When I unloaded the bulk of my Star Wars collection a few years back one of the few things that really bothered me was letting go of all my figures from Jabba’s Palace. I had almost all of them and no matter what, even when I was phasing out of Star Wars, I always had this part of my collection display on a shelf, huddled around my 2004 Saga Collection Ultra Jabba. When the Great Liquidation came, some lucky SOB got to take the whole thing away in one fell swoop on Ebay, but I got a really good price and everyone was happy. Every now and then rumors would come out about Habsro making a new Jabba and throne and I really hoped that wasn’t going to happen, because it meant that a) I would buy it, and b) I would have to rebuild my whole collection of Jabba’s denizens again. Well now it happened. Shit.
The packaging is a simple box with a window to show off the Oola figure. It’s colorful, it looks nice, but I just really don’t like getting Original Trilogy toys in Clone Wars themed boxes. Slide out the tray inside and you see Jabba, his throne and a couple baggies of parts. What’s missing? I think Hasbro missed out on a great opportunity to include one of those “package converts to a diorama” gimmicks that they’ve been doing with Star Wars and GI JOE lately. A cardboard backdrop for this set would have been really awesome.
So, let’s start with loathesome worm gangsta himself. I absolutely love this Jabba sculpt! It seems unfair to pick on the vintage one, but so far all the Jabbas that have come and gone have all seemed a little off. Not quite right. Kinda meh. This one really nails the character really well, particularly the face, complete with droopy eye and all. Jabba is admittedly a bit on the smallish side, but not so much that it spoils the figure. At least not for me. I good portion of Jabba’s body is hollow, so he doesn’t have the heft that some collectors might have hoped for, but it holds a very detailed sculpt and the rubbery style makes him feel creepy and real. If you scrutinize the sculpt, you can see all kinds of cool little details, like suckers along his body, a scar on his tail, and even the little tattoo on his right arm.
Jabba’s got some decent articulation for this style of figure. His head rotates, his shoulders have universal joints, and his elbows are hinged. Swivels in the wrists would have been welcome, but are not included. He also has a poseable tail… at least according to the package. Unfortunately, the whole poseable tail thing isn’t happening. There’s supposed to be a bendy wire in there that holds the tail into whatever position you put it in, but it just doesn’t work at all. I can get a few slight variations, but ultimately, Jabba’s tail just keeps sticking straight out. Not really a big deal for me, but it would have been nice to be able to curl it around so that it’s all on the throne and not hanging over the side.
Of course, the 2004 Saga Collection Jabba didn’t come with a throne, so this is the first time I’ve had a complete Jabba and throne since owning the vintage one as a kid. My last Jabba had to suffer the indignity of reclining on a couple of stacked video tapes with a piece of cloth draped over them. Yeah, it was ghetto. It’s really awesome to have a proper throne again, and Hasbro did a great job designing and sculpting this one. The prison gimmick we saw in the vintage throne is gone. I’ll admit, I always thought that was a cool, albeit inaccurate, play feature. [It was also a pretty horrible concept, because the obvious torment was that the prisoner would be stuck down there while Jabba farts and shits on you all day. Yikes! Seems like Han got off easy just getting frozen in carbonite. -FF] The new throne has a really nice stone appearance, complete with sculpted gargoyle heads running across the front. It’s also on wheels, so you can roll it forward and backwards.
Instead of sculpting all the doodads onto the throne, Hasbro included it all as accessories. I love this idea, since it gives you some options to customize the throne if you want. The set comes with two baggies of throne stuff, which includes eight colored pillows, a filthy rag to drape over the side, his bong, armrest and hose, and Salacious Crumb. The Salacious Crumb figure is pretty small, but he is actually articulated in his arms and legs.
You also get Jabba’s green Orion Twi’lik slavegirl Oola. The one he had before she became Rancor Chow and he upgraded to Leia. This is a brand new figure, which is a huge improvement over the old POTF2 version in a lot of ways. She has a softgoods style net outfit as well as a really long string attached to her neck collar. She also sports really good articulation, including a balljointed neck, her arms have universal joints in the shoulders, balljoints in the elbows and swivel cuts in the wrists. Her legs rotate at the hips and have ball joints in the knees and hinged ankles.
The price of the set weighs in at just under $40. Is it a good deal? Well, you do get a lot of stuff, and while I’ve heard more than my share of collectors’ bitching about one thing or another, I think Hasbro did a fine job on this one. Still, it definitely feels a bit on the pricey side, especially if you have ot pay the $10+ more that it seems to be going for on Ebay. And therein lies my only real complaint with this set. I would tend to consider this one a must buy for any Star Wars figure collector and as such, it should never in a million years have been a limited, exclusive release. That was just wrong. And while your experience my vary, I’ve found that Walmart’s exclusives are the hardest to get a hold of, which makes the insult even worse. The fact that I own this set is just because I happened to be diligent enough to check the site every day and got lucky.