Saga Carkoon Wave
Leia, Han, Bib Fortuna

Tonight's guest review is the second of three Carkoon wave reviews - everybody was excited about these figures!  This time Matt gives us his thoughts.  Take it away, Matt!

My first review of the new year....and saga figures! Yep these figures are out now and already you can see whose selling out and who the pegwarmers are (barada and Chewie are starting to warm). This is the new "unified" line people have been speaking of and it starts off 06 with some Jabba's palace figures. Is all the hype superficial and are they really crap? What of the holos? Read on and see...

Packaging - ***
I like it. That's pretty much my initial impression of the ROTS figures but whatever. Get used to it. I have a feeling since there won't be any more movies that we might be seeing these boxes for a long time. I like the widened bubbles. They allow for more accessories and more wide shots of movie scenes. The particular environments with all the figures make sense save Han whose carbonite block is just floating on the skiff. The thing I don't like about the new package is the fact file type things on the back. They change by the character and it seems almost as if they were included as jokes. Not funny. The holo is not blindly boxed and has its own small slot in the bottom of the card. 

Sculpting - Leia ***1/2, Han ***, Bib **1/2
All of the sculpting in this line is pretty solid work across the board but some stand out more so than others. 

The big winner is clearly Leia with a near perfect sculpt. The facial sculpt, the braid, the helmet, the gloves, everything is in place and it's leaps and bounds over the past sculpts of Leia in the Bounty-Hunter garb. The cloth hangs well and everything. I just have a couple of complaints. First, the helmet may look a tad big on the body. Secondly, Leia seems too small on the whole with a generally small size. I know she's supposed to be small but maybe she's too small. Overall though, the sculpt is really impressive looking. You'll see consistency in this review of me praising Leia and having nitpicks about Bib. 

Bib is the next figure worth talking about. He's the worst of the three in nearly every category which is such a shame since he was the figure I was looking forward to the most. Not to say that he's terrible by any stretch but he's lacking. The body sculpt is terrific. It looks exactly like Bib in the movie and the handsculpts are right on target with his weird gestures. With such a great body sculpt you'd think the head sculpt would be better. It is a great Twilek headsculpt and it does look in the right proportions but...what's with his mouth? This is the aspect of the sculpt that leaves me the coldest. His mouth is wide open as if he's yelling or vomiting. I just don't understand this open mouth and I think a small sneer or a closed mouth would've suited Bib much better. 

Finally, there's Han. Han is a decent figure but not the best. The headsculpt is different from the VOTC in that it looks worried more then cocky. Heck--Han looks scared to death or just sad. With that aside you can tell he's Han Solo and I have little issues with him otherwise. The body is good and everything is in proportion. The belt sculpt is worth mentioning as it's terrific. 

Paint - Leia ****, Han ***, Bib **
Leia is again the clear winner in this category. Again, everything is nearly perfect and they really outdid themselves with this figure. Leia has no extraneous marks or slop whatsoever on mine and the paintjob on the visor and the face and especially the hair looks fantastic. Some people might have preferred more dry brush or shading but I think she looks fantastic as is. 

Bib is well painted on all the blue areas however I did find bits on slop on the fingers, neck and other fine lines. This is forgivable however there are some other gaping flaws in the paintjob that lower the score. First of all his robe in the movie was black--there's no doubt about it. The robe here is tolerable with a grayish brown. The main issue for me though it the inconsistent skin tones. Bib has white skin. The head tails (leks) on this figure are white as they should be however, the face is an angry pink tone as are the hands. What happened here? It might not be so noticable in pics but it bothers me in person. The fingers are not noticable as much. Consistency is an issue. 

Han is again the middle man. I found very few issues with sloppiness and, of course, the only issues there are the stripes on the leg and mine had a brown splotch under his chin. The hair tones for him and Leia both really make a difference. This is the first Skiff Han to ever have "Carbonite residue". He has the yellow-greenish stuff smeared on his shirt. It isn't really mixed enough for anyone not familiar with the movie to be able to tell what it is though and comes off looking more like barf. 

Articulation - Fortuna- *1/2, Leia- ***, Han- **
Leia is the only real winner in this category. This outfit doesn't seem to really allow for too much motion but she does really bring it on. The ball jointed neck is excellent for poses as is her awesome ball jointed shoulders. She also features swivel elbows, wrists, hips and waist. Her knees are ball jointed as well. All of this really adds to an already great figure. I know she's not totally SA...but does she need to be? This costume of Boushh is hardly in the movie anyways. 
Bib is losing out major here. My main 3 gripes with this figure are the aforementioned face paint and mouth and the lack of articulation. I mean, Bib didn't do much in the movie but he could've at least had a body underneath his robe like the 2 previous sculpts. He doesn't even have turning feet and this hurts his playability and other values a lot. He features a restricted ball jointed neck, swivel wrists, forearms and barely mobile joints above the elbows. His arms only go as far as the cloak shows and he's pretty much a displayable hunk of plastic. So much more could've been done. 

Han is not great in the articulation category either. He's at least posable but not incredibly so. He has swivel shoulders, swivel elbows, swivel hips, wrists, waist and a balljointed head. Obviously, VOTC Han blows him out of the water in this category. I also found Han's shoulder joints to be a bit too tight. With swivels on every joint in his arms, there really isn't a whole lot to do with him. Knees would've really helped this figure along with balljointed shoulders. 

Accessories - Leia ***1/2, Bib **, Han ***
Leia includes the required Bounty Hunter mask. All previous versions included serviceable masks so it should come as no surprise. It fits nicely over her head and it looks great doing it. She also has her long rifle. The rifle is a very decent sculpt following the "silver" trend of Saga 2 accessories. My problem with it is that it's extremely bendy and flimsy. Certainly not a weapon. Her bandolier might or might not be removable but don't try it. She also has a Thermal Detonator right out of the movie. This detonator looks great and has a small peg attached to it to fit into a hole in her hand. The previous versions couldn't figure out how to make one removable. It's a cool add-on but be just might be the smallest SW figure accessory ever made. 

Bib has one accessory other then the new "required" ones. It's a very small knife that fits into the sheath on his belt. It looks pretty good in his hands but maybe something in addition to this like a blaster or some of Jabba's interior decor would've been nice as well. You're getting pretty much a PVC with a tiny weapon. 

Han has of course, a carbonite block. The block takes a new approach different from the previous tries at them. I guess it's a matter or preference. 

The block is "thawing". It features a reddened upper half of Han starting to come loose from the freezing process. This idea was almost tried with the vintage version. There is one major difference from the 2 basic figure versions of Han in Carbonite in addition to the thawing's just a decoration. There's nothing to hold him in place and it's too small for Han to even really go in it. This carbonite block is essentially just a display piece and doesn't have the size or fun factor that the previous ones did. It just looks different. I still like it but maybe something a little bigger that would fit Han would work better. Han also has another too small weapon. It's one of the long skiff rifles. This just might be my favorite weapon on the 3 figures despite it being too short. Why? We haven't seen a gun like this since 85' and it was included mainly with the rare last 17 figures so it's great to see it again. 

All of the figures include Return of the Jedi personalized bases as well. These are nice in that they are character and movie specific. They don't interlock. 

Holograms - **1/2 
I have to admit I'm not really impressed with these. Sure, we're getting them for free so I'll take them but they just don't do too much for me. Sort of boring IMO. I was initially excited to get them but the figures themselves are so much cooler. I really do want to give these holos *** as I know they'll grow on me. They seem well sculpted but the Jedi sculpts are sort of generic. One of them seems like Luke and the other seems like Obi Wan but I can't tell. The bad guy holos are cooler featuring Maul and a Stormtrooper of what I got. The rule for these seems to be that the bad guys get 1 of 6 bad guy holos and the opposite for the good guys. 

Quality - ***1/2
Pick paint apps carefully if you can of course. I didn't really have any factory flaws on my set. The holos are sturdier then they look too. 

Fun Factor - Leia ***, Bib **, Han ***
I suspect that Han would be the most appealing to the young-boy fans of the series. He's a main hero character with a prison accessory. Leia is gold for the collectors and is certainly going to do well on shelves as this new line is geared towards collectors. Bib is as I said before nearly a statue and as such he can't do as much for the kids playing with him (though we all played with Smurfs) and he isn't fantastic looking up close to a collector. 

Value - Leia, Han ***, Bib **1/2
Assuming you're getting them at the new upped Walmart price of $5 something you're getting a good deal. They are worth that price though it would have been nice lower. Don't give in to scalper prices or Kmart prices. They'll be all over soon and they're not really worth paying more than $6 for. 

Overall - Fortuna- **1/2, Leia- ***1/2, Han- ***1/2
I really wanted to score Leia higher. She's the best Leia figure I think we've ever gotten and certainly the must-have of the wave. This just goes to show how far a decent re=sculpt can go. This outfit of Leia is probably my personal favorite of the character selection as well. 

Han is a solid figure and just a few minor tweaks in the articulation mostly would've made him a real winner. He looks nice overall and is probably the 2nd best Han currently against the VOTC. 
Bib was the figure I was looking forward to the most and he disappoints the most. He is still an ok figure but more articulation, accessories and an altogether new head would've gone a long way for this figure. He's not a must-pick up. I really wish I could score him higher and I know that some fans will like this figure. He might be one of those better kept in the package.

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - Leia ***1/2, Han ***, Bib **1/2
Paint - Leia ****, Han ***, Bib **
Articulation - Leia ****, Bib **, Han **1/2
Accessories - Leia ***1/2, Bib **, Han ***
Holograms - **1/2
Quality - ***1/2
Fun Factor - Leia ***, Bib **, Han ***
Value - Leia, Han ***, Bib **1/2
Overall - Leia ***3/4, Han ***, Bib **

Where to buy
Mostly Walmarts at the moment and a few TRUs are getting them as well. They have been hitting Canada apparently for a while now. Target hasn't reset after Christmas yet. 

And don't forget to hit Andrew's Toyz, where you can find all your Star Wars figures!

Figure from the collection of Matt.

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