The Clone Wars Basic Figures
Item No.: Asst. 87638 No. 91268
Includes: Hat, blasters, blaster rifle
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: August 2009
Appearances: The Clone Wars
Bio: Cad Bane is hired by Darth Sidious to break into the Jedi Temple and steal a holocron containing the secret names of future Jedi. The resourceful and cunning bounty hunter carefully puts his plan in place using schematics of the temple, a techno-service droid and an unscrupulous shapeshifter. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Adam's TV tray.
Commentary: Depending on how much more screen time he gets, it's a safe bet Cad Bane will get several more action figures. It's also a very popular character with a strong design-- so I decided to wait a good long while to cover it here, in the hopes that being removed from its packaging for a few months might help the hands to take a better shape, or for some elements to work slightly better. It didn't help. As a statue, a carded figure, or as a desk display, Cad Bane is a pretty good little figure. It looks cool, has great deco, a top-notch sculpt, and acceptable articulation. As a toy? It really doesn't work-- this can't all be blamed on Hasbro, his unique design doesn't necessarily help.
There's no denying that Hasbro did a good job sculpting this figure and making sure the many details of the TV show model were replicated in three dimensions. Unfortunately, it doesn't hold together as a plaything. For starters there's his hat, expertly sculpted to snap onto his blue head right down to a groove which aligns to a hood that covers his hatless noggin. Unfortunately, once removed, the hat tends to fall off if the figure is ever rotated in such a way where gravity will pull it off. It may have been better to have created the figure with the head sculpted as part of the hat, so it doesn't flop off quite so easily. Cad includes two pistols which fit into his holsters just fine, but they don't quite fit into his hands particularly well. They fit, but it's very easy to accidentally knock them out and send them flying. The rifle, while cool, can't be easily held in both hands due to how the arm joints were done, but it does look pretty nice. If you're willing to do some heavy futzing with the weapons, you can make them work.
His articulation shows a good effort, but ultimately not where it needs to be to be a great toy. For starters, he can't sit easily. Part of this is due to his duster, which extends to the floor. The material is flexible so in theory he would be able to sit with his extra-long coat, but there's a pouch on the back of his belt which is too thick to bend. If Hasbro took some artistic license and raised or lowered this element of the design, it would probably sit without any significant problems. The leg articulation itself is perfect, it's just that coat that prevents a figure from being able to pilot a ship, which is really unfortunate because his vehicle is supposedly coming in 2010.
Bane's arms show all the articulation fans ask for, but the design hurts movement. There are ball joints on the elbows plus jointed wrists, but the hoses connecting Bane's wrist gauntlets to his upper arms are such that you really can't bend them at a meaningful angle. The item looks better than it plays, and if that's what counts for you, go run out and buy one immediately. Otherwise, I'd suggest holding off to see if Hasbro does a revised version with less restricted movement and, perhaps, more cartoon-accurate skin coloring.
Collector's Notes: This figure has been doing very well so far, and has been in short supply during some parts of 2008. As such, it's going to be hot for a while it seems. Also, this is one of very few Bounty Hunters in the animated line so far, particularly in light of the marketing that the show was going to be very hunter-heavy for its second season. Like Boba Fett in the days of old, the marketing for these characters seems to always outweigh their screen time.
Day 1,200: January 19, 2010