Monday, April 26, 2010

Toy Review: Star Wars - Order of the Jedi - General Anakin Skywalker by Sideshow

I’m not sure if I missed this version of Anakin when Sideshow offered preorders or if The Clone Wars just hadn’t been on long enough for me to start liking Anakin as a character. I think the latter is more likely. Either way, when I saw this listed at BigBadToyStore.com I felt like it came out of the blue. I definitely wanted it, though. Sideshow’s General Obi-Wan is one of my favorite toys and even though he is adapted from Tartikofsky’s animation rather than the new CGI, he needed his (one-time) best buddy to hang out with. It’s like Buzz and Woody, only with dismemberment!
First Glance: This figure looks like a real-world representation of Anakin Skywalker as shown in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV show. Which is good, because that’s what it is supposed to be. His tabard-thingy looks especially nice. I don’t know why that stands out to me, but it does.
Sculpt: As always, I have no idea which body Sideshow used, but it’s the right one. This is probably the most interesting head sculpt I’ve seen. Rather than just re-use the older Hayden Christensen sculpt the designers created a composite of the actor and the likeness from the TV series. The result looks like an idealized Christensen, with all the me-wanty and whininess extracted. Much more manly than the previous Anakins, even the Vader version.
Design: The materials used for this figure are very nice. You have the standard Jedi browns, but also a pleathery blue material for that tabard thing. Also present are armor on Anakin’s chest, shoulders and left wrist; the large gauntlet over his mechanical right forearm, the Jedi issue belt and some nicely detailed boots. The textures on everything are Sideshow’s normal level of excellence and the paint apps – where needed – really make everything come alive. I will never stop being amazed at Sideshow’s ability to create such reality on such a small scale.
Accessories: Anakin comes with two lightsabers – one ignited and one not. Also included are an extra set of hands and a couple of pouches. There is a spot on the belt to hang the deactivated lightsaber (I suppose you could hang the other one, too; but that might nix future Skywalkers) and the pouches clip on to the belt. My only complaint is that the material connecting the shoulder plates to the chest armor is a little too thick and doesn’t allow the plates to hang properly – you can tell in the photos. Not a huge deal unless you happen to want to pose him like I did. Which I do. Obviously.
Packaging: The classic Sideshow book style window box. Exactly what you expect.
Overall: If you hated Anakin Skywalker before, well; I guess you always will. But this is a damned fine figure. I don’t see wanting another version of Anakin unless Sideshow revisits Hasbro’s awesome “Anakin-to-Vader” figure. This Jedi General is pretty much everything he needs to be and gets a solid:
4 out of 5

If you specifically like Anakin or The Clone Wars, I’d say go to BigBadToyStore right now and see if they still have ‘em. If not, you can skip this one.

Until next time, stay creepy,
-Phantom

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