Star Wars: Jabba the Hutt’s Musical Extravaganza, Part 3: Jabba’s Dancers!

Today I’m going to wrap up the weekend with a look at Jabba’s Dancers, but before we get to the ladies, there’s one more Special Edition band member to cover… Introducing, Rappertunie on the growdi!



Unlike the rest of the figures in these features, Rappertunie was released later on in Hasbro’s Saga line and he was single carded with his instrument. While far more cartoony than Barquin and Doda, I still like this guy a lot. I think he fits the overall Star Wars creature aesthetic a lot more than Joh Yowza does. That may be because he was an actual puppet and not an awkward CGI model. At at a time when Hasbro was dishing out a lot of sub-par figures, this guy and his elaborate instrument felt like an amazing value. He’s also pretty benign to the whole “Jedi Rocks” scene. In fact, he’s probably the lowest profile member of the band. I’d say he needs a better agent, but his career was no doubt better off not being associated with that train wreck of a performance.


The figure features the standard 5-points of articulation, although Rappertunie is designed with pretty much one thing in mind and that’s sitting on his instrument and playing it. Unless you happen to have a 3 3/4’” scale bean bag chair and rack of ribs. You could probably make something happen with that. Hasbro went all out on this Rappertunie’s sculpt and the paintwork is superb as well. The instrument looks like a glorious kind of steampunk invention and there’s a detachable hose running from the instrument to the base.


And now we can move on to the dancing girls: Rystall, Greeata, and Lyn Me. These ladies were released as part of the Power of the Force 2 line in what was commonly referred to as a Cinema Scene pack. It was window boxed with the three figures standing against an illustrated backdrop from the film. I loved these packs and I’ve owned probably three or four of this one over the years. It’s just one of those items that come and go out of my collection over and over again because it’s so damn common and cheap. Let’s look at them each in turn.




With bright red hair, purple spots, and elephant feet, Rystall is one crazy looking chick. Nonetheless, Rule 34 tells me that there is someone, somewhere whacking it to an image of her. And judging by the way Boba Fett was flirting with her in the movie, I’m guessing I just found that someone. Rystall features nice coloring and a decent sculpt. The spotting on her skin is neat and reminds me of the markings of a Trill. Wiki nonsense tells me that Rystall’s entire family was a slave owned by an official in the Black Sun organization until Lando set them free in a game of cards. Because no matter how big the Universe is and how insignificant the character, everyone in Star Wars has to be connected to another in some way, right?




Next up is Greeata, the Rodian dancer. She easily has the best and most complex sculpt of the three dancers. Not only did Hasbro give her a really cool head sculpt, but they textured her entire body with creepy Rodian skin. They also did a particularly nice job with her outfit, or at least what little there is of it. In addition to the sash and bikini top, you get her bracelets, anklets, and necklace all impressively recreated for a figure from this time. You also have to love that mohawk that runs all the way down her back. Having read her backstory, I’m genuinely surprised to find that Greeata was not Greedo’s sister. That sounds like something the Expanded Universe couldn’t help itself from doing.




Last of is Lyn Me who is the Twi’lek. This figure should have been my favorite of the bunch, because I have a thing for Twi’lek slave dancers. See above Rule 34. Unfortunately, she comes out at the bottom of the trio for me. She looks rather stocky and it’s really hard to get her to stand without bending her over a bit. I appreciate that the wraps that make up her costume are all part of the sculpt, but the paint is a little sloppy. The head sculpt is Ok, but I think it could have been better. Lyn Me had some sort of crush on Boba Fett and followed him to Tatooine. I wonder what she thought of him macking on Rystall?


All in all, these dancers are pretty cool figures, although they’re fun factor is curtailed by the fact that their all a bit pre-posed. With their arms held straight and each one tossing their hip, there’s little you can do with them other than stand them in a line in your Jabba display in the manner in which they were packaged. Even the standard 5-points of articulation and added waist swivels don’t help that much. Still they serve as some decent window dressing.



Of course, even after three days and ten figures, I’m still not done yet. Jabba was quite the patron of the arts and there are more musicians to cover. Rest assured I’ll be revisiting this series in the future, as I’ve yet to touch on the percussion section of Jabba’s orchestra and I’ll probably throw in the POTF2 Oola for good measure. I should be getting a couple of boxes of my old stuff shipped from my brother in a few weeks that may or may not contain a cornucopia of Star Wars figures. It’ll be kind of nice to see more Star Wars features around here.

Star Wars: Jabba the Hutt’s Musical Extravaganza, Part 2: The Rest of the Band!

Yesterday, I got swept away in nostalgia looking at the POTF2 versions of The Max Rebo band. Today, I spit in the face of nostalgia with a look at the extended members of the band from that dreaded Special Edition of Return of the Jedi. A lot of people will tell you that Greedo shooting first is the worst change Lucas made to these movies. Now, I agree that change profoundly altered a scene that commented deeply on Han Solo’s character. But to be honest, I didn’t even notice the change when I first saw it. What I couldn’t help but notice was a shitty cartoon character shoved in my face in the new song and dance number added to the Jabba’s Palace scene in Jedi. The whole thing felt like an out of place gag in what was originally an incredibly tense and scary act of the movie. Nevertheless, today I present you with… Barquin D’an, Doda Bodonawieedo, and Joh Yowza.




As we saw yesterday, in the late 90’s Hasbro took a cue from The Blues Brothers and embarked on a mission to get the band back together. But rather than do it in one clean and simple three-pack like Kenner did back in the day, they split them up into three separate 2-packs. If you wanted the Rebo Band, you had to buy the Special Edition band members as well. Why? Because, f’ck you! And because money. Yes, they were also available much later as a big box set Walmart exclusive, but we’re talking POTF2 here, peeps! Star Wars figures were making a huge comeback and dammit, collectors wanted their Rebo Band even if it meant sucking down the Special Edition dudes too. The breakdown of the two-packs went like this: Max Rebo came with the Bith, Barquin D’an; Droopy McCool came with the Rodian, Doda Bodonawieedo, and Sy Snoodles came with that insufferable piece of CGI’d shit, Joh Yowza. God, I hate that I know his name. Let’s take them in order…


First off is Baquin D’an. I’ve got no problem with this guy. He’s just a Bith musician blowing on his kloo horn. I once had the entire set of Creature Cantina Bith figures from the Modal Nodes that came in a really cool collector’s tin. I often wish I still had those, so getting this figure in my collection makes me happy. Sure, he’s partly responsible for playing the intro to the shameless spectacle “Jedi Rocks” but I’m not going to blame him for that because I like him. Did you know that Bith music is called Jizz? Now you do. You’re welcome.


Baquin is a pretty simple figure but I love him because he can fit in all sorts of displays. He has the usual 5-points of articulation, plus a waist swivel, and while he is pre-posed to be playing his horn, if you remove it you can make it look like he’s just holding a drink and socializing after the gig. He just makes for great alien rabble filler in any display you want to set up. The kloo horn is a pretty cool accessory and the mouth piece fits right into Baquin’s tiny little mouth hole. Did I mention their music is called Jizz? Once again, you’re welcome!



Next up is Doda Bodonawieedo, Baquin’s co-conspirator. I ain’t gonna lie, I dig this figure a lot too. He’s a demure Rodian wearing an orange tunic and for the time, he’s a pretty good sculpt. Doda shares the same articulation as Baquin right down to the waist swivel, although his tunic prevents his hip joints from doing him any good. Also, like Baquin, Doda is pre-posed to play his instrument, the sliterhorn, and if you take it away he also looks like he could be mingling at a party with a drink in his hand. I wish I still had those Cantina sets, they came with drink glasses. God, somebody keep me off of Ebay!




And then there’s Joh Yowza. F’ck this guy. I really liked the original “Lepti Nek” tune that the Rebo band played before Lucas butchered the scene. I actually had it on vinyl. It was a forty-five and I think I recall it having the original Ewok Celebration song on the flipside. I’m not joking! I used to get all hopped up on Pixie Sticks and rock out to that. Ahh… the 80’s! And then this guy came along, pushed Sy Snoodles out of the limelight and took a shit right in our ears. Even the figure is a travesty. This guy looks out of place even in a room of puppets and freaks. Did you know that his race is called Yuzzum, they are indigenous to Endor, and they were supposed to be featured in the movie alongside the Ewoks? At least we were spared that. I guess things could have been worse.




Joh Yowza is going right into the deepest depths of one of my darkest action figure totes and then possibly buried in the back yard. He’s a crappy looking figure based on an abomination of an idea. Better yet, when I get a new Rancor, I’m going to put Yowza in its mouth. The other two, Baquin and Doda, are actually pretty cool figures and I have no problem with them chilling in the back of my Rebo Band display providing some tasteful back up for the Club Remix of Lepti Nek that will most assuredly be playing in my Jabba Palace display.


Tomorrow, I’ve got one more Special Edition band member to look at and then we’ll wrap things up with a peek at Jabba’s Dancers.

Star Wars: Jabba the Hutt’s Musical Extravaganza, Part 1: The Max Rebo Band!

I realize that I have a lot of new stuff that I should be getting to. I’ve got Marvel Legends and Kotobukiya and even a Hot Toys figure I’ve yet to feature. But I felt like going off the reservation for the rest of the week. I promise next week will be all new releases. In the meantime, join me for a three-parter weekend that will  take us through (almost) all the players in the Musical Extravaganza Show that occurs in Jabba the Hutt’s palace on any given night. These features are sponsored by a fellow collector who was giving up a lot of ten figures at a price I just couldn’t refuse. Let’s kick it off today with The Max Rebo Band.


Max Rebo, Sy Snoodles, and Droopy McCool! These are not the Kenner originals, but rather from the late 90’s Power of the Force 2 two-packs that were associated with the dreaded Special Edition release of Return of the Jedi. Nonetheless, I can still remember that day as a kid when I first saw the originals. I think it was at a Sears, but I clearly remember skittering off to the toy aisle to see what I could find on the pegs when I was confronted with one of the most a-typical Star Wars figure sets that I had ever set my little kid eyes upon. It was a window box with the entire Max Rebo band laid out inside. I couldn’t believe that there were actually figures of these guys, complete with microphones and everything. I immediately entered full-on pleading and begging mode and after promising to mow the lawn for the next three weeks straight and engage in all manners of other menial child labor, my Dad agreed to get them for me. Of course, those figures are long gone. Max Rebo was one the most prized targets of my kleptomaniac dog, and who the hell knows what become of the others. So let’s check out these POTF2 versions.



Max Rebo! How many keyboard players get the whole band named after them? Rebo does! He’s just that good! Did you know his real name is Siiruulian Phantele and that he eventually joined the Rebel Alliance because they have the best food? Wiki says it so it must be true. What difference does it make? He’s a blue elephant wearing diapers that plays keyboard for an intergalactic crime boss. This figure appears to be quite close to the original Kenner mold, but the hands are a bit different and he’s got a large ring molded onto his belt to keep his diaper up. The paint is also a lot better here. Not only is that diaper painted, but the tips of his fingers are as well. He’s a really vibrant shade of blue and he has two little beady black eyes.



I can remember how cool I thought it was that the figure came out of his keyboard, partly because you got to see what the rest of him looked like, and partly because I had him going on all sorts of adventures with my other Star Wars figures. On more than one occasion the Han Solo and The Millennium Falcon was hired to get Rebo and his band to their next gig and The Empire was determined to stop them because The Empire is evil and hates music. Amazingly enough, Rebo features the standard 5-points of articulation as most vintage Star Wars figures, although he’s definitely pre-posed with one thing in mind… jamming on that keyboard… or waving hello to people.


Speaking of the keyboard, it’s one of the coolest Star Wars figure accessories ever. I can’t believe all the work that Kenner put into this thing. There’s never been anything else quite like it and this one appears to be pretty damn close to the Kenner original right down to the individual keys that can actually be pressed in. I think the paint apps on this new one are better. I don’t remember the silver fringe being painted on the original toy, but then it’s been a long time since I owned one.



Moving on to Droopy McCool, this figure also strikes me as a nice compromise between the original Kenner release and something new and improved. He still features that same pre-pose mold for playing his chidinkalu horn. The horn is a removable accessory, but if you take it away from him, he just looks like he’s miming playing it, so there isn’t much point. I suppose you could put a rifle in his hands and make it look like he’s going to blow his own head off. Musicians sometimes do that. But that would be sad, let’s not do that to Droopy.


Despite the pre-pose, the figure also features a sixth point of articulation, which is a swivel in the waist. It comes in handy for putting him in a half turn, depending on which side of Rebo’s organ you want him standing on. The biggest departure from the original Kenner figure is Droopy’s rather heavy handed paint wash to bring out all the creases in his flesh. At first I wasn’t too keen on it, but it’s grown on me, even if it isn’t terribly screen accurate.



Last up is the lead vocalist Sy Snoodles. I like to think of her as the Debbie Harry of the Star Wars Universe. Her figure definitely got the biggest facelift from the original Kenner version and that results in some good and some bad. On the good side, her legs are more stable. I can still remember having trouble getting the Kenner figure to stand. This Sy has legit action figure legs and she stands just fine. Like Droopy, she also features the standard 5-points of articulation, plus an added waist swivel, which was a lot more than the original figure had. On the downside, she’s clearly based on the Special Edition CGI model, which gives her a more stylized and cartoony look and she’s also missing the feather from the original puppet. All in all, I still like the figure a lot, but the omission of her microphone really confuses me and pisses me off. And damn, those loose microphones go for crazy money on the Ebays. I really need someone to 3D print me one of those damn things.




As far as action figures go, this is definitely an odd bunch. Clearly my love for this trio is fueled by nothing but hardcore nostalgia, but I don’t care because it’s so damn cool to have these characters in my collection again. The Rebo Band just may have been that first step where the Universe decided… Yup, every single damn character in the Star Wars movies is going ot get a figure. There was no turning back and that long journey has culminated in getting Bespin Ice Cream Maker Guy. But that’s a Feature for another day. A little while ago, I decided to start rebuilding my Jabba display with figures from all different series and this trio will certainly be a cornerstone of that display. The last release of Jabba and his throne is one of the few Star Wars figure sets that has been on display since the day I got it, and now I can finally start adding to it. Of course, it’s important to note that each of the Max Rebo band was bundled with one of the band’s extended members from the Special Edition and those are the figures that I’m going to look at tomorrow.

Star Wars Expanded Universe: Kyle Katarn by Hasbro

I’m opening some Star Wars figures this week, so I should be getting some related features up throughout the course of July, and I decided to kick it off with one of my favorite unsung heroes of the Expanded Universe… Mr. Kyle Katarn! The first half of the 90’s presented us PC gamers with all sorts of great outlets for our Star Wars love. I shudder to think how much time I spent, fingers gripping a flightstick, playing the X-Wing and Tie Fighter games. But when LucasArts took the first-person shooter gameplay of hits like Doom and Duke Nukem and interjected it into a brand new narrative set in the Star Wars universe, I was in heaven. If you wanted to know what a mid-90’s era Star Wars fanboy orgasm on the PC looked like, here it is…


Yup, it’s a pixelated mess… but it was the shit! I can still hear the glorious midi soundtrack building to a crescendo as I take out Stormtroopers with my E-11 Blaster. Yeah! Take that, bitches! Getting my hands on this game was a HUGE deal to me and I played it like crazy… over and over again. You know those hardcore Korean gamers that have to be ripped away from Starcraft to save them from dehydration? Well, that’s crazy… this wasn’t anything like that… forget that… I just really loved Dark Forces and played it a lot. And while sadly Dark Forces has yet to get the action figure attention of Shadows of the Empire, it wasn’t left out completely.



Vader looks so damn cute on the POTF2 cards. He looks like a pug wearing a helmet. While it doesn’t say so on the package, Katarn is basically part of the Power of the Force 2 line. Instead, the figure gets the “Expanded Universe” moniker, and while the package also suggests Kyle is from Dark Forces, I’m pretty sure he didn’t sport the beard until appearing in the subsequent pseudo-sequel Jedi Knight. I would have preferred a clean-shaven Kyle. Jedi Knight was a fine game and all, but I always liked the blaster-toting, space pirate mercenary aspect of Star Wars better than the mystical Jedi Knight bullshit, hence my love for Dark Forces. It was a shooter with no mystic bullshit.  As much as I liked seeing Kyle come back, did he really need to become a Jedi? DOES EVERYONE NEED TO BE A JEDI??? Anyway, you’ll also note the package proclaims it can be converted into a 3-D diorama! We’ll get to that in bit!



Kyle himself is a decent looking figure for the period. He isn’t nearly as ridiculously buff as some of the POTF2 figures and the sculpt really strides that line between vintage and modern. I dig Kyle’s outfit a lot. It definitely has a little Han Solo smuggler vibe to it, particularly in the belt and holsters, but the rest of the design is rather distinctive. He’s got an armor vest, kneepads, and some chunky boots. It’s an original looking ensemble, but one that definitely fits the Star Wars universe. There’s some unfortunate paint splatter on the back of my figure, and I’m not a fan of the spray used on his boots, but all in all, not bad!


The likeness is good enough for a character that is based off a computer drawing, although later Katarn would be depicted in the flesh through FMV and the figure is even passable for the actor. The paintwork on the eyes and beard is all quite solid too. Granted, you don’t see a whole lot of Kyle in Dark Forces, as it’s a POV shooter, but the character has had plenty of face time since, and this figure does him proud. In the context of POTF2 figures, this is a pretty fantastic head sculpt.


Kyle features only six points of articulation. You get the usual head, shoulders and hips of the vintage figures, with an additional swivel in the waist. He’s a tad pre-posed with a wide stance. It makes him look great on the shelf, like he’s ready for action, but sadly it also makes him rather incompatible with most vehicle cockpits. But hey, it’s not like Hasbro ever gave us a Moldy Crow for him to ride in. By the way, Moldy Crow is the worst name for a spaceship ever. If Shipwreck from GI JOE had a spaceship, I’m pretty sure that’s what he would name it.


Weapons! Dark Forces was all about weapons, but Kyle only comes with two. First, you get his modified Bryar blaster pistol. It’s somewhat close to the pistol in the game, but it doesn’t have the magazine on the side. In terms of default FPS weapons, this one was pretty nice and accurate. The other weapon is either the Imperial Repeater or the Packered Mortar Gun? It doesn’t look much like either weapon model, as I remember them. Of course, my favorite weapon in the game was the E-11 Rifle. It’s understandable he doesn’t come with one and only fitting that he should have to kill one of my Stormtrooper figures and take theirs.


And then there’s the 3-D Play Scene! Yes, if you carefully follow the instructions, the cardback will fold out into this little display area with a landing bay and an Imperial Shuttle. Look, it’s a cool concept and pretty ambitious for a package that is just a cardback. It’s also a concept that Hasbro has made better use of since with boxed figures and vehicles. In practice, it’s not all that impressive, but I give Hasbro major points for the effort.




I picked up Kyle a couple months back at a toy show for a fiver, along with some other POTF2 era EU figures, all of which I’ll try to get to over the course of the coming weeks. Katarn later got an updated figure as part of a Comic Pack, which I probably would have picked up if it paired him with Jan Ors, as opposed to comic book adversary, Yuuzhan Vong. In hindsight, I probably let my bitterness over the lack of a Jan Ors figure overwhelm me on that decision, and I wouldn’t mind having a better version of Katarn in my collection. I’ll have to keep an eye open for him on the Ebays. But seriously, Hasbro, where the hell is Jan Ors?

Star Wars Power of the Force 2: Gamorrean Guard and Malakili by Hasbro

It’s the last day of this Jabba craziness and this week FigureFan has seen more Star Wars features than it has in a long time. I kind of enjoyed it, and I’m going to make a point to not ignore Star Wars quite so much in the future. Anyway, today we’re swinging back to the POTF2 line to take a look at a couple of Jabba’s husky henchmen. It’s a little known fact that yours’ truly could stand to shed a few pounds, so it’s always nice to see some portly action figures get some attention and make me feel fit by comparison. I think Jabba read in a PR magazine somewhere that if you surround yourself with heavy people, you look skinny. Sorry, Jabba, it ain’t working. To the figures!


The packaging is the same we saw with the torture droids a couple of days back. These are also part of the Freeze Frame series, so you get a pair of slides showing the characters in screen grabs from the movie. Considering Malakili is in the film so briefly, his slide is extra important as it serves as evidence that Kenner and Hasbro didn’t just make him up. Let’s go ahead and start with him.


Malakili: Once known only as “Rancor Keeper.” For the longest time, this guy was the best example of the fact that any Star Wars character was eligible for action figure honors. Sure, I had the vintage version of him as a kid, and yet I have no idea how or why. I have no recollection of actually walking into a store, being told by my parents that I could pick out a figure, and coming back with him. It’s hard to imagine that happening, and yet apparently it did. Maybe the rest of the pegs were full of Lobots. I also can’t remember ever playing with him. My ever creative kid brain summoned up all kinds of convoluted back stories for even the most obscure figures, but all Rancor Keeper ever did was stand somewhere behind Jabba’s throne and try not to be noticed. And now, I’ve gone so far as to have purchased him twice. Well played, Star Wars merchandising. Well played!


In fairness, Malakili had a few nanoseconds of screen time more than a lot of figures produced by Kenner and Hasbro. So what, if he didn’t have a speaking line? He sobbed. That was more than we ever got out of Prune Face or Squid Head. I can remember seeing RotJ with my parents and asking why that man was crying. My Mom simply answered because his pet just died. I felt sad and my young mind started questioning the very foundations of my heroes. What kind of asshole was Luke that he killed the poor fat guy’s pet? It was right at that moment that I was truly introduced to the concept that maybe morality is actually subjective. Maybe there are no rights and wrongs, and there are only grey areas. Thank you, Malakili, you taught me more than my college philosophy professor ever could. Of course, Malakili went on to Mos Eisley to open a restaurant with his friend. It’s true! I can’t make that shit up, but apparently someone else can. Either way, it’s clear to me that Malakili in all of his 60 seconds of screen time invoked more empathy in me as a character than anyone who appeared in any or all of the prequels.


So, I’ve gone on about Malakili for three paragraphs and haven’t said anything about the figure. But really, what is there to say? He’s a husky, shirtless guy in puffy pants with a hood. How many people do you know wear hoods with no jacket or shirt? He’s a trend setter. If you’re in the market for a Rancor Keeper, this one is improved over the original Kenner version and he’s actually not a bad sculpt, although Hasbro has since released a newer version in the Legacy Collection. The package on the POTF2 version says he comes with a vibro blade, but if you’re a ludicrously well informed nerd like me, then you know that’s a gaffi stick given to him by some Tusken Raiders for helping them out. And no, I didn’t really know that, I looked it up.


And then there’s the Gamorrean Guard. I don’t have nearly as much to say about these guys, save for the fact that I’ve always had an inexplicable love for them. Maybe it’s because they’re one of the first aliens we’re introduced to in RotJ and they really set the tone for the crazy creaturefest that follows. Maybe it’s because they get to wear sandals to work. I do know that I love their medieval garb and the fact that they were so bad ass that they carry axes rather than fancy laser swords or blasters. I also love that they walk around with snot running out of their noses like leaky faucets. It’s like someone scooped them off their planet and never bothered to tell them about technology like blasters… or tissues.


The vintage Kenner version of the Gamorrean Guard was a pretty good figure, but the POTF2 release has long been my Gamorrean of choice. I’ve yet to pick up a Vintage Collection version, but their pants look too furry and they’re way too expensive to army build. I can get three POTF2 Guards for every one VC version and it’s all about army building, my friends. In my mind, the POTF2 Gamorrean Guard is one of the best figures the line put out. He has a very good sculpt, which is pretty faithful to the source material, and if Hasbro meant to buff him out, you can’t tell because he was already fat. I can hate on plenty of the figures from this era, but this guy is solid enough to stand proudly in my Jabba display. I also like his axe better than the one that came with the vintage figure.


Both figures feature the same six points of articulation. Their heads rotate, their arms rotate at the shoulders, they have standard T-crotches, and they can swivel at the waist.


And that puts this week of Jabbapalooza in the bag. I’ll be back Monday with another Farscape figure and the rest of the week will be all about going through some new receivings, including some Marvel and DC figures, a Lego set, Transformers, and even a certain pair of third-party Transformers from Mech Ideas. Enjoy your Sundays, and after church, why not go take the kids to Malakili’s restaurant for a nice brunch? I’ll see ya there!

Star Wars Power of the Force 2: 8D8 and EV-9D9 by Hasbro

Torture droids! Everybody loves torture droids!!! Despite being a franchise aimed at kids, every one of the three Star Wars films featured some kind of implied or explicit torture scene. Whether it was Princess Leia getting stuck with needles to give up the Rebel Base or Han Solo getting his face electrically burned off. And if that’s not creepy enough, Hasbro has delivered at least a few figures based on these scenes. But today we’re focused on a couple of the custodians of Jabba’s robot dungeon. And somehow toys based on the torture of robots seems a little less likely to offend the folks at Amnesty International. I loved the designs of these guys, and while I never owned EV-9D9 as a kid, I did have the 8D8 that came with the “Jabba’s Dungeon” playset and he was always a favorite of mine.


This pair of sadistic servoids were released as part of the Freeze Frame sub-line in POTF2. They’re on green cards and each one comes with a slide showing the character in a screen grab. This was a great gimmick, and I always regret not getting that special offer display holder and saving them all. I have bags full of various crappy coins that came with Star Wars figures over the years, but somehow, I never manage to save any of these cool slides. The back panels of the cards show a large clip-out version of the scene on the slide. You also get some shots of other POTF2 goodies.



Let’s start with 8D8. I’ll take this opportunity to point out that my favorite droid designs in the Star Wars films are the ones that couldn’t possibly support actors inside them. I was pretty fascinated with robots when I was a kid and to me having a robot in the movie that wasn’t just a guy in a suit was way cooler, even if they were more puppets than actual robots. 8D8 is one of those designs and that makes him a winner in my book.


The other cool thing about 8D8 is just how damn creepy he looks. His white coloring, exposed “ribcage,” and his thin arms and piston-driven framework legs make him look like some kind of deformed skeleton. He also kind of looks like robot Christopher Lee and he’s got that awesome hunchback configuration that makes him perfect for lurking around a dank dungeon. The sculpting here is particularly good for a POTF2 figure. He doesn’t suffer from the buffed out proportions and basically takes the original vintage Kenner figure and tweaks it in all the right places. 8D8 includes his droid branding device, which comes in two pieces and an articulated lever. It’s a nice piece to display beside him, especially if you have any unruly Gonk Droids lying around.



Next up is EV-9D9, who is another one of those cool robot designs that couldn’t support a human actor and thereby makes my Top Droids of Star Wars list. Like a lot of bit characters in the Star Wars Universe, she’s also got a somewhat involved backstory in the EU that can be traced back to Cloud City. She’s a lot taller than 8D8 and much less creepy looking, but she does feature the same thin arms and legs. She has three beady little yellow eyes, one of which she apparently installed herself to detect the pain levels in droids! My favorite thing about her design in the movie was the little articulated mouth flap. Oddly enough, the vintage Kenner figure translated that into a gimmick on the figure, but the POTF2 version doesn’t attempt it. I also dig that you can turn her head around and she looks like she’s has a new head with giant bug eyes. She also has a screw running up her back in place of a spine. EV-9D9 has a great bronze and black two-tone deco and comes with her console table.


Both droids feature the same five points of articulation. You get rotating heads, shoulders and hips. No big surprises there. Their limbs are pretty rubbery, but both figures can stand fairly well.


While not technically part of Jabba’s Throne Room entourage, these guys are still going to make it into my Jabba display when I put it together. I think I’ll likely just create a little alcove off to the side. For a couple of droids that were only in the film for a few moments, I love these guys a lot more than I have any right to and I’d love to see them given the modern treatment one of these days.

Star Wars Power of the Force 2: Tattooine Skiff by Hasbro

As promised, it’s the second part of the weekend where I cross a long coveted toy off my list and add it to my collection. Can this thing possibly live up to nearly 30 years of expectations?

Wow, this thing comes in a pretty big box! One might say an unnecessarily big box, because about half of it is just for presentation. There’s a gigantic window to show off the Skiff, which is mounted against a cinematic backdrop, with a little pop-up Sarlacc on the bottom. Alas, it’s the shitty ret-conned Sarlacc that looks like Audrey 2 from “Little Shop of Horrors” and not the cool foam-core-sand- vagina used in the original movie. The included Luke Sywalker figure is posed standing at the bow of the Skiff with lightsaber drawn. The back of the box has some stills from the movie as well as a big photo of the toy to point out the various play features. The side panels show the scene from the movie recreated with figures, which is very cool.

If you’re a mint-in-box collector you probably love this packaging, if you’re not, then get ready to have some fun getting the toy out of the package. The Skiff is held on with super, double-enforced zip-ties, which are wrapped inside some kind of impervious, clear zip-tie sleeve. I can’t recall ever encountering these things before, but they’re the kind of things the FBI would use to take Hannibal Lecter into custody. They are literally thicker and stronger than a lot of parts on the actual toy. I had to pull out the heavy duty wire cutters to get the toy free without risk to the railings. When you do finally get the Skiff out, you find that the Luke figure is secured to the railing with a cthuluesque web of twist-ties that cannot be cut because they’re so tightly woven around the frail plastic railings. I’m not going to crap all over what is a beautiful presentation on Hasbro’s part, but I would have preferred the toy come in just a regular box so I could pop it back in to store it, not to mention avoid having to deal with all the twist-ties. Still, it was damn tempting to try to save the box, but space concerns being what they are, I had little choice but to pitch it.


Once the Skiff was out of package, freed of all its tethers and in hand, I have to say I really am thrilled with this thing. Make no mistake, it’s a very simple toy, with no electronic lights or sounds or any of that jazz. There are a few play gimmicks, and we’ll get to those in a bit, but none of them mar the toy as a display piece. Sure, the Skiff is not exactly to scale, but it’s certainly close enough that you can load it up with all the key figures from the scene. I can comfortably fit three of my Skiff Guards as well as Luke, Han and Chewie. The sculpt and coloring on the toy are both particularly well done. There’s a lot of black, weathered paint laid over the greenish plastic as well as some silver metal rubbing. You also get a few well-placed laser blasts sculpted into the mold. For a late 90’s toy, refurbished using the mold of a mid 80’s toy, Hasbro did a very nice job on this piece. It not only holds up well, but I’d say it even surpasses some of the Star Wars toys we’ve seen in recent years.

My favorite action feature on the Skiff is the retractable landing gear. Not only does this feature allow you to stand it so it’s “hovering” off the ground, but it’s so well integrated into the toy and allows the vehicle to stand quite well. A clear stand would have been cool, but I appreciate that the legs are molded to look like actual landing gear the vehicle might have and they are actually deployed by one of the levers at the pilot’s station! I can’t think of too many Star Wars toys where the vehicle’s actual controls perform a function on the toy. The other lever deploys the gangplank, which once extended all the way drops the tip down to eject the prisoner. I could have done without the floppy end gimmick, but otherwise I really dig the gangplank.

Other action features include levers on the back that turn the two rudders in unison, two drop down side railings, and a spring-loaded deck plate that actually ejects a figure off of the Skiff. There are also some holes in the center block on the deck, which I presume are for storing the guards’ force pikes. Overall, I think my only gripe here is that I would have liked some more foot pegs on the deck. Thankfully, I have an neigh endless supply of blue tack.

As mentioned, the Skiff comes with an “Exclusive Luke Skywalker” figure, which is appropriately enough, the version of him in his black Jedi garb. The figure seems to be actually kit-bashed from parts, both old and new. I’m pretty sure this was the only version of Jedi Luke with the blaster damage to his right hand, although it’s just a black paint smudge. Besides the normal five points of articulation, Luke also has hinged knees and a swivel cut in his right wrist! The POTF2 line was not always kind to Luke in terms of likenesses, but this one really isn’t too bad. In fact, the only real problem with him is his bizarre, giraffe neck. I thought that design might have been to accommodate a plastic cloak on another release, but I’m not sure. He comes with his green lightsaber, which makes me wish I had saved the clear rubber band, because he doesn’t hang on to it very well.



It’s hard for a toy to live up to more than 25 years of nostalgia and anticipation, but the Skiff here didn’t disappoint me… not one bit. It was pretty easy to find one, once I decided to buy it and all told with shipping this little beauty set me back only $40. Not bad at all for something I’ve wanted for so long. It may be crazy to compare this simple little toy to Hasbro’s more recent Millennium Falcon, AT-AT, or even the new Slave-1, but it goes to show you that certain toys can still get me all hot and bothered over the Star Wars franchise, no matter how many times I try to swear off collecting it. Hmm… I never did own one of those B-Wing fighters… I always wanted one of those…

Star Wars Power of the Force 2: Jabba’s Skiff Guards by Hasbro

As promised, let’s take a gander at the Skiff Guards, Klaatu, Barada and Nikto. If your sci-fi chops don’t extend beyond Star Wars, then you are missing the in joke that “Klaatu Barada Nikto” was a phrase from the 1951 classic “The Day The Earth Stood Still.” Klaatu was the alien visitor’s name and the entirety of the phrase kept Gort from going apeshit and destroying the world. In a nice little nod back to the film, the phrase was also used in “Army of Darkness” as an incantation to safely recover The Necronomicon. Of course, for our purposes here, these are the names given to three of Jabba’s pirate-like cronies, which happen to make up the figures in this Cinema Scene 3-pack.

The first time I owned two of these characters in figure form was as a kid when my parents got me the Jabba’s Dungeon playset. It was a remold of the far more fun Droid Factory playset. As the name suggests, Jabba’s Dungeon was basically a place where kids could torture their cute and innocent droid figures. It even came with a branding iron on the end of the crane! The playset itself was pretty useless, but I loved it because it came with two of the Skiff Guards, Klaatu and Nikto, and one of Jabba’s torture droids, 8D8. The playset was also available with three different figures: Barada (the other Skiff Guard), Amanaman, and EV-9D9. Alas, splitting up the guards like that meant that I never did have Barada as a kid. [Sorry for all the rambling, folks. Star Wars toys hold a shit-ton of nostalgia for me. This is another reason why I haven’t done a lot of Star Wars content! –FF]

Here are the guys in all their packaged glory. Hasbro’s Cinema Scenes were a really great marketing idea. As the name suggests, you get three figures from a scene in the movie, packaged against a backdrop to make a little in-package diorama. You also got a plastic figure stand, with a slot so you could clip out the backdrop and slide it into the stand to display your figures. Like most POTF2 figures, nowadays you can get these sets for next to nothing, and I still have a lot of them still in the package. In fact, this may be the first time I’ve ever opened one! The first thing I learned is to have clippers ready, because the figures are secured with a diabolical network of twist-ties around their feet and torsos. Sadly, by securing the figures to the display backdrop, it means there are some unsightly holes in it. Fortunately, the figures stand right in front of them, so they aren’t all that obvious.

I like Barada the least of the trio. Maybe that’s because I didn’t have him as a kid and I’m not as nostalgic toward him. But, I’d like to think it’s more about his sculpt and paintwork. The paintwork on his face, hands, bandanna, and belt are all god-awful. It looks like Hasbro tried to get clever by using some kind of wash, but if that’s the case, it was a failed experiment. And why the hell is he wearing Han Solo’s pants? He does have a nice jaunty, swashbuckler shirt and some cool gear sculpted onto him. He also comes with a kick-ass blaster. God, I loved the POTF2 weapons. They were so big and elaborate and I’ve since loaned a lot of them out to my army of 5-inch Character Options Sontarans.

Next up is Nikto, which is a pretty solid figure. The head sculpt is nice, complete with head wrap, and features some pretty good paintwork, as all his little horn thingies are painted black. He’s got quilted vest and nice silver arm bracers. I especially like the fact that his arms are sculpted to hold his vibro-axe across his chest, much like Weequay.

Of all three figures, Klaatu is the one that most resembles his original vintage counterpart. The outfit is almost exactly the same. It’s just a ruffled white jumpsuit with a cross-checked skirt and a little armor reinforcement to his right shoulder and neck. The head sculpt is especially detailed and I really like his skull cap. Klaatu can hold his vibro-axe in either hand. Of course, Klaatu was also released carded as a much snazzier figure, complete with a fuzzy loin cloth. I think that one is still my favorite.

Ah, but wait. I’m still going to want a Weequay to add to the display, so let’s dig him out of the tote and tear him open too.

I feel sorry for collectors trying to keep track of packaged POTF2 figures because there are just so many different states out there. You’ve got your orange cards, your green cards, your Freeze Frames… and when all is said and done you can still go to your average flea market and pick them out of a bin for a couple bucks each. Well, this Weequay came on a green card and has a snazzy and shimmery photo of him beside the bubble. The package identifies him as “Skiff Guard” but I could have sworn he was once “Skiff Master.” Oh, I forgot, Weequay is a race and not a dude. Yeah, as a kid, I thought Weequay was the guy’s name. The package also points out that he comes with a Force Pike and a Blaster. Oh, shit, I’ve been calling those things vibro-axes. My bad. Too much Knights of the Old Republic, I guess.

Weequay is the man! He was a favorite figure of mine back in the ROTJ heyday. Why? I have no idea, but my Star Wars addled adolescent mind raised him to the unsubstantiated coolness factor of Boba Fettic proportions. In my mind he survived the battle on Tatooine stole himself a fricken Tie Fighter and pursued Han and Luke across the galaxy looking for revenge. Yeah, try to top that nonsense! Unless you write for Marvel Comics, you can’t!

The POTF2 version of Weequay has actually changed very little from his vintage figure days. He’s a tad more pre-posed here, and there’s a little more detail in his ponytail, but his outfit hasn’t changed much at all and his arms are still molded to hold his vibro-axe force pike across his chest so he can use it to bump fools onto the gangplank. He also has some paint-spray dirt around the bottoms of his trousers. In addition to his force pike, Weequay comes with a blaster. He can hold it, but because his arms are designed specifically to hold his other weapon, he can’t really wield it very well. Still, an extra blaster! Who’s going to complain about that? Not me! I basically adore this figure, probably more than anyone should adore any POTF2 figure. It captures all the right points of the original vintage release.

Oh yeah, all of the figures today have the same six points of articulation. The heads turn, the arms rotate at the shoulders, the legs rotate at the hips, and they swivel at the waist. That’s a whole point more than the vintage figures had!

I’m perfectly happy with this entourage of figures for my Skiff display, but I’d be lying if I’m not tempted to pick up a vintage set and maybe even the current molds from Hasbro’s Vintage Collection. See? It’s spreading. The darkness is spreading. No… I will not again embrace the Star Wars collecting addiction. I’m going to go get me some methadone and I’ll be back tomorrow to check out the Skiff.

Star Wars: A Sarlacc-ariffic Weekend!

Some of you, who have been reading FigureFan a while, may know that I liquidated the bulk of my massive Star Wars collection four or five years back. That’s why I publish so few Star Wars features here. It was a money-sucking monkey that I worked long and hard to get off my back. Sure, I kept some prominent pieces, but I tried to let as much go as possible, which amounted to hundreds of figures and dozens of vehicles and playsets. Fast forward to now and I’ve been making weekly sojourns to my remote storage and going through totes only to find that I still have a ridiculous amount of Star Wars odds and ends. Going through this stuff was a big mistake because it’s really bringing me back into the glory days of my Star Wars toys as a kid and my collection as an adult. I can’t say as I regret selling off all that stuff. At the time I needed space and money and my Star Wars collection was getting so unwieldy and sprawling that I had figures based on characters that I didn’t even know.

Anywho… one of the things I found, in particular, was my Jabba’s Skiff Guards Cinema Scene 3-pack and it got me thinking about one of my long time toy grails. Every collector has their grails. They’re the figure or toy that they always wanted, but never got. Most people’s grails are insanely hard to find and expensive. That’s why they don’t own them and that’s what makes them grails. I’ve got a few things like that on my list, but one of my grails isn’t expensive or hard to get, it’s just something I never owned and always wanted to. It’s the Tattooine Skiff from Return of the Jedi.

Why the Skiff? Well, for starters it’s my favorite scene in that movie and one of my favorites in all the Star Wars films. It was such a great Flash Gordon-y concept to make a bunch of space adventurers walk the plank of a ship hovering in the middle of a desert. It was a great action scene too, with people being tossed over the sides left and right and falling to their doom, and we even get to see the legendary captain of cool himself, Boba Fett, in action for a few short moments before he screams like a girl and falls to his death. (or what might have been his death if you have the good taste to discount the events of a certain very shitty Marvel comic). I also just love the look of the Skiffs. They’re vaguely nautical looking, vaguely steam punk, and they look like they’d be fun to skim across the desert in. Not to forget the fact that they were manned by aliens that looked like pirates and toted around vibro-axes. Fantastic!

For a lot of Star Wars collectors, I’m sure the Tattooine Skiff is a grail piece, specifically the original release, issued as part of the first Power of the Force line in 1985. That was the year that failed to keep the Star Wars license afloat and as such the original release of the Skiff has become both rare and pricey. Fortunately, all I wanted was the toy, and the Skiff has been re-released to offer more affordable options. It was first re-issued as part of the Power of the Force 2 collection (the one we’re looking at this weekend) and again sometime around 2008 as part of an Ultimate Battle Pack, complete with a plastic Sarlacc.

So, needless to say, I finally hunted one down and bought it, and we’ll look at it tomorrow in all its glory. But first, I’ll be back later today to open up and take a look at my Skiff Guards so I have some figures to display on it.