Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Little Differences - Target Geonosian Anakin Skywalker, Shaak Ti & Resurgence of the Jedi Luke Skywalker

The second wave of Target's Geonosian Showdown sets are officially hitting store shelves nationwide as I write this. I ordered and have already received my sets from last week. Like the prior series, some key characters received some nice upgrades like new head sculpts, more articulation and some nice repaints. While some of the figures improved they still have a couple of minor shortcomings but they can be corrected with the right parts! The whole point of the "Little Differences" segment is to show hard core collectors easy ways to perfect their figures without paint or tools. If you are that kind of serious collector read on as this will appeal to you! (Also take a look at my past ones!)

Lets start with the new Anakin. He really is a standout figure and a must buy in my opinion. The new head sculpt is really nice, he no longer has that deer in a head light stare or blonde hair (which he never had) like the previous version. Hasbro also improved the figure's soft good tunic color and the material they made it out of. If that is not enough of an improvement, they also painted the figures molded tunic black. It's a very nice touch that visually blends the soft goods and plastic aesthetics together better. He really is a near perfect figure and the only two flaws that I have found are very minor and very fixable. The belt color is a little too light and it does not have as many paint details as the previous one had. I also noticed that the pant and boot colors are much lighter than the previous version. I was able to easily correct these two aspects with the help of my soon to be retired Evolutions Anakin. By swapping the legs and belt of the old Evolutions Anakin with the new Geonosian Showdown Anakin you can create a more detailed and more screen accurate representation. You will have to use the boil and pop method to modify the figure.

Please note: You should pull off the soft good tunics of both versions BEFORE you plop them in hot water. The hot water will damage the soft good materials. Once removed, all you have to do is gently pull apart both figures then switch the belts and legs. Dry them off and put the soft goods tunic back on. Here is the end result:

Next up is the new Shaak Ti from this series. Like the Anakin, this figure received some new upgrades. The biggest one is her more articulated arms, they now have ball jointed elbows and swivel wrists that allow for better articulation. She has also received a new paint scheme that is more accurate to her on screen appearance. Everything else about the figure is the same as before - or is it? The new soft goods material used on this release feels and looks very cheap. It's very wrinkled and is too frayed at the bottom of the dress. The original ROTS release used a better quality soft goods material. That version was also better constructed as it had a common cloth manufacturing technique that burns the edges to prevent the material from fraying apart.

It's very obvious where I am going with this - swap the skirts! This is one of the easiest fixes as you do not even have to place the figures in hot water to swap them out. For whatever reason, both Shaak Ti figures plastic is soft enough to pull apart with no breakage. Just slowly separate the torso and legs, change skirts then press fit them back together. Here is the end result:

And the final entry in this installment is the Resurgence of the Jedi Luke Skywalker. This figure was released about a year ago in a very hard to find Battle Pack. To date, it's the best ANH Luke Skywalker likeness ever created in the modern line. It's an excellent figure and many collectors would love to have it released on a single card. The only minor complaint it received from collectors generally were the size of the legs. They reused the same legs from the 2004 VOTC Luke, that explains why they are on the small side. They do not pose or stand well either. To make matters worse the foot peg holes are closed up so you cannot place the figure on a stand to prevent him from falling over. I will give the legs one positive, they finally got the color of the boots correct for a change.

I have several of these Lukes in my collection as I like have them for several specific shelf display scenes. It got really annoying as they constantly fell over so I had to do something to correct the problem. Since I was retiring my 30th TAC Lukes anyway I decided to experiment with swapping the legs with the Resurgence Luke. In the end, they fit perfectly and look pretty good on the figure. I wish the color was more accurate like the resurgence Luke legs but it solved the issue. Take a look and see if this "fix" is for you.

As you can see the "Little Differences" can make a big difference to your figures! Until next time!

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