace himself, Darth Sidious...

He's pretty spooky right, and also comes with both a lit and unlit lightsaber and cloth robes...

But this is where the real surprise kicks in! This is totally a SPOILERZ edition. Because if you take off his cloak and hood...

"Heeeeeeey. Forgeedaboudit!"
HOLY CRAP! Darth Sidious is Senator Palpatine?! Did you guys see that coming? What a scheming son of a bitch! This totally changes everything. He kind of looks a bit like Bill Murray. No? Maybe just a little.

And finally:

It's yet another version of Padme Amidala!

And this one does absolutely nothing but stand rigidly still and look a little fat about the face.

BUT there was a bonus. Thanks to a current promotion, my purchase of these four figures entitled me to a free...

Darth Vader mask! Look forward to me photographing this on a model in the future!

And that was my Phantom Menace shopping adventure. Now, I know you didn't buy any of this stuff, so why don't you use the comments section to cry about Greedo shooting Han first instead!?

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