Yodasnews Review: SSC Salacious B. Crumb creature pack (Regular Edition)
By Jeff Gouse (SithLord0498)
Well this one’s an interesting case because the Salacious B. Crumb creature pack falls in a twilight zone between being an accessory pack and a full-fledged 1/6 scale figure release. Comprised of Crumb and three fellow palace denizens, the creatures in this pack vary in size and design, but all amount to not much more than static pose figures. Missed opportunities plague Salacious, but then the bendable tongue and magnetic body features on Wol Cabashite are first-rate. A very mixed bag this expansion pack is. And of course it’s meant as a supplement to the much grander Jabba the Hutt and throne environment combo.
But what if you didn’t drop nearly $400 on the rest of the Jabba’s Palace collection? How well does this expansion pack stand up then? And for nearly $40 after shipping, is it really worth buying?
Read on, my fellow collectors, and decide for yourself.
Packaging: 5 out of 5
I’ll make it short and simple here. Just refer to my comments in the Sith Probe Droids review (and virtually every other SSC review I’ve done so far). Nothing new. Moving on.
Salacious Crumb: 4.5 out of 5
Normally, I break my reviews down into categories such as “sculpt”, “articulation”, etc. But since there are four separate figures in this pack, that approach just wouldn’t be very practical, and it’d be a pain in the rear to read. Instead, I’ll review each character separately, and their scores will determine the overall average. First up will be the star and namesake of the set: Salacious B. Crumb.
Sideshow’s sculptors clearly gave 110% to Mr. Crumb because I have never seen a more detailed, lifelike realization of this character in any collectible medium. The Attakus sculpture looks cartoonish and pale compared to this figure (not to mention nearly $350 more), and the Gentle Giant mini-bust looks to lack the same level of minute detail and definition as well as a more pale complexion. Granted, I’m basing these observations on using Rebelscum’s photo archive pictures, but I’m also referencing a photo of the filming puppet as depicted in the book From Star Wars to Indiana Jones: The Best of the Lucasfilm Archives. Based on that, the Sideshow version comes closest to matching the Crumb puppet.
As I said above, it’s the minute details and textures that bring this version to life. The sculpt shines with the small details: the bumpy texture of his skin, the wrinkles and creases of the face, the bony ridges of the upper inner mouth, etc. Even the rolls of fat look piggishly real!! The paint application is superior as well. The biggest plus here is that the skin tone is very close to the puppet, but the shading and blending transitions smoothly as well. The eyes, while small, add to the character of the chosen expression, further animating the overall product.
Crumb’s pillow is equally well done. The natural folds and imprints are sculpted with such fluidity that it resembles actually padding. In fact, the sculptors molded the imprint to precisely accommodate Salacious’ fixed sitting position, adding to the realism. As for paint deco, the multiple applications of metallic paint create a scheme that appears to shimmer and change from one lighting environment to another, and this results in a terrific simulation of exotic fabric.
If all of this is so great, then why not a perfect score? The articulation stinks, plain and simple. Crumb has swivel shoulder articulation. Nothing else. And even that is hindered because the arm keeps bumping into other parts of the figure. He’s in a fixed seated position. That works great for placing him on the pillow, but that’s all he can do. There’s no chance of posing him hanging from the ceiling (i.e. – after getting shocked by R2) and making it look natural. Not even the HEAD moves!! Face it, folks, Salacious is practically a statue, and he’s still the most poseable figure in the batch.
Fortunately, the remaining three figures don’t require any articulation because they were never much more than set dressing in the film.
Wol Cabashite: 5 out of 5
The first thing that struck me about this “figure” was just how large it is. I’ll be honest: I don’t remember seeing this character on-screen. I’m sure I’ve seen pictures of the puppet before because it seemed vaguely familiar, but I had no reference for scale. This thing is honestly the size of my Fujifilm Finepix digital camera, and he’s magnetic to boot. Thanks to dime-sized magnet placed on the underside of Wol Cabashite, you can easily and snugly secure him to all sorts of metallic objects. Currently, he nestled upside down underneath the top shelf of my desk, hidden in shadows and lurking behind my Darth Maul/Sith Probe Droid display. In addition to the magnetic feature, the long, large tongue is made from a flexible plastic that allows collectors to bend the tongue into many different positions. Wol Cabashite is easily the most interactive of the four creatures.
Thankfully, those little surprises are not cancelled out by the sculpt and paint application. Both are exceptional. The sculpt predominantly has a smooth, curvy flow to it, but the underside has the texture of a tire tread to simulate the coarse, clumpy hair it represents. Everything feels as though it tapers off where appropriate, and the two stinger-like tusks are definitely sharp to the touch. The blending of paint on the tongue lends itself to a realistic appearance as does the skin tones. My favorite part of this creature, however, has to be the paint application on the eyes. They are sculpted amidst several different folds and wrinkles, effectively creating sunken, sinister eyes. Both eyes are painted in metallic copper, which adds to the unsettling appearance. With no pupils to be found, the creature still projects an aura of mystery.
Worrt: 5 out of 5
Worrt is another static pose addition to this creature pack, but he only ever sat on the ground anyway (at least as far as I can remember). But any misgivings about articulation are nullified by the paint application and sculpt. The biggest positive I want to point out is the choice of expression. Not only is it extremely accurate to the filming model (again, I referred to the Lucasfilm Archives book), but the amount of emotion conveyed (particularly in the eyes) is astounding. Worrt is a very sad creature, and the level of realism will have the back of your mind asking “Why? What happened to him?” Then of course, you realize this is a piece of plastic, and you feel even more like a Star Wars geek for having those thoughts.
Not that I know this from experience…
As for the creature’s overall rendering, this looks like one solid piece but it is very difficult to tell. The joints and crevices are so well done that it’s hard to tell if they are the product of assembled pieces or masterful sculpting. Worrt’s skin is covered with dozens upon dozens of pointy spikes and wart-like bumps (not surprising given the creature’s name), and the skin wrinkles are appropriately subtle. Sideshow even went the extra mile and sculpted Worrt’s underside in great detail. You can clearly see where the soles of his feet end, and the suction cups on the bottoms of his toes have been finely sculpted as well. Interestingly enough, Worrt looks like a big turkey when viewed from this angle. Look at the picture and decide for yourself on that one.
Sand Skitter: 4.5 out of 5
Considering it’s the size of a 1:6 scale figure’s shoe, the Sand Skitter was never going to be an engineering or aesthetic triumph. Just the fact that Sideshow was able to cleanly paint its eyes is outstanding. The simulated fur is both sculpted and painted very realistically with the proper amounts of shading on it. My only negative criticism (and the reason for a 0.5 deduction) is that the tail is sculpted in a fixed position, and I feel Sideshow should have made the tail flexible like they did with Wol Cabashite’s tongue.
Still, a nice addition to the set, and it makes a great decoration for my printer.
“Fun Factor”: 4.5 out of 5
If only Mr. Crumb was more articulated, this would have been a perfect score. Salacious’ character was so bizarre and off-the-wall that collectors would have had one heck of a time coming up with poses. Alas, that ship has sailed, and I feel this is the best Salacious we are going to get for a long time.
On the other hand, the creature pack as a whole is delightful because you can spread them out a bit…unless of course you have the whole Jabba the Hutt set. You’d probably want to keep them close to the giant slug in that case. But for those collectors who only have this expansion set, go ahead and put them in some zany locations. As alluded to several times, I currently have my creatures scattered across my home computer work area. The very small Sand Skitter, in fact, is nestled in one of the recesses in my HP printer. A quick glance by an unsuspecting visitor, and they’ll probably freak out thinking it’s a cockroach or something.
Overall Rating: 4.75 out of 5
Now that I’ve given you as much information as I can, I’ll give official answers to the questions I posed earlier.
Is this set a worthy purchase without the rest of the Jabba setup? Yes, it most certainly is.
Is this set worth the $33 price tag? Hmm…that’s a harder question to answer. If you expected a lot of articulation, then you’d probably want to see a price closer to $25. But $33 isn’t that bad either, and it shouldn’t deter you from buying this set. I recommend this set solely on the strength of the sculpting and painting. And the “Inclusive Edition” is currently up for Second Chance at Sideshow’s main site, so that’s a good option if you’re ready to buy right now.
Before signing off, I also want to give a shout-out to www.firesidecollectibles.com and www.sideshowcollectors.com (specifically user name “Fritz”) for providing me with this set. Due to an error which led to immense generosity from people at both sites, I was fortunate enough to win this expansion pack in an impromptu on-line contest. Long story short, a member of Sideshow Freaks forgot he ordered an extra set, and the proprietor of Fireside allowed him to use it in a giveaway rather than paying for or returning it. This was a great example of a collector giving back to his comrades and a retailer going above and beyond for a customer as well as the collecting community in general.
Good toy karma. Practice it, my friends. It pays back in spades.
And to close this review, I’ve provided a size comparison chart of sorts to give an indication how these creatures stack up against an actual SSC Star Wars 1:6 scale figure. Make note: I did photograph all of these figures together despite the obvious use of Photoshop, but it was used simply to replace the background with the standard review template.