Yoda and Chian

I haven't had a Sean Teeter review up for awhile, because my guest reviews have been backlogged, and since he's off on summer vacation.  This was Sean's last review before that fun called summer - take it away Sean!

Something that we’ve seen more often in the new Hasbro Saga line are basic figure releases featuring two figures on a card. We got this a little in the Power of the Force line with the Ewoks and Jawas, but Hasbro’s starting to spit a few more of these out. However, this usually doesn’t mean that you’re getting two for one. Up this time are Yoda and Chian.

Packaging - ***
The packaging is the same blue-backed blister card, blah, blah, blah . . . I’ve pretty much covered this section in previous reviews of Hasbro’s line.

Sculpting - ***
The sculpts for both figures are nice, but not great. Yoda appears to be a new sculpt. His face is completely neutral compared to the other versions out there. His hands are nicely rendered, and can easily hold his accessories. The outer robe is a separate piece that flairs out so he can sit in his chair. It looks fine in a sitting position, but kind of awkward when he’s standing in a neutral pose. For some reason, Yoda’s sculpted uni-leg looks a little thick, as if our favorite Jedi Master has been sneaking a few Twinkies on the side or something. In a few poses, it almost looks like he has a slight gut. Overall, he’s a much better looking sculpt than the Episode 1 Yoda that was reused as the Jedi High Council figure earlier in the Saga line.
Chian looks nice, but he’s kind of plain. Besides the excellently rendered head, his robes just look kind of lackluster. Then again, he wasn’t really wearing anything highly detailed in the movie to begin with . . .
His arms are permanently curved inwards so that he can hold his lightsaber with two hands. I would have preferred articulated arms, since this severely limits his poseability. He is a little back heavy however, and tends to fall flat on his ass unless he’s holding his lightsaber out in front of him for balance.

Paint - **
It’s hard to fairly judge this category for either of these figures: one has very few paint ops, the other’s are screwed up.

Almost all of Yoda’s parts are molded in their color, leaving just the bare details to be painted. The finger and toenails are done nicely, and very clean. The hair is hit and miss, but not bad. Yoda’s eyes are a much different story. The right one is perfectly done, but the left one is severely screwed up. (See Durability/Quality for more detail). He would easily garner a three-star rating if it weren’t for this error.

Chian just doesn’t have much to paint. The small detail on his face is nice, but the inner parts of his robe bleed some. Overall, he’s just not that exciting of a character when it comes to this category. 

Articulation - Yoda: *** ½; Chian: **
Hasbro’s bane rears its ugly head: articulation. First thing’s first, there are no action features on either of these figures –which is good. Of course, it would be kind of hard to include something like that on two very miniscule characters to begin with. The size factor also leads to a challenge: how to articulate something only a couple of inches tall?

Yoda actually turns in a record number for his character: seven points of articulation! Yoda has cuts at the neck, shoulders, elbows, right wrist, and a swiveling uni-leg. There are some very good arm poses available here including the ability to cross his arms while sitting, put his weight on his cane with both hands, and so forth. The uni-leg is fine and does its job well. The right wrist articulation was a welcome surprise on a figure this small; too bad both wrists didn’t have it. All in all, Yoda’s a nice surprise; in fact the only reason I didn’t give Yoda four stars was that I missed the ball-joint shoulders found on his other basic Saga releases.

Chian is a very different story. Limited to four points (head, shoulders, and waist) there are very few poses he can strike. The sculpting of his arms allow for a two-handed grip on his lightsaber, but look ridiculous empty-handed. Elbow articulation would have been much better. 

Quality - Yoda: **; Chian: * ½
I felt the need to include a new category with these figures. After having quality issues with my McFarlane Predators and the leg articulation on my Vampire Hunter D figures, I decided to check out my other figures for sturdiness. 

I only saw one other Yoda and Chian set at Target, so I’ve got little to go by, but the paint ops were pretty sloppy on both. Not only is Yoda’s left eye completely unfinished, but it’s been painted on the upper lid, and not in the eye socket. The other Yoda I saw also had eye problems. Hopefully this isn’t a common thing with this figure.

As if that weren’t enough, Chian is also screwed up. There’s a chunk of plastic missing from the bottom of his robes! The quality control people must have been doing the crossword in the john when these figures passed through. The package they were in was completely undamaged in any way, so they had to have left the factory like this. I could overlook the paint problem, seeing as how I’ll fix it myself, but the damaged figure is a low blow. 

Accessories - ***
One thing Hasbro’s been really stepping up on is the amount of accessories included with their basic figures, and there’s no slacking off on quantity here. The miniscule master and his slightly taller learner come with a total of five accessories. You get two lightsabers, one hover-chair, one training helmet, and Yoda’s cane. The lightsabers are solid plastic casts pulled from the one previously used with the Saga lines three Yodas. One has a blue blade; the other’s is green. The cane is a new sculpt with a knob at the top for easy gripping. The only true unique item in this set is Yoda’s hover-chair. Chian’s training helmet can also be seen with the other carded set of Padawan learners. 

The paint ops are hit and miss on everything except the chair. The training helmet is unevenly painted and bleeds with every color. The black detailing on the lightsaber hilts is also sloppy and all over the place. The chair is the real winner here, and is perfectly rendered, down to the curves in the seat cushion.

There is one very obvious accessory missing here: the Jedi training remote. It is also missing from the Padawan two-pack with Ashla and Jempa. This oversight is pretty careless since that is the main training tool used with these figures. Instead, they just stand around with a bowl on their heads.

Value - ***1/2
Guess what? I’ve actually started to find figures in stores! I was at Target the other day and saw Aayla Secura, Barriss Offee, Droid Factory Padme, and Darth Tyranus along with Yoad & Chian, all for $4.79 each! Find a set without any paint problems or damage, and it’s definitely worth picking up.

Brian's Toys has them for $19.99.
Federation Toys will have them in stock soon for $7.00 a pop.
Planet Action Feature has both Ashla and Jempa with Yoda and Chian for 16.99 a pair.

Overall - Yoda: *** ½; Chian: **
Yoda’s a pretty good figure. His arm poses are absolutely classic, but his ridiculous flowing robe sculpt makes it difficult to pose him at rest.
Chian is okay if you want some background filler for a Jedi diorama, but isn’t really a strong figure on his own.

The problem with Chian, or the other Padawan figures of Ashla and Jempa, is that they are specific to a scene not likely to be recreated in a diorama by most collectors. Play-wise, the idea of a child Jedi might strike a chord with the kids out there, but there is very little you can do with any of the Padawan figures besides turn their waists and raise their arms. There’s very little interaction available between any of the Padawans and the other figures in this series outside of Yoda.

On the other hand, this Yoda is made for interaction –complete with his hoverchair, cane, lightsaber, and great arm poseability, he’s easy to use in almost any scenario you wish. Just make sure you pick up one with decent paint ops.

Figure from the collection of Sean Teeter.

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