Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,803: Boba Fett (Deluxe ROTJ, The Black Series 6-Inch)

6-Inch Scale Debut... for this particular flavor of armor

The Black Series 2020 Line Look Green Star Wars Return of the Jedi Packaging
Item No.:
No. F1271
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #06 - Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Includes: 2 rocket pack effects, 1 flame thrower effect, 1 rifle, 1 break-apart rifle, 1 capture dart snap-on accessory, 1 rocket, 1 jetpack
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $29.99
Availability: March 2020
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: With his customized Mandalorian armor, deadly weaponry, and silent demeanor, Boba Fett was one of the most feared bounty hunters in thh galaxy. (Taken from the box, which elected to use a gray lettering on a black background. We're getting older, Hasbro, how about some brighter letters here?)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

It doesn't matter what I say about Boba Fett. Since 1995, he's been difficult - if not impossible - to easily find in any fan-friendly collector action figure format. I have no doubt Hasbro decided to make a $30 version rather than a $20 version because of this. They know you're going to buy him. They know there are hundreds of thousands of fans who have likely never actually seen a Boba Fett action figure in a toy store at regular retail price. And they also know you're going to pay the $30 and not complain, and other fans who are not as savvy as you have no idea that $30 is more than a regular figure. They just want it. It's going to sell. It's going to sell well. Thankfully, it's good.

Hasbro put out its The Empire Strikes Back Boba Fett in 2013 as the line's debut at SDCC - it sold well, and it got expensive. When The Black Series pegwarmed in late 2013 and early 2014, and prices on Amazon went down to $10-$15, Boba Fett stayed popular - he was the one figure you probably didn't see in a store more than once. The figure proved so popular that Hasbro reissued him a few years ago, and again last year, and probably again in the future. The demand is just that high, and this all-new version doesn't share any tooling from that release either.

Standing about 6-inches tall, this is the Boba Fett where Hasbro pulled out all the stops. It may not be as big as the debut 12-inch figure, and his cape may not be cloth, but he's got pretty much everything you could want from Return of the Jedi minus a swappable hands. (There are some poses he can't quite assume as a result.) The one big complaint I've heard is that his helmet is pinched a bit, and may require heating to be restored to the proper shape - but mine doesn't seem all that off. Heck, he's got an articulated rangefinder too, meaning this is the one that does pretty much all of the things.

The jetpack looks a lot like what you say in the visual dictionaries - it's not quite as filthy, but it looks like you remember it. A couple of symbols near the caps on the sides are missing, as is some red on the tip of the missile. The colors are a bit more saturated and brighter on the final toy than the prop photos I've seen too. It's still good - but you make some compromises when going from a money-is-no-object hero prop to a mass-produced $30 figure's accessory. The two little poles flanking the rocket are left unpainted, and should be silver. The nozzles are missing the trapezoids, and the ball part isn't painted quite right either. OK, let's just say they whiffed the rocket pack - but it's on the back, it's fine.

The helmet is very close - some of the silver scuffing isn't an exact match, and a couple of chips and other landmarks appear to be missing. But it's not just the version from The Empire Strikes Back - a lot of scapes and specific landmarks are visible and you can tell there's a slight difference. Of course, you're also scrutinizing fake battle damage on a head the size of a grape. Hasbro did a good job, but if they did an "ultimate paint" version later that was perfect - and we were charged accordingly - I think I would buy it.

The same comments for the helmet apply to the armor. I love how the silver scuffs on the red armor really pops, and how the coloring is generally very good. (I think the chest armor may be too dark.) The pants lack the sooty dirt on the pockets and pant legs, but on the whole things are where they should be. Articulation is on par with other recent figures, although the elbow and knee bends aren't quite as good as some other recent releases. There are a few poses I wasn't quite able to replicate, but it's way, way better than nearly all previous Hasbro Boba Fett releases.

In terms of gear, he has a weathered rifle and a weathered, sliced rifle. It's an awesome gimmick but not one I necessarily value, as we don't see him use the re-assembled blaster, there's no way to pose it hovering as Luke cuts it off, and there's no Skiff (yet?) to pose him to fight with Luke either. It's nice - but if Hasbro put the pennies to more deco on the figure, I would be happier. It's a cool accessory in terms of giving us something new and different.

The capture claw cuff is kind of dorky. It's a big bracelet you put over the gauntlet so you can pretend he's wrapping up Luke (or the Fromm gang) but it's too short to wrap up Luke and certainly too short to wrap up the Fromms. This is for safety reasons, so it's understandable - but again, Hasbro could have left it out and just put the money back in making the figure better, or giving us a figure stand. It's not a particularly worthwhile accessory, and while I appreciate the idea it doesn't add to the figure. With a release like this, the one or two flaws are the things people will nitpick rather than just admiring an otherwise amazing release. The very first Boba Fett we can easily accept with open arms, but with a price hike and years of photographic reference we do expect perfection. (Maybe unfairly, but we do.)

Rounding out the set are three energy effects. Two rocket blasts plug in the jet nozzles on the backpack, but interestingly do not fit in Mando's. Color me surprised. A flame projectile can plug on to Boba Fett's left gauntlet, but it didn't take long for mine to sag a bit. All three accessories are beautiful, and are well-painted and worthwhile.

As technology gets better and fans get older, we expect a lot. I was really expecting some sort of stand or flame projectile base, for example. What we got is a perfectly nice figure that, in the context of current pricing and expectations, is going to make nearly any fan who shells out $30 for it really happy. It's not as fancy or elaborate as Hasbro's Unleashed figure, nor is it going to make a lot of fans happy to pay $10 extra - but it does offer you a lot more than you got with Jar Jar Binks. You get a lot of articulation and separate parts for Boba's armor vest and knee pads. The removable rocket was an amazing bonus feature that costs Hasbro money and they didn't have to do it - that's something I can really appreciate. And like I said, no matter what, when you see this, you are going to buy it. Hasbro's sculptor and deco artists did a lot here, and it's amazing just how many paint applications and parts we're getting for $30. But is it good enough? Well, we're Star Wars fans. If we were satisfied every time they went back to redo something from our childhoods, we'd be something else. If you want something fancier in this scale, BanDai has a nice 1:12 scale Boba Fett kit and there are other Japanese releases you may wish to explore - but none have this much gear, or are this reasonably priced.

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

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,803: April 20, 2021

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