Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Star Wars Vintage Collection 3.75" Bastila Shan

Bastila Shan is exactly the type of Star Wars figure that I wouldn't care about until I saw her on the pegs.  I love that she's an Expanded Universe character from the Knights of the Old Republic computer game.  Most of the EU characters are unknown unless you follow their game/story/series specifically.  And usually this means that their stories are not done being told/continues to be told.

It kinda has a roleplaying game-like feel, which reminds me of the time when the Rangerlord and I would get the siblings/cousins together for many a spot of the old West End Games Star Wars Roleplaying Game.  There was a real sense of boundless potential for your characters.  You could be anything you wanted to be--a Force sensitive but untrained character, a half-trained Jedi, a wrongly trained Jedi, or even a guy who thinks he's a Jedi and has powers because of it.  But my favourite was coming up with your own "occupation," like "Space Cowboy" or "Galactic Ladies Man"  Heh, those were the days.

But getting back on point--Bastila Shan captures this same sense of potential in plastic toy form.  And while I was on a buying-characters-I-don't-know-of streak with Barriss Offee, I picked up this lass too--how could I possible resist the "Character Debut: Never before offered as a figure!!!" sticker?  I'm such a sucker!

From seeing her in-package,  this was what I could garner:  Jedi?  Check.  Double-bladed lightsaber?  Check.  Funky new hair sculpt?  Check.  Fancy Schmancy duds?  Check.  Snazzy name?  Check.

So let's take a look at her out-of-package, shall we? :)

Like: Her outfit.  Star Wars-ishly outlandish but not overly loud.  It's also a great attempt to do a non-conventional getup with a leather skirt complete with strips hanging from her hip front and sides.  The whole brown leather over yellow cloth idea makes for a cool Jedi-like combo.

Dislike: Her legs look short because you can see her hip/leg joints.  This is actually a great sculpt for female characters except that in most cases, you don't see the leg joints exposed because of a skirt, or the character's wearing pants and has the appropriate detail at the region.  But in Bastila's case the area is smooth and devoid of any detail, so it looks kinda glaring against all the texture of the rest of her clothes.

Like: That they attempted to cast her hair in a very difficult to do style.  And from the picture on card, you can see it's a very nice hairstyle for a female human Jedi.  Heck, It's a nice hairstyle for a female human.

Dislike: That despite a valiant attempt, the hair ends up looking like a padded helmet from the front  (think Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal for all you football [soccer] fans...)  From the side and the back, the hair looks great though.  I'm just not sure how they missed the front right!



Like: She's got unrestricted movement of her joints!  Most female figures are hindered by skirts/capes (like Bariss Offee) but her lack of either allows her to be put in the widest possible stances of have her raise her arms over her head without obstruction.

The one downside about my figure is the left shoulder--which is blocked by be shoulder pad.  The right shoulder is fine because the pad slips nice into the shoulder socket when you move it.  But the left arm gets blocked for some reason. It's probably down to how high they've attached the arm's post into the body, but it could also be the way they glued the pad.  Either way, it's a bummer to have a blocked PoA.

RATINGS

Aesthetics: 7.5/10 - A pretty figure.  But just short of being truly a stunner up close.  The potential is there but the funny-looking hair from the front and the funky crotch throws her off up close.  Bastila also suffers from the too-wide stance, which adds to the illusion of her shortness.

Poseability: 8/10 - The unrestricted limbs and PoAs are a huge plus.  I also think being out of Jedi robes and in her own gear makes her more interesting to pose--you can see her legs and feet.  I also love the little hole in the belt which allows you to plug on her unlit lightsaber.  I might be wrong but this could be the first time a Jedi gets to clip a double 'saber on his/her hip.  Maybe Darth Maul can do it too, but I love that the unlit weapon hangs down to her boot-top. It's like Dirty Hary walking around with his Smith & Wesson Model 29 Revolver--"the most powerful handgun in the world."  Lol.


Also, I like that she has a "Jedi hand." which can both perform the necessary Jedi mind-trick and hold a lightsaber when needed. :)



Fun: 8/10 - As I mentioned earlier, the fun in this figure for me is in the not-knowing who she is and hence her potential to be anyone--a Jedi extra for my display (who has a name, because they all do in the SW universe anyway) or the heroine of the video games that she is.  Even then, her "adventures" could continue and she could go anywhere in any Star Wars display without looking at all out of place/time.  Together with other characters from the Old Republic?  Already there.  Arena battle scene?  No problem.  Jedi temple massacre?  Sure.  Killed by Clone Troopers during Executive Order 66?  That works.  One of Luke's Jedi trainees in the New Jedi Order?  That works too.  Buying Bastila fr me was like buying a figure of a character I came up with. :)

Value: 7/10 - With her lit double lightsaber and another unlit one, Bastila's only got two accessories.  But would you look at the size of those double 'sabers?  They're like two weapons in one so those might as well be four weapons she comes with.  Har.

Her head sculpt is also unique, while the tooling on her leather vest, shoulder pads and skirt are really well worked.  And needless to say, Star Wars figures have the most flexible PoAs on a 3.75" figure, so that's always value-for-money there.

Overall: 7.7/10 - A Good Toy All Around with some minor flaws - I may not like her as much as Bariss Offee, but for a character I knew nothing about and bought based on how cool I thought she was (my wife thought so too, probably moreso than me. Heh.), she turned out to be a fantastic buy.  I like Jedi (doh! Who doesn't?  The Sith.  I know, I know...), especially ones with non-standard outfits and are popular enough to make it into the toy line but yet are unknown to me. (Heh.)

Whether you're looking for a Jedi to fill in the gaps in your existing Jedi display or putting together an Old Republic one, Bastila Shan is perfect for both.  either way, I think human female Jedi figures are hard to come by (I can only think of Mara Jade now...) so if you're a Star Wars fan, I don't think you can avoid her! ;P

15 comments:

  1. its sad they used T Joint hips instead of angled swivel-hinges :[ it wouldve been a big improvement~

    i recently acquired a TVC Mace Windu and was expecting awesome articulation [which it has] but was surprised it had T joint hips, i thought since it was a new[er] fig it would have some Clone Wars type of articulation..

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  2. You're on a roll of finding figures I'm looking for! I am so jealous.

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  3. Well the cover used a real life actress was nice but the figure look so clone war animated!

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  4. @The Alansong - Yes, those new angled swivel-hinges on the SW figures are simply too darn good.

    Interestingly, the TVC Mace doesn't have those swivel-hinges but an older version does, if I'm not wrong. And I may have it, again, if I'm not wrong. But yeah, I could be well, wrong. Lol.

    @Mario! - Don't be! I'm sure you'll find them soon yourself. :)

    @LEon - Exactly my thoughts--the on-card art is and awesome-looking painting of an actress, while the figure is definitely less tha that. :)

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  5. Eh, she's not anything like Bar... wait, I'm still stuck on that? I have problems.

    Real problems.


    ANYWAY, my favorite character from the RPGs was Darth Nihilus, just because of his unique design.

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  6. Darth Nihilus, yes very cool. Not as cool as Bar...ah well but I guess you know that already. Lol. ;P

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  7. The problem is that I never really had time to play/finish Old Republic 2. That's the trouble with console games that take a ton of time - it's hard to just find TIME. It took me a year (to the day) to finish Arkham Asylum, after all!

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  8. A good point. That's why I don't play console games at all these days. And congrats on beating Arkham Asylum! ;)

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  9. In contrast, when Is tarted the campaign in Heroes of Might and Magic V, I finished it in about a week and a half. Because you see, I could play, then alt-tab onto my computer to GET THINGS DONE, and stay in whichever room!

    Man, we're spoiled these days. Remember when your RPG choices were consoles (dependent on time, space, and availability of TV) or Pen and Paper (dependent on the schedules of everybody at once)? My D&D gamne is done remotely using IRC and maptools, which makes it surprisingly easy for people in Texas, California, and Tennessee to play. If you think about it, that's most of the distance of what, Europe?

    I kinda like being spoiled :D

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  10. To paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi, "Why do I sense that we'll soon be picking up a new line of STAR WARS figures when 2015 rolls around?"

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    1. Because you must be Force sensitive, dude! ;)

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  11. I just hope that Hasbro retains the STAR WARS line's excellent articulation for all the EPISODE VII figures they release. The disappointment from the AVENGERS toyline won't soon be forgotten by a lot of people.

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    1. Nor the reversion of most of the SW multi-packs to some very poorly articulated bucks from 10+ years back!

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    2. That one too, as evidenced by that Darth Vader I told you I saw on sale here. Like you said regarding a previous post (I think it was Hawkeye's review), let's keep pushing at the base of the mountain so that Hasbro knows that we keep track of these things.

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    3. Agreed! At least we know that do take what the community says to heart, or at least have a good feel for what we want and give it to us in some form or other. Can;t quite say the same of some other companies...*cough* *Mattel* *cough*...

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