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Star Wars [The Phantom Menace 3D]

Darth Maul Returns - SW [TPM 3D] - Battle Packs (Exclusive)

Name: Darth Maul Returns
Collection: Star Wars [The Phantom Menace 3D]
Number: N/A (Battle Packs) (Exclusive)
Source: The Clone Wars (Season 4 Episode 21: Brothers)
Availability: September 2012
License: Hasbro

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Darth Maul returns from the dead and is ready for battle on new cybernetic legs. With the help of his brother Savage Opress and a powerful Nightsister, Maul prepares to avenge himself against the Jedi who almost killed him.

If you didn’t think it was possible, think again. Hasbro has effortlessly combined realistic and animated into one Battle Packs set while all of the characters in it are supposed to be sourced from the same episode. You may be surprised how well this combination of figures works together! The Darth Maul Returns Battle Packs is a fine exclusive for TARGET. Actually it’s one of their best. For $19.99 you're paying $6.66 a figure where two are all-new and one is highly sought after and expensive on the aftermarket, so don't whine about this item's price! So you get an all-new Darth Maul (with cybernetic legs), a Nightsister (one who we’ll try to argue is a realistic interpretation of Mother Talzin so fasten your seatbelts on this one) and the long-awaited rerelease of the highly anticipated Savage Opress (armored style) action figure. The set is a slam dunk hit no matter how you slice it. Two Zabrak brothers and an evil witch makes for a compelling multipack, but what you may not realize is that Hasbro, for the first time ever, has mixed animated The Clone Wars style with realistic The Clone Wars style. At first you may not notice this oil and water blend, but the more you absorb it, the more you’ll see it’s more like peanut butter and chocolate. Let’s state the obvious. Hasbro has slyly snuck in a realistic interpretation of a Nightsister into this Battle Packs set. We’re certainly not complaining because we’d like to see many more characters from The Clone Wars television show get made in their realistic interpretations. It’s just odd that Hasbro didn’t find another way to release the Nightsister instead of with blatantly animated Darth Maul and Savage Opress. But believe it when we say that it goes without saying that this Battle Packs set will be a hot commodity. Any product from Hasbro, realistic or not, that contains a Darth Maul action figure is a surefire hit. And what makes this set even more enticing to collectors is that Darth Maul comes with cybernetic legs attached to his body that will make him even more desired, especially since the Comic Packs version of him is so insanely expensive now.

We couldn’t be more excited for this release and in particular the new Darth Maul action figure contained inside of it. Oh boy are Star Wars collectors going to eat up this animated version of cybernetic Darth Maul! He simply one of the finest efforts Hasbro has put forth for a character in The Clone Wars line to date. The silhouette of his body/frame is just perfect and what makes him even more impressive than this is his brilliant paint job. Darth Maul is perfectly colored without any issues of red and black bleeding together. The lines are ultra crisp and sharp and no deco is out of place at all. The battle-damage on his mechanical lower body is amazing. The black paint makes it look as if the legs were cast in iron and then the added silver paint to recreate scratches throughout them show the metallic alloy layer underneath of the black finish. Even better than that however is that Hasbro managed to squeeze ball-jointed hips, knees and ankles into the sculpt allowing Darth Maul’s lower body a range of motion that you wouldn’t expect to be possible. Sadly, Darth Maul comes without any wrist or waist articulation, but because he has ball-jointed shoulders and elbows, we can forgive no articulation in the wrists. What we do find more bothersome is the lack of waist articulation. It is definitely a bone of contention for us. Please don’t interpret our angst over that as a negative. It just would have been appreciated to have Maul move at the waist somewhat. We still think he is an amazing action figure. Darth Maul’s head sculpt is eerily alarming. It’s done incredibly well and the paint job details do not disappoint in the least. He comes with two lightsabers (or two halves depending upon your point of view) that adjoin to become one double-bladed lightsaber and a Force energy shield with a built in spinner action feature so he can wield his lightsaber 360 degrees at his enemies. It’s definitely a cool feature.

Now onto the other figures in this set. Our explanation of the Nightsister will undoubtedly be confusing (and even a stretch). You already know we feel she was never intended to be an “animated” figure in this set. We feel first and foremost that this is a concept art figure based on the "Sith villain/Darth Maul" character for Episode I. But then again, this is what Mother Talzin's appearance was based. As far as this set is concerned however, this figure may very well be a realistic interpretation of Mother Talzin and not a generic Nightsister, regardless of what the packaging says. Obviously Mother Talzion’s outfit was very different in The Clone Wars episode. But aren’t some features on all of the realistically styled The Clone Wars figures different in some way or another from their animated counterpart? OK, obviously the Nightsister is significantly more different than Mother Talzin, but we didn’t see a generic Nightsister wearing this type of gear. Perhaps Hasbro avoided all controversy calling this figure “Mother Talzin” by naming it “Nightsister” instead. Per some discussion with our friends at Yakface.com and noted in their Toyguide entry, Nightsister is a significant retool of a cancelled Comic Packs figure named Mighella (who interestingly is associated with Darth Maul in the Star Wars: Darth Maul comics). So its very right to state that this isn’t a realistic interpretation of Mother Talzin, yet we’re okay if you decide that this will be the Mother Talzin of your collection. How is that for non-commitment? Nightsister is super-articulated and comes with all the premium articulation you desire. She is a very impressive action figure and we’re thrilled that Hasbro found a way to get her into the toy line. Savage Opress is great to have again even if he is incomplete. This highly-anticipated figure has received a tighter paint job (it’s not a repaint or anything) but comes without his signature lightsaber, much to the chagrin of many collectors. The Darth Maul Returns TARGET exclusive Battle Packs set was released the same week TARGET released the exclusive director’s cut of the Darth Maul Returns story arc on DVD. Be sure you get the figures to accompany the video.

Collector Notes

Darth Maul Returns

Assortment Number: A0730

UPC: 653569778660

Retail: $19.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.

Darth Maul

Status: Darth Maul is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 11 points

Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 ball-jointed hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles

Accessory Count: 3

Accessory Details: 2 connecting lightsabers, Force energy shield

Date Stamp: 2011

Nightsister

Status: Nightsister is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 14 points

Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 swivel shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel wrists, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: lightsaber, removable hood

Date Stamp: 2011

Savage Opress

Status: Savage Opress is a straight repack of 2011's TCW Savage Opress (CW59) figure. It is however worth nothing that the paint operations have been tightened up quite a bit on this Battle Packs release allowing the figure to look better than ever. (It's just a shame that Hasbro neglected to include his lightsaber!)

Articulation Count: 12 points

Articulation Details: ball socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel wrists, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees

Accessory Count: 4

Accessory Details: battle axe, projectile, 2 removable shoulder armor plates

Date Stamp: 2011





Star Wars [The Phantom Menace 3D]
All Products

Added: September 13, 2012
Category: Star Wars [The Phantom Menace 3D]
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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