Power of the Jedi Collection 2
Item No.: Asst. 84455 No. 84473
Includes: Force File (not shown or really an accessory)
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: Fall 2000
Bio: The stern but fair ruler of the underwater city Otoh Gunga, Boss Nass is the most powerful Gungan authority on the planet Naboo. He alone can summon the Gungan Grand Army to battle, which he does to aid the Naboo in their battle against the Trade Federation. (Taken from the figure's Force File.)
Image: Toy shelves, again. Big surprise.
Commentary: In 1999, Hasbro released the first version of this Gungan ruler, which made it a huge shock when, at a convention in 2000, Hasbro told me they had plans to do a new version of Boss Nass. At the time, the original version was considered to be pretty good. His sculpting was decent, and he looked a lot like the CG renderings in all the books we were sold, so what's not to like? Turns out, he was too short, and his face wasn't at all expressive. (And he had a staff which, well, apparently had no real purpose.) This upgrade has improved sculpting, more articulation where it counts, and something most figures don't have-- a great personality. The bulk of figures have extreme poses, but their faces do nothing to enhance the character's look, or to give hints as to what they're like. Hasbro went all-out here, taking the big stern frog man and making him look like he's ready for a hug, recreating a pivotal moment from the film which really had no hugging in it.
His legs aren't too moveable, but they're solid. His neck is a faux ball joint so he can look up, he has joints at the shoulders and elbows as well. He isn't much of a toy, because he can't sit or do anything, but as a sculpture of sorts, he's incredible. It's almost like Hasbro took a CG file, dumped it into a mold, and made a toy out of it. (Well, I'm over-simplifying things, but you get the idea.) Just looking at this figure makes me happy-- he's big, affable, he can stand on his own, and it's hard to imagine Hasbro ever doing a better job. This is my favorite prequel action figure to date, and as such, I would advise you pick one up.
Collector's Notes: Everybody hates Gungans-- this poor fella goes for under $6 on eBay and can probably be had for less than that if the auction starts low enough. Packaged for a short period of time before being phased out for more Trilogy product, this Gungan upgrade was a fantastic, underrated quality work of toy making. Plus, the character was voiced by Brian Blessed (IMDB), a fantastic actor who you may know from serious acting jobs, or more likely Blackadder and Flash Gordon.
Day 27: June 2, 2006