Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: Star Wars Action Figure Jackpot: Vintage Darth Malgus!

I have bemoaned 2012's lack of Star Wars action figures so much of late that I've started phoning random strangers to complain about it. Store shelves are still clogged with leftovers from the Phantom Menace 3D  release and new figures are rarer than nipples on Mickey Mouse. So imagine my shock when I saw this scowling puppy on AN ACTUAL STORE SHELF!

I thought it was an action figure mirage! I had to rub my eyes, pinch myself and sling my bottle of whiskey over my shoulder. But nope... this is the real deal. Darth Malgus - the big bad from The Old Republic MMORPG -  is easily the most sought after of his wave and frequently commands ridiculously high prices on ebay. And he's a videogame character on a vintage style card! Isn't that fun/wacky? Like seeing a pig in a pair of pants! So naturally I snapped him up, plus one of his friends.

To see more of this historical find... join me after the jump!

 But before we break out Mr. Malgus I'm going to make you suffer through the other figure that I bought at the same time. This guy is also a bit of a milestone figure but for entirely different reasons.

Back when The Clone Wars animated series began collectors begged the Hasbro upper crust for realistically styled versions of the Clone Wars characters which would meld seamlessly with their existing collections. Hasbro declared, "No! Your Clone Wars figures will be in an animated style, like the cartoon, and this is the way it will be FOREVER! Now, away with you, knaves!" But Hasbro weren't telling the entire truth...

Now that the character well is getting dry (it has been a run of about 18 years after all) Hasbro have finally decided to release Clone Wars figures in the realistic movie style. We'll only get one every wave or so but it begins with Anakin Skywalker in his Clone Wars costume...

Firstly I have to reinforce that I love these vintage styled black and silver cardbacks, however, a couple of things are out of place here. The choking hazard warning feels a little out of place but I guess you have to include that seeing as how Anakin/Darth Vader choked a lot of people. The last thing you want is a three-year-old opening this guy up and then Anakin mistakes him/her for a threat/youngling/ewok and starts choking the shit out of them. That only has to happen once before you earn a warning sticker.

The other odd thing is that Sir Hayden Christensen never wore the outfit of the film so skilled ILM magic-weavers have crudely pasted his head onto this body in Photoshop. I guess that this is something that's going to haunt them with all these figures. And the next one to be released will be Ahsoka.

Anyway, I'm aged 4 or over so let's crack him out of there...

And there you have it. Not a huge amount to him. He has a soft-goods skirt and a lot of articulation, which are good things, but I think his face sculpt is a little soft. I'm not sure that he's particularly Haydeny or especially Christenseny. He has a bit of a "some guy" look about him. And I think the hairstyle looks especially goofy here, kind of like he's older. It makes you realise that the Clone Wars animated Anakin head is really quite a lot better. 

I think that the biggest problem is that he looks too neutral... there's no real attitude or determination to this face expression. It's more, "Hey it's cool, whatever, I'm easy" than, "I HATE YOU AND I KILLED SOME CHILDREN!!"

He is packed with his ignited lightsaber and a separate, unlit, lightsaber hilt but it doesn't have a peg to clip into his belt like they usually do. Sleeping on the job, Hasbro!

So Anakin is clearly the lesser of the two figures I bought, but I'm still glad they're finally exploring the series. There are so many great characters like Cad Bane and Pre Visla and Embo that I'd like to see make this transition.

Okay, I promised you Darth Malgus, so that's what you're going to get. As I stated, he's from The Old Republic videogame - just in case you're angered as to why you didn't spot him in A New Hope. He's basically Ye Olde Timey Vader as the game takes place thousands of years before the movies.

Malgus is packed with a giant, removable soft-goods cloak, however, it doesn't fit on him too well, the hood billows about like a wizard's sleeve!

There's a thick, curved wire at the base of the hood which is supposed to grasp around his shoulders and keep the cloak attached. It really doesn't work too well as his armoured shoulders are slippery and the cloak is quite heavy. I imagine that most people will probably prefer to display him without it:

And there he is! He's actually a pretty great figure. He's bulky so much of his articulation is wasted and he feels a little stiff (I wasn't able to get him to hold his lightsaber in both hands due to his huge shoulders and chest piece) but I'm going to display him standing there menacingly, not doing callisthenics. 

The head-sculpt is nice and detailed and check out his unusual/fancy lightsaber hilt:

This guy is definitely the star of the wave and I can see why he's the most coveted. Now he can join forces with all my other crazy non-movie Darths like Darth Malak, Darth Nihulus, Darth Talon, Darth Corncob, Darth Pajama-Jeans, and Darth Scarecrow-in-a-Top-Hat.

The rest of this wave were present in store, but at crazy Australian prices I wasn't going to pick up any more that the ones I really wanted. But for the record the west of the wave are: Luke Skywalker in his Hoth duds, the Imperial Navy Commander with his black lampshade helmet, and the 35,000th version of Darth Vader. I couldn't even tell you what's different about the new Vader. I'm going to guess: functioning underwear.

So after months of nothing I am back in the game! Have you had any luck?

1 comment:

  1. I picked up Nom Anor and Darth Malgus within a week apart - Dart Malgus just 2 days ago. They're beautiful figures. Never EVER thought I'd see them in person. Just happy I don't have to resort to purchasing these guys for outlandish prices on eBay.