Yodasnews.com Review: Boba Fett (Animated Debut)
Review and Photography by Jeffrey A. Gouse (SithLord0498)
Review Date: September 17, 2007
Boba Fett was an enigma and a man of few words in his original cinematic debut in 1980. But while The Empire Strikes Back introduced Fett to the masses, the fan favorite bounty hunter’s first appearance actually came during the animated segment of the much-maligned 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special. And in Hasbro’s seemingly endless quest to reuse molds as much as possible, collectors now have a cinematic depiction of Boba Fett’s animated debut with modern tooling and features.
Armor and Flightsuit Sculpting – Excellent
While this figure is far from accurate to the source material, it works extremely well as a realistic interpretation along the lines of the post-Episode II era Clone Wars line and the current Comic Packs. This “animated” Fett is a slightly modified repaint of the VOTC mold, the best incarnation found in the 3.75 inch scale figure line. Despite his heritage, Hasbro showed restraint and remained true to the mystery established in the Holiday Special. There is no removable helmet, and there is no Jango portrait underneath. Instead, collectors are given the familiar Fett visage complete with articulated rangefinder and obligatory dent in the upper cranium.
While this figure is a near facsimile of the VOTC mold, Hasbro sculpted a brand new belt to match the one shown in the cartoon. Whereas the cinematic Fett had a belt lined with small utility pouches, the animated Fett has a single small cluster of three pouches on his left hand side. If one wished to draw comparisons, this belt is closer to Han Solo’s holster belt than the one worn by Empire’s Boba Fett. The exceptional details include elements such as intricately sculpted buckles and tiny grooves that simulate the belt notches.
Most if not all of the sculpting nuances from the earlier mold are naturally present in this version as well. The flightsuit has an abundance of creases and folds which provide an effective simulation of cloth translated to a plastic medium. The “metal” sections of Fett’s armor are scratched, dented, and overall quite weathered, and the gauntlets appear to have machined elements that remain true to the cinematic armor—if not entirely faithful to the animated rendition. The jetpack is a straight-up repaint of the VOTC pack, and it actually adheres fairly well to the animated version. The design looks to have been essentially ported over to the silver screen.
Some details may be different and some proportions may be altered, but trying to pin down a clear and consistent depiction of the cartoon version is difficult at best. The cartoon was a crudely drawn segment as evidenced by close inspection of screen captures from a variety of scenes, and Fett’s appearance changed slightly from scene to scene. These discrepancies within the source material itself give the figure more leniency in the scoring analysis.
Armor and Flightsuit Paint Applications – Above Average
Along with the inconsistent design elements, the color palette in the cartoon also varies by scene. To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t any kind of preserved and/or digitally mastered copy of the Holiday Special in existence, so establishing an “official” palette is next to impossible. Instead, Hasbro established one based on a middle ground, and it works very well. Even Fett’s famous bantha skull emblem has been omitted from the left shoulder pad since it wasn’t in the cartoon, demonstrating that the powers-that-be actually paid attention to the small differences.
The negative aspects come into play when examining the cleanliness of the paint applications. Overall, they stay within the lines, and the bluish purple regions even have a heavy wash of darker shades and a hint of silver to simulate weathering. Unfortunately, there are several areas where the deco leaves something to be desired. The tubes of Fett’s right arm are the biggest culprit with only the outer portions painted in silver. The rest is left as colored molded plastic, and that results in a careless, haphazard appearance. Adding insult to injury, the areas which are painted have the silver caked on in multiple spots. The belt, while beautifully sculpted, suffers from paint runs in several locations including the rear buckles, the rear boundary of the pouch cluster, and the front strap.
Articulation – Excellent
The animated Boba Fett’s articulation is just about on par with the best figures of the 30th Anniversary Collection, and the only thing more impressive than the number of ball joints is how well they are integrated into and concealed by the armor. The armored shoulder and knee pads cover the joints without hindering their range of motion to any great degree. The pant cuffs work with the boots to conceal the ball joints on the ankles. Even the helmet and collar mostly hide the neck joint except in the most extreme head tilts.
Given that nine of the fifteen joints are ball joints and located in the most vital areas, there is a virtual cornucopia of posing options with Fett.
One last interesting note on the articulation: there is a single swivel joint on the right bicep just above the tubing. Presumably, this was included to allow forearm rotation without tearing the tubes. This theory is further supported by the lack of rotation in the elbow joint on that arm whereas its counterpart on the left arm has full mobility. This is an inventive solution to a potential conflict with the design, and it is well executed.
Electrostaff and Blaster Pistol – Above Average (Bordering on “Excellent”)
Animated Boba Fett comes with two accessories taken straight out of the cartoon: his blaster pistol (radically different from his cinematic blaster rifle) and a horseshoe-pronged electrostaff. These two peripherals are superbly sculpted, faithful to the source, and provide collectors with a complete Animated Debut figure. Additionally, both accessories closely match their cartoon counterparts in terms of shape, proportion, and detailing.
Of the two, the blaster is the better accessory only because of Hasbro’s odd decision to only paint the horseshoe extremity of the staff, leaving roughly 80% as molded orange-brown plastic. The best approach would have been to continue using the metallic gold paint for the entire staff. Yet the details and proportions are excellent, which reduces the negative impact of the paint applications. The blaster, on the other hand, appears to be the cartoon drawing brought to life, but it is a simple design with very little on which to comment.
“Fun Factor” - Excellent
The saga’s most notorious bounty hunter in his original form and with super articulation as well—of course this a fun figure! The inclusion of the cartoon-exclusive electrostaff also allows collectors to display Fett in ways previous versions in the modern era couldn’t provide until now. Furthermore, the fact that this figure was realized in the cinematic style allows Fett to be integrated with Prequel-era figures done in the same cartoon-to-reality style. Granted, it’s not chronologically accurate, but it will still look very cool.
Overall Rating – Excellent (Bordering on “Above Average”)
While it would’ve been nice to see an all-new super articulated sculpt done in the animated style, Hasbro effectively utilized and adapted a terrific pre-existing mold to produce a solid figure. The flaws are few and cosmetic in nature, and they are confined almost exclusively to the area of paint applications. The only possible downside to this figure being well received is that Hasbro may start thinking collectors love buying repainted Mandalorians and decide to release half a dozen at one time in a box set.
Turns out they already thought of that.