Jabba the Hutt - Wal-mart Exclusive

   "The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Norm checks in tonight with a look at the latest Walmart exclusive Star Wars figure - take it away, Norm!

Evening everybody! Upon hearing rumblings that this exclusive set has been spotted at Walmarts around the country, I decided to give it a shot. Lo and behold, I found the set first try. Iıve never head luck like that in my life, especially with WM exclusives.

Iıve needed an upgraded Jabba The Hutt for years now. Iıve still been using combinations of the original throne and subsequent releases of Jabba with odd action features and poor likenesses. So when this set was announced, I was pretty psyched to the point where the set would become my most anticipated Star Wars release for 2010. Does it live up to my expectations?

Packaging - **1/2
I love the illustration of the characters and contents of the package; very detailed and dynamic. However, this is blind packaging, meaning, you canıt see the actual product inside the box (save the window for Oola). Thatıs a big peeve for me, because I like to know exactly how what Iım buying looks like. Also, since 2010 seems to be bringing back the vintage package designs, I think that would have been far more appropriate for a set like this. Bummer that itıs not the case. One more positive thing to note: the twist ties have been replaced with thread-like twine thatıs easy to cut.

Sculpting - ****
The sculpt for Jabba is outstanding. Theyıve got all the grimy, slug-like details and texture captured beautifully. The tattoo, tail scar.. itıs all there, even his lazy right eye looks perfect. Iıd say this is the best representation of the character weıve gotten, and itıs about time. The throne itself is very well textured, and something I wasn't expecting.. the demon gargoyles that protrude from the sides of the throne are much smaller than anticipated, certainly smaller than the gargoyles on the original throne. There are also two more, one on the left and right surfaces of the throne.

 Oola is an all new figure, and is sculpted completely nude under her soft goods mesh outfit. I havenıt tried to take the outfit off for fear of not being able to put it back on, creating evidence that Iım some ridiculous pervert. I just pulled the outfit aside to confirm the nudity on the figure to better hide that Iım some ridiculous pervert.

Salacious Crumb is a repack of the articulated version that came with a 30th Anniversary C-3PO figure (the one with the pop-out eye). No real surprises here, but if you missed out on that figure, this is a welcome inclusion.

Paint - ****
No real issues here. The paint on Jabba looks about as good as one would expect for a mass-market figure. Sure, it could use some additional grime and slime, but Iım fine with the little bit of drool coming from the corner of his mouth.

Oolaıs eyes are a bit wonky and asymmetrical, so if you have a choice, check out all the packages to pick the best one. Itıs the one thing you can actually be choosy about.

The throne is also well painted, with grit and grime tucked into every nook and cranny.

Articulation - ***
Jabba has some decent articulation, but itıs not without issues. Heıs got ball hinge shoulders and elbows, a swivel waist, and a bendy tail. It works the same way as the Mr. Fantastic pack in from the first Fantastic Four movie line, where thereıs a wire skeleton inside a loose fitting rubber skin (thatıs what she said?). The problem is, the bendy wire inside the tail wonıt hold the pose well. It can bend, but due to the nature of the rubber skin, the tail tends to bow up or down. That got very annoying as I tried to pose and place everything on the throne.

Oola has tons of articulation, standard ³super articulation² for a Star Wars figure. Ball/socket neck, ball hinge shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles, cut waist and wrists, and unfortunately, cut hips as well. I was misinformed that Oola would have ball hinge hips, so I had my hopes up for a figure that would be just a little less limited to pose.

Crumb has a ball/socket neck, cut shoulders and ball hinge hips.

Accessories - ****
This set is loaded with accessories. I havenıt been counting the throne tself as an accessory, since the package actually gives it top billing. If anything, the figures could be considered accessories, based on that title. But it also comes with seven pillows, a small draped throw, his armrest and hooka pipe. The pillows especially give the set so much more display value. The original throne looked so empty, and the pillows are just what it needed. (Note to bachelors- give throw pillows a try in your living room! Theyıll look nice for the ladies, and you can rest your head on them after a long day of playing video games! Look at what the pillows do for Jabba! He gets all the ladies!)

Fun Factor - ***1/2
This is the set I always wanted as a kid. I didnıt love the original throne, with its absence of slave girls and that faux dungeon that could never fit a Rancor under Jabbaıs rump. Adding Jabbaıs denizens and cronies to the display was tons of fun. If only I had room for a full diorama.

Value - **1/2
I paid about $38 including tax for this bad boy. A little impulsive, but being that this is my most anticipated SW purchase of the year, I wasnıt gonna wait for clearance. Thereıs plenty of stuff included, a beast, a standard figure, a mini-figure, accessories, and a slab of rock with wheels. Toys in general are expensive, so nearly $40 was just as difficult to swallow as pretty much any toy out these days.

Overall - ***1/2
Does the set live up to my expectations? It falls a little short! And thatıs mainly due to how difficult it is to pose his tail. That became frustrating. But otherwise, itıs an awesome addition to what is shaping up to be a phenomenal year for Star Wars collecting.  This long overdue update does the character justice.

Score Recap:
Packaging - **1/2
Scultping - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2
Where to Buy ­

This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Norm Dapito.

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