Thursday, February 4, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,212: General Grievous

GENERAL GRIEVOUS Almighty Tallest Edition
The Legacy Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87535 No. 87823
Number: #BD25
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Includes: Droid parts, twin lightsabers, blaster
Action Feature: Splitting arms, removable chestplate
Retail: $7.99
Availability: Fall 2008
Appearances: Revenge of the Sith

Bio: A cyborg composed of melded metal and flesh, Grievous is one of the most chillingly effective military leaders in the Separatist's army. He is a powerful and frightening presence in battle, exhibiting strategic ingenuity and flawless cunning. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' desk.

Commentary: One of the most anticipated remakes from the prequels turned out to be a fairly junky figure. General Grievous is a figure fans have been requesting a new version of for years, and in all fairness Hasbro actually did listen to pretty much every fan request for this one. Problem is, fans as a whole don't necessarily know what will make a good toy, and the sum of Grievous' parts sucks. I will say that the sculpt is strong, and it looks like Hasbro did a pretty good job making sure Grievous looks more or less correct despite cramming in tons of articulation and pieces here, which is nothing to sneeze at. The painters did a fairly good job, although he does look slightly off in ways I can't quite put my finger on. Perhaps I've been looking at the cartoon models too much. For some reason or another, Hasbro left out the cape, which many considered a key area in which Grievous figures needed to be upgraded. Also, there's nothing really wrong with the gun or the blaster-- they're nothing new or special, just a trio of fine weapons.

The problems start once the figure is opened. The figure is made from very flexible ("gummy") plastic which is designed to prevent the figure's limbs from being too brittle and snapping since they're somewhat thin in places. The makes the figure a little harder to pose, and I've had problems getting him to stand up for a few minutes, let alone long periods of time. This soft figure feels like it's going to fall off a stand, so I've basically kept mine in a box most of the time. The arms split, but the fingers have difficulty holding on to weapons. The legs are quite thick, and feel prone to misshaping-- this guy went straight into a tackle box because I'm presently worried that if put in a bag or on a shelf, I'm going to come by one day and find his legs at some weird angle like I did quite a few Battle Droids.

Compared to The Clone Wars figure he feels fragile, and that's saying something, making this a great figure to leave in the packaging or wait on to see if Hasbro does a slightly more toy-friendly version. I don't know if they will at this stage, but seeing that they're still reissuing old 2005 Grievous molds for some exclusive sets it certainly seems that either the tooling was being used or Hasbro also gets that this was a fairly weak figure. Everything you could ask for is here, but it just doesn't feel right at all.

Collector's Notes: This figure was originally scheduled to be reissued in the 2009-style packaging, but wasn't. I don't blame Hasbro for pulling back on it.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,212: February 4, 2010