Star Wars: Pirate Speeder Bike with Cad Bane by Hasbro

As soon as I saw this set, I knew I was going to have to buy it. No, I’m not a big fan of the Clone Wars series (I just can’t get past those goofy, stylized character designs), although I’ve seen most of it. As a result, I’ve never been tempted to buy any of the figures until Cad Bane came along. I love Westerns. I love Clint Eastwood. When you mix those things together with Star Wars to create a Bounty Hunter character, you’ve pretty much got me hooked. Make a figure of him bundle it with a cool Speeder Bike and my money is yours, Hasbro.

The packaging is a sort of hybrid between a window box and a pegged cardback. It shows off the figure and vehicle nicely and it converts to a little backdrop diorama too, which is always a nice touch. I don’t find a lot of appeal in the Clone Wars packaging artwork. It just seems too confused and busy, but then it’s hanging on the pegs next to the vintage style stuff, so it’s hardly a fair comparison. Either way, this packaging is serviceable. Let’s start off with the figure.

Ah, Cad Bane. Even his ridiculous name works for me, although it makes me wonder how long it will be until Lucas just gives up his thinly veiled names completely and introduces a character named Jerk Badguy or Nast E. Douchebag. Either way, Bane’s character design is an obvious homage to the classic American Western icon. He is the Star Wars equivalent of The Man With No Name right down to his wide brimmed hat and dual pistol belt. Maybe there’s more Lee Van Cleef in him than Clint Eastwood, but either way I’m surprised he’s not wearing a poncho. Maybe I can find my Hawkbat figure and make him one. Seriously, the only thing missing here is a tiny little cheroot hanging out of the corner of his mouth. The other thing I like about this figure is that it is sculpted to fit in just fine with the non-cartoony Star Wars figures in my collection. Try doing that with the Clone Wars version of Count Dooku!

Bane is designed to fit perfectly on the Speeder Bike, and yet apart from a slightly wide stance, nothing was sacrificed for it, as he is a great stand alone figure too, with excellent articulation. His hat is removable, as is his shoulder bag. His blasters fit into his belt holsters too. He’s got all sorts of controls and gadgets sculpted onto his arm bracers and he’s even got the jets on his legs that he used to fly around in the show. They did a good job recreating his character, but not making it overly stylized and cartoony. Like I mentioned earlier, this guy will fit in with regular Star Wars figures quite nicely.

The Speeder Bike is really cool. I’m pretty sure this one has been released before, but it is new to me. It has a nice chopper-style front stablizer, seats for two figures, and a clip on the back to hold Cad’s blaster carbine (also included). There are also twin blasters that can flip out of the rear stablizers to give it some firepower. Bane sits on the bike really well, and the pedals have pegs to help keep him seated if you are so inclined to zip him around the room on it.

In addition to the figure and vehicle, you also get a figure stand, a game card and a six-sided dice. These trappings are for the new card battle type game gimmick that Hasbro launched with their 2010 Star Wars figures. The idea is you plug the card into the stand, you face it off against another figure and its card, you roll the dice add up some numbers and see who wins. Sounds fun, right? How did I ever manage to play with figures when I was a kid without this ridiculous convaluted system? I guess video games, Pokemon and Yugioh have robbed kids of all the remnants of imagination so this sort of thing is necessary now. At least the gimmick doesn’t detract from the toys at all, and the stand is still perfectly serviceable.

This set cost $15.99 at Walmart and I think it was a pretty good deal. I’m not sure what the centerpiece of this set is supposed to be, the figure or the bike. I’m guessing it’s the bike since that’s what’s stressed in big letters on the package. I’ll confess, I bought it mainly for the figure, since I haven’t seen him carded alone yet, but the bike was a really nice bonus too.

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