When Hasbro put together a figure line for Revenge of the Sith, they seemed to really take the effort to learn from a myriad of mistakes they made during the toy lineís launch for Attack of the Clones. In general, Hasbro offered a mix of main characters with less ďaction posesĒ, action features were limited to hidden mechanisms that didnít take away from the sculpt, and in general there was more of a balance between figures being kid friendly and still having some appeal to the adult market. They werenít perfect by a collectorís standards, but Hasbro put forth a surprising effort to make sure everyone was fairly happy.
With the Anakin Skywalker (Slashing Attack) figure, Hasbro gave a fairly collector-friendly figure of the focus of ROTS, while still incorporating an action feature. Superior to the other Anakin figure in the basic line, this Anakin would see an even more collector-oriented re-release down the line that featured Anakin with "Sith Eyes" instead of the large dark circles. The "Sith Eyes" Anakin is the variant I have since I only wanted one of this figure, and judging by the paintjob of the other one I am pretty glad I waited picking it up because the dark circles on the first one just didnít cut it for me.
But how great is the figure besides his bitchiní evil eyeballs? Well Hasbro did make some efforts to give collectors a likeable figure with this Anakin, however they also cut a lot of corners making him anything but the definitive ROTS Anakin. Read on and youíll see what I mean.
-Sculpt: The Anakin figures in the ROTS line have perhaps suffered more from poor decoration/paint applications rather than a lack of quality sculpting. The "Sith Eyes" Anakin is unmistakably everyoneís favorite bad boy Jedi, and with a nicer deco than his predecessor(s), but his sculpt only does so much and Hasbroís choices in colors arenít always the best.
The figureís sculpt alone is fine though with a wealth of nice detail throughout it. The costume alone features a lot of realistic texturing sculpted into the fabrics to really make them stand out. The shirt and inner robes have a heavy fabric texturing/ribbing throughout, while the outer leather robe/tunic is sculpted with a feint texturing that makes it appear much smoother just as leather should look.
Anakinís glove, boots, and belt all have lots of straps and buckles sculpted to them as they should, and the boots have lots of heavy folds/wrinkles sculpted into them for a lot of realism. The belt features all the buckles and pouches youíd expect as well, and looks very nice.
Anakinís left hand has a lot of life sculpted into it as well, which is a neat change of pace from the regular ďCĒ shaped hands for gripping an accessory. Instead Anakinís hand is in a distinct force-using pose that doesnít stand out too much if you want your figure to just be standing neutrally as well.
The headsculpt then is where the characterís likeness comes into play, and Hasbro seems to have done a good job of capturing Hayden Christensenís look nicely. The hair is wavy and the hairline is back farther just as in the film, but he doesnít look as though heís really going bald or anything. The characterís face is neutral in its expression, and while I think it couldíve had a slightly more focused/angry look to it, I think that itís sufficient for what it is and gives a nice neutral Anakin figure that fits into many scenes well. Overall, this figureís got a passing grade for sculpt.
-Accessories: Anakin doesnít come with a lot, but what he has makes for nice accessories for his figure, and ones that definitely enhance him compared to his counterpart Anakin figure that came out on release day. Hasbro couldíve definitely improved by including a hilt and the ability to clip it to his belt, but for what Anakin is you get the two accessories you should always have with Jedi figures.
Anakin comes with a lightsaber and a removable robe. The robe is what really gives this figure a passing grade however, as itís big, removable, and fairly nicely sculpted. The robe features a lot of texturing sculpted into it throughout, and thereís a bit of life sculpted into it so itís not just looking like a chocolate shell draped over the character. Thereís a ton of waves, folds, and wrinkles, as well as the cape sort of widening at the bottom as if the character were walking somewhat, or a wind was blowing it. Also Hasbro painted some black weathering to the bottom of the cloak and the wear and tear look that it gives off certainly adds to the overall quality. The cloak is nice, though I think the hood shouldíve been sculpted up on it since Anakin did his worst work with his hood up in the Jedi Temple as well as on Mustafar against the Separatist Leaders. Still the cloak is a nice accessory and looks good even on other Anakin figures.
The Lightsaber is a nice accessory, and about what we have come to expect from Hasbro. Thereís a ton of accurate little details throughout the hilt, and a black/silver paintjob highlights some of the detailing and makes it look far superior to the early lightsabers that were just black or silver. Itís all one-piece which is ok but I stress again that a hilt that clipped to his belt wouldíve been a really fantastic extra and would have earned the accessories a much higher opinion from me.
-"Sith Eyes" Paint Variation: If you are jonesiní to own Anakin with his spooky red/orange Sith eyeballs, this is THE figure you want to own. Itís really the about only Anakin youíll find that has him hulking Ö err, Sithing out I guess. Hasbro didnít see fit to do too many figures with the eyes like this it seems, so options are limited (for now anyway). Personally I think a 2nd head for the Evolutions Anakin that had Sith Eyes wouldíve been the absolute ideal situation, but thatís my opinion.
Basically though the eyes look really neat and itís a nice version of Anakin to own just because of these. Iím not going to lie, my overall opinion of the figure is so-so at best, and Iíd say I probably lean towards NOT liking the figure much for a number of reasons Iíll be sure to list along the way here, but the eyes made me want to own this one and again Iím glad I waited and didnít buy the raccoon-eyed Anakin that came out first.
The eyes are really distinct and nicely painted. There are multiple layers including a white base, then a yellow center with a red/orange ring on the outside to form the retina. The pupil of the eye then is a simple black dot, but all these layers of paint just to highlight the eyes makes for a neat and ďeye-poppingĒ effect (no pun intended). It stands out and actually I wasnít even really looking for this figure when I found him but it was the eyes that caught my attention while rifling through the pegs looking for something else.
If the rest of the paintjob was as nice, weíd have something to really talk about here as a nice filler figure for any Jedi Temple Assault diorama you were doing, or some Separatist Slaughtering. Unfortunately deco isnít this figureís strong point.
-Articulation: Hasbroís attempt to articulation Anakin isnít their best work in the ROTS line, and without a doubt theyíre nowhere even in the ballpark of the quality they give us with their Evolutions Anakin figures. Thereís just no comparison there really, but for a basic figure, and a Collection 1 figure at that, I think Hasbro did a passable job. Itís got some flaws Iíll touch on but not a lot to gripe about.
The Anakin figure features articulation at:
- 2 ball/socket shoulder joints
- 1 ball/socket elbow joint (right)
- 1 swivel bicep joint (left)
- 2 standard wrist joints
- 2 standard hip joints
- 1 standard neck joint
- 1 standard waist joint
The total articulation comes to 10 points, and overall the upper body is pretty poseable even with Hasbroís lopsided articulation style in the arms. Iím not sure why the left arm just didnít get a ball/socket elbow though, and I think ultimately it wouldíve made at least a slight improvement.
Still the figure can hold a saber with 2 hands, and thatís without a doubt the most important pose any Jedi figure should be able to do, but he also looks good dishing out some force chokes with that left hand, or grabbing a Padawan by the throatÖ He also looks fairly good in neutral poses as well however the big flaw in articulation would be his legs. Hasbro saw fit to not give Anakin some knee joints which I think wouldíve been greatly appreciated, especially given the ďposeĒ sculpted into the feet/ankles.
Heís poseable though, and a superior figure to his Mustafar Duel counterpart in that regard, so not too shabby really.
-Paint Aps/Decoration: My first gripe about Anakin is that Hasbroís choice of colors/paints on the future Dark Lord of the Sith have been sketchy at best. Heís been represented as very pale and almost sickly looking. Hayden didnít look that bad in the film as I recall, even at his worst moments, so the awkward skin tone just doesnít look right to me.
Anakinís hair is also awkwardly painted and seems a lot lighter than it should be. The wash in it wasnít dark enough, and while the hairís sculpt is nice, the details needed a slightly darker paintjob to really be accurate. The wash actually seemed to lighten the hair too much, and was maybe just a little overdone on Hasbroís part. The irony in the hairís paintjob then is that Anakinís eyebrows appear to be a proper darker paint application, but now they stand out as big and busy eyebrows since the hair on his nogginí isnít near dark enough. This only serves to make the hairís paint stand out even worse.
Anakinís face, aside from the eyes, has some awkward paint applications as well. The lips almost appear to be lipstick instead of just slightly darker skin tones than the base skin. Granted the skinís so pale itís hard to say if the lips are actually a good choice of paint but just contrast with the skin so much, but overall it doesnít look irregardless of which colors are off. The scar on Anakinís face is also a poorly applied paint, and looks almost like a neon orange similar to the shade of red/orange in Anakinís eyes. The scar should be much more subtle as well as being a single line down the figureís right side of his face. The scar on my figure is either misapplied or just sloppy, and itís much too wide/large an application of paint so it stands out tremendously.
Anakinís body has some ok paint application like a wash on the leathery boots, and the various layers of his clothing painted to show its separate layers of fabric. However little details like the pockets and such on Anakinís belt seemed to get a lacking effort on paint, and details like the clips on the pouches, or buckles and plates on his belt didnít get painted at all in some instances. Anakinís costume could have stood a wash to highlight some of the sculpt as well, at least on the leathery outer layer of his Jedi tunic. Little corners cut in the paint application had a definite negative impact overall unfortunately.
The worst part is the figureís pasty skin though, and compared to the Evolutions ROTS Anakin, thereís a distinct difference of what looks right and what doesnít. This figure came up on the short end of the stick in that fight.
-Articulation Cuts: Hasbro didnít give Anakin everything they should have for articulation and thatís nothing but a negative impact on the figure ultimately. The most lacking portion is Anakin doesnít have knee joints. Action poses become much more difficult without them, so ultimately we did have to wait for the Evolutions Anakin (thatís impossible to find) before we could have a really nice ROTS Ani for all seasons. The Slashing Attack Anakin couldíve been a nice neutral figure for a multitude of dioramas/scenes though had Hasbro done the figureís poseability some justice.
The lack of knee joints is the biggest issue, as the figureís awkwardly sculpted ankles makes for a difficult figure to pose. The lack of a ball/socket left elbow isnít as big of a deal, but it still stands out as something Hasbro couldíve and shouldíve included with this figure. Little corners cut like this hurt the overall toy though from not only a collectorís point of view but also a childís. Kids want figures they can pose Iíve found, so just some ball/socket knees is all it takes to take a figure like this Anakin from mediocrity to being a Collection 2 quality figure as far as poseability.
-No Saber Hilt: A small gripe but I think it wouldíve been great had Hasbro included the saber hilt accessory that clips to the belt. Itís fantastic on every figure itís available on, and something I think should be standard for Jedi figures. Itís a highlight on a great stand-out figure like Pilot Obi-Wan, so Hasbro should consider making this something they incorporate on all Jedi in the future. Not a huge deal though, just something I noticed and wish this figure had.
-Posed Ankles: One gripe I have about the sculpt of the figure is that whoever designed Anakin decided to his ankles so they are bent upward a little bit, and itís just enough to make the figure topple forward fairly easily. This is frustrating that in this day and age a figure still floats out that canít stand on its own without the aid of a stand (which it didnít even come with).
Thereís a way around this by boiling some water, letting Aniís feet soak in it a minute or so, and then posting the ankles/feet ďflatĒ and holding it while you immerse it into cold water for a time. This is called the ďboil & freezeĒ in customizing and it (most of the time) will cause the plastic to take the shape youíve posed the ankles in. I havenít tried it yet with Anakin but Iím thinking that I will soon so that my figure can stand on his own here.
I think flat feet and poseable knees wouldíve been the ultimate answer to this figure, and really thatís how the standard should be throughout the line. You should have the option to pose him ďin actionĒ or neutral rather than the sculptor deciding to do that for you by making the legs bent in some way, but unfortunately thatís not the route Hasbro went.
My opinion, as you can assume, isnít the highest on Anakin Skywalker (Slashing Attack). The "Sith Eyes" of this figure are the reason to own him in my opinion, however I feel that neither of the basic Anakin figures in the ROTS line stood up well at all and ultimately you should hold out for the Evolutions set if you want only one ROTS Anakin figure.
The Sith Eyes look great though, and he displays well enough. I have him leading my 501st Troopers from the Battlepack, and he easily replaces the figure that came in that set. Actually this is the Anakin we should have gotten in that set if we had to get one. Itís much closer to what he was wearing as he slaughtered the surprised Jedi in the temple.
Hasbroís efforts with the ROTS line prove they learned a lot from the 2002 Saga debacle. Figures were not all collector focused, nor were they all kid focused. I didnít even mention the action feature in this Anakin figureís review because frankly it didnít impress me but it also didnít hinder the look of the figure or the poseability enough for me to list it as a negative. To me, a non-intrusive action feature is a good enough feature so it doesnít even get a nod from me and thatís not a bad thing at all.
At the same time though, Hasbro didnít seem to pick up that they need to not cut articulation short at just the arms getting poseability, or just the legs. They need to make sure both aspects of the figureís sculpt are poseable, as articulation is something that appeals to not just collectors but kids as well. Itís important enough in the overall quality of the toy that knee joints on Anakin wouldíve been enough for me to give a better review here.
Besides the articulation, the paint/deco of the figure is just not on. I couldíve dealt with the little detail bits missing like on the belt, or the hair being too light, but the skin toneís pale color just is distracting.
The ďeyesĒ have it with this figure as theyíre the only real reason I can say for owning this guy if youíre lucky enough to see this variant. They really do look cool after all, but is that a good enough reason to spend $5-$7? I donít know that it is, and "Sith Eyes" Anakin is a figure you probably could pass on while you just try to find an Anakin Evolutions set like the rest of the collecting community.