ASAJJ VENTRESS Sith Apprentice
Clone Wars Collection
Item No.: Asst. 84851 No. 84827
Includes: Lightsabers, lightsaber hilts, cloak
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: Fall 2003
Appearances: Primarily the Clone Wars multimedia project, which includes comics, games, cartoons, and novels; she does not appear in any of the films
Bio: A ruthless and cunning military mastermind of the Confederacy, Asajj Ventress is instrumental in fighting the Jedi during the Clone Wars. Count Dooku discovered the mysterious Asajj Ventress on a war-torn planet shortly after the Battle of Geonosis. Though she had never trained as a Jedi, Ventress demonstrates a corrupt mastery of the Force. Under the tutelage of Count Dooku, she has embraced the dark side, using her twin curved lightsabers to cut down all those who would oppose her. Often accompanied by the bounty hunter Durge, Ventress is more than a match for the Republic's greatest Jedi. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' Clone Wars shelf.
Commentary: For 2003, Hasbro, Lucasfilm, Dark Horse, and whatever wacky publishers involved that week got together and gave us a series of Clone Wars action figures designed to look like they might had they appeared in the movies. (An animated series and figures were developed separately.) Due to the development cycle, some characters like Asajj Ventress appeared one way in the comics and were eventually redesigned and reimagined elsewhere. This version of the character is based on her early comic appearances (before she becomes electronically enhanced/dies/whatever in Star Wars: Obsession) and has unique features like tatoos, full eyes, and less-pale skin when compared to later versions of the figure. (An animated figure, a new version in the Jedi vs. Sith Battle Pack, the Unleashed 7-inch figure all are based on the animated series style-- black rings around the eyes, paler skin, a little less detail, and a more striking appearance.)
So, that's the short of Asajj Ventress. So what about this one? Well, she's great. Ball-jointed shoulders, jointed wrists, holsters for her lightsabers, lots of great sculpting, a removable cape (and head), and lightsabers with removable blades make this a top-notch figure with a lot of thought given to how it can be played with or displayed. She doesn't stand all that well-- as in, she could be more stable-- so you might wish you had a display stand for her. With a rough textured shirt, weird sith fanatic facial expression, and nice accessories, she's a great figure. But if you want a "movie style" 3 3/4-inch Ventress that looks more like the cartoon design, pass on this one. If you're a comic fan, get this one. (Or both.) I like this figure (and the whole Clone Wars toy line) quite a bit, so much so that I make sure to give it a special place in my collection. If you're not a fan of the Expanded Universe, you should skip her. But if you're a kid, odds are you want one, and if you like the Sith, odds are you want one, and if you like Jedi... need I go on? Asajj Ventress is a figure for the modern Star Wars fan who still enjoys new arrivals in the saga. (Even old farts like me love this figure.) As such, I advise you read some comics and watch some cartoons. If you like the characters you meet, consider getting this one. And while you're at it, perform a public service and buy one of the dozens of unsold Unleashed figures at retail.
Collector's Notes: The face paint varies widely from figure to figure. My sample looks great-- she has striking eyebrows and great eyes. Mike's (as seen in the "more images" link that follows this section) has a face of lesser quality. As such, when buying one, make sure to ask to get a look at her first unless you're one of those people who buy figures, put them away, and never look at them. At which point, who cares? The figure looks just as good with the cloak as she does without it, which is a nice perk in the modern toy world as usually the figures aren't designed this well. She can also give her cloak to the other 3 3/4-inch Asajj Venturess figure from 2005 which is just about as good but for different reasons.
If you're on a budget, this may not be the best way to go-- currently, this figure actually commands a decent price on eBay. As such, if you're one of the many that wants an Asajj Ventress but not necessarily this Asajj Ventress, consider buying the Jedi vs. Sith Battle Pack. (Actually, I've seen many cases of the set going for less than just an Asajj by her lonesome.)
Day 32: June 7, 2006