Kit Fisto

George Lucas has a thing for tentacles. How else can you explain having not one race of beings with huge, dread-like tentacles sprouting out of their head but two? There's the Twi'leks of course, the most famous species of tentacle heads, with folks like Oola, Bib Fortuna and Aayla Secura making them well known. But Twi'leks only have two tentacles (usually). Nautolan's laugh at the Twi'leks.

That's because Nautolans have whole bunches of funky tentacles. The most famous of the Nautolans is the Jedi Master Kit Fisto, and now Sideshow has released their 12" version of the bug eyed big guy.

Kit comes in two versions, as is usual with Sideshow releases. There's the regular version, and the exclusive version. The exclusive version comes with a severed droid head, perhaps the coolest of all Sideshow exclusive accessories up to this point. More debate on that point in the review below. Fisto is $55, in either version, but the exclusive long sold out at the Sideshow site. However, you can still get on the wait list.

Packaging - ****
If I could give Sideshow more than four stars in this category, I would. They have managed to produce the nicest sixth scale packaging in the history of action figures with the Star Wars line.

With excellent graphics on the exterior, nifty magnets holding the package shut, excellent interior text, and a completely collector friendly design, they've hit an out of the park home run with the bases loaded in the ninth inning.

Since the design of the box allows for two interior panels, there's plenty of space for text. One panel discusses the line in general, in this case Order of the Jedi. The second panel goes into great detail on the actual character, giving encyclopedic background on Kit. Now this is what packaging is all about!

It is worth noting though that the Kit package isn't QUITE completely collector friendly. Due to the massive weight of his head, they added a thin, clear plastic tie (not a twistie) around his tentacles to hold him in the tray. You'll have to cut this, and if you return him to his box, it's one thing that will be missing. Still, this is pretty damn close to perfect.

It's a pity that this wonderful packaging doesn't make it to everyone unscathed. I've been lucky, and of four Star Wars figures, only one had a damaged box when it reached me. I've heard others though that haven't been as lucky. Unfortunately, there's not much Sideshow can do about it, short of shipping them in steel containers.

Sculpting - ****
Kit has one big head. Please note that I said he has a big head - not too big, just big. Looking at reference photos, it looks pretty much on target as to proportion and scale, but man, it's big. That means it's heavy, since it and the tentacles are solid.

The tentacles are made from a softer rubber, similar to what bendy parts are usually made from. This makes them feel a little more realistic, and hang off his head properly. Rather than being some sort of all in one single sculpt, they are done separately, and layered in. I was concerned from early photos that this would be obvious, but with the final product in hand I can say that this is not an issue.

There's just about the right amount of detail work in the skin texture, and the expression turned out much better than I had anticipated. The big eyes and open mouth look fine together, especially in battle. If there's one nit to mention, it's that generally we see Kit with four tentacles - two on each side - draped over the front of his body, but Sideshow chose to only go with two. This is a very minor point though since a) his tentacles are supposed to flow free in 'reality', similar to hair and b) unless you're really paying attention, you probably won't even notice.

The hands are a little small as well, since the actor wore glove-like appliances. That's not worth quibbling over though, since these actually look better than what was on screen.

Paint - ***1/2
Another exceptional paint job, with zero flaws. The matte finish on the skin looks great, with a slightly glossier appearance to the eyes and mouth, and the colors are consistent and clean. There's tons of small detail work here, especially on the tentacles, and it's all clean and neat. No bleed, no slop, and perfect cuts and definition between colors.

I did pull off a half star for this skin spots though. Again, this is a really minor nit, but one that bugged me. The spots are very circular, without any fade or smoothing into the skin around the edge. In reality, spots on the skin of any creature, be it Nautalon Jedi or Crazy Old Man, tend to have uneven edges. Like I said, a minor point, but something worth noting to me.

And this is technically not a paint color thing, but rather a plastic color thing, but color is color - the body is entirely green under the costume.  Nice touch, Sideshow!

Articulation - ***1/2
You have the usual Sideshow articulation here, plenty of it and cool wrists to boot. The neck on Kit is actually ball jointed, but as you might imagine, the tentacles tend to make that a moot point.

I've heard some complaints that the knees and hips are too loose, but that's simply due to the weight of the head. Put this noggin' on a Medicom or Hot Toys body, and the knees would have issues as well. Anybody with a head this heavy is going to be good friends with an orthroscopic surgeon by the time he's forty.

I didn't have too much trouble getting him to stand in various poses, as seen in the photos, but it was more of an issue than Luke or Anakin. The weight of the head requires you to play around a lot more to get his center of gravity lined up, but if you use the enclosed display stand (especially if you attach it around his tentacles) you can get some pretty dynamic stuff going on here.

My one big complaint with the articulation is the wrist joints. No, not the style - I love that. It's these short wrist pins. Kit's hands pop off every time you look sideways at him. And if the person doing the sideways lookin' is Aayla Secura, both hands pop off. Now, this isn't as annoying as the incredible popping Anakin arm, because the hands are quite easy to pop back on again. It's still mildly annoying though, and worth a mention.

Kit is on the regular Sideshow body, so there's no problem with monkey arms, and he fits in nicely scale-wise with the rest of the releases, being slightly taller than Luke and slightly shorter than Anikan.

Outfit - ****
Kit wears the usual Jedi garb - shirt, vest, tunic, pants, boots and robe. With the past two releases, there was always something to pick at with the costume. Sure, they weren't major issues, but there were issues. Here, I don't have a single one.

Everything is made from excellent quality material, with well done stitching and great tailoring. The clothing fits perfectly, right out to the robe. The hood on the robe is the same huge swathe of cloth we saw with Anakin and Luke of course, but it's not likely that you'll be putting the hood up much with Kit. He's just not a hood kind of guy. He likes those tentacles to be flowin' free. If you do want to put it up you can, but it doesn't cover his face and head quite as completely as, say, Luke, since his head is so large. The robe has the same wire as the previous two, but like Anakin's, does not have a snap at the neck.

He also has a great leather belt, with many of the same attachments as Anakin. There are a couple removable pouches that can open, along with some food capsules and the hanger for his saber hilt. The belt fits great, and the various items stay attached through normal handling.

The best part of this costume is the boots. These are a new sculpt, with tons of class and cool. If that huge green head with tingling tentacles doesn't make him stand out on the shelf, then the nifty boots will.

Accessories - ****
If I were grading the regular release Kit, this score would actually be only three stars. The normal Kit comes with his lit and unlit lightsaber, a display stand, a communicator, and a holo projector. The last two are the same that came with Anakin, although the paint detail is a little different. And let's face it - the two lightsabers are a given at this point. Kit lacks any additional hands, so he only has the fisted right and force left, leaving him a little light in the accessory department.

However, I'm not just grading the regular release. I'm grading the exclusive. And the exclusive comes with a severed droid head, right from the Battle on Geonosis. Scale is pretty good on the head, but the best part is the choice of material - it's solid metal! This is one very, very heavy head, perhaps the heaviest single accessory I've ever seen. It's a perfect addition to Kit, and can actually work with a number of other Jedi as well. This accessory does what it should - it makes you want to own the exclusive version.

Is this the coolest exclusive accessory Sideshow has done? I think so. Sure, there's a few others, like the Slayer's Scythe, that rank up there. But this one takes top honors for me.

Oh, and I know Sideshow lists some other stuff as 'accessories' (food capsules, pouches, etc), but I already covered those in the Outfit section, where I think it's more appropriate.

Fun Factor - ***
These aren't really meant for kids. They're designed for big kids who like to pose their favorite Star Wars characters on the shelf. Still, if you know a kid that can treat them with a little care, they can have a lot of fun with them. I wouldn't give them to my five year old son to play with, but someone in the 10 - 12 range that loves the film is sure to enjoy them.

Value - ***1/2
Sideshow isn't cheap by mass market sixth scale definitions. Sure, you can get some 12" figures at Toys R Us for $20 - $30, but that's not the park Sideshow is playing in. They're playing in a park on the upper west side where kids like Medicom, Hot Toys, Takara and bbi play.

And in that park, Sideshow is the cheap kid. Not in quality, but in price. Compare this to the $100 or more you'll drop on just about any figure from these other companies, and you'll realize just what a great value these are.  Add in a huge, solid metal battle droid head, and you have a rocking price.

Things to Watch Out For - 
As with Anakin, you'll want to take care handling the belt. It's really the only delicate feature of the costume or accessories. Also avoid dropping the droid head on your foot. Trust me on this one.

Overall - ***1/2
This figure is *this* close to four stars. He is easily my favorite of the three releases so far, and proves just how well Sideshow can do the alien races. I can't wait to see a Greedo in the Scum and Villainy line up, and folks that skipped Kit because he's not a central character may find that they regret it later on.

A handful of minor nits hold this figure back from the coveted four stars, but just barely. If he'd just had a couple more hands, it would have pushed him right over the edge.  As it is, you won't be disappointed.  You probably will have to use the stand to display him, although I was able to shoot all the photos without it.  However, over longer periods of time, the weight of his head is likely to tip him.

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

Where to Buy - 
The exclusive was only available through Sideshow, so the or Ebay is currently your best bet. For the regular version:

- Fireside Collectibles has an excellent preorder price of $45.

- CornerStoreComics has the preorders up at $55.

- Amazing Toyz has their preorders up at $55.

Related Links:
Other links of interest...

- I reviewed the Jedi Luke of course, and he's well worth checking out. There's also my review of Anakin, and a guest review of Anakin.

- Medicom produces expensive 12" Star Wars figures, although calling them sixth scale is incorrect.  I have my review of their Darth Vader, and a guest review of their Jedi Luke.

- Sideshow has been producing some Star Wars product already, in their Premium Format (1/4 scale) line.  Here's my review of the Darth Vader and Han Solo.

- and for an example of what Hasbro gave us, here's a guest review of the Luke with Yoda.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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