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Upcoming: Vintage Collection Jabba’s Palace Adventure Set, Skiff, and Figures from Hasbro

February 25, 2019

I’m not really very in tune to the 3 3/4″ collecting world, but these certainly grabbed my attention when I heard about them. First of all, Hasbro is releasing a new version of the skiff, which seems like a no-brainer given that Hasbro’s new sail barge should be coming out pretty soon. I’m not entirely sure of all the ways that it differs from the previous releases, but it looks like it should have a better paint job and a cool floating base.

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To go along with the skiff, they are also releasing three skiff guard figures in a set: Vizam, Vedain, and Brock Starsher. I believe modern figures of all of these characters have been released individually in the past, and in fact I think I own them all, although I have apparently neglected to post about them here. I’m not sure if these are straight-up repacks of those figures, but they seem to be — maybe with a slightly upgraded paint job.

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A bit more exciting are the releases of carded Klaatu, Yak Face and Boushh figures. Fans have wanted a new Yak Face for years, so that’s exciting, although they are also including him with the new sail barge as well. And I think this particular outfit for Klaatu is new in a modern figure. Boushh seems like she might be a repack, but let me know if I’m wrong about that.

But by far the most exciting news was that there is going to be a Walmart-exclusive Jabba’s Palace Adventure Set, which is a sort of environment that includes some things we’ve never had in a toy, as far as I know. It not only has some cool archway pieces that would look nice in the background of any Jabba’s palace display, we even get the tauntaun and jerba head trophies hanging on the wall!

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In addition to the environment itself, you also get Ree-Yees and Han Solo with Carbonite Block figures, apparently on Vintage Collection cards. Plus, Walmart is also releasing the exclusive Skiff Guard Lando figure shown above. Say what you want about Walmart, but they have had a lot of great Jabba-related exclusives over the years.

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The 3 3/4″ Vintage Collection Jabba originally came with the Toys R Us-exclusive Rancor Pit playset back in 2015, and will also be included in the Sail Barge set. But it seems unlikely that Hasbro would be releasing all of these new things without also releasing Jabba on his own somehow. I’m not up to date on all of the rumors, etc., but the fact that they display figures like Jabba, Bib Fortuna, and even Ephant Mon on the box artwork strongly implies to me that these figures will also be on the way sooner or later. This is all very exciting for a Jabba collector like myself, even if the majority of the releases do seem to be repacks of existing figures.

1/6 Scale Jabba the Hutt and Throne Environment by Sideshow Collectibles (2019 version)

February 2, 2019

I still remember the day that I opened up the original Sideshow Jabba figure 11 or 12 years ago. It was one of the first “high end” collectibles that I had bought, and at the time I wasn’t even really specializing in Jabba the Hutt — although I was of course a fan of the character. I was really blown away by the size and detail of the whole setup, and while the paint wasn’t perfect I was just impressed that something like it existed. It didn’t seem very likely that anything would come along to top it. But then a few months ago Sideshow announced that they would be making a completely new 1/6 scale Jabba. To say I was intrigued would be an understatement! I received mine a couple of weeks ago and made a video review of it right away, but I thought it would be worth tackling the figure in writing and photos as well. How does it measure up to the original Jabba, and is it worth the hefty $799 price tag? Let’s see!

As you can see from the photo above, this set comes in a rather impressively large box (old Sideshow Jabba for scale). The old Jabba figure was sold separately from the throne, so this is the first time we’ve had everything packed in one huge box like this.

Opening up the shipping box and the color box inside reveals two styrofoam trays. The top tray (in the background above) contains all of the little pieces and accessories for the set (more on those shortly), and the bottom has Jabba himself and the throne kind of wedged into each other. It all seems pretty well packed, but I do think it would be extremely challenging to repack.

The Jabba figure himself is quite different from the original Sideshow release in almost every way. There are differences in sculpt and paint that we will get to, but the more fundamental difference is that it really isn’t a “figure” at all. Unlike the previous Jabba, which was made of vinyl, this one is made of a hard resin-like material (at least from what I can tell) and is essentially indistinguishable from a statue. As you can see from the photo above, they even have a bit of a bend in his tail where it is supposed to hang over the throne, and this means that he doesn’t sit properly if you try and put him on a flat surface. Clearly, he is just meant to be on the throne and not really “played with” in the same way that was possible with the old figure.

The first thing that struck me when I opened him up was how much better the paint job on the new Jabba is (click the photo above to see a bigger comparison photo). It’s not that the old Jabba was badly painted, exactly (although the paint job was definitely simpler and the eyes were unforgivably basic). But with the new figure they’ve done exceptional job of recreating the many different colors that made up Jabba’s signature look. The most important thing is probably that they actually made his face and belly orange. It’s incredible how many figures and statues get this wrong, either by making him totally green, or by going for more of a beige color (although to be fair this can be partially attributed to some of the changes that Lucas made when with the CGI versions of the character). This is just a fantastic paint job, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it’s the best paint of any Jabba figure or statue ever. If you look at the Sideshow version above, you can see that they used a more yellowish green look for him that just doesn’t look quite right for a Return of the Jedi Jabba. The photo above is a photoshop composite, so please don’t use it for size comparisons, but it’s pretty close to being the right relative scale. So yes, the new Jabba is also noticeably larger than the previous version.

The previous Jabba did have some very minor articulation in the arms, but for this one they decided to get rid of even that. In its place, though, is something potentially much more interesting. The new Jabba has a number of swappable parts that allow you give him different facial expressions and arm positions. The photo below is more than a little terrifying, but it shows what Jabba looks like without his face parts attached. They just fit in there and remain attached with magnets. It’s the same story with the arms.

Jabba comes with a pretty respectable array of swap-out parts, including four arms, three mouths and six eyes (as well as a little klatooine paddy frog snack that I included in the photo below).

I think this is a brilliant idea, because one of the things that made Jabba from the film seem so realistic and alive was that he wasn’t just a static mask. He was an honest-to-goodness puppet capable of all kinds of emotions. Every other Jabba figure and statue ever made has had to choose one static facial expression, so we’ve never really had a “surprised” “angry” or (especially) “sleeping” Jabba before. That’s a huge deal. This, in combination with the arms really gives this figure a lot of personality.

I do think the sculpt looks a little bit stylized in places compared to the original figure, but it’s amazing how much of a difference changing out some of these parts can make to the look of the figure. You can see the joins where the parts meet the face in some of these closeup shots, but when you’re looking at the figure from a normal viewing distance they pretty much fade into the rest of the wrinkles and are not noticeable.

Above: Jabba about to have a snack (the klatooine paddy frog accessory sticks to his grasping hand with a magnet).

Above: Sleepy-time Jabba. You can also use one of these partially closed eyes in combination with an open one to recreate his “lazy eye” look, but it looked a little off to me and so I didn’t even take a photo of it. I prefer the slightly more open versions for that.

Above: Perhaps the most controversial mouth is this one, with his tongue sticking out and a lot of drool coming down. The drool looks a little weird — like it’s forming a uniform starburst pattern or something — and the tongue also looks a bit too bulbous in my opinion, but it’s still a fun one.

The set also includes a Salacious Crumb figure with a similar array of swap-out parts. You get two sets of arms and legs and two heads, but only one body.

The problem with using this approach for Crumb is that the arms and legs have all been sculpted to give him a certain pose. The parts are marked either red or yellow on the slots that go into his body, and in most cases trying to combine the “yellow” parts with the “red” ones doesn’t work well. Either the parts don’t fit at all or they look a bit awkward. What this means is that despite all of this apparent flexibility, you basically just have two poses you can use. I feel like it might have been better to just give us two fully-sculpted Crumbs in different poses. They are sculpted and painted very nicely, but seem quite fragile. In fact, while I was filming my video review, I dropped one of the heads a couple of inches onto my table and the tip of one of the ears broke right off. I was able to glue it back, but the ears in particular seem insanely fragile due to the materials they used (again, I’m guessing it’s a kind of resin).

The previous Sideshow 1/6 scale Salacious Crumb figure was made of a rubbery plastic that isn’t likely to break until you seriously abuse it. Below are the old and new versions together (old on the left, new on the right). The difference isn’t nearly as stark as between the Jabbas, but I do still prefer the new one.

Of course one of the main attractions of this set is that it doesn’t include just figures — you also get the full throne environment. In terms of size and general design, the new throne is very similar to the old one, but the paint is greatly improved and it’s also significantly lighter. The old throne was made of polystone, while this one appears to be hollow resin. It’s still got a nice weight to it, but it’s not as insanely heavy as the old one.

 

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They even put some cool artwork on the bottom of the throne, even though most people would probably never see it. You get a number of accessories for the throne, including 11 pillows, 3 glasses, a plate of food, and two “animal skins” (one that looks like a piece of leather and one that looks like a fur). The fur piece is very impressive in its coloration, but the “leather” piece seems a little artificial and almost paper-like somehow.

The pillows are actual cloth pillows filled with some kind of pellets that allow you to pose them semi-realistically. The previous throne only came with a couple of pillows that were made of resin or polystone, so this is a nice upgrade and gives you some flexibility with how you display them. My only concern is that they will probably attract dust when the set is on display over a long period of time.

The frog bowl in the throne railing can actually be viewed from above, unlike the previous version, and there is a little piece of transparent acrylic with a frog in it to simulate water. There is a coating inside the bowl that makes the clear resin look a bit more yellow and murky.

I think the effect works pretty well. On top of the bowl goes the hookah pipe, which is also a bit of an upgrade from the previous one. The dome is actually a transparent piece of plastic or glass and it has a bit of a smoke and liquid effect applied to it as well.

The pipe part comes apart into two pieces to help you get it into Jabba’s hand, although I think it may actually be easier to just leave it in one piece.

Once you’ve put all of the pieces together, the effect is really quite impressive. In fact, I’m willing to say that this is not only the best Jabba figure or statue ever made, it may very well be the best Jabba collectible period (although that is of course open to debate). That’s not to say that the old version is suddenly terrible. It’s still a very cool piece, and I could understand owners of the old version not wanting to rush out and replace it (especially for $799). See below for a couple of comparisons between the two sets (these are so large that photographing them is challenging, so I had to just put them on my basement floor).

As you can see, the thrones are nearly identical in size, but the new Jabba is quite a bit bigger. Also the additional throne accessories and the better paint job just make it look more impressive.

I will of course be keeping the old version, but I do need to find a good place to display it, since it isn’t easy to find space for two collectibles of this size. The question of whether this is worth $799 is going to be a tricky one to answer. It is to me personally because Jabba is my favorite character and the focus of my collection, but even for me it is a significant amount of money. It seems all the more expensive when you consider that 12 years ago the original version cost $120 for the figure and $200 for the throne. But you have to keep in mind that Sideshow’s regular 1/6 scale Star Wars figures were going for around $60 at that time, and now they are close to $250 apiece. True, there has been a significant increase in quality in that time as well, but generally speaking these prices are what drove me from 1/6 scale figure collecting in the first place. Whether he’s worth the price tag is ultimately up to you, but I can say that this is an exceptionally well done set, and I doubt that anyone considering buying it would be disappointed with it.

 

Video Review of Sideshow Collectibles’ New One Six Scale Jabba the Hutt & Throne Environment Now on YouTube

January 25, 2019

I think I will also do a writeup on the site, but in the meantime here is my YouTube video review of Sideshow’s new 1/6-scale Jabba (which is available for purchase here).

Video Review of 2007 Sideshow Jabba & Throne Environment Now on YouTube

January 20, 2019

In preparation for my review of Sideshow’s new one sixth scale Jabba setup, I have finally published a video review of their original figure and environment from 2007.

Funko Smuggler’s Bounty Subscription Box for January 2019 (“Jabba’s Skiff” Theme)

January 5, 2019

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It’s been more than two years since I reviewed the first Jabba’s Palace-themed entry in Funko’s Smuggler’s Bounty line of subscription boxes. I don’t subscribe to these normally, but when I heard there was going to be another Jabba-centric box for January, I naturally had to sign up. If you’re not familiar with this series, it’s box that you can subscribe to that will come every two months and contains various Star Wars-related Funko products, although the focus is generally on POP! figures in some way. They also often come with a t-shirt, but this month was an exception. I’m guessing that they might have chosen a Jabba’s skiff/sail barge theme to coincide with the release of Hasbro’s sail barge vehicle, which should be coming fairly soon.

If you want to see me unbox this in real time, you can check out my YouTube unboxing video. Otherwise, see below for photos of what is inside.

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The first item I pulled out of the box was this rubber Boba Fett luggage tag. I quite like the idea of luggage tags as opposed to the keychains and lanyards that we seem to get a lot in these kinds of boxes, and it seems to be well made.

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Next up was Klaatu in skiff guard outfit. A nice entry that is reminiscent of the vintage Kenner figure.

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The other POP! was Lando in his skiff guard disguise. I’m a little surprised that this is an exclusive, since this is a pretty popular look for Lando. Like all of the Star Wars POP! figures, these are bobbleheads.

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Next up were some “toothpick holders,” which are obviously just shot glasses, but I guess they wanted to have plausible deniability in case anyone should dare to actually drink liquor out of them. Not sure why they went with R2 here (and not even the drink-serving version, which you would think would be a no-brainer!), but it’s nice to get another Salacious Crumb item.

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Finally, and most interestingly for me personally, was a Jabba the Hutt figure in Funko’s Mystery Minis line. I have a few of the Star Wars Mystery Minis, and they are nice but their being bobbleheads like the POP! figures kind of puts me off. I do collect Mystery Minis for a number of other lines like Fallout and even Mad Max, though, so I was happy to get a Jabba in a similar scale/style. Even more than the Lando POP, it’s a little surprising that a character like Jabba would be an exclusive, but he is a bit of an odd size and shape compared to the regular figures, so maybe that had something to do with it.

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That’s about it for this box. I’m pretty satisfied with it, since just about everything inside actually has something to do with the theme, unlike some previous boxes. It retails for roughly $30 and is apparently now only available through Amazon, instead of direct from Funko as it was when I was originally subscribed. I think it’s too late to order this box, but it shouldn’t be much of a problem to get one on eBay.

Topps Star Wars Masterwork UK Postage Stamp Relic Card (with C-3PO, Jedi Luke and Jabba the Hutt)

November 26, 2018

topps_rotj_stamp_card1I have a couple of other postage stamps in my collection that feature Jabba on them, but they were from Mali and the Togolese Republic. Despite a number of Star Wars-themed stamps being released in the US and UK in the past, I think this is the first one from either of those countries that has Jabba on it in any capacity. This particular stamp is part of a series of 8 that the Royal Mail released in 2017 around the time of the release of The Last Jedi.

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So this is an actual postage stamp from the UK, but Topps has encased it in a hard card case to include with its Masterwork line of collectible cards. Other special cards have included things like autographs or even snippets of cloth from props, and I also have an earlier card with a patch of Jabba embedded in it. It’s kind of a cool idea, and it’s convenient for me since it allows me to easily protect and display the stamp. The real focus of this stamp is C-3PO, but Jabba is there hanging out in the bottom right. As you can see in the top left, they made 200 of these cards, and this is #81.

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Kitty Cosplay Jabba & Slave Leia Enamel Pin by 100% Soft

October 26, 2018

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I picked up this very cute enamel pin from Amazon recently. There have been quite a number of products imagining Jabba as a cat, like this sculpture or this art print (and don’t forget the Jabba cat scratcher by Petco!)