Here’s a set that I had high hopes for, even though it’s really just cartoony 5POA nonsense. The characters look cool in the package, and there seems to be all kinds of accessories and pieces in the box. Most 5POA come with a single weapon and a ridiculous made-up hunk of plastic BFG thing (or a zipline*). I had passed on this set when it was first released, but found it at a Five Below recently, and gladly scooped it up.
After I caught up with most other fans and watched TCW and Rebels, I finally saw the Maul story. Once you get over the fact that he was impossibly resurrected, I actually thought Maul’s story was handled quite compellingly. I rather enjoyed the whole bit about where he came from, and it gave some depth to a character that many fans complained was under-utilized in the prequels. And while the cancellation of TCW left Maul’s story unfinished, Filoni seemed to go out of his way to ensure that the arc was completed in Rebels, which it was, and to great effect. It was very well done showdown on Tatooine with Obi-Wan, and it struck an emotional chord that I felt was second only the Vader/Ahsoka duel. As for the Inquisitors, most fans seemed to either love or loathe them. I had no problem with them, and enjoyed them on screen. Seventh Sister was voiced by Sarah Michelle Gellar, who is married to Freddie Prinze, Jr. (A.K.A., Kanan Jarrus). I find this stuff neat, and was also surprised to find out that Vanessa Marshall (Hera) is the great-great granddaughter of Woodrow Wilson.** Anyway, in a storytelling twist, Darth Maul actually ends up fighting the Inquisitors alongside Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka…until he doesn’t. Maul even steals a TIE Advanced Prototype v1 at one point, to travel to Tatooine in order to find and destroy Salacious Crumb.**
So back to the figures themselves. Darth Maul is a good (cartoony) sculpt. There is some nice detailing here, with a bit of texture to the pants which is usually lacking in the Rebels figures. The paint is pretty sharp throughout, with striking tattoos around Maul’s body. The face sculpt is good, but the paint here leaves a little to be desired, especially the eyes. They’re a bit too bugged out for my tastes. Otherwise, it’s an excellent looking figure all around. It stands solidly, although leans forward a bit. Articulation is standard 5POA, and as usual, the ball jointed neck somehow doesn’t do much more than a swivel joint. Maul comes with two accessories. He has a lit double-bladed light saber. Typical of the line, the blades are not removable, which would have been a nice feature. Although Maul does grip the hilt tightly, he holds it very close to his body, so unless his arm is fully extended (with the blades pointing straight up and down) the blades are actually touching his own body in most cases, which, of course, is just weird. Maul also comes with a removable cowl, which fits over his head pretty snugly, and gives a nice alternate display option. Overall, it’s a solid offering for the line, and if it was packaged alone, I’d probably give it a 5, if just for the sculpt and paint. One drawback (which would not be relevant if Maul were a basic carded figure) is the overly huge and asymmetrical double-barreled backpack right-handed missile launcher. In fact, its asymmetry is enough to make it impossible for Maul to stand (at least my sample couldn’t). I photographed him in his natural state, having fallen over to his side in an attempt to carry the thing. Weak sauce.
As for Seventh Sister (who’s real name is Bertha**), again, it looks neat coming out of the package. However, disappointment number one is that the figure is barely able to stand. It was with great effort that I was able to complete this gallery without committing a heinous illegal act against the first innocent bystander I encountered after stepping outside for a breather. While the poor balance of a figure is often enough to ruin my day and force me to give a grade of 0/10, it actually does get worse. But before we go to that, I’ll mention that it’s a good looking sculpt, and the paint, while simple, is well done, especially on the face, which is true to the on-screen look. While the figure is definitely too dainty, I understand this is a good representation of the source media. But if Hasbro is going to make a figure with legs and arms that are as thin as toothpicks, at least they could manufacture them out of a material that doesn’t have a measurable viscosity. This is one of the most gummy-bearish figures I’ve ever seen, and my sample had crappy joints as well. So it was hard to move the arms and legs at the joints because the limbs were so soft, that moving them simply resulted them bending in place, rather than swiveling at the articulation point. If that wasn’t enough to kill the figure, how about the fact the hands are sculpted in such a way that they don’t grip the lightsaber. I mean, getting those 2 photos with her holding the weapon was a feat worthy of recognition in the archives of the Jedi Order. I think I snapped the pics just an instant before the hilt fell to the table. Just like the (Grand) Inquisitor’s blade, Bertha’s hilt does not have any kind of spinning feature, which, although kinda stupid, is still important. Neither blade is removable.
Now, for another successful aspect of the figure, she comes with a mask which does fit tightly over her face, allowing for an alternative display option - if you can get her to stand. Oh, did I mention that there are no peg holes in the feet? No? Well, there are no peg holes in the feet, so there’s no way to get her to stand other than leaning her against a wall. Anyway, the last bit of frustration is with the very strangely executed mini-droid. Now, it comes in two parts, the head, and the legs. The head is apparently intended to fit into the small hole in the figure’s back, mimicing the droid being folded up and tucked away in some backpack compartment. It’s a good idea, in theory, but I feel like the chances of losing this tiny piece are too high to bear. When unplugged from the figure’s back, the droid’s legs can be attached to the head, so it is meant to look like a tiny probe droid. It just looks like a bug. Unfortunately, it’s a good concept that just wasn’t executed all that well.
In the end, we get a bunch of poorly conceived accessories with poor interactivity. Each figure comes with alternate headgear and a lightsaber, and there’s a giant missile thing. But since one of the figures can barely stand without assistance and can’t interact well with several of the accessories, it’s a big fail. While the Maul is actually pretty good (minus the inability to wear the missile backpack without falling over), the Seventh Sister figure is unfortunately almost a total waste of plastic. I have to give her a zero, so overall, I give the set a 2.
*Just take note, there is a monorail in the Solo trailer - this is probably where Ron Howard will insert some zipline action, or a variant thereof. He’s an avid reader of Bantha Skull, and personally told me that he was doing his best to keep ziplines off the cutting room floor.**