Friday, March 30, 2012

Birthday Review!!! Kenner Bounty Hunters Review and Hasbro Comparisons

"Bounty hunters!?  We don't need their scum."   Who would ever think that a 40 second clip from a movie would spawn six such iconic characters? Five of which you never hear from or see (unless you possess a keen eye) again.  This review shall exist to serve as a measureable comparison between the old 1980 kenner figures and the new vintage collection figures of the past few years.  Lets start with a group shot, shown above is the classic group shot, below is the modern collection.  These characters also serve as an absolute measure of difference between how great the original trilogy is and how horrible its subsequent prequels are.  The reviewer Mr. Plinkett said something along the lines of  "how is it that a nothing character like IG-88 so much more interesting qualities than Gloomu Uptoo or Dexter Jexter?"  A valid question.

Close ups are provided as well as cover and cardback art as well to give a full rendition of what both kenner and hasbro did with their figures.
First up, like you had to ask, is Boba Fett:

You can see the great attention to detail they put into both figures.  Boba Fett was an instant sensation since he was revealed as a mailaway "mystery" figure as a kenner promotional long before the Empire Strikes back came out in theaters leaving kids to wonder, "who's this Fett character?" He was originally slated to have a spring loaded rocket firing feature which was pulled in the prototype phase due to concerns over potential injuries.  Some of these prototypes made it out of Kenner's in house production labs and can pull the price tag of 20,000.00 (Jordan Hembrough sold one on Toy Hunters for 17,000 dollars at NY Comic Con) or more depending on the backpack model (known as J or L slot version)  You can see on my reverse shot that his rocket is included it was simply glued in place.  Fett also made his first appearance on the animated portion of the Star Wars holiday special and (as goofy as he looked) pretty much stood out as the only positive thing to come from it.  Boba fett is by far one of the most iconic and favored Star Wars figures in the canon and even by 1978 standards he is a very well painted and detailed figure with detailing on his helmet, armor and wrist guns.   I'm also showing the 1995 Shadows of the Empire version of Fett who was released in two color variations. (I had the Empire version of him)  Not a bad figure but still a bit "meatier" with the Hasbro POTF puffed out chest and bow legged stance...ehhh.

The modern rendition by far outranks the old one with super detailed features, a pistol, holster, wiring for his grappeling and flame cannon, a sawed-off blaster, a removable helmet and rocket pack and a cloth multitextured cape.  They even sculpted in Wookie pelts and a small rubberized but highly detailed targeting reticle.  In my heart I still have a warm place for the vintage guy because I found him and Weequay (my favorite skiff guard)  in the Twin Pod Cloud Car I got at the flea market for dirt cheap and luckily it was the only time I ever saw a vintage Fett for sale out of all the times I returned to the Star Wars sellers.  Memories.

Boba was produced in various stages throughout the modern line.  He was offered through two separate mail-away offers; the first being a reproduction of the rocket firing vintage fett looking like the 1977 model in 2010 and the second being a release of the prototype white armor Fett from Ralph McQuarrie when he was only supposed to be a "super storm trooper" in 2011.  I only got my hands on the prototype Fett, sadly.  Also, he was release on numerous cardbacks with the headings Empire Strikes Back , Return of the Jedi, or the Revenge of the Jedi which was originally realeased at the 2011 SDCC in an 11 pack encased in a huge second death star package but eventually released as a chase set in various retailers.   I also am showing that the Empire and Return/Revenge models had very different paint jobs to show the differences between the two film's depictions of fett.  In Return/Revenge his suit is a lighter blue/grey, his helmet is darker with less paint variation, his rocket pack has way more color on it with burgundy and gold, his wrist guards are now burgundy, his ammo pouches go across his entire waist and his thigh pouches are tan instead of gray.  Totally worth getting and, in all reality, I think the Return of the Jedi version is the one we all remember more commonly.

Moving down the line, (finally) we go into Bossk.  Another cool character who got a lot more attention paid to him in recent years through the Clone Wars cartoon.  Besides a bit of an alien grunt he makes at then Captain Piett there's not much more to him in the film.  His race is Sauren and he was known to work with various hunters, Boba Fett being one of them.  If you keep your eyes peeled you can see him on Jabba's Sail Barge.  There are shots you can see at  skiff guards . com.  Anyway, Let's take a look at the figure.

I have him next to a Zuckuss (misnamed, we'll get that next) cardback...  You can see what I mean about these characters, as awesome as they became, being pretty much afterthoughts being that the production photos chosen from the figures even look like they were dug up.  Even the group shots for pre-production don't have all 6 bounty hunters together.  I remember thinking how cool it was when I finally got to see him in somewhat action in the Dark Forces PC game, even though you had to fight dozens of him.

  You can see that the retooled version is definitely better produced with an actual flight harness a moveable collar piece, super detailed painting including the face, the leg grenades, his gun, patches; he's just an awesome figure.  He looks way more menacing too the way he did in the film instead of the older one who just kinda looks a little dopey.  (don't get me wrong, I love all of the simple charm about the old figures. But really look at those faces and tell me which one's better?)  Also Bossk was released alongside a Snowtrooper and IG-88 in a great Imperial Three pack Target exclusive for 17.00.  Great price for three modern figs.

Next we have a dual set of misnamed bounty hunters 4-LOM and Zuckuss.  This is a case of mistaken identity which still carries on today because of Kenner putting the reverse names on the cardbacks. 4-LOM really is the silver metal robot with the 4 long alphanumeric droid code standing for For Love of Money (which I hated in his back story...bit cheesy for me) and Zuckuss was an insectoid cloaked bounty hunter.  I always thought they were related even as a kid because of their such similar heads and apparently they are a team who work together on jobs and even have a double agent story about working with the rebellion.  Zuckuss' (4-LOM's) cardback is above with Bossk's lets look at 4-LOM's (Zuckuss').
Always thought the 4-LOM pic was cool and he was the only bounty hunter I never had as a kid.  Although my friend Tim gave me his plastic chest piece in second grade along with an Imperial Royal Guard, a Tusken Raider and an AT AT drive... Score. haha.

The misnomer went as far as even to have them released again on the incorrect cards as a Bounty Hunters exclusive with modern sculpts with vintage paint jobs.  Cool two pack and revisit into action figure history.

Lets look at the two sets of figures:

4-Lom really doesn't have all that much different besides the improved paint on his head, his rusting effect and his little red chest insignia.  I liked how they made him look more droid like in articluation but the old 4-Lom was a good figure in my eyes, like an angry C-3PO.  I liked how clean he was and he was a very stiff jointed figure for a flea market purchase.  The only thing I didn't like about him was his rudolph red nose.  Whatever that was about, I have no idea.  Not pictured is his weapon which is one of the biggest guns you got for a Kenner vintage figure, it was really fat though and not at all like the really cool rifle the modern LOM gets.  I love the fact that you can prop him on his gun with the new figure as well.

Zuckuss is another cool unsung character in my opinion even as a figure.  Generally, he's got a lot going on in both versions and I absolutely love that!  The old one has a full pleather coat with great stitching, a plastic harness to hold it wall together with fine detailing and almost a sawed off shotgun looking blaster.  I remember seeing him in comic stores without any of his accessories as a bare figure for 5.00 and that was just not doing it for me.  I found mine complete on ebay for 3.60 which was an amazing deal and if you ever do buy the old guy with no cape and such, there are sellers who make repro coats for him.   The modern figure is super cool with a similar gun that he can hold across the waist (nice feature) shin guards, a stained dark cloth cape and rubberized plastic chest plate, detatchable air hoses and a separate backpack (not detatchable) for the hoses to plug into.  The head sculpt is a nice touch too but all in all pretty similar to the original however I must say he's really short (I guess to scale?) and has a little trouble standing but comes with a stand. In my opinion, Kenner really nailed the original and amazingly enough Hasbro was able to find ways to improve an already awesome figure.  Bravo.

Onto IG-88.  A pretty badass designed figure, standing menacingly in the background. There are two backstories to him which seem to clash in my mind that Boba Fett destroys his ship (or decoy ship) in Shadows of the Empire but Wookipedia says that IG-88 was secretly leading a droid revolution on the Death Star during the battle of Endor where he was untimately destroyed.  Eh, whatever, this is why, besides Dark Empire I never got into side stories.  I loved the figure and always thought of him as like the T-800's grandpa.  He came with two guns (one of the few kenner figures who got two besides Bespin and Jedi Luke)  and was a super detailed sculpt which was actually reused and just a repaint in the POT2/SOTE 95 line.  Side Note: Looking back it kinda pisses me off how much the POTF2 line seemed to slack by either destroying any mold they tried to do on their own (monkey face leia, sasquatch chewbacca) or just ripping off the Kenner molds.  Also, I remember him being a great boss fight in Shadows of the Empire and him having like a menacing dot matrix printer sound when he walked. Don't know how accurate that is to the canon but it stood out and worked for me.

Lets look at the figure:

Even as a classic, he was a huge figure and I think the tallest along with EV-9D9 but the modern one is even taller.  They did a great job with the Kenner version from the paint, size, shape and sculpt.  The weapons fit firmly in place and they have a neat long rifle for him and a stormtrooper blaster as his secondary weapon.  He straight up looks like a killing machine which is what his purpose is. 
The new Hasbro model is great too (although very delicate)  He has amazing detail in the tubing and wirings interconnecting his joints, he has a nice rifle mold, a double articulated head and a long vibro blade with holster on his back for that and an addition one for his smaller imperial model rifle.  The weapons also have grooves in the handles to fit nicely into his now bendable and rotatable arms. Great figure that I got as a three pack for 7 dollars with Zuckuss and Bossk with free shipping, holy cow!

Last and least is my least favorite.  It is Dengar who I never cared for... poor Dengar.  Our final bandaged bounty hunter and shortest tall figure released.  He's just goofy looking and one of those figures you get to simply complete your set. I got my old one in a mass buy with a collectors case and my new one came in a three back with the AT-AT driver and Imperial naval officer so you can see how much I went out to get him.  I'm sorry for not being objective but he just doesn't do anything for me.  Let's take a look.

Notice they did make him taller for his modern figure.  As crappy as I think the old one is, (he didn't even get a unique rifle but a repacked Snowtrooper rifle) the modern does show some major improvements.  His paint is nice, he has a removeable backpack, extra blaster, a great long rifle and removeable... cod piece?  Okay...  Even the newer expression is great and looks like at least a bad guy whereas the older version just has kind of a dopey blank face on him.   I guess if you read his back story he is supposed to be expressionless since he cannot feel emotion but whatever.  The Kenner version's backback was stuck to him always making him tough to stand, he head seemed too small and his paint was boring... God, I'm sorry for hating so bad on him but I can say the silver lining is that his newer counterpart was a very pleasant surprise when I got him in the three pack.  Nice work Hasbro! Also, he too resurfaced in Return of the Jedi lurking around in Jabba's palace.

1 comment:

  1. Excelente nota!!! Me encanta esta serie de figuras, son de mis preferidas. Y muy buena la comparación.
    Te invito a mi blog:


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