EMPEROR PALPATINE The Republic Falls
Revenge of the Sith Evolutions
Item No.: Asst. 85553 No. 85727
Includes: Lightsaber, optional Sith Lightning hands, cane, Sith cloak, Sith brooch
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: Fall 2005
Appearances: Revenge of the Sith
Bio: After thousands of years, the Sith reveal themselves to the Jedi. Witness their evolution with these Sith figures! Darth Maul attacks the Jedi, revealing that the Sith are still a threat to the galaxy. Then Count Dooku, a former Jedi, comes out of hiding as a Sith Lord to attack the Republic. Finally, the Emperor, who should be fighting to save the Republic, is revealed as the most powerful and menacing Sith of all! (Taken from the figure's Evolutions box.)
Image: Adam's toy shelves.
Commentary: I want to like this figure, I like this figure, and I also want it to be better. Conflicted emotions are what this Emperor Palpatine figure is all about. Some things work incredibly well, some are very good, and some need work. Let's start with the good, shall we? The figure's body is made of plastic and cloth pieces, all of which work together to create an action figure fully capable of assuming nearly any pose you could reasonably expect out of a Star Wars action figure. The figure has 14 points of articulation, with ball joints everywhere you would expect to find one. The figure can stand, hunch over, fight, and can even sit. I'm not sure if he could sit on a throne without significant work on your part, or slight retooling, but he's a very good figure and the first-ever Emperor to have significant use of cloth on his person. He may be the only 3 3/4-inch Palpatine in any costume to feature extensive cloth costume bits.
The sculpt is both good and bad. Good, because all the details you want are present-- he's got a mean face, they painted his hair so it isn't flesh colored, his hands are gnarled and deformed, it's just a solid looking figure. Unfortunately, the face looks very little like the character in the movie. It's more or less stylized, so you can tell who it's meant to be, but it's not a perfect replica. He is the meanest Palpatine, though, and that counts for a lot in my book.
Like the Count Dooku in this set, his hands are easily removed and replaced with Sith lightning hands. These are excellent as well, fairly sturdy, and are a great accessory. The figure also has a cane, a removable Sith "necklace," and the first-ever Palpatine lightsaber. As such, the figure was quite exciting in 2005. The necklace is where the figure starts to break down, though, because it's far too large for the figure and is as wide as or wider than the head. Also, the cloth cloak's hood is poorly designed and it's difficult to get it to rest on the head properly, even with the necklace over (or under) it. If Hasbro tweaked the head a little, as well as the cloak and Sith brooch necklace thing, this may be one of the best figures ever. Instead, it'll be another figure that reaches for the stars and is one of Hasbro's finest, but falls just short of being a perfect example of their work. I still love it, though, and you probably will too-- so get one now and if Hasbro does go back and redo him, well, at least you can enjoy this one today.
Collector's Notes: This figure has been available only in this one set so far. It's coming back in early 2008 in the Evolutions reissues, so be sure to get it if you missed it before.