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Plo Koon, Tusken Raider, Dexter Jettster, & Shaak Ti 

Yep, it was Midnight Madness, and I was there along with about 100 other local Star Wars collectors.  I managed to pick up 26 of the 27 figures that first day (still looking for Dooku!), and I thought I do a little group review of a few at a time.

In this first group is a bunch of collection 2 - Dexter Jettster, Shaak Ti, the latest Plo Koon, and the female Tusken Raider with child.  I found most of these at Toys R Us, but finished up at Walmart.

The first 16 figures - through Dexter - most definitely came first with little background cards.  I know this for sure, because I've managed to come across all of those.  Rumors have it that Jar Jar, Nikto, and Saesee Tiin also did, but I haven't been able to positively confirm it myself yet.

Other rumored or confirmed variations - R2-D2 with plain silver shoulder connector or spoked connector (confirmed), yellow Clone Trooper (unconfirmed), Amidala with and without beauty mark (unconfirmed), and the Super Battle Droid with incorrect cardback, corrected cardback with sticker and corrected reprinted cardback (confirmed).






Packaging - ***
The packaging isn't too bad, and I certainly like the colors.  The cardbacks and bubbles appear to be very durable, and seem to hold up to normal shelf wear well.  The inclusion of the number of each figure is also a nice touch with the new figures, and much appreciated by many collectors.

Sculpting - Dexter ****, Plo Koon ***1/2, Tusken Raider ***1/2, Shaak Ti ****
These four figures are simply marvelous.  Dexter is one of the coolest sculpts in quite awhile, and is my favorite of the first 27 new figures.

Shaak Ti also shows off some terrific sculpting work, but I knocked off a half point on Plo Koon and the Raider simply because they don't stand *quite* as well as the others.  I could still stand them up without a stand, but the foot position on both wasn't quite as good as the others.  With pre-posed legs like these, it's pretty important to sculpt a pose that stands well.

Paint - ***1/2
On these four in particular, the paint ops were great.  I did see some Shaak Ti's with spotty work though, and with all the detail on her face it's easy to get a bad one.  Be careful when picking her out.

I also knocked a half point off simply because as much as I like Dexter, the paint ops don't make him look quite like the 'real' Dexter.  His 'jowels' are a darker gray than in the photos.

Articulation - Dexter ***, Shaak Ti *, Plo Koon **1/2, Tusken Raider **
As much as I like these, the articulation still isn't all that great.  Most have neck, shoulders, waist and hips, although this varies by figure.

Dexter has the most articulation, but he has the most arms.  You can do quite a bit with the joints he has.  Shaak Ti is the worst, with just shoulder joints.

Plo Koon is decent, and the cut joints at the elbows really help the otherwise statue pose.  The Tusken Raider is weak, similar to Shaak Ti.  At least she has waist, ankle and elbow joints though.

Quality - **
All the figures take a hit here.  When I'm talking about quality on these, I'm refering to the soft plastics that are the norm now.

It had previously been mostly the accessories that were being produced in this softer plastic.  With the new figures, that hasn't been too much of a problem, since most come with light sabers that are still nice and solid.

But the bodies themselves are getting softer too.  It's most noticeable with Shaak Ti out of these four, and her arms were surprisingly weak.

Accessories - ***1/2
The accessories here are great overall.  Shaak Ti's and Plo Koon's light sabers look great, and the saber section is detachable from the hilt.

Dexter has a pair of vicious looking cooking knives, along with a 'saber dart' that you may lose within 10 seconds of opening the package.

The female Tusken Raider has her gaffi stick (which is a bit wimpy looking compared to the previous version) and her child.  The child looks great, with excellent sculpting and two points of articulation.  He also fits nicely into her back pack.

Shaak Ti, Plo Koon and Dexter all come with those silly red or blue blast effects.  I really don't like them, but they are harmless enough.

And let's not forget that Dexter and the Tusken Raider might also come with a background.  It's not particularly useful, but these two actually have pretty good scenes compared to some.

Value - ***1/2
Did you pay the Walmart price of just under $6 for these?  Then you got a great, three and a half star value.  For a nicely sculpted figure with a couple accessories that's an appropriate price point these days.

Did you pay the $7 or even $8 from other retailers?  Then you aren't getting that same value, so you can knock of a star.  

Overall - Dexter ****, Plo Koon ***1/2, Shaak Ti ***, Tusken Raider ***
These are good examples of the new 27 figures.  The sculpting and paint ops are great, with decent articulation and accessories.  With the lower price point the line has certainly improved.  While some characters like Dexter will still be stand outs, overall the line has become more solid.

Where to Buy
In the 'real' world, you can find these at Walmart, K-mart, Kaybee, TRU, Kohl's, Electronics Boutique, Meijers, etc. etc. etc.  The best prices I've seen are at Walmart though. On-line:

- Entertainment Earth has a ton of course.  You can usually depend on them to get you minty cards if your a MOMC collector. (MROTW Affiliate)

- Toy Maniacs has quite a few, but at $9-$10 plus shipping, they are far more expensive than your local retailers.

Toyzz.com has an interesting deal on some packaged sets that will get your cost down to $5.99 plus shipping.

- Aisle Sniper has several bundles listed, but the price comes out to about $8 each plus shipping.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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