Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,033: Kithaba (2023 Reissue, The Vintage Collection)

KITHABA Barada, Again
The Vintage Collection 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure
Item No.:
Asst. E7763 No. F7338
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #56
Includes: Blaster, pike, shoulder strap
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $16.99
Availability: April 2023
Appearances: Return of the Jedi
Bio: Kithaba, a Klatooinian servant of Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine, escorted the Rebels to meet their fate at the Great Pit of Carkoon. (Taken from the Amazon description. There is no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth! 

Click here to buy it at Amazon! 

Click here to buy it at eBay!

Commentary: Pulling the strings on Kithaba naming is annoying. In 1985, we had an action figure of this character named Barada. And it seems at some point in the 1990s, Decipher decided to call him Kithaba. Maybe there's another footnote in the Lucasfilm archives, but I don't know, and some of the naming of that era wasn't terribly consistent anyway. This figure is a reissue of the 2012 Kithaba [FOTD #1,825] which had either a brown or a red bandanna. The 2023 reissue only has red, and a few other deco changes.

The 2023 one is arguably the superior being. The dirty paint on the sleeves and much of the painted detail is ink dots - if you squint, you can see them. Before it looked a little more realistic, but most of our eyes are no longer good enough to notice the little pixels on the figure. Even the eyes have a little shine to them now, and there's a smidgen of pink outlining the eye - possibly to indicate the white actor under a mask? It's a neat detail, and subtle. 2023 Kithaba also has (off-center) silver buttons painted on the pouches on his shoulder strap, which is arguably an improvement if they were on straight.

Also sure to delight fans, the elbow and ankle joints are now properly colored to match the surrounding boot and shirt. The earlier releases were a mismatch and while ugly, it was easier to overlook at $9.99. At $16.99 for an old mold where Hasbro undoubtedly made their money back, we have higher expectations. Mercifully, they were met here.

The figure includes a pike just like the Power of the Force original, plus a nice blaster with some painted detail and a swell holster. I think this figure costs a little too much for a reissue, but at least you can point to some improvements. It's also significantly cheaper than the 2012 release which (as I write this) seems to be over $100 on Amazon, which is ridiculous. But I'm so old, I remember being sold a $2 Kenner Bag Barada out of some guy's garage. (Hi, Ron, if you're still out there!) It's a nice update of a classic figure, and if you don't get too close it's arguably the best version to date. Get it if you have a skiff that needs friends.

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

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,033: May 30, 2023

1 comment:

Alex said...

Kenner actually sculpted Barada (on the second skiff) and painted him in Kithaba’s colours. Probably because Kithaba was the more prominent with better reference photos.
There’s a few differences - Barada has a backpack and pirate-like shirt, whereas Kit has a vest over his shirt and no backpack.
Still holding out for a Hasbro update of the old POTF2 figure - if we are lucky.