Star Wars “The Empire Strikes Back” 40th Anniversary Boba Fett Sixth-Scale Figure by Hot Toys

It surprises even me that I’ve been able to go this long without adding a Hot Toys Boba Fett to my collection. Sure, I do have a Sideshow Fett, but that’s a review for another time. Truth be told, I try to be very selective about which Original Trilogy characters I pick up as Hot Toys, because otherwise it can be a damned slippery (and expensive) slope to fall down. Up until now I’ve been able to resist the parade of pricey Bobas that have been released, but then this fellow came out of left field and I found him to be totally irresistible. So what’s different about him? Well for one he’s got a bright, beautiful, and totally inaccurate Kenner-inspired deco. And secondly, the packaging is absolutely killer! And hell, it’s goddamn Boba Fett!!! Even with his mug plastered on every kind of conceivable merchandising over the decades, even with countless action figure releases, I’ve never once had a case of The Fett Fatigue. It seemed only right that he should be honored in my collection by Hot Toys. At least until I get up enough of the crazies to get a Life Size one!

And here’s that delectable packaging, and boy is that rare for Hot Toys these days. Every now and then they produce some nice packaging for a Deluxe, like they did for Doctor Strange or for Jyn Erso, but for the most part the figures ship in glorified flimsy window boxes with even flimsier sleeves over them. The artwork is usually nice, but that’s about it. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even justify keeping most of the boxes any longer. Fett here does come in a window box, but it’s made of sturdier stuff and is designed to be reminiscent of the kind of packaging Kenner used for their old 12-inch figures. Of course, this spectacular presentation is in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back. The artwork of Fett on the front looks like it was ripped right off the old Kenner box and everything else falls in line too. It’s got the starfield, the silver borders, everything that used to get me excited when I tore off the wrapping paper on Christmas morning and saw it peeking out. Not only am I keeping this box, but it’s very likely that I will display the figure in it.

Boba doesn’t require too much set up to get him ready for display. You do have to attach his jetpack, which is a little challenging, as it hooks onto the tiny clips on his back. MAGNETS, HOT TOYS! You’ve used them before, why not now? You also have to insert his little tools into his leg pouches, but that’s really it. I am assuming this figure is a straight repaint of Hot Toys’ previous Boba from The Empire Strikes Back, but I don’t have that figure to compare, so I’ll just have to stick with that assumption. And so despite being a mere recolored variant, he’s an entirely new figure to me! And boy does he look great! The brighter intensified colors really invoke that old vintage Kenner magic and it looks quite stunning on a figure this realistically detailed. The jumpsuit has all the usual immaculate tailoring that I’ve come to expect from Hot Toys, and I’m particularly in love with how the chest armor is actually made up of separate pieces of plastic and independently attached to the vest. It may seem like a small touch, but it makes these pieces shift realistically in a way that I’ve yet to really see on a Fett figure before. The weathering on the armor has taken a step back in exchange for this color scheme. You still get some pock marks and dents, but even these are painted in a brighter silver to make the figure pop. Interestingly, they went for a more subdued paint job for the body of the jetpack, instead of the deco on Kenner’s old 12-inch figure, but I do like how the silver thrusters and the bright red rocket makes it pop.

Some beautiful touches include the tattered cape that cascades off the back of his left shoulder, the Wookie braids coiled on his right shoulder, the leather pouches on his belt, a hard-shell pistol holster positioned just behind his right hip, and I already mentioned the little tools that fit into the pockets on his lower legs. There’s also some wonderful detail on his gauntlets. If I’m nitpicking, my only real gripe would be that his arms seem a little too thin and it feels like they could have wrapped them to fill out the sleeves a little better, but even that is only something I tend to notice when I’m posing him in certain ways. Beefing out the arms a little bit would also make the bracers more snug. The right gauntlet has a piece of tubing tha ttucks up into the sleeve of his jumpsuit, and the left one has the flamethrower, rocket, and other bits and bobs.

By now Hot Toys must know their way around Fett’s helmet backwards and forwards, so it doesn’t surprise me that it looks this good. The vintage coloring gives the helmet a gray finish with no weathering on the red paint around the high gloss visor. Despite the giant dent in the dome, and some traces of light weathering on the cheeks, the deco gives the helmet something approaching a new look, that we seldom get to see. Although the stripes on the left side of the dome are still painted in a faded manner. The range finder is articulated, and the post is made of firm plastic so it won’t bend or warp. It will, however, no doubt break pretty easily so a modicum of care is needed when positioning it.

The jumpsuit isn’t terribly restrictive, making Fett a little more fun to play around with than a lot of other Hot Toys. The arms have a great range of motion, although those elbow joints feel a little loose. The codpiece does inhibit his hip movement a bit, but not terribly so, allowing for some action poses. And speaking of action, Boba isn’t exactly laden down with accessories, but he does come with everything he should, and that includes a number of sets of hands. The hands are very easy to work with, although there are some very fragile bits on those gauntlets, so again care is recommended when changing these out. You get relaxed hands, fists, a right gun hand, and a left hand designed for cradling his carbine. And speaking of which, he comes with both his pistol and his iconic carbine.

The pistol is very simple with a maroon grip, trigger guard, and frame, and the rest painted silver. Most of the fine detail is seen in the muzzle. He can hold it pretty well, but it’s clear that the gun hand was intended more for the carbine than this little guy, so it isn’t a perfect fit. Still, I never associate this pistol with The Fett, but it’s cool that he has a little bit of insurance in case he needs it.

Ah, now this is a lot more like it! The EE-3 carbine is a little work of art, with loads of detail. It’s got glyphs laid into the stock, a scope suspended above the barrel with two brackets, and a carry strap. I love how convincing this weapon is, which isn’t surprising as it’s infamously based off of an old Webley & Scott flare gun. It’s not fancy or flashy, it’s just a great utilitarian design. Just the kind of trusty tool that a bounty hunter would carry. The finish has some light weathering on it, presumably because Fett takes good care of his weapons! It takes a little effort to get his gun hand wrapped around it, but once it’s on it’s a perfect fit.

Our last stop on these Hot Toys review is inevitably the stand, and Boba comes with a pretty standard one. The gray base is meant to look like the deck of a spaceship and he has a nameplate on the front. Because it’s not like people aren’t going to know who he is, right? I’m guessing this base is recycled from the regular release. It would have been cool to get something special for this Vintage Color release, but it looks fine and it certainly does the job of holding him up.

Hot Toys figures aren’t usually impulse buys for me, but when I saw this guy go up for pre-order, there was nothing that was going to stop me from slamming on that button. I do try to go a little easier when it comes to Star Wars Hot Toys, because with so many iconic characters, things can get out of hand pretty quickly. But with that having been said, it seemed like sacrilege to have a Hot Toys collection without a character as iconic as Boba Fett represented. And this release allowed me to add him to the collection in a truly special manner. In many ways, these colors actually feel more accurate to me, because I’ve had them engraved in my brain from such a young age. I’m not sure that this figure is for everybody, but I think he’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for something nostalgic and special!

Star Wars Black Series: Boba Fett Helmet by Hasbro

One of my favorite new things out of Hasbro lately has been their stab at bringing out helmets and roleplay items for collectors of their Marvel and Star Wars licenses. These strike a nice balance between being better than what’s usually found on the shelves in the toy aisles, and yet not so pricey as the higher end ones for the serious high rollers. As a kid, I would have killed for some of these, and now instead of commiting homicide, I just have to lay down a Benji. A while back I checked out the Stormtrooper helmet and was very impressed, now it’s time to tackle the Mandalorian helmet of Boba Fett!

These come in big cube-shaped boxes, fully enclosed, and covered with pictures of the item inside as well as some of the features. Inside the helmet comes wrapped in plastic and just about ready for display. Here you do have to attach the range finder, which makes a terrifyingly loud click when it’s attached. And if you want to make use of the electronics, you’ll need a small screwdriver and some batteries. Let’s have a look!

Straightaway, I think this helmet looks really nice. It was a far more challenging piece than the Stormtrooper helmet because it involved a more complex paint job, weathering, as well as some articulation. All of these things are a lot tougher to do on a limited budget, and as such I think Hasbro did a fine job. First, let’s talk about the visor. The initial solicitation pictures made me think the vertical part of the visor was too wide, but after looking at screenshots, I’m thinking it’s not too far off. The visor itself is made of smoked translucent plastic, which I feel should have been a bit darker on that vertical bit. I am displaying mine on a stand and it did tend to allow too much visibility through the visor. I’m sure Hasbro was worried about people being able to see out of it. I mean all they need is one drunken Cosplayer at a convention to go tumble down a flight of stairs in one of these and they’ve got a lawsuit on their hands. But, really you only need to see out of the horizontal part and some reinforced plastic behind the rest would have been welcome. It’s something that I fixed by attaching some black cloth behind it. Problem solved.

The base colors look quite good. It has a satiny matte finish, which doesn’t look too plastic. The QC on my helmet is also excellent. Granted, it’s supposed to look old and beaten up, but there aren’t any blemishes, scratches, or flubs that aren’t supposed to be there. At least I can’t see any. The construction also feels very solid. The helmet has a nice heft to it and while I wouldn’t want to drop it on a hard floor, it does feel quite durable and well put together. I’m sure this thing could take a beating if you are inclined to play rough with it.

Some nice details include the motion and sound sensors that run up the middle of each side, the cooling vents in the back, and the helmet diagnostic port, which is that little button on the right cheek.

 

The weathering was where this helmet was going to succeed or fail in winning me over and for the most part it succeeds. The helmet is littered with areas where the paint is meant to be chipped, worn, or just rubbed off completely. And of course, that iconic dent is present as well. Some of the weathering looks great, other areas look very fabricated. This is especially the case when you get in real close and examine it under studio lights. Again, at the price point we’re dealing with here, I wasn’t expecting a hand-painted masterpiece, but I’m sure that there are people out there with the skills to elevate the paint here into something truly spectacular. I’m not one of those people, but then I’m still pretty satisfied with how it turned out.

The interior of the helmet is also very detailed. The Stormtrooper helmet was basically unfinished inside, but here Hasbro has made an effort to keep the illusion of realism going by recreating what the actual helmet might look like inside. The sides are sculpted with all sorts of devices and instruments and there are padded cubes. There’s are adjustable straps so you can make it fit higher or lower, just like in Hasbro’s other helmets. As for wearing it? This one is actually very snug on me, which was surprising because the Stormtrooper helmet fit fine, as did most of the Marvel helmets I own. I’m not sure if it’s because I have a big head or because it isn’t compatible with my glasses. Either way, I bought this for display, not for wearing, so the fact that it isn’t terribly comfortable isn’t a big drawback for me.

And then there’s the rangefinder. I think that the stalk is probably a bit chunkier than it should be, but clearly Hasbro was looking for stability here, and that was probably a good decision. The arm is spring-loaded, so when you touch the side of the helmet it will cause the rangefinder to deploy and the LED lights on the holographic targeting display to activate and flash. The interior of the rangefinder also lights up, although I have a hard time seeing through it when I’m wearing the helmet. Too deactivate the lights, you just have to manually return the rangefinder to the up position.

With the rangefinder in the down position, you have to slide off the plsatic cover to reveal it. The clear plastic lense is sculpted with some detail and illuminates quite well. On the downside, this thing is positioned way too far to the side for me to comfortably look through it when I’m wearing the helmet. All in all, I think the electronics here are a cool extra, but they’re certainly not a selling point for me, and I would have been just as happy if they had left them out and dropped that price point a little bit.

I think Hasbro has carved out a pretty cool niche here, as I would often see those cheap plastic roleplay masks in the toy aisles and wish there was something better available without having to drop $300-500. If you’re of the same mind as me, these may be something you want to check out. At a little over $100, this helmet straddles the price point between toy and collectible quite nicely and the result is something that’s a whole lot of fun and looks pretty damn cool up on my shelf. Ultimately, my biggest nitpick is the opacity of the visor in the areas not needed for visibility and as I said, that was something that’s pretty easy to fix. I’m hoping that these are successful, although I rarely ever see them in stores, so I think they are still something of a specialty item. It would be cool to see Hasbro produce something like Sabine’s helmet from Rebels. In the meantime, I’ll eventually get around to looking at Luke’s X-Wing Pilot Helmet, as that one is sitting on the shelf just above this one!

Star Wars Black: Boba Fett by Hasbro

All the Holiday nonsense is finally over and I’m thrilled to be back in the saddle for a brand new year. While I’ll still be pretty busy with work for the next couple of weeks, my schedule has loosened up enough so that I can start digging into some of the figures I’ve been holding off on during the crazier times of last month. I’ve been itching to open up Wave 2 of Star Wars Black ever since they landed on my stoop last month and now I’ve finally got some time to relax for a moment and do just that. Today, I’m kicking it off with a full-on six inches of rock hard Fett. LET’S DO THIS!!!

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After a few weeks of seeing the SWB deco misused on the smaller carded (and mostly shitty) figures, it’s nice to see it again used on the more appropriate collector style window boxes. Wave 1 left me with a real love for this packaging and I’m still displaying those figures packaged for the time being. Needless to say these boxes are totally collector friendly and are just the right size to show off the figure without taking up too much room. Boba is displayed in his tray with his weapons and jetpack spread out beside him. The back of the package has a monochrome shot of Boba talking to Vader and Lando. Man, I can’t wait until Vader and Lando get the 6-inch treatment! Ok, enough about the packaging, it’s time to whip out my Boba.

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Ok, so… WOW! We actually have a 6-inch Boba Fett figure from Hasbro. It’s still taking time for this to properly sink in. Boba Fett is a character that has seen some pretty exceptional 3 ¾” figures over the years, so I had little doubt that his 6-inch treatment would be amazing. And you know what? It is. Yes, when you consider the scale upgrade there are a few missed opportunities here, and I’ll point those out, but it’s important to remember that Hasbro is still working within the confines of a $20 retail budget. There was certainly a give and take with 6-inch Fett’s design, but I think the end result balanced out quite well!

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With that having been said, I think the first thing that strikes me about this guy is the intricacy of the sculpt. The jumpsuit is beautifully rumpled in all the right places and the armor plating is pretty convincing as separate pieces even though they are part of the same sculpt.The pouches all look great and even he even has the tiny sculpted tools peeking out of the pockets on his pants. The waist belt is a separate piece but it blends seemlessly with the figure. It has pouches and a functional holster for his pistol. I’ll get to the pistol in a bit, but suffice it to say it was a cool surprise. I love functional holsters on my figures so getting one incorporated into a Boba Fett figure really rings my bell. I’m also very pleased with the detailing on his left arm bracer where you can see his dart as well as the keypad. I’m not fanatical with my knowlege of Fett’s design and I’m sure the hardcore could pick apart all kinds of little details on this guy, but he certainly does just fine by me.

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Following hot on the heels of the beautiful sculpt is the deco. I’m not just talking about the coloring of the armor, but rather the weathering. Fett’s armor is dinged and scraped in all the right places and the dry brush abrasions look fantastic. Finally, the whole deco is punctuated with some great tampos like the Mandalorean symbol on his shoulder to the insignia on his chest armor. The figure fits beautifully into the “used future” design that makes the Original Trilogy Star Wars Universe such an interesting place to me.

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Hasbro packed some really useful articulation into this figure. The head is both ball jointed and hinged, so you get a nice wide range of motion there. His arms feature ball joints in the shoulders, elbows and wrists, and he has swivel cuts in the biceps. His legs are ball jointed at the hips and double hinged at the knees. His ankles feature hinges and rockers. Lastly, Fett is ball jointed at the waist, just above the belt. It’s a well hidden joint that lets him swivel as well as giving him a little range of forward and backward motion in the torso. Nicely done!

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Is Fett perfect? Nope. And here’s where that give and take comes in. The wookie braids are a little chunky and unconvincing. It seems like they should have been fashioned from softgoods like the cape. At the very least one of them shouldn’t have been left the same color plastic as his jumpsuit. I know what they’re supposed to be, but they look like they’re tacked on like an afterthought. I’ll also throw out there that it would have been cool if his rangefinder had been hinged. Sure, it looks fine as it is, but that seems like it would have been a good opportunity going from the 3 ¾” to the 6-inch scale. Finally, while the double joints in the knees are welcome, taking advantage of them makes the figure’s legs look unnatural, especially the way the knee caps just float. None of these nitpicks seriously detract from the figure, but since Boba Fett has had some truly excellent 3 ¾” figures, I think it’s worth pointing out some areas for improvement on this 6-incher.

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Boba comes with three accessories. First off, you get his trusty jetpack, which pegs into his back. It’s just a solid molded piece of plastic that pegs into a hole on his back. There are sculpted straps to make it look like it’s held on with a harness. I suppose you could argue that Hasbro could have done a little more with it, particularly in this scale. It doesn’t fire a rocket and the little thrusters aren’t articulated, but it looks fine and I’m very happy that it is removable. Somewhere in the delusion center of my brain I am reasoning out that Hasbro made it removable to accommodate the 6-inch scale Slave-1 which is surely coming any day now. Right? RIGHT??? Ok, maybe not.

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Next up is the pistol. Again, this was a total surprise for me because I don’t ever recall any previous Boba Fett (and I’ve owned most of them) coming with a pistol. Did he even use one? Is it one of his dad’s? I really don’t know, but I’m not going to turn my nose up at a pistol with a functional holster. It’s a simple enough piece, but he looks damn cool holding it and when I see my Boba Fett quick-drawing his pistol and wearing the poncho-like cape, I can’t help but get a wonderful “Man With No Name” vibe off of him from the Sergio Leone westerns.

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Lastly is Fett’s iconinc carbine.  It’s made of bendy plastic which helps get the stock positioned into the crook of his arm. You can also just about get his trigger finger into the trigger guard. The carbine has some exceptionally cool weathering and I like the sculpted detail in the stock, but the barrel doesn’t seem quite right. It seems like it should be thicker, at least that’s based on the prop replicas that I’ve seen.

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This Boba Fett was a hotly anticipated figure for me and now that I have finally opened him I can confidently say he’s a great piece. Yes, some might argue (myself included) that Hasbro could have done more with him to take advantage of the scale change, but I keep reminding myself that this is not a $50 Figma or an $75 Play Arts figure. For a $20 figure off the peg at Target or Walmart,  he’s just a great figure and pretty hard for me to put down. Boba will definitely be spending some quality time on my desk before getting relegated to the display shelf in the other room. It’s worth noting that he’s the very first figure I’m looking at in 2014 and I can already tell he’s going to be a strong contender for my Favorites list at the end of the year. Even if you aren’t collecting this line, Boba Fett is the first release that I would recommend people pick up as a stand-alone figure. After all, you can never have too many Fetts.

Star Wars Unleashed: Boba Fett (Target Exclusive) by Hasbro

I’m mostly up to date on my new receivings and that means I can start digging into some Toy Closet Finds for the next couple of weeks. It’s something I should have been doing all along, but sometimes I do get caught up trying to be topical by featuring new releases. Anyway, today we’re going to check out one of Hasbro’s Star Wars Unleashed series. I loved the idea of bringing affordable collectible statues to mass market retail, and so naturally I was a big fan of this line, at least I was before it became all about miniatures. I owned quite a few of these statues at one point, but most of them were sold off in my Great Star Wars Purge of 2008.  We’ll start out with the man himself, Boba Fett.

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This is the Target Exclusive version of the statue, which was offered around Christmas of 2006. Originally, these statues came carded and required some assembly, but Walmart and Target secured the rights to reissue four of the statues fully assembled and in these super cool plastic drums. If memory serves, Walmart got Jedi Luke and Darth Vader from their showdown in Return of the Jedi, whereas Target got Boba here and General Grievous. Shortly after they came out, Target had an entire endcap of these guys and they were clearance down to about $6.98. How could I resist?

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The presentation here is crazy awesome. It’s not the most storage friendly package, as it’s really easy to get dings or creases in the plastic. I attribute mine surviving to the fact that it’s sat up on a shelf and has been virtually untouched since the day I bought it. The drum is graced with a very vintage style deco and it offers a nice look at the statue inside. The package deco is only marred by the giant “Only at Target” emblem, which is unfortunately not something that can be removed. The back of the drum has a blurb about The Fett and the inside has a really nice piece of artwork designed as a backdrop for the statue. Hasbro went out of their way to make this statue fully displayable in the package, but you really can’t get all the nuances of this great piece without removing him. The drum is collector friendly and you can lift the statue out and clip away the heavy twisty ties, which secure him to the plastic tray.

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By God, this statue is awesome! Granted, it’s a far cry from being true to Boba’s final moments, screaming like a girl as a blind man pushed him into the maw of a giant sand-vagina-monster, but then Unleashed was always about putting Star Wars characters into outlandishly stupendous poses. What we have here is more like a statue of Fett’s demise as commissioned by his Fan Club. He’s depicted going down fighting in a blaze of glory, jetpack firing on full power and rifle blasting away into the Sarlaac with defiance. It is, nonetheless, a majestic display and the pose perfectly conveys a ridiculous amount of energy and excitement for a static piece.

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The detail on Fett himself is striking. There’s subtle texture work over every part of his jumpsuit, right down to the stitching, and even some distressed areas. The armor is recreated with all the familiar dings and dents, and there are even a few extra nicks and scratches on his chest plate that aren’t familiar to me. Even his sash, while blown a bit out of proportion for dramatic effect, is fully textured and features fraying at the edges and some holes. Hasbro obviously designed this piece to stand up under close scrutiny and it does that well.

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As great as the sculpt is, the paintwork also rises to the occasion. Besides recreating all the familiar green and ochre of Fett’s armor, it’s the distressing that impresses me the most. The rubbed steel is present on the jetpack and the various gashes and dings on his armor are all painted in silver. Yes, some of the silver paint is a little heavy handed, but I don’t it’s enough to detractfrom the overall aesthetic.

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About the only place this statue falters is in the base. The Sarlaac tentacles are excellent, and positioned very well with one wrapped around his leg and the other two snaking up for a better grasp. Even, the clear orange plastic used for the blast from the jetpack works wonderfully to hold Fett aloft. No, the problem I have with the base is the Sarlaac itself. Sure, it’s undersized but that doesn’t bother me. What does is the way the orange plastic from the blast fills it up and makes it look like some kind of gelatin desert… with teeth.

While this piece has a nice heft to it, you statue collectors out there may find the plastic a bit wanting in some areas. There’s still some unfortunate bendy quality going on in a few places. Many Unleashed statues were notorious for this and at least a couple of mine didn’t survive storage because of warping plastic. Indeed, the rocket on Fett’s jetpack seems to warp a bit to the side and only a little bit, but otherwise, this is a nice solid hunk of plastic.

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A lot of Star Wars Unleashed statues have come and gone out of my collection, but this one has always been one of my favorites. Once again, I really applaud Hasbro’s development of the entire Unleashed line, and looking at this piece it’s hard to believe that it was sold off the shelf of a big box toy retailer and for around twenty bucks. Sure, we aren’t talking about Gentle Giant of Sideshow here, but this statue is an excellent piece of work and for the price, it just couldn’t be beat. At some point next week, I’ll swing around and check out the Unleashed version of General Grievous and see how he stacks up.

Star Wars Vintage Collection: Mail Away Boba Fett by Hasbro

This isn’t going to be any kind of in-depth look at the figure because I ain’t opening him, but I finally got my Rocket-Firing Boba Fett in the mail a few days ago so I thought I’d post a few pictures. Although I’m guessing that everybody and their grandmother probably got this guy before I did.  

Turns out I was lucky for the delay because I got mine after Hasbro instituted their new packing procedures. Instead of tossing his flimsy box into a mailer and chucking him to the postal winds to get the shit beaten out of him, they finally started to double box him. Honestly, it really didn’t matter to me either way. If mine was beat to hell I would have been happy to open him, but since he showed up this way I just sealed him in a starcase to hang him on my wall.

Even though I was around and actually playing with Star Wars figures back when this figure was supposed to be released, I can’t say as I ever felt like any great part of my childhood was robbed because my Fett couldn’t fire his rocket. I guess even back then I wasn’t much into the whole firing missile gimmick. Anyway, he’s a nice looking figure and a really nice fanwank to us older collectors.

Star Wars: The Rise of Boba Fett Ultimate Battle Pack (TRU Exclusive) by Hasbro, Part 3

Welcome to the third and final part of my look at the Rise of Boba Fett Ultimate Battle Pack and the entire reason I bought this set: Slave-1. Hasbro has been teasing us with a Super Slave-1 toy for a while now, and here it finally is. Now, I’ve already heard some rumbling complaints from fans who were expecting something a lot bigger. In truth, this Slave-1 is about 20-25 percent bigger than the past Slave-1 releases. It isn’t quite the facelift that the Falcon or the AT-AT got, but it is an extremely nice upgrade. Considering Slave-1 isn’t in the same size class as either of those two toys, I think Hasbro did a fine job in settling on how much bigger to make this ship. After all, proportionally speaking, this Slave-1 upgrade is pretty much right in line with the new Falcon. Yes, there are a few directions that Hasbro went with this ship that I take issue with, but size is not one of them.



The sculpt and paint job on the ship are absolutely fantastic and was obviously designed for life beyond the more simplistic style of The Clone Wars. In short, this ship is every bit as detailed as any regular Star Wars toy, at least that’s the case on the outside. The panel lines are nicely executed, there’s a ton of sculpted detail in the areas where the stablizer wings attach, and the bottom/back part of the ship is just brimming with details, which is a good thing, because this bottom portion of the ship is highly visible when Slave-1 is orientated in flight mode. The paint job is especially good, and while those of you looking for an ESB version will be disappointed, I’m happy to overlook the difference. The hull’s paint job is nicely weathered, making this ship look so much more like an Attack of the Clones Slave-1 and not one based off the Clone Wars series. The interior of the ship is a big step down, though. There are a few sloppily applied stickers on the inside cabin, but precious little else in the way of detail.


This Slave-1’s play features are basically a hybrid of the Vintage/POTF2 version (opening back compartment) and the Attack of the Clones version (opening cockpit) to give us the best of both worlds. Let’s start with the cockpit.

The opening cockpit is one of those play features where Hasbro is taking liberty with the ship’s design to help you get a little more fun out of it, since this panel was never seen to open on the actual ship design. It’s similar to what Hasbro incorporated into the cockpits of the Millenium Falcon toys to allow you to have access to that part of the ship. It wasn’t necessary with the Vintage/POTF2 toy, since you could put a figure into the cockpit seat (or bed?) and then flip it into position. But in the case of this ship (and the Attack of the Clones version) you need to open this hatch to put the figures into the cockpit. This huge portion of the ship swings up and locks into the open position with a very scary click that makes me think I’m hurting something.


This version of Slave-1’s cockpit allows for three figures, one pilot in front and two in the backseats. They are basically standing in the compartments with clips to hold them in place. If you are planning on putting Jango or adult Boba into these seats, you’ll need to use one with a removable jetpack. With the stabilizer’s unlocked, the cockpit will use gravity to orientate itself in the upright position like a gyroscope, so the pilot is always looking straight on in the direction that the ship is flying. The pilot and passenger area isn’t quite accurate to what we’ve seen, but I do like it very much. It’s impressive enough to be able to get three figures into it.

Opening this cockpit hatch also reveals a cargo slot at the base of the ship, which is obviously designed to store a carbonite slab of Han Solo. Unfortunately, the POTF2 slab won’t fit, but the more recent Saga version (yep, that annoying half-melted one) will slide right on in. It is, however, a snug fit, and if you push it in too far, you’re going to need a pen or something to coax it out again. Again, this isn’t at all accurate to what we’ve seen, but it’s still a nice little addition to the ship.

The side panel on Slave-1 lifts up to reveal a compartment inside. There isn’t a lot going on in here, but at least it adds extra room for cargo or passengers or whatever you want. There’s access to the cockpit, but you can’t really get figures in or out of the pilot seat this way. There’s also a peg on the wall, which I’m guessing is to store either Jango or adult Boba’s jetpack, but there’s no official word anywhere as to the function of this peg. I haven’t checked Jango’s backpack yet, but the VOTC version of Boba’s backpack clips on pretty well. There’s also a grid or vent that looks into another part of the ship, which we’ll see in a minute. As I said earlier, the amount of detail in this compartment isn’t stellar, but there are a lot of pegs to stand figures, and a fair amount of room.

Ah, but here we get to what I consider to be the most disappointing (possibly the only disappointing) thing about this vehicle. Despite the fact that the boarding ramp on the back slides down, there is no access into or out of the ship from this point. There’s a fake hatch sculpted on the inside of the compartment, and only part of a fake hatch sculpted on the outside. I think this was a huge mistep on this toy’s design, and in a way can be considered a step back from the Vintage/POTF2 version. Yeah, I can live with it since the ship has so much else going for it, but it really sticks in my craw. It’s like if Hasbro had the gangplank on the new Falcon not really lead into the ship.

Slave-1 features two rotating cannons on the tail boom, both of which fire missiles. It’s also got two bombs that store in sockets on the bottom of the ship and can be ejected by pressing buttons on either side of the ship’s base.


Slave-1 has one last play feature. There’s a hatch that opens above the fake boarding ramp and lowers down to reveal a compartment with a removable cell for holding captured quarry. This is the area that the grid in the main compartment looks into. I’ve heard more than a few fans complain about this gimmick as being silly, but I don’t see a lot wrong with it. At worst, I’d compare it to the little escape shuttle in the updated Millenium Falcon that can be ignored. In fairness, you can remove it entirely and use this compartment to store the carbonite slab instead of putting it in the front of the ship. Now whether or not including this gimmick prevented Slave-1 from having a working boarding hatch under it, is another matter. if that was the case, I highly disapprove.

All in all, I am very happy with this new Slave-1. It is by no means perfect and the fake boarding ramp will always bug me, but many of Hasbro’s greatest Star Wars toys have involved compromises, and this Slave-1 is no different. Still, it’s bigger, it takes play features from all previous versions and incorporates them together nicely, and it even adds a few surprises. Nonetheless, despite Hasbro’s coy and non commital answers at various Q&A sessions, I think we can all agree that there’s a 99 percent chance this ship will be released again with ESB accurate colors, probably with a Boba Fett figure and Han Solo Carbonite slab (painted without the melting effect) thrown in. I’d even wager it’ll happen next year, so if you just can’t justify the price tag for all this stuff, you can probably wait with confidence that you won’t be disappointed.

As for the price tag on this set… two ships five figures and a $109 price tag. Good deal? Well, it’s not a bad deal if you collect the Clone Wars toys. If you factor in that the figures would run around $7-8 each if you bought them all carded, then that’s about $37 right there. The Jedi Starship fits into Hasbro’s boxed vehicle assortment, which are selling for about $25 now, and that brings the total up to $62. If I set aside the fact that I wouldn’t have purchased the figures or the Starfighter on their own, that makes Slave-1’s cost nearly $40, and I don’t think that’s outrageously high. There’s a lot of fun to be had in this box for kids, and one really nice new version of a classic ship for us adult collectors.

Star Wars: The Rise of Boba Fett Ultimate Battle Pack (TRU Exclusive) by Hasbro, Part 2

We’ve looked at the figures from this Ultimate Battle Pack, so now it’s time to check out the first of the two vehicles: The Jedi Starfighter. Obviously, this toy is based off the Clone Wars era starfighter, which I don’t find quite as appealing as the one that superceded it in The Revenge of the Sith. Still, it’s a cool little ship with some nice features. This particular toy is a repack that has been released several times since 2008 as part of Hasbro’s $20-25 medium sized vehicle assortment. The only version of this Jedi Starship that I’ve ever owned was the Obi-Wan Starfighter that came with the Hyperspace Ring. It was the same basic design, but lacked some of this ship’s gimmicks, so this toy is essentially new to me.

My first impression of this starfighter was that it seems to lack the heft of other Star Wars toys in this size class. As I said, I have never owned this exact mold before, so I may be entirely off base here, but it feels like Hasbro may have skimped on the plastic quality a bit when producing this one. It just doesn’t feel as heavy or sturdy as the plastic used in Slave-1 or any of the other ships I own in this size class. The sculpt is very nice, as it features a good number of panel lines and details. There are no stickers to apply, although the Republic emblems are already in place. The paint scheme is ok, a little drab, and the paint lines are kind of sloppy in places. I think my biggest complaint, is that the ship looks a bland with no other paint apps or weathering or stickers. Maybe it’s designed to look a little more clean and cartoony because it’s a Clone Wars toy, I don’t know. But when I compare this ship to my Revenge of the Sith Starfighters, there’s a huge difference.


The rear cockpit opens to reveal a nicely detailed interior, which can seat either Mace or Anakin or most other figures. Just in front of this cockpit is the Astromech droid slot. There’s actually a hinged hatch that opens so that you can put the droid in and close it around his head and shoulders. It’s a nice feature as it keeps the droid locked in place and he won’t come flying out if you’re inclined to have your ship whooshing around the room and doing barrel rolls. The inside of the droid slot compartment is actually nicely detailed and features a cockpit that is clearly intended for a humanoid pilot, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

The starfighter includes three firing missiles/laser cannon. Two are mounted on the top and the third is concealed in a channel under the ship. It can be easily pulled out to fire or to serve as a third landing strut.

This starfighter’s main gimmick is that you can pull it apart to become two separate ships. The back portion resembles a smaller, cruder prototype of the Jedi Starfighter seen in Revenge of the Sith. The front has two spring loaded wings that deploy when the ships are separated. So here’s where I get confused. On first glance it seems like the ship made up of the front portion is meant to be piloted by the Astromech, but then the slot obviously is designed to accomodate a humanoid figure. Of course any figure sitting in there and piloting this smaller ship would be exposed to the vaccuum of space. I’ve seen most of the Clone Wars cartoon, and I’ve never seen one of these ships split apart, so I’m really unclear on what the purpose of it is. If anyone out there knows, feel free to drop me a comment. Either way, it’s a pretty cool gimmick that doesn’t interfere with the overall design of the toy, so I’m fine with it.

As a pack-in ship, this starfighter is a pretty nice item. I wouldn’t have bought it on it’s own, as I’m not overly fond of the design, but now that I have one in my hands, I may actually wind up keeping it. It’s a cool little ship, but there’s nothing about it that makes me all that excited.


Star Wars: The Rise of Boba Fett Ultimate Battle Pack (TRU Exclusive) by Hasbro, Part 1

Never in a million years did I think I’d be dropping a hundred on another Star Wars item so soon after picking up the gargantuan AT-AT last month, much less on what is essentially a Clone Wars set, and yet here we are. In fairness, this isn’t just one toy, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t buy it for basically just one of the toys in the set, and that is of course the new Slave-1. I tried to convince myself to wait for the inevitable Empire Strikes Back themed release, which would likely contain just Slave-1 and a couple of figures, but there was no getting out of it and I crumbled. Didn’t I stop collecting Star Wars stuff a couple of years back? Yeah, I thought that was me, but maybe not.

This Ultimate Battle Pack consists of the brand new Slave-1, Mace Windu’s Jedi Starfighter, and five Clone Wars figures: Boba Fett, Mace Windu, R8-B7, Anakin Skywalker and Mace Windu. So, as I gather it, the content of this set is based on one of the later episodes of season two of The Clone Wars series. I have seen most of the show, but watching it is such an extremely low priority for me that I’m probably five episodes or so behind. It doesn’t matter. Even if I’d seen it, I’m sure I would have little interest in the five figures included in this set. The Jedi Starfighter is decent enough, and I guess as long as I’m now compelled to own one, it’s not a bad thing to have a Mace Windu and R8-B7 to go along with it, but yet another Anakin? Or young Boba and cartoony Bossk? Hells no. They’re bound to be consigned to one of the dreaded hodge-podge totes in the deepest, darkest recesses of my toy closet or perhaps tossed on The Block, also known as Ebay.

Anyway, I’m going to divvy this review up into three parts. First we’ll look at the packaging and the figures. Next we’ll look at the Jedi Starfighter, and we’ll save the main attraction, Slave-1, for last. That way, if you have no interest in the Clone Wars stuff, you can just wait for Part 3 to turn up. Probably tomorrow.

The box for this set is understandably large, as it contains two mostly assembled ships and a handful of figures. But it isn’t as large as the box for the AT-AT. It’s probably as long, but only about half as tall. The packaging includes a front panel illustration of Slave-1 and Mace Windu’s fighter blasting away. There are two windows to display the five figures. The box also proudly proclaims that Slave-1 is over 18″ long, that the figures come with the accoutrement needed for that crappy card battle game, and that this is indeed a Toys R Us exclusive set. The back panel shows actual photos of the toys and some of their action gimmicks. Tear the box open and you find that the Jedi Starfighter is completely assembled and Slave-1 just requires you to attach the stablizer wings. The figures’ stands and cards come in a baggie, along with the instruction sheet, a small sticker sheet, a dice, and the missiles. You could conceivably pack everything back up into the box again, but getting the stablizers off again once they are attached isn’t at all easy, nor is it recommended.

Ok, let’s look at the figures.

Let me start out with the disclaimer/reminder that I am not a big fan of the character designs for the Clone Wars series and so none of these figures are at all aimed at me and my collecting tastes. As for this particular assortment: I’ve got way too many Anakin figures already. I can live with the Mace Windu and R8-B7 since they compliment the Starfighter nicely. I have no interest in owning a young Boba Fett figure, especially since Slave-1 will be going to my fully growed up Fett. And as for Bossk, I’m perfectly happy with my VOTC version. Nonetheless, I’ll try to give each figure his due and be respective of their proper context, and above all not offend anyone who digs these style of figures. Of the five figures, two of them (Anakin and Mace) are repacks, whereas the other three are brand new and exclusive to this set.

The Anakin figure is the least cartoony of the bunch. In fact, I’d dare say he could pass easily for a regular Star Wars figure. I don’t have a lot to say about him, although I will point out that his face is scarred up and he looks pissed. He is nicely articulated, with ball joints in his head, shoulders, elbows and knees, basic joints at the hips and a swivel waist, and he comes with his lightsaber and a stand. Interestingly, he has a socket on his belt to hold a lightsaber hilt, but the light saber he comes with does not have a removable blade and he does not come with a separate hilt to attach there. All in all, I think this is a very good version of Anakin, but chances are most of the people buying this set already have one.

Mace Windu isn’t too bad either. His face is definitely stylized, but not ridiculously so. Mace comes with a Clone Trooper helmet as well as three pieces of removable Clone armor, but the armor on his forearms is part of the sculpt. He also comes with a stand and his purple lightsaber. Like Anakin, his lightsaber is one piece, without a detachable blade. The articulation on this figure is a bit subpar for today’s standards. He’s ok from the waist up, with ball jointed neck, shoulders and elbows. Below the waist, however, he only has standard joints in his hips, but at least this allows him to sit in his starfighter. His waist features one of those annoying spring loaded gimmicks to make him snap back. I’m told there’s a far better Clone Wars-styled Mace figure hanging on the pegs now, so this throwback isn’t likely to excite anyone and if you already collect the Clone Wars, there’s a good chance you own him already anyway.

I really like R8-B7, despite his simplified cartoony sculpt. He actually looks like he could fit in with regular Star Wars figures as a variant design. His legs rotate at the “shoulders” and have hinged “ankles” and his head turns 360 degrees. His third leg is removable so you can have him standing still or rolling. What I really like about him are all the little gimmicks. His front has two doors that open to reveal a retractable claw and a laser gun or welding arm or something. His back also has an opening panel that reveals a grappling hook. He’s also got a sensor-periscope thingy that pops out of his head. Hasbro packed a lot of cool stuff into this simple little droid figure.

Bossk is an extremely nice figure for this style and I’m guessing that if you collect the Clone Wars figures, this guy is going to be a really big deal to own. His sculpt is certainly simplified to maintain the cartoony appearance, but still hits all the points and overall he looks pretty decent with a nice balance between the two styles. The biggest difference is in his forearms, which are much longer, thinner and rubbery, which give him an enhanced lizard-like appearance. Bossk’s articulation sports balljoints in his shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles as well as his torso. His neck rotates, no balljoint there, and he has standard leg joints in his hips. Bossk comes with his blaster rifle and a stand.

I have the least to say about Boba Fett, because he’s basically just a bratty looking kid in desparate need of a haircut. The sculpt is pretty good, as is his articulation. He has balljoints in his neck, shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles. His hips have standard leg joints. His right hand looks like it is sculpted to hold a blaster, but he doesn’t come with any accessories apart from his stand, so maybe it’s sculpted so that he can pick his nose.

The figures each come with their collector card and stand. Yes, even the droid comes with a stand. You can plug the cards into the stands and have them fight each other by rolling the dice and checking numbers against each other.

So yeah, I’m not really the target audience for these figures and I tried not to be too hard on them. I suppose if you are a collector of the Clone Wars figures then the exclusives in this set are pretty cool. True, you are getting saddled with two pretty common figures, one of which is a subpar repack, but then I guess only two out of five isn’t so bad.

Next time… we look at Mace Windu’s Jedi Starfighter.