Coheteboy checks in this week with a guest review of both versions of Durge
currently available - the regular carded Durge, and the deluxe Durge with
his Swoop Bike. Since there are two figures here, I've split the
pictures up to make it it easier to figure out. The first three narrow
photos cover the single carded version, and the next four are of just the
Swoop version. Take it away!
The Clone Wars have indeed begun and the toys have landed and cleaned up quickly thanks to the popularity of the cartoon series of the same name. It probably doesn't feel like it but there's already been two waves of Clone Wars toys with a third yet to come. The commander of the Seperatists Forces is the bounty hunter Durge (part of wave 2 along with Asajj Ventress, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Mace Windu), who seeks revenge on the CLONES because Jango is already dead! If you think that's stretching it, this guy is 2,000 years old and has some eerie healing powers. The other Durge figure released among the deluxe wave comes with his Swoop vehicle seen in the cartoon.
Usually my reviews are intended for anyone interested in the toy but I'm going to do something different today. Since this is Star Wars, I think there's a distinct line between collectors. There are collectors who will buy anything no matter what, so this review won't matter to them. Then there are the collectors who shun away from anything that's Expanded Universe (non-canon). But then there are the collectors who are right in the middle. The collectors who are
"luke-warm" if you will about what they will or will not buy. There are two different Durge figures on the market, and those of you on a tight budget will want to buy just one version, so which one will it be? For those who are asking that question, this review is for you... hopefully.
Packaging - ***1/2
The Clone Wars packaging has always been attractive in my opinion and is a great way of seperating itself from the SAGA figures. The bubble nicely displays everything included and the bubble insert is actually helpful in telling the buyer exactly what accessories are included. The back of the card features a nice photo and description of the figure which is always great to see. The score here applies to both regular and deluxe figures.
Sculpting - ****
I might be overly generous here but for a Star Wars figure, both versions of Durge have it where it counts. There are fine details all over his armor including small dings and the like giving this guy an edge over most other Star Wars figures. Wherever you look, there is something extra put in, from the bottoms of his boots to the sculpted Mandalorian insignia on his chest. Everything you were expecting from Hasbro has been exceeded in this figure. If only the norm it would be great.
Both of these figures are virtually the same with some exceptions to areas of articulation but that will be further detailed below. One thing I'd like to point out is that regular Durge has holes on his feet for pegs while Deluxe Durge does not. Both Durges also have working holsters on each leg for their blaster pistols.
Paint - Durge *** 1/2; Durge w/ Swoop ** 1/2
Alright, here's where the differences really start to show up. The regular carded Durge has been given extra attention here in paint ops while the Swoop ridin' Durge has given the shaft.
Durge w/ Swoop is bare bones paint ops that is typical for most Star Wars figures: clean paint ops but flat colors and no fine details. It's not bad by any means, but a new bar has been set and this is far from being close to his regular carded counterpart.
Regular carded Durge has pushed the bar. The paint ops are clean but there's a great wash over it that gives that extra edge. He's given a very worn out appearance as if this guy MEANS BUSINESS. Very impressive paint on regular Durge, but it's not perfect. The portion of his arms that show some skin could have been given a better color. That's the one part that sticks out like a sore thumb next to the wonderfully detailed armor.
Articulation - Durge ** 1/2; Durge w/ Swoop ****
Ah ha! So you saw how the carded Durge had the superior paint ops, but look who has the awesome articulation! The tables have indeed turned here and this might be the area that will make or break the deal for some of you.
Basic Durge has a total of SEVEN points of articulation only. He has points in his neck, two in each shoulder, one for each hip. Not very impressive is it? It's great that he has ball-jointed shoulders but a few extra points in his arm would have made this a more than decent figure in articulation.
Durge w/ Swoop however is what I hope to become the standard. I'm a fan of the articulation. I know many SW collectors aren't too big on too much articulation but how can you not like TWENTY points? That's right, I said TWENTY. Now you all know why I gave this guy a full four stars. This Durge has even the standard G.I.Joe figures beat. Swoop Durge has two points in the neck allowing movement (though somewhat limited) in all directions, two points in each shoulder (love this), two points in each elbow (love this as well), one point in each wrist (great), two points in the mid torso allowing Durge turn his waste but also to lean forward and backward (neat!!), regular hip articulation, and two points in each knee. This is really impressive as Durge can be posed in just about every position... almost. This is as close to a mini Marvel Legends figure as I have seen and it's great to see that it is possible to have smaller-scale articulated figures.
The superb articulation allows Swoop Durge to ride the vehicle with a greater sense of ease compared to figures in the past. This figure fits perfectly but fortunately looks great without the vehicle as well.
Accessories - Durge *** 1/2; Durge w/ Swoop ****
Hasbro got pretty generous with Durge here and provided plenty of accessories to use. Regular Durge comes with five accessories: blaster rifle, two blaster pistols that fit into his holsters, a rocket pack that plugs in like G.I.Joes, and a bola. The bola is a little uninteresting but it's good to have it. Would have been great if it was a bendie accessorie to be put into various poses but it's best just left hanging in his hands if it even stays put. Gotta say, I love the holster deal. Being able to carry your weapons is the best and I'm glad they did it. The rocket pack is pretty cool too and very well sculpted.
One minor minor quibble about basic Durge is in regards to the rocket pack. On the very top there are two pipes that appear that they should be connected somewhere. And look, there just happen to be two really small holes on the back of Durge's head! Do they fit? Sorry, no. The pipes are too large to fit into those miniscule holes, but the pipes are stiff enough to stay in place if you just leave them against his head.
While the Swoop vehicle technically isn't a an accessory, I'll count it as such here. So.. the swoop is awesome. It's entirely new and has great detailing all over. What makes this swoop great is that there are places to stow his lance and blaster rifle! So along with his working holsters, this Durge has everything packed up in gear! But before I get too ahead of myself, here's what this Durge comes with: blaster rifle that fits into swoop, battle lance that snaps onto swoop, two blaster pistols that fit into holsters, a backback that plugs into his back, and the swoop vehicle which comes in two parts and snaps together in place.
Those of you thinking about giving the rocket pack to Swoop Durge better think of a way of keeping it in place, as my two figures aren't successful in sharing backpacks.
Value - Durge ***; Durge w/ Swoop ****
Picked up for $4.77 and $10.99 respectively, I think both items are of very good value. In fact, I think Durge w/ Swoop is an excellent value for the very articulated figure and cool vehicle included.
Overall - Durge ***; Durge w/ Swoop *** 1/2
Basic Durge overall gets a good score because it's well painted, well sculpted and comes with quite a bit of cool stuff. But in the end, there's something to be desired in articulation. It's still a very good figure but if I had to choose one Durge out of the two, I'd go with the one with the Swoop. It's not painted nearly as well, but most likely you'll be able to find a talented artist to fix that for you before you find someone who could add articulation to your figure. Swoop Durge comes with great accessories and is super articulated. The paint department or lack thereof is my only complaint here but it's not big enough to go for the basic Durge.
So there you have it. Completists will pick up both figures and those of you who only want one, you be the judge. Do you want a well painted figure that stands among the rest of your figures? Or would you go for the super articulated figure that comes with a vehicle? Unfortunately Hasbro couldn't provide the best of all worlds and make one figure for us but here's hoping it only gets better.
Figures from the collection of