Thursday, February 10, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,477: Jabba the Hutt

The Legacy Collection Wal-Mart Exclusive
Item No.:
No. 94727
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Oola and Salacious Crumb figures, throne, throw pillows, pipe, bowl, railing
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $34.97
Availability: August 2010
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Jabba the Hutt and Salacious Crumb sit on a throne as Oola dances for the crime lord. The loathsome Hutt is momentarily entertained by the Twi'lek dancer's graceful performance. His monkey-lizard cackles with glee, knowing that Jabba will soon turn to some other amusement, such as throwing another victim to the hungry rancor. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: The box, like immediately after opening last year.

Commentary: One of the big-ticket character updates that Hasbro really dragged their feet on was Jabba the Hutt, which as of last August has more or less been perfected. I say "more or less" because it's my guess you'll never see another new sculpt, although the license is good for another seven years-- maybe Hasbro will do another one or find a new way to improve it. As this is a character which had received little love in the modern Hasbro line, it's nice to see an update that scratches all the itches you had, but unfortunately will not pleasantly surprise you. It's just really good-- which is about all you can ask for when designing an action feature-free toy for mostly adults.

This time around, Hasbro kept most of the significant elements form previous toys that you might want. Rubbery skin and arms with multiple points of articulation are present, as are sculpted details like a little drool, a lot of warts, and Jabba's often-overlooked tattoo. (The 1983 figure had it, so there's no excuse for skipping it in the 1990s.) The big cut in Jabba's tail is also present, which is very rarely represented in the licensed merchandise-- kudos to the sculptor if you're reading, and thanks for doing a really great job. The deco is good, but not fantastic-- it's very close to his movie appearance but it feels like the color changes quite abruptly on his skin. If you keep him in the dark it should be just fine though, as that's how he was meant to look in the first place. He can hold his accessories just fine, and of course he can sit without a problem.

As far as accessories go the pipe, rail, and bowl are reused from the 2004 release, while the throne and pillows are all entirely new. Salacious Crumb is a redeco of a 2007 figure, while Oola is brand new. (We'll examine her in the future.)

Unlike previous attempts at the character, this is more of a collectible than a toy. Jabba has had action features like a moving tail mechanism, a spitting feature, and even a removable tongue for that gross-out kiss with Leia. This time around, he has been designed to sit, to be posed, to be collected-- not to be played with. As such, most adult collectors should really enjoy this one while kids will only be able to enjoy a play feature on the bottom of the throne, and that's the inclusion if wheels so he can watch the Rancor eat. In short, this Jabba and his gear are what collectors have always hoped for with no real surprises. I admire Hasbro delivering exactly what we wanted, but I miss it when they don't sneak in a little more, like a "dungeon" in the throne or another unique and fun feature. Obviously, you should pick this set up at sale prices, and in the future on the secondary market I don't think you would be sorry if you shelled out $40 for a boxed one.

Collector's Notes: The last ROTJ-specific Jabba was released in 2004, and before that, 1983. In 2009 we got a really good cartoon-style Jabba figure. In 1999, there were two toys based on Episode I Jabba (one of which was very ROTJ-esque) and in 1997, we got one vaguely based on the Star Wars Special Edition. This new 2010 Jabba came out at $34.97, was extremely hard to get from about August to October or November, and then was marked down to $19.00 as soon as they started actually being available on a regular basis. Great job, Wal-Mart!

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,477: February 10, 2011

1 comment:

Teo said...

You didn't mention the weird thin rubbery skin that may/might crack over the years