Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,226: Darth Maul

DARTH MAUL The Sith Return
Revenge of the Sith Evolutions
Item No.:
Asst. 85553 No. 85727
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, Cloak, Sith Probe, Stand, Binoculars
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99-$29.99
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 front yard.

Commentary: To date, this is arguably the best Darth Maul money can buy. It is by no means perfect, but it's really good. This all-new sculpt debuted in 2005, and was the most poseable version of the character yet with 14 joints, although there were a few snags. For starters, his super-stiff robes prevent his hip joints from being much good, and his elbows were swivel joints at a time where that sort of thing was starting to be regularly frowned upon. He looks mean, he has a great sculpt, and he's not too tall-- so he looks right, and he comes in that reasonably neutral pose that most fans seem to enjoy. If you put this figure on a Vintage cardback, it would look about right. As a collectible, or desk decoration, this is a great figure but since he can't make much use of his vehicles, he's a bit of a wonky release. (To date, the 2007 Saga Legends Darth Maul is arguably the best "toy" version due to knee joints and extensive use of cloth parts to keep the knees unrestricted.)

His gear is really why you'll want to buy this figure. Want his binoculars? They're here. A Sith Probe on a clear stand? Also here. Plastic cloak? Here. Really, the figure is just barely touching perfection, as the lightsaber is the 1999 version (no flared blades), and there's no wrist droid caller either. It's rare that Hasbro manages to make a figure with everything it could possibly ever need, but this one came really close and should probably provide the basis of any other new Maul Hasbro does. Because, you know, being like how we are, we really do still expect some ball-jointed elbows someday soon, and since it's 2010 some lateral hip joints would be nice too. (And a new Lightsaber.)

Collector's Notes: This figure has been repackaged a few times, including a "30th Anniversary" Evolutions box exactly as he appears here, and in the 30th Anniversary Tins, but without some of his accessories. No other figures have been made with this as a base, yet anyway.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,226: February 24, 2010

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