STAR WARS, REVISITED
PART 3
JABBA & FRIENDS

Last modified: Sunday, November 2, 2008 7:16 AM

Jabba, Boussh, Gamorrean, Bib Fortuna, Salacious Crumb

 

The concept of Sideshow's Jabba "environment" is different from their other offerings, due to it's nature as a unified set of pieces: It's sort of like a Christmas nativity creche. It's a multi-piece sculpture, but with lots of add-on potential in the form of plastic doo-dads and articulated dolls that can be released at a leisurely pace to keep interest up and the cash flowing. They've just announced a "Han in Carbonite" accessory, although it probably won't be available in time for your 2008 seasonal holiday decorating needs.

 

Sideshow Jabba JABBA
Sideshow's Jabba is a huge hollow casting of minimally-articulated vinyl. Although he's well-sculpted and artfully painted, and an impressive centerpiece for the shrine, he's kind of overpriced, considering that Hasbro put out a huge Dewback vinyl with Sandtrooper for about half the price. For your money, you get overblown "collector-friendly" packaging (just what I need-- more shit that I feel that I shouldn't throw away). He's essentially an upsized, fully vinyl version of the 3-3/4" toy, minus the torso twisting/tail-wagging feature. They dropped the ball by not giving him cool acrylic eyeballs though, and they could have done a much more realistic version of Jabba-slobber (Silver paint alone doesn't cut it: Acrylic gloss medium will make it look much wetter).

This is basically a statue: A flexible polyurethane skin over an armature would have been waaaay cooler (for about 20 - 30 years or so), and would be my idea of an "ultimate" Jabba. Hey, if you're gonna indulge, do it right...

In my opinion, the throne accessory, at twice the cost of Jabba, is something of a sucker trap for the completist (which ain't me)... or so I've concluded, based on what I've read & seen. It seems kinda like mounting an expensive precision scope on an Airsoft rifle; I think a cheapo plastic version would have worked just fine instead of expensive & costly-to-ship polystone. Also, fabric pillows (instead of sculpted plastic) might better fit the overall convention of using mixed media for 1:6 dolls. Otherwise, why not make everything out of cast vinyl or polystone? For the DIY'er, the throne seems like a perfect home-brew diorama project.

 

Sideshow Salacious Crumb

SALACIOUS CRUMB
No Jabba diorama should be without Sideshow's Salacious Crumb accessory set: If you've got Jabba, this evil muppet minion is a must-have. Like Jabba, he's just an upsized rendition of the 3-3/4" version, with the same (minimal) articulation and made out of the same material as the Kenner version. They throw in a few other oddball critters, but like in the movie, they're just sculpted background scenery.

 

Sideshow Bib Fortuna

BIB FORTUNA
Bib Fortuna is kinda like TRHPS's faithful handyman, Riff Raff, and probably nobody's favorite. While he isn't a very exciting figure and gets very little respect, he's a must-have for a Jabba scene.

Sideshow did a reasonably good job of him. In a lot of ways, he's the epitome of what I consider a typical Sideshow doll of yesteryear. The base figure is kinda clunky (poor center of balance, difficult to stand without a stand, some loose joints); the outfit is okay quality; there are a few oddball accessories-- nothing too fancy or really outstanding... but it all works. The sculpt is where this one shines (although it's considerably easier to capture the likeness of a non-human character).

 

Sideshow Boussh

BOUSSH
Sideshow's Boussh is a lot more interesting and a far better bang for the buck. The costume is more intricate, with more iconic accessories (like the Thermal Detonator). At least she comes with a blaster; poor Bibby only gets a knife. It's a shame that they couldn't get the Leia head and helmet integrated as one item; she looks so wrong wearing the helmet with her head held at her side, tucked under her arm. I always seem to end up with unused parts, but at least I've learned to put them in separate ziplock bags instead of dumping them all into a box.

I can't say that I've ever liked Sideshow's female figure; like their male figure, it looks too lean and tall, and has some awfully ugly joints. That's not an issue for figures that are covered by clothes, and it may actually help the clothed doll look better by compensating for the scale thickness of fabric. Generally though, I feel that the figure lacks quality: Some joints are usually loose, with no easy and proper way to fix them. Consequently (although I don't like it), I've accepted that you've got to use stands with Sideshow dolls, or lean them against something so that they don't shelf-dive.

 

Hasbro Gamorrean Guard

GAMORREAN GUARD
I was genuinely surprised to be impressed with Hasbro's Gamorrean guard. I didn't expect it to be so big and so substantial. While it's not as big as Sideshow's Jabba, it has a comparable heft and quality... and is priced like a toy! (Of course a Gamorrean guard is not a substitute for Jabba.) It's similar to their vintage line of 12" figures in their use of hard, hollow plastic for the body (it may be vinyl, but it's very stiff), with a fair amount of articulation. Although there's some sculpted-on detail, they used a generous mix of materials and independent parts, and it all goes together very well.

If anyone were to do an "ultimate" Gamorrean Guard, Medicom could probably do it best with their the rubber-skinned figures... provided that they didn't make it too much smaller than the standard 12" scale.

 

-11/02/08

 

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