Yodasnews.com Review: Boba Fett (Clone Wars)
Review and Photography by Jeffrey A. Gouse (SithLord0498)
Review Date: January 6, 2011
Sometimes, it’s best to leave well enough alone.
A man of few words and few scenes, Boba Fett was an iconic fixture of the Original Trilogy. The absence of history, dialogue, and visage gave audiences a predominantly blank slate upon which to project their own fan-fueled speculations about the man in the battered green armor. People knew he was cunning. People knew he was fearless and able to stand toe-to-toe with the Sith. Beyond that, his backstory was fair game.
Then came Attack of the Clones and the introduction of Jango Fett. While Jango proved to be every bit as dangerous and intriguing as his “son”, it also meant Boba had to be explained. Sadly, Lucas gave us another little kid with little to do but try to act tough with a pre-pubescent voice. At least his send-off on Geonosis was a striking image that gave enough motive to logically connect the young Fett to the man he would become.
And yet…Lucasfilm still couldn’t leave well enough alone, and they brought Boba back for the climax of Clone Wars Season 2, a three-episode arc in which the revenge-minded adolescent sought to assassinate Mace Windu. Any hope of seeing the foundations of “Classic Boba” rooted in a dark, vengeance-fueled story arc, however, quickly dissipated. Instead, audiences were left with an angry little kid who came off as indecisive, soft, and pouty. Sure, Death Trap had some awesome moments such as Boba taking out the cruiser’s reactor, but, by and large, we were simply given a madder version of “Little Ani”!
Nevertheless, Boba remains a major component in bridging the trilogies, and Hasbro paid near-reverent tribute to the character with their newest 3.75 inch scale rendition of the young Fett. Based upon his appearance in R2 Come Home and Lethal Trackdown, this version of Boba proves to be not only an incredibly detailed and accurate figure but a powerhouse of poseability as well.
So it is with great excitement and joy that Yodasnews is able to present you, our dear readers, with an in-depth review of Hasbro’s Clone Wars Boba Fett action figure.
PORTRAIT: Excellent (Bordering on Above Average)
Hasbro’s sculptors have produced yet another quality portrait.
As with Season 2’s other Mandalorian heavy—Pre Vizsla—young Fett’s portrait has several distinguishing features. These include his parted wavy hair, sharply arched eyebrows, and piercing bronze eyes. Hasbro successfully replicated every single one—though to varying degrees of success. Greatest among these three triumphs is their work on Boba’s hair. The sculptors so convincingly simulated the layering that it appears assembled from multiple components rather than a single piece of plastic. Furthermore, the fullness is in sync with that of the CGI model’s hair, and the careful use of a grayish-black wash over the brown base paint gives it a healthy shot of realism. The only contentious point here is the hair seems a bit too dark. Mixing in some lighter shades of brown probably could have remedied this. However, this is a minor issue and has a negligible effect on the overall portrait.
Fett’s arched eyebrows are the key ingredient in replicating the Mandalorian orphan’s “angry” facial expression. We’re using “angry” a bit loosely here since more appropriate adjectives would be “pouty” and “temper tantrum-prone”. In any event, Hasbro’s designers nevertheless recognized the importance of this facial feature and ensured their product matched the animated source. As it turns out, the figure looks more threatening and enraged than the character was in the show! The sculptors, however, did get carried away by adding subtle creases above the eyebrows. They were clearly trying to amp up the emotion, but instead they gave Boba a brutish caveman look.
As for the eyes, it looks like Hasbro did their best to match the peculiar bronze color. The unfortunate part is Boba’s eyes ended up too closely resembling “Sith eyes”, and that gives the figure an off-kilter appearance until one gets used to it. Given that this is a mass market children’s toy after all, Hasbro certainly can’t be faulted for their admirable attempt. They just didn’t quite hit the mark.
FLIGHTSUIT AND HOLSTERS: Excellent (Bordering on Above Average)
The unusual nature of Boba’s costume requires that it be separated into two categories. The armor and jetpack, while together a major costuming element, did not appear in the show. Remove them from the figure, and it more closely matches the costume seen in Clone Wars (although the holsters weren’t in the show either). Therefore, for all intents and purposes, this category will look at the closest possible approximation of the “screen-used” costume, and the next category will focus on the armor/jetpack combo as its own mini-costume.
Caveats and disclaimers aside, Hasbro did a superb—if not entirely accurate—job on creating Fett’s flightsuit. The most exceptional aspects of the suit are the well-placed and precisely sculpted creases and folds in the “material”, subtle touches which give the solid plastic a very realistic appearance. The sculptors also used these folds to help disguise the ball-hinged joints on the figure’s extremities. The knees and ankles in particular benefit from such masking. This is an area of sculpting at which Hasbro has and continues to excel in the Star Wars line. Even some of the Indiana Jones figures displayed such amazing craftsmanship. The Last Crusade’s Young Indy (pictorially featured later in this review) and General Vogel immediately come to mind.
The aforementioned inaccuracies concern the flightsuit’s color. Reference images indicate a two-tone suit: a gray short-sleeved outer suit with a purplish long-sleeve component underneath. It’s a color scheme that is appropriately reminiscent of Jango Fett. The figure, however, opts for a single color, one that blends the purple and gray. This results in a hue not found on the CGI model at all. It’s unlikely to be noticed by consumers at large, but it was a personally irksome gaffe and enough to bump the flightsuit’s subjective assessment to the lower end of “excellent”.
The holsters, permanently connected to Boba’s molded belt, are pretty standard yet fully-functional fare. What makes them really stand out is the quality of work put into them. As with the flightsuit, the sculpting successfully simulates real material—leather in this case. The shaved-looking edges on the holsters give the illusion of heaviness and thickness whereas the thinner straps above the knees are finely detailed with notches and buckles. Of course, it’s also a plus that they hang loosely enough as to not hinder the hip articulation.
ARMOR AND JETPACK: Excellent (Bordering on Above Average)
Boba’s armor is an interesting accessory, due in no small part to its almost-prototype nature when compared against his Empire and Jedi armor. Because they were not bound to any on-screen reference (although a little more on that later), Hasbro could have easily taken a creative shortcut and given him cheap and oversized snap-on Jango armor. Instead, they fashioned armor clearly tailored to his body type and size but with a battle-hardened appearance to it. This visual combination really sells young Boba as an apprentice bounty hunter and not just some tag-along, and the crispness of the armor’s etched pattern adds to its refined look. Removing it is relatively simple too. Just pop Boba’s head off and slide the armor up and away from the torso. The only misstep is the sloppy application of red paint in the center. While only a small area, the contrast of red against faded green makes this particular application really stand out, and any error becomes much more noticeable. For this reason, this slight sloppiness significantly affects the armor’s aesthetic quality.
The jetpack is less impressive—primarily because it’s nothing new. In fact, it is a repainted copy of Pre Vizsla’s pack. That’s not to say there is anything wrong with its craftsmanship. Far from it! The shade of green paint Hasbro used conveys a strong visual link to Boba’s pack in Episode V, and the red applications fare much better here than on the armor’s breastplates. It also fits very securely into both the armor and Fett’s back, resulting in fewer incidents of accidentally bumping the pack off the figure. It’s just…well, boring in relation to the armor to which it’s attached.
Presently, Hasbro’s inspiration and/or reasons for including these accessories remain unknown to the collecting community. Certainly, the armor’s design was inspired by Boba’s future on-screen costume, and that leaves two logical conclusions: 1) Hasbro took creative license with the design in order to spruce up an otherwise plain costume or 2) this may be an sneak peek at Boba’s inevitable next appearance in Clone Wars. Considering how natural and dynamic these pieces look on the figure, we can only hope for the latter option.
Whatever the reason, the armor and, to a lesser degree, jetpack are invaluable additions to the figure and really give Boba an edgier look.
Just as they have done with recent figures such as Pre Vizsla, Hasbro is really pushing articulation more than ever, and both their products and customers are truly benefitting from this renewed commitment to enhancing playability and poseability. While he does lack the hinged wrists Vizsla had, Boba does have ball-hinged hips, allowing for an incredible amount of action stances. As has become customary in Yodasnews figure reviews, we will simply let the pictures doing the talking in this category, and, as you’ll see, they have quite a few praises to sing!
WESTAR-34 BLASTER PISTOLS: Excellent
Further imbuing Boba with echoes of his “father”, Hasbro gave the legend-to-be twin WESTAR-34 blaster pistols—the same as those wielded by Jango. They are more than likely based on older molds, but something about these guns looks new. They just seem more detailed than those included with Jango’s various incarnations, so there is a chance these are new sculpts. The silver and black paint has been evenly applied, and the plastic is sturdier and more resistant to warping than usual. As far as blaster accessories go, these are fantastic.
OVERALL RATING: Excellent
Boba’s recent appearance in Clone Wars may have fallen far short of its potential, but Hasbro’s action figure counterpart certainly didn’t. Minor flubs notwithstanding, Boba is among the top-tier of figures in terms of overall quality, a group whose ranks are thankfully swelling with each successive figure wave. Shoddy distribution may still be the black sheep of the Star Wars line, but Hasbro is definitely compensating with consistently high-quality products and at more reasonable prices compared to other lines on the market such as their own MARVEL Universe and the offensively overpriced TRON Legacy (not Hasbro).
One final observation to close the review: After years of bemoaning the high tooling costs of articulation, it looks as though Hasbro understands poseability is the key to putting imagination and action back into “action figures”! If you doubt that, then just take a look at the picture below.