Yodasnews Review: McQuarrie Concept Boba Fett (30th Anniversary Collection)
By Jeff Gouse (SithLord0498)
SCULPT – 5 out of 5
As the first all-new sculpt in the McQuarrie Signatures Series sub-line, Boba Fett remains extremely faithful to the original concept art. Unlike the artwork that inspired the Stormtrooper, McQuarrie’s concept drawings of Fett show him from multiple angles, which allowed better examination of the details. I’d be willing to bet Hasbro used the same reference image when sculpting this figure.
The intriguing part, however, is that it is NOT a true McQuarrie concept figure.
Hardcore Boba Fett fans will be able to point out that Joe Johnston was credited as Fett’s designer, and Hasbro took that into account and created a McQuarrie/Johnston concept figure. Ironically enough, the McQuarrie design is the one that the on-screen Fett most closely resembles.
For the Johnston portion of this figure, Hasbro used one of his several helmet designs as an interchangeable helmet, one with eyes reminiscent of a Stormtrooper helmet. They also included Johnston’s concept of a concealed “belly blaster” and flamethrower, the latter which was ultimately utilized on-screen by Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones.
All in all, the Concept Boba Fett sculpt is excellent. However, a particular design element hinders the figure, but that issue falls under the realm of articulation and will be discussed later.
PAINT APPLICATION – 4.5 out of 5
Like the Concept Stormtrooper, this pre-production bounty hunter is primarily a grayscale figure. What little nuggets of color there are have been done delicately and cleanly. The standout here is the early rendition of Fett’s shoulder insignia, an element that would eventually become the Bantha skull we all recognize. Here, the emblem is on the opposite shoulder, but the genesis of the design is evident. From a review standpoint, the lines on the “proto-skull” are crisp and without stray marks. It looks almost like a decal.
So why not a perfect five? It’s because Hasbro stopped short with the paint deco. Closer examination of the concept art reveals areas of the suit, primarily in the McQuarrie helmet, that have darker colors painted into them. The figure lacks those applications, opting inside to merely have the grooves and niches sculpted but unpainted. Ordinarily, this would not be such an issue, but it would’ve added more depth and life to this rather plain figure.
ARTICULATION – 4 out of 5
Before tackling the negative I hinted at earlier in the review, let me go on record saying the articulation on this figure is many times better than the rehashed and repainted Concept Stormtrooper. Only ball-jointed ankle articulation is missing, which is a curious omission since the design would not have been comprised with its inclusion. Still, the Signature Series will be in fantastic shape if this becomes the standard level of articulation for the remainder of the concept figures.
Now, time to reveal that irksome design element. It’s the “belly blaster”, and I honestly don’t understand what Hasbro’s reasoning was behind its execution. The concept art shows the blaster as being concealed in a flip-down panel of armor on Fett’s stomach. Sounds pretty cut and dry how to incorporate it, right?
Instead of imitating a flip-down panel, Hasbro designed their version as a panel you remove and then re-insert in the down position. In order to do that, you have to take the figure APART!!
Yep, that’s right. The figure separates at the waist via a thankfully long and sturdy peg. The belt and holster are also removable, but they are held in position by a sculpted tab. Realign the stomach panel, reassemble, and you have converted the McQuarrie torso into a Johnston torso.
Sounds great, but the problem lies in that the figure doesn’t hold together as well as it should. In turn, that throws off the figure’s center of gravity. Additionally, it seems to force a wider stance at the hips, which also contributes to a poor stability.
Bottom line? Kudos to Hasbro for adding more ball joints and exploring an interesting concept, but de-merits on that concept’s execution. Still, the articulation is very good, and you can get some excellent poses out of the figure. You just might want to put a little bit of wacky-tack on the soles of its boots to help with stability.
ACCESSORIES – 5 out of 5
Considering the included accessories allow collectors to choose between a McQuarrie, Johnston, or hybrid concept figure, there is no possible way I can give anything lower than a perfect score in this category. In fact, I would’ve gladly given a 5.5 rating, but there are some nitpicky design flaws (the blaster doesn’t fit perfectly into the hand and the flamethrower effect’s plastic looks very likely to sag over time).
There really isn’t much left to say here that hasn’t already been covered elsewhere. The standout of the assortment is the flamethrower effect. Molded in various gradations of yellow and orange translucent plastic, the color scheme of a massive fireball has been replicated very well, and Hasbro added a black paint wash in strategic points to simulate smoke. It adds an extra level of depth and realism lacking in earlier fire effects, and this is an application that needs to continue in future fire effects.
One more little tidbit…eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that one of the poses in the picture above reveals the range finder on the McQuarrie helmet does indeed flip down. Just do it carefully and move it at the base to reduce warping/bending.
“FUN FACTOR” – 5.5 out of 5
Stability issues aside, this is one fun figure. The “mix-and-match” feature, the excellent variety of accessories, and the above average articulation all work together to create a figure that has a wide range of display and play options.
Short and to-the-point for once, eh?
OVERALL RATING – 4.8 out of 5
In the Stormtrooper review, I said this is a line worth collecting only if future releases at least matched or surpassed the trooper’s quality. Well, start working out how you’ll acquire the convention exclusive Luke and C-3PO/R2 packs because the McQuarrie Signature Series is now THE line with which to be a completist. Concept Fett has its share of flaws, but they are heavily outweighed by all its fantastic elements.
As with the Concept Stormtrooper, this figure also currently ships one per case, and you know what that means in terms of scarcity. Again, to reiterate from the Stormtrooper review, we can only hope that Fett will also get more rotation in future cases and/or entire McQuarrie sets will be available closer to the Christmas season.
Out of the first two McQuarrie concept figures, this is the second must-own figure.