I finally got the most recent wave of Hasbro’s 6-inch Star Wars Black figures, but before I can dig into it, I have some unfinished business with the assortment case of the line’s first Deluxe Wave, which consisted of two Biker Scouts and one Jabba the Hutt. I bought the case because I really wanted a couple of Biker Scouts and I thought they were going to be as tough to get at reasonable prices as the Stormtroopers. Surely people would be troop building these things too, right? The result was sucking down a 6-inch scale Jabba the Hutt figure that I didn’t really want so I could get the two Scouts and Bikes at MSRP. That probably wasn’t such a bright idea, seeing as how the Biker Scout and Speeder Bike are readily available right now on Amazon for $5 under retail and free shipping. Oh well, as they say hindsight is 20-20.
Of course, when I said Jabba was a figure I didn’t really want, I should clarify that I didn’t want the figure in this incomplete form. The bland and boring window box grants a great look at the figure inside and confirmation of what we all already knew… the figure is the only thing inside. Hasbro couldn’t even be bothered to illustrate the cardboard tray with the backdrop of his palace printed on it. Now before you say, “well you should have paid extra to get the SDCC version,” I’ll kindly point out that as far as I’m concerned that one was incomplete too. Sure, it came with the hookah pipe and Salacious Crumb, but as far as I’m concerned this figure never should have been released without a plastic dais. But hey, at this point I’m just stating the obvious and probably preaching to the choir. So let’s open up this box and check out this slimy piece of worm-ridden filth.
I was expecting a giant chew toy and that’s pretty much what the lower half of Jabba’s body is. It’s hollow, static, and if you squeeze it you can hear air escaping from around the neck cut. The figure does, however, have a nice heft to it, most of which comes from the head. In terms of sculpt and paint I will certainly concede that Jabba looks outstanding. The body is literally covered with creases, ridges, suckers, and folds of flesh. The coloring is a mix of green and tan and also looks fantastic. Even the tattoo on his right arm is present, both sculpted and painted onto the figure.
The head looks exceptionally good. A lot of pictures I saw early on showed the mouth more open, we’ll get to that in a sec, but in hand the only issue I have with the likeness is the eyes. The way the eyes of the actual Jabba puppet looked still amazes me every time I watch Jedi and this figure doesn’t convey that at all. I think Jabba’s peepers are begging for a clear coat of glossy paint to bring them to life. But hey, it’s not like this is a $40 premium collector figure… oh wait, yes it is.
But maybe those couple of dabs of paint didn’t cost out in production because Hasbro was too busy pumping a needless play gimmick feature into this thing. When you move the arms up and down at the shoulder the mouth opens and closes. If you go back to my review of the SWB 6-inch scale R2-D2, you’ll find a rant about how I think these play gimmicks have no place in collector line like this one and I’ll echo those sentiments here: I think these play gimmicks have no place in a collector line like this one. There. Yes, I’m actually kind of impressed at the way the soft rubber waddle under his chin moves with the mouth, but this is money that could have been spent on other things, like putting a wire in his tail and making it poseable, or… oh, I don’t know… packing Salacious Crumb and the hookah pipe into the regular retail release. I’ll also point out that while it’s nice they actually sculpted a tongue into his mouth, the lack of any convincing paintwork in the mouth kind of kills the effect for me.
Thankfully Jabba’s arms still have shoulder articulation thanks to some ridiculously loud ratcheting joints. You also get rotating hinges in both the elbows and the wrists. The head also rotates, but the paint pattern is very specific about having Jabba’s head facing in one direction. You can turn it and put him in his “walking” pose from that terrible “Special Edition” added scene, but it looks off because the paint doesn’t match up.
So, I am going to toss Hasbro just a little bit of slack on this set. Now that I have the figure in hand, I get a good sense of just how big the dais would have to be to accommodate him. It would be pretty huge. An even if they made it rotocast, it would add a significant amount of plastic and cost to this set. But even if it doubled the price of the set, I would have been all in for a complete 6-inch scale Jabba at $80 if it was a complete set. Other than whining about what’s not in the box, I’ll say that this is a pretty nice looking figure and as much as I love the Walmart Exclusive 3 3/4” scale Deluxe Jabba set I do believe that Hasbro took advantage of the scale here to make what is overall a better looking figure. Sure, there’s room for improvement, most notably the paint on the eyes, a poseable tail, and getting rid of the stupid gimmick, but all in all I’m satisfied with the final product. But without the proper accoutrements, I have no idea where or how I’ll ever display him. Actually, I do have a few ideas…
The first experiment will be taking six VHS tapes and covering them in stone patterned contact paper. Then I’m going to try to find some small lion head cabinet or drapery fixtures for the front and maybe some scraps of cloth for the top. If that doesn’t work, I may just go to a garden shop and try to buy a stone brick.