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Review of General Grievous Elite Series
Star Wars action figure

Disney
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 2.5 out of 4

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General Grievous Elite Series action figure by Disney

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Introduction

It looks like Disney is getting behind their Elite Series of oddly scaled (bigger than 6", not quite 7") die cast metal action figures. They are expanding the releases to include all six previous movies along with the new Force Awakens, and their latest release was one I had to grab - General Grievous.

It's not that I love the films he was in - I don't. It's not that I love the raspy, asthmatic character - I don't. But, like Boba Fett, he has a very cool design, and he seems the perfect candidate for a die cast version. Besides, he's supposed to be tall, just over 7 feet, so a larger scale version might work perfectly with the Hasbro Black series.

He just started popping up both in store and at the Disney website, where he can be had for $25.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
General Grievous Elite Series action figure by Disney

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Packaging - **1/2
The boxes are attractive, and they allow the MIBers to show off the figure without ever removing it. That's a good thing too, since they aren't particularly collector friendly. I counted 13 twistie ties holding him in there, a result of his added weight. It's also a good thing because you'll probably never get him looking as sweet as he does in the box once he's out of the package. More on that in a moment.

The box will also store easily, thanks to it's normal shape and size. It should also hold up to shelf wear, but it's probably not one you'll save if you're an opener.

General Grievous Elite Series action figure by Disney

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Sculpting - **1/2
The accuracy of the sculpt is quite good - this is a nice looking Grievous, particularly in the box. The proportions are good, and I like the sculpted details on the mechanical body. Things are a little softer and less detailed on the lower torso, but it's still solid work overall.

The head sculpt is reasonable as well, although the slightly gloppy paint does hurt things a bit. The big failing here is in the materials, particularly the soft plastic which they used in much greater quantity than we've seen with the die cast trooper.

While there's a decent use of metal in the body and legs, the head and arms are largely plastic, and soft plastic at that. Other areas where the plastic really hurts is in the toes and hands, where it's so soft that they can't support anything. The toes are completely useless in keeping him standing, making it impossible to keep him upright without either the stand or the cape to support him. A character with feet this big should be able to remain upright without help - he can't. If you want to reproduce the cool stance he has in the package, you'll need to use the display base to accomplish it.

The fingers are so soft that even those that have good gripping sculpts - and not all four do - are barely able to keep a saber aloft.  The weak arms don't help any, and working with the figure was frustrating and disappointing.

He stands about 7 3/4 inches tall in an almost upright pose, and I think he actually fits in pretty well with the Hasbro line. Technically that's too big - he should be 7" tall in 1/12th scale - but he is about 7" tall when crouched, and it looks about right to me. I've included a shot with the Black Series FO Trooper for comparison.

General Grievous Elite Series action figure by Disney

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Paint - ***
The paint work is reasonable, but lacks some of the detail you might expect. The torso is particularly basic, but the arms are quite simple as well. There's really two colors, and they are used in great quantity.

The face has a bit more detail, and I do like the piercing eyes. However, there's some slop on the white here as well, with a nice drip right down the center line. This gloppiness, along with the wavy edge definition around the eyes, hurts the overall look quite a bit.

General Grievous Elite Series action figure by Disney

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Articulation - **
Here's a character that really needs to do well here - he has all kind of potentially cool battle poses. Unfortunately, the weak materials and poor design rear their ugly head once again.

The soft plastic in the arms and hands means that even when you get them in a good pose, the weight of the sabers will be too much for them to last.  You can get the body to stay using the cape or base, but supporting the arms? Yea, you're screwed. There is a ball joint at the shoulder, elbow and wrist, and these are simple classic ball joints.  The elbows and shoulders pop off easily, and once they pop off, they pop off easier and easier and easier...thanks to that soft material. It's nice that you can pose him with either two or four arms, but working with the figure becomes an exercise in frustration.

On the plus side, it's worth noting that the two ball joints on each shoulder are they themselves jointed on the body so the arms can move backward and forward as one. That was a nice touch, and is easy to overlook when you're about ready to chuck this guy against a wall.

The super soft toes and lack of ankle articulation means he is a bit limited with the legs as well. There are ball hips and double pin knees that will let you get a decent crouch, but the soft toes won't keep him up unless the feet are in just the right spot, on the display stand, or supported by the cape.

The waist articulation works well enough, but the neck is very limited. If you are going to do a deep crouch, he really needs to be able to look up, and that's not going to happen.

General Grievous Elite Series action figure by Disney

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Accessories - **1/2
I'm counting the cape as an accessory here, and that's where this low score comes in.

He also has four light sabers of different colors and hilts. The blades are not removable, and he has a pretty hard time holding them as I already discussed. They do look good on their own though, and seem a reasonable scale.

Then there's the cape.  I really love the sculpted interior, which matches the look on screen. The back also has the Grievous logo, and clearly he's ripping off Superman in his style. But all these things are good.  The fact that they went with a thick plastic - not good.

The collar fits poorly around the neck, no matter how I tried to adjust it. In the package, they have it waaaay back, sitting almost off his neck entirely, and you can try to go that way...except the cape is already too long.  Put this guy in any sort of crouch, even a slight one, and the cape gets in the way.  I tried folding it in and out and adjusting it to either side, but nothing worked particularly well. Odds are pretty good you'll toss the cape in the accessory drawer, and that's too bad.

General Grievous Elite Series action figure by Disney

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Fun Factor - **
Don't give this figure to a kid.  They will pop the arms off at the shoulders and elbows within 30 seconds, and get frustrated with the lack of posability and stability about 30 seconds later.  A collector will have a little more patience, but unlike one of the Troopers, this isn't going to be a figure they pick up regularly and re-pose.

Value - **1/2
The price point is fine - it matches the rest of the series, and is only slightly higher than the all plastic Star Wars Black series from Hasbro. A collector centric line at this price, when done well, is right at current market value.

General Grievous Elite Series action figure by Disney

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Things to Watch Out For -
Don't pop the arms off too many times - you'll regret it. There's not much else to watch out for, since the many issues here come right out of the box and there won't be anything you can do to avoid them.

General Grievous Elite Series action figure by Disney

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Overall - **1/2
I'm really disappointed with this figure, which is due in no small part to my high expectations going in. It's all the more disappointing because the issues were correctable.  Make the toes and hands out of a material that can actually support weight - one major issue solved.  Use a cloth cape instead of the thick plastic - second major issue solved. And improve the material in the arms so that they don't pop off when you breathe on them, and you have your three major issues solved, and a much, much, much better score.

I'm hoping Hasbro takes on the character, because I believe that using the better plastic of the Black series, sans metal, and a cloth cape will go a long way to getting us the best possible version. My only fear is that he'll come out too short...I do like the size of this guy.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpting - **1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - **
Accessories - **1/2
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy 
This is a Disney Store exclusive, or you can pick it up through their online store.  Of course, you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've looked at a couple other versions of Grievous, including the Kotobukiya statue, and the Sideshow sixth scale version. I also have a guest review of the Hasbro sixth scale version from a decade ago.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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General Grievous Elite Series action figure by Disney

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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