Monday, September 27, 2010

Toy Review – Star Wars: Ultimate Battle Pack – The Rise of Boba Fett By Hasbro

I don’t remember if this set was announced at Toy Fair or shortly thereafter, but I do know it was right around the time I was lamenting my lack of Jango Fett’s Slave I. We had just gotten the Galactic Heroes version for Lil’ Troublemaker, so naturally I was jealous that I didn’t have one. As far as I know the only time it has been released was for Attack of the Clones and it was the same mold as my Boba Slave I with a different paint job. Granted, this new one is sold as Boba’s, but it still sports the original paint job.
As happy as I was to see an all-new mold for the iconic bounty-hunting vessel; I was also pretty pissed off that it was being included in a Battle Pack with a bunch of other crap I didn’t want. Hasbro decided for some reason that this brand-new vehicle needed to come with Mace Windu’s Jedi Starfighter and Clone Wars-style figures of Windu, Anakin, Bossk, young Boba Fett and Windu’s astromech droid (okay, the reason was that all of the pieces figure into the episode that this version of the Slave I debuted in). I was going to end up paying a lot more than I wanted to for this damned Firespray-class starship.
A whole shit-ton more, as it turned out. I came across one of the Toys-R-Us exclusive sets earlier than I expected. I was in there one day last week looking for something for Lil’ Troublemaker and saw this giant box at the end of the aisle with the AT-ATs (which you should go buy right now if you haven’t – check out my glowing review with video!). Upon closer inspection I saw that it was the Fett Battle Pack. I wasn’t exactly happy to see it, because it really wasn’t in the budget yet – I thought it was going to be a Christmas item. But, me being me, I knew I had to go ahead and get it. Too often I have felt the bite of indecisive shopping; when you put off buying an item and then never see it again.
I almost shit my pants when I price-checked that motherfucker.
I did not want to pay $110 for this thing.
But I also knew I had to have it and really didn’t want to pay secondary market price to some shitbag scalper later on (the set is already going online for $150 - $180). So I bought it. I figured I could sell off the parts I didn’t want on eBay if I really wanted to (I also skipped the new Walmart Green Lantern 5-pack to make up for this one).
So was it worth it in the end? Just how good were all the toys in that big-ass box, particularly the central piece – my coveted Slave I? Find out… NEXT!
I’m going to organize this review a little differently. Windu’s Starfighter and the Slave I get their own sections, but I’m going to just quickly review the figures as a whole. The reason is that I don’t collect the animated-style figures (for the most part) and am kind of apathetic towards reviewing things that I wouldn’t have bought in the first place.
First Glance: The box is giant, almost as big as the AT-AT box. This sort of but not really helped alleviate anxiety over the price. Honestly, my first impression was, “I really don’t want all that other crap.”
Sculpt:
Figures - As I mentioned above, you get Clone Wars figures of Mace Windu, Anakin Skywalker, young Boba Fett, Bossk and R8-B7 (Mace Windu’s astromech at the time of the related story).
Windu is in his Clone Wars armor and includes a helmet, which is nice. He looks good. He is not super-articulated, but sits in his ship just fine, which is all I need him to do.
Anakin looks like Anakin. He is super-articulated.
Young Boba looks spot-on, but has that unacceptable ankle problem that is absolutely plaguing my Star Wars figures lately – the hinge color doesn’t match the foot or the calf. It looks like shit. Other than that, he looks great. He’s super-articulated, which is impressive on a smaller figure.
Bossk is actually a very cool figure that I would probably keep if I didn’t have such a great movie-based one. This one is super-articulated and is probably my favorite Bossk ever. As good as the most recent movie-style figure is, this one is just oozing personality. Good job, Hasbro.
R8-B7 is the most amazing astromech toy I have ever seen. It has two front compartments that open to reveal moving appendages. It has a sensor scope in its dome. It has a little compartment in its back with a grappling line that extends over six inches and is retracted by rotating the dome. It also has a removable third leg. Windu’s droid is quite possibly the best pure toy Hasbro has produced under the Star Wars banner. I didn’t pay enough attention to the ten or so seconds of screen time to know if R8-B7 is accurate, but it really doesn’t matter. I believe this droid shares a sculpt with the previously released Clone Wars R2-D2, but I’m not sure.
Mace Windu’s Starfighter – This is based off of the new Clone Wars Jedi Delta-7B Aethersprite-class light interceptor mold. I really like this mold, enough that I bought the Obi-Wan version back when it was first released. Not only does it have plenty of room for an astromech (or another figure if you’re a kid with no concept of what unprotected flight through space will do to a person), it also separates into two vehicles. One resembles the Eta-2 Actis-class interceptor (from Revenge of the Sith), the other looks a bit goofy. That’s okay, though, because this is another instance of Hasbro’s uncanny knack for increasing the play-value of screen-accurate toys. Kids have to want these things too, you know.
Anyway, the ship is neat. The separation mechanism works well and it shoots three missiles – two on the top and one underneath, mounted cleverly on the landing gear.
Slave I – And now for the star of the show. This thing is simply amazing. It is much larger than the last 3 ¾”-scale Slave I Hasbro released, but you don’t realize how much until you see them side-by-side. 
I read somewhere that this one was twenty percent larger, but it seems closer to thirty to me. Aside from the slightly too-large nose-mounted cannons it looks exactly like it should. We’ll forgive those cannons because they fire missiles, another point for the ever-important playability.
Not only do the forward cannons fire missiles, there are also charges underneath the hull that can be deployed with the push of a button.
Similar to the original Slave I toy, there is a boarding ramp that slides out of the front portion. Above that, a door drops down to allow access to the cargo bay/prisoner storage area. Inside that is a capsule to put your bounties in.
Behind the cargo access area is the cockpit area. This is where the new Firespray mold really blows my mind. The cargo bay design is impressive enough, but now there is a forward hold – a foyer, if you will – connected to the pilot’s area. The fore portion is accessed through a side panel while the actual cockpit is accessed by lifting the rear portion of the vehicle.
The forward hold features a few computer stations and foot pegs for figures. The most impressive feature is a little peg near what would be the access hatch on the actual vehicle. Any of Hasbro’s Mandalorian jetpacks can be plugged into this peg, and the strap on (adult) Boba’s rifle fits over it in such a way that it can be hung under the plugged-in jetpack. 
This is one of those tiny details that makes Hasbro great. An adult Fett won’t fit into the pilot’s seat with his jetpack on, so Hasbro felt the need to give him somewhere to store it. Beautiful.
The cockpit features three places for figures – one pilot seat and two passenger seats. They are situated in a rotating assembly that locks into place while the ship is grounded, but swivels freely to match orientation when the Slave I is airborne. It is a simple mechanism, but again; wonderful. I like that the viewport is part of the ship now rather than the cockpit access point or a separate piece of plastic. I think it looks much better than the old designs.
There is also a slot at the aft portion of the cockpit that looks like it would hold a carbonite block just perfectly…
Design:
Figures – Aside from little Boba’s ankle problem, the deco on all of the figures is great. They are by no means the typical sub-par jobs we have seen thrown in countless multi-packs. Any one of these could easily be a carded single figure, though Boba would likely require more accessories.
Mace Windu’s Starfighter – It looks fine, but I would have liked a brighter purple to match the other Windu-related stuff.
Slave I – I am really loving the way the Clone Wars-style vehicles are being done. Hasbro is sticking to more flat colors and avoiding anything shiny. I think this makes all of the vehicles look much more realistic, which is odd considering they are made to reflect their appearances in a cartoon. All of the lines and panels just seem to be sharper than older releases as well.
This thing is chock-full of painted detail. From the wear on the outside to the stickers on the consoles on the interior. The Slave I just looks great.


Accessories:
(Otis head not included)
Figures – Each figure comes with a stand and a card for whatever the game is you can play with the figures. Another Clone die was also included, bringing my grand total on those up to about 487.
Mace Windu comes with his lightsaber, a helmet and two removable shoulder armor pieces. All of the separate portions of his armor seem to be slightly different colors and it looks a little weird. I don’t think that’s accurate – just a byproduct of three different kinds of plastic.
Boba comes with nothing. I understand that Hasbro doesn’t want to sell kids a toy of a kid with blasters, but he could’ve come with Jango’s jetpack and helmet. And ankles that don’t look like shit.
Anakin has his lightsaber.
Bossk includes his blaster rifle, which he can actually hold (I am still shocked over the fact that the modern Bossks can all hold their weapons).
R8-B7 comes with nothing but its own innate awesomeness.
Mace Windu’s Starfighter – Includes three firing missiles.
Slave I – Has two firing missiles, two depth-charge thingies and the prisoner cell.
Packaging: Kind of dull. It doesn’t really get across how special Hasbro seems to think this set is. It looked especially unimpressive next to the Toys R Us Exclusive Vintage AT-AT packaging.It does, however illustrate exactly how large the new Slave I is; which I think is a good idea.
Overall: I suppose it was worth it. Once I got that Slave I out and realized just how big and detailed it was I felt better. I can see where Hasbro probably considers it a $60- $70 toy. I’m not saying they’re right, but they were charging $64.99 for that Clone Wars Y-Wing and this Slave I is at least as impressive as that ship form a purely creation-oriented point of view.
I like Windu’s Delta-7B enough to hang it up.
I gave Anakin, Bossk and Boba to Lil’ Troublemaker for being good while I gave him a haircut. I’m keeping Mace and his astromech for his ship. I actually want to get an older version of one of Windu’s astromechs to put in there because it seems like a real shame to hang that incredible toy from the ceiling where it can’t be appreciated.
Slave I: 5 out of 5
Mace Windu’s Jedi Starfighter: 3 out of 5
Anakin: 4 out of 5
Boba: 2 out of 5
Bossk: 5 out of 5
Windu: 3 out of 5
R8-B7: 5 out of 5
However, since you can’t buy all of these parts individually, the set needs an overall rating. I’m taking into account not only the quality of each item, but also the shitty decision making process that led to Hasbro packing them all together.
Overall: 4 out of 5
The price is high, but I can’t argue the value. If you’re getting this for a kid or somebody that collects the animated-style toys it’s pretty awesome. If you’re like me and just wanted Fett’s ‘Vette; well, we’re getting screwed. In case you’re curious, here’s the math that led me to that whole “value” conclusion:
Slave I – $64.99 (since that’s what the Y-Wing and re-release of the Republic Carrier cost)
+
Windu’s Starfighter – $27.99 (that’s how much that vehicle size retails for at TRU)
+
Five figures - $7.99 x 5 = $39.95
=
$132.93
So technically, this set is a great deal, saving you around twenty-two bucks versus what you would hypothetically spend if you were to buy these toys individually. I guess that makes me sort of feel better.
Also, I never realized this before, but the paint job on Jango's Slave I matches Boba's armor from his very first appearance. That is just fucking cool. That's who I'm going to have flying this thing.

Until next time, stay creepy
-Phantom

4 comments:

  1. Hi, nice review - hopefully one day they'll re-release Slave 1 on its own with original movie paint-job and Boba figure (and it'll still cost a fortune in the UK - Hasbro seem to think $1=£1).
    About the ankle thing - I use fine tip permanent markers for this. Often it's a black or brown boot with a lighter joint showing thru (step forward and take a bow, Vintage Collection AT-AT Commander). Doesn't work so well if it's a darker hinge and a light foot. Try something like the 'STABILO OHPen universal permanent' range, lots of colours and sizes.
    cheers, Al

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  2. Thanks for the tip, man. I used to do this to sharpen figures up when I was a kid. Don't know why it hasn't occurred to me more recently.

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  3. The Saga 2006 Han Solo /Han Solo Carbonite block does indeed fit in the front of the cockpit area. It's the carbonite block that has frozen han in red in some areas. If you can find it pick it up. I'm guessing that they are planning on re-releasing this later repainted as Boba Fett's Slave I.

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  4. Ha! I feel like such a goon. I have that Han in carbonite and didn't even think about trying it. Thanks, man!

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