Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,480: Darth Maul (Solo: A Star Wars Story Line Look)

DARTH MAUL with Qui-Gon Jinn
Solo: A Star Wars Story Force Link 2.0 Two-Pack
Item No.:
Asst. E0324  No. E1687
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, split lightsaber, bracelet, stand, droid, cloak, 2 figures
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $14.99
Availability: April 2018
Appearances: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Bio: Maul was a Dathomirian Zabrak male who lived during the waning days of the Galactic Republic and the reign of the Galactic Empire.  (Taken from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  There have been no shortage of Darth Maul action figures since 1999.  We tend to get a new one every year or two, often with new features or functions thanks to his appearances on the cartoons.   While we got a super-articulated figure loaded with joints and accessories in 2012, this one is probably better just in terms of how it looks.  You can't do crazy fight poses, but it offers a surprisingly good amount of play with little filler.

First thing is first - the Sith Probe Droid is awesome, and its stand is not.  Hasbro and Lucasfilm can't keep their logos straight, as the base features a "Legends" logo from an ancient Sith Empire and not the Sith symbol used in the actual movies.  This sort of thing happened a lot with Republic and Empire logos, and it's not unique to Star Wars - this Transformers sign got approved with minimal research.  The stand won't make or break the figure, but it's always a little painful to see this kind of thing get approved when you've got scores of people at the company crowing about what big fans they all are at conventions.  This sort of thing shouldn't happen - but it's functional, and the droid is cool.

Darth Maul has 7 points of articulation and the most clever cloak I've seen on a Maul yet.  It's a tight fit and splits down the middle, sliding over the arms and closing tightly enough to look like it's zipped up.  Hasbro did a killer job here - the elbows on the figure can rotate so he can be posed while wearing the rubbery accessory, too.   It fits his head perfectly, and doesn't hang strangely like the cloth ones often do.   I love the snap-on droid controller bracelet, the lightsaber splits down the middle, and it's almost the best Darth Maul you could ever hope to get.  Someone will prove me wrong some day, but for now this is one of the best tricked-out Mauls since the accessory pack in 1999 plussed up that first Jedi Duel version.

The core figure itself has a great sculpt with a sharp design for the head.  Everything seems to fit in place, and he can hold the lightsaber with both hands out in front of him - a rare feat.      There's not a lot you can do to improve on the design, so subtle things like painting all the horns and adding texture to the robes goes a long way to making a ho-hum core character remake into something essential.  Obviously you don't need another Darth Maul, but if you're getting this set for Qui-Gon this is a fantastic Maul to get.  He can swing his legs forward, the arms move nicely, and everything looks good - short of the lack of a waist joint, this feels like the kind of improvement I would have expected from Hasbro at this point in the toy line's life.  Except for the droid stand. I don't think any of us could have seen that coming.

Force Link 2.0 Notes: After a firmware update, a soundalike says:  "I challenge you - one warrior to another."  "At last we will have our revenge."     "I have been waiting for you."    "Grrr."  "I will make you share my pain."    "You will not stand in my way. "  The droid has no chip.  I'm honestly quite disappointed that he and a bevy of others have sound-alikes, and not even quotes from the movie.  After the firmware update, at least it generally works.  Any app functionality does not seem to work with my iPad at this time - it crashes.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.  

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,480: May 9, 2018

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