“He’s no good to me dead.”
A lot of stuff happened at SDCC this year. There were a ton of cool toy reveals across a lot of different lines, I bought a lot of neat action figures, got to hang out with friends, go to panels, crashed a party, and even had a very awkward conversation with a quasi-celebrity. However, I think Star Wars is the topic that will make for the prevailing memory from this year, and that’s for a few reasons. First, the Black Series line kicked off as our first foray into 6-inch action figures, I actually scored a Sandtrooper at the show ahead of his official release, and the show-exclusive Boba Fett figure was the talk of the town, for better and for worse. It took a near-miracle to be able to get this baby, but since luck seemed to find the Fwoosh crew again this year, I think a First Look at everyone’s favorite bounty hunter is in due order.
You may have heard tell of the imposing nightmare that is the Hasbro Toy Shop line at SDCC. It is not for the faint of heart, and this year seemed to ratchet up the competition for a spot in line amongst attending fans of Hasbro’s many properties. Let’s just say that the line to get a TICKET to stand in the actual line to wait to buy from the shop was closed for the entire day on Thursday before it even really opened at 8 am. The dude at the front of the line had been camped out since one o’clock in the morning. Yeah. Additionally, the kicker with Boba Fett was that he was limited to one per person and they were stamping badges as you made your purchases. So even if a friend was able to get in line, you were still boned and I did not see even one vendor on the floor with a Boba Fett for sale. The current going rate on eBay should be an indication of how insane it was.
However, everything worked out in the end (for me, anyway), and the figure is going up for sale at the Hasbro Toy Shop (though a specific time has not been given, expect an online bloodbath, though), so attendees and non-attendees alike will get one more shot at capturing this elusive bounty hunter. I wish everyone good luck in their pursuits, I know it’s excruciatingly stressful when you have to chase something as simple as an action figure this hard, but that seems to be the nature of the beast with Hasbro as of late. Maybe it creates more hype, or maybe this is their way of getting back at us for constant online complaints and demands, but yowza! Don’t get in the way of a fan and his/her toys!
The good news is that if you don’t get a chance to snag this Boba Fett, the EXACT same figure will be available in the Black Series wave two, just without the convention packaging and Han Solo in carbonite. Furthermore, I did hear rumor that perhaps even the latter might be made available in some form later on down the line, so, in the end, the SDCC exclusivity might only extend to the packaging itself. It makes sense. I mean, there was no possible way that Hasbro was going to keep one of the most popular characters in all of the Star Wars mythos to a convention exclusive, and I am positive we will see more iterations of the character as the line moves along; he has many different looks from various media and concepts, so if you are a Fett fan, patience need be your only requirement.
I already got into my overall thoughts about the Black Series line in the Sandtrooper First Look, so you can check that out for a more high-level conversation. Needless to say, I am really excited for this line and every figure I have gotten to play with (which is all of the current releases, save R2-D2) has been very strong. Boba Fett is certainly among that population and he is an absolutely beautiful figure with painstakingly close attention to detail in all of the aesthetic aspects. That being said, I think I prefer Luke, Darth Maul, and the Sandtrooper overall in terms of action figure success, but it is only a couple of very small things keeping Boba Fett from being on the same exact level; however, he excels in several different facets above the regular series one figures.
Like I said, the look of figure itself is stunning. I am a very big fan of Star Wars (though I might not be at a 501st level when it comes to the most capricious details), and to my eyes, the teams at Hasbro and Gentle Giant nailed the look of this figure. He is modeled after his appearance in The Empire Strikes Back as he has different details (like his gauntlets) in Return of the Jedi, and that makes sense since he is running around with a carbonite-frozen Han Solo. All of his costume details are there. His build is accurate, and the details on his helmet alone are enough make you point and say, “Awesome-sauce.” Okay, maybe you don’t say stuff like that, but he does look absolutely killer. I LOVE all of the scuffing of his costume (again, especially on the helmet), and the paint detail enjoyed here is like nothing else seen so far in the plastic Star Wars universe. Chalk part of that up to the larger scale, but also plain old-fashioned attention to detail deserves credit here. The guys managing this project at Gentle Giant and Hasbro know how to make a good Boba Fett and you can tell a figure like this would not be possible without passion. I bet the sculptor is huge fan…
I firmly believe that Boba Fett has acquired so many fans over the years due to his enigmatic nature and badassery (pre-prequel trilogy), but also because his look is so unique and interesting. His helmet is certainly the most instantly identifiable of all that have come from Star Wars, except for the one that belongs to Darth Vader himself, and, man, dude has a jetpack. You just cannot go wrong with a jetpack. Well, actually, Boba Fett went terribly (and somewhat embarrassingly) wrong with a jetpack, but damn it if it doesn’t look neat. His gauntlets are very detailed in both sculpt and paint and his arm cannon has different colored buttons, even though they are tiny. His pants and jacket are appropriately baggy and all of the Mandalorian emblems are represented, though the one on the left arm of this particular figure is a bit askew. His cape is made of cloth (something I usually shun), but it is very well done and hangs naturally over his left shoulder. When it comes to looks, Boba Fett is one of the nicest figures I have gotten in a very long time.
Another impressive aspect of the figure is the built-in articulation scheme; however, while Boba Fett has a lot of points of articulation, the figure also takes its biggest hits due to the functionality of some of it. On its own, the figure fares pretty well and has a lot of the points required by discerning articulation aficionados. He has double knees, rocker ankles, ball shoulders, swivel ball elbows (or “elbros”), and the other regular points so that the potential is certainly there to be able to put this figure in all kinds of poses and displays.
However, some of the points do not translate perfectly in terms of functionality. First and foremost (and my main gripe about the figure) is his crotch area. Yeah, I said it, his crotch area. His hips struggle in a couple of different ways and it is especially apparent when comparing him to the better-engineered Sandtrooper. Because of the shape of his crotch piece (yes, I am continuing with this line of thought), you cannot pose his legs as close together as the Trooper. That might be minor, but it does slightly inhibit some posing options. Also, his hip pouches are made of a thick and rigid plastic, so front movement of his legs will be pretty limited. Also, his rib cage point has been moved further down his torso than the Trooper due to his costume so it does not function as well and while he has a great range of movement in his neck, this particular figure has a bit of bobble head due to the head not sitting tightly on the peg. All of these points will vary in degree of importance depending on your tastes, but for me, it is enough to knock poor Boba down a level below the Sandtrooper.
Articulation functionality aside, Fett excels in a lot of other areas, namely in his accessories. Part of the ability of being a convention exclusive (and having an increased price) is that you can get more accessories in with the figure. He has his aforementioned, and highly detailed, jetpack, and also his rifle, blaster, and, of course, Han Solo-cicle and stand. The rifle is very detailed and has a lot of different paint applications; he can also hold it convincingly with both hands (something that is not easy to do with a figure) so you can stare down the barrel of the most feared hunter in the galaxy. His blaster is great too, if not quite as exciting, and while he can hold it well, it can also be stored perfectly in the holster on his right leg.
Han is, of course, the main accessory draw here, and while in his frozen state he is no more than a big chunk of plastic, he makes for a good-looking one. The sculpt is solid and it captures Captain Solo perfectly in mid-freeze. The paint details are also strong and that is especially apparent in the tech paneling along the sides. It does include a stand that you need to assemble (instructions are printed in the box), and it does a great job of supporting block. It has a peg hole that you can insert into the bottom of the block and two clips that hug the sides; the base is also big enough to ensure stability while not being distracting. You can display the block as though it is floating (like in Bespin), or it also stands up nicely for that “new decoration in Jabba’s palace” look. I know a lot of the hype that has inflated the cost of this figure is around the carbonite, but there is just something satisfying about getting Boba Fett with his most famous bounty all in one set.
The last thing I want to touch on is the packaging because it is very well done. In fact, I think it is my favorite exclusive packaging from the show this year. The Black Series approach overall is one of sleek design and class and I think this is leading that charge nicely. The outer box has some different black tones and the gray bio is offset with green lines (instead of the usual orange). This figure is not numbered like the rest of them, so I am going to count him as figure #00 since he is technically in the lead-off spot. The figure and all of the accessories are housed in trays inside the box with the clear rubber bands we know so well and the inside of the box has some nice logoing and graphics on just about every panel. It is all held together with a slip over band of cardboard that brings the motif together. All in all, this is a very nice package for a great exclusive.
So there he is: a fantastic Boba Fett figure to kick off the (probably) most exciting new toy line of 2013. The figure itself is absolutely beautiful and no detail was spared in this realization. I have to say that I don’t like the figure as well as the Sandtrooper, but that is mostly due to a couple of articulation snafus that certainly don’t impact the look on the shelf. Overall, though, this Boba Fett moves better than most action figures out there. The accessories, packaging, and overall approach to this figure make it worth the inflated asking price, and I really hope that there are plenty available when it goes on sale at the Hasbro Toy Shop. Thanks for reading and prepare yourself for the ride that is the new six-inch Black Series, it is going to be a blast!