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Boba Fett

The Vintage Collection of modern figures started out fairly strong but hit some bumps in the road along the way. Of course C-3PO comes to the minds of many as THE bump in the road, but when you look back a lot of people were disappointed with Luke’s cloth shirt, or Lando’s lack of ball/socket elbows. Flaws certainly have infiltrated the first line of Hasbro’s “definitive” versions of various characters.

Flash to the Return of the Jedi wave though and really the line ended on the best notes possible. It’s tough to say that ANY figure in the final 4 was a flop at all, and that includes today’s review of everyone’s favorite mysterious Bounty Hunter, Boba Fett.

The man in armor was designed as a mix of a gun slinging bounty hunter from old west films like The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, as well as a throwback to a past war (which of course was expounded upon in the prequals with Fett’s clone origins). Either way, his mystique as a faceless hunter of men really won over the hearts of fans from his first sightings in Star Wars, and a definitive figure of Boba would be hard for Hasbro to screw up. Still… everything has flaws. Nothing is ever perfect in this collecting world, and Fett’s no exception. Is he a figure you definitely need? Is he a figure we can hope for a re-release of, or a re-sculpting? I’ve got the details lined up so read on to find it all out.

PROS

-Sculpt: Hasbro’s claim to fame on the “Vintage” modern figures has been that you get “premium” everything with them for the most part. That what you’re buying is the best possible sculpt, paint, articulation, and the like on a Star Wars figure. That’s not always held true unfortunately with all the figures… 3PO comes to mind right off the bat, and other figures got articulation cuts here and there too. Some obvious omissions on quality have crept up.

Boba Fett though got a good hand dealt to him by the Hasbro sculptors, as he easily matches the best Fett’s so far, and would be tough to improve upon, at least from the collector’s point of view. Some great details are there that you won’t find on many other figures in the modern line and every little inch of Fett’s intricate costume seems to have been recreated with painstaking detail.

Right off the bat, the figure’s costume is sculpted to have lots of realistic folds and such at just the right points, and many are easy to overlook without close inspection. For instance, look how the items in the front shin pockets of the pants weight down the “fabric” and it bunches at the ankles some. You can see the tops of the tools peeking out of the pockets and they shape the pockets as well as clearly give a look of gravity to the figure. Also note how the sleeves are bunched up at the top of the gauntlets. Again a nice little extra detail you won’t see on many figures in the modern line.

The armor sculpt is very nice as well, giving the impression of it being “attached” to the fabric of the jumpsuit at various points. The shoulder pads it is most noticeable, but in general it looks sharp without looking bulky or anything, just as the actual costume looks. Not to mention the dents, dings, and wear that adorns Fett’s armor from top to bottom. Tons of little details that give the figure life are sculpted in here and look great.

The gauntlets are another nicely detailed part of the costume that people maybe overlook. The Fett costume has a lot of gadgets on it but it’s the gauntlets that many recall best. All the little weapons and things are there and look fantastic, but the real detail comes from the wires that extend on the back of Fett’s right gauntlet. They attach at the character’s right bicep, and are sculpted separately but hidden quite well. They slightly restrict the right arm’s range of motion but not a lot, and the look is just incredibly realistic.

Fett’s helmet wraps up the sculpt with all the details of the costume. The dent on the top is deep and with the paint application it stands out quite well. The movable range-finder on the right side is nice, and the helmet sits with sharp cuts upward to give the impression there’s a head up there and that the helmet is hollow. Knowing Fett’s a clone now, maybe a removable helmet Boba is going to happen based on this sculpt at some point, but for now the helmet just looks like it’s a removable one.

Overall though, Boba is up with the better of the Vintage line’s first series. The only discrepancy is the figure’s height compared to other modern figures, especially Clones and “average” height characters. More on that later. Otherwise enjoy a nice looking Boba because this one’s not only amazing to look at but poses well too. The last Fett can’t claim that.

-Paint Aps/Decoration: A good sculpt doesn’t work without a good paint application, and Hasbro’s claim is you get “premium” paint too with these figures. That’s good because paint, unlike sculpt, does tend to vary the costs involved in a figure. The more paint aps the higher price figure it may be, and Fett’s got no shortage of color to his armor. Unlike his old man, he liked to deco up his outfit.

The colors on my figure are nicely applied… The green of the armor doesn’t stray to the grey of the jumpsuit, which is really key to this character. On the detail bits, there’s some yellow on the kneepads, silver for various tools or the toe-spikes on Fett’s shoes, the visor, the red markings of the gauntlet and helmet, silver wear and tear marks, etc., etc., etc. Just a lot of color.

On the kneepads, mine are painted perfectly and there are some nice silver details for the damage as well as the little devices on the side. The tools in the shin pockets each poke out the top of the pockets and those little tool bits got silver paint aps. The shoes are pretty ornate paintjobs on the figure and get grey stripes painted on them as well as silver on the “spike” tips on the shoes. The belt has brown leather deco for the ammo pockets as well as a lighter brown deco under the pockets and a grey color for the large pickets on the sides.

Boba’s armor gets a lot of little nick paintjobs on it. Generally it’s a simple matter of a dot of silver, but the silver didn’t bleed onto the green at all which is key. There are also little detail decals like the right chest logo or the left shoulder logo on Fett’s armor. Fett’s gauntlets share the same kind of damage on their red base. The left gauntlet’s one weapon gets a black paintjob with brass detailing on it as well, which really helps it’s sculpt stand out some.

Lastly Fett’s helmet is super detailed. The red outlines the black visor, which the visor itself got a nice glossy black paint application. The way the visor catches a little light glare is really nice for a realistic detail. The helmet has little yellow markings around the brow on the left, and Hasbro got them all (even having them look worn) which is a nice touch of realism as well.

In general the paint matches the sculpt on this one with no bleeding or straying onto the base colors when details got painted. It’s one of the more colorful of the vintage deluxe line, and really looks sharp and lives up to the hype around these figures.

-Cloth Cape: Fett’s cape/poncho deal is one of his trademarks of his costume, and Hasbro’s VOTC line features a lot of softgoods. Fett gets his due with a nice green cape, tattered and worn, as it should be.

The cloth isn’t overly poseable, and it’s glued to the left shoulder of the figure so it’s kind of stuck in the draped pose they put it in. The figure’s cape is filled with holes and tattered on the edges to show the worn look of the cape from the film. Some people don’t care for cloth in this scale but for me it makes a cooler and more poseable toy. This figure's cape allows him to sit in your favorite Slave 1 ship just fine, or any ship, so that’s the kind of plus that fabric brings to these toys.

It’s generally a plus to me to get fabric on Star Wars figures though. Not always, but generally I think it adds to the toy. Hasbro does pretty well with softgoods though, so I like this kind of add-on to a figure.

-Accessories: Fett doesn’t come packing TONS of accessories, and that’s a disappointment about the vintage assortment I think in general. For $10 it would’ve been really cool to get a lot of gear with any of the figures, but still Fett comes with the right stuff he needs for this costume.

Fett’s packing the staples of any bounty hunter, a jetpack and a rifle. The pack seems to be an all-new sculpt while the rifle is a holdover from the 300th Boba Fett figure, which may or may not be exactly right for this version of Fett? I’m by no means a Fett expert to know the differences in the weapons he had in the films so I just don’t know what’s “right” and what isn’t. All I know is I think the rifle’s cool.

The rifle itself is, as I said, it’s an old sculpt but looks nice. The plastic’s fairly rigid, and the rifle isn’t bent to a 90-degree angle like some weapons tend to be these days. It could have stood a little paint I think, at least a brown gunstock anyway, maybe some silver wear markings on the barrel, but in general it’s a good-looking weapon.

Fett’s second piece of gear is his trust jetpack with rocket. Unfortunately there is one flaw and that is the non-removable rocket on the pack. The 300th figure had this, VOTC Fett does not, and that is disappointing, but the VOTC figure’s pack is painted very ornately to match his Return of the Jedi costume. The rocket itself is 2 paint colors (black with a silver tip), while the pack is orange, red, black, green, silver… it’s one colorful accessory. It fits snuggly to the figure’s back too and looks nice.

Some jet flames would’ve been cool additional accessories or something, and again I really like the removable rocket on the 300th Fett simply because you can have Fett with a fired rocket, or reloading his pack… A pretty cool features if you get it on the pack, but unfortunately not on this one. Still, VOTC Fett has a pretty nicely deco’d jetpack and a nice addition to the figure.

-Articulation: Articulation is one of the keys to the VOTC line, as it’s really the thing people believe is “premium”. In reality you should get good articulation on all Star Wars figures… maybe not this good all the time, but you can get a lot closer than Hasbro gives us a lot of the time. Still, some of the vintage modern figures have lacked true premium articulation, but not Boba Fett. He’s outstandingly poseable, and makes for the best Bounty Hunter in the modern line simply due to his articulation.

Fett’s joints hide very well due to the sculpting also. The kneepads hide the knee joints, the shoulder pads hide the shoulders, his belt hides his waist joint, and so on. The detailed sculpt doesn’t suffer at all from these multiple points of articulation and that’s really the ideal way to satisfy all collecting personalities.

VOTC Boba Fett features articulation at the following points:
- 2 ball/socket shoulder joints
- 2 ball/socket elbow joints
- 2 standard wrist joints (at the top of the gauntlets)
- 2 standard hip joints
- 2 ball/socket knee joints
- 2 ball/socket ankle joints
- 1 ball/socket neck joint
- 1 standard waist joint

That’s a total of 14 points of articulation, and short of the ball/socket torso it’s definitely a super-articulated figure. The right arm is hindered slightly by the hoses that attach to the gauntlet there, but it’s not too detrimental. If someone wanted to remove the hoses and add new string ones, they could do so quite easily to improve the articulation as well.

Having Fett out on the desk, he’s a blast to pose running, fighting, kicking, punching, firing his gauntlet, firing his rifle, landing from flight… He can do it all. It’s a shame the figure was difficult to find for many because he’s really the best Fett and such a popular character among fans/collectors. The poseability is among the best in the modern vintage line.

-Packaging: The packaging on the VOTC figures is probably the most ornate and eye-catching package for a Star Wars figure to-date. While the basic OTC line that shipped alongside the VOTC figures was nice, the VOTC definitely drew your attention as being something special.

A downside to the dazzling packaging was the cost, which like other features I’ll touch on that shortly in the “Cons” portion, however it was a cost a lot of people were willing to bite for “ultimate” versions of various figures.

The packaging is a recreation of the original vintage Kenner action figure cardbacks from the 1970’s and 1980’s. If you were like me, and can recall these figures adorning your local toy store (Ah, Children’s Palace… The days when a trip to the toy store meant something), then you no doubt have a feeling of nostalgia, just as Hasbro intended. The old style cardbacks are nice to see on the pegs, and they really do catch the eye like no modern packaging has been able to.

While Hasbro went to great lengths to recreate the front of the packaging, the back of the packaging was a modern style displaying 3 other figures from a specific wave. The waves were broken down into a Star Wars wave with the original Star Wars style card, an Empire Strikes Back wave styled accordingly, and then a Return of the Jedi wave.

Hasbro’s work to recreate the cardbacks was nicely done, and appreciated. This has so far been the only packaging I’ve wanted to save really. And Hasbro made saving the packaging easy if you were careful in getting the figure off the bubble, as they included a reseal-able protective clamshell over the figure’s card/bubble. Just perfect for keeping everything minty fresh, aside from that X-Acto knife slice along the bubble to get the figure out.

The end result is some nicely displayed toy on the pegs. A full set of the 12 VOTC cardbacks looks really nice displayed amongst your figure collection.

CONS

-Height/Scale: With every figure though, there are imperfections. It’s just a way of life. So with VOTC Fett, there are some minor details Hasbro missed or overlooked, but they don’t hinder my opinion much at all. They’re generally just nuisances among my collecting ideals more than anything.

Fett’s height, first and foremost, is a problem… He’s a bit shorter than “average” height figures. Against Vader or Chewie he’s really not noticeably short, however when you stand him with Han, a Stormtrooper (Commtech or VOTC), or other such figures, you notice the height issue. A major problem this causes is that Fett’s a clone so many people are unhappy to have him look a little short next to Clone figures.

For me, the issue isn’t major and the height difference is negligible. For others, this may be a more disturbing issue. Not many are calling for Fett resculpts though and rightly so. Hasbro nailed this one pretty close on the mark, and if Hasbro ever adds the removable helmet feature the height issue may get completely taken care of. It could happen down the road so stay tuned, you never know.

-Non-Removable Helmet: As I noted in the accessory bit, I really was a little disappointed that Fett’s pack wasn’t as nice as the 300th Fett’s. First, I didn’t even mention it, but the jets on the pack don’t pivot like on 300th Fett’s pack, but more importantly the rocket isn’t removable.

On the 300th jetpack you got 2 missles, one for launching in a spring mechanism while the other was a decorated “plug” that was for display. I loved the second rocket as it looked great and it was a cool looking accessory. You could, if you wanted to, pose Fett loading his pack and things if you had this on the VOTC figure. It would’ve been just a nice feature if we’d gotten it on VOTC Fett, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. Doesn’t ruin the figure, just slightly disappointing to me. Especially since the 300th figure’s pack has it and it’s a worse figure in general.

-Plastic Braids/Scalp: Another slight disappointment was that Fett’s “Wookiee Scalps” on his right shoulder are sculpted on, and with the VOTC line I really expected “real hair” braids. For those of you who say that’s impossible, let me cite the softgoods Obi-Wan from Episode 1. That figure has a real hair braid, and I think that’s really cool… Since Fett came with a cloth cape, a plus to me, I really had expected a cloth set of scalps too, which would’ve been extra premium I think.

The braids are a little disappointing looking sculpted to me, and simply colored. Some of the only things about the sculpt I didn’t enjoy, but a nice set of real hair braids would’ve just been extra cool. A nice bow on an otherwise amazing present from Hasbro.

-Availability: A big issue with Fett, probably the single most annoying issue actually, is the fact that many people could not find VOTC Fett to save their lives. I know for my own hunting that I only saw Fett (and the Return of the Jedi) sporadically at retail.

Fett, being the character he is, obviously goes fast at retail. Super articulated Fett with cloth cape and super detailing goes super fast at retail then. Fans, at least many of them it seems, didn’t get much of a chance at this figure or the Stormtrooper (no shock there) out of this wave. Hasbro’s distribution and retail can be blamed for that, and hopefully Hasbro sees the potential to put this figure back out to retail in bulk.

-Retail Cost: Without a doubt, and probably the worst aspect of the VOTC line, is the cost that came with each figure. Some have been lucky to buy their VOTC sets on clearance, however most people paid the retail price which came to approximately $10 per figure or so. Not the cheapest price to pay for a single figure.

The cost of the figure can be blamed on a number of reasons. The VOTC line was touted for its “limited” nature, for instance, driving up costs due to lower production runs. The packaging was ornate, recreated by hand, and it required a lot of extra work for it to be done appropriately. The coffin blisters on the packaging even, to recreate the vintage look, were also “special” and added very slightly to the packaging costs. The special protective case surrounding the figure also would’ve been a noticeable increase in overall costs in producing these figures also. And that’s really only starting on where increases in costs could be hiding with the VOTC figures over basic modern figures.

I personally feel that VOTC figures are no more intricate or complex in their design than a basic figure is, as far as costs go. If you put VOTC on basic cardbacks, and at basic production numbers, you’d see a figure that would sell profitably at a basic figure’s price. But with the packaging, you have something that, unless it becomes the line’s standard, it definitely inflates the production costs of the figures.

The cost seemed to noticeably hurt the VOTC line as well, as it also has hurt the Ultra/Deluxe lines over the years. $10 is a lot to pay for a figure, and it showed at stores that ordered the VOTC line heavily like Wal-Mart who couldn’t move the later waves out quickly. I love the VOTC concept though, and think that either a better price or case ratios would have alleviated all issues with product movement.

OVERALL

That wraps up Boba Fett, and that also wraps up one of my absolute favorite figures I bought out of the entire Vintage sub-line. To me, Fett’s maybe even cracking the top 10 all-time Star Wars figures in my collection even. He’s simply an outstanding figure to have of the most recognized Star Wars badass other than Darth Vader.

Fett’s sculpting and paint are really nothing more than you should expect out of a basic figure. I’d say his articulation isn’t “premium” for a figure you KNOW Hasbro can sell tons of as well. Still, you’re getting a lot of toy with this figure, especially if you are a fan of Boba Fett in general. He’s fun to pose/play with, fun to display. It’s just a matter of whether or not you believe $10 is a fair price for this figure. I personally think $10 isn’t fair for any figure, but I bit the bullet on this one to have him now rather than hope to get him cheaper down the road.

Good thing I did too because I didn’t see him too often on the pegs. And despite the price, I’m pretty darn happy so that’s all that matters at the end of the day. The package is just something I’ll save now so I don’t feel like I’m tossing out $5 since that’s really what you pay for here.

Hopefully though Hasbro does see the light for a re-release. Boba’s just too popular to keep this figure from fan’s hands since it’s so outstanding. If you can get him for $10 or less I think a purchase on him is a no-brainer, and having a handful of him wouldn’t be bad even for various scenes depending how you display your collection. Kudos to Hasbro on a real home run for their vintage line with a figure fans would’ve expected a lot out of.

 

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