SDCC-Exclusive Black Series Jabba’s Throne Room by Hasbro
I’ve been excited about this set ever since we first learned about it a few months ago. While it was disappointing to learn that the retail version of the Jabba figure wouldn’t be coming with any accessories at all, at least we would be getting Salacious Crumb and Jabba’s throne railing/hooka in this set. But as an SDCC-exclusive I knew it would be difficult and expensive to get. A lot of people looked at how other exclusives had performed in the past (especially the Black Series Boba Fett and Han in Carbonite set from last year) and assumed that this set would be selling for a huge markup. Pre-show orders seemed to bear this out, with eBay orders for the $65 set easily going over $200. I didn’t pay that much, but I did foolishly put in a preorder only to find them selling during and after the show for a lot less. Now you can get them for around $100, or maybe even less. I think there were just too many people scalping the set, causing a glut of them on eBay.
But enough about all that. Let’s look at the set. In it you get Jabba himself, which is the same as the retail figure. You also get his hooka and railing, and a Salacious Crumb. But the most memorable thing about the set is the packaging, which is made to resemble Jabba’s throne room. We may not have a proper throne for Jabba, but at least he has a cardboard one. And the archway and BBQ rotisserie behind him help add to the mood. The box has two flaps that are held in place with velcro and open up to reveal the top of the rancor pit in front of him. The top flap is of course designed to resemble the large front door at Jabba’s palace. It’s a very elaborate piece of packaging, and huge when opened up, but it’s also fairly fragile. The “teeth” on the upper flap are easily bent and even minor scrapes and bends show up very quickly on the black cardboard it’s made of. So far I have two of these and they both have a number of minor defects — I actually colored in a few spots with a sharpie to hide the white showing through. I think finding a truly mint example will be difficult — especially since you’re unlikely to be able to pick up several and compare them.
As you can see, Jabba is not only held in place by some paper cords, he also has his tail inserted into some clear plastic that’s attached to the cardboard throne. If you’re careful, it’s possible to get him out without destroying the packaging, although you do need to cut some cords and clear rubber bands. Below you can see the inside of the packaging taken out of the black outer box. They printed the throne graphic on both the inside and outside.
Of course this just makes the plastic bits stand out all the more, so I decided to see how much of the plastic I could remove without hurting anything. I don’t think there’s any way you can get all of it off, since a lot of it is bonded to the cardboard. I even halfheartedly tried using a hairdryer to see if I could peel it off, but it just looked like it would remove the top of the cardboard as well, leaving an ugly white ring. In the end, I left some of the plastic there because helps you keep the railing and Jabba in place, but I did use a craft knife to cut off the part that covered the tail. So you could make it look like this if you wanted.
You may have noticed that there’s a cardboard Han in Carbonite to the side. You can actually remove this easily and slide in the Black Series Han in Carbonite that came with last year’s SDCC-exclusive set, but the cardboard holder for it looks rather cheap. If you’re going to use the actual Han in Carbonite, you might be better off removing the holder and just propping the figure up there somehow.
The initial shots of Salacious Crumb didn’t look that nice to me. He seemed way too gangly. And while I do think they made his hands and feet a bit too big, I actually like him pretty well now that I see him in person.
He’s relatively well articulated (for a Crumb figure). Here he is recreating an iconic scene from “Mission Impossible.”
And here he is with his BFF (Bloated Frog-like Fiend) Jabba.
Aside from the packaging and Crumb, the hooka and railing are the main draws for this set, and they’re not bad. Not great, but not bad.
The railing actually comes in two pieces that slot together. These seems like a bit of an odd choice, but I suppose there was a reason for it. It looks a little ugly though.
The hooka and froggy bowl are all one piece, so you can’t take the hooka part off, although you can remove the whole works from the railing if you want.
Inside you can make out some froggies swimming around (although it’s a bit hard to see in this shot).
It’s a relatively large piece, as it should be, but surprisingly lightweight. And it only reminds me of how nice it would have been to get a proper throne. They really should have made this set be the retail set (maybe charging $50 instead of $40) and had a real throne for the SDCC version. That would have been epic.
Here’s a shot of everything out of the package.
Some people have been asking if the Bib Fortuna Statue that came with the Gentle Giant Jabba the Hutt statue would work well with this Jabba. I would say that he’s too big, but it’s close enough that you could fudge it if you wanted to. For that matter, the Gentle Giant Leia Accessory Pack might work as well (although I didn’t try that).
So is this set worth the money? For me it is, obviously, since I’m a Jabba super-fan and also plan to make my own custom version of his throne. But for the average Star Wars collector it’s a bit of a harder call to make — especially since we don’t know how many Jabba’s Palace characters Hasbro plans to add to the 6″ line. The problem is that for most people, it’s not just a $25 difference between this and the retail set. It’s more like a $60+ difference, and that’s a bit harder to swallow.
If you want to make a full throne room display, obviously the parts that come with this set are a must. But I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss the retail version of Jabba. He’s a very well done figure, and while $40 seems about $10 too much, he’s definitely one of the most impressive entries in the Black Series line.
EDIT: Here’s a video review I did of the regular and exclusive versions of the figure.