In the days of the old Republic, a direct communications system was introduced to give those in power a way to quickly relay vital information to where it was needed. As part of a comm-unit communication, this 3-D, visual system uses advanced holoprojectors which enable the user to transmit and receive messages within seconds.
We imagine that collectors weren’t the only ones experiencing sensory overload and product fatigue in the Episode I line. After we got through a very long (and exciting) 1999, Hasbro seemed to become a little disjointed in what they chose to focus on for the line. This trend continued into the early months of 2000. With so many unfinished beasts, main characters and the like, many felt it was off to go out of their way to produce ANOTHER format of action figures with gimmicky features and pass it on to Walmart as their retail exclusive. The Darth Maul (Figure As Holograph) (Light-Up) and Qui-Gon Jinn (Figure As Holograph) (Light-Up) exclusives were intended to be part of a larger line. But because the latter sold so terribly, two future sets, including Obi-Wan Kenobi and Queen Amidala were canceled before they went into production. Sadly, they would have balanced out this line a little better. With ZERO articulation and muddied detail thanks to the holographic paint job each received, many collectors felt this Walmart exclusive line was dead in the water from the start. Still, if you’re looking to create an interesting diorama (off-screen if you’re using Qui-Gon Jinn) or screen-accurate recreation (if you’re using Darth Maul), you’re going to need both of these figures in your collection.
Hasbro cast Darth Maul in a purple-colored plastic. They then gave it a shimmery finishing coat to recreate the illusion of a “holograph” effect. For us, the approach here doesn’t work all that well for Darth Maul. In the film, we see him shown as a holograph, but the effect is blue. We also can make out almost all of the details in his face and outfit. This figure looks like a blended mess of purple with some defining highlights. The lack of any articulation here is disappointing. But if we think about it a little bit more, we have to concede that Hasbro made the right decision here. There are no “cuts” in the figure where the joints should be, and when you’re dealing with transparent plastic, they’re all the more visible. These two figures provide seamless and unadulterated versions of Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jinn, and despite the faults the figures possess, overall, they work well. Most disappointing about Darth Maul is the face. You can’t make out any real definition of the character. Qui-Gon Jinn, on the other hand, looks fantastic thanks to some “flesh-colored” tones added to the face and hands which give the figure definition and detail. Interestingly, Hasbro cast Darth Maul in translucent purple plastic, but they cast Qui-Gon Jinn in translucent blue plastic. Blue would have been ideal for both characters.
It's quite obvious that action figures with zero articulation are boring. But here is the cool part about this two-figure line. Each comes with a holoprojector that is fairly accurate to full-size scale. The holoprojector is battery-operated. A “hidden” button exists along the base of it, and when pressed, the base lights up. And thanks to the translucent plastic utilized to make these figures, they light-up brightly like a real holograph from the film. Sadly, the button won’t stay “on,” so you have to hold it the entire time to keep it lit. An ON/OFF switch would have been ideal here. What’s more, Hasbro also added a dial to the base of the holoprojector, and when turned, the center of the base turns 360 degrees to change the position of the figure. Yes, this isn’t the most innovative exclusive produced, but we appreciate its authenticity, as well as its gimmick. Placed in cylindrical packaging and set with an MSRP of $9.99, the line wasn’t enough to grab collectors, unfortunately. We don’t think these sets are unfairly priced, but Star Wars collectors are into action figures with articulation. These sets don’t offer this, no matter how lovely you think the figures look. The light-up Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jinn figures are something we appreciate in the Episode I line, but we understand why they didn’t grab the collecting community as a whole.
Qui-Gon Jinn (Light Up)
Status: Qui-Gon Jinn (Light Up) is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 0 points (0 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: None
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: electronic holoprojector
Date Stamp: N/A
Assortment Number: 84371/84225
Retail: $9.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.