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Sideshow Collectibles Mace Windu

My buddy Headrusch is back tonight, this time covering another of the deluge of Sideshow Jedi - Mace Windu.  What's the scoop, HR?

Star Wars. A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away...this was a cool franchise. Today, decades of 40 year old balding Man-Boys wearing "Darth Vader is MY Daddy!" t-shirts at ComicCons, combined with a seemingly endless stream of merchandising has kind of beaten the magic out of the property, at least for me. 

When I hear the words "..Your Sad Devotion to that ancient religion...", I can't help but picture a room full of social outcasts, plastic light-sabers in hand, half dressed in home-made Jedi Robes, waiting for a 30 second appearance by George Lucas to tell them how he's going to take more of their money. Bitter? Yeah I am, a bit, but most of us mid-level Geeks (+4 saving roll to Think) who don't worship films anymore tend to take offence when the cool stuff from our youth is whored-out to the point where you can't stand it any more. 

And yet....and yet.....when Sideshow announced they had acquired the license and were going to do 12" Star Wars figures I do believe I said "Holy Sheet". "FINALLY, SOME JUSTICE!" I cried...finally some decent 12" figures were going to come out. Hasbro's 12" offerings were, well, they were toys. Even a bitter Star Wars Hater like myself was interested.






Now that we've had a few releases, and Mike has just done the Obi Wan review , I thought I'd chime in here with a review on probably their best release to date: Mace Windu. Samuel L. Jackson. Hard-Core Jedi. He'll cut off your head and steal your woman all in one fell swoop. SuperFly.

To Plagiarize a bit from our Fearless Leader's Obi-Wan review "There is a regular version, and not surprisingly, an exclusive version." The exclusive, NOT reviewed here, includes the severed-head of Jango Fett...or rather, his helmet. Is there a head inside? Who knows, because 1750 more ravenous SW fans got to the exclusive before I could. Suffice to say there were a whopping 7500 produced of the regular version, with only 1750 of the exclusive. Michael's bold words, not mine, but they ring true here too. :)

Packaging - ****
Now because I am a toy collecting nerd (+2 4d2 to Not Give A Crap) who cares not 1 whip about future value (Make a fortune on Ebay? Or see it all sold for pennies after I'm dead and the kids hold an estate sale...I'm guessing the LATTER), I don't care about the box. 

Itís a nice box, probably the nicest box you can get for a 12" premium figure. Well, not quite as nice as the ones currently being put out by Hot Toys for their movie tie-in 12" figures, but awfully close. Go read the Obi-Wan review by Mike for a REAL detailed review of the box. Right now, my box...torn and tattered...is in some landfill. Suffice to say, itís a nice box. It has magnets...and now my local landfill does too!

Sculpting - ****
4 Stars. Period. Near Perfect. So life-like, as soon as I opened the box it began to scream 4-letter expletives at me. I said "What?" and it said "SAY WHAT AGAIN! SAY *WHAT* AGAIN, MO#@$*F(#ER!!!". Only after a few long, creepy seconds did I realize it wasn't the figure, it was only my wife, wondering aloud why I.....a grown man....needed ANOTHER EXPENSIVE DOLLIE up on my shelf. Pfeh, women. Had I found her dressed in a homemade Slave Leia costume at some SW Convention, this wouldn't be an issue. There would be *other* issues, sure, but this wouldn't be one of them.

The sculpt is quite accurate, reflecting the mature, *slightly* heavier visage of Sam Jackson when he made the films. While no sculpt is 100% perfect, and I think Mike really nitpicked the hell out of the Obi Wan sculpt which I thought was also excellent, I have to say...they really did capture Mace Windu's menacing stare. In fact, I don't think Sam Jackson ever looked this imposing in the film. He looks like he's ready to whup some ass. There is no Hair to sculpt here, which probably lends a lot to the way the overall sculpt just seems to "work". Hair (facial or otherwise) can make or break a sculpt, and there's none to worry about here. He's Mr. Clean with light sabers. 

Paint - ***
I'll let the photos speak for themselves......as is to be expected there is the usual level of detail that Sideshow applies to the accessories. Lip and eye paint are spot on, no glaring flaws...at least not on my figure. In fact, on a closer look, the eyes are absolutely fantastic...with a subtle layer of gloss. Yet another tiny, tiny detail that Sideshow has learned can make a "good" sculpt look "great". Paint on the accessories is the standard Sideshow high quality, as is the paint detail and wash effects on the boots.

Articulation - ***
From the Crawford: "MACE is on the standard sized Sideshow body, which on the plus side means no monkey arms. On the minus side, Sideshow needs to move forward with their body designs."

I don't exactly know what Mike drinks on the weekends, but itís got too much formaldehyde if he feels the Sideshow body can be improved. Mike, stop buying Moonshine from the trunk of a 72 Nova! Sideshows body is as articulated as any 12" figure will ever need to be. While other body designs have come and gone, Sideshow's frame is, I think, a perfect balance. Body Styles from some of the Japanese short-run figures may be more eclectically designed, but often times serve no truly useful purpose and ultimately just get in the way...joints become exposed and hideous.

What I will say, however, is this: I would like to see Sideshow improve their necks. A ball-joint from the shoulders to the neck, and another one from the neck to the jaw where the head would attach, would truly give the figure an ability to achieve more human-esque poses. The WW2 collectors love the ability for a figure to lay prone with their head up like any human being can do. With most 12" figures, this is still a limitation of neck-post design, and does need to be addressed.

Otherwise the only problem in achieving more natural looking poses comes from the thickness of materials. Even soft-rubber boots are too stiff to allow any real degree of ankle or foot posing.
But otherwise, the body is like all other Sideshow bodies, well made and without issue.

Outfit - ***1/2
Nicely done, as expected. We get the typical Jedi Belt with assorted pouches. We get Mace's tan outer garment over his white shirt. Hmmm....Mace must be a "Fall"...or is that "Spring". Hmmm...

Sideshow has really hit the ball out of the park on not only the material colors, but also their WEIGHT and WEAVE patterns are incredible. They truly do look like 1/6th scale clothing, A far cry from the shiny nylon stuff we were getting just a few years ago. 

His robe is another work of simple art, with one caveat. Some of the robes have been too big and bulky, Anakin's robe in particular bothered me...it just looked too big. But Mace's is seemingly a much better fit. Also, I can't tell for sure, but I think it may be cut differently than the other robes from the other Jedi. As I only have Obi-Wan right now, and he's not handy, I can't say for sure. 

Look in the pics at the way the opening for the arms drop way down to points. Either way, it looks good. My one gripe is that for some reason, the hem on my robe's bottom isn't perfect. I donít know if this is the style or a blip in manufacturing. Mike says Obi Wan is the same way, and is supposed to be like that. But Mike drinks moonshine, and isn't to be trusted. :)

If its supposed to be like that, well thatís another story....regardless, nice robe.

Boots? See the pic, another work of 1/6 scale art. Great color, great sheen, great paint ops. This is the look that 1/6 guys used to get when they'd take the old bland rubber boots that used to come with lesser figures, paint them, then give them a coat of FUTURE floor polish so they'd have that leather sheen. The only problem with the boots, and all 1/6 scale boots that are made of rubber, is that they donít give...and so no ankle/foot posing is possible. Given the choice between this and real leather boots, I'll choose this every day and twice on Sunday. Accurate leather boots in 1/6 scale just aren't happening...they're getting close, but the price is still quite prohibitive.

Accessories - ***1/2
All of the usual Sideshow Jedi equipment is present.....the communicator, the belt with pouches, the light saber...the other light saber. We've been here, we've done that before. Its all well done, detailed, and looks good 3 feet or 3 inches away.

But Wait..the other light saber? Oh right....I guess if you want to depict Mace from Episode 2, where he picks up a fallen Jedi's light saber (errr..I...think, its been awhile) and goes all Ginsu-crazy on a bunch of wacky-go-lucky droids (quite the menacing army they got there, huh), you can do that as he comes with 2 light sabers. And he comes with 2 un-lit sabers as well. The man is awash in weaponry. Peace-keeper my ass.

If you want to depict him with his right arm chopped off, shortly before being Flash-Fried by Palpatine in Episode III .....well Sideshow has you covered there too!! All you need to do is visit your local hardware store, buy a hacksaw, and start cutting. Sideshow thought of the collector by making the figure out of plastic.....and not steel, which is much harder to cut. These people think of everything!

Since I didn't get the exclusive, I didn't get the decapitated helmet of Jango Fett. I'll cry later.

Fun Factor - ** (or ****, depending on your point of view)
He looks good on the shelf. Four Stars.

But...can you play with him? Are you insane? $60 bucks.....$60 bucks is "just fer lookin' at" :)
The only "play" this figure will experience is the occasional shelf-dive when you drunkenly crash into your wall at 3am, swearing and urinating on yourselfÖwondering aloud in a slurred voice who moved your #*$&%(*#ing couch. Mike can relate to this, Mike likes the sauce.

Editor's Note:  I prefer to refer to it as 'my medicine'.

Value - ****
From The Book of Mike: "There's plenty of re-use in the accessories, and Obi-Wan's costume is not the most complex." With most Sideshow figures, you're paying for the head sculpt and the occasional inclusion of an extra accessory here. Anakin had his skeleton arm, but Mace and Obi Wan both have a fairly standard Jedi kit. The quality of the sculpts, the uniform parts, and the equipment when added up do equate to a good value in my book. You'll probably never see a better Mace Windu in 12". $30 would be sweet, but $50 to $60 is par for the course on these guys. 

Things to Watch Out For Ė 
Copying Mike again: "The leather belts on the Jedi tend to be a tad fragile. If you are going to undress and redress him - a common solution to cleaning up his appearance - take care and time in working with the belt." Truer words were never spoken. These things are fragile, and unlike many of the 1/6 scale Military figures, these Jedi figures DONT really seem to be made to be taken apart and undressed. Little stitches here and there tell me that these guys have been dressed already, and are best left alone. 

Otherwise Mace has no glaring gotchas that I can tell, his paint ops are simple enough that there's not much to worry about here.

Overall - ***1/2
Its more good stuff from Sideshow on the Star Wars front. These Jedi are fantastic, and I'm looking forward to more. Even if I can't get more than 30 minutes into any of the movies without shutting them off.

Itís also nice to get a product that doesnít require you to spend $200 dollars on a low-production 12Ē figure from HongJapanKong. That last $200+ Japanese Luke Skywalker Jedi figure that came out looked more like Ashton Kutcher than Mark Hammil. :P

Nice to see Sideshow putting out a $60 dollar figure that beats the $200+ short-production figures at their own game. Some of them are nice, but a steady diet of those imports leads to serious cases of Nerd Envy and, more often than not, divorce. 

SCORE RECAP:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ** (or ****, depending on your point of view)
Value - ****
Overall - ***1/2


Figure from the collection of Headrusch.

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