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Never Forget - The ICMG Petition

Entertainment Earth

Rep Been

Rolling on with the End-Boo wave of figures, we’re looking at another of the Naboo figures rounded up by Hasbro for the masses. Is this the figure you really wanted to buy though? That’s a tough one to say. Rep Been, the Gungan… guy… is really not the most interesting modern figure to hit the pegs. As much as an Imperial Dignitary or Republic Senator figure is likely to sit on the pegs, I have to think that a Gungan that is basically the same type of figure is bound to gather dust out at retail. So to say that I could’ve lived without a Rep Been figure being made, ever, is an understatement. It just wasn’t of interest to me.

So how did Hasbro do making a toy? Well they chimed in right around where I’d have suspected them to with a figure of this style. They’re limited in what they can do on poseability and accessories aren’t bountiful. The figure relies a lot on sculpt and paint then, so Hasbro has a lot to cover in those categories to make a really great toy. We’ll see how they did on the latest offering of the most despised Star Wars species since the Ewoks.

PROS

-Sculpt: The saving grace of most “Senator” type figures like our esteemed Gungan friend here is that they’re usually some of the more finely detailed sculpts from Hasbro. While army builders, Jedi Knights, main characters, and others get some spiffy sculpting, often times you’ll see something extra special with a figure like Meena Tills or the Lucas Family figures in terms of fine detailing. The Gungan Rep Been is pretty decent himself, and while my opinion of the character is blah, the figure looks good chilling with Boss Nass.

First the costume gets a bit of attention from Hasbro to bring it to life just a little bit more. For instance the shoulder pad of the robes has a rough texturing sculpted into it that sets it apart from the smooth flowing long robes underneath. The robes themselves don’t feature many sharp folds for depth, but the costumes looked a little “plastic” in the film because they were computer animations. I think it’s unique the way Hasbro captured that smooth look that was likely an effect of the animation work more than anything.

There is a long thin strap piece that runs down Been’s front of his robes that is particularly detailed. The piece features a wealth of design sculpted into it quite nicely and there’s distinct patterning there in it. The detail is intricate for this scale and the paint ap applied to it only enhances the quality work here.

Been’s head and hands are the last points of note for the most part. I say for the most part because if you look under his robes, Been has a complete set of legs with detail under there too. You can’t really see them, but they are there and it’s a nice extra bit of effort for realism. For the head and hands though, Hasbro didn’t let down. I feel the head is a bit small compared to other Gungan figures, but the sharp lines and smooth surfaces of the hood on the figure are really nice. The gungan’s snout and protruding eyes add a lot of life for the limited bit of face you can see. And on Been’s hands each fingernail is sculpted separately with lots of wrinkles on the outside of the hands.

Overall the sculpt of the figure is pretty nice… I won’t say it’s the best Hasbro’s ever done for this type of figure though, but again I feel it’s the boring character that limited their ability to do more, rather than Hasbro’s effort. So for that they get the thumbs up for the effort they did put in.

-Paint Aps/Decoration: A good sculpt is a waste without a good paintjob, and Hasbro did put a bit of color into this Gungan effort. The colors are applied pretty nicely and the variation in techniques they used to apply the paints gives a nice look to the figure overall too.

The figure’s robes feature smooth applications of brown and tan overall, and a hint of the sleeves peeking out under the robes on both arms got a unique color of brown applied to them with a gold cuff ring detail. The figure’s shoulder pads and hood also got unique paint applications with a brown base that got a sort of spongey looking application of a different color over top of it to give it a leather look.

The hood in particular stands out with its green “wash” if you can call it that. It looks very nice the way Hasbro tried a different kind of wash it seems. The same can be said for the shoulder pad piece, with its lighter brown wash that helps give the textured sculpt a rough and leathery look to it. Also the decorated strap that runs down the front of the figure’s costume is painted just on the surface of the decoration patterns. There is a cream color on it, and this helps this paint ap helps this figure stand out color-wise quite a bit.

The little bit of Gungan you see under all the costume has some nice paint details on it too, helping the figure come together completely. The hands for instance feature painted palms with a cream color, while the back of the hand has light brown showing the flesh tone of the character. The figure’s individual fingernails are painted grey as well to help that little sculpt bit stick out as well.

Been’s face bits have a brown paintjob with a cream wash on it. The cream gives the figure’s face a little additional color and helps it contrast the dark hood a bit. The figure’s eyes are fairly simple paintjobs by comparison to some Hasbro figures but they’re passable as just green dots.

I’ve noticed some samples have paint jobs that are questionable, but mine is pretty sharp. I think there is a detail here and there that Hasbro could’ve really improved on with a very light wash or some such, but like the sculpt I think Hasbro was maybe staying true to the CGI look of the figure more than anything.

-Articulation: As figures like this go, I generally have to ease up on my normal rants against what Hasbro delivers with articulation. I love articulation still, and Hasbro owes us more in this line at this price than we’ve been getting, but when it comes to figures like Senators you have to be a little forgiving on articulation generally. Rep Been’s no exception as the robes and such really limit what you can do with this one for poseability.

Been’s poseability is of course limited, but what can you really do with a figure like this? Well Hasbro have proven that they can go nuts on poseability on the arms of a figure, but the problem with Been are his flowing robes. Hasbro did pretty good though and considering how little this guy did, it’s just that much better.

Rep Been features articulation at:
- 2 standard shoulder joints
- 2 standard wrist joints
- 2 swivel elbow joints
- 1 standard neck joint

That’s a total of 7 points of articulation on Rep Been, which is still sadly 1 more point of articulation than the new Momaw Nadon figure had! I mean… Holy Hell Hasbro, what’s the deal there?

Anyway, the 7 points are the points you’d expect. Been’s head can turn slightly though his hood limits the poseability there somewhat. You can get him in some good Gungan discussion poses though with his arms posed outward or closed in deep thought. The shoulder pads are limiting the arm’s poseability a bit, but the way the robes hang down at the arms you couldn’t pose them too much anyway without the pointy ends of the robes sticking up and looking odd anyway.

Basically, you get a set piece when you buy Rep Been here. Getting this figure means he’ll stand there and collect dust, and that’s it. He isn’t much different than buying a table or a box really. The articulation is as good as Hasbro can get it on a figure like this though. It is what it is.

-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 it’s 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. There’s also an insert depicting the specific character and the character’s 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.

There’s 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.

CONS

-Accessories: Hasbro has one really big way they can make up ground on a figure like Rep Been here. Sure you can make him real poseable, and sculpt and decoration can only take you so far, so how do they pull these Senators out of the fire if they’re not doing so great? Well you give them bitchin’ accessories of course! Unfortunately though, Hasbro decided that you get nothing really spiffy with Rep Been.

The figure comes packing one accessory and that’s it. Not only is it one accessory but it’s one fairly simple one. The figure comes with an all new staff piece. The piece is a nice sculpt but it’s still just a stick ultimately. There are some brass paint details on the top and bottom, with a brown shaft. For that, it’s decent but for $7 I just want more.

Now, what could Hasbro have given this figure? Tough to say really but I think Been could’ve come with a piece of the Gungan Sacred Place… Maybe a chunk of ruins or some such would’ve been in order, as this figure is a decoration anyway, so more pieces for a scene would’ve been cool. Hasbro didn’t have to do a LOT, and considering this figure’s overall dull quality I think they needed to spice it up with something extra and cool that fans would maybe be inclined to want 2 of, and thus buy 2 of this figure perhaps.

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 it’s my opinion that the money put into these “gimmick” accessory pack-ins would be better put into the figure itself. I prefer quality toys over gimmicks.

-Pin Head: The sculpt overall was pretty decent from Hasbro on this one, but there is one little thing that’s bothered me about it since I saw the figure. The figure’s head seems just to be a bit on the undersized side, when compared with other Gungan figures in the modern line.

I’ve compared Been to the Gungan Soldier and a Jar Jar figure I had nearby (BB gun target… no other reason to have one nearby), and there is definitely a pin head effect going on with this figure’s noggin. The detail is disappointing because this figure’s sculpt was pretty good otherwise but Hasbro just missed this one detail. Then again I’m thinking not much could’ve saved this one really.

-Price Hike: Star Wars figures have taken a jump in price at most all retailers in 2006, and while we paid $5 - $6 for most of our Revenge of the Sith figures throughout most of 2005, figures are up to $7 after tax at most retailers, even the usually stalwart for cheap prices, Wal-Mart. 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 I’ll buy fewer extras of any figure I maybe wanted extras of. I’ll 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. With no retailer seemingly wanting to budge on their standard price, things aren’t looking good for a decrease anytime soon. So keep your eyes peeled for sales because when they happen I’ve noticed that figures that were sitting suddenly fly off the pegs.

The price hike sucks, and what really is tough to accept is that in 2006 we’ve seen fewer figures with “great” articulation like we saw in last year’s line for ROTS. This decrease in overall quality coupled with the price increase just hasn’t sat well with me about this year’s line-up. Though those nicely articulated gems like the AT-AT Driver or whatnot do sneak in there.

OVERALL

So that about sums up the Gungan High Grand Poobah, Rep Been. In a nutshell, I find the figure boring right from the get-go. The Gungans alone are retail nightmares. Few have ever sold outstandingly well, even the Gungan Soldier was iffy, and now we’ve got one with limited poseability (very limited) and who only saw a few seconds of screentime, plus he has some shortcomings from Hasbro as well.

The biggest detractor to this figure, for me at least, is the lack of accessories. When you bought Lushros Dofine you got that cool bridge display from the Invisible Hand and a hand computer. When you got Meena Tills you got a pistol (it’s cooler than a stick) and a cooler figure choice overall. When you get Rep Been though, you get a figure with a staff and no real poseability. The lack of Hasbro’s efforts to give us a set piece from some scene is a big let down to me.

The figure is pretty boring right out of the gate though. The Gungans were loathed by many anyway, and Episode 1 is a film that has some questionable figures left to be made. I think getting Been is cool enough but at the end of the day I could’ve done without ever having this figure in my collection and I’d never have cared a bit. I don’t think he had much collector support and ultimately I think Hasbro could’ve given us more pod pilots or a resclupt of the Episode 1 Jedi with better articulation, and we’d all have been happier with that. My vote on this guy is if you’re a completist, get yours on sale if you can. If you’re a pick & choose collector, you’re free to pass on this one. $7 is just too much money for this lacking toy.

 

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