Yodasnews Review: Darth Revan (Mighty Muggs)
Review and Photography by Jeffrey A. Gouse (SithLord0498)
Review Date: January 13, 2009
Considering how poorly some of Hasbro’s quirkier lines have performed (do we really need to revisit those awful “Star Wars Customs” motorcycles??), it was very reasonable and rational to expect Mighty Muggs to burn out rather quickly.
However, it’s nearly a year into their existence, and Star Wars Mighty Muggs seem to be a solid and steady performer on retail shelves. There are some shelf-warmers in the line. There always are. By and large, though, the various assortments have experienced a healthy turnaround. Part of this success can be attributed to a unique design concept that can span across age and gender lines. A “Mighty Mugg Yoda” looks just as good on a collector’s display shelf as it does on their wife’s office desk (or vice versa). Another element of this line’s success is the broad assortment of characters. Long-time staples such as Yoda and Darth Vader are obviously present, but there have also been some surprising choices such as Grand Moff Tarkin. One of the latest assortments even brings the new Clone Wars show into the mix.
Today’s review focuses on a rather surprising entry in the Mighty Muggs pantheon—the enigmatic Sith Lord from Lucasarts’ Knights of the Old Republic game, Darth Revan.
For those readers who have already read the review of Star Wars “Mighty Muggs” Wave 1, feel free to skip the first two sections, which outline the history and common characteristics of Mighty Muggs. They are verbatim from that review.
Background on Vinyl Art Toys
Trying to get a handle on what exactly that movement is has been difficult because there appear to be many different forms that fall under the general umbrella. The closest counterpart to the Mighty Muggs appears to be the Dunny figure, which starts its life as a uniform body. Various designers and artists then paint their own vision onto the template as though it were a blank canvas. The resulting creations are then produced in small quantities and sold to collectors. The following link provides many examples of these figures.
As you can see, these look very similar to Mighty Muggs.
OK, end of modern history lesson. Let’s move on and examine the common characteristics of Hasbro’s Mighty Muggs.
Common Characteristics of Mighty Muggs
As with the Dunny figures, all Muggs share the same basic body type with three points of articulation: swivel head and arms. A major upside to this uniformity is that, for once, each figure’s accessory is guaranteed to fit snugly in either hand. All too often, the basic action figure line relies on using clear rubber bands to keep the accessory in place. Not here.
Also because of this standard template, the paint applications are the only way to differentiate each figure. Therefore, paint quality is also the “make or break” point for each figure. For the most part, the Muggs excel in this area. However, both the paint and plastic are easily scuffed and/or chipped, so a decent amount of care is required when handling these figures.
With those general observations in place, we can move on to the specifics of the Darth Revan “Mighty Mugg”…
Mighty Muggs are not known for being highly accurate to the source material. Their stylized nature pretty much guarantees that only the most necessary markings will be used and in simplified forms.
So it comes as a genuine shock that this portrait of Darth Revan is actually more accurate than the previously-released action figure!
The mask on Hasbro’s 3.75 inch offering departed from the video game version in several minor ways, and those variations (such as the shapes of the visor and armored face plates) have been rectified here. The paint lines are extremely crisp and precise—too precise for human hands in fact. Another outstanding facet of the Mandalorian-inspired mask is the use of lighter shades to simulate light reflecting off the “metal”. Simple in their geometrical design, they nevertheless create a very convincing illusion. In all honesty, the face sports a perfect paint application and does a fantastic job of simulating a 3-D appearance.
On the other hand, the hood does have some fuzziness to the lines. Fortunately, the shades of gray and black are so close together that these flaws are hard to discern at a glance.
COSTUME: Above Average
Unfortunately, the costume isn’t quite as accurate, but there are enough elements in place to distinctly identify it as Darth Revan’s armor and robes. There is one glaring exception though, and that will be addressed first. In both the game and previous action figure, Revan’s torso is encased in a pinkish-red armor. The Mighty Mugg version, however, omits this in favor of a two-tone copper-colored application (remember—details are done through paint apps rather than sculpting) that gives the appearance of a tunic with armor peeking out underneath it. While it looks just fine, it is not part of Revan’s armor. Additionally, Hasbro painted a black belt on this Mugg rather than the gray belt seen in the game and action figure
Beyond those two elements, the rest of the costume is up to par for a Mighty Mugg. The copper-gold armor plates on Revan’s hands and forearms also feature a lighter coloration in an attempt to simulate reflecting light, but there are some fuzzy edges here. The metal rings hanging from Revan’s belt are extremely precise and stand out very well against the darker color of his robes. The lower body has multiple curved lines that emulate the layering of cloth, and the red sash in the center of the body adds a welcome splash of color to an otherwise drab color palette.
On a final curious note, Hasbro included the four cloak clasps near Revan’s shoulders despite not painting the cloak on the back of this Mugg. They are a nice visual addition to the toy, but their inclusion doesn’t make any sense once you think about it.
OVERALL RATING: Excellent
Darth Revan was a surprising choice for the Mighty Muggs line considering his video game origins. His production and release only reinforces Hasbro’s newfound love for the Expanded Universe and supports the idea that the EU will continue to be a strong part of the Hasbro Star Wars universe. As an urban vinyl art toy, Revan demonstrates exactly how effective the use of paint applications can be in crafting the illusion of three-dimensionality (i.e. – the face mask). As an addition to the Mighty Muggs line, Revan is an odd and sinister addition—in a cutesy sort of way. As a toy asking for your $10 plus tax, Darth Revan is definitely a worthwhile purchase and should be scooped up as soon as you spot him. Chances are, he’ll be a tricky one to find on store shelves.