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Boba Fett

SWVI: Return of the Jedi
by yo go re

Call me Monkey Boy, because I'm reviewing a Boba Fett!

With his customized Mandalorian armor, deadly weaponry, and silent demeanor, Boba Fett was one of the most feared bounty hunters in the galaxy.

Boba was one of the earliest Black Series figures released, appearing in the second series of the then-new line (as well as an SDCC exclusive version with Carbonite Han). The figure was really good for its time, but that time was seven and a half years ago, and things have only gotten better since then. So Hasbro wants to do a new deluxe version alongside Jar Jar Binks? Heck yeah, do it! Release Star Wars' two best characters all at once! [I once again find myself questioning your definition of "best," yo --ed.] This one is based on Return of the Jedi, aka "the one where Boba Fett actually does anything," so it's no surprise he's selling fast; but do high expectations translate into real quality?

According to the giant nerds, Boba Fett's costume changed between Empire and Jedi. I mean, it's still gray coveralls with green armor, how different can it be? Let's stand the figures next to each other and see what's what. The undersuit looks pretty much the same, with big pockets on the thighs and smaller ones on the front of the shins. His belt now has eight individual pouches on the front, and the big pockets that hang from it have been moved out to the hips rather than hanging down in the front. He no longer has a holster for his gun, which isn't really a loss. The bracers we wears are now a brick red rather than green, too. So yes, there are definite "differences," but also not? Season 1 Mando looks different than Season 2 Mando; Boba Fett looks like Boba Fett.

The sculpts are new, because the way the figures are made today is different than it was in 2014. One of the weirdest choices is the way the helmet is done: like The Armorer, Boba has a blank gray Temuera Morrison head under a hollow helmet. Why? Why would you do that? It was weird enough on The Armorer, who could have just had a solid helmet (since she doesn't have a face, as far as we know), but we know what Boba Fett looks like; why not just make the helmet removable? It was good enough for his dad, it's good enough for him!

The paint is more detailed on this figure than the last one. Part of that is because the Episode 6 movie costume had more scrapes and dings than the Episode 5 costume, but part of it is also that paint standards have gone up. The green of the armor is a little darker, and the flashes of silver (which, I guess we would now know to be beskar, the Mandalorians' magic space-metal?) show evidence of a lot of battles. The leaf symbol on his chest and the skull - previously identified as a bantha skull but now supposed to be a mythosaur - on his left shoulder pauldron are printed cleanly. The braided Wookie scalps tied around his right shoulder are painted (two brown, one beige), and his green cape is molded PVC rather than cloth.

The articulation isn't identical to the old figure - only mostly identical. He has swivel/hinge joints at the ankles, knees, wrists, elbows, and shoulders; swivels at the biceps, forearms, and thighs; and balljoints for the hips, waist, neck, and head. Well, a barbell joint for the head, but you get the idea. He's also got the one joint he should have had back then but was missing: a hinged viewfinder on his helmet! Definite upgrade. The tubes on the right elbow are long enough that they don't really prevent his arm from bending as far as it can, and the fact the belt has been redesigned means the big pockets on it don't impede the hips any more. Good stuff, all around!

This is sold as a deluxe figure, and makes up its increased pricepoint with accessories. For instance, he has two versions of his blaster rifle: one sold, and one done as two pieces so you can pull it apart like Luke just sliced it in half. That one definitely changed between movies, no longer looking as obviously like a pistol with a few extra piece bolted on. The ridges running the long way along the barrel help in that regard. The bright green slag where the gun was sliced makes it look like it's covered in Predator blood.

Then there's his jetpack, which is much more colorful than the ESB's sold green and features a removable rocket - it doesn't fire, you can just remove it. In a fun little feature, the exhauts vent on the bottom of the pack is the same shape a hole for a toy's projectile would have been. The actual rocket boosters on the lower corners of the pack are able to swivel to point other directions than "straight down," and you can plug two flame effects into them to make it look like he's flying! Pretty awesome. Like other Madnalorian jetpacks, it plugs into the back via a pretty standard plug, the way backpacks have worked since GI Joe Generation 1, then there are two smaller tabs at the top that fit into notches behind his shoulders to keep it from twisting around the wrong way.

And speaking of flames, a longer jet of fire represents the flamethrower he has in his left gauntlet, and there's also a grapnel dart on a string that clips onto the wrist. Most of that weaponry is really cool. The grappling line not so much.

Black Series Boba Fett was not an easy figure to find the first time around: "popular character" plus "exciting new scale" plus "here come Han and Greedo forever" equals big-time rarity. It's only surprising it's taken them this long to make another. Doing the head a better way would have improved the final product, but the sculpt and paint and all those fun accessories make this an outstanding update.

-- 09/19/21

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