Jango Fett mini-bust

It seems like I've been flooded with bounty hunters lately.  A couple weeks ago it was the Zuckuss mini-bust from Gentle Giant, then the Bossk VOTC figure from Hasbro, and now today it was Gentle Giant stepping in again, this time with the Jango Fett mini-bust.

For those of you that have been collecting the Star Wars mini-busts from GG for a long time, this is not the first Jango you've seen.  We were treated to one fairly early in the series, and in fact there were two versions.  The regular of course, plus the 'chrome' version available as an exclusive from MBNA.  This was back in the days when Gentle Giant had more regular releases than exclusive releases in any given year.

But that Jango wasn't all he was cracked up to be, and with the newer busts really pushing the envelope, fans were happy to hear that GG was going to revisit the father of the Clonetroopers.

The new version is now hitting stores, and retails for around $45. He's a 'limited' edition of 9000, although with that kind of run size some folks are starting to think that GG is becoming the Hamilton Collection of mini-busts.

Packaging - ***
The box goes with the usually dull gray and black 30th Anniversary theme, but we do get a couple shots of the bust on the outside along with a nice window to see what you're getting.  There's also the usual baseball card style COA, which is popular with collectors.

I have heard issues with people getting quite a few damaged Fetts in the mail though, so the interior foam must not be doing its job.

Sculpting - Helmet version ****; Jango head version ***1/2;
This version of Jango is such an improvement over the original that it's amazing.  Set this guy next to the old one and you'll realize just how far Gentle Giant has come over the last few years.

The body sculpt is excellent all around.  There's lots of wonderful detail work in the clothing, blasters and rocket pack.  The tubes that run up into the uniform are made from a hard material, so there's no chance of crimping, and there are even different textures on the clothing, armor and weapons.

When it comes to the two heads, the helmeted version is the winner.  There's the required dent in the top, along with some nice small detail work all around.  It's scaled a little small for the body (no way his actual head would fit inside), but it's not too far off, and people tend to prefer helmets that are scaled down a bit.  The range finder is not moveable, but that's not a surprise with a resin piece.

The Jango head is definitely him, but it does tend to define the difference between craft and art for me. There's a point where a sculpt becomes so lifelike, so accurate and so real, that it passes over from mere craft into true art.  This one doesn't quite make it that far.  It's definitely recognizable, but there's a bit too much of the mannequin or zombie look going on here, with a slack feel to the appearance.  Again, it's not terrible by any means, and only garners a slightly lower score than the exceptional helmet/body combo, but I'm betting the majority of folks will be displaying this guy with the helmet head.

Paint - ***
The paint doesn't quite hold up to the high standard set by the overall sculpt.  While there's plenty of bright color and some nice chrome effects, there's also a fair share of slop.

The face looks good with the exception of one wonky eye, but it's only offset from center slighlty.  The skin tone and hair are well done, and there's no slop around the hairline or lips.

The chrome looks good at first glance, but tends to have that rough surface look of cheap plastic chrome paint.  In photos this texture doesn't come through, but when you're handling it, it becomes obvious.  Think chrome parts on a Aurora model.

There's a fair share of sloppy work on the uniform, but the majority is on the rocket pack, where there's poorly cut edges and bleed in quite a few spots.

Design - ****
Jango has both blasters drawn, crossing his chest, with his head tilted toward the lower shoulder.  It was an excellent choice of pose, and gave them both arms on the bust in a tight, compact way, yet gave the overall impression of danger and power.

Value - ***
Jango runs about the same price as the other busts in the line, and he's not just well done, but comes with something most of them don't - an extra head.  While it might not be a perfect extra head, it still elevates him a bit above the average value.

Things to Watch Out For - 
I noticed as I was pulling him out of the foam that you could snap off the back rocket if you didn't take some care.  There's also a ton of twisties here, which can damage the paint if not handled carefully.  Finally, while the magnets holding the head on are a good idea, you can still drop one of them if you turn him upside down or move him a bit too vigorously, and you won't be happy if you do.

Overall - ***1/2
After the awful Qui-Gon, Gentle Giant has been hitting on all cylinders. They haven't done a bad Star Wars, Harry Potter or LOTR bust since (although I haven't seen the Celebration IV stuff in person yet), and one has to wonder how long they can keep it up.  Now if we could just convince them that flooding the market with 'exclusives' isn't the best way to impress your long time customers.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt -  Helmet ****; Jango ***1/2
Paint - ***
Design - ****
Value -  **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
I recommend any of these online options:

- Fireside Collectibles has him at an excellent price - $40.

- Andrew’s Toyz carries all kinds of great Star Wars merchandise.

- Alter Ego Comics has him for $42.50.

- Amazing Toyz and CornerStoreComics have him in stock at $44.

- Hero Hunt has him at $45.

- and for the U.K. readers, Forbidden Planet has him for 29 pounds.

Related Links -
Other Star Wars mini-busts I’ve covered include Zuckuss, Chewbacca and Darth Maul, Jedi Luke, Qui-Gon Jinn, Palpatine and Skiff Lando.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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