Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,446: Gamorrean Guard 2010

The Vintage Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 97568 No. 21482
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: VC21
Includes: 1983 axe, 1997 axe, force pike, removable helmet
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: October 2010
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Celebrate the legendary Star Wars saga that changed the universe forever! This collection brings to life the incredible story of good versus evil that captured our imagination and took us to a galaxy far, far away. Iconic Star Wars heroes and villains are captured with incredible detail and premium features to commemorate each epic tale in the Star Wars saga. May the Fore be with you! (Taken from the figure's packaging. There is no bio.)

Image: Adam's shelving unit. Yeah, great picture, isn't it?

Commentary: Hasbro pulled out all the stops to make this the finest-ever version of the Gamorrean Guard, adding in articulation, accessories, and moxie (especially moxie) like never before. Without question, Hasbro's ability to sculpt the ideal alien action figure has frequently achieved new heights, and it's really amazing to see what sort of things they got in the plastic. The soft goods fur, though? That they're still not really good at just yet.

If you look at the head of this figure, you'll see all sorts of things I'm sure the sculptors of the 1983 original never considered, let alone dreamed of. There's real depth in his face, with the fangs jutting out and a feeling of a cavernous maw inside those lips. His big snout really feels alive, and there's even some sculpted, extremely subtle drool on his chin-- it's astounding this detail actually made it to the final model. The wrinkles are fantastic, the face is pretty expressive, and the eyes are about as good as we can expect these days. To top it all off, his helmet comes off revealing his ears and a very bald green ham head.

His body is just about as great-- super-articulated, except the shoulders don't really benefit from the ball-joint construction-- they can't swing out well. The elbows, wrists, ankles, and waist all work fine, plus the fact that the knees are nicely hidden by the rolls of fat that make up his legs. The hips are worthless-- the figure's legs can't swing forward at all, which is actually really depressing to see on such an otherwise great figure.

Two things I actively dislike about this figure: there's a date stamp carved into his left thigh (WHY? WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS? PUT IT UNDER THE FUR OR UNDER HIS SHOE!) and the furry part of his clothing does not look good in person. The prototype looked nice, but the final product is too big, too bushy, and frankly, quite distracting. Customizers have taking to shaving it down but people like me are klutzes and if we knew how to make things, we wouldn't collect them.

Thankfully Hasbro gets the accessories perfect. He has two axes, one is modeled after the design packed with the 1983 figure and the other looks like the 1997 figure's weapon. He also includes a pike similar to the ones held by the guards at the front of Jabba's gates, which has not been produced in this scale as of yet. So it's new!

You can ignore the hip articulation, I'm sure you can get past the date stamp, but it's hard to ignore the fluff around his groin. It's overkill, but hopefully we'll see some sort of running change after he's molted.

Collector's Notes: He shipped in decent numbers but doesn't seem to be primed for too many additional shipments. Better get while you can!

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,446: December 29, 2010


vonfrost said...

I love this figure! One of the best so far.

Great review(s) btw.

Brian said...

Try turning the soft goods 180 degrees so the back is in the front. I think it looks much less poofy that way.

Brian said...
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Ben Carthage said...

I had a hard time finding this guy -- he was far and beyond the toughest RotJ Vintage figure to track down. That having been said, I pretty much agree with you, Adam, a remarkable figure (and much needed update) marred only by the fuzzy wuzzy. The accessories alone are worth the purchase, and the multiple weapons make even me -- so not an army builder -- want another of this guy (or even two more). Nice work, Hasbro.

Russ said...
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Russ said...

First- great work Adam, I can't believe how far you've taken FOTD! It's been an almost daily stop for me since Day 1...

As far as the "skirt" goes, Brian is absolutely right. First just spin the thing so the original 'front' covers his pig-butt. After you do that, run some hot water from the tap and really saturate the soft goods. Then smooth the fur down toward his feet and let dry overnight or so. I have 4 little piggies and they all look fantastic and natural once you tame their bushy skirt! I'd also recommend sliding the plastic belt down in the front and 'hooking' it under the waist joint, it looks a LOT nicer! So, no scissors or anything but 5 minutes of tlc and the figure is everything you'd ever hope for.

Bravo said...

This figure is amusing, as he's somehow brought out the half-full side of otherwise jaded collectors. The figure's flaws seem to get a pass from most people.

The extremely limited range of hip motion and the tight shoulders suck more than the soft goods, especially since they'll never correct the sculpt issues. Super-articulated in name only. Reminds me of Giran's nearly useless knees.