Preview Jango Fett and Zam Wesell

Everybody is gearing up for the big movie this, I'm not talking about Spiderman, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or even MIB 2 or Blade 2.  I'm talking about the BIG movie this year, Episode 2: Attack of the Clones. SPOILER WARNING!  If you don't want to know ANYTHING about the film, then stop reading!

Hasbro has released four 'sneak preview' figures.  There's the Clone Trooper, who's role is pretty obvious to anyone that's watched a trailer.  There's R3-T7, a cool little droid.  There's Jango Fett, Boba's dad, who has a very large role in the film.  And finally there is the mysterious woman, Zam Wesell, who's role is still fairly well under wraps.

Additional variations on each of these will be coming out of later this year of course, but these first versions give us a glimpse at the new packaging and figure style.  They are popping up everywhere right now, particularly at Wal-marts, where they are $6.44.

Packaging - **1/2
The new card style here isn't too bad, although I'm sure we'll see a much more drastic change with the actual AOTC figures.

The bubble is nice and large, and shows off the figure and accessories well.  Nothing to call the neighbors over, but perfectly adequate.

Sculpting - ***1/2
There's far greater detail here than on the early POTF figures.  This is a carry over from some of the nicer POJ stuff, and it's good to see this extra attention to detail.  Jango is particularly nice, and you can tell the difference in the photo with the standard Fett.

The only knock I have against the sculpting is the extreme nature of some of the poses.  I had a heck of a time getting a good position for Jango that he could hold on his own, and although it was much easier to get Zam to stand by herself, her pose is pretty dorky.

Although I'm not reviewing the Clone Trooper here, trust me when I say his pose is the worst of the bunch.

Accessories - **
At least we're getting some here.  Fett comes with his two blasters, red flames that can be used either with the blasters or his backpack (see the photos), and I suppose you could call his backpack an accessory since it's removable.

Zam comes with her small blaster and her blaster rifle, and one red flame as well.

The red flames are a really nice touch, especially since you can use Fett's in more than one way.  But the blasters are all made of an extremely rubbery and soft material.  Most of the barrels are crooked, and I'm pretty sure that it won't take the red flame on the end of Zam's rifle too long to bend that rifle down to the floor.  The cheapness of the plastic really hurts the accessories.

One other note - Zam's small blaster fits nicely into her holster.

Paint - ***
The paint ops are very good on Jango, except for some sloppiness on the back pack.  His body suit and helmet were all very nicely done.

But I'm deducting a little for the back pack slop, and quite a bit for the slop on Zam's face.  I looked at a half dozen of her figures, and everyone had a problem with paint overspray from the veil covering her mouth.  The line across her face at the top of the veil is very poorly done, and it's a pretty crucial mistake.

Articulation - **
I already complained about the pre-posed nature of these figures, so picking on the articulation should be no big surprise.

Jango has hip, waist, shoulder and neck articulation.  He's pretty much designed for some minor tweaking to get him to stand in one position.

Zam has neck (although it's very limited), shoulder, waist, hips and one cut joint on the elbow of the right arm.  That cut joint is intended to make more gun poses possible with both the rifle and small blaster, but the range of motion is very limited again.

Value - ***
These figures were marked $7.44 at Wal-mart, and at that price I was ready to slam them on value.  But when they rang up at $6.44, I felt a whole lot better.  It's not perfect - these are really $6 figures, and I can guarantee at other stores they will be $7-$8 - but it's close.

Overall - **1/2
If the quality of the plastic on the weapons and the articulation been a little better - or even a little more useful - these would have scored much better.  As it is, Jango is still one cool mamma jamma, and a definite must have for even the casual Star Wars buyer.  The figure isn't perfect, but the design of the character is great.

Where to Buy -
Most Wal-marts are getting in a ton of these right now.  On-line you also have lots of options:

- Toy Bliss has the best deal on-line that I've seen, through the 22nd.  They are $7.99 each, plus shipping.

- Aisle Sniper has a good price at $32 for a set of four plus shipping, but they are sold out right now.  Give them a call and check to see if they have any in.

- Entertainment Earth has a four pack for $40, but that's fairly steep.  They always guarantee mint cards, if you are worried about that with buying on-line. They also have the new Jedi Starfighter in stock for $32. (MROTW Affiliate)

- Action Figure Express has a case of 12 for $75 plus shipping.  (MROTW Affiliate)

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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