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General Grievous - Star Wars
Sideshow Collectibles

General Grievous Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles


The prequels are bad movies - it's that simple. They aren't the worst films ever made, but after the original trilogy, they are a huge letdown in direction, plot and dialog.

However, they had some bright spots. including the ever popular creature designs. While Maul ended up being a throw away character, his look was another classic design, and when it comes to robots, nothing could top the evil General Grievous.

Like the Droids, he's a tough design to pull off as a sixth scale figure. There's lots of spindly limbs and joints, and he's tall as well. But Sideshow took a shot at it, and their Grievous is now shipping.

There are two versions, both running around $250 to start. The exclusive version includes one extra accessory, and is the one I'm reviewing here.

Packaging - ***
This box was a bit of a surprise - it's not as collector friendly as the usual Sideshow package.

It's done in a shoe box style, with a couple inner plastic trays and a foam tray for the figure itself. There's also one of the interior cardboard covers, complete with cool artwork.

But this time one of the inner plastic trays - the one holding the cape and stand - is taped to the inside of the top of the box. You'll need to cut the tape free, carefully, to remove the tray. Once it's cut out, you can just flip it around in the box, since there's obviously enough room for it. I'm not sure why they went with this design, but it was a smidge disappointing.

The exterior of the box looks great, with a simple design that highlights the character's symbolism. This simple yet clean look really works, and I'm so glad we're seeing them get away from the rather dull and repetitive colors and styles that Lucas Film had previously held them to.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
General Grievous Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
General Grievous Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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General Grievous Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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General Grievous Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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General Grievous Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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General Grievous Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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General Grievous Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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General Grievous Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

Sculpting - ****
The saving grace for this figure overall is that they captured the look almost perfectly. I'm sure that the purists will find issues in the plating or interior scale, but I look at him and see all Grievous. They've mixed in softer materials as well, using rubbery hoses that allow some of the articulation - especially the neck - to have a much greater range of movement.

As I mentioned, he's a big character, so this is a big figure. He stands about 17 inches tall when he's fully upright, although you'll probably pose him in a crouched fighting stance.

The small detail work around the face is good, and the overall metallic appearance works well. I love the translucent chest, with the heart within.

He comes with both fused and split arms, and they've managed to do them pretty much perfectly, at least in terms of the sculpt. I never really thought about what splitting the arms would mean to the anatomy, but seeing it here, it all makes sense. For example, the fused arms have hands that have two thumbs, one on either side of the hand. On the split arms, this means each single hand has one thumb, but on opposite sides. It works great, and looks amazing.

I do have one nit with the hands though. It looks like they designed them to work with the hilts before they included the magnet. Because the magnet takes up part of the space of the interior of the grip, the hilts don't fit between the fingers as well as they should. It's a minor nit - you can get him to hold them - but a nit nonetheless.

Paint - ***1/2
There's not a ton of small paint detail work here, but everything is clean and sharp.

The eyes are particularly well done, giving that lizard-like quality to his personality.

The white armor is slightly worn and dirty, but it's not overdone or extreme. Even the battle damage on the alternate face is reserved, and the figure benefits from this light touch.

There is a slight slip here, a slight slip there, particularly around the silver details, but these are all extremely minor. The work on the hilts is terrific, and sets them apart. I'm betting the serious fan can tell you which Jedi each one came from - they just all look unique to me. It would help if I got some new glasses...

Articulation - ***
My expectations for the articulation on figures that you'd think would be impossible to articulate has been pushed higher and higher over the last few years. I was amazed at the work Hot Toys did with their original Robocop, and then they followed that up with even better work on their Terminators, and then even better work on their Iron Man suits.

Sideshow hasn't been out of the loop here either - their work on the Droids is very impressive, and they did an amazing job with IG-88. The bar has been set very high within the industry for figures of this type.

The one area that does not disappoint is the neck. The head and neck armor can be posed and moved independently, and there's a ton of tilt, lean and turn action. There's almost no restriction, and it's really quite impressive.

The torso has a cut joint at the waist, and the hips are ratchet joints that allow the legs forward and backward movement. The same is true of the knees, but they are at least double joints, with one joint at the top and one at the bottom of the knee cap.

There's no way to turn the leg however, and the hips only have a slight outward bend. That's extremely limiting when it comes to leg stances.

The feet are an unusual combination of what appears to be two ball joints. They aren't however - in fact, none of the balls you see are really ball joints. Instead, they are simple post joints, which allow the limb to turn. Because the ball is not split down the middle but is solid, there's no forward, backward or tilt movement possible.

This is the same with the shoulders, making it tough to do much with the arms other than raise and lower them straight up and down. The arms have two extending joints at the bicep - these are metal posts - and they have an elbow that bends toward the body only. There's also a cut bicep that allows for some turning action, but overall, these joints don't do a lot for arm poses. The wrists are cut joints as well, and all the fingers have a joint at the hand.

EDIT - I was wrong, as a reader pointed out. The balls at the wrists, ankles and shoulders ARE cut through the center, and can move forward and back. However, you need to be very, very careful breaking them free. Don't squeeze or put pressure on the limbs, only the balls! I upped my score here appropriately. Once I freed up the shoulders, they seemed a bit loose and getting looser, but at least the range of movement is there.

Accessories - ***1/2
While this is the exclusive version, the regular release has plenty of extras as well.

There are two sets of arms. He comes wearing the normal single, fused arms, but a set of double split arms for the right and left are included. I already explained my frustration with the articulation, so there's no need to go back into that, but once you get them in a pose you like, you'll be happy. Take care removing the shoulder joint, and don't put pressure on the arm or shoulder armor.

We all know how Grievous likes to take the sabers of the Jedi he kills, and he comes with four different hilts. There are actually eight - four unlit, and four lit. Each of these hilts has metal parts which allows them to stay in the hands, thanks to magnets in the palms. The sculpts and paints are all great too, and they make a nice addition either in his hands or in the pockets of the cape.

He has a couple other weapons as well, including a blaster and his double ended Electro Staff. The staff has blue energy clouds around either end, but these are removable as well. This staff is not metallic, however, so it doesn't get the benefit of the palm magnets.

Finally, the regular release has a display base designed to hold him up at the crotch. This is a much better design for a figure like this, as there's no way you'd want to put something around his waist.

The exclusive version includes one more extra, and it's a cool one. There is a second face, this one battle damaged, and it swaps quite easily. Both faces are held in place with a magnet, and pop on and off appropriately.

Outfit - ***1/2
I included this category because of the cape, the only real soft good included here.

It's made from very high quality material, and the stitching of the lining is top notch. They've included six little pockets, three on either side, to hold the stolen saber hilts.

There's also not one but two clasps at the neck. There's a snap - actual metal, not the cheaper plastic kind - and a hook and loop closure. You can use one, or both, depending on what works best for you.

The cape drapes over the shoulders nicely, and I suspect most people will go with it. That's because it tends to hide the big gap at the wide spread shoulders and give him a little bulk.

Fun Factor - ***
If this guy was a bit more posable, this category would improve. As it is, you can get some decent poses with a little effort, but you're going to want to use the included display base to ensure he stays on your shelf.

Value - *1/2
I don't know if I'd be as disappointed in the overall articulation if it weren't for the price on this figure. At $250, he's up there with the higher end Hot Toys figures, including some of the recent Iron Man figures. While I appreciate the accessories that you get here, and the larger size of the unique figure is sure to be part of the price, I just can't justify paying this much when the engineering isn't up to the standards set by other figures in the same price range.

Things to Watch Out For -
While this figure is fairly sturdy, be sure to carefully examine each joint and how it can be moved before attempting any poses. You don't want to force anything in a direction it's not meant to go, since the plastic will break under pressure.

Overall - ***
Once I figured out the ball joints, I was much happier with this figure. He's still a bit fragile, and as I moved the ball joints forward and back it seemed as though they were getting a bit loose. I'm much happier now that I have the joints working, but that price point is still a killer.

He's a visually arresting bad guy, and a critical piece of any Star Wars display. I may not love the movies, but many of the characters from them look great on the shelf. Stand this guy opposite your young Obi-Wan, and you'll be properly impressed.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has him for $250, although the exclusive is long sold out.

- Alter Ego Comics comes in at $230 for the reguarl release.

- CornerStoreComics is also at $230.

- Fanboy Collectibles has him for $240.

- Unmasked Collectibles is also at $240.

- Big Bad Toy Store is priced at $250.

- Things From Another World is at $250.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
The most recent review was of their new Darth Vader. Other key reviews are IG-88 the Battle Droid and STAP, along with the double pack of Droids. Those are all in similar style to Grievous, but I've reviewed a whole lot of other sixth scale Star Wars - look through this list for more.

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 Star Wars sixth scale action figure by Sideshow Collectibles


This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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