Hasbro's covered a lot of new ground with the Saga line. We've seen innovative, and at times awkward new styles of articulation, sculpts that took the improvements from the POTJ line to a whole new level, enhanced features, and even a new standard for the construction of figures. For better or for worse, the Saga line has brought much change to the 3.75” line overall.
With the latest “Fan's Choice Figure” Captain Antilles (winning by a hair over Dodonna!), some of the Saga line's newest features and changes were made quite apparent. This is a figure I welcomed, and yet part of me found some disappointment with it as well. Antilles ' figure is one I've personally looked forward to having in my collection for quite some time, and while Hasbro put forth a nice effort on him, he's not perfect – but he's still a strong figure though. He's one of those figures that has a slight negative that somewhat detracts from it's many positives. So without further ado, I'll move on to the review so you can see what I'm talking about.
Sculpt: Sporting one of the better sculpts I've seen of late, Antilles holds a LOT of detail in his somewhat bland uniform and rather uninteresting looking character. Small details like holes in the belt for where the buckle fits, the “fly” on his pants, textures added to the shirt, jacket, and trousers… These all add up to a very finely sculpted little chunk of plastic.
Antilles' hands are sculpted very nicely, one with a finger posed specifically to fit in his blaster's trigger-guard, and the other sculpted to clutch his throat. The figure's headsculpt has gained some unwanted attention however, as it has a strikingly YOUNG look to it, but it's easy to overlook as a major fault due to the really nice additions elsewhere.
The amount of wrinkles, folds, textures, and the nice simple style in the figure's overall sculpt, all make for a really good looking figure in, or out, of the packaging. Not much to complain about there.
Decoration: This area is a double-edged sword, similar to many of this figure's “pros”. While the decoration is really nice for the most part, there are actually some inaccuracies which I will cover later in the “cons” section. But for what is done right, it's done well.
From the black stripes down the seam of his trousers, to the nicely applied brown marks on his shoulders, to his very finely detailed belt-buckle and rank plaque, Antilles really sports some good detail. Hasbro's even gone so far as to paint the sole of his boots black, while the rest of his boots are the appropriate shade of brown.
The head's paintjob is usually where my figures fall apart to some criticism, but Antilles actually has nicely painted hair and eyes. The paint on these areas doesn't seem to bleed at all, and it looks pretty great. Hasbro also managed to get just the slightest bit of a muted white on his VERY small area of exposed teeth – though nothing like the bucktooth POTJ X-Wing Luke fortunately. Antilles ' paint applications actually look quite good overall.
Accessories: They're few, they're small, but they're still a plus to this figure if you ask me.
Antilles comes with the basic rectangular Star Wars stand that has been standard issue with most figures of late. I'm finding that Hasbro's actually fixing these stands so that they DO interlock properly now, which is a definite plus. This mostly started with the Star Destroyer wave of figures, but I've noticed some of the Yavin wave's stands are interlocking better than before as well.
Antilles also sports a VERY nicely sculpted new Rebel Trooper blaster, as seen being carried by multiple Rebels in A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back . The gun's really nicely done, and appears to be perfectly scaled this time. It's a nice apology weapon to the pathetically sculpted blasters from the Rebel Fleet Troopers in both the POTF2 and POTJ lines. The fact that they resculpted it at all, is enough cause to give a nod to Hasbro for admitting to the mistakes they had previously made.
Antilles' last accessory is a wonderfully sculpted and FINALLY REMOVABLE Rebel Fleet Trooper helmet. Yes, Hasbro was able to do it, despite the claims of many to the contrary. They were actually able to create a removable helmet with a functional chin-strap, and make it look absolutely perfect. Not to mention Hasbro even advanced the poorer sculpt of the POTJ Fleet Trooper's helmet by giving it a nicely detailed communication box on the side, a more smooth appearance (no battle damage), and a much improved and more accurate paintjob.
Sure, these are all small accessories, but they work well, and on a collector-oriented figure this is what I love seeing. I just wish the Rebel Fleet Trooper had been so lucky as to receive the same excellent treatment that Antilles has. Yes, to me, the Fleet Trooper does indeed still suck as a figure.
Articulation: Can't do too much knocking on a Star Wars figure with 10 points of articulation, but in the “con” area I will. Not because the figure's articulation isn't logical, but because it could've been executed even better.
-2 standard shoulder joints
Nonetheless, Captain Antilles sports the following articulation:
-2 tight angled-cut elbow joints
-2 standard hip joints
-1 neck ball-socket joint
-1 waist joint (it's tough to see, but it's there)
-2 standard wrist joints at the jacket cuffs
With a total of 10 points of articulation then, that's not too bad, and it does allow for a couple decent poses for Antilles. I just think some other “new” styles of articulation would've yielded a fairly more poseable figure for little, if no, additional cost.
Still, Hasbro did pull off a figure capable of some good neutral poses, and they achieved a really excellent looking “choking” pose too, with the way they sculpted his arm articulation – perfect for the pose most people will want to put him in (with Vader). Despite the shortcomings in Antilles' arm articulation, for what he is, you can get him into several neutral and action-oriented poses, so that's good thing.
Features: Two features on this figure stick out as good things to me. They're not huge improvements, but minor ones that really help this figure stand-out from being just a bland character.
The first feature is that Antilles sports a functioning holster for his nifty new blaster. It's minor, but again it was a feature the Rebel Fleet Trooper resculpt in the POTJ line should have had, but didn't. It's good just to see Hasbro have enough eye for detail to sculpt a holster onto Antilles (it's tough to see in the film), but it's even better that they made the holster functional, and able to hold his great new blaster. If it wasn't, it would no doubt be a negative blemish on an otherwise decent figure.
The second feature is the “telescoping” neck that Antilles has. Hasbro ingeniously snuck this little feature in so that you could have your Vader figure's hand around Antilles ' neck in a believable and accurate choking pose. It's neat, and it doesn't detract from the figure's looks in the slightest, so you have to hand it to Hasbro on this clever little idea. It really adds something special to this figure. So for that, kudos to you Hasbro! Thanks!
Coincidental Feature? Captain Antilles' counterpart in the Yavin wave is the esteemed General Jan Dodonna. Master tactician and Rebel hero! In the films, Dodonna's seen sporting the trench coat his figure's sculpted in, but he's also seen pretty often in the same style of jacket (with different rank of course) that Antilles is wearing.
Hasbro's construction of figures has changed for the most part in recent years, and they've gone from a 2-piece rigid plastic torso that's fused together at the seam, to a 1-piece pliable torso that flexes like the limbs/heads of Hasbro figures always have. This construction is generally a cheaper method to make the figures, but it yields something special with the Dodonna and Antilles figures. If you take Dodonna's arms and jacket off, and you take Antilles ' arms and jacket off, and you swap them between the two figures, you wind up with two unique figures, including a pretty movie accurate second version of Dodonna.
I don't believe this to be intentional, as the rank plaques are not correct (red dots, and more of them for Dodonna), and the arms don't come off without some pulling. I warn you to be careful in this attempt as well because they COULD tear at the limb's peg/post. They do swap pretty easily though, so if you've got an extra of each figure that you're willing to spare, you might want to give it a shot.
Headsculpt: This is a negative to a lot of people, and one that I'm going to mention again down here just because it's noteworthy since you see this as a top complaint around the forums. Antilles has a fairly youthful looking headsculpt, without a doubt. It's odd to see a guy who we have to assume has some years on him looking basically like that Haley Joel Osment kid from The Sixth Sense . It's really weird.
Beyond that, it's a headsculpt that pulls off both a neutral enough face to have him in a non-choking pose, as well as looking like he's gasping for his final breath while having his neck broken by everyone's favorite Dark Lord of the Sith. That's a pretty tough thing to achieve, so I applaud Hasbro for the effort at least.
Decoration: There is a flaw in the color combo Hasbro chose for Antilles , and those of us with a keen eye were able to catch it right away in the earliest photos. Unfortunately Hasbro didn't, and there appears to be no fix to it.
Antilles sports a light colored jacket, in the appropriate colors, but his pants and shirt are flip-flopped. The figure's pants are darker than the shirt, but in reality the shirt should be dark and the pants should pretty much match the color of the jacket. It's really not a small detail, and I'm surprised Hasbro didn't catch this. It's a detail customizers have been noticing for years now, so this is a fairly significant detraction from an otherwise impressive figure thus far.
Articulation: Sure, he sports a total 10 points of articulation, which isn't too shabby for a Star Wars figure, but could Hasbro have done even better? Could they have made Antilles even more poseable at little, or even no additional cost?
I believe they definitely could and should have made Antilles more poseable in at least his upper body. With Hasbro's ability to make very impressive ball-socket joints, I think they could've given Antilles ball-socket elbow joints to allow for a much wider range of motion, while still achieving the necessary “choking” position.
As his arms are now, the elbow articulation is a very sharp angle, and it really doesn't allow Antilles to have his arms simply straight at his sides, and it's also difficult for him to hold his blaster in a realistic combat position. While we don't see Antilles in combat on-screen, is it not reasonable to assume that someone playing with their figure would have Antilles supporting his troops in the hallways of the Tantive IV?
With that in mind, I think simple ball-socket joints at the elbows would've gone a long way in making Antilles not just a good figure, but a simply GREAT figure. I would love for Hasbro (Hey, maybe they read me? One never knows) to make greater use of ball-socket joints in the future. It really does enhance how much fun these action figures are to play with. I know I'd be praising Antilles more if he'd had the ball-socket elbow joints, thus eliminating this particular “con”.
Well, my overall impression is that the very good Captain Antilles character is a pretty darn good figure too. He's not great, he could be a TON better with just a few simple fixes to his articulation and decoration, but he really is one of the better figures to come down the pike in the past year. With that said, I have to give my valued readers a thumbs-up on picking him up, if you haven't already. He's definitely readily available at many stores still.
Antilles is a good army builder figure (someone has to be commanding all those Fleet Troopers), he's a good generic customizing figure, and he's just a solid stand-alone figure too. He fleshes out your Rebel Alliance display quite well. He's mostly “pros” with only a couple “cons”. You can't ask for too much more, perhaps just a little bit, for your $4.99.