Monday, January 13, 2014

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,076: Mace Windu (The Black Series)

The Black Series 3 3/4-Inch Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. A5077 No. A5252
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: Black Series #19
Includes: Jango Fett's helemt, lightsaber (lit), lightsaber (hilt)
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $10.99
Availability: December 2013
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: Mace Windu is a Jedi Master known for his wisdom as well as his excellent skill in Lightsaber combat.  (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Commentary: I like this Mace Windu figure a lot, but before I continue I just want to say how much I dislike the packaging one last time.   It's so bland, uninviting, and generally doesn't upsell the consumer on another figure.   It's a real dead end and with Toy Fair just weeks away I'm really hoping Hasbro retires this style for 3 3/4-inch individually packaged action figures.  I bet this template would look awesome on window boxes with diorama backgrounds, though!  Anyway, let's talk Mr. Windu.

He's pretty good!  The base figure is a retooled 2007 Mace Windu from the 30th Anniversary Collection, down to the copyright dates.  In other words, for Mace Windu alone, this mold has been retooled no fewer than 2 times.  The arms are the area with the real upgrade this time, as the 2011 Vintage release gave us the partially cloth robes. I think the head is a new sculpt, as the skin tone is different and the figure has no eyebrows this time around.  The robes are a more desaturated color, and the most exciting addition of all are his bend-and-swivel wrists.  This little upgrade makes this the best Mace Windu figure in terms of mobility, as he has no real problems sitting either.  Hasbro did a really nice job exploiting its current tooling library to make something that, at first glance, looks and feels new.

Due to subtle variations in design change, his elbows do look a little weird - previous figures made the armor a single piece, located entirely on the forearm.  On this release, there's a ring around the bicep and a little piece of armor protecting the elbow, with a large amount of brown robe poking out in between.  It's visually jarring, but functionally a superior design.  Movie purists won't care for this one too much, but I think fans of the animated designs are going to eat this one up.   My favorite areas of the Star Wars mythos (that are currently getting new toys, anyway) are The Clone Wars and Return of the Jedi, so this makes another nice addition to my collection.   I appreciate that it's visually quite distinctive from previous uses of this mold as this character - a lot - and the fact that the lightsaber plugs into his belt just makes me all kinds of happy.  Nicely done Hasbro!

Collector's Notes: I am hearing this figure is hitting Walmart stores.  I got mine at Entertainment Earth in a wave 3 case.  At this time I have not seen evidence of this figure on my local store pegs, but as I'm fond of telling others it's very easy for one single collector to purchase 100% of the evidence that any case had arrived in a store when figures all debut at 1 per box.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,076: January 13, 2014

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