Medicom RAH Star Wars Darth Maul

George Lucas has never liked his villains.  He created some very cool ones - Darth Maul, Boba Fett, Jango Fett, Darth Vader...and every one of them was treated to a goofy end.  In Vader's case it was less of a goofy end than a goofy beginning, but George managed to tear him down too.

But fans tend to overlook it when a creator drags their favorite bad boy through the muck of mediocrity.  Fans of Darth Maul remember him for the kick ass scenes, and like to forgot the look of goofy surprise when he was sliced in half.

We've had a number of sixth scale versions of course, and Hasbro really went nuts with the guy a few years ago.  One of Sideshow's best sixth scale Star Wars figures so far is their Darth Maul, and now Medicom has released their version as part of the Real Action Heroes series.

This guy isn't cheap though, and he'll run you around $150, although some places still have him a bit cheaper.   I have the usual suggestions at the end of the review.

Packaging - ***1/2
Medicom packaging fulfills the 'collector friendly' expectation that most of us have for high end sixth scale figures.  There's no damage, no twisties, no tape, no need to damage anything getting the figure out or putting it back.

The boxes are also smaller than back in the day when Medicom did their Vader, for example.  That's a good thing, although they could still stand to shrink a hair more.  Still, if they stay this size, I'll be happy.

The thing holding them back from the four stars Sideshow usually gets is the lack of text and information on the box.  There aren't even any photos of the character or the figure, even on the inside of the fifth panel.  All that real estate, and it's pretty much wasted.

Sculpting - ***1/2
There's no way people won't compare this to the Sideshow version.  It's natural, and  I'll do it a number of times as well.  But it's very important to keep in mind that the SS version cost almost one third of the cost of this figure.

When it comes to the sculpt, it's almost a toss up.  Leave the paint out of it - don't take that into consideration (including the eye work).  Instead, you have to focus only on the sculpt.  This version is very detailed, and very realistic, but I don't think it's quite as accurate to the actual shape of the face and skull of Parks.  It also ends up being a bit pin headed, due in part to the long neck and skinny shoulders and chest of the RAH body.

The face does look more dangerous and deadly than the Sideshow version, but that's the paint, not the sculpt.  Under the paint, the sculpted expression is very similar - one of stern determination.

The sculpted hands all look terrific, and all work well with the accessories.  The figure stands fine on his own in plenty of stances and poses, just like you'd expect.

Paint - ****
When it comes to the paint job, I definitely prefer the Medicom version.  The unique tattoos look fantastic, and the eyes are posed  looking more through the top of his sockets, rather than straight out.  Unlike the Sideshow version, which has the zombie thing going on, the Medicom looks much more realistic and deadly. The eyes are clean and straight as well, with just a touch of gloss to give them that wet look.

This paint job is simply outstanding, and turns this in to the BEST looking Maul head produced by anyone to date.

Most of the rest of the figure is devoid of paint, but the hands and rubber cuffs match well, even though they are made from very different materials.

Articulation - ***
Normally, I'd be giving the RAH body all kinds of props.  It holds poses great, and hangs naturally.  This time he's fighting the rather difficult boots, which makes his stances not quite as normal, but he can still hold more stances (and deep ones) than most other sixth scale bodies.

So why the hit on the score?  Oh, that's easy.  This guy is a giraffe.  Medicom has had their neck issues in the past, but this one is easily the first to really, really annoy me.

Oh, you can hide it, especially when he's wearing the heavier outer robe.  But in the thinner, tighter tunic alone, it's very obvious.  On the plus side, it's jointed at the top and bottom of this thing, but you'll have to use every bit of that articulation to get it in a pose that looks right.  If you stand him up straight, looking normal, he looks absolutely ridiculous.

The rest of the articulation is solid as usual.  The rubbery boots only allow a limited range of movement with the ankles, and it seemed like the seams were a little weak on the calves (they were splitting when I tried to do anything with the boots), but the only major negative is that neck.  Does there have to be more?

Accessories - ***
If i were scoring this on sheer number or accessories, I'd add another star even at this price point.  There's certainly plenty of goodies here, and other companies should take note.

He comes with the usual Medicom display stand, which works fine, but really isn't needed with this figure.  The clear stands are preferable over the black, at least in my opinion.

He also has two single bladed lightsabers (representing the cut full saber), as well as a longer handle for the double bladed look.  The two red blades can be removed from the single hilts and put in either end of the double hilt.

This is an area where the Sideshow version is much nicer.  These lightsabers practically scream 'Hasbro', especially the thick red blades.  The posts that hold these blades to the hilts are very small, which means they often suffer from "droopy saber-itis", an affliction a Dark Sith Lord is not about to admit to.  Perhaps that's why he was so anti-social?

There's also the funky binoculars, which he spied on the Jedi with in the desert. This is well sculpted and nicely painted, and is the best single accessory of the bunch.

Then there's a TON of hands. He comes wearing a pair that are full gloves and very posed, designed for a very specific look.  I used them for his audition as back up singer to the Temptations, but they are really intended for the 'crossed arms' pose.

There's also two grasping hands to work with the sabers, two grasping hands to work with the binoculars, two soft gesturing hands, and one very open, splayed right hand.  That's 9 hands in total!

The sculpts look good, but I had much more trouble with them staying on the thin pegs on their side of the ball.  Rather than slipping out of the wrist joint, the hands tended to pop off the peg, and with the rubber glove 'gauntlets' pushing on them, they tended to pop off pretty easily on their own as well.  Even worse, there was one that was completely missing the metal rivet through the center of the wrist ball, making that peg completely worthless.

As I mentioned, there are also soft rubber cuffs for the hands.  The one pair of cuffs are plain, and there's a second cuff with the metal 'band' on it from the desert scene.  These look really good when they are on, but as I said, they tend to push the hands off the pegs because of the tight fit.

I started by saying if I were grading by sheer number, this guy would get another half star at least, perhaps a full four.  But because of the missing rivet on the one hand, and the cheap looking and feeling sabers, I just couldn't cough up more than three.

Outfit - ***
The outfit is a mixed bag, with some excellent features, and some very mediocre ones.

The outer cloak is the best part of the entire costume, made from extremely nice material.  There are long wires in the hood, and not just around the outside edge, but from the top of the head down the back as well.  There are also long wires running down the arm sleeves, allowing you to pose these flowing pieces of clothing in action.

The hood posed well too, much better than the Sideshow versions.  The cloak has a hook clasp at the front, but you can also just use the wiring around the neck of the hood to hold it in place.

The tunic and pants are made from a very fine material, with excellent tailoring and stitching.  The pants tend to pop out of the boots easily, but with a little effort you can get them back in place.  The tight tailoring tends to accentuate the skinny chest and the thin shoulders, however.

If the discussion ended there, the outfit would have been another half to full star above my score.  But it doesn't end there.

The belt is made from a hard plastic, and it fits quite tightly around his waist.  It rides high on his body as well, and doesn't look as good as the Sideshow leather version.  There's a clip for the saber hilt on one side, but that's the only feature.

Along with the mediocre belt, there's the boots.  These are made from a softer material, but still not soft enough to allow the ankles much posability.  They also don't hold a sculpt as well, and it's a bit too soft in appearance.

Fun Factor - **1/2
Kids would be frustrated by the sabers, and would break the small pegs holding the blades in place quite easily.  The hands would be pretty frustrating as well.  But I wouldn't recommend spending this kind of green on your kid's toys anyway - this is one for the shelf.

Value - *
And here comes the real sticker.  Medicom figures cost serious money.  This figure cost almost three times what the Sideshow version did, and it is certainly not worth that kind of money.  While the RAH body features the usual posability, that neck is really distracting.  The costume has some wonderful features, but the belt and boots are not at the level of quality for this price point.  And then there's the sabers, with the extremely thick blades and rather cheap looking hilts.

Things to Watch Out For - 
The smaller wrist pegs on the hand side can be broken, so take some care.  The hands tended to fall off these smaller pegs more often than usual for me.

Overall - **1/2
Am I being harsh on this figure?  Probably.  I almost went with three stars, but the truth is that this figure is NOT worth three times the Sideshow figure, not by a long shot.  There are some really nice features, like the paint, the cloak, and the multitude of hands.  But there were 5 major issues for me - the neck, the missing rivet, the belt, the boots, and the cheap looking sabers - and at this price point, that's about 5 issues too many.

Medicom did a great job with the Fetts, and their troopers are nice.  But this guy is far too expensive for what you're getting.  Had he been $100, he would have gotten that extra half star, and at $75 he would have gotten another half star easy, probably the full four.  If the value of a purchase doesn't mean anything to you, your score will be much higher, but if you're expecting a lot for this much cash, you may find yourself disappointed.

If you really have money to spend, pick up both this figure AND the SS version.  Swap the belts and lightsabers in from the SS version, and make some modifications to the body.  By that I mean pad it up, especially in the chest and shoulders, with some toilet paper.  It might take some practice, but you can tape down some TP around the torso and get a nice, full look on the chest and shoulders, greatly improving the appearance.  This helps the long neck too, bringing the tunic up higher on the newly padded shoulders.  Put these two figures together and you will end up with the nicest sixth scale Darth Maul ever made.  But you'll be the one making it.

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

Where to Buy -
There are several online options:

- CornerStoreComics has him at $135.

- Amazing Toyz also has him in at $135.

- if you're in the U.K, check out Forbidden Planet where they are on sale for 99.99.

- and Sideshow is the official US distributor, and they have them available for $150.

- and you can search for any of the versions on ebay using the sponsor My Auction Links.

- Related Links -
I've done tons of sixth scale Star Wars reviews:

- the last was the exceptional Palpatine/Sidous and ANH Obi-Wan, and the not quite so exceptional Ilum Padme.

- in the sixth scale line, I've also reviewed Leia and Bespin Luke, the Holo-chess set, Sideshow's Asajj, a terrific figure, Yavin Luke, the Endor Troops, Jabba the Hutt and his throne, Bib Fortuna, Jedi Luke, Darth Maul, Obi-Wan, Bespin Han Solo, regular Anakin Skywalker and Kit Fisto.

- I also have guest reviews of the SDCC Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu, and Qui-Gon Jinn.

- in the premium format line, I've reviewed Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Han Solo.

If you'd like to check out some of the 12" Star Wars offerings from Medicom, hit these links:

- my review of the 501st Clone Trooper, Jango Fett, the Sandtrooper and  Boba Fett.

- guest reviews of the VCD Yoda and Boba Fett.

- guest reviews of the ROTS Vader, Jedi Luke, and this very Trooper.

- and my review of their first release Darth Vader, the regular Stormtrooper, and Clonetrooper and Blackhole Trooper.

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Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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