The ďBattle of GeonosisĒ Wave wasnít the most exciting lineup of figures to come down the pike. While I loved the Utapau Clone, he technically wasnít even from this wave of figures, and heís a repaint to boot, so he wasnít something I was looking forward to like a new figure would be (still I love that Clone). Instead, the wave was fairly evenly mixed with repacked figures nobody cared to pick up, and a few new ones that are a mixed bag of quality.
While the new figures arenít everything they could be, one figure thatís all-new in this wave stands out as pretty special and fun. That would be the Geonosian, er... guy - Sun Fac. I donít know how hotly demanded Sun Fac was, but beyond the Jedi and Clone Commando figures, this is the winner in the wave if you ask me. Sun Fac is leaps and bounds above previous Geonosians in plastic form, and if you can look past (no pun intended here) his eye damage, Sun Fac is as good an army builder figure as youíre likely to find this year. In 2002, I was disappointed with all the Geonosian Warrior sculpts, so this update is highly appreciated by me, and itís a figure that isnít getting his due from the fans I believe, while the Clone Commando is a weak figure overall that you just canít find in stores. How ironic. Read on and check out Sun Facís finer points, as I think youíll find that maybe you too want a couple more for battling in your arena set-up after you do.
-Sculpt: Hasbroís sculpting is rarely the subject of a ďConĒ in my reviews. I find that, for the most part, they do a great job and rarely drop the ball in this aspect of the line. MacFarlane eat your heart out when compared with some of Hasbroís offerings in the last few years!
Sun Fac is no exception to this trend, as heís filled with detail. The figureís ďskinĒ (or whatever youíd call it - an exoskeleton, since heís a bug? I donít know) is a wealth of detail unto itself. Thereís bumps, ridges, spines, ďplateĒ lines... Itís very ornate really, and Iíd say the organic realism to it is really nice and refreshing looks on a figure since bugs arenít all that common in the Star Wars galaxy.
Where Sunís body ends and his limited clothing begins is also quite nicely sculpted. Thereís varying raised and lowered surfaces, patterns, decorations, and other details sculpted into his costume to really make it stand out against the figureís alien physique.
The headsculpt is much like the figureís body. Itís very alien, very unique, and filled with detail. The head is neutral, at least as far as I can tell for a Geonosian, and itís quite satisfactory for a generic Warrior as well as specific character in the films. Itís a winner all around then to me.
-Paint Aps/Deco: Paint applications on Sun Fac are quite nice and thereís a LOT of color put into this toy. The colors really make him stand out on the card and catch your eye right away when hanging there next to his case-mates.
The figureís body and head are painted with a green wash over the brown plastic they are cast in. The paint wash highlights every bump and crevice on his exoskeleton perfectly, and give the green-brown skin familiar to fans on the Geonosians. This simple paint application is what makes the tremendous detail in the sculpt pop out at you and gives the character a film-accurate color unlike his predecessor Geonosians.
Sun Facís armor and clothing are a mix of gold, bronze, copper, silver, red, and bronzish-colors. The details painted on like the red ďjewelĒ items, or the bronze and copper colors that have a dark wash over them, all highlight the contrasting details of the costume to the figureís body.
Sun Facís head has a sort of gold highlight to it, which Iím not entirely sure if itís accurate or not but it looks ok to me, and he has one dark red/black eye, with the other having a scar across it. These details are nice, and I assume the scar is what makes Sun Fac, Sun Fac, and not some other random Geonosian soldier. If youíre ambitious with army building and wanted to, you could scrape the scar away carefully, and perhaps even paint a new eye onÖ I have found though that the scar doesnít really distract me, and just buying and opening Sun Fac figures makes for a spiffy looking army of bug men irregardless of them all having some racquetball and/or BB Gun accidents.
The paint overall gets a thumbs-up from me. Thereís plenty of detailing, and all of it making the sculpt stand out even more as a quality one, just as a good paintjob should do. Kudos to Hasbro for their effort here.
-Articulation: Iím not going to say that Sun Fac is perfect, he isnít, but given the physiology of Geonosians there is also some leeway with how you view their articulation. Itís like rating the articulation on a droid figure like an Astromech... Itís tough to judge it against others because of its physical makeup compared to say, a human character.
Geonosians have thin limbs with ball-shaped joints. This has afforded Hasbro the perfect opportunity to incorporate their popular ball/socket articulation style at these joints and have the sculpt hide them almost perfectly. Poseability and aesthetic appeal, all in one, so every collector can appreciate this figure.
Sun Fac features articulation at:
- 2 ball/socket shoulder joints
- 2 ball/socket elbow joints
- 2 standard wrist joints
- 2 standard hip joints
- 2 ball/socket ankle joints
- 1 ball/socket neck joint
- 1 standard waist joint
- 2 swivel wing joints
With a total of 14 points of articulation (though one could argue only 12), the total articulation count isnít bad. Itís not great either on paper, and one could argue that the inverted knee, or upper thigh-knee joint on the Geonosianís legs could have been articulated, however the Geonosianís knees didnít bend as much as their ankle did, so in this characterís case his ankle articulation actually was more important to the figureís poseability than his ďkneeĒ joints appeared to be to me. For that, Hasbro has given us basically a single ďsuper articulatedĒ Geonosian with their Sun Fac figure, and you have to love that.
The joints on Sun Fac then allow him to hold a pike with two hands, or hold the figureís rifle accessory (though itís difficult to get him to aim it). The figureís poseability allows you to have him running, walking, standing at ease, fighting, lunging. Thereís a myriad of poses available for Sun, which makes me look down on the Clone Commando Scorch figure even more for its LACK of articulation. Sun Fac is a completely better figure on poseability alone, and something collectors need more than one of for sure.
-Accessories: Sun Fac comes packiní a lot of Geonosian whoop-ass. The figure actually comes with two unique weapons seen in Attack of the Clones, and both are all-new sculpts. The fact that both feature nice paint applications as well makes them stand out as even a little nicer in the accessory category, and more appreciated.
The first instrument of destruction is an all-new Geonosian Blaster RifleÖ The ones in AOTC that made a warbling sound when fired. The rifle seems to be properly scaled to the figures this time, unlike the action-feature-laden one that we got with the Deluxe Geonosian Warrior in 2002. The gun is cast in a bronze-ish color with brown and green paint details, and its sculpt is superb. Itís a bit unwieldy to put into the figureís hands, but itís a nice hefty and ACCURATE accessory. Itís great for those wanting to army build too, as some Geonosians had the rifles while others had pikes, and others had nothingÖ which leads me to the next accessory actually.
The second weapon Sun Fac gets is a nice, simple, pike/staff. The weapon is seen in the hands of some Geonosian guards both in and out of the Arena. The pike is a bit simpler than the rifle in most every way, but itís still nice. Itís cast in a sturdy plastic, which is reason alone to rejoice for this piece considering Hasbro makes most staffs flimsy and lame. They also sculpted a hand wrap on it near the one end, and it has a nice cloth-ish texture to it and is painted to stand out from the simple grey stick.
The pike and rifle give you the options of making your Geonosian Army a much more diverse unit, even though the figure is listed as a specific ďcharacterĒ. Iím unsure if Sun Fac was seen in the film with both these accessories, but either way itís appreciated that we get them both like this.
Other pack-ins then are the usual suspects that have come with figures in 2006. There is an embossed stand featuring the film the character appeared in raised on its surface and a silver name of the character painted on the one edge. There is also a randomly packaged holographic miniature figure snuck into the packaging as well. While the stand and miniature are nice, both required molds and effort to be produced and itís my opinion that the money put into these ďgimmickĒ accessory pack-ins would be better put into the figure itself. I prefer quality toys over gimmicks.
-Removable Wings(?): Iím not entirely sure if this was an intentional move on Hasbroís part or not, but I noticed that Sun Facís wings, which are excellent sculpts and painted nicely themselves, and which feature great translucent plastic for that insect-wing look, are really easy to pop right off the figure. Iím not talking fly torturing flashbacks here like youíre thinking, but just simply that the wings maybe pop off for army building purposes again.
As I said though, Iím not sure this was intentional in the figureís design. It also leaves fairly large holes in the figureís back that are a bit noticeable, but the wings do pop off quite easily if you just pull a little, and the end result is the wingless Geonosians which were also seen running about during the Arena Battle.
While some wonít be interested in this little trick, I for one have about half my new Geonosian army sporting the wingless look, while the other half are winged. Itís that much more reason to buy multiples of this figure if you ask me.
-Packaging: The Saga Collection packaging for each figure is an interesting mix of styles. You can definitely see some elements of the ROTS line mixed with elements of the OTC line, and that makes for a unique package on the shelves. I really enjoy the black cardback with silver lettering, and I hope itís something Hasbro is willing to stick with for a long time to come.
I also highly enjoy the unique backgrounds for each figure. Pulling an element from the OTC line, the new Saga Collection packaging uses a film shot that pertains to each unique character, and really individualizes the figures. This is drool-worthy for the carded collector and it makes even the die-hard openers want a figure here and there to keep carded just because of how special the backgrounds are.
The bubble is a little closer to the ROTS line in its overall size and shape, but should lend itself more to staying mint for the carded guys. Thereís also an insert depicting the specific character and the characterís name, packaged into the bottom of the package just as the Revenge of the Sith figures had. The insert features the bold blocky silver lettering of the Saga, and lets fans know that this is the universal collection of figures encompassing the entire Star Wars universe.
Thereís a lot to like with this packaging so I hope it stays as the standard for a while. I would say that The Saga Collection and Original Trilogy Collection will go down as some of the most liked packaging by collectors for quite some time if Hasbro gives it a while, and this is coming from a guy that rips almost everything off its card at some point or another.
-Availability: Another positive for Sun Fac is that I havenít had much trouble finding him in some quantity, especially as of late. While Alien Army Builders havenít had the best of luck in the past at retail, I have noticed that Sun is selling pretty steadily, but I can still routinely find one or two of him at any given store. Heís no Neimoidian Warrior I guess.
And I suggest again picking up at least a second to display with his other weapon. The figure makes for a good army builder in my book and Iím usually pretty picky on those.
-Extra Articulation: Finding something to gripe about on Mr. Fac has been a little less than easy actually. With 2006 being so filled with flaws and quality drops with price hikes, I really was struggling when coming up with one.
I will say that the argument is there that Sun could have had his inverted knee articulated, or a joint above that which seems more similar to a human knee. Itís a fairly weak argument against the figure, but the argument is there still. The ankle articulation on Geonosians helps them be pretty much as poseable as a regular figure with knee joints though. Itís a little extra effort Hasbro COULD have done though, but nothing that sways my opinion on this otherwise great figure.
-Price Hike: Star Wars figures have taken a jump in price at some retailers, and while we paid $5 - $6 for most of our ROTS figures throughout most of 2005, figures are up to $7 at most retailers with only Wal-Mart sticking to a $6 or less price point right now. Hopefully Hasbro and Retail will see the light that price increases in this day and age means that people may become more tight with their spending.
I know a price hike will affect my buying habits, and Iíll buy fewer extras of any figure I maybe wanted extras of. Iíll cut back on army building, custom fodder buying, and other areas that I otherwise maybe would have spent more freely. That $1 or $2 starts to add up over 60 or so figures though. Hopefully at least Target will adjust to compete with Wal-Mart in the near future, if nothing else, and we all maybe will have more to spend on more figures.
So I think itís pretty safe to say if you read the whole review what I really think of this fine figure. Hasbroís under whelmed me all this year with almost every figure they put out. Hell, only the Utapau Clone Trooper has really been high on my want list of things ďout thereĒ at retail... Not a lot for me to be ga-ga over with this toy line right now. In 2006 weíve seen an overall decrease in articulation in many figures compared to 2005, and weíve seen a price hike, so thereís a lot not to be happy about.
So the great joy and surprise I felt when I opened this figure, who I really didnít expect much out of, is really a refreshing feeling as a collector this year. Everything Iíve reviewed up till now has been so-so for the most part, but Sun Fac really stands out as a nice figure all around. Heís pretty much super poseable for what a Geonosian is, and heís obviously a well sculpted and painted toy. He comes with all the accessories needed for army building, and the wing thing (whether intended or not) is nice for that same reason.
My hatís off to Hasbroís effort on Sun Fac. The character is hardly even recognizable in the films yet the figure came out as one of my favorite basic figures of 2006 (so far at least). A great surprise out of the package, and I canít wait to get a few more, God willing I can afford to get a few more at these prices weíre seeing lately.