SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…Star Wars Black Series Darth Maul (Chinese Version)

Once again, a blog entry about an item from the Hickory-Con!

I have been looking for Star Wars Black Darth Maul for some time.  And while I was at the Con, I was looking for figures and noticed almost NO Masters of the Universe Classics figures.  However, Star Wars Black Series was everywhere.  And I asked around until I found him.

Darth Maul is my favorite Sith Lord besides Anakin/Vader.  I have mentioned before, I am PARTIAL TO the prequel trilogy.  And Darth Maul was good enough to make all of Jar Jar Binks’ problems in The Phantom Menace into small details.

This figure was on the top shelf…right beside another.  This one was marked $30 and had “Chinese Version” labeled on it.  The other was marked $95.  They were virtually identical.  So which one did I get?

 

Notice..There is no way on Earth to tell this might not be the genuine article.  (The general consensus on the internet is that this is a near perfect bootleg copy.)  There is no chinese writing…the figure looks exactly like “the original” “American (not really)” version.

I am the guy who throws away the boxes.  Do I care?  I am a cheapskate.  Paying $30 for a perfect copy of Star Wars Black Darth Maul doesn’t bother me one bit.  That was an extra $60 I had left to spend on other stuff!

The box is slightly different than a genuine Star Wars Black box.  The Star Wars logo is a little off in color.  But the back showcases Darth Maul’s only line in “The Phantom Menace”

 

IMG_9265.jpg

So I ripped open the box.  Everything was in this blister.  I could tell that lightsaber was bent already…

IMG_9267.jpg

Here is Darth Maul standing for the first time with his accessories.  He has two lightsabers, Star Wars classic binocular system, and an alternate head.  Notice how incredibly bent the lightsaber is.

IMG_9269.jpg

Darth Maul can hold the binocular thing in one hand.  He cannot use both hands to hold it to his eyes, as he is too bulky.  The sculpt is amazing.  This plastic robe drapes over the figure perfectly, and he forever has a wind blown look.

IMG_9276.jpg

It is really hard to make Darth Maul hold the saber wth two hands in “I’m about to off Anakin Skywalker” mode.  The lightsaber doesn’t want to stay together, and his bulkiness keeps his arms from gripping it properly.

IMG_9275.jpg

Now you CAN remove the robe, supposedly by removing the head from the ball joint…it turns out though, that the bootleg version (if that is what this is) doesn’t have the head glued to the cape.  So Darth Maul has a second, bald head.  I must say, the Spikor effect happens when you try putting the head on the ball joint.  (The spikes hurt your hands.)  The other thing…Darth Maul’s neck seems to be a little awkward.  Just a little.

So enough playing dress up.  Let’s get down to business.

IMG_9270.jpg

Darth Maul continues to impress as far as his sculpt is concerned.  Some soft goods are visible as a part of his skirt.  This really adds to the figure, as it allows him to move his legs better.  The lightsaber…you see what’s going on.  The hilts connect together, but the only way to get them to do so stiffly is to make the buttons face in opposite directions…which seems it shouldn’t be.  The red blades suffer from being bent.  I might have to get the hair dryer after them…

IMG_9272.jpg

IMG_9274.jpg

IMG_9277.jpg

I tried putting the cloak on some other figures…Skeletor seemed to be a natural, but I thought it likely to fit Teela.  It actually doesn’t fit either.  Skeletor is too big.  Teela…it doesn’t fit right even with the hair chopped off the way I customized her.

IMG_9278.jpg

I found YouTube videos of people pointing out the differences between the genuine and the knock-off version of Darth Maul.  They all said the same thing.  This must be made from a batch of declined figures because of QC, or using tools that were discarded, or something.  The sculpt is perfect.  The paint here is right on the money, except for maybe the horns.  Reportedly, there is a different neck joint and different hip joints.  The neck joint seems a little obvious, but since we are not looking up his skirt…

I am going to rate this based on what it is as a figure.  An excellent Darth Maul figure.  The best I’ve ever owned.  It does have problems with the Lightsabers.  So I have to take off for that.  Darth Maul is articulated very well.  Sculpted and painted near perfectly.  Stands on his own.  Looks good on the shelf.  I have to award him a 4/5!

And as bootlegs go, there couldn’t be a more perfect item to purchase as the not-so genuine product.

So the SpartanNerd rates Star Wars Black Series Darth Maul (Chinese Version) 4/5.  Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

 

Advertisements

SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…Star Wars Black Series Rey (Jakku) & BB-8

The SpartanNerd is back!  I have decided to archive some of my older posts…some of those that never get hits, and this will solve my memory problem until I can pony up the 70-ish dollars to graduate to a higher tier on WordPress.

So with my newfound space, I will review a new product for me.  My first ever Star Wars Black Series figure(s).  Rey and BB-8!

I have long wanted to get Star Wars Black Series Darth Maul, but he is scarce and expensive when available.  Have I been justified in my interest in this series?

IMG_8847.jpg

Rey and BB-8 came in this box.  Why this specific figure, and not, say, Kylo Ren?  Well, I feel some connection with this character.  She is enough child and enough adult…lots of mystery about her.  But the other thing, we also get BB-8.  And if I’m not mistaken, R2-D2 was a Black Series figure all on his own.  So I kind of felt I got a two-for one.  I got this at GameStop on the east side of SpartanBurg yesterday.  Today I visited the Wal-Mart and noticed they had a ton of the other figures in stock, including Kylo Ren.  But not Rey…in fact, many people have noted that Rey has few toys floating around out there depicting her, maybe because they are trying to dodge details about her full name and story, or otherwise.

The box is a nice blister where you can see what you get.  And literally, thats it.  It is very basic.  The side is plastered with a “02” number indicator, and if you were a MIB collector, that is a nice touch, helping you feel you have the complete series.

IMG_8848.jpg

The back has that “02” and a little bit of her story.  Then warnings, and legal mumbo jumbo, including Disney and Hasbro.  It is still hard for me to associate Star Wars with Disney.

IMG_8849.jpg

Remember when I said the box was basic.  I weren’t kidding.  No instructions.  Promotional materials.  Bonus weapons.  Nothing.  Just the products.  The red back drop is OK, but I just want to throw the box and blister bubble away.

Time to play!

So, Rey is one of the few female figures I have.  I feel that her hands are a tad too soft.  Her joints are OK, I expected her to be somewhat like the Liliana Vess figure I have.  But Rey is more rubbery.  Her elbows need to be moved just right, and they feel like they might break off if played with too rough.  She has head swivel, shoulder and elbow articulation, and wrist swivel and rocker.  No waist swivel.  Her hips rock but are on a ball joint, as well as her knees and ankles.  So it is her arms and head that you are going to get the most out of. Star Wars figures have a history of falling apart when you open them up, and not being durable for extended play…the verdict is still out on Rey here.

My biggest problem with this figure is none of that…it is the weapon.  The weapon is supposed to be able to hang on Rey’s shoulder, and she grasps it with her right hand in an overhand grip.  This can’t happen with this figure.  See how the strap is too stiff, and unnaturally juts up over her soldier.  And those hands really are rubbery…I fear that the thumb is going to break right off if I’m not careful.

BB-8 is just a ball, a peg, and a ball jointed head.  Nothing fancy here.  He can’t roll like he can in the movie…Not sure how they would accomplish that though.  He does look exactly like he does in the movie.  I wish he came with some kind of stand, because it is really hard to display him in a stable manner.  Below I have him in “straight up” pose.  It doesn’t want to flop over with the center of gravity focused like that.

IMG_8850.jpg

But he usually just wants to flop over, like in the picture below.

IMG_8851.jpg

So here is Rey with some other female characters I have.  She really seem like a child standing next to Lilliana (from Magic the Gathering).

IMG_8853.jpg

Liliana is of a “heftier” build than Rey, though she has articulation difficulties.  I find that I am not afraid of breaking Liliana the way I am of Rey.  Yes, I know Liliana is in a larger scale, slightly, before anyone says anything.  But isn’t Star Wars Black Series supposed to represent a 6-inch Star Wars line of figures especially for adults?

Humor me, Rey is laughable next to Masters of the Universe Classics Balltleground Teela.

IMG_8854.jpg

Scroll slowly for a funny picture!

S

L

O

W

L

Y

IMG_8855.jpg

IMG_8856.jpg

OK, so how do I rate these two figures?

I have to mark off for three things. (I only use a five point scale!)

First of all, the whole weapon thing is bothersome.  If Hasbro made this figure to compete with Marvel Select, MOTUC, and all of the other “adult collector” lines, they missed the mark on something crucial…adults don’t play so much as they display.  Rey doesn’t look proper with that strap sticking up over her shoulder.  And add in that BB-8 doesn’t have a display stand of some sort, and displaying Rey isn’t as pleasant as displaying almost any other figure meant for adult collectors.  Dang.  I mean, I gave Marvel Select Thor a 2/5, but his merits are in that he looks cool on display.  Rey is pretty.  But she doesn’t display properly.

The second thing is the durability problem.  I haven’t broken ANY of the things that I have unboxed and reviewed.  But if I do break something, I’d wager it’d be Rey’s thumbs and fingers/hands.  Add in the way the elbows feel like they could break, and it just isn’t acceptable.  I’ve heard arguments that they make, especially female, hands a little softer because they can be sharp and be a danger.  I get that.  But isn’t it a choking hazard if the hand breaks off?  Think about THAT Hasbro.

Finally, something I haven’t mentioned.  The paint is sloppy.  Her hair seems like it is globbed on.  Her eyes are always gazing upwards, which I’ll admit adds to the humility of the character, who subjects herself as a child.  But it is better for the eyes to be neutral.  The brown belt around her waist and wrist wrap on her left arm also feel quite globby.  and finally, where her shins meet her boots, the caucasian color is painted around the high-top…or is it the boots were painted over a caucasian colored buck?

The redeeming qualities of the figure are…well we got two for one.  And BB-8 is exactly like he appears in the movie, even if he has stunted displayablity.  For all my complaining about the paint, Rey has an excellent sculpt…the clothes she is wearing are sculpted perfectly.  If only they didn’t whiff the paint job.

The other thing, It is fun to have Rey as a figure.  I haven’t bought a lot of merchandise associated with The Force Awakens.  I have held out for “the perfect things.”  And I haven’t seen Rey depicted until now.  (I noticed on my trip to Wal-Mart she finally IS making it into toy form in other ways.)  Why didn’t I pick up Kylo Ren for the same price?  His lightsaber doesn’t look right.  Why didn’t I pick up any of the others, or even some of the Hot-Wheels/Micro Machines?  None of them have been good enough looking…I always talk myself out of it.  But with Rey, we also got BB-8.  And I can play with them and display them together.

IMG_8852.jpg

So a good sculpt and finally-I-can-play with Rey and BB-8 are the merits whereby the SpartanNerd rates Star Wars Black Series Rey (Jakku) & BB-8 a 2/5.

Do you agree or disagree, oh hub city geeks?  Let me know in the comments!