Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,825: Kithaba (Barada)

KITHABA  Skiff Guard
The Vintage Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 37499 No.  98527
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #VC56
Includes: Blaster, pike, shoulder strap
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: April 2012
Appearances: Star Wars

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 Force be with you!  (Taken from the figure's packaging.  No specific character information.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' photo area.

Commentary:  The figure I was looking forward to the most out of this wave was Kithaba, because I love the original 1980s Power of the Force figures.  This is an update of the vintage Barada figure, more or less.  You're still going to have problems with it, as you let me know I was wrong about this figure before I started writing this review.  Let me explain that: I didn't even start writing this yet, and I started getting messages telling me what I think about this figure is wrong.  And this is before I told anyone what I thought of it.   Man, you people.

Because of a large amount of image flipping in Return of the Jedi, some of you said his bandolier is wrong, and others said it was correct.  This brings us to the classic "Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?" gag because, well, what's the truth?  Is what you think you see "right," or the actual prop?  In this case, Hasbro designed the figure after the actual costume, which is best seen during the battles with shots of Chewbacca.  Their bandoliers hang over the same shoulders when they share a frame, so there's your point of reference.  Kithaba's coloring is acceptable, but there's another instance of perception and reality, and in this case I'm not entirely sure what to say.  My gut says Hasbro got this one wrong, Kithaba's headband looks red in the movie and the figure is a much darker color.  Sometimes his vest looks more yellow, and sometimes it looks more tan or brown.   So if you want to say this costume is more or less authentic, or wrong, I guess you can make either argument.  Hasbro rarely gives us a chance to see if fans see the glass as half-empty or half-full, but here it is!

His accessories are great.   The holster isn't quite like the movie, but I'm glad it's here.  I like holsters, authenticity be damned.  The blaster looks good, and the classic staff weapon is included just like the original.  With 14 points of articulation, I have no real ability to complain about the sculpt.  It's nice, I like it.  The eyes are worth noting because in the movie (and the old toy), they look almost completely black.  The mask from the movie casts a shadow over the eyes, making them appear much darker than a well-lit mask might seem with human eyes underneath.  So here, Hasbro tried to make it more lifelike, more like the prequels-- you can see the whites of Kithaba's eyes, and he looks less like a rubber mask and more like a breathing creature as a result.  Is it better?   Is it worse?  I leave it up to you.

Collector's Notes: It's new and as of when I'm writing this I haven't seen it in the wild yet.  (I have seen evidence of the remainders from his case, though.)  The figure also shipped with a red headband, which is assumed to be the later release but the date stamp on the packaging is just that-- the date of the packaging.  The figures sometimes had different stamps carved into their legs.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,825: June 12, 2012

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