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.