Yodasnews.com Review: V-Wing Starfighter (30th Anniversary Collection)
Review by Jeff Gouse (SithLord0498)
Today, we’re taking a break from the typical action figure reviews you’ve come to expect from Yodasnews in recent months. Instead, we will be looking at one of the coolest starfighters to roll off the Hasbro assembly line since the introduction of the Episode III line...
…the V-Wing Starfighter, the Clone Army’s counterpart to the Eta-2 Jedi Interceptor.
Packaging and Assembly – score not applicable
Since vehicle reviewing is a first for me, this seems like a fitting time to introduce another change to my review format. After seeing mathematical averages negatively impact overall ratings on certain figures as well as reading other collectors’ on-line reviews, I have decided to remove packaging scores from all future reviews. I feel it’s still worthwhile to discuss this category, but it shouldn’t have any impact on the item’s overall rating.
The V-Wing’s packaging is the typical format for all 30th Anniversary Collection starfighter assortment vehicles, and images are readily available at a variety of on-line retailers including several of our sponsors (shameless plug). What’s more important here is whether or not the packaging is durable and adequately protects the vehicle.
The answer to both is “Yes.”
The V-Wing requires some assembly, primarily with the four wings, upper stabilizers, and two rear rudders. All of the wings come separate from the main fuselage and are packaged securely. The fuselage is also broken down between the main section and the front tip of the ship, which connects rather snugly and seamlessly. The missiles are packed in the typical plastic baggie.
Aside from the usual barrage of plastic twist ties, the vehicle is rather easy to remove from the box, and it’s quite well protected from damage.
Sculpt – 5 out of 5
The V-Wing is one heck of a detailed ship to say the least.
Screws are kept to a minimum and restricted to the underbelly, which sports two other impressive sculpting attributes. The sturdy front landing strut nestles into a crevice carved into the under-nose of the V-Wing, staying virtually out of view when in “flight” mode. There is also a grid-like set of six criss-crossing hard plastic tubing on the underbelly, positioned directly beneath the cockpit and astromech droid port. It’s a nice touch that adds a sense of completeness to the vehicle design. All too often, corners are cut, and detail is lacking in areas that aren’t in plain view when displayed. That is not the case here.
With regards to texture, the V-Wing is diverse and realistic. The solar panels on the inner sides of the wings and stabilizers have a slight raised grid texture. You can rake a fingernail across them and feel the vibrations rippling through your cuticle. Additionally, the grooves and lines etched into the ship are of an appropriate depth and cleanly cut.
Lastly, the overall faithfulness of the design is seemingly accurate to the ILM model. I say “seemingly accurate” because the V-Wing was not a very high-profile ship in Revenge of the Sith, and I don’t have access to detailed pictures of the cinematic source (yes, I felt the Prequel Chronicles book was too much money for too little text). One interesting feature that I stumbled across accidentally is that the part of the main body that holds the wings can be pulled out away from the ship, revealed sculpted yet unpainted missile bays. I don’t know if that’s a movie-accurate feature to the V-Wing, but it’s a nice touch nevertheless. It could very well go unnoticed by consumers, but a word of caution: the spring-action wings’ trigger is deactivated when this feature is in use.
Paint Application – 4.75 out of 5
Another outstanding feature is the factory paint application. The overall paint scheme is a dark brick red and shades of gray. The separation between red and gray is free of bleeding, and the gray has been blended smoothly and seamlessly. Seamlessness, if you haven’t already noticed, is a prominent theme with the Hasbro V-Wing, and it’s something that I hope continues with future vehicles such as the recently unveiled AT-PT and Grievous’ Starfighter. In addition to the typical Hasbro carbon-scoring paint decos that indicate direct energy strikes, there is a multitude of spots where the ship has been painted to look like the “metal” has been grazed and mildly scorched by heat. The only downside is that they look too symmetrical in terms of placement.
Aside from two pre-applied decals (the two Republic insignias), all of the other markings are painted onto the ship, which include yellow and black dashes and small painted panels. The starfighter is also littered with a tremendous amount of paint scraping, realized through the use of reflective silver paint applied in squiggly marks and smudges.
This is where most of the 0.25 loss in the score comes into play. While it adds character to the vehicle, the scrapes are too precise (much like the mild scorch marks). There is little blending between the “exposed metal” and the undamaged portions of the vehicle, and it takes away from the realism. Still, this is a $20 toy, so it’s hardly a reason to scream “Foul!” from the rooftops.
Action Features – 5 out of 5
The V-Wing Starfighter includes the following action features:
Based on that list, it comes as little surprise that the score is a perfect five. If the amount and variety of action features isn’t enough, each one of them works to specification.
The spring-open wings betray no visible indication of their action feature and look natural in both open and closed positions, and the trigger for the spring-action is cleverly concealed as well. Push in the top rear engine and make sure your hand is nowhere in the path of those snapping wings. Trust me on that one…they sting.
The upper stabilizers and rear rudders work identically, tethered via snug clamps that clip onto the fuselage. The only pain here is that they sometimes have a tendency to shift slightly, disrupting the symmetry. But you can easily adjust that. The spring-loaded missiles (two projectiles in each launcher) have a good range to them (approximately five feet), and the buttons are pressure-sensitive. Press lightly to fire one at a time, or press hard to launch both simultaneously.
The canopy locks into place so well that opening it can actually be a challenge. This is terrific for play value because you can pull off an inverted roll without seeing your figure fall gracelessly to the floor. The landing gear is separated into two parts: the retractable front landing strut and the rear pads that are sculpted to the wings and are “active” when the wings are in the closed position.
“Fun Factor”: 5 out of 5
Flying the V-Wing around and activating its myriad of action features is a Corellian freighter load of fun. It’s small and lightweight, and you can get a good grip by cupping the lower thruster section (which both puts your fingers in reach of the wing trigger as well as out of the path of those wings). Just be mindful of the rear rudders. They pop off easily.
Overall Rating – 4.94 out of 5
This is the highest rating out of any review I’ve written. Perhaps it’s because I’m new to the vehicle reviewing game, and I’m not as discriminating yet. Perhaps it’s due to my new position on not factoring package design into the final score.
Or maybe it’s because the V-Wing Starfighter is a grand slam right out of the ballpark. Every action feature works beautifully and flawlessly. The sculpting and paint are extremely realistic for a $20 toy. And it’s a fun ship to play with and display in a collection.
The best part is that it’s affordable and becoming relatively easy to find on store shelves across the country. So even if you don’t normally collect the 3.75 inch scale vehicles (which I haven’t for years), the V-Wing is worth making an exception to the rule. You will not be disappointed in the vehicle.