Vintage Collection

VCBASIC

Cal Kestis
(Imperial Officer Disquise)

Info and Stats
Number:  
VC320
Year:  
2024
MSRP:  
$16.99
Definitive Status:  
Definitive
 
This is the only version of this item you will need.
Grade:  
7/10 Bantha Skulls
 
* Bantha Skull is compensated for any purchases made through these Ebay links.
* Bantha Skull is compensated for any purchases made through these Ebay links.
Review by: Chris
Review date: 06/03/2024

This review is going to take you on a journey.  It’s going to get you leaning one way, and then BAM! It will snap you back in the other direction.  What happened?  Your head’s spinning.  You didn’t see that coming.  Along the way you might get a couple of yuks, and maybe by the end, you’ve learned something.  You come out a little changed.  Better for the experience.  Let’s take a walk down this road together, shall we?  Before we continue, however, know that we can’t discuss this figure without getting into some mild spoilers for Jedi Survivor.  But let’s be honest.  If you ha ven’t played the game by now, you never will.  Stop acting like you’ll get to it.

This Cal Kestis (Imperial Officer Disguise) perfectly exemplifies the notion that a sculpt needs to be right for the character.  This mold in question started life as VC270 - Admiral Piett, and would serve as the new Imperial Officer buck.  Prior to this release, that tooling has been used to bring us seven more figures (four of them in a 4-pack).  This sculpt is perfectly suitable for most Imperial Officers, but it’s a terrible Jedi sculpt.  It simply isn’t dynamic.  Even though it has all the requisite points and most of the needed planes of articulation, the range of motion is limited.  In fact, it was this sculpt that made me sound the alarm bells on the reduced range of motion in the elbows that we started seeing in 2023.  But again, it has enough functionality to do Imperial Officer stuff.

Are you ready for the 180?  When Cal is donning this disguise, he pretty much only does Imperial Officer stuff.  This part of the game employs my personal least favorite video game trope:  the stealth mission.  Yeah, I didn’t pay $70 for a game to play on my next-gen console with a deep and complex combat system so I could play a level where the goal is to NOT FIGHT!  Once you reach this part of Jedi Survivor, you get to recreate all the fun of walking.  That’s right.  As you fully enter the stealth operation of the level, you can’t even run.  You have to saunter through the Imperial Security Bureau base on Nova Garon.  Along the way, you get to annoy a Purge Trooper who gets miffed that you’re not as awesome as you should be. You can eavesdrop on a couple of kibitzing Stormtroopers, and then you reach your ultimate goal of this phase, which is a locked door being guarded by Airman Schmucatelli.  You Jedi mind trick him into opening it, and the sneaking around portion of Jedi Survivor is thankfully over.  Man, that Airman Schmucatelli is a walking, talking security breach.  He’s so careless that he’d probably leave out the nuclear codes at a state dinner with the Russkies.

Mr. Nomadscout asked me to do this review since he hadn’t completed Jedi Survivor yet.  When I explained to him that all Cal does in this disguise is walk and Jedi mind trick some dupe into opening a door, I said it would make for some scintillating diorama shots.  Of course Hasbro didn’t cast this accessory load out to the game because it would make for a boring release.  The figure comes with Cal’s lit saber, which, if memory serves, he never ignites while wearing Lank Denvik’s uniform, but therein lies the problem.  The Imperial Officer base sculpt interacts terribly with a lightsaber.  The hands are not sculpted to grip the hilt well, particularly the left hand.  That left wrist hinges in the wrong direction for effective dueling poses.  The elbows can’t even bend to a full ninety degrees, and legs can’t really be posed in dynamic dueling stances.  Most of the poses above look like Cal is loading up his back foot to hit a dinger.  For our non-American readers, that means his weight is on his back foot similar to a baseball swing.  The figure also includes the saber hilt with a peg to hypothetically attach to the belt, but there is no corresponding peg hole.  Also, in-game, Cal isn’t seen carrying the hilt, but he presumably has it on him.  Where, I don’t know.  The first person in the comments to make a prison wallet joke will get all of my scorn!

One last thing about the accessories: BD-1 gets an imperial repaint to join Cal in his stealthiness. I thought this was a gratuitous Imperial-ification on Hasbro’s part since BD-1 is out of sight for the mission, and thus wouldn’t have need for disguise, but I watched back the game play for this review.  Sure enough, Cal’s sidekick joins him in playing dress up.  Am I the only one who thinks it’s silly that all Imperial droids now feature a black paint scheme as if the Empire was an 80’s metal band?  It didn’t start out that way:

R3-M3

In addition to the poor interaction with the saber, there are also inaccuracies with this release.  Lank Denvik, and thus Imperial Disguise Cal, wears a four blue square rank badge, which I believe represents a Captain in the ISB, plus a one by one code cylinder configuration.  This figure has a six blue square rank badge, and one by two code cylinders.  Cal does carry his sidearm during this phase of the game, but it’s on his left side and slung low in the holster belt position.  With this release, the holster moves to the right side, and is high up on the waist of the tunic.  Finally, to match the generic officer buck, Cal shrinks a few inches in scaled height.  All of this is to say that this isn’t Cal Kestis in Imperial Officer Disguise.  It’s a generic Imperial Officer with a Cal Kestis head.  That head looks a little full and squat for Cal, incidentally, but this release does have the facial scar, unlike the standard Jedi Survivor VC265 - Cal Kestis release.

There are plenty of warts with this Cal, the biggest of which is the poor interaction with the lightsaber.  Figures that don’t work well with their accessories are a big pet peeve of mine.  So I’m giving it a mediocre score of 7 out of 10, but I’m also calling it definitive.  The reasons for those paradoxical designations is that this is a niche appearance in a video game, and that appearance wasn’t some grand action piece requiring gobs of dynamic poses.  If you really want an Imperial Disguise Cal, and I count myself in those ranks, this release is good enough; warts, inaccuracies, and all.

* Bantha Skull is compensated for any purchases made through these Ebay links.
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