Although we’re well into the line at this point, the Star Wars Elite Series die cast metal figure collection is a successful line at the Disney Store that just can’t seem to grab everyone. Admittedly, there are some figures much better than others. And the “screw holes” (there is really no other way to make this sound more refined we fear) that infect the backs of these figures are a big issue for many collectors. Aesthetically speaking they really ruin what could be a very, very nice adult collectible. Thankfully, sometimes a figures structure or clothing will allow many of these obtrusive holes to be more discreet-looking. But overall, the verdict is still out on how successful this line will ultimately be. With a nice even balance of characters from the Original Trilogy, Prequel Trilogy and Sequel Trilogy in the mix or planned, it seems this is a line that will cater to everyone in some form or fashion. Our personal interest in the line is a bit noncommittal. There are some really wonderful things about the figures, but then there are some really “bad” things about them. And while many aspects of the figures’ designs are dead to rights, there are other aspects which seemingly harm what is truly wonderful in these figures. Let’s see if we can make better sense of that sentiment.
There is no denying that Darth Maul has a stunning silhouette. We believe Disney has truly nailed the frame of the character perfectly. The designs of the robes are beautiful and the drape of how they fall is simple but impressive. The boots and gloves are shinier than the robes, a feel that is remarkable in a die cast metal figure line, and the paint operations generally speaking are beautiful, albeit not blemish free in spots. So with all of this overflowing positivity, what could be wrong with the figure? Well, for us it’s the portrait. Now, before you jump on us, we admit that while looking at the figure’s head sculpt from certain angles that Darth Maul looks pretty grand. But if you look head on/straight on, you’ll discover the shape of his head is off by quite a bit. It’s too rounded and he doesn’t possess enough tenacity in his facial expression. But it’s the shape of the head that is the more unsettling aspect of this figure. As explained above, the paint operations are very nice on this figure, but Disney made a big mistake with the color of his horns. They’ve been painted in a dark gray color. And we believe it’s having a tremendous impact on the legitimacy of the likeness of this famous Star Wars character. Everyone knows what Darth Maul looks like now. So if they’re something out of place, it’s going to be noticed.
Darth Maul comes with a double-bladed lightsaber where two halves can be connect together. This is being nitpicky, but his lightsaber became halved thanks to battle-damage sustained from Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lightsaber, but that is two separate parts mechanically speaking. So, the gesture to get both “states” of this same lightsaber is appreciated, but it is technically inaccurate. It would have been better to include a whole lightsaber and then a battle-damaged half of one. Also, in a weird move, the blades of the lightsaber are solid and opaque. They aren’t translucent like the rest of the figures in the line. It is definitely an odd move. Then again, until lightsabers really light up in a consistent way in the collectibles’ universe, we don’t imagine that we’ll ever see consistency throughout the various toy lines. Darth Maul has impressive articulation. A full 18 points of movement have been given to this popular Star Wars villain. We’re most delighted with the ball-jointed shoulders and “rocker” ankles. This allows a wide range of movement for this Elite Series figure and we are thankful to see such complex articulation systems rendered into this collectible figures. The Elite Series Darth Maul isn’t perfect, but he is good. We just wish they would have tweaked his head a bit more.
Status: Darth Maul is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 18 points (14 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), hinge-jointed left elbow (1), hinge-jointed right elbow (1), swivel left wrist (1), swivel right wrist (1), swivel waist (1), ball-socket left hip (1), ball-socket right hip (1), hinge-jointed left knee (1), hinge-jointed right knee (1), ball-jointed/"rocker" left ankle (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 3
Accessory Details: double-bladed lightsaber (2 parts), Star Wars display stand
Date Stamp: N/A
Assortment Number: N/A
Retail: $24.99 USD
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