This last six weeks has been the Exclusives Period in the Star Wars Action
Figure History Time Line. The latest in this long series of
exclusives to hit in such a short period of time is the 12" Darth
Maul with Sith Speeder. This is a Walmart exclusive, and retails for
Packaging - **
Even more plain than usual. Perhaps that's because the Tatooine
background is pretty dull here, or the fact that this package is radically
smaller than the Speederbike or Dewback What ever the reason, this
package is certainly less inspiring. And as is the usual case, you
better bring your wire snippers to the party because this boy is very well
attached to the insert.
Sculpting - ***
Above you can see the original Maul sculpt (left) and the new and
theoretically improved Maul sculpt (right). While the new sculpt may
not be perfect, it certainly highlights what a truly awful sculpt the
original was. Let's face it, the guy on the left looks like he
should utter "Whoa, dude". The blank expression combined
with the clown paint application of his tattoo is just horrendous.
The new sculpt makes that clear.
However, the new sculpt isn't perfect. I love the look in the
eyes, and the malevolence in the wrinkle of the brow. The face paint
is a tremendous improvement as well, thinning and thickening the lines
perfectly. The perfect example is the chin, where originally it
looked like the tattoo artist may have been drunk while old Maul was in
the chair. On the newer version, the design is cleaner and sharper.
But what about that grin? Okay, I can deal with the poor dental hygiene.
But the grin is very close to crossing the line from evil to
psychotic. And while I can understand an evil Maul, a psychotic Maul
just doesn't play. It's almost a Joker grin, and that's not
necessarily a good thing.
Accessories - ***1/2
I'm counting the bike as the accessory here. I know that's bizarre,
but that's the way I do it. And this is a pretty damn nice
accessory. Pretty solid construction, Maul sits fairly well on it,
although his hands have a bit of a problem holding both handles at
once. The handles move separately, the clear plastic stand tilts
left and right, and there is even a compartment in the tail to store the
lightsaber if you'd like.
Speaking of the lightsaber, that's obviously another accessory, but
you've seen it before with the original 12" Maul. Nothing new
here. They did add his silver arm band, although it's certainly
nothing to get excited about. Very plain, but at least it fits.
Articulation - **1/2
Same as the original 12" figure, and just about all the other
12" Star Wars figures. If you consider it adequate, you still
will. If you hate it, you still will. I do like the ball joint
on the neck of the Maul figure however, which isn't present on every other
Outfit - ***
I'm giving Maul's outfit pretty high marks simply because it's a damn cool
outfit, and well done. But there's nothing new here - the robes,
belt, boots, all we've seen in the original version.
Value - ***
Pretty good score for a 12" exclusive. Normally these are too
high for what you are getting - fifty bucks for the Speederbike was
pushing it, and the cost of the Dewback or Palpatine/Guard two pack were
way out of line. But if you consider that the figure would cost you
$20, the Sith Speeder is only costing another $20, and that's certainly
not too shabby. Add in the fact that you're getting an improved head
sculpt on Maul, and this is a pretty good deal.
Overall - ***
This is certainly one of the better exclusives recently, if you look at
the overall picture. While I still think the Speederbike is a bit
better in terms of the coolness factor, this is certainly a better
value. And if you were like many and didn't get the chance to pick
up a 12" Darth Maul the first time around, here's your chance to get
an even better looking version.