Friday, June 30, 2017

Action Figure Review: Qui-Gon Jinn from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

   Qui-Gon Jinn has finally arrived in Star Wars: The Black Series and I'm pretty excited! While I've always considered Liam Neeson's portrayal of Qui-Gon Jinn as one of the high points of Episode 1 (and the Prequels in general), over the past 6 years or so I've really come to appreciate Episode 1 as a whole. I've been anxiously awaiting some more Episode 1 characters ever since the release of Darth Maul in the first series of figures from 2013 and it's nice to finally have someone to face off against Maul. I really wish Hasbro would consider moving to themed waves with the Black Series, similar to how recent Marvel Legends often share a loosely binding theme or source. While a full Episode 1 series might have been considered a bit risky, a series focusing on Jedi vs. Sith would have been pretty cool. As it stands now, Hasbro just releases a bunch of random characters. Granted, it's Star Wars, so I'm pretty much down for anyone, but some theme to the releases would be nice. Anyways, let's get back on track: Qui-Gon Jinn. I started thinking about this and I'm pretty sure I haven't purchased a Qui-Gon Jinn action figure since the time when Episode 1 was out in theaters. I know I didn't pick up a Vintage Collection Qui-Gon and I don't think I've ever grabbed any others, either. How weird to consider that this is my first Qui-Gon since either 1999 or, possibly, early 2000 (there was some new Episode 1 stuff coming out around the time of the film's VHS release)!

 The Facts:

Height: 6 1/2 inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed hips, ball jointed abdomen, swivel/ hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a hinged neck, and a ball jointed head.

Accessories: Lightsaber (blade and hilt), and an alternate gesturing hand.

Non-Scalper Price: $20 dollars

 The Positives:

* The Black Series figures aren't as articulated as Marvel Legends, but they're still pretty fun to pose. They feel like very solid, sturdy action figures and you can usually get some nice poses out of them. Qui-Gon looks great both standing around talking just talking about midichlorians (which is hard to do!) and dueling with Darth Maul. Heck, he even looks kneeling down in meditation prior to a fateful lightsaber battle.

* Overall, this is a stellar looking figure. Qui-Gon Jinn's tunic is incredibly sculpted and has a nice amount of detail, varying textures, and subtle paint applications. Hasbro did a wonderful job in capturing the Jedi's somewhat rugged appearance. I'm surprised Hasbro hasn't pumped out prequel Jedi figures left and right in this line, but hopefully we'll see a few more since we have a few bases figures to use for the purpose.
 * OK, I do think this looks like an older version of Big Cass (how ya doin'?) but I also think it's a pretty decent likeness of Liam Neeson. It's not perfect, but it's better than many others. The paintwork on the facial hair is pretty clean and the eyes are good. In person the eyes look way better than they do here, though, because Hasbro actually made the eyes separate pieces that are then inserted and attached to the portrait. This does make for a much more realistic looking figure and helps to improve the human likeness here (something the Black Series has struggled with). This is a new process and it'll be interesting to see how it progresses.

* Qui-Gon's hair is really well done. The paint apps are fair but the sculpted detail is awesome. It's not a separate piece or anything but the hair is sculpted to look like it's flowing very naturally.
 * Only a few Star Wars: The Black Series figures have included alternate hands and I'm glad Qui-Gon is one of them. Gesturing hands seem like a no-brainer for Jedi Knights and other Force users, don't they? Qui-Gon comes with an alternate hand making a small gesture. It looks like something Qui-Gon uses when trying to use a Jedi mind trick on Watto or when he's manipulating Watto's chance cube. Heck, it even looks like a battle motion when fighting Battle Droids. I like it. It also swaps out very easily and seems like it has a sturdy plug on the end.

* Qui-Gon's lightsaber is simple, sleek, and looks really good here. The green blade is quite vibrant and the lightsaber hilt seems very film accurate. It detaches at the blade, as have most other sabers in this series. I kind of wish Hasbro would just give us a saber and a separate hilt, but that's apparently not the way they roll these days.

* Like most Force users before him in this toyline, Qui-Gon's lightsaber plugs into his belt. It looks really good there, as does Qui-Gon's belt. The paint detail is pretty sharp and interesting to look at.
 The Negatives:

*My first negative with this figure is actually not about what's present but about what's missing: Why the heck does Qui-Gon Jinn not have his Jedi robe on. He wears the robe the majority of the time we see him, only taking it off during a few periods of down time and during his fight with Darth Maul. The robe is such a huge part of the character's look that it's absence just seems asinine. No Jedi should come without their robe. None! Heck, we don't even get Qui-Gon's Jedi poncho. Considering this is a $20 line, it's not like folks are going to be lining up to buy multiple Qui-Gon variants. The lack of a robe is a ridiculous problem and I'm not sure why Hasbro keeps repeating it (neither Anakin nor Obi-Wan came with robes, either).

*As I was looking at this figure, I was surprised by how dull his legs and boots seem compared to the rest of the figure. A dark wash or some further paint detail would have helped to make Qui-Gon Jinn's boots look amazing.
   While the lack of a Jedi robe really aggravates me (it just feels like pure carelessness on Hasbro's part), I do think Qui-Gon Jinn is one of the best straight up human figures we've encountered in this line in awhile. I like the work on the tunic and I'm pretty intrigued by the manufacturing process that involves creating the eyes as a separate piece. It seems like it might really improve some upcoming releases that we have yet to see. Qui-Gon Jinn is a Great figure, and now he just needs an Episode 1 Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jar Jar Binks, Anakin Skywalker, and Padme/ Queen Amidala to pal around with.

This is the first Qui-Gon Jinn figure I've reviewed on here! I have reviewed more Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III figures, though, including:

442nd Siege Battalion Clone Trooper, 212th Attack Battalion Utapau Trooper, Coruscant Guard ---(Phase II), and 501st Legion Clone Trooper 4 pack
Ahsoka Tano 
AT-AT Pilot 
Baze Malbus
Captain Cassian Andor (Eadu) 
C-3PO (Resistance Base)
Captain Phasma
Chirrut Imwe 
Constable Zuvio
Darth Revan 
Darth Vader (Emperor's Wrath)
Director Krennic
Finn (FN-2187)
Finn (Jakku)
First Order Flametrooper
First Order General Hux
First Order Snowtrooper
First Order Snowtrooper Officer
First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter
First Order Stormtrooper
First Order TIE Fighter Pilot
Guavian Enforcer
Han Solo 
Imperial AT-ACT Driver
Imperial Death Trooper
Imperial Death Trooper, Captain Cassian Andor, and Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha) 3 pack
Imperial Hovertank Pilot 
Imperial Shock Trooper
Jango Fett
Kanan Jarrus
Kylo Ren 
Kylo Ren (SDCC 2016)
Kylo Ren (Starkiller Base)
Lando Calrissian
Luke Skywalker 
Obi-Wan Kenobi (SDCC 2016)
Phase 1 Clone Trooper Commander, Phase II Clone Trooper, Imperial Stormtrooper, and First Order ---Stormtrooper Officer four pack
Poe Dameron
Poe Dameron and First Order Riot Control Stormtrooper
Princess Leia Organa 
R2-A3, R5-K6, and R2-F2
Resistance Trooper
Rey (Jakku) & BB-8 
Rey (Starkiller Base) 
Sabine Wren
Sandtrooper Sergeant, Crimson Stormtrooper, Lieutenant OXIXO, and R2-Q5
Scarif Stormtrooper
Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader 
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Eadu)
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha)
Tusken Raider 
X-Wing Pilot Asty 

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