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BigBadToyStore.com

Utapaun Warrior
(Utapaun Security)

Collection 2 figures for Revenge Of The Sith really kicked off with a bang. They were easily the better of the two collections of figures, and while some of the Jedi haven’t been the best sellers they were just amazing action figures irregardless. Hasbro’s seemingly seen fit to change the quality in Collection 2 though, at least with some figures, as the later waves featured some misses mixed in with the hits. That brings us to today’s review…

The Utapaun Warrior (Utapaun Security) wasn’t a figure that was high on most people’s want-lists, he was barely in ROTS (if he was in it at all), and his figure got short-changed for an army builder. Not unlike his Neimodian brethren really, who also got the shaft from Hasbro. He’s not all bad though, as he shows what good sculpting can achieve and he’s certainly accessorizing like he should, it’s just that Hasbro has ways of sometimes doing the little things wrong, and that has been the bane of many figures.

The infamous “near-miss” strikes again with Hasbro and their figures. And with that we’ll delve into this little bundle of fun and tear Utapau’s elite fighting forces to shreds. Like the title says, we’re gonna check out “The Good… The Bad… & The Ugly” on this little guy, and he’s got a bit of everything going on!

PROS

-Sculpt: Hasbro has cranked out one nicely sculpted Utapau resident already with Tion Medon, and they did the character a lot of justice by nailing little details and making him look incredibly interesting even if he wasn’t interesting at all on-screen. Tion’s little troopers even top their leader in sculpt quality though, showing that even the already impressive can be improved upon.

The figure’s body is just a plethora of details for the eyes to pour over. The upper body has red satiny sculpted clothing with a vest that has V-shaped ridges that go downward on the front and back. The “cloth” is sculpted to feature a fine texture in it as is pretty much standard practice at Hasbro these days but the effort is still appreciated by the fans I believe. Along with the light texturing there’s the classic folding in the fabric that makes the figure look incredibly life-like. Sometimes you even think there’s articulation hidden there, but sadly that’s just sometimes an illusion the sculpt gives off.

The figure features the famous “skirt piece” many figures have these days, and it looks great. It includes the belt, and the belt alone has tons of metal loops, an ornately detailed buckle, and leather hip strips all sculpted into/around it. The skirt features texturing on the fabric pieces just like the body, and is sculpted to look “layered. The belt also is sculpted so it goes up over the torso a little and completely obscures the waist articulation. That’s pretty nice.

The figure’s legs have similar vaguely textured “fabric” as well as incredibly detailed leg/boot armor plates that have little designs in them. Also some knee-pads sculpted on the legs look like almost separate pieces.

A little detail I liked a lot about this figure though, are his shoulder pads. Hasbro sculpted the top ridge of the pads to the figure’s body, so they hang over the lower ridges of the shoulder pads which are sculpted to the arms. They don’t really hinder the movement of the arms at all, and they actually hide the shoulder joints somewhat. It’s a very nice little extra effort on the figure.

The headsculpt is similar to Tion Medon, and I guess since the Utapau all seem to look alike then this is pretty good. The head seems smaller than Tion’s though I didn’t compare the two terribly close either. He’s got the same sneering face, snaggly teeth, and the series of ridges up and down his head/face are there however they’re a bit less pronounced than on Tion Medon as I recall.

Ultimately though, Hasbro’s pretty good at nailing an alien’s look down, and they’ve got the Utapau pegged. A great figure to look at for sure and he stands out on the pegs.

-Accessories: The Utapaun Warrior isn’t short-changed on gear and that’s a positive since Hasbro’s definitely a hit-or-miss company when it comes to accessories. One figure you get a pistol and that’s it, while another figure you practically get a playset with him all crammed into a tiny card. Hasbro’s definitely not consistent with making the consumer feel like they always get their $5 - $7 worth.

Utapau is making sure their troops go into combat equipped properly though. The figure comes with a removable helmet that is painted with rather intricate detailing, a blaster/staff weapon, a shield (with a separate strap on it), and a stand we’ve seen re-used throughout the ROTS line with several figures. That’s 4 accessories and the helmet’s paintjob is quite impressive. Not too bad at all for Hasbro considering I just got Tarkin and he came with a lousy clone rifle (couldn’t even pack in a nice pistol).

The accessories are all pretty cool. The weapon, which I can’t tell if it’s to be a gun or a staff of some sort, but it’s still a nicely sculpted new little weapon. Honestly I would’ve expected to get Tion Medon’s rifle packed in with the Utapaun Warrior rather than a staff I never saw… I never saw the rifle either, but may as well save a buck right? So I’m pretty happy to get a new weapon. It’s got lots of detail in the sculpt but is not decorated beyond its gunmetal color it is cast in.

The shield is cast in a metallic color as well, and features a painted black handle. The shield is awkward to get on the figure. He holds it in a strange way, but it works well enough. There’s a separate strap you can use to hook the shield over the soldier’s torso too, so he can just sorta sling it on his back and use his staff weapon for battle. That’s a nice touch since I’d only have expected a single-piece shield with no strap.

The stand is the “lava” one we’ve seen used on figures like the Chopper Droid or Padme figures. It’s pretty cool, and Hasbro has reused it on the Utapau figures now, as well as the Polis Massan figure, and they’ve repainted it to look green and grey for them and completely different. That’s a nice little effort to give the unique base some variety.

The best accessory is the removable helmet that the Warrior has. First it fits snugly to the figure and really looks great on him with the nose ridge covering his face some. It’s very unique looking. But what Hasbro did that was the extra mile was the paintjob. The base is a dark red like the uniform of the figure, but the armor pieces on the helmet feature a dark grey with a series of gunmetal highlights. This really brings out the helmet’s fantastic sculpt which is done to match the ornate armor the figure has sculpted onto him.

The end result is a figure that looks like his armor is as much for aesthetic appeal as it is for battle, and Hasbro put the same effort into his weapons and helmet as they did into the figure itself. That’s a nice job for certain.

-Paint Aps/Decoration: The Utapaun Warrior stands out against the other ROTS figures on the pegs partly because he’s so unique looking and “alien” when you glance at the pegs, but another reason is he features a lot of unique coloring for the line. His dark reds, blacks, browns, metal colors, and his light purple skin tone all make this guy stick out in a crowd. I guess the Utapau like to look good while they kick butt.

The figure’s head features nicely painted details like little teeth/fangs, and some nicely painted dark eyes with dark purple circles around them. The head doesn’t have a lot of paint, but what it does have is nice and not misapplied at all. The lack of a wash on the head to highlight the ridges on the skin is a little disappointing but nothing major.

The uniform is a mix of different colors. The primary color is a blood red, and the figure is primarily cast in this color of plastic. It looks really great, and the other colors applied over top of it stand out against it. The brown of the shoulder pads and knee-pads stand out for instance as being less “flashy” than the uniform, and looking more practical for combat… almost as if the soldier takes these off 99% of the time but because he has to defend his planet he’s got his gear on.

The belt on the character features metallic paint applications on the belt loops, and buckle details sculpted into it. The paint’s well applied with little-to-no straying. The same metallic paint details are on the figure’s shin/boot armor pieces, and his feet (which are separate pieces) are cast in this metallic color. The cast pieces and the painted pieces match in color though perfectly and look good together. The metallic paint also serves to highlight the ornate sculpting done on the armor as well, just as it served to highlight the armor on the helmet.

A nice bit of detail work in the decoration is on the hands, where the fingerless gloves are painted on the hand. On the gloves are small yellow designs that look different on each hand, and are either a decal of some sort or had some kind of stencil to apply them. It’s a nice little detail, and makes you wonder what reference material the Hasbro designers were working off of to make this figure a reality since he really didn’t have much of any part in ROTS.

I have a small gripe about paint washes being needed on this figure overall, but in general it was a good paint application and I had few of any mistakes on my sample. A couple splatters on the uniform I noticed but nothing I’d take points off him for. A good paintjob on an obscure character is always a plus.

CONS

-Articulation: Like the Neimodian Warrior, the Utapaun Warrior lacks some points of articulation, as well as some articulation styles, that I think would’ve greatly improved him in my eyes. As an army builder, even an obscure one, articulation’s going to be a key to the figure’s ultimate success, but unfortunately for us Hasbro decided to cut back. Some missing ball/socket joints, lop-sided arm articulation, and legs getting short-changed, are all contributors to this figure’s articulation woes.

The Utapaun Warrior has articulation at:

-2 standard shoulder joints
-2 standard wrist joints
-2 ball/socket ankle joints
-2 standard hip joints
-1 right swivel bicep joint
-1 ball/socket neck joint
-1 standard waist joint

That’s a total of 11 points of articulation, which is ok on some figures but not this guy. I easily would recommend balancing the right and left arm articulation at the very least. His left arm’s lack of movement makes posing him in fighting poses a bit rough, and he sometimes just looks odd holding his weapon. The wrists are nice but they can do better than just wrists and a right bicep.

The lack of ball/socket knee articulation was disappointing. The Neimodian Warrior missed this articulation point as well, and it’s just as damaging to this indigenous trooper as well. No running, lunging, kneeling poses for this figure. His ankles are ok, but the knees are much more important. Just look at the Royal Guard figures to see why the knees are the point you want done more than the ankles (though I think both are something we should expect).

I think some ball/socket shoulders would’ve been nice as well. Sculpt the entire shoulder pad to the body perhaps and cover the shoulder articulation with it. Ball/socket joints obviously offer a much wider range of motion. It’s not as big a deal as the lack of knees and the unbalanced arm articulation though, and those points are much more important. This figure could’ve just been a whole lot more interesting if it were more poseable.

-Awkward Leaning Pose: Hasbro’s sculptor who likes to add a weird “lean” to figures is back I guess, and sculpted the Utapaun Warrior to have that drunken stance. It’s the only drawback to the sculpt I can find but it’s a frustrating one to say the least.

Like past “leaning” figures such as the Saga Lt. Faytonni, or the Saga Clone Pilot, the Warrior is sculpted so that he has somewhat of a lean. It’s not as noticeable as the aforementioned figures though, but it’s there and his legs reflect that sculpt as well so they’re bent a little bit. The pose isn’t necessary and detracts from the figure more than it adds to its realism when you pose it, so anything short of a nice neutral pose is a negative in my eyes.

-Lack of Paint “Wash”: Many figures feature a “wash” on them to highlight a nice sculpt. The Utapaun Warrior has one fantastic sculpt however a lot of the detail may go unnoticed since the paint application really only focused on detail work. This is a minor gripe, but some darker or lighter colored paint washing on the figure’s body and head would’ve highlighted a lot of the work that’s done there.

Things like the ridged, layered “plating” on the figure’s skirt-piece for instance could’ve used a wash of black paint just to bring out the sculpt a bit. The head also could’ve used some paint washing on it to highlight the ridges like on the Tion Medon figure. It’s amazing, but often times a figure’s sculpt is great but it doesn’t get recognized for it because the paintjob doesn’t highlight how well done it is. People will miss the little details then.

OVERALL

The end result is a figure that looks pretty good but as an army builder he really could’ve stood to be more poseable. I don’t think his popularity will be much more (if any more at all) than that of the Neimodian Warrior though either. He’s obscure, and I like having him in my collection but he’s not going to be a figure kids and adults want alike, and most adult army builders aren’t going to go nuts building large forces of a guy they probably don’t even remember seeing in the film.

The Neimodian turned out better than the Utapaun though, as far as articulation went. That figure at least had balanced, and nicely articulated arms, as well as the use of ball/socket shoulders. The Utapaun’s articulation is then a major negative against it, and is probably the driving force that will keep me from amassing much of a force. I may get a second figure to flank my Tion Medon but that’s about it.

I think he’s worth having one of, but he’s just not an inspiring figure. His paintjob and sculpt make him stand out though, and he’s good eye-candy. I’d liked to have had a fun figure to play with though, and that I did not get unfortunately. When you see one, if you’re not a completist, I think you could easily pass on this figure unless he really just looks eye-catching to you enough to buy.

 

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