Friday, October 29, 2010

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,403: Mace Windu

MACE WINDU with Jango Helmet Bomb
The Clone Wars Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. ? No. ?
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: ?
Includes: Lightsaber, bomb helmet, stand, card, die
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: August 2010
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: Like the men under his command, the ARC trooper commander faces even the most threatening situation with unfailing courage. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's living room.

Commentary: If you're anything like me, when you initially saw Hasbro was doing another animated Mace Windu you basically shrugged and said "eh, whatever." Not because this was a bad figure, but the 2009 release was just fine, thank you, and it's not like this is a new costume. Well guess what? We're all wrong. This new 2010 version is Hasbro's most fun Jedi action figure to date, and that's no small praise. Hasbro set out to make a figure with the kind of quality that even the surliest of toy critics can't deny is a damned fine effort, even if you don't like the cartoon figures or Mace Windu. The arms and torso are very similar to the 2009 release, if not identical, but the legs, lower torso, and head realy do make this a solid figure.

The character has had a lot of ups (the 2008 mail-in version) and downs (the face of the 2007 release), but there's no denying that this animated version should meet the exacting standards of kids and adult fans. For any figure to be truly successful in my book, it needs to look good, stand, and have the ability to sit in any appropriate vehicles or playsets. This Mace Windu has a cloth robe piece, which means unlike the 2009 version he'll sit just fine in his recently released Toys "R" Us exclusive Jedi Starfighter. His unique structure combines the extremely thin aesthetic of the current TV show with a chunky, almost comic-like boot sculpt which adds a lot to the personality of this figure. If you like posing your toys, the range of motion here is vastly improved by Hasbro's use of what I assume to be some form of magic. The hips can swing out, and the figure itself is super articulated. The sculpt is true to the design on the show, and he has no problems holding his weapons.

But wait! There's more. Hasbro debuted a new type of articulation here, previously unseen in Star Wars or Clone Wars. Mace Windu's ankle joints have been altered to be, in my opinion, vastly improved. The ball joints of old are gone, these new ones allow the ankle to bend forward and backward, as well as rock side to side. There's also a little room to swivel, giving the figure what I believe to be the best (and most useful) range of motion yet. The only thing Hasbro could do to make this figure better would be some newfangled wrist joint, but we're doing just fine here. The hands seem to look great when holding his Jedi weapon, so Hasbro effectively nailed this one. And I didn't even tell you about his bonus accessory yet!

The last piece in this set-- which would have been nice in the recent gift set-- is Jango Fett's helmet. It splits down the middle to reveal a bomb, just like in The Clone Wars cartoon that aired earlier this year. The sculpting is more in line with the animated line, and it's a darned clever idea for an accessory. Sadly, a lot of collectors probably will pass on this figure not realizing it's a new sculpt with additional articulation. In the package, he looks a lot like the 2009 release and not the best-ever Jedi figure out of Hasbro. As such, if you see it, I suggest you buy it or at least insist someone let you play with theirs for about five minutes.

Collector's Notes: I see this figure a lot, because he doesn't stand out as "new" on the pegs. This animated Mace Windu drops the shoulder armor, helmet, and swing mechanism from the previous release and makes something that should be friendlier to collectors and, presumably, kids. If you only buy one more Mace Windu figure ever, this might be the one to get.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,403: October 29, 2010


Galactic Hitchhiker said...

I agree. This is hands down th best Mace Windu figures ever. Because of the versatile ankle joins, he can take deep stances that make him really stand out on the shelf.

I'm just shocked Anakin hasn't already received this treatment. I wouldn't be surprised if the recently announced Obi-Wan sports these joints as well.

ST said...

I would have bought this figure but after your post, i'm very tempted :)