SEARCH REVIEWS    LIVING WITH LATE FEES    FEATURES    LINKS    BIO    MISSION    EMAIL    MAIN PAGE >


Yoda (exclusive version) 
Sideshow Collectibles Star Wars

Yoda Star Wars action figure by Sideshow Collectibles


Because the making of the entire Star Wars saga bridged decades, the quality of the various effects was noticeably different from A New Hope to Revenge of the Sith. One of the biggest differences was in our favorite Jedi senior citizen, Yoda.

Back in 1980, we were treated to the best of the time - muppet Yoda. While he's not quite as realistic as modern CGI Yoda, one of the pluses of this sort of real effect is that it remains consistent with the advancement of higher definition displays. CGI effects can end up looking far worse as display technology gets better, showing off the flaws of early computer work.

Sideshow has finally released a Yoda in their sixth scale line up, and they went back to basics with the character design. This is supposed to be Yoda as we saw him all those decades ago, hanging out on Dagobah.

As is very common with Sideshow, there is a regular release version that was produced in an edition size of 5000, and an exclusive version that was produced in an edition size of 750. The regular is $70 through Sideshow, and the exclusive (with one additional accessory) is $75. I'll be looking at the exclusive tonight, but since it's only that one additional accessory and the different edition size that separates them, you can take the rest of my comments as the same for either version.

Sideshow is also producing a very cool sixth scale Dagobah diorama (Yoda's hut) to go along with this figure. At $275 it ain't cheap, but it looks awfully good from the promo shots.
Yoda Star Wars action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
Yoda Star Wars action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Yoda Star Wars action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Yoda Star Wars action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Yoda Star Wars action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Yoda Star Wars action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Yoda Star Wars action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Yoda Star Wars action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Yoda Star Wars action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Yoda Star Wars action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

Packaging - ***
Let's get the obvious out of the way - this guy comes in the standard Sideshow Star Wars box, with the basic colors and text, wrap around flap, and magnetic closures. All those good things are here once again.

But there's an issue this time around that I found frustrating. There's the usual inner plastic tray, but no plastic lid to hold things in place. Instead, they went old school - and cheap - this time around and used twisties. And not just a couple. There's 9...count them NINE twist ties holding Yoda and his stuff in place, plus several pieces of tape. You can guess how I feel about that.

Sculpting - ***
Comparisons to the Medicom VCD are going to be inevitable.

The detail work here is extremely nice, and I prefer this one to the Medicom. Of course, a few years means a lot when it comes to paint and sculpt quality. Sideshow's best work tends to appear on the aliens, and Yoda is a good example.

However, there's something here that's not quite right. I'm not sure he's quite...muppetty enough. The shape and size of the head seems closer to human than Yoda, although the ears look great. The detail work and skin texture is nicely done, but there's something here that's not quite perfect. 

He's also very small - too small for me. Standing just over 5" tall, the small body and head seem too tiny next to other sixth scale figures. It's not the height so much as the bulk and volume. He does have a sculpted hump on his back, but the rest of the body seems a bit slight, even with the robes in place.

I suspect that I'll be in the minority with my minor complaints though, and overall it ends up just that - minor.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint isn't quite as dark and green as it appears in photos, and it matches the old film look quite well. There's a wash to pull out the details, and the eyes are very clean and sharp, with no drift or laziness. Even the small tufts of graying hair look great.

The other paint work is on the hands, and the color matches the facial skin tone nicely. The body under the clothing is green as well, but it's a cast color, not paint. It also varies a bit in tone, but it isn't a big deal since you'll never display him nekkid. If you do, I'd rather not know about it.

Articulation - ***1/2
The outfit covers up a rather well articulated little body. The ball jointed neck isn't as mobile as I'd like, and it bobbles a bit too much, but the rest of the joints are tight and well engineered.

There's post/disc style ball jointed shoulders and hips, which are a little tight, but work well once you get them loosened up a bit.

There's double pin elbows and knees, as well as a cut waist, cut thighs, and an ab crunch. Both the ankles and wrists are pin/disc ball joints, and the hands and feet swap easily.

Because the joints were tight, I didn't realize just how articulated the little bugger was til I stripped him down. I included a shot, but you'll notice that the inner robe doesn't come off unless you remove the head, and I didn't feel particularly confident that it would work without any damage. But I think you get the point...and not being able to see his head makes the photo slightly less disturbing.

Accessories - regular ***1/2; exclusive ****
Here's a category where this figure destroys the competition.

The regular figure comes with four different sets of hands, all with very cool gesturing or gripping poses. The sculpts are great and work with just about any overall pose. Sideshow's site advertised only two sets of hands, so getting four is quite a deal.

There's also an extra set of feet, with the 'toes' slightly curled. I realize that they work well when he's sitting on the log, but I gotta say it made me think of other times he might curl his toes...and that just really creeped me out.

There's also his required cane, with knobby bent handle. It's scaled to his short statue, and can be held in various poses with the different hands.

There's also his funky necklace, with a string tie. It looks pretty good, although it hangs awfully far down the body. You can always shorten up the string if you prefer.

Yoda also comes with a large log, nicely sculpted and painted. It's very realistic in appearance, and perfect for Yoda to cop a squat.

That's it for the regular version, but the exclusive comes with his Dagobah snake accessory. In fact, there's not one snake, but two! Both are bendy up to about the last 1 inch, and have good sculpts and paint jobs. They are longer than Yoda is tall, and can wrap around his neck quite easily. EDIT: Turns out that Sideshow is not keeping up their product descriptions particularly well - the spotted snake does come with the regular version, only the brown snake is extra to the exclusive.

Outfit - ***
There's a couple layers of clothing here, and it's fairly well done, but pretty basic.

There's the thin outer Jedi robe, as well as a thicker inner robe. Under that is a pair of Jedi pants, complete with elastic control top band. Stitching is great, as is the tailoring, but there's no hem on the edges. That's intentional, making the robes look worn and old.

He also wears a leather belt with a string that works as the buckle. Attached to the belt are two pouches, one front and one back.

Fun Factor - ***
The solid construction means this figure works well as both a collectible AND a toy. In fact, while he's a little expensive for your average 8 year old, it's nothing like a Hot Toys figure, and he would survive normal play.

If you're a collector that likes posing his figures, then you'll have plenty to enjoy here.

Value - ***
Sure, he's small, but he's only $70. I say 'only' because the Medicom VCD version - with far less articulation and fewer accessories - cost $60. And that was almost four years ago! You guys can find this one for around $65 with a little effort, and that's a pretty damn good deal.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing. Everything is sturdy, the hands swap cleanly, and the quality is great all around.

Overall - ***1/2
While I have my minor nits to pick with his size and head shape, I have to say that overall I'm very pleased with the figure. The overall quality is quite high, especially for the price point, and there's a surprisingly large number of accessories. I was pleasantly shocked by all the hands and feet, and the extra snake was an unexpected bonus as well. With the prices of most sixth scale figures skyrocketing, it's nice to see this one come in at a similar price point to the Medicom VCD. If I had to choose one, it'd be the Sideshow.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow is the place to pick up the exclusive for $75, but he's on a wait list at this point. And don't forget about the Dagobah diorama as well!

- Fanboy Collectibles has the regular version for $63.

- Big Bad Toy Store has the regular at $70.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Yoda fans should check out these other reviews:

- One of my favorite versions is this Premium Format statue of Yoda doing in a Clonetrooper.

- Kotobukiya did their 1/7th scale diorama of Yoda battling the Emperor.

- many, many years ago, Hasbro did their own sixth scale version of Yoda.

- I had a couple guest reviews of the Medicom VCD version, here and here.

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

Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find thousands more just like it!

KEEP SCROLLING DOWN FOR MORE PHOTOS!



Share this review with others! 
 
Digg it!
 StumbleUpon Toolbar
Stumble It!
 
Reddit

Yoda Star Wars action figure by Sideshow Collectibles


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

This page copyright 2000 - 2011, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions! Hosted by 1 Hour Hosting.com