Star Wars Vintage Collection: General Grievous by Hasbro

I swore to myself I wasn’t going to buy any Vintage Collection figures based on the prequels and yet here we are. I really thought this was a stupid idea on Hasbro’s part to take such a great concept as the VC and sully it by shoehorning the prequel figures into retconned packaging. I still think it is. Nonetheless, I really wanted to own this Grievous figure as it looked simply amazing and leaps and bounds better than the old Grievous figure that I had in my collection. “So, who cares about the packaging anyway?”, says I to myself, “I’m just buying it for the figure.” And yet before I got to the register, I convinced myself that the packaging looked so damn good, I needed an extra to leave carded and pop into a clamshell. Kudos, Hasbro, you have defeated me again!

So, yeah. The original concept here was to give fans awesome figures based on vintage originals and mount them on the same cards as the old ones. Obviously we’re straying here, since the prequel figures aren’t vintage and they were never issued on this style cardback. Part of me wants to see this whole operation as part of Lucas’ plan to make us think that characters like Grievous were already part of the master plan when he sat down to pen the original Star Wars. Then the more rational part of me says, “just shut up and enjoy the damn toys.” And I certainly can’t argue with results. The card looks awesome. The figure looks awesome. The figure on the card looks awesome. Of course, these no longer come in clamshells, but Hasbro has conveniently provided us the opportunity to buy them online. The back panel of the card still shows Grievous in his original Revenge of the Sith packaging to compare it with the new stuff.

I’ll lay my tortured opinionw about the prequel films aside and say that General Grievous was my favorite character from the newer films. When I purged all the prequel stuff out of my collection a few years back, I still kept Grievous, although now I can pretty much discard them all, since this new figure is absolutely fantastic and skunks all the previous Grievouses in every possible way. Keep in mind, I’m not saying this figure is perfect, as there are still a few unfortunate elements at work here, but it is an outstanding figure. All of his armor plates are cast in soft plastic, so you can bend his chest plates out to reveal his chest. His armor also has a nice brushed finish to give it a realistic bone look.

The real softgoods cape is an excellent addition to the figure. It’s remarkably well crafted with the correct insignia on the back and a gorgeous red liner. It also has sewn in pouches for Grievous to store his trophy lightsbaers. I’m not usually a fan of using softgoods in figures this small, but in this case it not only looks great, but it eliminates all the poseability problems that the plastic cape added to previous releases. It actually looks like someone took a 1:6 scale accessory and shrunk it down for a 3 3/4″ figure. Plus he can easily remove it for when he wants to get down and start busting open caps of whoop ass on Jedi fools.

But like I said, this figure does still have a few issues worth noting. The use of soft bendy plastic for the legs, for example, is unfortunate. I’m totally amazed that Grievous can stand so well, but these legs are still prone to easy warping and they don’t always stay where you want them to. And then there’s the arms. While they will peg into each other, this severely limits their articulation. The figure was definitely designed with the assumption that we’re going to be keeping his arms separated most of the time, which is admittedly how I plan on displaying him anyway.

Grievous comes with a nice dose of accessories. He has his blaster, two activated lightsabers (one green and one blue), and two trophy light saber hilts, that can actually be tucked into pouches on his cape. Yeah, I said that already, but it’s such a cool feature, I had to say it again. Sadly, he does not come with a figure stand, but then none of the VC figures do. Even more sad is that his feet do not have pegholes, so you can’t even help him out with one of Hasbro’s generic Star Wars stands.

If you’re a fan of the Wheezing G-Man, I can’t recommend this figure enough. True, I fell in love with the packaging too, but if your will is stronger than mine, I still suggest you ignore the retconned packaging and get the figure anyway. Truth is, I dig him so much, I’m probably going to have to hunt down his starfighter too.

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