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SWI: The Phantom Menace
by yo go re

There were 19 podracers in Episode I, and most of them were crazy alien species we'd never seen before - only two were not. One was Anakin, of course; the other was Mawhonic.

Mawhonic is a Podracer in the Boonta Eve Classic Podrace. He arrives on Tatooine with dreams of glory, but loses control of his Podracer and crashes in the Mushroom Mesa after fellow Podracer Sebulba deliberately rams into him.

Incidentally, the name "Mawhonic" reminds me of the scene in The Simpsons where Mr. Burns greets the Springfield Republicans by speaking Enochian - koranon cilaria ozu mahok! And a hearty "mahok" to you, Mawhonic. In the backstory for the film, Mawhonic is a podracer parts dealer in addition to being a pilot, and though he and Gasgano personally detested each other, they would often work together to take down Sebulba because they both hated him more.

Mawhonic is a Gran, the same species as Ree-Yees, the three-eyed goatman who hung out in Jabba's palace. Three eyes, Ree-Yees, get it? Anyway, there hasn't been a Ree-Yees figure made since 1998, so Mawhonic has an all-new head. It's small and pink and gross-looking, and in a neat piece of attention to detail, there's a hole molded all the way through his droopy left ear.

Speaking of "small," a lot of fans were surprised by the size of this figure. After all, Ree-Yees is our exemplar for the species, and he was vaguely human-sized. Mawhonic, however, is only 2⅞" tall, which is super tiny. But then, as Rustin pointed out, the guy is a podracer pilot, so he'd necessarily be a little guy. The sculpt is very good, with a lot of small, simple details on his clothes and armor. Look at the scaly pattern on his chest armor, and the texture of the jumpsuit he's wearing beneath. His skin is wrinkled and warty, and though he has large, clawed feet, he also has slender, humanoid fingers - six on each hand.

The articulation is great. He's a lot more like Ben Quadrinaros than Ratts Tyerell, with swivel/hinge joints all over the place. Seriously, his ankles, elbows, knees and shoulders are all swivel/hinge, which means plenty of poseability. Additionally, he has a V-crotch, swivel waist and wrists, and a balljointed head. Why's he get so many joints when he's just a random Walmart exclusive, not part of the Vintage Collection? Because the mold was in fact designed for the Vintage Collection, and was simply released early for Walmart. Instead of the black retro cards, these are on cards that match the current style, but have 3-D glasses on the side and a 3-D image on the back.

Mawhonic comes with a blaster rifle that's honestly a bit too long for his stumpy little arms. Like the Podracer Pilots fivepack, he also comes with a flag: it has a green body with three yellow corners and a black cross insignia. There's also a black display stand, a card and a die used for the Galactic Battle game that I honestly doubt anyone has ever tried to play.

I paid no attention to Mawhonic until I realized he was a podracer pilot - after all, the other figures in this Walmart exclusive "Discover the Force" set tend to overshadow him a bit. But he's really well made, and even at store-exclusive prices, he's cheaper now than he'll be later in the year when he sees a mass market release. If you're planning to pick up this racer, its better to do it now than to wait (unless you care more about the style of packaging than yuor wallet).

-- 05/13/12

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