Let’s continue the retrospective of 1/12 scale Star Wars action figures! Just like last time I will take a look at various figures today. What is the best action figure of Anakin Skywalker, IG-11 and Yoda? Click through for an overview of all their available 6-inch scale action figures!
Without much further ado let’s look at Yoda first! There are of course several versions of Yoda, mainly the prequel and the original trilogy Yoda.
|Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. Yoda was a puppet of course.
|Hasbro demanded the full price for their Black Series Yoda. The headsculpt is ok. However the comical paint apps ruin everything. This is the “eternally surprised” Yoda. Or “rectal exam” Yoda.
This Yoda has decent articulation, the soft goods look quite good, considering the scale, but the figure is extremely out of scale. Yoda is much too tall. That and the really bad facial paint apps make this the worst Yoda figure in the 1/12 scale.
|Hasbro rereleased Yoda in the Archive line and the figure received a photoreal update. Now Yoda looks quite good, the head is a huge improvement over the previous version. However, the basic issues of the figure are still the same: Yoda is much too tall and entirely out of scale.
|Hasbro decided to resculpt Yoda from scratch for the Empire Strikes Back anniversary line and added him to the Luke Skywalker Dagobah set. The entirely new Yoda is much shorter than before and a lot more in scale. The sleeves of Yoda’s robe are a bit long but this is without a doubt the very best Black Series Yoda. He also comes with an alternate headsculpt.
|This is Yoda’s alternate headsculpt. It also looks really good and this Yoda is the original trilogy version you want to own, even if the shade of green used for the skin color may be slightly too dark.
|Prequel Yoda looks quite different from his original trilogy version. Yoda wears a different outfit and this time Yoda is all CGI, the puppet originally used in The Phantom Menace was later replaced by the CGI version.
|S.H. Figuarts made a great looking prequel Yoda. SHF has a different design philosophy than Hasbro. As you can see this Yoda is all plastic, no soft goods. However, the sculpt is fantastic. To compensate for the rather small size of Yoda SHF added quite a few accessories. Three headsculpts and Yoda’s Jedi Council chair as well as two different sets of plastic robes, one robe for Yoda just standing around and another robe that has a more dynamic sculpt for any of his fighting scenes.
|Here you can see Yoda’s Force using headsculpt. SHF Yoda lets you recreate quite a few scenes from all three prequel movies.
|And this is Yoda’s default headsculpt with eyes looking straight on, the other option has Yoda looking to his side. The overall aesthetics of the new Black Series Yoda are certainly somewhat better, since SHF figures always have quite visible articulation. However, prequel Yoda and original trilogy Yoda serve two very different purposes and SHF Yoda can be put in any number of very dynamic poses.
|And here is a comparison between all three major Yoda versions. The original Black Series figure to the left just looks bad. The new Black Series Yoda has a pretty accurate scale. SHF Yoda is small enough so it doesn’t bother you, but he’s still somewhat taller than the new Black Series Yoda.
There is also a Bandai model kit Yoda accessory, but this small Yoda accessory is just a statue without any articulation. It also looks very plasticky.
So what is the best or ultimate Yoda? The new Black Series Yoda will be all you need for the original trilogy version of Yoda. The figure looks fantastic, the robe could be a bit better, the fraying is also a bit excessive, especially at the sleeves, but soft goods at 1/12 will never look all that great. Most collectors will probably want to own that Yoda and then call it a day.
S.H.Figuarts Yoda follows a very different design aesthetic. If you can live with the visible articulation and plastic robes then SHF’s prequel Yoda is the ultimate prequel Yoda. The headsculpt is perfect. You get two sets of robes, three heads, a cane, the lightsaber, several extra hands and the Jedi Council chair all of which provide you with an enormous variety and you can recreate any number of iconic Yoda scenes from the prequels. SHF Yoda may be somewhat too tall, but not so much that it will bother you, unlike the original Black Series Yoda which is a figure that has aged very badly.
|IG-11 from The Mandalorian. The series showed the IG assassin in action, his original trilogy cousin IG-88 just stood in a corner and did nothing.
|The Black Series IG-11 figure is merely a repainted IG-88 with an added bandolier. This figure has the wrong claws, the elbows are in the wrong position and there are a few other inaccuracies. And as you can easily see the figure is out of proportion, the head is much too small compared to the body. Also, the elbow joints with the soft rubber parts may look nice, but are prone to breaking when you articulate the elbows too often. And then Hasbro used plastic that is somewhat too flexible and soft. You may have a hard time balancing IG-11.
|S.H. Figuarts released their IG-11 not too long after the Black Series version. As you would expect the SHF IG-11 has the sharper details and overall much more accurate scale. The head now has the proper proportions. SHF also uses premium materials and the figure is made of very sturdy plastics. You can actually put IG-11 in several dynamic action poses without fear of losing balance.
The SHF IG-11 also comes with an extra chest piece that reveals the detonator inside and you get the Scout Trooper backpack IG-11 uses to carry Grogu around. You can also, kind of, put SHF IG-11 on the Black Series speeder bike. It’s not a perfect fit, but for display purposes it will do, if you want to recreate the scene from season 1 of The Mandalorian.
And here is a direct comparison with The Black Series Mandalorian figure as reference, I used my IG-88 figure since I don’t own the Black Series IG-11 variant. You can see the enormous size difference here. Now the size of the IG droids is a matter of debate. According to the official Star Wars database the Black Series IG-11/88 is actually in scale, if you ignore the much too small head. But the height is more or less accurate, at least according to the database. Even if IG-11’s cousin IG-88 seems to be signicantly taller in The Empire strikes back. Dengar reaches to approximately the same height as Din Djarin, relative to IG-88, in this set photo.
However, Dengar is standing on the raised platform and in front of the droid, IG-88 is standing below and one step behind Dengar. You need to at least add the height of IG-88’s feet here, in my opinion, and then IG-88 would tower quite a bit over Dengar. The official height given in the database probably does not reflect the true height of the actual prop used in the movie.
Black Series Kuiil reaches to about IG-11’s upper torso joint as well. Both figures are in perfect scale to each other if you take the screenshot from The Mandalorian as reference. If Black Series Kuiil is scale accurate then SHF IG-11 also has the correct scale. At least based on the scene from The Mandalorian.
So what is the best IG-11 figure? The Black Series version is plagued by several flaws. Inferior materials, a much too small head, rubbery legs, bad balance and very inaccurate sculpt.
S.H. Figuarts IG-11 is the much superior action figure and anyone who wants an IG-11 droid should go for the SHF version. Whether or not SHF IG-11 has the correct height is not 100% determined. However, several scenes from The Mandalorian season 1 suggest the figure may have the correct height, even if in a few other scenes, especially in episode 1, IG-11 seems to vary in height and sometimes appears to be shorter.
|Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones.
|S.H. Figuarts was first to market with their 1/12 scale Anakin Skywalker action figure from Attack of the Clones. There are two versions of him, an exclusive and a regular variant, with the exclusive version getting more accessories. This is the default headsculpt. While maybe not 100% perfect it certainly looks a lot like Anakin / Hayden Christensen.
|The alternate headsculpt looks angry/determined and is also quite good, but I feel the more relaxed face does look a bit better. With the exclusive version you also get two sets of Geonosis lightsabers.
|Hasbro released their Padawan Anakin Skywalker figure quite a while later. In my opinion the SHF sculpt is better here, but the TBS sculpt is certainly ok. As usual the SHF figure looks less plasticky, has the sharper details and cleaner paint apps. Black Series Anakin mostly reuses the body from the Revenge of the Sith version only with a new belt and lower right arm. Hasbro forgot to give this Anakin his lower cloth tunic, which is quite the mistake. TBS Anakin is slightly too tall and SHF Anakin has the more accurate scale.
|Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith.
|The Black Series Revenge of the Sith Anakin Skywalker figure is certainly not Hasbro’s best effort. As all the early Black Series figures it has very bad and amateurish paint apps. The figure looks a bit plasticky as well. The sculpt is only mediocre at best. Anakin also has somewhat of a giraffe neck.
|Black Series Anakin also had a second head as an accessory. The Sith eyes head has a different hairstyle, expression and of course red Sith eyes. However, the issues remain: bad paint apps and a giraffe neck which is even more pronounced with this head. The sculpt is also not all that great.
|Years later Hasbro rereleased the figure with a photoreal update in the Archive line. The face looks a lot better now of course. However, since it’s still the same sculpt the likeness is just ok, but it does look a lot better with photoreal. The Archive version is also somewhat shorter than the original release, which is the more accurate scale for Anakin. The original figure is somewhat too tall.
|And this is the photoreal version of the Sith eyes head. The sculpt is ok-ish, but Anakin still has a giraffe neck.
|The S.H. Figuarts Revenge of the Sith Anakin Skywalker is somewhat of a mixed bag. You do get a lot of options with this figure. Various extra hands as usual and also three different headsculpts. Sadly, not all headsculpts are equally good. This is Anakin’s default head, he looks very serious, almost evil. The likeness is certainly not bad, it’s in some ways better than what the Black Series offers (the sculpt has much sharper details and the much better paint apps), but it’s maybe a bit too stylized, it has a certain comic book / manga aesthetic.
The figure is considerably shorter than the Black Series version, however, you can extend the legs to give Anakin more height, this is a feature of many SHF figures to give legs more articulation. With extended legs the height of SHF Anakin is pretty much accurate.
|The Sith eye version of Anakin has the best headsculpt, in my opinion. SHF should have given the serious/angry version the Sith eyes and this more calm and relaxed looking version the normal blue eyes, if you ask me. Depending on your sample Anakin’s right eye may have a misaligned pupil (which you usually don’t notice though). My figure has that error, some online reviews report similar issues.
|You also get a very scene specific shouting head. While the likeness is certainly quite good, it still looks a bit like a comic book / manga version of Anakin perhaps. But you can recreate a few iconic scenes from the last act with this headsculpt. It’s also welcome that you get a very expressive headsculpt here, some other SHF figures give you headsculpts that barely differ from each other.
|And here is a direct comparison of Archive Anakin, Hayden as Anakin and SHF Anakin. None of the sculpts are perfect, but to me SHF Anakin (at least the Sith eyes version) does look a bit better. Black Series Anakin may have the more accurate overall shape, but the facial features look wrong, whereas SHF Anakin’s headshape has its flaws, but I feel the facial features look more accurate here.
So, what is the best Anakin Skywalker figure? Since his look (and age) varies from movie to movie it will depend on what your favorite version is.
In my opinion the S.H. Figuarts Padawan version of Anakin is certainly better than the Black Series figure, which does have some issues.
All the Revenge of the Sith Anakin action figures do have issues. The Archive photoreal version from Hasbro is ok, but the sculpt is not all that great, the figure has a giraffe neck and the old Black Series body has some limitations as well. The S.H. Figuarts version is in many regards the better action figure. The sculpt has sharper details, paint apps are very clean, you do get superior materials and better overall aesthetics. You also get three different heads and various hands. However, SHF did give Anakin somewhat of a comic book / manga look perhaps, and the best looking headsculpt with a calm/neutral expression has the Sith eyes, whereas the angry/evil looking head received normal blue eyes. I would go for the SHF version here, simply because it’s the better overall package, but of course you also pay more for what you get and many collectors will probably prefer the more affordable Black Series Archive version.
And that’s it for today! To sum things up:
The new Black Series Yoda is as close to being the ultimate original trilogy action figure version of Yoda as can be. Sure, the soft goods are not perfect, but at this scale it’s near impossible to get better results, especially when you consider this is a mass produced figure. Custom made robes that cost quite some money will always look better, of course. Sadly, this figure still has to see a single release, you can only get him in the 2-pack with Dagobah Luke.
The S.H. Figuarts Yoda is the only true prequel option, but it is also the ultimate prequel option with a perfect likeness. You do get a multitude of display options, including a very neat looking Jedi Council chair. As an overall package SHF Yoda beats TBS Yoda, but he’s also more expensive. As far as aesthetics are concerned the new Black Series Yoda is the best looking option, SHF Yoda has visible joints and plastic robes.
S.H. Figuarts IG-11 blows the Hasbro Black Series IG-11 out of the water and is the MUCH better action figure. SHF IG-11 looks enormous but has probably the correct scale.
S.H. Figuarts Padawan Anakin Skywalker is the better action figure than the Black Series option which has a somewhat inferior sculpt and a factory error (no lower cloth tunic).
Revenge of the Sith Anakin action figures are kind of a mixed bag. While overall the S.H. Figuarts version is certainly the best (and more expensive) figure, it also has issues. Two of the three headsculpts have a somewhat stylized likeness and the best looking head may have the wrong eye color, since it is the Sith version, but this depends on your own preference. The Black Series Archive version of Anakin is ok, but the overall aesthetics suffer from a few things like an overall plasticky look and a giraffe neck. And the sculpt is merely ok, but neither SHF nor Hasbro really nail down Hayden’s likeness.
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