Hem Dazon

One of the things that makes Star Wars such a licensing dream is the huge number of visually interesting yet totally unimportant characters that are available. No matter how many figures Hasbro makes, it always seems like there's at least one more background alien to do.

And so we get Hem Dazon. Who Dazon? No - Hem Dazon! Hem is one of those nifty cantina aliens that had about 3 seconds of screen time. The briefness of his appearance is evident in the card back description, which pretty much sums it up as "So Hem was getting smashed at the local bar, when these two guys got into a fight. He looked up from his drink when the one guy hacked the other guys arm off, but quickly returned to getting plowed."

For the trivia buffs, it's interesting to note that this isn't the only time we've seen a movie involving Hem. As a child, he was left behind on a Arcona scouting trip to a primitive planet, and while he was eventually rescued, the experience scarred him so badly that he spent the rest of his life wandering from bar to bar, cantina to cantina, trying to drink away the horrid memories.

Hem is just now showing up as part of the Cantina wave, and you can find him for around $6 or so at most retailers.

Packaging -  ***
I like the current 'retro' appearance of the small packaging, and I like the 'small' aspect as well. There's not much wasted space, and the graphics and style are attractive.

There's also a small character specific blurb on the back, with a nice set of photos of other recent figure releases, checklist style.

Sculpting - ***
In Hem's original appearance in ANH, he was just a head. You did get to see a full body shot of Hem in the Holiday Special, if you were unlucky enough to actual sit through that abomination.

The sculpt is very good, and captures the actual mask quite well. There's not a lot of skin texture or detail, but there's enough here considering the scale.

The body sculpt does have more texture, especially in the flight suit. The pouches and packs around his belt look terrific, and the reptilian hands and feet are nicely done. The hands are sculpted to hold the gun and glass, and this feature works well.

Scale is good, with Hem standing about 4 inches tall, just a little bigger than some of the other drunks. He stands well on his own, even with the funky feet, although there is a display stand included for more off balance poses.

Paint - **1/2
The paint ops on Hem are fairly average to middlin' for a mass market toy. Some of the recent Hasbro releases have been better than this however, so it's a little disappointing.

There's a decent variety in the colors, but much of the detail is lost. The only ops on the face or head are the eyes, which are a tad sloppy, with poor definition around the edge. The rest of the head sculpt could have used something to highlight what detail there is here, since it tends to get lost in the gray.

The smaller details on the body are decent, but there's still enough slop and poor definition/cutting that he can't rise up above the mediocre.

Articulation - ***
Hem is much better articulated than I had expected, but the softer plastic makes some of the posing difficult.

He has the all important, whoop-de-whooper ball jointed neck. It has a good range of movement, and remains the single most useful joint for giving the figure personality.

He also has ball jointed shoulders, cut elbows, cut forearms, cut calves (at the bottom of the pant leg), cut waist and standard Star Wars hip joints. Although there isn't much leg articulation, you can get him into a very stable standing position with just a little effort.

The cut elbows are done at an angle, which means that the arms can either be posed straight, or at a 90 degree bend. While this isn't quite as good as a pin elbow, it's certainly a step up from a straight cut elbow.

Accessories - ***1/2
Hem comes with five accessories - quite a few for most Star Wars figures. He has a blaster, which is made from that same annoying soft rubber that we've had in other recent releases. If your kid happens to swallow this one, it won't be doing any damage during its fantastic voyage.

The gun fits in his left hand or in his holster, whichever you prefer. There is a frosty glass of some sort of blue concoction, which must be popular on Tatooine since we've seen it with other figures. There's also a pillar style stand, the sort of thing that bars put in for people to stand at and drink when seating becomes scares. It's a little short, but works fine in the display.

There's the usual display stand, and like some other new figures, there's a name label on this one. And finally, there's the included holographic figure - mine happened to come with Boba Fett - which is nicely sculpted in the very small scale. I believe this wave is the first of the red holo figures, which the cynical might consider just another ploy to get you to spend money on something you already have in blue. George would never do that though.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
Aliens are always fun, especially Star Wars aliens. And there are no better Star Wars aliens than Cantina aliens. There's just something about ugly creatures from other worlds getting wasted that sets the imagination wild.

Kids will enjoy this figure, although it's unlikely that they'll be using them for the Cantina scene much. Hem makes a good bad guy for Luke or Han to dust, and with decent articulation and a good sculpt, he'll make for a fun toy. Adults will be more likely to go for the cantina diorama, and Hem will be a necessary component.

Value - ***
With the number of accessories (even with reuse) and the solid sculpting and articulation, you're getting a good value in Hem. He's certainly a better buy than the 40th version of Anakin.

Things to watch out for - 
Not much, although if you have preferences on the holo figure, you should pay attention.

Overall -  ***
I'm looking forward to one day having all my stuff back out of storage, and being able to set up a great looking cantina diorama. While Hem isn't perfect, he's an integral addition to that display, and I'm happy I picked him up.

Hem could have gotten another half star, had his paint ops been a little less disappointing, and the plastic a little stiffer. Still, he's not a bad choice to add to the shelf, and your cantina can't be complete without him.

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - ***
Overall -  ***

Where to Buy -
These are showing up at mass market retailers like Target, Toys R Us, and the evil Wal-mart right now.

Related Links:
I don't do a whole lot of 3 3/4" reviews, but quite a few higher end items:

- the last small figure I did was Foul, and the Firespeeder Pilot.

Other highlights:

- Premium Format Darth Vader

- Premium Format Obi-Wan Kenobi

- Premium Format Han Solo

- Medicom Darth Vader

- Medicom ROTS Vader

- Gentle Giant Skiff Guard Lando

- Sideshow 12" Jedi Luke

If you're looking for a great Star Wars specific site, head on over to Rebel Scum.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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