“Clumsy”… “Stupid”… No, I'm not describing my childhood (or adulthood, to some of the more “devoted” fans of my commentary?), but rather just reiterating the general description Darth Vader could muster for our beloved Admiral Ozzel. And sure, he was a dolt… Arrogant beyond his years, unwilling to listen to respected subordinates, inept in his leadership duties, and just generally a jerk in a grey suit… but did we not love him? Love him or not, if you were like me, you at least wanted a figure of the guy! And thanks to Hasbro, we finally have one now!
For better or for worse, Hasbro dishes some Imperial goodness out amidst their current onslaught of Rebel Alliance leadership. Our Imperial figure contingents weren't nearly as lacking in leaders as the Rebel Alliance shelf was (judging by my collection anyway), but Ozzel looks dandy amongst the likes of Thrawn, Piett, Tarkin, and Motti. Quite the line-up there, if I may say so.
But does this make Admiral Ozzel a stand-out figure? Well, it does, and it doesn't. I'm happy to have him, but could've enjoyed him a lot more if a few changes had been made.
Articulation: As dull a character as Admiral Ozzel may have been, Hasbro found a nice way to articulate him without going overboard. Personally, I'd not have minded them going a little more overboard, but to each their own.
Sporting articulation mostly in his upper-body for poseability, I can get my Motti figure into a couple pretty cool poses, as if he's talking, dictating some orders, or being choked out like Joyce Gracie's making him tap for mercy (Ultimate Fighting reference... Don't mind me) like the little Impy punk that he is… err… was, I guess.
Articulation points include:
-2 standard shoulder joints
-2 standard hip/leg joints
-2 angle-cut elbow joints
-2 wrist joints
-1 ball-socket neck joint
-1 standard waist joint
With 10 total points of articulation, Ozzel looks good on paper and he can be posed decently enough. Some slight problems hinder the articulation though, and I'll bring them up in the “Cons” portion later. I think they're worthy of a complaint though, despite the apparent efforts Hasbro went to in articulating this figure.
Sculpt: Is this figure perfect? Well, perfection is difficult to achieve, but I believe this is one of the nicer detailed sculpts in a figure thus far. With the recent figures Admiral Ozzel is up against, that is saying a lot for him, in his somewhat uninspiring uniform.
But what a uniform it is! Ozzel's duds are sharply sculpted and have some nice texture to them, as opposed to previous Imperial Officer body sculpts, and really stand-out when he's compared to figures like Grand Moff Tarkin or Captain/Admiral Piett, Ozzel's frightened replacement.
The riding breeches/officer's pants look quite dashing on Ozzel, and bring that bit of World War II German flair that most Imperials seemed to have in the films. Equally impressive is the kepi hat, with very sharp lines at the various flap folds and the brim, and a nice silver disc in the center.
The tunic is where I noticed a lot of the impressive detailed work though. With lines as sharp as on the rest of the figure, the tunic sported just the right kind of sculpting that made it look like there's real stitching at seams, and sew lines on the uniform jacket. The figure's code cylinders really seem to pop out at you, and even give the impression they're inside the jacket coat. The rank badge also has each square nicely raised, but not overdone. And last, the belt area/skirt piece sport the same detail as the rest of the tunic, but the belt itself looks amazingly true to the film.
The head sculpt is also very nice, and while I would say it's the lower point on the sculpt overall, it appears to me to look very close to the actor (who also played Adolf Hitler in the 3rd Indiana Jones film, “The Last Crusade”). The resemblance is at least good, if not very accurate, so kudos for a well sculpted figure all around.
Decoration/Paint Application: This area of the figure has become relatively tough to judge because there's some debate as to what color is “proper” for Imperial Officer uniforms. We know of black ones clearly, but the grey ones become somewhat more complex to discern.
Having seen clear images of Imperials from all three films, I've found they were all more of a light grey, as opposed to a more greenish hue, or what have you. With Admiral Ozzel, they were on the right track to get his uniform the proper color, but somewhere along the line, the fellow who helped Hasbro nail the General Veers and Captain Piett figures was apparently not around, and Admiral Ozzel became a slightly different shade of grey compared to these other two officers.
I would say, from my own observations and discerning eye, that Captain Piett's figure is pretty spot-on as the correct shade of grey most Imperial Officers were. Admiral Motti and Tarkin's figures are open to debate (I argue both are too dark, having seen photos of Tarkin's uniform taken in person and in good lighting), but I digress. So, to me we're talking about a pretty big difference in color, immediately noticeable when the two figures are side-by-side, since Captain Piett is really the proper color. With that in mind, I have to label Admiral Ozzel's paint deco as a definite negative.
My Ozzel samples all had fairly good applications of paint overall, but I noticed some off-set eyes here and there on others, some poorly painted rank badges (the POTF2 officers got better treatment here), and on occasion, a rather goofy looking mustache that resembled more of a certain 1930's - 40's European Dictator than it should.
Posing: While Ozzel had some pretty decent articulation points as mentioned above, that doesn't necessarily mean that he's all that great to play with and pose. I have found that I truly, TRULY, REALLY TRULY, dislike the angle-cut joints Hasbro has incorporated onto figures such as Ozzel here, or Captain Antilles, or the new TIE Pilot. While it is some added articulation, and I applaud Hasbro for that, it's not the right kind of articulation. If Ozzel had ball-socket elbows instead of this cut joint, you'd see a figure capable of quite neutral “at attention” poses before his Dark Master, and you'd still be able to see him choking when that same Dark Master decided Ozzel sucked as a leader.
It's a minor thing for Hasbro to start doing, but greater incorporation of the ball-socket elbow, as well as other joints, would greatly improve their action figure line overall. I see no reason not to start making some of these little things standard across the line. Still, you can get a choking pose, and a couple semi-neutral poses, so it's not all bad. He's just not all he could be… In life, death, or plastic, I guess.
Accessories: Tough to judge a guy on this when he really didn't do much, or have much of anything in the films, but basically Admiral Ozzel doesn't come packed with a ton of stuff. I personally think with a figure like this, Hasbro needs to improvise a little. Take the initiative, and impress us with something out of left field.
My personal choice would be for Hasbro to pack in the Micro-Machines Mousedroid, which would be a great little addition. Or, try this one on for size… Pack in a Micro-Machines Star Destroyer cast in holographic fashion, or perhaps a viewscreen, with Vader on it with his hand raised like he's choking him? Those could be some cool and unique items to accompany Ozzel. Ah well, such is life. Hell, a little holographic looking globe of Hoth would've been better than what he came with.
As it stands, Ozzel has the smaller Imperial Stormtrooper rifle, and the basic “Star Wars” rectangular stand. The good news is that the entire wave Ozzel ships with all have stands that interlock without any problems. The earlier stands didn't work as well. Unfortunately, a little gun and a generic stand just don't excite me too much.
Awkward Legs: This “Con” could be more of a fluke than anything, but when I got my Ozzel figures, two of them had very awkward legs that were somewhat bent outward. The feet wouldn't rest flat on the surface my figures were standing on, so when placed in the peg-holes of the stand, the figures looked like they were standing on one foot.
This little flaw was on two of the three Admiral Ozzel figures I bought, so I thought it'd be worth mentioning here since it may be happening to more of you out there as well. I was able to remedy this with an old customizing technique called the “Boil & Freeze”, but at the cost of the shine on my figure's boots.
Back of the Head: While I gave the sculpt high marks, deservedly so on this figure, there's one fatal flaw that this new ball-socket sculpting Hasbro has been using yields at times. Ozzel is the first to really demonstrate how this articulation can go horribly awry in the way it can potentially make a figure look.
Unfortunately, the back of Ozzel's noggin' is very awkward looking. It's tough to put into words exactly what I'm talking about, but basically the hairline doesn't cover the neck post well enough, so it looks like Ozzel's got an awkwardly elongated neck because of this, or like a little bit of the back of his head has been lopped off. It's very strange looking.
With the sculpt being so good overall, I hated to really knock this figure on this particular detail, but it's worth mentioning as it was one of the very first things I noticed about him upon close inspection out of the package.
I can't say I actually didn't like Admiral Ozzel. He easily fills a spot that I'm happy to have filled, and aside from the uniform color and the back of his head, nothing REALLY bothered me that much about him. Don't fret, the Cons just appear like they outweigh the Pros this go-round, though that's not really the case.
I'd say he's a worth a purchase, even if he's not overly exciting (because the character wasn't, and because Hasbro made ZERO effort to help him out with a neat little extra accessory or something along those lines). He's good customizing fodder, which ranks him high in my book by default, and to most he'll be readily and happily accepted, even if his uniform color isn't entirely accurate.
I've not seen an Ozzel on the pegs for a while now in my area, but Pittsburgh 's hardly a city to judge by all the time, so keep your eyes open for him. Pick one up, and if you're the sporting kind, try a headswap with him to make another cool Imperial Officer.