Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,605: Savage Opress

SAVAGE OPRESS Shirtless, First-Ever Savage Opress Action Figure
The Clone Wars Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 94736 No. 29640
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #CW55
Includes: Stand, staff, firing staff, missile, dice, card
Action Feature: Battle Axe Fires Missile
Retail: $8.99
Availability: August 2011
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: Savage Opress is a dangerous assassin whose strength and abilities are enhanced by the Nightsisters, mysterious witches on the planet Dathomir. Opress uses menacing battle axes to deliver death and destruction at the command of Count Dooku and the Sith Lord's former agent Asajj Ventress. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' desk.

Commentary: This is a fast turnaround-- on Saturday I got two new waves of The Clone Wars, with a third due early next week. With 9 new figures in the cartons I got, there were 4 new Clones, 3 new (or new outfit) Jedi, 1 Bounty Hunter, and 1 villain. The ratio of good to bad is getting a little depressing, but as it is a line for kids I'm just happy the line isn't 100% variations on Anakin. Other than Jet, all the figures come on redesigned packaging highlighting the gear in a larger bubble rather than focusing on the trading card battle game, which is now literally in the background-- the card is taped to the cardback inside, so the chances of you throwing it out just went up 40%. So how is the very first version of Savage Opress?

The figure is about on par with your standard "hero" figure. He stands 4 1/2-inches tall and sports limited coloring, just like in the show. The figure is molded in a pale yellow, I'd almost argue too pale, but it is what it is. He has silver gauntlets and silver armor on his boots, plus his costume is painted various shades of grey. The pale Zabrak is also colored in big black tattoo, he's a man now thanks to you. (It'll be there when he dies.) It's basically Darth Maul II, except with a better character arc. The dude is actually a sympathetic monster on the series, rather than a really cool mostly-silent right hand of a shadowy evil. So the deco, in short, is good-- even his eyes and bared teeth look great! The mouth is distorted in an almost cartoony way, but given the size of the head and the nature of trying to give a toy this small facial emotion, I think this is obviously the right way to go.

Given the increasing and decreasing articulation on all figures, this one falls squarely on the conservative-but-good side. He has ball-jointed knees, shoulders, elbows, and neck plus standard swiveling wrists, hips, and waist. There are no ankle joints, which is something of a bummer given the active nature of the character-- I normally wouldn't call out for the fancy bend-and-swivel wrists but in this case, with his weapons, he could really have benefitted from the extra movement. (As I write this I don't have the armored one in-hand to compare which is better, I expect it to be the same.) His range of movement is good, but the plastic "skirt" restricts the legs as usual-- other figures in this wave like Saesee Tiin have cloth robes, so I'm not sure what Hasbro does to decide on who can and cannot sit. The sculpt is simple, like the animation model, quite smooth. His horns are long and pointier than most Maul figures, and the poses you can pull off are rather well done.

Lastly, there's his gear-- rather than include only one non-firing staff, Hasbro included a bigger, better painted version of the weapon that fires a dang rocket. As the character carries a large weapon on the show, I like having the option of giving him a meatier weapon with which to attack his creators, or the Jedi, or maybe the errant Zeltron. The larger weapon has a gold blade and must be gripped by handles, and the firing rocket is the marble-shooter type. It is impossible to fire the rocket while he olds onto it. It's also very difficult to fire it at all-- the bendy PVC nature of the plastic does not allow you to easily push the rocket free of its claw to attack an enemy, so in short, it doesn't work. Odd-- normally you don't get the firing rocket weapon that a) looks good and b) fails as a toy. If you hate the big rocket axe, a standard version is included with a silver blade that looks pretty good. But the big one looks cooler.

Given the nature of the character I expect a third version of this figure by the end of 2012. In its current form, it's a B, or a B- by the standards of the 2011 Vintage and 2008 animated releases. I'd suggest fans get one if they like the character and the series, because it looks cool and would look nice on your desk at work. Admit it-- dude with the crown of horns is awesome. We're 5 years overdue for a new Darth Maul sculpt, so I hope whoever did Savage's head gets a crack at Hasbro's next new version of the Sith Lord too.

The timing of this figure's release is interesting-- nearly a year after his debut, but basically just in time for DVD and Blu-Ray. Based on the assortments Hasbro revealed so far (you DO study the case packs too, don't you?) it seems they're positioning him as an "A" player in the toy aisle. No new character has shipped in three consecutive assortments in quite some time, let alone with two distinctive costumes. This one is likely to be Hasbro's next big cash cow.

Collector's Notes: Shipping in three assortments right off the bat, Hasbro clearly views the shirtless Savage as a hot seller. I expect you'll find one soon. Or you can buy one right now from the link below from our sponsor, which means I make a buck or two off the sale, and isn't that why we're all here? (Actually it isn't, but hey, couldn't hurt right?) At press time I have not seen these in the wild nor have I seen reports of them, mine came from my place of employment/sponsor/etc.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,605: August 9, 2011

1 comment:

Chris Wermeskerch said...

Congrats on 1600, first of all!

Great review. I'm kind of worried that this is going to be the norm for all action characters here on out...