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Topics - Muftak

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Toy Reviews / Luke Skywalker Hoth Attack
« on: December 12, 2003, 10:54 PM »
I bought this figure today, the only Hoth wave figure to be found at the store, and I have to say I'm pleased with this Luke. Here's the rundown of his vital stats:

Articulation: Waist, Hips, Ball Jointed-Shoulders, Neck (turns at shoulders and pivots at jawline)

I was very surprised to see the extra neck articulation (guess I missed it in the previews) The scarf pivots, too, so that's a little bit of "bonus" articulation as well. The neck looks a little bit goofy, but that's a trade-off I'm willing to accept for the extra posability. The shoulders are very well done--Hasbro is getting really good at these.

On the negative side, there really could've been some articulation on the wrists or forearms, there's plenty of leeway for it in the sculpt.

Accessories: Plastic-hilt lightsaber with removable blade, Goggles, Scarf (well, sort of), Ice Chunk Base.

The accessories are a bit of a grey area for me. The goggles looked nice in the package, but once I got 'em out it was too apparent they were just the Mechanic Chewie goggles in new colors, and therefore a little too large to look good anywhere near Luke's face. Still, it's a cool bonus and something they didn't have to give us at all.

The lightsaber looks real nice, as I pulled it out I couldn't help noticing a largish knob on the hilt, obviously put there to plug into Luke's belt in deactivated mode. Except...there's no hole on Luke's belt, or on Luke anywhere so far as I can see. Guess there was a miscommunication at the design phase.

The scarf isn't really an accessory, but it does pop out of his head (and leaves a large hole in Luke's head).

The ice chunk base is the standout accessory, I knew it was meant to attatch Luke to the Wampa's base, but it works just fine as a stand-alone--Luke's feet "clip" in rather than plug into pegs, so it gives a nice feeling of being sunk in the snow. Upside down, it looks like the "frozen into the ceiling" scene from the movie.

Sculpt: There's nothing here not to love. The neck is a bit off to accomodate the extra joint, otherwise there's nothing even to nitpick. The bulk of the outfit is conveyed beautifully at the belt area. He has a wonderfully detailed holster, and the face is dead-on, scarred in the sculpt even!The buttons and badges are right on, as is the wrist commlink. I can't praise this sculpt enough.

Paint: On top of the beautiful sculpt, the paint job is fantastic. The blood on the face is the first thing that jumped out at me, and though it looks like it could be easily screwed up, mine is flawless. The rank badges,  buttons, belt snaps, boot cinches, and wrist commlink are all clean and crisp. The lightsaber hilt is two-toned correctly, and the ice base has a light white applied over the translucent blue.

Overall: I like this figure, I like him a lot. I would be happy if Hasbro slightly retooled the face to eliminate the scars and release a "clean" version somewhere down the road. It's a solid, well done piece.

The Original Trilogy / SE Greedo Scene: Was it just poor execution?
« on: October 1, 2003, 08:11 PM »
Imagine if you will, a scene from the "Ultimate" edition of ANH on DVD in 2006:

Greedo threatens Han, while Han silently pulls his blaster from the holster. Then, just as you instinctively cringe to watch the poorly edited "Greedo shooting first", your draw drops as an entirely new image plays out: Greedo shoots with precise aim, but Han rolls smoothly to the right, clears his blaster above the table, and burns a hole in Greedo's chest.

All of it clean and clear (the way George really wants it) redone on stage with Harrison Ford's face painstakingly mapped onto a double's head.

Would the scene be passable in your eyes then?

Saga '02-'04 / Hold the phone--"Deluxe" Rieekan?
« on: September 24, 2003, 06:10 PM »
In the QnA over at GalacticHunter, Adam made reference to the fact that Rieekan would be included in the Deluxe Assortment (including The Wampa, new Jabba, and Escape Pod Threepio, and three other unnamed releases.) Question number 9 here.

This is the first I've heard of Rieekan as a deluxe figure...I'm sure the tactical display he comes with is nice and all, but I hadn't been under the impression it was "deluxe" nice.

Has there been offical word that Rieekan is indeed a deluxe figure?

Star Wars Dioramas and Displays / UPDATED PICS! Modular Death Star
« on: August 17, 2003, 06:42 PM »
My latest project has been a five-story "playset" Death Star. I'm building it in a modular frame of mind, and I've recently completed the bottom level, which contains the trash compactor and the blast chamber (the only diorama version of it I've heard of.)

First up, here are pictures of the blast chamber:

I used an old CD for the end of the chamber to create a sort of "lasery" effect in the reflection. I found halfway through building that using the dark steel grey color made the whole thing too dark, so I fudged the color a little bit to brighten it up. The interior is constructed of those little craft foamies, which were the easiest way to get it all to fold up into a tube.

Saga '02-'04 / ...More than they can chew?
« on: June 14, 2003, 11:30 PM »
Do you think Hasbro made a grave error in slating nearly fifty "new" figures (counting reissues) for release in this non-movie year?

Last year, a movie year, we had about sixty figures (including the POTJ that kicked off the year,) and we were swimming in summer figures by the time Christmas rolled around. Why in the world would Hasbro repeat the same mistake?--compounded this year by the fact that nothing much has hit the shelves yet due to last year's leftovers.

These numbers still blow my mind. Fifty figures this year? What were they thinking? Most folks have barely seen the first twelve or so '03 figs show up in stores near them. Contrast that to last year at this time, when the first 35 Saga figures were pretty readily available across the US. (And remember, that was the second month of Saga's life.)

Do you think Hasbro has bitten off more than they (or us, or retailers) can chew?

Toy Reviews / Imperial Forces 4-Pack
« on: May 28, 2003, 03:17 PM »
While travelling over the long weekend I happened upon a few of these four packs at a TRU in the middle of Indiana. It was the first new thing I've found in a store this year, and I bought a couple.

This morning I've had the opportunity to open one, and it passes the Muftak Test with room to spare.

These come with four figures (that's why it's a four pack) that are essentially new and unique, and yet rely on the cutting-edge of rehash technology. Some mini-reviews:

Darth Vader: He's the POTJ Emperor's Wrath Vader, minus the lightning effects and see-thru helmet. I wonder if the skull is still in there? Overall, a great "vanilla" ROTJ Vader with removable right hand and removable cape. Grade: A

Stormtrooper: The stormtrooper is a clean version of the POTJ Sandtrooper, including a slot in his back that you could stick a backpack into. The missing pauldron shows off the only real flaw: he's got a skinny white neck. Interestingly, they gave this figure Commtech Stormie legs, meaning he's a bit more posable than the Sandtrooper, and he looks great among your army builder stormies. Grade: A-

AT-ST Driver: A clever assembly of old parts cobbled together to make a new figure. This is what all rehashes should aspire to. He's simply a re-decoed POTJ Imperial Officer body, the POTJ Rebel Fleet Trooper head, and a (permanently attatched) AT-ST Driver helmet from last years Accessory Set. He looks really good, Hasbro deserves some real credit for finally making a decent rehash! If this figure has a negative, it's sloppy painting, a couple of the ones I saw had goofy faces, so choose carefully! Grade: A

R4-I9: An imperial droid his paintjob is his most striking feature, even my girlfriend in the store said, "Ooh--an evil R2-D2!" He's the same sculpt asl ast year's POTJ R4. The astromech sculpt has arguably been perfected, and it's always nice to get another deco. Grade: A

But the figures are really only half the set. Hasbro really took this set to the ultimate by including enough accessories to make a kid want to play with these guys. Vader's lightsaber, an E-Web Cannon, a Mouse Droid, an Interragator Droid, two (POTF2-era) Imperial blasters, two rifles, a rifle rack, four of their oval-shaped stands, and even a spare misslile for the cannon (c'mon, now you can fire it without worrying if you lose it!) This set was made with playing in mind. Everything clicks--both the troopers can man the cannon (even Vader can!) collector's have their stands, everything seems to have been thought of. The only thing I could suggest would be a backpack to fit in the Stormtrooper's obvious slot, but that's just from a "playing with" standpoint. It's priced at 19.99, very competitive considering all the stuff included. Overall Grade: A

I can't recommend this set enough, if you see one grab it!!

Saga '02-'04 / Accessories?
« on: May 14, 2003, 05:44 PM »
One of the big trade-ups in the switch from POTJ to Saga was the promise of better, larger accessories in the bigger bubble. Right out of the box, we had Bespin Luke (and his incredibly cool antenna accessory), and CCC Chewie (with the detailed and fun pile of Threepio junk). Since then...?

The new Hoth Han has a hodge-podge of recycled bits, even Mynock Chewie's mynock is essentially rehashed. Carkoon Boba Fett's large "accessory" is just a base, not very stimulating play-wise.

What gives? Did Hasbro reel us in with their best ideas and then fall back on the same old mediocrity?
Do you think we'll ever see neat accessories with our standard figures again?

Saga '02-'04 / What killed the deluxe line?
« on: May 6, 2003, 07:07 PM »
Hasbro announced at their big "open house" a while back that the deluxe line was being scrapped in favor of the new Clone Wars 3-packs. So what happened to kill what was touted (back in 2001) as the "fixed" deluxe line?

I think it was pure assortment problems that did the line in. Even great figures like Bacta Luke sat on shelves when packed in cases of consisting of only 2 different figures. The first AOTC deluxes still glut shelves everywhere, while the later (and unquestionably superior) asssortments sit in warehouses somewhere, only slowly creeping out.

Sure there were a few duds in the line (Deluxe Jango being one of the low points of Star Wars toymaking ever), but I thought the quality of the figures overall was very good, and Hasbro was definitely moving in the right direction (modular backgrounds and/or double figure packs) in the end.

What do you think contributed most to the death of the deluxe line?

Newbies / I Love a Parade!
« on: May 2, 2003, 05:55 PM »
Hey everyone. I've been skimming the forums here for the past couple weeks and I really like what I see, a lot of familiar faces (well, names really) and a nice vibe.

Can't wait to join in the conversation.

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