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Boba Fett

SWV: The Empire Strikes Back
by Monkey Boy

I've made my feelings on 6" Star Wars figures abundantly clear: I love 'em. Now if Hasbro would do a similar line for GI Joe, I'd be over the moon (is that a real expression?). But back to Star Wars. We often refer to morally ambiguous, initially minor characters in a given property whose popularity far outweighs their accomplishments as the "Boba Fett" of a property: Firefly is the Boba Fett of GI Joe (or at least one of them), Grimlock is the Boba Fett of Transformers, Deadpool is the Boba Fett of Marvel, and, of course, Bossk is the Boba Fett of Star Wars.

Okay, no, obviously Fett himself is the Fett of himself. And as much as I realize his popularity is overhyped and played out and largely undeserved, I myself am an unrepentant Fett fanatic (Fettnatic?). The question on my mind (and the minds of many others) following the announcement of the 6" Black Series was "When will they get to Boba?"

The initial answer was, sadly, almost immediately. Why "sadly?" Oh, you know the story by now: Fett was released with a Han-Solo-in-Carbonite-block as one of the most difficult to obtain SDCC exclusives of last year. Of course, releasing Boba Fett exclusively as an... exclusive would be a terrible move, but it didn't stop folks from getting paranoid. And by "folks" I mean, of course, me.

The notorious bounty hunter Boba Fett prepares to deliver the carbonite-frozen Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt.

Thankfully the paranoia was shortlived, as Hasbro announced Fett would be showing up in Series 2, unchanged from his SDCC release, except minus the fancy packaging and Han brick. Heck, they even said the Carbonite Solo might get released down the road if the line does well enough.

But things aren't all sunshine and rainbows, as Fett has proven to be by far the most desirable of Series 2. While all the figures in the series are well done, none of the characters could reach Fett levels of anticipation. He remains scarce, and I've only seen two in the wild. Mine came from HasbroToyShop, where you can usually get some good deals on the Black Series with coupon codes and such (if you can snag the good figures before they sell out).

So having this thing in hand, does he live up to the hype? There are those who say Fett never lived up to the hype, but as I said, I'm not one of them. There are also those who expected much more from this figure and are disappointed to say the least. One thing it's hard to gripe about is the sculpt. He looks wondrous. His armor bits are all nice and detailed and well-proportioned, especially his helmet, which is something the 3¾" line never really got right. Fett looks downright cinematic.

I've seen complaints about the fact that his range finder isn't moveable, but I really don't mind it. It's one of those things that's actually probably easier to do on a smaller scale, because you can fake details in a way you really can't on a 6" figure. They sill probably could have done it, but it's not a deal-breaker that they didn't.

His braided trophies are sculpted plastic, and his cape is fabric. It hangs decently, but seems a bit big. Speaking of big, his hip holster is functional, but a tad large and boxy. Again, not something that dampens my enthusiasm for this figure, but worth noting.

This is Fett as he appeared in The Empire Strikes Back, though I'm sure a Return of the Jedi retool is right around the corner. What marks him as ESB Fett are his green gauntlets and backpack, and fewer small brown pouches on the belt. So he's not as colorful as he could be, but he still looks very nice.

The colors are applied well with little slop on my example, but I've heard that's not always the case, especially in the area of the silver weathering on his helmet, where it can tend to overlap the black of his T visor. Unfortunately, if you find one where this is the case, it may be the only Fett you find. The little details, like his chest and shoulder emblems, are very clean and crisp, and his gauntlets (particularly the left) are covered in tiny little painted details.

For accessories, Boba has his removable rocket pack, his blaster rifle, and his smaller little blaster pistol. All his accessories get nice sculpts and several paint apps. If memory serves, his rifle had a strap on the stock that is not represented here, but that's my only real complaint in this area.

Articulation seems to be one of the main areas where fans aren't happy with this figure. On paper, he's no slouch, with a balljointed neck, peg and hinge shoulders, peg biceps, peg and hinge elbows and wrists, balljointed torso, peg and hinge hips, peg thighs, double-hinged knees and peg and hinge ankles. In practice, his arms are somewhat limited by the plastic hoses that run from his gauntlets to his bicep, and many folks pine for double-hinged elbows, and claim he can't pull off a lot of his signature poses (such as "standing around looking dull").

I personally don't really mind the arm issues, and I find that there are plenty of poses to be had. I also accept that a 6" figure isn't always going to move like a real human. What I do kind of mind are the legs, particularly the hips which are limited by the large pouches that hang down from his belt. They're very frontally situated, so they stop the hips from moving forward a fair amount.

They're pliable enough that you can get a little more forward movement than initially seems possible, and I don't think it's nearly as bad as a lot of people are making it out to be, but I do wish the pouches had been slid a bit more to the side, even if it were to sacrifice screen accuracy a bit. The ROTJ figure, if and when it comes out, should remedy this issue, as his hip pouches actually were more side-oriented.

In the end, I frickin' love this figure. Super love it. For all its perceived flaws, you know you want it. And you should. It lives up to the hype, as long as your expectations are realistic. It won't cure cancer, and it's not made of a tiny shrunken real-live Jeremy Bulloch, but it is a 6" Boba Fett figure, and in that aspect it excels. If you find it, get it.

-- 01/26/14

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