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Watto - Star Wars mini-bust
Gentle Giant

Watto Star Wars mini-bust by Gentle Giant


I don't have the official numbers on this, but I'm willing to come out and say that Gentle Giant's Star Wars mini-bust line is the longest running series of non-toy licensed collectibles of all time. It's been more than ten years since the first series of armless busts hit the market, and Gentle Giant has produced countless characters from the entire Star Wars universe over the decade.

I haven't reviewed a lot of them over the years, and I've reviewed even fewer in the last three or four. That might imply that I'm not buying them - you'd be incorrect in that assumption. I still buy almost every one, although I will admit that I'm no longer the extreme completist with the series that I once was.

I'm reviewing one tonight for two reasons - first, three showed up on the doorstop almost on the same day, making it pretty obvious that it they were due for another look. Second, Gentle Giant has picked up two new licenses for the bust treatment: The Walking Dead and The Hobbit. I plan on getting all of the Walking Dead busts, and am interested in some of the Hobbit ones as well, so I thought it would be a good idea to check out one more Star Wars bust before the new licenses began in earnest.

I'm checking out Watto, who just started shipping to retailers. You should be able to find him for around $50 - $55, about the same price as that first wave back in 2002. This bust is limited to just 1200 as well, about half of what the edition size was on the first wave.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Watto Star Wars mini-bust by Gentle Giant
Watto Star Wars mini-bust by Gentle Giant
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Watto Star Wars mini-bust by Gentle Giant
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Watto Star Wars mini-bust by Gentle Giant
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Watto Star Wars mini-bust by Gentle Giant
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Watto Star Wars mini-bust by Gentle Giant
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Packaging - ***
The biggest problem this packaging has is the boring color scheme and design that they've been stuck with for years. Not much Gentle Giant can do about that.

On the plus side, there's a window, which is the norm for the Gentle Giant boxes. There's also the very cool Certificate of Authenticity, done like a small trading card. I know people that just collect those, and when you can make a COA that good you know you're doing something right. Thankfully, they are also smart enough to not change something that's been working for them for years.

Sculpting - ****
Watto is a greedy, weaselly, penny pinching garbage dealer - and he's ugly too. Not much positive you can say about this guy, and Gentle Giant has captured all those attributes in the perfect pose and expression on this bust.

Technically, these aren't busts - they added arms as part of the second wave, and have wisely stuck with it on all their various licenses. Watto is holding a credit in his fingers, closely examining it, and stroking his wattle-like chin. It's a great pose, and communicates his personality extremely well.

It's also very detailed with a ton of extra items hanging around his belt and body. There's some nice textures on the vest, along with a few warts and bumps on his unattractive skin. Perhaps the best texturing is on the inside of the wings, where the veins look very realistic. This sort of detail is often missing from Gentle Giant busts, and it's been an oft complaint of mine. I love seeing all the wrinkles, textures and veins here, and I hope that this is a sign of what we'll see with future releases.

Watto stands about 6" tall, done in an approximate sixth scale. He'll fit in great with the rest of the line, right down to the matching base.

Paint - ****
One of the weaknesses of some Gentle Giant busts has been the paint. Too often it seems like last minute cost cutting drops the number and quality of the paint ops.

Not so here - this is GG paint work at it's best. There's plenty of small details, the cut lines are clean, the transitions from color to color on the skin are smooth and realistic, and there's even a nice use of different finishes to highlight certain areas.

For example the nails are done in a very gloss black, setting them apart from the more matte look of the skin and clothes.

The gloss work on the eyes is key as well. He has large eyes, and they can produce their own catch lights, a key to creating a realistic appearance.

The edition size and number are also on the base of the statue, a nice touch that I really appreciate.

Value - ****
You can find this bust for under $55, a very low price considering the small edition size. I'm shocked at the price point in fact, and this is a terrific value considering the price on similar busts and statues from other companies. This was about the same price we paid for these busts a decade ago - how many other collectibles have remained the same price?

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Overall - ****
I've been very vocal in my disappointment with some of the Gentle Giant busts, especially in the Harry Potter series. But the reason for that is because I know how good they can be - I've seen them produce amazing mini-busts, and I only wish that every release would be at that same level of quality.

Watto does meet my extremely high expectations, with an amazing sculpt and paint job. Add in a price point that is the same as it was ten years ago and an edition size that's even smaller, and you have a winner all around.

Watto is also a great character, since he has so much personality in his design. They've captured that here, and I'm very happy to see them back to form.

I'm also hoping that this carries over to their new licenses, especially the Walking Dead. I'm a huge fan of the show, and we haven't gotten any really good collectibles yet based on the license. I have my fingers crossed that Gentle Giant will change that now, and perhaps will jump over to the Game of Thrones license as well.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Value - ****
Overall - ****

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Things From Another World has him5 at just $52, but it's still a pre-order.

- Urban Collector had him at $54, but looks like it might be sold out.

- Fanboy Collectibles is also a pre-order at $55.

- Entertainment Earth is at $59.

- Big Bad Toy Store is also at $59.

- or you can search ebay for a bargain.

Related Links -
I've reviewed a few of the GG Star Wars busts over the years, incluidng Figrin D'an, Darth TalonShaak-Ti and Aayla Secura, the Tusken Raider, the pair of Jawas, Dengar, Zuckuss, Chewbacca and Darth Maul, Jedi Luke, Qui-Gon Jinn, Palpatine and Skiff Lando.

Discussion:
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Watto Star Wars mini-bust by Gentle Giant


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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