All in all I’ve been pretty good about keeping my vow to kick collecting Star Wars. In the past couple of years the only Star Wars toys I’ve picked up were the Legacy Millenium Falcon and a set of figures I found clearanced at Ross. This year, I knew I’d be slacking back on that a little bit because of some of the great stuff shown off at Toy Fair. I know I will be picking up most of the vintage carded figures, that marvelous AT-AT (already pre-ordered), and a few other things. So, its probably that sense of impending doom that has made me spend a little more attention to what’s in the Star Wars section of the toy aisles these days. As a result, on my last trip to Toys R Us I spotted Zuckuss on the pegs and decided I needed him. They were doing a “buy one get one half off sale,” so I also picked up another figure too, but we’ll save that one for another time. Among the odds and ends that I kept when I sold off my Star Wars collection were the bounty hunters, so adding an updated Zuckuss to that cadre seemed like a good idea. I should note they also had two really sweet looking Force Unleashed multi-packs. I was really tempted, but maybe next time.
Since its been a really long time since I last bought a carded Star Wars figure, this is my first experience with the new packaging. Overall, I like it. Its clean, compact and it shows the figure off very well. The position of the character art and name on the package makes it fairly easy to look through the pegs to see who’s hiding. The back panel has a little blurb on the character and a window to see what Build A Droid part you’re getting. My Zuckuss came with a leg for a figure which I am certain I will never, ever complete. Oh yeah, Darth Maul’s mug is stickered on the package. Jesus, does he have to get his picture on everything?
The last time I owned a figure of this character it was the vintage Kenner release back when he was called 4-LOM (and 4-LOM was called Zuckuss). I remember he was a mail away figure and when I got him I had no idea what role he was going to play in the movie so I played with him as if he was a good guy. Little did I know that not only would he be a villain, but he’d only have about two nano-seconds of screen time. Of course, since then, there’s been a shit load of backstory retconned to this guy in comics and novels and everything else.
Hasbro has continued to get better and better with many of their Star Wars figure sculpts. Zuckuss here is definitely on par with the quality of figures that were being released in the premium VOTC line several years back. The insectoid head sculpt is excellent and has two hoses that run from his breathing appartus on his backpack. I was delighted to find that I could unplug the backpack as well as the hoses from his face. Actually, I think he might die without that, so I put it back on pretty quickly. His robes are mostly sculpted in plastic, although he does have a softgoods skirt. Yes, that creates a disconnect between the plastic and cloth, but I still dig it as it frees up the leg articulation. I particularly like the fact that this figure represents the character’s short stature.
The articulation on this little guy is excellent. He has ball joints in the shoulders, elbows and knees. His legs are jointed at the hips and his ankles are hinged. He also has a swivel cut in his waist and his head is ball jointed. For an extra that just stood in the background of a short scene, you can finally let your imagine run wild and make Zuckuss the action star that he was born to be!
Zuckuss comes with his blaster carbine and… what?? Where’s the stand? I seriously cannot believe that Hasbro stopped putting figure stands in the packages. Obviously, I’ve been away for a while, but this to me is a no brainer. They have the molds made, how much could it cost to stamp those things out? I don’t even care if its personalized. Luckily I have plenty of generic clear disc stands lying around, so Zuckuss need not go standless, but seriously, Hasbro, bring back the stands.
I’m coming to grips with the fact that collecting Star Wars figures is something that was seeded into me at such a young age and had such a profound effect on my childhood that I will never be free of it. Zuckuss here is a great example of that. He’s little more than window dressing in the movie and yet I love this figure so much. He’s just a badass little bug dude that is ready to pursue his quarry across the universe. What does he do with his all the bounty money he earns? Does he drink fine booze and smoke expensive cigars? Does he buy expensive cars and bug-hookers? I don’t know, but between this little figure and my warped imagination… by god, I’m going to find out!