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Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

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On April 2nd, retailers across America put the Star Wars Episode III toys on sale. Many stores held a "Midnight Madness" event where they opened for a few hours at 12 am to get an early sales jump and promote the release of the new toys. Hasbro had an impressive variety of items ready including 30 some odd basic Action figures, Deluxe action figures, 12" Action figures, board games, gimmicky toys, electronic lightsabers and more.

In most locations, this year's event was reported as far more low key than the hubbub surrounding the release of merchandise for Episodes I and II, and most folks had a good time shooting the breeze with fellow collectors and Star Wars enthusiasts, and picking up a few (or a lot) of pretty decent toys. Overall Hasbro had a much stronger offering with more articulation across the board and a large number of 3 3/4" figures available at launch.

I'm not sure Jedi Knight Kit Fisto has become a widely accepted fan favorite, but Sara and I sure love him. Most of these background characters have little personality, but between his few minutes in Episode II and his episode of the "Clone Wars" cartoon, this is clearly a fella who enjoys his work. This figure is an improvement over previous versions with a limited swivel neck, ball shoulders, ball elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist, t-hips, ball knees and an additional swivel at his right boot. There are really only two marks in the negative column for this otherwise excellent figure-one; the paint on the head of every single figure I've seen is poorly applied. The stripes on his head tendrils are sloppy and the red around his eyes and lips needs to be a hell of a lot more subtle. In addition to this, his skirt is far too rigid and restrictive-Kit won't be sitting down any time soon. Still my second favorite of the pieces I picked up. Kit includes a green lightsaber and a base. 

 
Poor, poor Mace. This figure just stinks. Although he's got more articulation than previous versions, it doesn't save everyone's favorite badass Jedi. Probably due to his action, (squeeze his legs, and his waist swings and arms lift), he has arms that end up looking unfortunately simian. On top of that, he's just got a poor facial likeness. C'mon Hasbro, everybody loves Mr. Jackson, so do him justice already. Mace has a ball neck, ball shoulders, elbows hampered by his action, and t-hips. At least his purple Lightsaber's lookin' spiffy. I don't have much use for his force lighting, though his action does throw it fairly convincingly.


Hasbro's already done a couple of really nice Clone Trooper figures, but for ROTS, they've got a tweaked armor design. Despite his quick draw action (which works pretty well, actually), he's got fantastic articulation. Ball neck, ball shoulders, ball elbows, swivel wrists, t-hips, ball elbows and ball ankles. Included are a rifle, pistol and a fun little shoulder pad-changing gimmick. There are some problems with definition on the edge of paint applications. However, these versions, along with the many upcoming Clone-variations look great. 

 
"Four Saber Attack Grievous" just doesn't measure up to the "Sneak Preview" version. He's got fewer points of articulation, and just doesn't look as nice. Push down on his head, and his arms spin at the shoulders. The figure really feels lacking, it'd be great to have a bicep and wrist swivel on each arm for some really nice fighting stances, but these got left out. Grievous has a ball head, swivel/hinge shoulders (the arm halves cannot swing apart), t-hips, and ball knees. Lacking a cloak this time around, the General includes four lightsabers and a blaster pistol. Like the preview figure, I'm simply stunned at the lack of a stand for a character that could really use the added stability. (silly arm poses) 

 
Grievous' Body Guards saw some great action in the Clone Wars cartoon, really getting me excited for their eventual toy release. Unfortunately, this figure disappoints. Though he looks pretty good, his flimsy construction and lack of articulation leave a lot to be desired. G-Biddy has ball neck and shoulders, forearm swivels and t-hips. The lack of any other articulation is made especially ridiculous when you realize that he has knee and ankle joints built into his design, but they're not moving parts on the toy. When you squeeze his legs, his arms swing up in a parrying maneuver. Included is a staff and removable cloak. I was considering army building a few of these guys, but I guess I'll have to wait for a nicer version. 


 
Though Aalya Secura's previous figure was a standout (even if the squishy breasts were kinda creepy), this one manages to top it. She's got a ball neck, shoulders, right bicep swivel, wrist swivels, ball mid-torso, swivel waist, t-hips, and ball knees and ankles. Included is her blue lightsaber and very cool interlocking jungle base. The figure has unfortunately pre-posed bent elbows, but other than that is very nicely done. 


 
Jedi Master Ki-Adi-Mundi is the only figure released so far to include a cloth robe, and a nice one it is. One wonders if most of the rest of the Jedi were meant to include similar accessories, but were disallowed due to cost. Ki's articulated with a ball neck, ball shoulders, angled swivel elbows (why not just spring for the ball joints, guys?) wrist swivels, swivel waist, t-hips, and ball knees. There's a great depth to the detail of his sculpt, whether it be the folds of his tunic or the cragginess of his enlarged dome. Ki also features a nice, subtle paint wash that accentuates these details well. Like Kit Fisto, Ki-Adi-Mundi's skirt is cast in an inflexible material, limiting his poseability. Ki includes a base similar to Aayla's. 

 

Count Dooku is far and away the nicest ROTS figure released to date. He even rivals the VOTC figures (link) for overall coolness and fun factor. Dooku's a great sculpt with an amazing facial likeness. Articulation includes a swivel neck, ball shoulders, ball elbows, swivel forearms, swivel waist, t-hips, and beautifully hidden ball knees. Included are a good quality cloth cape (though I prefer to see seams on the edges to prevent fraying), red lightsaber and base. VERY highly recommended.




Oh yeah!  Take it all off!


Hasbro's done a cool thing by releasing both the Red Emperor's Royal Guard and the Blue Senate Guard in similar packaging, at the same time. Both figures are differentiated only by head sculpt and color, so it makes a great deal of sense. Previous Royal Guard figures have always skimped on the articulation, but these guys aren't fooling around. Very limited ball necks, ball shoulders, angled swivel elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist, t-hips, and ball knees. According to Star Wars info site Rebelscum.com, their armor under their cloaks is based on a design from the "Crimson Empire" comic book. Nice fan wink. Included is a rifle with shoulder strap, pistol that stores in holster on hip, base, and if you're careful, you can pop off the figures heads to remove their cloaks. 

 



When I saw the AT-RT, a cool little mech-walker, I thought It'd be really fun little toy. I was wrong. The driver figure's a worthless throwaway, with a fused, permanently seated lower body. It does appear that there'll be a fully articulated figure of this character available separately, but that's little consolation. In terms of playability, the AT-RT really only has a positionable chin gun. The battery operated walking action is as awful as the figure. Its noisy, drunken stumbling looks like something I would have been bored with quickly as a kid, so I doubt today's more sophisticated kids will enjoy this at all. Too bad. The AT-RT is in no way worth its $20 cost.


Among the many Clone Trooper variations available for ROTS is the Clone Pilot, a nicely done, very retro-looking figure. His oversized helmet and subdued color scheme look like something that could've easily come out of the original Trilogy...but I guess that's kind of the point. Articulated with a limited ball neck, swivel shoulders, angled elbow swivels, wrist swivels, swivel waist, t-hips and ball knees. Included is a blaster, radar-gun-thing that's a repurpose of an existing mold and an inexplicable giant wrench (?)...I really have no idea what this thing is. This is one of the few EPIII figures to not include ball shoulders, and I definitely miss them, but I'm more bothered by the incorrect skin tone. After all, these guys are clones of Jengo Fett as well. 

 



Exploding Grevous is a nice looking piece, but is yet another Grevous figure that fails to fully deliver. Though he's got a great-looking sculpted cloak (and they fixed that insignia on the back since the preview figure), the figure's a total slave to an action that, frankly Kenner did better ten years ago on an exploding Alien figure. That figure popped apart with great force due to taught springs, while a too-weak tiny magnet holds Grevous together, and his parts rely on gravity for propulsion. Still, inside is an interesting removable clear green internal organ. Exploding Grevous is articulated with a ball neck, swivel shoulders, t-hips. Is it too much to ask for a Grevous with 14 pts of articulation, cloth cloak, and a collection of lightsabers around his waist? Apparently so.

Hasbro's really upped the quality across the board for Revenge of the Sith. With Episode II, I found myself dismissing quite a few figures. This time around, the sculpting is better, the articulation is better and the action features and accessories are better. Not to mention the great selection of characters available at launch. I'm thrilled there's only a couple figures out there of Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Yoda, leaving room for the usually more interesting secondary and tertiary characters. Only the AT-RT and Mace are substantial disappointments, and there are quite a few figures here to really love.

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