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Review of Star Wars Tauntaun 1/6th scale action figure

Sideshow Collectibles
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Rating: 3 out of 4

Star Wars Taun Taun action figure by Sideshow

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Introduction

We all have our favorites, and mine is Empire Strikes Back. I'll give you that A New Hope has its moments, but if you choose any of the other 4 Star Wars films as your favorite? You're dead to me. And if you respond with something like "my favorite is that one where that alien looking dude..." I'll be digging a shallow grave.

And while there's plenty to love about the second film, it's the opening sequence on Hoth that I really enjoy. That means that when I can get collectibles based on the Hoth sequence, I'm at the front of the line. Sideshow has been producing a variety in sixth scale, including the already released Snowtrooper, the Heavy Repeating Blaster, and the Probe Droid. In some parts of the world, collectors already have the Hoth Han and Hoth Luke, but God knows when we'll see them here in the states. And let's face it, while he's technically Return of the Jedi, you can always slip their Darth Vader into the display as well.

This guy has just started shipping, and will run you around $350. There was no exclusive or alternate version.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Star Wars Taun Taun action figure by Sideshow

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Packaging - ***
It's a huge box, cuz he's a huge figure. He's quite heavy too, so they went with the deluxe eggshell trays, made from dense, sturdy foam.

He also comes in a bunch of parts. There's the two heads and four horns, the body, the base, and the various packs and parts for his saddle arrangement. All these come packed separately in their own little bags and compartments.

My big gripe here - and I'm starting to get pretty annoyed by this - is no instructions. While this guy isn't complicated to put together, you will have to refer to online reference photos to get it right. For the extra fifty cents, throw in a simple instruction book. Somehow Hasbro manages to do it for a $10 action figure, so I think it's doable at this price point.

Star Wars Taun Taun action figure by Sideshow

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Sculpting - ***
They've supplied you with two heads and two sets of tusks, or horns. This allows you to swap the expressions and get the right look for either Han or Luke.

The heads are designed with slightly different expressions (one looks like somebody just stabbed him in the belly with a light saber), and slightly different angles on the neck position. They attach to the body with a strong magnet, but here lies my biggest complaint. They did not do a good job designing this joint, allowing too much of an obvious seam. With a little more effort and thought, they could have created an almost seamless look, and at this price point that's the expectation.

You can put either set of horns on either head, adding to the diversity. The sculpted fur looks good, and the detailed textures on the exposed leathery skin and rough horns looks great.

The body itself is excellent, and the fur style and texture matches from heads to torso. I would have liked a bit more snowy matting in some of the lower extremities, but it's a minor nit.

As I mentioned, this guy is big, standing about 18 inches tall. I think they've done a much better job getting him in actual 1/6th scale than the earlier Dewback, who seemed slightly undersized to me.

Star Wars Taun Taun action figure by Sideshow

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Paint - ***
The paint work is solid where it needs to be the most - the eyes and face. There's a nice realism to the eyes and expression, highlighted with the paint application. They've added a snowy effect to the overall body, although it's not quite as extreme as the prototype. This guy is mostly gray, with a little of the snow on his head and neck.

Another area where they cheated on the snow effect is the saddle layers. The prototype looked great, but the lower layers of material on the final production piece are much too clean and untouched.

Star Wars Taun Taun action figure by Sideshow

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Articulation - Bupkis
This is an information only category for this guy. This is a statue, with no intended articulation. While this doesn't effect my overall score, I wanted to be clear for any readers that were hoping for more 'action'.

Star Wars Taun Taun action figure by Sideshow

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Accessories - ****
He comes with a variety of extras, mostly designed to work with his saddle.

The 'fur' pad and leather cover come attached to the body already, but you can shift it around a bit to get the hole in his back properly lined up. This hole accommodates a large post on the bottom of the saddle. Over this hole you place the top fake leather cover that includes the attached stirrups, and with these lined up, the hard sculpted saddle slips in place, and is held tight with a strong magnet.

Around the outside of the lower layer are six metal hooks. On his right side you can attach a soft, dirty bag. There's two small square loops that will fit inside the hooks with a little effort.

On his left side, you can attach a hard canister to one hook, and a smaller cloth bag to the second.

Finally, on back you attach the smaller soft blanket roll, and then with attach the larger bedroll to the back of this. There are actually four loops on the blanket roll - use two to attach to the saddle, then use the other two to attach the hooks on the large bedroll.

There's also a binocular bag (with magnet closure) and binoculars included. These will work great with the Hoth Han or Luke, but for now you can just loop the strap of the bag around the horn of the saddle.

There's one additional hard canister. One is light colored, one dark, and you can use the appropriate one depending on whether you put Han or Luke on the back of this Tauntaun. I believe Luke had the lighter colored canister (as well as the broken tusk, of course), while the darker version goes with Han.

All of these accessories are top quality and properly scaled. I wish the bedroll and blanket were a bit more weathered and dirty (like the soft bags), but it's a minor nit.

As I mentioned in the Sculpting section, there are actually two distinct heads, and two sets of tusks or horns. These are all held together with very strong magnets.

The tusks look terrific, and make a nice tight fit with the head. One pair is correct for Luke (broken left tip), the other is better for Han.

I already discussed the paint and sculpt on the heads, but suffice to say that having two really adds to the score in this category.

Star Wars Taun Taun action figure by Sideshow

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Outfit - ***
Usually I wouldn't have an Outfit score here, but since the lower layers of the saddle are cloth, and both heads have a cloth harness, I thought I'd include it. The materials and fit are good, although I wish (as I mentioned in the paint section) that there was more of the snow effect on them, like we saw with the prototype. The top layer is particularly clean (where the sculpted stirrups are attached), and look out of place.

Star Wars Taun Taun action figure by Sideshow

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Fun Factor - ***
I usually skip this category with statues - really, how much fun can you have with something that doesn't move? But this guy is more of a diorama piece, perfect for displaying, posing and setting up the ideal Hoth landscape in your collection. And for that, he deserves a score.

Value - ***
Have I lost my mind? I'm giving a $350 statue a better than average value score? Yes, it does seem like he's a bit much...until you consider some similar items.

For example, the recent Batman Returns Premium Format Batman statue is $400, and that's on the low end for a PF these days. This Tauntaun is mixed media, and has just as much complexity and raw materials as Batman.

Then there's a more direct comparison in this very license - the sixth scale Dewback from Sideshow. He was released 4 years ago, and ran $300. There's more to the Tauntaun (with the multiple accessories, heads and tusks), making the price point seem a lot more reasonable.

Things to Watch Out For -
The magnets hold the horns and head on quite well, but when handling the figure it is pretty easy to bump the tips of the horns. I did it a couple times without knocking them completely off, but you'll want to be aware.

Overall - ***
If you're picking up Han and Luke, this is a fantastic addition. He's properly scaled so they'll look terrific on his back, and he adds a ton of dynamic action to the display. Why just have them standing there when they could be riding this bad boy?

Now is it going to be Sideshow or Hot Toys that gives me my Wampa?

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - Bupkis
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***
Overall - ***

Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- - Sideshow has him for $350.

- has him for $350.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
The most important figures released so far that connect with this guy are the Snowtrooper, the Heavy Repeating Blaster, and the Probe Droid.

Sideshow did something similar for the more balmy climate of Tatooine with their release of the Dewback.

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Star Wars Taun Taun action figure by Sideshow

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

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