Count Dooku

Today's guest review comes to us from Bob Snare, who's done a few reviews for me in the past.  This time it's the 12" Count Dooku from Hasbro.  Take it away, Bob!

The latest series of 12" Star Wars figures from the Ep. 2 seems to be arriving in stores. I found the entire set of three, consisting of the Super Battle Droid, Zam Wessel, and Count Dooku, at my local Target on Saturday afternoon. The SBD is another hunk of plastic, while Zam is just plain awful. However, the dignified Count definitely caught my (and my wife's) attention, due in no small part to its uncanny likeness of the great Mr. Lee. Read on...

Packaging - ***
You've seen these boxes sitting on the shelf of Target, Wal Mart, K Mart, Toys R Us, et al. No surprises. To their credit, Hasbro didn't use too many twisty ties to hold it the figure in, and it come apart for recycling well.

Sculpting/Painting - ****
I'm afraid these pictures don't do justice to just what and excellent likeness of Christopher Lee this is. Having him sitting over my workstation directing that withering gaze at me is enough to get me working along as if the ol' boss himself were right there. He doesn't suffer from pumpkin-head syndrome, either, like many other 12" SW do (which is, no doubt, due to attempting to compensate for the buff bodies they come on - see below). His neck is a bit long, however, if you take his cape off. The paint ops are clean and well placed as well. This was the only one on the shelf, so I can't compare it to others, but no complaints here!

Articulation - ***1/2
Hasbro seems to have *finally* broken down and decided to use their GI Joe Classic Collection (CC) body on their SW line (as opposed to their Super Articulated body, which is better, but the CC is okay with me), so we're no longer stuck with those annoying, overly buff Hall of Fame bodies on our Star Wars guys. Admittedly, this is the more muscular CC body, which doesn't really make much sense on a Christopher Lee figure, but at least it's a definite step in the right direction. Here's hoping Hasbro has officially retired that collector despised body!

The only downside is that he has those annoying Gung-Ho Grip hands, which means that unless you secure his lightsaber in with string, poster tack, super glue or duct tape, he's going to be dropping it all the time. Plus there's that annoying visible joint in the center of the hand. Bleah!

Accessories - ***
Unless you consider his cape an accessory, then you get exactly one - his lightsaber. Although what else he needed I'm not sure. It's an excellent sculpt of the character's distinctive one from the movie, and if you remove the blade it hooks nicely onto his belt.

Uniform - ***1/2
A 1/6 figure like this is typically made or broken by its outfit. Now, normally, Hasbro's stuff is somewhere in the middle - not as good as what one can expect from collector companies such as Dragon or Blue Box, but considerably better thatn what you get from bottom-line oriented groups like ToyBiz and Playmates. I was certain I'd find a simple rehash of the recent Death-Star Gunner uniform on the distinguished Count, along with a refashioned collar and a new cape.

Hasbro actually surprised me this time. Rather than their usual velcro-up-the back junk, this is actually a reasonable facsimile of what the character actually wore in the movie. He's got a pair of jodphur-style pants worn with Hasbro's newer style jackboots. Up top he's got a sort of short-sleeve high-collared shirt which snaps up the front worn under a long sleeved overshirt (rather like an old-fashioned medical shirt) which snaps over the shoulder. Did I mention they all have metal snaps? Nice!

Over all that he's go his brown belt which secures invisibly yet securely in the rear, and his cape. It's decently hemmed and hangs well, and has some excellent detailing to boot, but to accommodate the twisty ties holding the figure in it's got holes in it! Grommeted, certainly, but there they are - holes. I suppose they could be looked upon as extra detailing, but still. I suppose it could be worse - they could just be punched through the fabric and giving a token shot of fray check, so I suppose we should be happy with the teeny grommets.

So, if it's so nice overall, why the half star off? Simple - the sleeves are too short and the chain across the front is plastic. What, Hasbro, couldn't spend the extra penny on a little piece of craft chain? *Sigh*

Value - ***1/2
For $20 he's a pretty decent figure. Any more and you're paying too much. Considering what you get from other companies for comparable amounts of money, he doesn't suck!.

Overall - ***1/2
I have to admit, out of the box, this is one of the best Hasbro 12" to date, on par with the Ultimate Jango Fett. After these two in a row, the future for 12" SW looks bright..

Where to Buy - 
These are certain to be all over the big retailers eventually. Since most of the online retailers want you to buy an entire set or, even worse, a case, and since only Dooku is really worth getting out of this assortment, just be patient. If I can find him out here in the boonies of Virginia, he'll be around eventually.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour