Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,123: Paz Vizsla (Epic Hero Series)

PAZ VIZSLA New Kids Line
Epic Hero Series Deluxe Figure
Item No.:
Asst. F9949 No. G0138
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Backpack, fire gauntlet, rocket, rocket launcher
Action Feature: Rocket actually fires spring-loaded projectile
Retail: $14.99
Availability: January 2024
Appearances: The Mandalorian

Bio: A descendant of the esteemed House Vizsla, brawny warrior Paz Vizsla is protected by the strongest Beskar armor. (Taken from the packaging)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Click here to buy it at eBay now!

Commentary: While I'm not crazy about what you get for the deluxe price, I can't deny Paz Vizsla is a quality figure. At $15 he's a hair under the prices for current Vintage figures - some of which have 3-4 accessories, alternate hands, and a couple of dozen joints. This figure has four accessories and five joints - the math doesn't work out. But, I will say it's about half the price of Hasbro's excellent but also pricey deluxe Vintage Paz Vizsla. There has been a pattern of many of the best characters being pulled out from basic assortments and upgraded, which I would assume aligns with what they would expect the Amazon or eBay prices of quasi-scalped figures to be. But that's a wild hunch - and it makes for a higher price point with more features, something I'm told retailers want.

You're going to lose paint applications and accessories when you do a kid line at a lower price. I'm sure Hasbro is making bank on this, but other than a lot of missing silver deco it's pretty much what I would want. The caps of his backpack are plain yellow, there's no cable to connect to his rocket-launching weapon, but other than that? This is how he should look. You can make out all the key sculpted elements, like the extra padding under his shoulder armor (unpainted), the belt (painted), the differently colored gauntlets, the yellow armor on the lower legs... most of what you want is here. Even the kama is here to cover his butt, and it's a separately sculpted piece. I had no problems getting this figure to stand with all of his gear in hand, and that's something Vintage figures can't or won't do. This is a sturdy toy that's just as deserving of the "Kenner" branding due to how it feels. If you had old Kenner toys as a kid in the 1980s or 1990s, Paz's construction will immediately feel familiar.

 He's not too bulky, or wormie. He stands easily, he sits well, and he feels like something you probably should have owned in 1996. As to the figure, the colors are brighter and the battle damage is somehow still there. You can see a bunch of dents on his helmet and chest, meaning an aspiring future customizer might take a silver Sharpie to him to fill in the missing chest silver or add some roughing-up to the greaves. But not me - I like it as it is. It is the kind of figure that comes close to what I wish we got in the 1990s, in that he's not overly buffed up and he had a cool play feature. The lack of a cable to his backpack may be seen as a loss to some fans - and I can understand why - but sometimes those things hinder posing or require a lot of fuss to get positioned properly. If the cable is too stiff, the blaster sometimes "rights" itself out of his hand - that doesn't happen here. The big rocket launcher is held over his shoulder with no problems. Granted, it's not how it was on the show, but I'm just impressed he can hold it at all without flopping over.

 His accessories are uniformly good. The backpack plugs in the hole, and serves no real function otherwise. Hasbro could have cut costs by molding it to his back, and saving some tooling costs. The wrist gauntlet has a plugged-in flame, and the entire thing is cast in clear orange plastic. I had no problems plugging it in to his left wrist hole - there's one on the right, too. The aforementioned blaster has a firing projectile that feels like it's on a delay - when I press the big orange button, it doesn't immediately launch. But it works! And rocket launchers with Hasbro Star Wars figure are a surprisingly uncommon feature. Older fans do not enjoy fun.

Given that the super fancy The Vintage Collection Paz figure is marked down at some stores, and is shockingly well-executed with separately molded armor, and shields, and all sorts of elements, that one is your best bet as a collector. It's not a lot of fun to pose, though, but it looks incredible when you get it set up and looking just perfect - and that comes with the realization that you are unlikely to touch it again, because it was a pain to get it to stand up. 

Conversely, this Epic Hero Series Paz Vizsla stands, sits, holds his gear, and does anything a traditional toy figure should do without any fussiness. I love articulation, but more than that I love stability, durability, and the ability to fit in some vehicles. The Vintage Collection release is utterly gorgeous... but this is the one I'm going to play with. I doubt I'll convince many of you of the surprising reality of these toys as good, functional toys. You know what your needs are, and if this guy ever goes on sale cheaply I recommend picking him up immediately. Even at $15, it's a more satisfying toy than a lot of the stuff I've bought in the past few years. I hope Hasbro keeps this line going and includes some of the lesser characters from the shows, like those super cool Dark Troopers from the end of last season.

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

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,123: April 9, 2024

1 comment:

MisterPL said...

This looks like a plain, old-fashioned, solid toy. You know, the reason we got into this hobby in the first place. I'm looking forward to seeing what Hasbro offers in the way of vehicles for this line, which I'm guessing will start with a de-contented N-1. It'd be great if they could hit ALL three markets; Epic Heroes, Retro, and TVC.

Mini-rigs, anyone?