Merry Christmas, Toyhounds! I wasn’t planning on doing a feature today, but I was working on cleaning out the Toy Closet earlier this week and I found something that had a tenuous Christmas tie-in, so I thought I’d go ahead and take a look at it before I ship it off to my nephew. Journey back with me to ten years ago, Hasbro got the wonderful idea to release a bunch of Star Wars toys in packaging that was reminiscent of the stuff we got in the late 70’s and early 80s. It was a brilliant marketing idea, as it got middle aged people like me to buy questionable toys just because they were in packaging that tugged on our nostalgia strings. While most of this stuff catered to the 3 3/4” action figure range, they did release a few figures based off the vintage Kenner “large size” action figures. Today we’re checking out one of those… It’s Boba Fett!
There he is in the packaging. Well, partial packaging. This box actually came in a larger tray with the OTC logo on it, but I don’t have the outer packaging anymore. This box is pretty damn close to what the big Kenner figures came in, right down to that awkward flap that juts out of the side and seems to serve no purpose other than to get inadvertently bent. It has the great vintage Star Wars logo and even sports the Kenner logo too! There’s also a window to show the figure inside, which in this case might not have been the best idea. The rest of the package is loaded with awesome shots of Boba Fett in action, including one where he’s lighting you on fire with his flamethrower. Cool!
So, here’s the Christmas tie-in: When my brother and I were little we used to put up little “Charlie Brown” trees in our bedrooms at Christmas time. My parents would wait until we were asleep on Christmas Eve and put one present under each of these trees. They were smart, because it meant that when we woke up at 5am, we had something to open and keep us busy and they could sleep a little longer. One Christmas, the present under my tree was the Kenner “large size” Boba Fett and this thing was absolutely brilliant. By today’s standards it looks really lanky and it has a crazy giraffe neck, but it sported some wonderfully forward-thinking articulation that set it apart from the other five POA large size Star Wars figures. Plus he had that Six Million Dollar Man viewing lens in his head and a grapple hook and a removable jet backpack and all sorts of cool stuff. I had so much fun with that toy all by itself. I don’t think he ever even interacted with the other “large size” figures. He just went on his own adventures. When I saw this new figure in the same packaging, there was no way I wasn’t going to buy it. Unfortunately, once you look beyond the great box, the figure inside is a real mixed bag.
The biggest controversy over this release among collectors was the color of the jumpsuit. It was originally released with a blue jumpsuit and the later ones had a gray one. Some argued that the reason was to reflect the different color suits used between Empire and Return of the Jedi. The problem is that the blue jumpsuit is so damn blue that it looks nothing like the one worn in Jedi. Seriously, Hasbro might as well went with pink or plaid. It would have been just as inaccurate and awkward looking. Naturally, mine is the blue jumpsuited figure. At one point I was going to hunt down a gray one, but at the time they were selling for crazy money on the secondary market and I decided that even with the proper colored garment, I didn’t like the figure enough to throw good money after bad.
So apart from the obvious coloring of the costume, what’s wrong with this figure? Well, he has absolutely no neck, which is kind of ironic since the vintage Kenner one had way too much neck. Also, the range finder on his helmet is made out of rubbery plastic and came straight out of the box all warped and messed up. It’s such a prominent feature on the figure and it looks terrible. In fact, I think the figure would actually look better if I just ripped it off completely. Lastly, Boba has some serious problems standing up. His ankle joints are really weak and even when I can get him to stand, he just flops over a few moments later. Last, but not least, it’s almost impossible to get him to hold his rifle correctly. The stock just isn’t designed to fit his grip and into the crook of his arm. I can get it to look right in a couple of positions, but the gun is really just resting on top of his arm and not in his grip.
That’s not to say that Hasbro didn’t put some admirable work into this figure. The jumpsuit actually features working pouches with velcro flaps, which I still think is a nice detail. You even get plastic tools to slip into the pockets on his legs. The weathering on his sash looks nice and the Wookie braids are also incredibly well done. Indeed, the weathering on the armor isn’t bad either and I like the worn look of the Mandalorian emblem on his shoulder. Even the rocket sculpted into his gauntlet looks good. Boba Fett is also built on a pretty good Sixth-Scale body with lots of useful articulation, providing you can get him to stand with those week ankles.
Mr. Fett comes with his trademark carbine, which is a decent sculpt and cast entirely in black plastic with no paint apps at all. His jetpack is also removable, but it’s just a static piece of plastic. The thrust nozzles on the bottom aren’t articulated and the rocket doesn’t come out. It also feels like it’s missing paint apps. The coloring on the rest of Fett’s armor looks about right, but the jetpack needs more red.
At about $30 when it was first released, this guy was probably priced about right. I believe Hasbro had some 12-inch Joes on the shelves around that time closer to the $20 mark, but I’m not sure that they featured the same level of complexity to the costume. Plus, Hasbro was clearly marketing these figures as premium collectibles. Honestly, if my Fett had the gray jumpsuit and his range finder wasn’t warped beyond help, I would probably be keeping this figure and possibly even displaying him, but as he is I really have no use for him. While he may fail as a collectible, I think he would make for a pretty fun toy for kids, so hopefully my nephew can get some enjoyment out of him. I didn’t buy a lot of these “large size” OTC figures, but I do have one more that I will likely be looking at next week. Also, if you stopped by today expecting to find Transformers Thursday, fear not, I just bumped it to tomorrow. Hope you all have a great Christmas and I’ll see you on the flipside!