Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,455: Mace Windu

MACE WINDU with Lightsaber and Jedi Cloak
Episode I Collection 3 Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 84105 No. 84084
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Cloak, lightsaber, CommTech chip
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $6.99
Availability: May 1999
Appearances: The Phantom Menace

Bio: A respected Jedi Master and a senior member of the Jedi Council, Mace Windu wields a great deal of authority through out the Galactic Republic. He is well aware of the dangers of the Sith. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' desk.

Commentary: Samuel L. Jackson's Mace Windu has been a big part of the line since 1998, where he was the first mail-in figure from the prequel trilogy, and the first "sneak preview" figure since the 1980s. This isn't that figure-- rather, this is the second release, a resculpted figure sold at retail. This one is different in that it has more articulation, slightly different deco, and a different cloak.

This figure's main draw at the time was its big brown cloak which completely covers the figure. You can make him hold his lightsaber while encased in the garment, but, well, it looks a little goofy. It works, but not terribly well-- and since Mace rarely wears his cloak with the hood up, odds are this is an accessory that will ultimately live in your junk drawer. Under the cloak is a figure in his normal Jedi attire, with sleeves matching his robe and a more action-oriented pose with his legs spread out a little bit more. His right arm sports a swivel elbow and a swivel wrist which, in 1999, were still pretty fancy stuff on a Star Wars toy.

While the figure feels cut from the same cloth as the 1998 mail-in release, the only piece that seems to be shared is the torso-- everything else seems to have slight changes made to the tooling, be it a bent ankle or a teeny change to the head, which may even be just my imagination. I wouldn't classify this figure as "different enough to make you mad," but it certainly is different enough to be notable.

His lone weapon is a lightsaber, and while some fans may peg it as incorrect, it wasn't back in 1999. Lucas changed a lot of how the Expanded Universe worked in those years, and nearly every character in The Phantom Menace was assigned one lightsaber color, only for Lucas' camp to say "never mind" and change every character to red, green, blue, or purple later. As such, Mace is carrying a very different weapon than he would hold in the prequels, and while there are stories explaining the saber swap they certainly don't explain away the coloring or how he got his gold-plated weapon in the prequel sequel. It's just one of those weird things to note-- you can try to explain it away, but really, it's not something with a clear-cut answer.

Collector's Notes: This figure did make a few return appearances with switched-up accessories, but the first release is the one you want-- yes, even though it's wrong.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,455: January 11, 2011

1 comment:

Ben Carthage said...

Despite the fact that he has limited articulation, for some reason this remains my favorite Mace Windu figure. He was something special at the time of release, and for me he remains so.