Qui-Gon and Anakin are attacked by Darth Maul in the Tatooine desert. The Sith apprentice has tracked the Queen of Naboo to this remote planet, but before he can capture her, he has to fight his way past the Jedi. Qui-Gon ignites his lightsaber as Maul springs to the ground brandishing a lightsaber. The Jedi battles this unknown assailant until his ship flies within range and he leaps onboard, escaping Maul – for now.
Well this is interesting! Hasbro has been impressing us and even perhaps has exceeded our expectations with another release in the Battle Packs line. After early worries that the packs wouldn't necessarily be collector-friendly anymore (this is from the mouths at Hasbro, not our opinion), it seems that Hasbro is making good for both kids and collectors. And of course we hope that the collector trend continues, but the balance seems to be fair and for that we are thankful. We are affectionately referring to this particular Battle Packs set as Tatooine Showdown 2.0 (an Episode I Cinema Scene multipack that was pretty impressive for its time). With this set, Hasbro has nodded to the ghosts of Star Wars lines past and reinvented the original 1999 Episode I Cinema Scene set into new and epic proportions. They have given us a relatively good deal for our dollars, and instead of the awful pre-posed action stances and limited articulation of the figures in the original 1999 set, Hasbro gives us a much-improved grouping of figures, enhanced wherever possible. To help put things in better perspective here, we ask you to recall what we got for $19.99 in 1999. The cinema scenes were designed with inferior quality to the basic figures of the time and very rarely did figures exceed five points of articulation. While the Darth Maul in the cinema scene looked pretty darn cool with his robes flailing around, the set overall left a lot to be desired. By including Darth Maul's Sith Speeder too, this is a value that just no one can deny, fan of Episode I or not.
The Tatooine Desert Ambush Battle Packs set has taken the same premise of the 1999 Episode I Cinema Scene set but yet provided a world’s worth of new authenticity and great packaging of incredible value. Yes, this is a set that may look better as time moves on packaged than loose and on display, but there is certainly no denying that is blows the Episode I set completely out of the water. Qui-Gon Jinn is a repack of the figure from the exclusive mail-away 2009 LC Qui-Gon Jinn And Eopie set (complete with shawl) which is a repainted version of the figure that came from the 2008 TAC The Jedi Legacy Evolutions set. This, of course, is a super-articulated figure and as a result is a significant upgrade to the 1999 figure. The soft-goods look pretty great, and while they are a little bit difficult to maneuver off of him, they accurately represent the accessory we saw him wear in the film. Hasbro also decided to throw in a slightly updated (paint job) version of the 1999 EI Sith Speeder And Darth Maul set as well. This version of Darth Maul has seen countless rereleases (particularly in the Saga Legends line) and while the paint job has been significantly updated the 1999 release, it is also a bit different than the 2007 TAC Darth Maul Saga Legends versions. Also, he has a noticeable wider stance than previous releases which works very well in this case since he comes with his speeder. His Sith Speeder looks darker and more accurate to the film and other than that, not much else differs. Anakin Skywalker is another repaint in the set. He was first offered in 2000 as the Power Of The Jedi Anakin Skywalker (Mechanic) figure. This release also marks the first time in a while that he has been available for purchase at retail.
Clearly, all of the figures and the accessories in this set are upgrades and have been enhanced in some way except for Qui-Gon Jinn, so most of these can constitute as new enough in our opinion. Besides, it's nice to see how much difference a good paint job can benefit an already good action figure. This set not only provides a great opportunity to get some older stuff updated in the line, but it beautifully complemented The Phantom Menace wave that was released in September of 2009. It is not too often that we get a nice helping of characters from this film, so the attention Episode I is getting in the modern line is very encouraging. We will continue to look forward to what Hasbro has in store for us too. We have commented on this time and again here, but we love the Battle Packs line. There are some sets that lack quality and substance, but this is one set that does anything but that. Hasbro has commented multiple times that they have no plans to revisit young Anakin Skywalker, so it is quite possible that the best version of him that we will get is the repainted Power Of The Jedi figure. Not that this decision will satisfy us because we want a modern update on him as well, but this figure may just have to serve that purpose until Hasbro changes their mind. Tatooine Desert Ambush is a very exciting update to that 1999 EI Cinema Scene and a very acceptable Battle Packs set for the collecting habits of today. For a financially easy set for Hasbro to cobble together this set came out quite well.Besides, there are fans of Episode I and this should make them happy. Not for everyone, this set isn't without merit.
Tatooine Desert Ambush
Assortment Number: 94378/87752
Retail: $24.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Darth Maul uses a Sith speeder to swiftly cross the desert. The vehicle is stripped down to its essential features so that it can achieve a high rate of speed.
Status: Sith Speeder is a repaint of the vehicle from 1999's EI Sith Speeder & Darth Maul set.
Features Count: 1
Feature Details: launching Sith probe droid
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: Sith probe droid
Date Stamp: 1999
The Sith apprentice leaps from his speeder bike and engages Qui-Gon Jinn in a lighstaber duel. Trained in the Jedi arts, Darth Maul is a formidable fighter.
Status: Darth Maul is a repaint of the figure from 1999's EI Sith Speeder & Darth Maul set.
Articulation Count: 10 points (10 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel left bicep (1), swivel right forearm (1), swivel torso (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), hinge-jointed left knee (1), hinge-jointed right knee (1)
Accessory Count: 2
Accessory Details: lightsaber, robe
Date Stamp: 1999
Qui-Gon acts quickly when a mysterious attacker suddenly appears just as he is about to board the repaired ship. He saves young Anakin and is swept into a fierce battle.
Status: Qui-Gon Jinn is a repack of the figure from 2009's LC Qui-Gon Jinn And Eopie mail-away exclusive.
Articulation Count: 23 points (14 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel left wrist (1), swivel right wrist (1), ball-jointed torso (2), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 2
Accessory Details: lightsaber, poncho
Date Stamp: 2008
Young Anakin Skywalker has been freed from slavery but must leave his mother Shmi behind. His new life almost comes to an abrupt end when a vicuious stranger strikes.
Status: Anakin Skywalker is a repaint of 2000's POTJ Anakin Skywalker (Mechanic) figure.
Articulation Count: 9 points (9 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel right wrist (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), hinge-jointed left knee (1), hinge-jointed right knee (1)
Accessory Count: None
Accessory Details: None
Date Stamp: 2000