Sith Lord Darth Maul emerges from the shadows to reveal the ominous presence of the Sith, who use the dark side of the Force and are enemies of the Jedi. Maul duels Qui-Gon Jinn on Tatooine and finishes that lightsaber duel, with deadly results, on Naboo.
We know what you’re thinking. ANOTHER Darth Maul. Yup. As long as there is a Star Wars toy line there will be another Darth Maul action figure. Darth Maul action figures have inundated the basic figure lines and subsequent sub-lines and multipacks ever since 1999. And with each successive year, Hasbro has increasingly been progressive in the way they approach them. Each new Darth Maul action figure seems to be better than the next, and if it isn’t, there are some features of the latest that sit very well with collectors. Most felt that Hasbro reached its pinnacle with Darth Maul (VC86) in The Vintage Collection. The Darth Maul (VC86) figure pulled out all the stops to deliver unto collectors what was hailed Hasbro’s greatest accomplishment to date with the character. We still think that this figure holds that title proudly. But we are beginning to see some quality features in more modern sculpts (albeit with much simpler articulation) that are superseding what the Darth Maul (VC86) figure brought to the table. We won’t for a minute discount the premium articulation Darth Maul (VC86) brought to the table, but something about his head sculpt made us want more, whether it was conscious or subconscious. We don’t mean to cast doubt in The Vintage Collection version of Darth Maul because it’s a fine figure, but if Hasbro could update it a smidge to be truly penultimate, well, we probably wouldn’t have a care in the world.
Hasbro takes another stab at Darth Maul in the Saga Legends line. We’ll get it out right up front. It’s paint job is terrible. The tattooed details on Darth Maul’s face couldn’t be muddier, and the haphazard detail given to his horns incites us to rage. But there is something about the head sculpt that makes it impossible for us to despite this action figure. Even Darth Maul’s ears, which stick out in a pronounced fashion, can’t make us dislike this figure too much. But there is certainly a lot of room for Darth Maul to grow. Darth Maul has a fine sculpt. Interestingly, he is one of the few Saga Legends figures to have one foot in front of the other to mimic walking or even just a simple stride. Of course this once again limits just how many diverse positions you can pose him in, but the details in the sculpt make you forget much of the figure’s flaws. Darth Maul succeeds because of his stature. When you look at him face to face, he’s basically ‘saying’ to you “hey, are you looking at me?” in a very aggressive fight-provoked manner. You may scoff at our description, but how many Darth Maul action figures do you know that look this threatening? We believe Hasbro mailed the attitude of the face sculpt perfectly and it’s the main reason why we are so frustrated that the paint operations are a complete disaster. His arms are ever so slightly out from his sides, almost like “come on!” and the rest of his posture is ready to go, should you tick him off. So don’t tick him off.
Although Darth Maul has a lower skirt, Hasbro was certain to sculpt fully detailed pants and boots on the “inseam” of both legs. This actually pleasantly surprises us. For us it proves that sculpting is still a very important and conscious part of the process for Hasbro. Darth Maul, like so many other Saga Legends figures, comes with one accessory, a double-bladed lightsaber. His hands are cupped well enough to hold this lightsaber in other hand, but be warned. His right thumb is so thin and bendable that it takes a little bit of determination to get it around the hilt. This just shows another incidence of cheap plastic materials utilized to bring our action figures to life. We’ll be lucky if they last long enough to sustain years of storage and/or display in our collections. (Evidence already exists that the white figures are yellowing.) Darth Maul really exceeded our expectations. We know that Saga Legends are considered and abomination by so many collectors, but we are beginning to see some exceptions to the line that are really turning out to be better than fair action figure interpretations of our favorite Star Wars characters. Is the Saga Legends Darth Maul figure the consummate Darth Maul action figure? Absolutely not. But it possesses a better attitude and better body language than many other articulated versions of Darth Maul. It’s bittersweet. It truly is. Darth Maul definitely makes our wires cross. We’re disappointed with the articulation and paint operations, but the sculpts are noteworthy.
Status: Darth Maul is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 5 points
Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel rigth hip (1)
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: lightsaber
Date Stamp: 2013
Assortment Number: A6137/A3857
Retail: $5.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.