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
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.