CARNOR JAX Crimson Empire
Expanded Universe Internet Exclusive (EntertainmentEarth.com, ShopStarWars.com, HasbroToyShop.com)
Item No.: No. 87264
Includes: Staff, blaster, removable cape, removable helmet
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: September 2006
Appearances: Crimson Empire
Bio: Carnor Jax was a Royal Guard and aspiring Sith Lord who made a bid for the vacant Imperial throne. With his master, the self-proclaimed Dark Lady of the Sith Lumiya, Carnor Jax was responsible for the failure of the last of the reborn Palpatine's clone bodies and the extermination of the Prophets of the Dark Side. (Taken from Wookieepedia. [I have yet to see the final packaging for bio information.])
Image: Adam Pawlus' TV tray. It should be noted that this is an advance sample, although I've been told that this loaner is more or less final product.
Commentary: Hasbro's newfound commitment to the Expanded Universe begins (again) here. The Kir Kanos and Carnor Jax 2-pack is the first in a series of 2-packs that each feature a comic book and two action figures for a decent price. This particular figure fulfills a common fan request: that Hasbro convert a Royal Guard into the characters from the Crimson Empire comic books. While fans largely expected a minor tweak to the neck and a new head, it was a little surprising just how much actual new work Hasbro put in to the creation of this figure (and its sibling, Kir Kanos, which is pretty much the same figure except the paint and head.)
So, Carnor Jax. This figure takes the upper shoulders, lower legs, and upper legs from the 2005 Royal Guard figures, and adds an all-new torso, an all-new crotch, an all-new head, and all-new hands. Oh, and the small Biker Scout pistol? That's recycled. But the helmet is new, as is the double-bladed Force Pike. While the body looks like the same as the old one at first, if you look at the figure's back, it's quite different than the old one. For example the 2005 guards have an armored back, and these two figures have a back that's rather plain. The armor has been retooled on the front as well, but it's subtle-- similar, yet different enough. His face has a subtle sneer on it, and as far as I know this is the first time we've seen Carnor Jax out of his helmet without being dead. (Yeah yeah, spoiler alert.)
The good news about this figure? It's more new than old. New capes, new heads, new everything. The bad news is that the retooled body restricts one of the points of articulation. Sadly, the figures are no longer moveable at the waist. The neck has a ball joint, though, and you can get the figures to assume a number of battle-ready poses. The articulation's almost just as good as the Royal Guard's last year, and they're a lot of fun. The cape is easily removable, and it's nice to have another Sith Lord of sorts in the toy line, even if he doesn't have a lightsaber or isn't named "Darth."
Collector's Notes: The figure presented (and reviewed here) was an advance sample that you may have seen in San Diego in July. There may be some minor changes between this and the final release, but hey, it's worth previewing here I'd say. It should be available online next month, but preorders are available now and if you like Expanded Universe offerings, you might want to buy this one. Solidarity.
And I should also point out that the visor does NOT look pink in person, nor does the cloak appear to have a heavy red tint.