Friday, June 6, 2014

Toy Review – Star Wars: The 6” Black Series #06 Boba Fett

Boba Fett is my favorite. Definitely from Star Wars, maybe from everything. I’d have to seriously consider that one.

People either hate Boba Fett because they feel like a character with roughly 14 seconds of screen time across six hours’ worth of movies doesn’t deserve love, or they love him because… well, lots of different reasons.

When I was a kid I loved Boba Fett because he was the coolest looking of the original Star Wars action figures. I don’t really know how aware of him as a character I was before his spectacularly stupid death in Return of the Jedi, but the only figure I loved more than Boba Fett up until that point was that shiny, vac-metal C-3P0 that Hasbro still hasn’t managed to top (I’m hoping the 6” Black version will be vac metal). But I loved that Fett figure. 
 
The bulk of my childhood leisure wear consisted of Batman-related items – footy pajamas, regular pajamas, multiple styles of Underoos – but I could most often be found running around the house in my Boba Fett Underoos, wielding the electronic Han Solo blaster that made a noise that was entirely unlike any sound effect that could be found in the Star Wars Trilogy. It was this annoying buzzer that I’m sure endeared me to my parents and the cat.

I know what you’re thinking, and no – I did not buy that one hoodie that looks like Boba Fett’s armor. I almost did, but I couldn’t stop thinking about this one guy that I saw somewhere that was really loud and douchey and was wearing one of those and it made him seem even more douchey for some reason. I know it’s not a popular thing and that these days everybody is supposed to love and be tolerant of everything and it’s not okay to have a negative thought about anybody, but sometimes I’m judgmental.

I’m judgmental and I love Boba Fett. I’ve mentioned my Wall of Fett before – which is really more of a Wall of Mandalorian Stuff – and how I’ll buy pretty much anything with Fett on it; especially action figures. He’s one of the few characters that I feel compelled to buy whatever figure is made. There are a few exceptions. If it’s a format that I think is particularly stupid I don’t bother. I certainly don’t own any Boba Fett bobbleheads. And I don’t have any stuffed Boba Fetts. But in general if I see a plastic version of the Mandalorian orphan I will buy it. And if it’s in a format that I actually collect I want two – one to open and one to hang on the Wall.

I am not collecting the 6” Star Wars Black Series. For the most part they are excellent action figure – except for that ugly fucking Slave Leia – but I have hundreds of 3.75” scale Star Wars figures and vehicles. I’m not starting a new scale, especially a scale where most of the vehicles will never be produced and if they are would cost more than an actual vehicle to purchase. To me starfighters and snow speeders and armored transports are an essential part of Star Wars. I simply can’t see the point of a collection without those things.

I almost got sucked into the bigger Black line. I mean, it is Star Wars and 6” is my preferred scale. I bought three of the figures from the first wave despite myself. They were great, but dammit I didn’t need them so I sold them on eBay. Close call. I’ll pick up the odd figure here and there – this or any other Fett, Vader, Threepio if they do him right – but I’m going to be pretty strict with it.

Side Note: That Slave Leia really pisses me off. The worst thing isn’t its ugly fucking monkey face, it’s the fact that there is a fair chance that there will only ever be one Princess Leia figure in this line and Hasbro chose to release this one. I know how popular the Slave Leia look is and I appreciate Carrie Fisher’s lithe 26-year-old body as much as anybody, but Leia Organa is a central character in the Trilogy and one of the most powerful individuals in the galaxy. She deserves better than to end up standing around in her underwear next to fully clothed figures of all of her friends. And believe me – I am NOT a guy that thinks about gender issues for even a tenth of a second out of the day. This has nothing to do with Leia being a female or being objectified or whatever. It’s just about her character deserving better. Better clothing and a face sculpt that doesn’t look like a pile of potatoes.

But a Fett figure is a Fett figure and I had to have this one.

Well, two of this one.

I mentioned in my Black Widow review the other day how I had been checking Amazon from time to time (okay, pretty much daily [okay, sometimes more]) for this Fett since around November. I managed to score one early on for around twenty bucks and then never saw them again for less than forty-five. I thought for sure I’d find one at retail at some point, but that still hasn’t happened, despite finding complete cases of the second wave (except for Fett) a few times. Finally, The Oncoming Josh found one at Target and hooked me up, which is pretty much the nicest thing ever.

I could have reviewed this after getting the first one. It sat on my shelf with the rest of the unopened toys waiting to be reviewed for a long time, but eventually I just couldn’t help it anymore and found some excuse to open it. I think it was my Castle Grayskull Review. I should have reviewed it then, but I had this weird feeling that it wasn’t complete yet. Or something. I dunno. Anyway, here’s the review:

FIRST GLANCE

I don’t know why Hasbro has such a preference for Empire Fett. Fett’s look from Return of the Jedi is so much more interesting. His gauntlets are red, his jetpack has more detail, and his bucket (helmet) looks a lot cooler. There might be other details that are different – I know there are from researching my costume a few years ago – but I don’t remember them all.
But even the slightly plainer Empire Fett still looks awesome. And this figure seems to have captured that to an amazing degree. As good as the other three figures I bought were, this one immediately appears to be just a little better. It’s one of those toys where you can almost feel the effort.
PACKAGING

I’ve discussed Hasbro’s new Marvel Legends box plenty, as well as Funko’s Game of Thrones Legacy boxes. Oddly enough I never covered these Black Series boxes, which were actually the first of this new window box style. Evil reviewed Luke and Artoo, but this is the first one of these I’ve covered.

Of course, it’s still a fancy window box. I like the simple silhouette graphics and the orange stripe of color inside. The box is simple and elegant, not clumsy like a blaster. 
 
This isn’t so much a bio as it is a description of a scene, but for all intents and purposes this is all we know about the junior Fett since the Expanded Universe has been nullified. You can read more about that here.

LOOKS

I’m going to try my best not to gush too much.

We all know what this helmet is supposed to look like. From the contours to the dent to the range finder. This is that helmet. We’ve seen it tons of times before at many different scales. This is not a thing Hasbro was going to mess up. Could the range finder have been designed to swing down? Sure. But did we actually see that in Episode V? No. The helmet paint scheme looks great. The trim, visor, and markings are distinct and bright. The silver wear looks a little painted on, but the only solution to that would have been to layer the other colors over a silver base and leave the wear uncovered. I think that might have been ridiculous.

All of the points of articulation are worked into the sculpt beautifully. The profile is almost entirely uninterrupted, even when the figure is posed. The only joint that really sticks out is the abdominal ball joint and that’s because Fett is wearing a sort of vest over his flight suit. I didn’t know this until I made my Mando costume, but Fett’s armor plates are attached to a separate vest that is over the flight suit. So this joint actually creates that look. Hasbro even went so far as to put the closure on the bottom of the flight suit:

There’s even a slight color variation.

The armor plates have a great thickness and feature the pitting and scoring seen in the movie. These are painted nicely, but there is some slop around the edges of the plates. It’s not all that noticeable in person, but the pictures really highlight it. The sigil and lights on the chest plates are tightly done and placed well. The back portion is a solid piece with dangling straps and clasps sculpted on for the rocket pack. 

The shoulder cloak is permanently attached and is one of the rare successful uses of soft goods. It’s made of a stiff fabric that holds the hanging, folded shape. The design is printed and the edges are nice and ragged.
Each arm features a shoulder plate and Fett’s signature gauntlets, loaded down with tech. The left shoulder plate has the iconic mythosaur. Both have sculpted and painted pitting. 

The gauntlets are amazing. The lines are sharp and defined and the paint detail is outstanding. Every little button and switch is painted. The rocket on Fett’s left arm has three different colors without a bit of slop.

The right gauntlet has the line running from under Fett’s sleeve. I’m honestly not sure what that is. It seems like it would be the fuel supply for his flamethrower, but that’s on his left arm. This piece is mounted on a swivel so that it won’t interfere with posing – an ingenuous design.

Fett’s hands are posed to hold blasters and feature the detailed sculpt and paint job of his gloves.

Fett’s belts, pouches, and holster are a separately sculpted piece that sits loosely enough on the figure’s waist to move around a bit. The paint and detailing are well done, though there’s not much to it (nor should there be).

I don’t ever spend a whole lot of time talking about a figure’s legs because it’s usually just kneepads if you’re lucky. But when Joe Johnston designed Boba Fett he obviously wanted to make sure that every bit of the character was interesting to look at. That’s an important thing to note and likely a part of why Boba Fett is so popular despite his limited exposure. The bottom portion of the flight suit has large thigh pouches with a distinctive design and a nice, thick presence. The kneepads are the middle portion of the double jointed knees and cover the joint beautifully. They sit over the joint rather than being a part of the overall sculpt. The small dart launchers are highly detailed and the paint on these is great.

The shin pockets and tools are sculpted and painted nicely and there’s some grime painted on the lower legs. This is a detail that is present in the film but that I’ve never seen on a figure before. Fett’s boots have the painted, spiked toe caps and all of the line detail that they should.

I forgot to mention all of the folds and wrinkles sculpted into the fabrics. The flight suit and the vest look very real and… present somehow.
ACCESSORIES

Fett comes with his rocket pack, blaster, and EE-3 carbine rifle.

It just now occurs to me that it would have been pretty cool if they had made Jango Fett’s pistols look like Boba’s blaster. But they didn’t. This smaller blaster has a cool design and a very simple paint job. I like the large grip on it. It fits perfectly into Fett’s holster:

The EE-3 carbine rifle is one of the best accessories I have seen at this scale. The sculpt is immaculate and it has more deco than I would have thought possible. The stock is highly detailed and the wear on the barrel looks great. This is one of my favorite weapon designs from Star Wars and I’m glad to see it so faithfully reproduced.

The rocket pack is another reason why I prefer the Episode VI Fett design. This one is so dull. But it looks exactly like it should look. The wear is great and the detailing is there. It plugs snugly into Fett’s back armor plate using the clasps as devices to keep it straight.
FUN

So the pouches prevent this Fett figure from sitting down. Have you ever seen Boba Fett sit down? Me either. Maybe he can’t sit down. He stands up to pilot the Slave-I. He stands up in Jabba’s palace while flirting with chicks. He was even standing up at his dinner with Darth Vader. What I’m saying here is sure, it might be nice if this figure could sit. But there’s no demonstrable reason for it to sit. And this is probably one of the most ridiculous paragraphs I have ever written.

Otherwise the articulation is fantastic. This Fett can do so much more than any other Boba Fett I own. I spent a lot of time posing the figure and still haven’t taken it off of my desk. One other minor limitation on the joints occurs at the ankles. Because of the sculpt of the bottoms of the flight suit the feet can only go forward so far. This isn’t a huge deal, but it is something I noticed. Also, Fett can’t quite hold his rifle in the way that he does in Jedi. But since this isn’t a Jedi Fett, I’m not going to count that. If we ever get an update (which I think is unlikely), maybe he’ll get shoulders similar to the Marvel Legends Spider-Man. I’m not a huge fan of those hinges, but I think Fett’s design could support them.

And of course, Fett comes with the all-important “things to interact with”. While the rocket pack isn’t exactly exciting – it doesn’t shoot the rocket or anything – the two blasters are nice. They fit into both hands and the pistol slides right into that holster. The figure can hold everything it comes with and that is important.

And yes – I will pay two hundred dollars or whatever they charge for a 6” scale Slave-I if they ever make it (which they won’t).
OVERALL

Here’s the real reason it’s taken me so long to review this figure – it’s too good. I hate doing reviews where I just talk about how awesome something is. I start to feel like that Chris Farley character. This figure is that awesome. I can’t conceive of a better Episode V Boba Fett coming out. Some Japanese company may make one with more effective articulation, but I bet you money the profile wouldn’t be as nice. Nor would the price. For $20 - $22 this is a damned fine action figure – one of those that I would recommend to any toy collector as an example of excellence.

Well, maybe not to the Fett haters.

5 out of 5

Keep an eye on Amazon – maybe they’ll get reasonably priced again! Supposedly there will be more Boba Fetts in one of the upcoming waves. Be sure to come back here and by it through Needless Things!


2 comments:

  1. I just came here to see how you actually got your hands on this figure. I can't believe someone saw him at retail. I bought my first 6" figure the other day when I saw a regular Stormtrooper on the pegs and couldn't help myself. He is really great, but I'm not going to start collecting 6" SW figures either. Still, I really want Boba.

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    Replies
    1. Hang in there. One of the next couple of case packs has three Fetts in it.

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