Thursday, July 28, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,597: Darth Maul

DARTH MAUL & Darth Vader
Power of the Jedi Masters of the Dark Side Set
Item No.:
Asst. 84385 No. 84557
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, display base, companion Darth Vader figure
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $14.99
Availability: Summer 2000
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: As Lords of the Sith, Darth Vader and Darth Maul draw their power and control from the blackest depths of the dark side of the Force. Darth Vader commands by terror and is key in helping Emperor Palpatine hunt down nearly all of the Jedi Knights. As a disciple of Darth Sidious, Darth Maul's highly trained physical and tactical abilities make him one of the most dangerous Sith apprentices in history. (Taken from the toy's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' former desk.

Commentary: One step forward, two steps back. Since 1999 Hasbro has made several new Darth Maul figures but few were complete improvements over the original. This one in particular added ball-jointed shoulders for the first time, plus brought back the Lightsaber with 1 removable blade first seen on the 2000 Episode I "Sith Lord" release of the character. The sculpt is acceptable, if a little chunky, and the deco is pretty good as Darth Mauls go. The tats are nice and the paint doesn't seem too out of place, but Hasbro could (and would) do better in the future. Arm articulation was weak here, so really what you're buying this figure for would be the packaging and the neat display base. He looks OK but basically just stands around, doing nothing other than being another Darth Maul figure in your collection. And yet here we are in 2011 and a proper super-articulated Maul has yet to find its way to our store shelves. That's democracy for you.

Collector's Notes: The going rate seems to be close to original retail. This Maul figure also shipped in other configurations, including as a carded figure. The 2-pack with Vader is neat due to its exclusive base, and this 2-pack was something I was unable to find at retail. I was also told it pegwarmed in smaller communities, so yeah, score one more for awesome distribution.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,597: July 28, 2011

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