At first glance, I took little notice of these 2-packs, and was under a generally disinterested mood about them. To me, they were nice sculpts, but little more. I opened them though, and changed my opinions about them somewhat for the better. I still feel that these sets had a higher potential though, especially as they may have appealed to children on a certain level more than the casual adult collector.
I'll dissect both 2-packs here for you, the valued reader, and we'll see what we're coming up with. I've found that they're, at the very least, decent customizing fodder if you want to flesh out your Youngling/Padawan army. Something's to be said for that, anyway.
Sculpt: Each Youngling figure's nicely detailed to say the least, though all three younglings share a body to save Hasbro some scratch (considering we're paying $5 for each of these sets though, this corner cutting seems slightly unnecessary, but maybe that's just me). The best feature of the Younglings, since their shared body sculpts are a single piece and not overly inspiring to review, is their individual headsculpts.
Each Youngling's head is expertly sculpted, and even looks kinda cute. I like the Whiphid Padawan myself. They all look great though, and are true to their film counterparts. I enjoy seeing children of alien races also, as it gives a little diversity to my customizing fodder as well, as I'd said earlier.
The generic bodies are also good, as most of the kids seemed to be wearing the same duds, just separately colored robes. The sculpt used is crisp, though it's a 2-piece body (except for the arms, which are each unique). It lets you add a child's head, if you can find them in this scale, for some other potential human Youngling customs, since none were made. (Yes, you may have noticed a customizing theme for this review. To me it's these figures most positive attribute.) Also, for the bodies, each arm set is unique to the figure. The hands are uniquely sculpted and the arm poses are each slightly different for a varying pose for each Youngling to hold their mini-lightsabers in.
The accessories are also nice little extras, though each really seems necessary to make the figure true to its film counterpart. Each training helmet is slightly retooled inside to fit their respective Youngling's head, and the sabers are all the same sculpt, but there's a green mixed in with the two blue sabers to add a little diversity. No removable blades though, which to me is a sadly missed feature from the majority of the Saga line.
Yoda's sculpt is also a top-notch job, and I'd say the most accurate Yoda figure done to-date. Sculpted mostly with the intent of Yoda sitting on his one accessory (a hoverchair), Yoda's robes are sculpted to be dangling and “flowing” behind him and over the chair.
Oddly, Yoda's sculpt allows him to stand/hold his cane as if he were walking as well, but his robes do not allow for this. So while I think the sculpt is clean and crisp, I must take some points away later in the “Cons” for Yoda's robes being less versatile than they should be - especially since Yoda's even better articulated than most any Yoda before him. So he really could've been one fun figure if the sculpt of his robes didn't look silly when he was standing.
Yoda's accessories are also pretty decent, and more diverse than that of his Youngling counterparts. Yoda comes equipped with his hoverchair, which is sculpted to be “flying” since it has a clear stand molded to it. Yoda also comes with his walking stick, which is really quite nice looking, and his lightsaber, which is just more of the same as those that came with the Younglings (with a green blade of course).
Although he does have his “shortcomings” (pun intended), Yoda's sculpt is the best I've seen of any Yoda figure thus far. It's superior to the Clone Wars Yoda, Saga (Apr. 23 rd ) Yoda, or any other previous Yoda figures really. Quite nice, which gives me hope that someday we may see a vintage-esque Yoda sculpted this well, with some soft-goods robes and more articulation than other Yodas have had to-date.
Accessories: As I mentioned above, these figures come pretty well decked out so far as Star Wars figures go. Removable training helmets, a hoverchair for Yoda, walking stick, lightsabers… All these things in one set are pretty nice.
They're also all the accessories I'd expect these figures to have, and not much else. Though a training remote or two on a clear stand of some sort, or possibly the big galaxy map Obi-Wan had while looking for Kamino would've been kind of neat, but I can accept those things being omitted from these figures. But you definitely get some decent stuff with these sets, suffice it to say.
Yoda's Articulation: He may not be sporting a LOT of articulation, and he may not be able to pull off umpteen different poses because of his robes and all, but he's got one nice feature going for him: Yoda's arm articulation allows for a couple pretty cool arm poses.
With swivel joints at his elbows, and a right wrist joint, Yoda's able to hold his cane as if he's walking. He's also able to hold his saber with both hands, and that makes this Yoda unique over all others. Ball/socket joints in his arms, and a cloth outer robe would have made this almost an “ultimate” Yoda, I believe.
I'm working on a boil/freeze of his robes, or completely replacing them with a nice fabric, because I would really like to have this well articulated Yoda be capable of more than just sitting in his hoverchair.
Availability: These things haven't been hard to come by, that's for sure. I've run into the Youngling 2-pack (Ashla/Jempa) multiple times, and Yoda/Chian are slightly less common but still available in some places in my area.
I just nabbed a 3rd Youngling 2-pack the other day for a customizing idea in the future. They're out there, so if you wanna nab them, they're readily available but not “clogging” the shelves and keeping new product from being stocked. That all equals some good availability to me.
Decoration: All three Padawan figures are very nicely detailed in their paint applications. The eyes of all four figures are expertly painted, small, and without the contrasting colors bleeding into each other. Details such as horns and teeth are also nicely painted.
Yoda's hair is also well detailed, and the young “Shaak Ti-like” girl alien, has an intricate red, white, and grey-blue decoration on her headsculpt. Like Shaak Ti, she sports a truly impressive and accurate paintjob, especially for such a small figure.
Each figure's robe is a unique color, though I hear they're not entirely accurate to their characters on film. The varying colors are nice though, and make each figure look unique enough, despite the fact that they're all sharing an identical body sculpt for the most part.
Yoda's Robe: As I mentioned above, this is Yoda's greatest detracting feature. Unfortunately, this is a pretty big issue, as his robe is oddly sculpted to be hanging over the back of his hoverchair while he's sitting on it. This is fine and good, as it looks nice while he's riding his little space-age equivalent of a “ Hove-a-round ” or “Rascal” scooter for the elderly or disabled, but when Yoda's standing, he looks really strange with his robe not flowing in the appropriate directions. It looks like it's blowing all around.
The one pose Yoda pulls off well when standing is if you place him, holding his saber, standing inside the troop hold of a flying Republic Gunship. This Yoda does seem to resemble that version that we saw during the Genosian rescue sequence in Episode II.
This isn't a bad thing really, but I'd also like my Yoda to be able to look normal, as when he's walking around in Episode II, or standing with Mace in the Senate, or whatnot. This is where this figure falls flat on its face - we're all missing that single “basic” Yoda we could use in almost any scene. This figure almost could've been that “ultimate” Yoda, but came up short due to his robe's sculpt. I'd like to customize a robe that works better for this, but I'd prefer not to have to do that, and wish I could've just bought such a figure instead of having to make it.
Articulation: While Yoda's articulation isn't too bad, the Youngling's articulation is sparse, and could've been done better. Some elbow articulation like Yoda's, and perhaps wrist articulation as well, would've definitely helped the Younglings pose a lot better than they're currently able to.
Their legs aren't articulated at all, which is understandable due to their robes, but for Hasbro to make the uni-leg, and then ignore the arms completely is a bit disappointing. These would simply be far better figures had Hasbro taken the extra time to make a single arm sculpt that had multiple articulation points, and then make separate handsculpts for each Padawan alien species. But they chose to not do so, and it unfortunately detracts from the end result.
I'm not really displeased with these sets, and I at least found them to be good enough for custom fodder. At the most, they fleshed out some cute background characters that I really wasn't expecting to see this past year. They're a nice little set, and though quite similar, you're still getting three entirely unique Jedi Padawans.
For what they are, they're worth picking up, and even with the flowing robe, this is still the best Yoda out there so far I think, for any of the films of the Saga. I just wish he had that cloth outer robe, which would've made for a better looking and more versatile figure I think.
I say grab these two sets if you see them, because they're available, they're good, and you'll help to clear some retail space at your local store for newer product to move in.