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Never Forget - The ICMG Petition

Brian's Toys

Mace Windu: Total Control

By: Jesse (Jesse James) McCracken

I just nabbed this unique figure a scant few weeks ago at one of my local Wal-Mart stores. Iím happy to say I was not unpleasantly surprised by this new style of figure either though.

This Mace Windu was not exactly a figure I had originally been looking forward to, but I my opinion changed some after I got him out of his plastic cocoon and toyed with him for a while. He may not be all a $4.99 action figure is cracked up to be, but heís not deserving of all the negativity people slapped on him when his pictures first surfaced either.

Read on if you dareÖ Or if youíre boredÖ Or if you simply want to see someone NOT totally bash this figure (Thereís some bashing in there though, so donít fret folks!)

Pros:

Action Feature: (Oddly enough!)... In general, I'm the first person to denounce action features as the work of Satan, Sadam Hussein, Hitler, and basically anyone else you probably wouldn't like. I despised almost all of the action features we've seen in the Saga line-up, but for once Hasbro really surprised me. While I still say a nicely articulated and neutrally-posed/sculpted Mace (Basically a super Mace Windu) is desperately needed, I really sort of have some love for this figure as a novelty. The feature isn't pretty, but it works really well, and there's a look of realism to it when it's in action. The figure's not ever going to be ranked in my top 10 (Or even 20) items from Hasbro, but I like the feature enough that it put a dumb grin on my face when I first messed with it.

Sculpt: As Hasbro figures go in general, this one isnít too bad really. The figureís sculpt is crisp, all new parts, and the likeness of Sam Jackson (Although giving a weird smile) isnít the worst Iíve ever seen though eitherÖ Itís solid. Maceís arms blend well with the fabric cloak well in my opinion also. I like this since the fabric cloak was a major part of the figure and its pose-ability. The weave of the fabric is fine, and thereís a hint that Hasbro tried to match some of the fabricís textured qualities in the arms, which is a nice step to take to keep the figure looking decent.

Deco: Much like the figureís sculpt, this figureís overall deco isnít overly complex, but itís done well for what it is. The eyes are clear and clean on my Mace, no major flaws I can see. Maceís belt has small silver highlights for things like the buckle and gadgets. So far, he looks clean with no overspray that Iím noticing, or eyes misplaced/off-centered, "which is a good thing" as Martha Stewart would say. J The arms are a perfect brown for the cloakís brown as well, so the sculpt didnít go to waste with a weak effort in matching colors there. For a simple deco, this one canít be knocked so it gets good marks from me.

Cons:

Articulation: Like I said above, this guy just ain't gonna cut it as that "definitive" Mace Windu everyone REALLY wants that can be posed in multiple action poses as well as posed in a neutral/non-aggression pose. Basically, he's not much action for an action figure.

His legs are articulated at the standard hip socket oddly enough, but he really can't use these points of articulation for much of anything but the one pose. He's a "gimmick figure" as I like to refer to those laden with a large obtrusive action feature, and gimmick figures aren't high on my list of "wants" from Hasbro so I really just have to list this as a con. The gimmick works well though, and shows creativity... Keep that in mind. You throw a super-articulated Mace Windu out there and this Total Control figure would get a tad higher marks from meÖ I actually think the upcoming Screen Scene Mace is partly what has me more accepting of this figure even.

His Head: This was the one sculpt area I felt they lacked some effort on. Mace just can't ditch the dumb faces between this year and last. Honestly my favorite Mace is the E1 Mace, and that's pretty insulting when you think about it. This Mace's face has an interesting sneer/giggle face... Maybe even a snarling look to it actually (the sculptorís intent I believe). It's unique, to say the least. The expressions just are out of control from Hasbro though. Theyíre as bad as any exaggerated action pose is, and just as limiting in my book. For a guy that I remember as being rather collected in the films though, Hasbro sure has an interesting way of sculpting Mace Windu's mug. His figure(s) certainly portrays him as something of a madman.

BIG UGLY stick out his back: This isnít a knock against the action feature, as it does work well, but the control stick out Maceís back isnít pretty at all. Itís a negative thing any way one slices it. Itís a necessary evil with the action feature, but had Hasbro gone the extra mile and made the stick removable, I do believe the figure would be better receivedÖ Under close inspection I could see a way (though complex) that the post could be made removable from the saberís lower hilt, had Hasbro seen fit to do so, and this would leave the figure a tad more playable in this reviewerís opinion. Still, hindsightís 20/20, and being this is a first attempt at this "style" of action feature, I think they did somewhat ok.

Tad Fragile: Being that Maceís saber blade is removable, this leaves him prone to possible breakage. I personally have yet to break him while Iíve had him cutting down battledroids and Geonosians like theyíre piniatas, but thereís no doubt in my mind that a kid could easily break the purple blade off quickly. Break the blade or lose it anyway. Action features are for kids, but kids are likely to break the figureís feature almost immediately. While the feature works great, this kind of product development faux pa is going to cost this figure some points. It looks good aesthetically though, so thatís good for us grown-up folk who still play with the toys. J

This figureís been getting slammed heavily since the day his pictures first arrived online. I even laughed off this figure some at first due to the terribly ugly stick protruding from his back, but Iíve since had a slight revision of my opinion.

While I canít give this guy props as being in my top 10 figures of all time (or even the top 20), he definitely isnít the HUGE flop Iíd predicted a while back. Not to me anyway. Iím not going to be picking up 2 of these guys, one will suffice, but Iím content with the one, and got some enjoyment out of him before he went onto the ole E2 collection shelf.

If you canít get past the looks of the figure due to the ugly knob out his back though, I highly suggest you save your $4.99 for something better. If you think knocking the battledroids over with his "total control" feature might be kind of fun though, then by all means pick up this Mace. Just think that Screen Scene Mace looked pretty pose-able and fun, so maybe we have a near perfect Mace on the way anyway.

I give Mace Windu (Arena Confrontation) a hesitant thumbs-up though, and hope you have as much fun with the figure as I have already.

JJ

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