Fearsome desert savages inhabiting the rocky Jundland Wastes, Tusken Raiders are the foremost reason Tatooine colonists do not wander far from their isolated communities. Covered from head-to-foot in tattered rags and robes, Tusken Raiders, or Sand People, as they are also known, brandish a deadly bladed club known as a gaderffi. They also carry projectile rifles with which to shoot at passing vehicles.
What’s to be said of the Tusken Raider Mini Bust? A classic character from the Original Trilogy is always appreciated, but what happens if things from a qualitative perspective go a bit awry? Gentle Giant Ltd. definitely gets an “A” for effort with the Tusken Raider Mini Bust, but sadly we’d have to give them lower marks in execution. While the technology utilized here (interchangeable and magnetized body/arm sections and head and arm attachments) to give collectors two distinct versions of these nomadic terrorists is impressive, the final poses that result from the interchangeable parts are not entirely ideal. That’s a mouthful, so let’s get explaining what we mean here. Specifically, the poses are exaggerated to the point that they almost look unnatural. And at best they mimic the actions seen in the film, but they’ll look off to you at the same time. Gentle Giant may have bitten off more than they could chew with the Tusken Raider Mini Bust. We’re appreciative to them for thinking outside of the box, but they’ve delivered a final product that some may feel needed further tweaking before getting approved.
Should you decide to buy two Tusken Raider Mini Busts, you ultimately have the option of owning two Tusken Raiders in completely unique configurations. Gentle Giant limited not only included interchangeable hands holding different accessories (a rifle and a gaderffi stick), but they’ve also included two sets of interchangeable arm/body sections and two distinct head sculpts that have been designed to interact with the weapon of your choice. Again, the idea here is fantastic and not at all common enough in the Mini Bust line. Strong magnets prevent the interchangeable parts from slipping out, falling and breaking, so we’re fine with the Tusken Raider’s modularity. But as we have already mentioned, when you “complete” either version of the Tusken Raider, the piece will feel like it hasn’t accomplished what it has intended to do. Admittedly, we much more fond of the “rifle” pose, but won’t most collectors choose to display the Tusken Raider holding the iconic gaderffi stick? We wanted to, but it just seems like something is missing. Also, choosing to display the Tusken Raider with the rifle isn’t issue free either. The obnoxiously long rifle is obtrusive and gets in the way of any display environment. You’ll lose favor with this piece quickly
So with all of this negativity, you would be left with the notion that it’s a piece of junk? The contrary is true. The Tusken Raider Mini Bust falls victim to poor engineering rather than poor artistry. For example, the Tusken Raider Mini Bust has an incredible sculpt and even better paint job. The details etched into the head sculpt and his torn and tattered clothing is nothing short of brilliant. Even the details in the weapons are utterly amazing. There is a great deal of positivity to appreciate here. It’s just that some of the decisions that have affected the stature of the Mini Bust have sacrificed the overall integrity of the piece. You may not be bothered by the awkward manner the Tusken Raider is holding up the gaderffi stick, or the overly exaggerated position of his head. We tend to be overcritical in some aspects and that might be getting employed in this instance. We’d ultimately like to see a Tusken raider Mini Bust without any interchangeability that is a solid sculpt that has the gaderffi stick in hand, but close to the body. We think that would be the consummate way to present this character from the Star Wars universe in Mini Bust format. We think that train has passed, but we think that would have been the best attempt for this particular character.
Status: This highly-detailed mini bust, based on the original Lucasfilm costumes and props, was sculpted and painted by Gentle Giant Ltd. We hope you enjoy it.
Assembly: Attach interchangeable arms, head and hands holding weaponry to Mini Bust.
Date Stamp: 2008
Retail: $54.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.