Review: Star Wars Fabriche
Forget the "twelve days of Christmas": the real sales start in January. Every year, companies produce a huge volume of holiday merchandise... and every year, there's a lot left over.
That brings us to Star Wars Fabriche. These are, in a word, bizarre. Not quite toys, not quite... anything else... they're sort of a "mixed media" statue. And, at retail price, they'll cost you a pretty penny.
Buy who wants holiday fabriche once the holidays have passed. Well, if it's cheap enough, I do. Because these are kind of awesome. The one I found is far from perfect - a fact I'll discuss more in a moment - but the concept alone was enough to make me want one.
I picked this up at Toys R Us for a fraction of it's original cost. It was the last I saw at the store near me, but I bet they're in stock at some other locations. This, like pretty much any mass market Star Wars toy, is produced by Hasbro.
I'm basically looking at this like a statue, though that's not really what it is. It's... well... fabriche... and I'm a little unclear exactly what that even means.
But Vader is a very light statue, painted and clothed (hence the mixed media).
First, lets talk about the positive. The best aspect of the figure is the basic design, the idea itself. Darth Vader, wearing a Santa hat, kneeling in the snow to build a snow-Death Star. I don't know who thought of this, but they're a genius.
In addition, most of the materials and aspects of the piece were well planned and sculpted. Look closely at the helmet, the boots, the gloves - almost anything - and the detail is solid.
The problems start when you take a step back.
Vader's helmet is WAY too small for his body. In fact, there's something off about all the proportions. It isn't awful, but the problem is certainly noticeable and detracts from the overall effect.
The paint is also a bit sloppy around the chest panels, which also hurts the look. And, while we're talking about paint, the eyes are the same color as the rest of the helmet: a little gloss would have gone a long way here.
The cape and robes are made of fabric, which looks good in the scale. Unfortunately, they're treated to remain stiff. It feels like they've applied some sort of fabric glue, and I'm having a hard time figuring out why they bothered. I'll come back to this later in Play and Display, but it's also an issue here. The fabric is wrinkled in some places and blocks some of the figure.
But, for all that, the concept is top-notch, and I can't bring myself to lower the appearance any further than a seven.
Packaging and Extras: ----
There are no extras, of course, so this will be a short section. The packaging is passable, though, by the time I got mine, it was clear it had seen better days.
Because the toy looks fragile, it's easy to imagine one of these getting busted because of the packaging. Fortunately, that wasn't the case here, so there's no problem.
Even so, I can't imagine these boxes being all that popular among collectors, which is a little sad. I mean, who's this being marketed to if not the collector?
Like I said, there were no accessories here, not that Vader's sculpted to hold something, anyway. On the other hand, they could have done the cape or hat as an accessory: had those been removable, I'd gladly have given Vader a bonus point.
Play and Display: ----
If you've been reading The Bin for a while, you know I tend to give statues a bonus point here just to correct for a scoring system that leans towards action figures. The assumption, in fact, is that a statue is getting a bonus point. Unless, of course, they give me a reason to withhold it.
Which brings us back to Vader's cape.
If Hasbro had made this with a sculpted cape, there wouldn't be a problem. The problem is that they used fabric. And, when you use fabric, you create an expectation that it will behave like fabric.
Is that too much to ask?
Now, to be fair, you do get a tiny amount of movement from the cape in some places - but be careful: it feels like the cloth could crack and break if it's adjusted too often.
Price Tag and Final Analysis: 7/10
As a cheap statue, Vader's pretty cool. If you're buying this, though, you're getting it for the concept, not the quality.
These started out at $30, and, for a statue in this scale, that's not bad. Of course, you generally expect a statue to be made of nicer material. All things considered, I'd put its value somewhere in the twenties.
I got it for five bucks. God, I love clearance.
What? You wanted a longer review? Well, don't blame me: it's tough to review things without moving parts! If you have any comments, stop by The Middle Room and leave them there.