In his Variations on a Theme PoA, Poe talked about how Boba Fett was wildly popular, but how that had little to do with his appearance in the movie, and more to do with the fact that kids got an early look at the character through the toys. And early though it may have been, that figure has nothing on this one when it comes to showing Boba Fett before the films.
Boba Fett was one of the first new characters to be designed for The Empire Strikes Back. The costume began as a Mandalorian supercommando suit and went through various designs, as well as being aged, dented, and painted to give it a battle-scarred appearance. It's final look hides a plethora of built-in weapons - and the identity of the ruthless bounty hunter it encases.
Though this figure is credited as the "McQuarrie Concept" version of everybody's favorite bounty hunter, that's somewhat misleading. Yes, Ralph McQuarrie had a hand in the design process, but most of the work was handled by Joe Johnston. So why does Ralph get the big bio paragraph on the card, while Joe gets nothing? That hardly seems fair. Joe Johnston, here's to you!
Die-hard Star Wars fans can tell you that Fett wears hand-me-down armor, but few know that's just as true in our world as it is in the character's. When it came time to design the new character for ESB, the designers went back to rejected concept sketches originally intended for Darth Vader. Yes, despite Lucas's claims to the contrary, the entire Star Wars saga was not mapped out in its entirety well in advance; things were made up on the fly. For instance, at one point, Vader was not a fallen Jedi, but a rogue bounty hunter. And it was those bounty hunter sketches that were resurrected for Boba Fett.
At a glance, Fett's ties to the Empire (and in particular, the Stormtroopers) are blatantly apparent.
The armor is pure white, from head to toe. The legs look much like the final product: loose, pockety cargo pants with kneepads on the legs and ridges on the top of his shoes. Yes, he's wearing body armor, but it's not similar enough to the on-screen design that it's instantly recognizable. This could just be some sort of modified Stormtrooper - not that that's a bad thing. The design is more "space man" than "bounty hunter."
What really identifies this figure as a proto-Fett
is the helmet, and even that will only cut it about half the time. That distinctive T-shaped eye slit wasn't the first thing they tried, so the figure actually has two helmets: the classic look, and a halfway step between that and the earlier "Vader vision" helmet. The T-slit helmet features a moveable antenna, and both versions pop on and off easily.
One thing that has remained constant
since Boba's earliest days is his need for an entire arsenal of weapons. He's a bounty hunter - what do you want? In this case, he's packing a snazzy blaster pistol that fits in the holster on his hip, a removable backpack with what looks like a quiver of foot-long javelins on the side. There's a flamethrower mounted on his left forearm, which we know because the figures includes a plug-in burst of fire. And as a last-ditch effort, his stomach folds open to reveal a tiny blaster. Yes, just like He-Man's friend Rio Blast.
That belly gun creates a bit of a problem, however.
To accommodate Boba Fett's separate belt, his torso and legs are connected by a thin plastic peg. Unfortunately, with the belt in place, the peg doesn't quite "click" into place the way it should, leaving Fett's torso floating slightly. This wee bit of wiggle room is enough for the compartment in his armor to flop around freely,and even fall out of place. If the figure fit together properly, the hatch would work the way it was intened, but as it is, you might be crawling around on the capet looking for a missing piece. Some people have reported gluing the door shut, but that seems extreme - you can just leave the clear rubber band wrapped around his torso like it was in the package.
Speaking of which, the new packaging is worth mentioning. Hasbro has the best packaging designers in the industry working for them - if you don't believe us, just take a look at our annual ToY Awards and see how often Hasbro is competing against themselves in the packaging category. It seems that the Star Wars figures get a new packaging design every year - probably so Hasbro will have an excuse to re-release old figures. This year's design is an odd, angular affair, with the logo on an angle in the corner and a large image of the character on the right. The McQuarrie Signature Series figures keep the "concept art" idea alive by having draft marks in the logo - a small detail, but one that is very cool.
Concept Boba Fett has a balljointed head, balljointed shoulders, a peg waist (like we said),
peg wrists, peg hips and balljointed knees. As we said before, the trapdoor in his tummy opens, and the antenna on the more recognizable helmet can swivel down. Though the color scheme looks simple, the figure's paint apps are more than just white. Though the actual armor is white, the suit he's wearing beneath it is slightly gray. There are bronze rings arouns his wrists and ankles, and a few spots of blue on the armor. Though Boba Fett didn't have the trademark bantha-skull logo on his shoulderpad, yet, there is some sort of emblem on the back of his right shoulder. His gun has several paint apps, surprisingly, and the flame burst fades from orange to yellow before going into the silver nozzle, and there's a black drybrushing on the whole thing for smoke.
Though he was only recently released, Concept Boba Fett has proven very popular with the scalpers already - which should come as no surprise. The fans love Boba Fett, and this is a never-before-seen version. Add to that the fact that he looks like a Stormtrooper, and even more fans will want him. I've seen scalpers trying to get as much as three times retail price for this guy, and he's definitely not worth that. If you like the look of the figure and you see him on shelves, though, definitely go for it. This is the second McQuarrie figure to see release, and there are more on the way. Hopefully the Concept Snowtrooper won't get as much attention from the scalpers, but I somehow doubt it.