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Star Wars: The Black Series
#19 Mace Windu Review

If we’re going to have a proper 4” Appreciation Week, then it simply can’t be done without bringing some Star Wars into the mix. Even though Star Wars has recently forayed into 6” territory, it has been the 4” power house for nearly twenty years. That’s crazy long for a toy line, even if those 1995 figures aren’t terribly compatible with the figures Hasbro is still cranking out today.

While the modern figures are vastly superior to those slightly pre-posed, over-muscled 1995 figures I was buying with my own cash back in high school, I have to ashamedly point out that I bought a crapload of those and don’t buy as many these days. It’s mostly a money & attention thing. Star Wars was some of the only stuff I even kinda wanted to buy back then (DC toys didn’t really exist in the 90s, I didn’t buy Marvel, Playmates Star Trek line had died quickly… it was a dark time). Nowadays, competition for my dollar is much fiercer and Star Wars had ended up on my back burner. Even the 6” line interest has cooled, while certain characters are musts, I’m not chomping at the bit to snag Series 3 right now. (I think they’re out at stores, right?)

Anyway, even though I don’t review a ton of 4” Star Wars here, I do still snag the figures now and again when they catch my fancy. I have a lot of TVC Ewoks, even trekking to other cities for the Kmart 2pk. Willrow Hood was a must have, of course. Darth Malgus. Unique aliens with classic looks. Astromechs. Heck, maybe I do buy more than I think… Recently though, I’ve only picked up one Star Wars Black 4” figure*: Mace Windu.

* – Whenever Hasbro gets around to rebranding things again, can we get separate names for the 6” line and the 4” line? It’s confusing to have to refer to them with the same title. I like the idea behind the “black” label, I just don’t know that Hasbro should be double-dipping with it.

Now, my reasons for buying this figure are rather ludicrous. This figure is from Clone Wars and already gets cool points for being a Jedi with a bit of Clonetrooper armor. I like that look even if it’s minimalist like on Mace here. But that wasn’t it. Clone Wars obviously took the real Sam Jackson and animated him. This figure then, is the animated version made realistic. And while you’d think that would mean the figure should just get a realistic Sam Jackson head sculpt slapped on it, you’d be wrong. It’s the crazy amalgamation. It does have a pretty great resemblance in some ways (As it should), but then cartoon elements also creep in like the slightly more bulbous head. It’s probably just one more example of me fawning over something silly, but excitement trumps pessimism every time, so let’s roll with it.

Still want me to dial it back some? Okay, well, there is kinda one big problem. The skintone is all wrong. It’s not accurate to the real Sam Jackson. It’s not accurate to the animated Mace Windu. It’s definitely too light, but also maybe a little too yellow – I’m not sure. It was actually difficult to photograph and sharp readers have already no doubt noticed that it’s not the same from photo to photo. The sculpt itself is trying hard to make up for it, but I can’t help thinking how much more perfect the figure would be if they’d done a better job on the skin tone. Oh, and let me add the eye color to that too. He’s kinda possessed. Continue to Page 2…

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21 comments to Star Wars: The Black Series
#19 Mace Windu Review

  • To the point about the lightsabers with the plug-in blade: I have a ton of those from around the time Episode II and Episode III came out, and on most of them the little plug that actually goes into the hilt has broken, or wilted so badly as to be pretty much unusable. I think the solid piece is definitely the way to go.

    • Sandman

      I agree with this 100%. I have had several of the connector plugs break while just storing them together with other weapons. I believe very thing connectors made from translucent plastic are just way too fragile.

      So I like getting a separate hilt and an extended saber as separate pieces.

  • Brainlock

    What, no MotherFlipping Snake jokes, or even Avengers? not to mention FURY???

    😉
    I kid. mostly.
    you’re saving those for the eventual 6″ Mace review, right?

    I don’t think I’ve bought a 4″ SW figure since EpI other then “The Separation of the Twins” sets. I even tried selling them in lots last summer to no avail.

    as for this guy, I like the basic Jedi design, but still not sure why they wear the armor? his head does look like he just took a roundhouse to the jaw in that first close-up pic and a bit in the empty helmet pic.

    and going for the Die Hard gag over the Unbreakable gag? ha!

    • Can’t blow your whole wad on one review, right?

      I don’t know why they were the armor, but I like it. Maybe people try to shoot him in his forearms a lot? I think the two pics you mention might just be because I have his head tilted a bit. I took the pics in a hurry (doing reviews every day is a toll!)

  • Megatherium

    Lightsabres with removable blades were the BANE of my existence. I’m much happier with one molded piece, thank you.

  • “We’ll NEVER make realistic figures of the animated Clone Wars characters,” Hasbro said.

    Gits.

    Sweet review, as per usual, with just one call-out: “Through” him off a cliff?!

  • He-Mullet

    Ooh! Die Hard 3 Reference!!
    Meh about not quite Samuel Monday-to-Friday L. Jackson

  • He kind of has the Sith eyes look going on a bit, doesn’t he?

    Anyways, I’m kind of surprised that he doesn’t have the booby-trapped Jango Fett helmet, as that would make more sense with his Clone Wars appearance.

    I really hope to see some new SWB figures. I have only ever seen one figure from anything past the first wave. And I’ve been looking!

    • Yeah, the eyes are sithy.

      I know the actual Clone Wars one has the bomb inside. It must’ve cut into the profit too much this go round. The 4″ ones tend to sell out pretty quick, the good ones anyway, I still haven’t seen Plagueis.

      • Mysterious Stranger

        The Clone Wars bomb Jango helmet is the cartoon style sculpt which is thinner and more angular than the realistic version. The realistic version of the helmet fits better with this realistic version of the character.

  • Sandman

    Man, they REALLY nailed the Sammy head sculpt on this guy didn’t they?

    The Vintage Collection of 2012 onwards ushered in a whole new era for Star Wars toys. Gone were stiff plastic clothes and action poses, and instead we got very faithful movie-accurate sculpts. This design philosophy led straight into Star Wars Black in both scales, and it’s a huge relief.

    My only problem with the 3.75″ Black series (and yes this line is still 3.75″ rather than 1:18/4″) is that they still stick with swivel hips on a lot of figures. I know I’m sounding like a broken record about the damn hips lol. But the hips are SO important for posing a figure and it’s so restrictive when they can just spin back and forth.

    I read a crazy rumor on Rebelscum that George Lucas actually wanted Hasbro to stay with the older articulation because he prefers the aesthetic of cut joints over more advanced ones. No idea if that’s true, but it’s funny enough to think about! Can you imagine Lucas sitting down with the hasbro design team and offering up his ideas? Gold.

    Great review as always.

    • Jester

      Well, it was Lucas’s idea to make the action figures pocket-sized in the first place, wasn’t it?

      • Sandman

        According to SW toy expert Stephen J. Sansweet it was a Kenner employee who during a meeting held out his thumb and index finger outstretched and said “How about we make them this size?”

  • Jester

    In response to Lucas’s proposal that they be small enough as to feasibly produce and market the vehicles from the film to accompany them?

    • Sandman

      Yeah. Lucas’ main conceit was that it was vital that a Star Wars line not just be figures, it needed to be vehicles, creatures and playsets. It needed to have affordable, easy way for kids to recreate the movies without asking their parents to buy an unfeasibly expensive X-Wing.

      And the Kenner guys made up a scale they felt was a good one from that (previous figure lines being almost exclusively 12″ dolls like G.I Joe and Mego) and that’s how it began.

      According to Sansweet anyway.

  • Pollex Christi

    So you’re saying the Star Wars Black Series got his skintone wrong…?