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Star Wars Black #02
Darth Maul Review (18 Pics!)

I was kinda putting this review off (I took the pictures over a week ago; hope I didn’t forget anything) because once I knock this guy out, Star Wars Black is done! Kaput! At least until Wave Two hits in a few months. Cue the “Awwwwww.”

Overall, the first five figures seem to have gone over really well. I’ve gotten a blast out of all the ones I picked up and Vault tells me the Boba Fett is pretty sweet (even though he won’t let me near it…). The funny thing looking over the first wave is that it still seems like anything but a first wave. On a tooling level, it does make sense – an Astromech, Sand(Storm)trooper gear, X-Wing Pilot Gear, Jedi Robes – if this line is going to be like the 6” lines we’ve come to love, I imagine we’ll be seeing a lot of these parts again. But the side effect was a really quirky and fun first wave.

One thing that made the wave fun is that there’s not a stinker in the bunch. I hadn’t originally intended to pick up all four, but I’m always a sucker for a good action figure even if it’s not a property or character, I’m familiar with). In Wave One, R2 was originally my only surefire pick-up, but I ended up with Luke despite my not really having a need for X-Wing Pilots. I have two Sandtroopers even though they’re not quite as iconic as the Stormtrooper.

And I have Darth Maul. I wouldn’t have guessed that.

It’s funny because I enjoy all six Star Wars movies. It kinda comes with the territory of finding things to enjoy rather than hate – maybe it’s all that jargon about not giving into hate that’s actually in the Star Wars movie, but I digress. And Darth Maul is admittedly a pretty cool part, one of the coolest parts probably, in The Phantom Menace. (Along with Qui-Gon Jinn. Though it didn’t work out too well for them, did it?).

But I still never bought a Darth Maul in 4” scale. I’m not sure why – the horns, the tattoos, the striking red face amid that see of black robes. He’s visually stunning, but he never made it into my collection – and I was there at TRU the night Episode I toys hit (though I was working and trying not to give any of the people grabbing at the cases a box knife cut while I opened ‘em up).

Like the other figures in this first wave the sculpting is top notch. The robes are well done and well detailed for Maul’s first foray into this larger size. The layering is done smartly as to not obstruct the articulation. I’m always a little iffy when it comes to using that cheap nylon-type cloth for capes and robes on toys, but it works here for Maul just fine, particularly when coupled between the soft plastic layers.

The great thing about Maul’s robes though is the option Hasbro gave us on them. They could’ve stiffed us (like most toy companies normally would do) and decreed that a hooded Maul & regular Maul be two separate releases. Instead, they stepped up to make the 6” Black version a little more iconic by giving us both his signature looks. When you get the hooded Maul out of the package, first check out how well sculpted the hood is with the implied horns, and then simply pop the outer robes and head off the figure and add the included unadorned head. It is essentially like having a second figure. Some uber-Maul fan no doubt bought two of these just to have him represented both ways. Continue to Page 2…

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53 comments to Star Wars Black #02
Darth Maul Review (18 Pics!)

  • Brainlock

    man, I don’t want to like this guy, but these reviews have me cracking. Esp the Darth Luke shots. :/

    I did ask about the “spare” head before finding out about the “robe head”, so my main packaging complaint is the robe hides most of the body in a package that the figure also blends into.

    Other than that, I never bothered with Maul back during EpI either, as I pegged him from the start to be the “prequel Boba Fett” in that he looked kewl, but that was all his charm. He got taken out and pretty much punked (as did Jango in EpII). If they do do a second Maul release, I expect him to have the waist separated and maybe even come with his Clone Wars mecha-spider legs.

    Damn, that Darth Luke may be the clincher for me.
    (and are these Troopers going to be the new commentators, Waldorf & Statler style? 😉 )

    • It’s hard to do captions when the subject doesn’t really talk. 🙂

      Enter the Sandtroopers. It also helps that the one hand looks likes it’s pointing.

  • Maul might be my favorite figure out of the first wave, though he’s not without his faults. The soft lightsaber handles still bug me, and I don’t think the fabric of his robes works well (on mine, the fabric curled outward almost immediately, so it just looks like he has tubes of fabric running down his thighs). But he does move really, really well, and it’s fun to reenact some of the fights from Episode I (the fights being some of the only parts of that movie that were any good).

    Of the four figures from wave 1, I was most on the fence about Luke and R2. Part of my reticence with Luke is that I’m not sure the X-Wing outfit is really THE look for Luke, but then I realized he has several iconic looks (Tatooine, Bespin, RotJ, and X-Wing), and I’ll probably end up with them all. The X-Wing one is great, even if it might not make much sense for any poses I give him. Luke was always quick to ditch his flight gear when he got out of his ship.

    R2 I didn’t think would be a very good value at $20, and finally having the figure in hand, I was more right than I realized. He’s really small for a $20 figure, plus he just feels lightweight and cheap. I expected something a might more substantial for a $20 3″ figure with four points of articulation. Mine also features pretty sloppy paint and some weak joints. And sure, he’s got a few attachments, but not enough to make him feel worthwhile for a $20 figure. He could’ve at least come with a translucent little Leia hologram and a Jabba’s barge drink tray. Really disappointed with that one.

    My view of the Sandtrooper is currently being tainted by my frustration at having three stuck thigh swivels between two figures. They’re freed up now, but it took a long time and a lot of effort.

    • That sucks about your Sandtroopers!

      I came to the same conclusion on Luke ultimately because I’m not sure what the iconic look is. The guy was made for action figures.

  • Not a Maul fan, but that’s one way of getting a Jedi Luke until the real thing comes along.

    And man, does Clawful ever look like an evil version of Bert from Sesame Street.

  • Prince Bubblegum

    I grabbed Luke, R2, and a Sand Trooper when I first saw the Black line at retail, but initially passed on Maul. When I saw him again a few days later, my completist nature, as well as my unbridled excitement that a 6″ Star Wars line finally exists, tempted me to snag Maul as well. I had to persistently remind myself that, despite my dislike of Episode 1, Darth Maul was actually portrayed in a somewhat interesting manner towards the end of The Clone Wars, and it was that rationalization that helped me to pay $20 for a figure of a character I had little interest in. However, once I opened him, I spent more time posing him and, for a lack of a better word, playing with him, than I have with any figure that I’ve purchased in a while. He may not be perfect, but he’s definitely a surprisingly excellent figure.

    • He’s the fun one for sure. I still loved the Sandtroopers best, probably because of the personalities I ascribed to them, but having Darth Maul kicking around is still a blast.

  • The Ghost

    No prequel figures for me, other than Mace Windu.

    But Maul does look really good. Can’t wait for my R2 and Sandies to arrive from Amazon (4 days waiting to leave New Jersey, really??).

  • Russ

    I…um…kinda, grabbed two Mauls. What can I say, both looks are equally awesome and they both deserved to be out on the shelf.

  • 3B

    And now you’ve given me a reason to buy X-wing Luke!

    • Swapping the heads will be one of the great enjoymentd in this line, I just wish Hasbro would stick to a standard neck & peg size.

      • I 100% agree. I can kind of see why the Stormtroopers are getting a bigger ball joint, because they have that giant melon to move around, but it would be nice if we were able to swap heads into that body. Not just for Han and Luke, but I also really liked Obi-Wan’s look in the Clone Wars, with the clone armor on, and would like the option of recreating that look. I’m doubting Hasbro’s going to be going that deep into the Expanded Universe any time soon.

        • Clone Wars Armor Obi-Wan is a must in any scale!

          The funny thing on the Trooper’s neck is that they’re going to half to make a smaller one now anyway for Luke & Haun!

  • DVD

    Awesome review! I think you need the 2 Sandtroopers in all future Star Wars reviews. Their banter was hilarious.

  • Excellent review, pics and comics. Loved the nerdy Sandtroopers, especially.

  • “One thing that made the wave fun is that there’s not a stinker in the bunch. I hadn’t originally intended to pick up all four, but I’m always a sucker for a good action figure even if it’s not a property or character, I’m familiar with).”

    I told you. You will own all of these. You will own figures from this line that *I* will not own, like prequel Kenobi.

    • Who wouldn’t want a Prequel Kenobi? 😀 He’s the best character in both trilogies.

      • I’m going to just let that one go.

        • dayraven

          the guy had the same haircut for 18 years… that’s either dedication, or insanity.

          if i laid down the scratch for a prequel kenobi, it would be young ben to go alongside my qui-gon. the only good kenobi is a guinness kenobi.

          • I’ve had the same haircut for thirty years, so careful there, buddy. 😀

            The Guiness thing, I don’t really get. I mean, he was great and my Obi-love starts there. But, Dr. McCoy is one of my all-time favorite characters. You’ll even catch me saying that DeForest Kelley IS McCoy and vice versa. He was awesome & unforgettable. But that doesn’t mean Karl Urban can’t play him too. I enjoy “New” McCoy too and that has nothing to do with Kelley.

            • dayraven

              for real? what are you, my dad? that was a man who always got the same haircut, pretty much from 18 on till he died… you sir need to update your do. so long as you grow hair, it’s your social responsibility, as a social contract with those of less less folically blessed, to maintain and care for your coif. and for the love of all that’s holy, while you have options, employ them! 🙂

              and am i reading that right? mr “i want dr midnight as he appeared in one particular story arc in 1973” doesn’t understand why getting guinness-kenobi might be more important that getting mcgregor-kenobi to some of us? remind me again how many “acceptable” looks rocket red could have had that would have made you happier than the one you got. so yeah, if you got a toy line with only urban-bones, you’d be cheesed… that’s how i am w/ obi wan. (and for the record, i LOVED deforest as bones, and i like urban a lot too… but if we were debating the merits of a star trek: black line, i’d be in camp deforest, firmly. i wouldn’t hate an urban, but i’d feel outright cheated till i got my kelley-bones.)

              • Ah, but I’m not Mr. “I want Dr. Mid-Nite as he appeared in a single story in 1972.” I want the original Chuck! I want Pieter! And I would even happily snap up a Beth Chapel! I don’t care the order and I’m no less disappointed that we got Chuck, but not Pieter than I would be if we got Pieter and not Chuck. And even dear Rocket Red, at the end of the day, is more about lack of scale than Geoff Johns.

                But, it’s Wave One! It’s time to be hopeful! It’s when the Gonk Droid lovers can be patiently excited. When the Willrow Hood fans can cross their fingers and hope. There’ll be plenty of time for getting cheesed over character selection later.

                And my hair just needs to stay out of my way, lowest maintenance possibly. I got things to do! lol

              • My dad and three step-brothers (all from another mother) are all bald as coots. I on the other hand have a nice full head of hair! I’ve never had the same style for more than 2-3 years.

    • Prequel Kenobi’s actually one of my most-wanted figures. Until Mace Windu’s announced, anyway. 😀

      I don’t want to be a completist on this line, but so far I want almost every figure they’ve announced. Greedo will be the figure to test my completist resolve. If they’re really only doing 4 waves a year, with 4 figures per wave, it might be a lot easier to be a completist on this line than on most others.

  • great review! I too had no intention of picking maul up, but Matt Steins amazing guest review changed my whole feeling!
    Prequel Obi for sure!

  • Paul

    Yeah, I totally love this figure. Everythign about him makes me happy with the exception of the soft plastic used for the lightsaber hilts. I don’t understand that decision. Did it make it cheaper to produce or something? I can’t for the life of me get a double lightsaber pose that doesn’t sag. It doesn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the figure, but it just seems like a missed opportunity.

    • I don’t know if its cheaper or not. Usually brittle is cheaper.

      It does need a little give here & there, so I think they just thought it was a good idea.

  • Megatherium

    I kinda want Twin Sandtrooper commentary in all the reviews now, lol. Seriously though, I have wanted this line ever since I started collecting Marvel Legends. I can die happy now. 🙂

  • dayraven

    still haven’t managed to lay eyes on these things yet!! DAMMIT!! maul will come home… oh yes, he will come home…

    • He’s been at TRU & Target here, so keep your eyes peeled!

      • dayraven

        our target just did a reset, and have stocked some other star wars line that is not black, but there’s a lot of space left that hasn’t been filled yet… hoping, hard, that that might be the black section. and my TRU was at one point fully loaded on the 3.75 inch black line, but none of the six inchers yet… will be checking both again soon)

        • In my experience, that shelf space was usually filled and then emptied very quickly. The 6″ Black Series figures are boxed, and are stocked on the top shelf, just below the crappy 4″ Legacy Series figures, next to those crappy 12″ figures with the whopping 4 points of articulation. Many stores don’t have any left, but all the ones I’ve been to at least have a bin label for them.

          • Oops! Sometimes I should read the comments on the site and not the interface. lol

            My Target has had a Luke hanging out (figuratively) on that shelf for a bit.

        • Black was shelved at my Target, not pegged, so look down. lol

  • Jon

    I’m surprised at how easy these are to find, seems my Target has a rotating stock of all four at different times. Seeing how big they are finally convinced me.

    Glad you did Maul because he was my first and I loved how well he was made. The detail work is great and they accessorised him just right. There is very little bad you can say about the first series, Hasbro put together a pretty great product and I hope they can keep it up.

    • It seems like most folks are really impressed with their first buy! One, it speaks to their interests, but the first figure really sets the tone of how good the line could be.

  • Prophet924

    What?! The Luke head cannot fit the Storm Trooper? That would be the only reason I bought that Luke. Maybe Hasbro will surprise us and include a Han and Luke head with the pristine white Storm Trooper. Ones that can be inter changed.

    Maul is cool. I keep trying out Hasbro Marvel Legends heads to see what amuses me Mose. Really wanted Tony Stark in glasses to fit. But alas it does not. I am scared to do the dremeling of heads.

    There was that Star Wars Unleashed Maul. I wonder if that saver was much more solid and not too big for the fig.

    Cool figs! Bummed I missed SDCC Fett but can wait for series two. The up coming Han looks fantastic. I wonder if Hasbro by using large scale takes into consideration matching scale to look like the figs walked right out of screen. If R2 is any indication, I’d say no.

    Thwipp!

    • The Troopers have a giganto-neck ball for their oversized noggins. It actually comes in really handy for posing them, but eliminates easy swaps. A few comments above, there’s a link to an easy custom fix.