Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jabba The Hutt and Oola: The Dance of Death

Jabba Desilijic Tiure aka Jabba The Hutt was one of the most successful Hutt crime lords in the galaxy. Dealing directly with criminals, bounty hunters, mercenaries, smugglers, grifters, and other denizens of the Star Wars universe, Jabba built his empire on treachery, lies, and intuition. A ruthless double and triple dealer Jabba employed the likes of Boba Fett, Bossk, Dengar, 4-LOM and Zuckuss, IG-88, Greedo, and others to carry out his dirty work. He was also the victim of many assassination attempts although it was Princess Leia who ultimately killed him. Choked by his own slave chain, Jabba would die on his sail barge above the sarlacc Pit of Carkoon. On board the sail barge  was also a bomb intended to kill Jabba--one of the many plots his seemingly loyal subjects tried to pull off almost daily. When we first see Jabba (in the non-special editions without the ridiculous scene with Jabba in docking bay 94) he is seated on his throne with the young Twi'lek Oola, his personal slave girl, dancing for him. Jabba seems to have grown tired of Oola's refusal to dance, because he pulls her--half strangling her--by her leash over the Rancor pit's trap door. He hits a secret button and Oola is sent to her doom--death by Rancor. Hasbro and Walmart have teamed up to bring this awesome exclusive pack to plastic life. It comes with a brand new, fully articulated, soft rubber and hard plastic version of Jabba, a fully articulated Oola with slave collar and leash and a soft-goods exotic dancing leotard, a Salacious Crumb figure with some decent articulation (not pictured), Jabba's hooka pipe and rack (pictured), lots of hard plastic cushions to place around Jabba (not pictured), his throne dais which is on wheels and has real metal rings in the mouths of the gargoyle accents on the thrones (for the subjects to pull him into place), and a hard plastic bit of torn cloth that fits over one corner of the dais (pictured). This is one of the best sets released by Hasbro to date! Forget what you know about Jabba action figures and playsets, this is the one you need! The throne is beautifully tooled to look like real stone, it includes some real metal pieces, and comes with all the accessories to create the perfect Jabba's palace environment. I have used this set in many photo shoots so far, both as a Jabba's palace scene, and as a backdrop for photo reviews for Jabba's courtiers and guards. Something makes figures pop when they're placed on or around this set. Rule the Hutt crime syndicate from your throne with this incredible set! Snatch this up before almost anything else you may want/need. There may be a few still lingering out there. It retails for about the same as the Walmart exclusive Tie Bomber and does not disappoint. Look we even have to make a new rating: Extremely Highly Recommended!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lando Calrissian: The Galaxy's Smoothest Gambler

Han: "Oh wait, this is interesting... Lando." Leia: "Lando system?" Han: "Lando's not a system, he's a man. Lando Calrissian. He's this card player--gambler--scum. You'd like him."

Hailing from the planet Socorro, lando Calrissian is an infamous smuggler, gambler, pirate, swindler, double-crosser, and all around con man. An on-again-off again friend of Han Solo's--at least until they patch things up during ROTJ. In TESB Han scuttles the Falcon--desperately in need of repairs--off to Cloud City on Bespin. Boba Fett guessed Han was heading there so he jumped to hyperspace and arrived before the Falcon. Fett called in the Empire and forced Lando to aid them in laying their trap for the Rebels aboard the Falcon. The Falcon flew right into their trap and Han, Leia, R2, C-3PO, and Chewbacca walk right into--they even have dinner with Darth Vader and Boba Fett. To quote Kevin Smith's debut film Clerks, "Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader's his father, Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note." The rest is history. Lando returns to help Leia, Chewie, and the droids escape and aids in rescuing Han from Jabba's palace. He's made a general in ROTJ and flies the Falcon during the battle of Endor... oh and he helps blow up the second death star. After that he goes on to continue to aid the Rebellion and the New Republic.

Lando is one of the fliest, freshest, smoothest, most suave cats in all of Star Wars. He's the Shaft of space. He's also a downright dirty cheating liar--but it's nearly impossible to hate him or stay mad at him. He's incredibly charismatic and very shrewd. Only Lando could rock the powder blue shirt and cape with gold paisley inlay. This version of Lando Calrissian comes from the Target Exclusive nine figure special action figure pack. He's a repackage from the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection with a few minor details. He has swivel arms instead of ball joins and the figure we have here at AFE's waist swivel joint is a bit over-loose. Not a bad figure at all. He comes with the E-11 blaster he has on screen in TESB, and features a soft-goods cloth cape that really makes this figure stand out. I definitely recommend that you find and acquire the Traget exclusive pack that he came with, or at least get the VOTC version. He goes well with the Bespin Security guards Hasbro released not too long ago. This is the best Lando figure produced yet. Recommended!

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Hrchek Kal Fas: He's Not Bossk!

Hrchek Kal Fas, a Saurin Durkteel was a droid trader who visited Chalmun's Cantina when Luke and Obi-Wan were there. Saurins are a subspecies of the Trandoshans (Bossk's race) and share many of the same facial features, however they differed in that they have five fingers instead of three and opposable thumbs as well. Saurins also have differently colored eyes from Trandoshans. Hrchek Kal Fas's personal body guard was his cousin Sai'Torr Kal Fas a female Saurin. Hrchek Kal Fas had traveled to Tatooine in hopes to form a trade relationship with the planet's Jawas. While on Tatooine he heard about the Empire's reward for C-3PO and R2D2. When the two droids in question wandered into Chalmun's cantina he suspected they might be the droids the Empire was looking for. He tried to follow them out into the street but lost them. In addition to his cousin Hrchek also worked with a Ranat (rat-man like creature from Aralia) named Nevar Yalnal while on Tatooine. As an action figure part of the Legacy Collection Hrchek is pretty cool. He adds a Bossk like presence to the Cantina scene although he's a lot shorter than the Trandoshan bounty hunter. Lizard men are always cool whether they're bad ass bounty hunters or lowly droid traders, there's something that makes them stand out. Hrcheck comes packaged with a blaster that fits into a working holster and a cantina drinking glass (not pictured). He's full articulated and adds a great alien face to different scenes. There are Saurins seen in Chalmun's Cantina, in the streets of Mos Eisley, and in Jabba's palace. The costume used for Bossk was fabricated from a Saurin mask from A New Hope. Originally Saurins were referred to as "Crocs" "Crockers" or "Gila Men" during the production of A New Hope. The action figure version of Hrchek differs from the onscreen version in that he isn't wearing gloves or boots. Grab this Saurin and flesh out your cantina scene. Recommended.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gamorrean Guards: Here Piggy Piggy Piggy!

Gamorrean guards are awesome! They may not be the brightest bulbs in the Star Wars universe and they might drool more than Jabba himself, but they are awesome. They look a bit like a cross between something out of the Ninja Turtles or Duke Nukem crossed with a Roman Gladiator. These barbaric simple minded thugs can be found all over the Star Wars galaxy holding jobs as body guards, enforcers, muscle, bouncers, and are almost as tough as wookies. These guys look awesome with the Walmart exclusive Jabba's Throne set and Jabba's courtiers. Despite being fooled by Jedi mind tricks these guys still pack a heck of a punch. I remember fighting them in the old Star Wars computer game Dark Forces.These guys were part of the second wave of The Vintage Collection from Hasbro. They come with 2 long vibro axes and 2 shorter vibro battle axes, removable helmets, bandoleers, and soft-goods loin cloths. These figures are incredibly well sculpted. Out of all the figures i own (so many!) they are some of the most realistic, screen accurate, and well made figures produced yet. They are fully articulated, armed to the teeth (horns?), and ready for guard duty. Definitely pick some up if you can! They look best if you have more than one (think stormtroopers and how there's always at least 2 guarding doors). Trust me, I snatched up 2 the day they were released back in November. Totally worth getting 2! I might just have to get some more someday. Highly Recommended!

Reach Out With the Force: Another Way To Help Eli And His Family!

Financial donations for the family can be sent to:

c/o M & T Bank
2 East Avenue
...Hilton, NY 14468.
(585) 392-9416

Please make checks payable to: Eli Lana

Cards, notes, and words of encouragement may be sent to the family:

Mary Ann & Tim Lana (Eli Lana, Jack Mason, Emma Mason)
PO Box 667
Hilton, NY 14468

Please only send donations and cards/letters of support. Please! Please! Please! Respect Eli and his family's privacy and integrity. Thank you for supporting Eli and his family!

Deliah Blue: Blue's Our New Favorite Color!

It seems we can't get enough of the blue ladies here on AFE. Ok so Deliah Blue isn't blue skinned, but she does have long blue hair and pink skin (cotton candy colors!). And her name is "Blue". This sultry Zeltron is the companion of Cade Skywalker and mechanic of his ship The Mynock. She accompanies Cade and his partner Jariah Syn on their misadventures in the Star Wars Legacy comic book series. She comes as part of one of Etertainment Earth's exclusive comic packs (the last of the comic packs) and is packaged with Darth Nihl. I've said it before that female Star Wars characters are awesome, but I'll say it again. Female characters, especially bad ass ones like Deliah make for some awesome figures! She comes with her trusty blaster pistol and a working holster sculpted into her belt. If you love pink skinned alien women she's for you! Recommended.

Han Solo: Hoth Gear

"The goggles do nothing!"

Han Solo: "And I thought they smelled bad on the outside!"

Han and Luke go out on patrol outside Echo base when Luke goes off to check out a meteor crash. Big mistake Luke. Luke gets dragged off by the Wampa ice creature. Han heads back into the base and thinks Luke will be back soon. Luke doesn't return that night. So Han takes matters into his own hands and heads out alone on a Tauntaun to look for Luke. With a stroke of luck (and a scanner) Han finds Luke passed out face down in the drifting snow. His tauntaun dies and Han cuts it open with Luke's lightsaber and stuffs Luke inside to keep him warm...

As part of the Target exclusive nine figure pack this version of Han Solo is pretty awesome. He comes with snow goggles that clip to his face or to the top of his Rebel cap. He also has his macrobinoculars on a strap long enough to sling over his shoulder and his signature DL-44 blaster pistol. All he needs now is his tauntaun and he's ready to look for Luke in the snow. The only draw back to this figure is the fact that his hood is sculpted on and is part of his head. Hasbro should include a non-hooded head for Echo Base interior shots. There is also another version of Han Solo in Hoth gear with the hood sculpted down and a Hoth trooper helmet with goggles and a different colored strap on the macrobinoculars. This figure is also available as part of the Saga Legends line that's still on the shelves now too. So if you missed him in the nine figure pack you can grab him in the single pack. I highly recommend the Target exclusive nine figure pack. Excited by the prospect of having more nine figure exclusives coming out in the future. Recommended.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Toys For Eli On!

A big AFE thank you to the good folks over at! They've got a post up about the Toys For Eli Toy Drive: Please check out for tons of awesome articles, reviews, and photos. They serve collectors worldwide!

Thanks again Yakfacers!

Toys For Eli Toy Drive On Kessel Run Review!

Check out Wookielover1138's Kessel Run Review featuring a special report on the Toys For Eli Toy Drive!

Thanks to Wookielover1138 for her awesome video!

Be sure to tune in for all of her videos on the Clone Wars and Star Wars collecting!

May the Force Be With You!

Jarael: Every Fanboy's Dream

What is it about blue women that excite fanboys so much? The Navi women of Avatar, Smurfette, Mystique, Zhaan, The blue diva from The Fifth Element... Not only does Jarael (from the Knights of the Old Republic comic series) have blue skin, she also has white hair and pointy elf/vulcan like ears. Already she's a perfect combo for fanboys. To top it off she's pretty bad ass and can hold her own in a fight. She comes with a removable shoulder bag and her awesome shock staff. Which looks like some new (wait but it's old, right?) kind of lightsaber. She also features a soft-goods cloth skirt. I know what you might be thinking--under the skirt are knee-high black boots and tan pants with kind of a "Jedi" look to them. Maybe someday we'll get a slave bikini version? (KOTOR writers if you're reading this...) Sometimes Star Wars figures resemble actors, this may be intentional as the sculptors may use them for the basis for the expanded universe characters that don't already have actors portraying them. To me Jarael looks a bit like the actress Claire Danes and I think she'd be a good fit for her if they made the KOTOR comics into movies.

I personally really like the female characters of the Star Wars universe--they help to balance out the otherwise male-heavy stories. They also give us new and different figures--such as fem troopers and fem Mandos. Jarael is equal parts sexy and badass and is no exception to the rule of Star Wars ladies kicking butt. Add an awesome new weapon and a ton of articulation you've got one heck of a figure. She appears as part of the Entertainment Earth comic packs (which are sadly the last of the comic packs) and comes with Rohlan Dyre (the bad ass Mando). Definitely snatch these up before EE takes them down. Highly recommended.

Bane Malar: Mystery Man of Jabba's Palace

What makes Bane Malar so cool? Is it his anonymity? His 1950s era Sci-Fi looking space helmet? His psychic abilities? The fact that he was cut out of ROTJ? Is it that he's another bounty hunter with a cool helmet? Or all of these things? His helmet does look a bit like a Kree soldier's helmet from vintage Marvel Comics. To my knowledge he was the first character to be named "Bane" (then Darth Bane, and Cad Bane) in the Star Wars universe. It's a cool name for sure! And like Boba Fett, we never got to see under his helmet (in the Original Trilogy). Still to this day we don't know who or what is under that helmet--we just know he's a paranoid glitterstim spice addict and a telepath with some nominal force powers. His costume covers every inch of his body and he carries an assault-rifle-looking projectile rifle. Don't know about you but that's enough for me to make him awesome. Hasbro's Bane Malar figure doesn't pull any punches either. It leaves his appearance and true identity to our imaginations, he comes with his awesome rifle (I think my favorite rifle made by Hasbro so far!), a standard Jabba's Palace goon blaster pistol, and an awesome dark blue jumpsuit and double bandoleers of slugs for his rifle. I love these kinds of characters. The ones we wish we knew more about--what he looks like--what his starship looks like. The way Boba Fett used to be until they turned him into a whiny clone kid. Bane comes fully articulated and ready for action. Definitely pick him up if you like bounty hunters. Highly recommended.