Sideshow Star Wars 12"
Bib Fortuna

When you mention the truly villainous and nefarious in the Star Wars universe, names like Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, and Darth Maul come to mind. Bib Fortuna? Not so much.

Bib worked his way up the evil corporate ladder to become Jabba's right hand man, and as a Twi'lek, he's always been a very interesting appearing character. No surprise then that he's been added to Sideshow's 12" line under the Scum and Villainy sub-genre.

There's a regular and exclusive version of course, and both cost $55 each. The exclusive includes a ceremonial staff, was limited to 2500, and has sold out at Sideshow, but you can get on the wait list. The regular is still available, and they haven't published the edition size at this point.

Packaging - ****
There's a reason Sideshow got my best packaging award for 2006, and work like this is it. The photos of the Bib figure are decent if not exciting, but the addition and placement of the actual screen shots really adds a lot. There's plenty of great text on the inner flaps explaining Bib and his sordid past, and the whole thing is completely collector friendly, without an annoying twist tie, string or even piece of tape (with the exception of some tape holding the top and bottom of the plastic trays together). 

Again, this figure came shipped in the larger outer box with styrofoam upper and lower trays holding it safe. At this point, I don't think Sideshow could do a better job with this packaging. But then, they are the creative bunch!

Sculpting - ***1/2
This work is from a new guy on the block, Tim Miller. If Bib is an indication of his future work for Sideshow, then collectors will be very happy. The head sculpt is very well done, and is just about the right scale. Bib had a big head to begin with of course, but they've captured the size and proportion extremely well.

The expression is great, especially the mouth. I've often complained about the slightly open mouth in other characters, but it really works great for this guy. He'll look great whispering to Jabba.

My only real complaint is in the eyes. They are quite wide eyed, and he looks shocked about something. You'd think that after being Jabba's bitch for all these years, that pretty much nothing could shock Bib.

The sculpted tentacles look good, and are positioned well, but make the neck articulation pretty much null and void. I can live with that though, considering the design of the character.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint on Bib is predominately on his face of course, along with some work on his hands. Everything here is done with solid quality, with no bleed, slop or poorly cut lines anywhere.

The skin has a nice pinkish hue (I like a pinkish hue), which is more evident in less harsh lighting. There's a nice shading as well, giving the skin a very realistic appearance, rather than simply being all one color. The skin is very shiny, but unlike a normal human face, which should most definitely NOT be high gloss, with Bib it makes a little more sense. He's kind of a wet, slimy looking character, reminding you of a snake (and yes, I know they aren't actually slimy or wet, but they look that way) or slug. Truly an unattractive guy, even by Twi'lek standards.

The eyes are a little zombie, but that's more the fault of the sculpt than the paint. They did a nice job with the clean work on the eyes, although the slight glossy work doesn't stand out as much as usual, with less contrast against the glossy skin.

Articulation - ***1/2
Sideshow's body still has to improve to manage truly relaxed, natural poses, but there are improvements evident in this figure. The joints are nice and tight, especially in the legs, which is critical when dealing with a guy with a big head. Kit has issues staying standing without the base because of his big head and wobbly knees, but I don't think that will ever be an issue for Bib.

You'll put the wrist joints to use a lot when posing this figure, since the pointing hands are so critical to most of his poses. There's little to no movement in the neck, what with those long tentacles getting in the way, but the rest of the joints are present, accounted for, and working well.

Accessories - ***1/2
The regular Bib comes with the usual display base (which won't be necessary, thank goodness), a drinking cup containing what appears to be an interesting gold colored drink, one of Jabba's favorite froggy snack treats, and an extra pair of 'pointing' left and right hands.

The hands work terrific, swapping easily and looking great. The sculpts here are perfect, and the scale is extremely good. The sculpted hands is one of those areas that sets Sideshow apart from other sixth scale companies, and all four hands included here are an excellent example.

The frog snack is a softer rubber, making him as unappealing in person as he is on screen. But that's a good unappealing, not a bad unappealing. You know what I mean. Scale is good as well, and he can be held in a couple of the different hands. If you've ever wondered when the exact moment was that Bib decided to kill and overthrow Jabba, it was the moment he was put in charge of his snack treats.

The cup is fairly blaise, but will work nicely with a cantina type set up I suppose. It may also look good simply added as an accessory on the throne base, once that comes out.  The regular version also includes his deadly dagger, which fits well in a couple of the hand sculpts.

The exclusive includes a ceremonial staff, which I don't remember from the films, but was an original accessory with the old Kenner Bib Fortuna 3 3/4" figure. It does look great in his hands, and has a nice sculpt and paint application.

Outfit - ****
For a non-Jedi figure, Bib has a very intricate and complex outfit. First, there's the boots, which might actually make a good pair of Jack Sparrow boots for any custom work. They're quite tall, and sculpted in a baggy style. As has been the norm for this series, the boot sculpt is one of the highlights of the outfit, and who knew that Bib was so damn fashionable.

He also has blue pants, along with his blue robes. These are all nicely tailored, and the brighter color lends some much needed pop to the otherwise browns, blacks and greens of the Jedi on the shelf. The blue sash/belt wraps around his chest armor, which is made from a heavy plastic, but which moves pretty well with the character. The sash wasn't as tight as I'd like, making it difficult to keep the assembly where I wanted it from pose to pose, but it's a minor nit.

The cuffs are made from the same plastic, and are not attached to either the arms or the clothing. This means they'll fall off when you remove the hands, so pay attention, lest your cat end up with a new toy. You can tuck the sleeves up under them though once the figure is posed, so that no arm needs to show.

Finally, there's his outer cloak. I like this one far better than any of the Jedi cloaks, and it hangs great on his body. The material is heavy, almost felt or woolen, but it still appears in scale.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
All of the Sideshow Star Wars figures are fun, but Bib is particularly sturdy and well built. The high quality, heavier material of his cloak and clothes make them less likely to tear or rip, and the majority of the accessories pose little danger to kids in the 8 and up range. The joints are nice and tight, and he's an ugly monster - what more could a kid want?

Of course, at $55, I doubt many kids will get to experiment with the full play potential of this guy, but if you're a Hollywood star (I know you're reading!) with more money than God, then he'll make a fine plaything for your little darling.

Value - **1/2
At $55, Bib is starting to get into the upper reaches of the Sideshow price range. Not being a 'main' character, he might be a hard sell at this price, but it's certainly an average, expected value. There's enough accessories here, along with a great outfit, to make you feel like you got what you paid for.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Breaking things, losing things, things to watch out for when handling him - not a one. He's sturdy, the accessories are sturdy, and the odds of you having any problems once you have him in hand are close to zero.

Overall - ***1/2
He's not quite as nice as Darth Maul, but he's still one of the better figures in the line to date. Once again, they show they can do some great monsters, and I have high hopes for future creatures in the line. Jabba is shipping soon, and the Salacious Crumb creature pack has already shipped, so my Jabba display will be coming together very soon! 

Score Recap:
Packaging - ****
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ***1/2
Outfit - ****
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value -  **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
If you're looking for the Sideshow exclusive, you better get on the wait list. For the regular version, there are other online options:

- Fireside Collectibles squeeks in with the lowest price at $46.74, beating the competition by a penny!

- Dark Shadow Collectibles has him in stock at $46.75.

- Alter Ego Comics has him at just $46.75 as well.

- CornerStoreComics has him in stock, and listed at $46.75.

- Amazing Toyz has him at $46.75 (can you see a trend here?) but doesn't have him listed as in stock quite yet. That may just be because they haven't updated the site yet.

- and for the U.K. readers, Forbidden Planet has him on sale for just 29 pounds.

Related Links:
Lots of Sideshow 12" Star Wars so far: 

- there's my reviews of Darth Maul, Obi-wan, Bespin Han, regular Anakin, Kit Fisto, and Jedi Luke

- and there's a guest review of Qui-Gon, and the SDCC exclusive Anakin.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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