Star Wars Action Figures

Yodasnews.com Review:  “Dagobah Crash” X-Wing Starfighter (Saga Collection)

 Review by Jeff Gouse (SithLord0498) 

Product Donated by: Razor’s Edge Collectibles.com

Yodasnews and Razor’s Edge Collectibles have joined forces to spotlight what is likely one of the coolest vehicles currently available in both retail and secondary markets. 

The Toys R Us exclusive “Dagobah Crash” X-Wing Starfighter—complete with Dagobah Luke Skywalker, the swamp dwelling Dragonsnake, and clumpy, dangling swamp sludge. 

Packaging and Assembly – score not applicable 

Opting against traditional packaging, Hasbro chose to present this latest incarnation of Luke’s iconic X-Wing with a beautifully designed (albeit massive) polygonal window box.  The ship and its two pack-in figures (a modified OTC Dagobah Luke and the “mechnivorous” Dragonsnake) are arranged in a dioramic display complete with a cardboard photographic background. 

This approach yields two results:  1) Proof that Hasbro is capable of putting genuine thought into package result when so motivated and 2) Reminding consumers that this X-Wing is gigantic!! 

And that brings us to the assembly portion of this category… 

Despite the shelf-clogging size of the packaging, only 2/3 of the ship comes assembled.  The starboard wings and blaster cannons are relegated to a plastic baggie on the underside of the diorama insert, and the X-Wing is pressed up against the back of the box.  These are easy pieces to attach to the fuselage, and the instructions identify which pieces belong on the top and bottom.  This is especially useful for the cannons because each side has one blue-striped cannon, and they are actually meant to be diagonal from each other. 

Of course, Hasbro also gives us the usual barrage of clear rubber bands, packaging tape, and inexplicably intertwined twist ties.  Fun, fun, fun…

 

Sculpt and Design Accuracy – 4.75 out of 5 

Let’s start this section of with some statistics on the specific mold used to create this vehicle. 

Times this mold has been used: 4 (POTF2 Electronic FX, Saga 2002 Dagobah X-Wing, Saga 2002 Red Leader X-Wing, Saga 2006 Dagobah Crash X-Wing) 

Times the electronics have been omitted:  3 

Times mold has been used in a TRU exclusive: 3 (all except POTF2 Electronic FX) 

Times mold used for Dagobah rendition: 2 

Everybody got that?  Good. 

The “FX mold” is quite honestly the best version Hasbro ever cranked out.  The overall proportions are excellent and are noticeable when comparing such elements as the relative distance from canopy and nose between the toy vehicle and the ILM filming model.  The inferiority of the earlier POTF2 mold (or the “short and stumpy” X-Wing) is crystal clear when compared against this version.  Strangely enough, Ol’ Stumpy still weaseled its way into this millennium with the Original Trilogy Collection release.

 

 The detailing also demonstrates the design team’s attention to detail.  Wires and conduits near the engines have been sculpted directly onto the fuselage, and there is a wide variety of textures and grooves cut into the vehicle as a whole.  All these elements enhance the three dimension quality of the vehicle. 

A sturdy latching design also improves the usefulness of several features.  First, the canopy closes more securely than on some other ships.  Send this X-Wing into an inverted dive or roll, and your pilot doesn’t have to worry about needing a parachute…or atmospheric suit in this case.  The S-foils also lock securely into place when in attack position.  Even if you pinch them together, they will immediately bounce back to their intended location. 

The design is not without its flaws unfortunately.  Some are nitpicks while others have the potential to affect the aesthetics over time.  Interestingly enough, the flaws noted in this review all center on the wings and accompanying cannons.  First, the minor issues.  When compared to the pictures provided in Mark Cotta Vaz’s From Star Wars to Indiana Jones: Best of the Lucasfilm Archives, the cannons sit too close to the wings on Hasbro’s version, and the blaster tips should not be so bulbous. 

The more serious flaws are based solely in the toy’s design and not due to any inconsistencies with ILM models.  The weight of the wings results in sagging when the S-foils are in a closed position, and the plastic used for the long cannon barrels can be easily warped out of shape.  Both of these flaws are not new and have existed in the mold since at least the first Dagobah incarnation in 2002 (the only previous release of this mold that I’ve owned).  However, both can potentially lead to gravitational disfigurement over the years. 

And coming in on the neutral side is the landing gear.  It’s a mixed bag.  While the trio support and balance the ship evenly, the struts easily collapse if the ship is bumped. 

Overall, these are minor issues that can be ignored this time around.  One can only hope, however, that Hasbro uses a harder plastic for the cannons and tries to address the sagging wing issue with their next inevitable release from this mold.

 

Paint Application – 4.5 out of 5 

When viewed on the micro-level, the paint application on the X-Wing is clean and accurate.  The stripes on the cannon barrels are precise and uniform.  The red and yellow markings associated with Luke’s personal Incom T-65 starfighter are also appropriately worn and “scraped away.”

When viewed on the macro-level, the entire ship’s application seems a bit too artificial.  It is quite clear that these spots of paint were uniformly applied because they’re just too perfect.  Areas that should be random are nearly symmetrical, and there are blaster burns in straight line patterns with regular intervals on the starboard side of the nose just beneath the canopy. 

Furthermore, the entire weathering scheme is too weak for a crashed vehicle.  This is an area where the 2002 rendition excelled, and Hasbro would have been wise to keep that particular paint deco.  It seems that Hasbro wanted to allow this vehicle to double as both the crash landing X-Wing and as a Space Flight version.  Still, the ’02 version was able to serve in the latter capacity as well despite the “damage.”  It just looked battle-worn instead. 

Still, the paint applications are above average in the end, and the X-Wing looks mighty good sitting on the shelf.

 

Action Features and Vehicle Accessories – 4.5 out of 5 

The “Dagobah Crash” X-Wing Starfighter includes the following action features: 

Clearly, the standout feature here is the removable swamp moss, and what a standout it is!  Hasbro’s execution of this concept is quite simply incredible.  Separated into four flexible yet strictly molded pieces, the moss is precisely sculpted to fit on specific sections of the vehicle.  The result: very naturalistic clumping and hanging.  It is especially effective with the pieces that hang from the upper port blaster cannon and the engine thrusters. 

Hasbro’s designers were at the top of their game with regards to the sculpting as well.  Close inspection shows a tangled web of weeds, vines, and leaves that amassed to create the total swampy effect.  But even closer inspection reveals minute details such as veins sculpted into each moss leaf.  That kind of attention to detail is an enormous part of what sells this feature. 

And if you’re unsure of where to apply the effects, the instructions clearly diagram the exact positions of each piece.

 

Oddly enough, three of the accessories from the 2002 Dagobah version are absent: the lamp, food rations, and cargo case.  It’s a shame because not only were they well sculpted little trinkets but they made the secret storage compartment behind the seat useful.  In the present time, this cool little feature has been rendered pretty useless unless you have other items to store in there. 

I guess it would be a good hiding place for a lockbox key or that diamond ring you’re just not quite ready to give to your lady yet.  Trust me…if she’s willing to tolerate stuff like this X-Wing taking up space in the home, get that ring on her finger because she’s a keeper!! 

Probably the most unforgivable exclusion here is the complete omission of an astromech droid!!  No extra R2-D2 figure.  No hollow dome insert.  Nothing!!  All you get is an empty droid socket.  Even the third incarnation of this mold (2002 Saga Red Leader X-Wing) included a cheap cardboard droid insert.  Considering the amount of various R2 figures that pegwarm on store shelves, it would’ve made sense to pick one, have stores return their surpluses, and recycle the figures into this set. 

Despite the lack of an R2-D2 and the previous storage compartment accessories, what Hasbro has included here is stellar.  The moss is by far the coolest addition to this set, but there are still two pack-in figures that need to be addressed.

 

Bonus Figure (Luke Skywalker – Dagobah Gear):  4.5 out of 5 

The first of the two pack-in figures is a modified version of the Dagobah Luke Skywalker mold from the Original Trilogy Collection.  While it’s a poor stand-alone figure, it adequately serves its purpose as a highly scene-specific “accessory” figure, particularly because of the outstretched arm that emulates Luke’s infamous failed attempt at raising his drowning ship. 

The biggest complaint here is the soft sculpting on the portrait.  The overall face is far too smooth and lacks the minute detail consumer have come to expect from Hasbro lately.  Instead of capturing the look of utter disbelief that Mark Hamill conveyed in the scene, this Luke simply looks like two bright baby blue eyes and a mop of hair (even if it is sculpted amazingly well to simulate matted, sweaty hair).

  

Bonus Figure (Dragonsnake):  5 out of 5 

Let’s get the most obvious thing out of the way first.  Yes, the Dragonsnake is grossly underscaled.  There is no way an R2 figure would fit down the throat of this figure.  But true scale would necessitate a figure around the size of the Acklay or Bantha figures.  No company is ever going to include a pack-in figure of that size, so this is as good as it gets for the time being. 

But this Dragonsnake figure is quite a piece of work.  Tremendous effort was put into this sculpt, and it shines through at every turn.  There are four points of articulation: a swivel neck, two swivel arms, and a hinged joint for lateral tail movement.  The only room for improvement here would have been the inclusion of a ball-jointed head and eschewing the hinge joint for a poseable rubber tail similar to that used on the Nexu. 

However, the most notable element in the sculpting is the multitude of skin folds and flaps that extend all the way down the neck and through the arms.  When combined with the excellent use of blending and shading in the paint application, the sea serpent really comes to life on the shelf.

 

 

“Fun Factor”:  5 out of 5 

Are you really surprised?  It’s an X-Wing, for cryin’ out loud!!  And one that’s very close to true scale with the action figure line as well.  It has opening S-foils, landing gear, and sludge to slap on it.  It has two figures with it, one of which has never been made in the history of Star Wars toy merchandising. 

How can this not be one of the most fun vehicles out there?!?! 

Plus, every Star Wars collector, whether they want to admit it or not, wants to run through a wide open space and fly Luke Skywalker’s signature ship around until they get so winded and dizzy that they make their own crash landing. 

So you probably shouldn’t do this in a parking lot... 

 

Overall Rating – 4.71 out of 5 

While this didn’t score as high as the last vehicle review (V-Wing Starfighter), this is a solid vehicle and a definite purchase.  That’s the funny thing about statistics and mathematical averages.  They don’t leave much room for subjectiveness.  Looking back at my reasons for assigning these scores, the true culprits are the potential long-term effects of the sagging wings, the weak weathering in the paint apps, and the lack of an R2-D2 figure.  Plus, this vehicle costs $45, which is about $10 overpriced.  Sadly, that’s typically the case with all TRU exclusives of this nature. 

But what if this vehicle only cost $30??? 

Hmmm…. 

It just so happens that you can score this awesome vehicle for a special Yodasnews reduced price of $30 at Razor’s Edge Collectibles.  But you’ll want to act fast.  This deal is only good for 72 hours from the initial publication of this review.  So head on over and grab this vehicle before it’s too late. 

And to make things easier, here’s a direct link to the product page:

http://www.razorsedgecollectibles.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=2122

Until next time, dear readers, may the Force be with you!!