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Mini Busts

Emperor Palpatine [Episode VI] - Mini Busts

Name: Emperor Palpatine [Episode VI]
Type: Mini Busts
Number: No. 80113
Edition Size: 1200
Source: Return Of The Jedi
Availability: September 2012
License: Gentle Giant Ltd.

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Despite his frail appearance, Emperor Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, was one of the most powerful Sith Lords in the history of the Sith Order. A master of Force lightning, Palpatine would use this both as a lethal attack and as a way of torturing his enemies. In addition to his Force skils, Palpatine was highly adept in Lightsaber combat. A Sith swordmaster, he was one of the greatest duelists of all time and one of very few equal in skill to that of Yoda or Mace Windu.

Gentle Giant has always been a purveyor of quality high-end Star Wars collectibles for years, but we really want to know what went wrong with, what may very well be on of the most eagerly anticipated Star Wars characters realized in their very popular Mini Bust format, Emperor Palpatine. A classic evil character that usually tops fans’ lists of characters they weant to see made into some collectible format should have been treated with a little more respect in our opinion. We don’t believe the so-called “disrespect” we’re claiming was intentional, but a licensee needs to be actively involved when “final” versions of their collectibles aren’t up to snuff. The Emperor Palpatine Mini Bust should have been a much better looking collectible than its final product reveals. Sadly, we find it quite a disappointment because we have personally been waiting for years for a Return Of The Jedi version of this evil man. It seems however that Gentle Giant Ltd isn’t the only licensee unable to make a perfect version of the Episode VI look of the Emperor. Hasbro still struggles and while we’re fond of Sideshow Collectibles’ efforts, we still think their products could have benefitted from a few more tweaks too.

Clearly the Emperor Palpatine Mini Bust falls short in the paint operations, specifically in the face. It seems under its amateur paint job in the face that a decent sculpts exists. Specifically, not enough wrinkles have been brought to the surface and the need for a proper amount of shadowing has been neglected. The tragic thing here is that these details are sculpted in the face, but are unable to be seen as there is no final dark or gray wash to highlight them. Instead, Emperor Palpatine looks much too cordial and quite frankly jaundiced with big round eyes and a lightly elated look on his face. The expression in his eyes and face don’t exactly match his pose with hand outstretched conjuring some evil. What’s frustrating to the collector is that the Mini Bust featured on the packaging as well as the collectors’ card noting the edition size both display an Emperor Palpatine Mini Bust that we sorely wish made in inside of the packaging. To add insult to injury, the sculpt of the rest of Mini Bust is relatively flawless. Details like his cane, the shape of his hood, his robe clasp and the color chosen to decorate these details is just perfect. So why did they allow the face sculpt to be approved when it is a debacle in comparison to the rest of the Mini Bust? It’s truly maddening.

The conspiracy theorists in us has these wild ideas that Gentle Giant Ltd. wasn’t satisfied with the final product, perhaps nearly embarrassed by it and instead of releasing it as a mainline product they kept it at bay, first to PGMs, then to the eager non-PGM clientele and pawned it off on us since we’ll typically buy anything. It would have been an arduous task unable of executing to have 1200 Mini Busts sent back to be corrected with the missing paint operations. And if they’re not missing, then a whole new protocol needed to be created to do this Mini Bust justice. Why else would Gentle Giant start the bidding at a low $49.99 (almost a third lower than the average Mini Bust)? We feel to ensure its quick sell through. (And that’s exactly what happened: It sold out instantly.) That is of course a lot of conjecture, but we don’t know how else there is a way that this piece would have been approved. It did get approved though and this is what we’re left with for an option. Gentle Giant has the ability to make some incredible products however. The Darth Sidious Mini Bust from years ago outshines this piece tremendously. This Mini Bust can’t hold a candle to that one. It’s definitely a shame that this is what fans of the Original Trilogy are offered for an Episode VI specific version of Emperor Palpatine. It just doesn’t deliver.

Collector Notes

Emperor Palpatine [Episode VI]

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.

Exclusivity: N/A

Assembly: None

Date Stamp: 2012

UPC: 871810009350

Retail: $49.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.

Gentle Giant Ltd.
All Mini Busts

Added: October 10, 2012
Category: Mini Busts
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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