Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Toy Review Jango Fett’s Slave I By Hasbro

I’m sure Hasbro had this on display somewhere at Toy Fair, but I don’t remember seeing it. The first time this adorable little starship came to my attention was when I saw the box in a Target. At that point I vaguely recalled seeing something about an assortment of smaller-scale, lower-priced vehicles. But I don’t think it occurred to me that the elder Fett’s Firespray (soon to be the junior Fett’s) would be among them.
            Actually, the only thing I definitely remember seeing was an Amazon-Exclusive Boba Fett Slave I that would be a repaint – with slight retooling, I think – of this one. I am terrified of how difficult that thing is going to be to get.
But anyway, I saw this Slave I at Target. I was curious as to just how big it could be given the size of the box. Obviously it wasn’t the mold I referenced above. It couldn’t be the older Power of the Force Target Exclusive either. I didn’t even think the original mold Slave I would fit into that little box. I was baffled. Surely Hasbro wouldn’t have created an all-new mold just to sell at a lower price point?
But I already own five or six 3 ¾” scale versions of this vehicle and certainly didn’t need another one. Definitely not a smaller, inferior version.
But I kept thinking about it. And like a catchy song, the thing just got stuck in my head. I wanted to see for myself just how big it was and how it had been made. The amount of detail, how the cockpit worked, the assembly. It’s not often I get obsessed with a mass market tot, but this thing had me.
It wasn’t at that Target the next time I stopped in. We saw it at Toys R Us, but it cost five bucks more and twenty bucks is pretty much my limit for a curiosity buy (with the rare exception). Then I found one at the worst Target in our area the other night and I decided I had to have it.
First Glance: Having other Hasbro Slave Is to refer to, I knew that this box was tiny. And once I opened it up and pulled the pieces out, I was shocked. Yeah, it was very small, but it looked good. Very good.
Moving Parts: This isn’t just a chunk of plastic. There are some moving features. As many as you need, really.
Opening canopy
Pivoting wings
Pivoting forward guns
Spring-loaded firing missile
As any good nerd knows, that is not how the Fetts enter their ship. Even the original Slave I got that right. But it really doesn’t matter. Everything else looks good and it wouldn’t be realistic to have the front thatch the other versions feature.
The wings are a little tough to move, but they do. These are actually modeled after the second version of the vehicle rather than the original. It would have been easy to fake it with one point of connection, but they went ahead and put the support struts on as well.
The forward guns simply plug into place. They are also a bit tough to move, but better that than if they were too loose.
The missile fires really far for a modern toy. I was surprised. But you do have to be sure and load it correctly or it won’t stay in. There are three ridges near the top and you have to load the missile with one facing toward the front of the ship or it won’t click into the mechanism properly and will just fire on its own.
Sculpt: I wasn’t expecting the level of detail present on this toy. I don’t know exactly how to term such things, but the primary and secondary levels of detail are all present. By that I mean that all of the panels and major ridges and wires are here. Enough of the tooling and parts to look correct. I was honestly expecting a minimum of this sort of thing, but there’s plenty to examine.
Even the bottom of the vehicle has a ton of sculpting.
The shape is obviously correct and is simply a scaled-down version of the ship. When comparing it to other modern versions, it is almost just like looking at one from further away – the smallest of the details just aren’t visible.
The cockpit has ten times as much stuff going on as any of the original vehicles. Plenty of panels and displays and whatnot. 
We put a Vintage Collection Jango Fett and an (Movie Heroes?) AOTC Obi-Wan in there and they both fit just fine. The canopy fits very snugly in place, but snaps open easily enough. It has two open positions – one that is wide enough to get a figure in and out but requires support, and one that is vertical from the ship and clicks into place.
The spot where the missile is seated could have been an eyesore, but the way it is sculpted and the depth at which the missile sits actually makes it another interesting visual. It isn’t accurate, but it isn’t instantly recognizable as an action feature, which is usually the failing of action features. If they don’t blend smoothly into the sculpt, I hate them with a passion.
What’s interesting is that without reference or visual cues you really wouldn’t know that this is such a small ship. But as soon as you put a figure near it:
Well, there you go.
Coloring: Just like the amount of sculpted detail, I was surprised by the paint job on this thing. There are at least eight colors present and a lot of it is paint. It is all applied cleanly and matches the idea of the Slave I, is not the exact deco. It matches up quite nicely with the Clone Wars Slave I.
This vehicle comes with three stickers that I had to apply. Two went in the cockpit in slightly hard-to-reach spots and one went on the nose of the ship. These are nice-looking, detailed stickers that honestly weren’t even necessary. But I’m glad they were in there. They provided that little something extra.
I personally really like the dark canopy. It was the first thing I noticed about the ship that was a major difference from the other models. It looks good and draws the eye. I also like that it is flat rather than glossy. It goes with the rest of the ship, which has nice, interesting colors but is subdued.
Accessories: The only true accessory is the missile. It looks neat and has a more involved sculpt than is strictly necessary. I almost get the feeling from this toy that the designers knew they were making a cheap-o version of something and wanted to do the absolute best possible job they could on it.
Packaging: It’s the standard Star Wars slim vehicle box. The front features the new Yoda graphic.
As much as I like this graphic, I don’t know that Yoda is the guy I would have chosen to represent the toy line. He’s certainly iconic, and he spans all of the media. But there’s just something about him that utterly fails to say “Action and Adventure!”.
The other vehicles in the case with the Slave I are a Jedi Starfighter (not sure it’s specified as Obi-Wan’s) and (other thing). I like that the Starfighter is worked into this one’s box art.
Value: I was dubious at first, but I have to say that Hasbro has crafted a fine vehicle for $20.
Overall: If you’re me you’re going to want a larger version, but if you’re a kid or just want to have a neat Slave I this one will do just fine. As a matter of fact, while we were taking pictures for this review Lil’ Troublemaker – who knows I already own several Slave Is – told me he’s really like to have this one and asked if I was going to keep it. My original plan had actually been to give it to him, but I like it so much I had to think about it. I might have to buy another one.

5 out of 5

Hasbro did a fantastic job on this little toy. I never would have imagined it could surpass my expectations in the way that it did. It’s fun, it fires a missile and holds Jango Fett, I don’t know what more you could want out of something to play with.

While I wouldn’t be as happy with it at Toys R Us’ $25 price point, I recommend you buy one if you see this at Target or Walmart for $20.

Great job, Hasbro!

-Phantom

3 comments:

  1. I've also been very curious about the size after repeatedly selling this on sale for $13 or $15 at various places. I guess it's neat as a novelty, but as far as small Slave I's go, I think I just prefer the Micro Machines Action Fleet version.

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    Replies
    1. And that's pretty much what this is - a novelty. But if you're a Fett collector then this one is well worth it. I'll be reviewing the new Amazon Exclusive Boba Fett Slave-I soon, so stay tuned.

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  2. Great review, I'll be buying this for my son's 7th birthday!

    Many thanks

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