Review: Star Wars Galactic Heroes Stocking Stuffers: Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and Storm Trooper
It's been a while since I looked at a set of Star Wars Galactic Heroes Stocking Stuffers. Well, at the time I said that I expected these packs to go on clearance soon after. Dillegently, I kept stopping by Toys R Us, but it was to no avail. The months drifted by, and the price held firm: ten dollars.
Then, about a month ago, I found packs on sale for under six bucks! And... they didn't have the ones I wanted. Nope: just the prequel characters, and who needs that?
Well, I can't explain it, but in the meantime the other packs have reappeared at the Toys R Us near me. While they're more than they were, I was still pleased to find them marked down to seven dollars. It wasn't cheap enough to justify buying both sets, but I decided it was a good price for some figures I was actually missing... especially since it came with the Christmas accessories, as well.
These are made by Hasbro, of course, and are part of a large line of related figures from several different franchises.
Overall, these guys are a little better than the last set, but there are still issues.
Of the three, the Storm Trooper has the best appearance. The sculpt captures the concept wonderfully. The paint work is also topnotch here: the contrast between the black and white is clean and notable. The only problem is that the detailing doesn't carry over to his back, but that's a minor issue. If this guy were scored alone, I'd be handing him an eight.
Darth Vader is also nice. They've given him a felt cape in addition to sculpted robes: the effect works well. I'm particularly impressed with the gloss on his eyes, which are dark red. It's a small detail, but a good one. I do have a complaint, but I'm not sure it'd have been easy to solve. Vader's overall design just doesn't work for me. What makes these figures work is that, no matter what characters are being represented, the final product is supposed to be adorably cute. And Vader just isn't. Oh, he's deformed, but his oversized helmet just kind of makes him look like some kind of mutant bug monster. I appreciate that he's a difficult character to design in this style, but I wish they'd gone another way. On his own, I'd have handed him a seven, since they did a good job with the design they had.
Boba Fett is also a bit complicated. I like the sculpt - a lot, in fact - though the paint work here was sloppy. My opinion on the design is a little mixed. I think he mostly works, though he does suffer from not being stylized enough. It's almost as if the real Fett stood in a fun house mirror... and I can't decide if I like that or not. He'd get a seven if he were graded alone, which also works out to be the average for the pack.
Packaging and Extras: +2
Okay, here's where these guys shine. First, lets talk about the packaging.
Well, to be honest, I don't have a lot to say about this I didn't say last time. The packaging is attractive: I do like the backdrop here. It's shaped to fit in a stocking, of course, but I don't really care about that.
Last time I opened one of these, I found a fold-out poster. This time, I didn't, so the trash is going to be the slightest bit lighter this time.
Overall, the extras - or trimmings - are nicer than in the last pack. First of all, you get a little more: there are four accessories instead of three.
The difference is due to Vader, who's got a candy cane Lightsaber cover AND a Santa hat. The hat is the same as the one R2 comes with (though this time it comes on a character it fits). The Lightsaber, while reminiscent of Yoda's, is a little better. First of all, they've gone with a darker red/green color scheme. It's a dark "Sith" red, too: nice touch.
The Storm Trooper comes with a wreath that fits over the end of his blaster. It's nothing fancy, but I like this quite a bit.
The real winner, though, is Boba Fett, who has a plastic coil of Christmas lights that drape over his blaster. When I first saw these in the package, I wondered whether they were accessories, at all. Until they're in hand, you're liable to mistake them for part of the figure. Well, they do come off and go back on with ease. And they look great.
Play and Display: -----
Tough one, because there's a lot to love.
First up, Vader and Fett both have articulated arms. This is always a plus, and I wish more of this line had a little articulation... but that's a subject I've discussed to death in other reviews.
In addition, Vader's felt cape has some applications, allowing you to display him a few more ways.
I also appreciate that the accessories - particularly the lights - can be swapped around. The exception, of course, being Vader's Lightsaber cover... but what did you expect?
But there are issues, as well. First, Fett's right arm is loose, the price, I suppose, for the added articulation. It's a small problem that most likely only effects mine, but it is noticeable.
Next, the Storm Trooper needs to be addressed. I don't care so much that he's not articulated (though a joint or two might have been nice), but I do need to mention the material he's made out of. Unlike the hard plastic of the others, he's soft and rubbery. You can actually bend his arms so his left hand can reach his gun barrel. It doesn't hurt him on the shelf, but in your hand he feels cheaply made.
The way I see it, the pros and cons pretty much cancel out, so I'm not adjusting the score further.
Price Tag and Final Analysis: 9/10
The first set was nice, but these guys exceeded expectation. Between the added accessory and overall better figures, this set is the better of the two.
If the prices would only dip a little more, I could justify picking up the third set containing Chewbacca, Han Solo, and C3-P0. But we'll have to wait at least a little longer for that.
Well, it's April Fools Day, and there's not a single joke, prank, or other juvenile trick in this entire review. You have my sincerest apologies. If you've still got time to kill, drop by The Middle Room for other geek related topics.