Before we begin: Congratulations to john_sprecher for winning the Boba Fett contest! I wish I could have given you all one, but the randomizer hath spoken.
Now, on to the next great figure in the line…
I remember when Star Wars figures were $2, and Masters of the Universe were $4. Now He-Man is $27 plus hefty shipping, and Darth Maul is $20.
While Boba had some obvious room for future variation – space where a firing rocket looks primed to fit, potential wrist-guard color change, etc. – it seems that this Darth Maul is an attempt at an ultimate version; the only one you’ll ever need. He doesn’t have the Sith Probe, but everything else you need is here. The only way I could see wanting another version is if they do him shirtless later.
I’m not an in-box collector, but the packaging is cool for display. Boxes work better than cards, and everything about the figure is pretty clearly visible. If you like biographical information, though, the back is pretty sparse. Hasbro pretty clearly has in mind that nobody displaying these is likely to be showing off the backs.
It’s reasonably collector-friendly, too. Remove a small piece of tape and you can open the bottom of the box (be careful if you’re a mint perfectionist – it bends easily) to slide out the plastic tray and cardboard backing. Said cardboard backing can also work as a backdrop by itself, as seen in the top image that kicked off this review.
Then all you have to do to free him is remove one small, translucent plastic band, and he comes right out.
Maul’s saber splits in half, and both blades are removable. His Tatooine robe (why does he wear MORE clothes on a hotter planet? Genius) is glued to the head, which you can pop off, slide the sleeves over his arms, and replace with the unhooded head for his Naboo look.
There’s a notable missed opportunity with the heads. Aside from the fact that unhooded Maul has his eyes painted looking slightly to the right, they both have the same facial expression. I would have liked more variety here, possibly with a “baring teeth” look on the bare head, as seen in that very first trailer that got all our hopes up.
Articulation-wise, he’s a bit better and more consistent than Boba Fett. Ball hips, cut upper thighs, double-knees, ball ankles, twist and hinge wrists, twist and hinge elbows, ball mid-torso, ball shoulders, ball neck. As you can also see, parts of his skirt are thin cloth.
Unfortunately, almost none of those joints matters when he has the hooded robe on, because it restricts movement a lot. He can only look down, too.
“Don’t move!” “Couldn’t if I tried”
He can get on one knee, but not a lot more.
“Sheikie baby new name the Darth Go Fuck Yourself”
But take off the robe, and the story changes.
“Hulk Hogan called. He’ll see you in hell.”
The saber even plugs into his belt, which is a nice touch. The trinoculars do not.
The scale is better than I expected. Ray Park is a short man, and he looks it relative to Boba Fett. Boba also clearly looks like a man wearing bulky armor and a helmet relative to the Sith Lord’s size.
He fits in decently with similar 6″ figures too.
If you’re a Maul fan and don’t want to go to the Hot Toys high-end, this is pretty much the best one to date, and certainly the best in this scale. While some variance between heads would be nice, the detail is dead-on and you really can’t complain too much. As for the Sith Probes – I’d expect they may be a lure with a Sith Speeder down the line, since it’s one vehicle that can be made for this scale without breaking the bank.