M&M Mpire

Javier is back tonight with a guest review of those nifty little Star Wars M&M characters, the Mpire - take it away, Javier!

I haven't done a review in quite some time, but when I saw these on the pegs I knew it was time. Not that there was a demand for me to do more reviews but know.
The creative talents of Masterfoods USA and Lucasfilm Ltd. (that's what is states on the box) have joined forces to give us those cute little chocolate candies that melt in your mouth done up as Star Wars characters in Star Wars Chocolate M Pire. Kind of a nice play on words. I guess Hasbro has very little to do with them except to distribute them.

There are two sets. Set 1 of these 2-packs contain: Stormtrooper & Vader, General Grievous & Obi-Wan, Emperor Palpatine & Anakin, and Chewbacca & Mace Windu. Set 2 contains: Queen Amidala & C-3PO with R2D2, Darth Maul & Count Dooku, & Han Solo & Bobba Fett, and Luke & Leia. It appears both sets are out now since I've seen both.

Packaging - **
It's the standard bubble card back with j-hook. It's nice but not anything great. It is circular to match the basic shape of an M&M and it also serve as the circular backdrop of the Death Star. There are nice renderings of the figures up front and on the back of the card. No real description of the characters just their names, but if you weren't born yesterday you probably know who they are. There are also pictures of the other figures in the set. They are small which is nice if you are an MOCer. They don't store well due to their odd shape, however.

Sculpting - ***
They're nice. I was going to grade them individually, but figured none are exceptional and none are horrible and they all fall about equal. And, I really shouldn't call them figures because they are really PVC's with only one having any movement. I'll get to that in the articulation section. I do have my favorite, however. That would be Boba Fett. He's got the cool helmet with the dent on it and the well sculpted jet pack. He's got a stance that's more M&M then Boba, but it works. Solo has got the black vest and the cowboy hanging holster. The left hand is positioned oddly. Kind of like he's doing the robot. The right hand thumbing back is all Solo, though. Amidala has nice little detail work in her queen regalia. C-3PO is posed in a very C-3PO finger to the mouth as if he just uttered, "Oh, dear!" pose. The big problem with C-3PO is that the sculpt has stress fractures across his face. I guess he didn't hold up well in the molding process. R2D2 is well R2D2. He's got enough little knobs and etching that the M&M passes are R2.

Paint - *
This is were the line falls on its face. The paint applications are all over the place. No figure is perfect. Each has sections that are great next to others that blow. Some highlights, at least on mine, are Boba's jet pack with nice separation of colors and Solo's shiny boots. Some lowlights include Solo's white shirt bleeding onto the blue of the M&M, every single figure that has eyes are either blotchy or painted slightly off, and C-3PO has stress fractures that are accentuated by the goldish paint which makes him appear marble-like. My daughter who is 6 brought to my attention that C-3PO has flesh colored arms. Why I don't know. The worst part is that Hasbro went with beautiful renderings of the pieces on the packaging. The colors on the packaging are rich while the actual toy is a washed out variation. I know the actual product will vary from the images on the package (It tells me so on the package), but the beautiful dark blue M&M that was used for Han Solo on the package surpasses the blue on the actual toy.

Articulation - Bupkis
These are PVC pieces so I'm not docking them in this category. I will mention that R2D2 has two points of articulation. They are pin joints for his two side arms. They are nice since Hasbro could have just made him one solid piece, but with those two joints you get a little play action.

Accessories - Bupkis
Again, I'm not docking them in this area either. Your getting two figures in each package and any accessory they could have placed with them they probably wouldn't be able to hold such as a lightsaber. Well, now that I think about it R2D2 is an accessory because he's not shown or mentioned anywhere on the package.

Fun Factor - *
These aren't really meant for kids. They are little trinkets for adults to talk about and even that conversation is only going to last about 2 seconds.

Value - **1/2
I picked my up at Wal-Mart for $6.88. It's not a great value, but I didn't feel ripped off. I've also seen them at KBtoys for $9.99. If you purchase them at that price I would definitely knock the value a couple of stars.

Overall - **1/2
I had a real hard time getting an overall grade for these. Why? Because I don't really know how to feel about them. They are definitely not for everyone. Some will stay out in my collection like Bobba and Solo while others like Amidala will get thrown in a box and forgotten as will Windu and Dooku. They aren't great but they are a nice smile break to add to one's collection. If you have the opportunity to look through several of these take your time in choosing the ones with the best paint applications.

Packaging - **
Sculpting - ***
Painting - *
Articulation - Bukis
Accessories Bupkis
Fun Factor - *
Value - **1/2
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy - 
As I said I bought mine at Wal-Mart for $6.88 and they had the whole line of Set 2, but no Set 1. At KB's ($9.99) I saw half of Set 1(no Vader/Stormtrooper or Grievous/Obi), but no Set 2. Entertainment Earth has both sets but will only sell them as sets for $29.99

Figure from the collection of Javier Osuna.

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