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The Black Series [Phase IV]

Ponda Baba - TBS [P4] - Six Inch Figures (ANH02)

Name: Ponda Baba
Collection: The Black Series [Phase IV]
Number: ANH02
Scale: 6"
Source: A New Hope
Availability: February 2022
License: Hasbro

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A burly Aqualish thug, Ponda Baba smuggled spice for Jabba the Hutt alongside his friend Dr. Cornelius Evazan, a murderous former surgeon Ponda had rescued from a bounty hunter.

The Black Series 6-inch collecting community got the shaft when it came to the Ponda Baba and Doctor Evazan figure releases. Making their debut in the awful Cantina Showdown Hasbro Pulse exclusive, the figures are testaments of Hasbro going as cheaply as they can on characters collectors want to see released in the line, but not at the expense of quality. Ponda Baba is a slight repaint of the figure released in the Cantina Showdown set, but let’s remind you of the figure’s history and makeup. Hasbro used 90% of 2019’s TBS [P3] Luke Skywalker (Yavin Ceremony) (100) figure to produce Ponda Baba. Only the portrait and hands are all-new, while the rest of the figure is painted. If you recall, Luke Skywalker (Yavin Ceremony) came with a strap on the leg where the holster sits. And Hasbro didn’t smooth it out or retool that leg section. You can still see where the strap is raised and covered in brown paint, the same tone as the rest of Ponda Baba’s pants. What is worse, however, is Ponda Baba’s height. Luke Skywalker is generally smaller than most other “male” characters in the lineup, and Ponda Baba is shorter than Doctor Evazan, and that’s a shame for this character because Ponda Baba is an imposing force towered over Luke in the cantina. This figure is a disappointment indeed!

But Ponda Baba’s problems don’t end there. What about the alternate weapon (that Hasbro ended up giving to Doctor Evazan)? Or what about the severed arm and interchangeable hand attachments or drinking glasses? Or is Hasbro waiting to save all of these extra parts for a Deluxe version so they can charge an arm and a leg? Again, it’s easy to see how The Black Series 6-inch collecting community got robbed with this release of Ponda Baba. Coincidentally, Ponda Baba is one of the first three single-packaged 6-inch figures based on Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. It’s hard to believe it’s taken this long to get characters from Episode IV into The Black Series [Phase IV] line. But at least they got three into the sixth case assortment, albeit straight repacks or slight repaints. Still, it’s a bit sad that when two of the debut characters based on A New Hope are inferior in approach and quality. Hasbro needs to do better for these characters and give consumers better quality and value for these costly action figures. Admittedly, Ponda Baba looks decent from afar, and we’re sure there will be action figure photography that distorts what Ponda Baba truly offers as a collectible. But we have to commend Hasbro on the portrait. They did a fine job capturing the Aqualish’s alien features, and the paint operations are also excellent.

While this buck made Luke Skywalker (Yavin Ceremony) one of the best-looking Luke Skywalker figures in the 6-inch line to date, it doesn’t hold up nearly as well for Ponda Baba. Ponda Baba arrives in different colors, including the memorable bright orange jacket, brown pants, and off-white undershirt. All of these details are in place here. It’s a style unlike any other outfit for Luke Skywalker, but it seems like the perfect outfit for your average Aqualish bounty hunter. Hasbro designed this base figure with a removable jacket shell. So, while it’s nice to have accessories with figures, removing the jacket shell makes Ponda Baba look silly. The only other addition is the DL-21 blaster pistol, the red-handled blaster with a flared barrel. Ponda Baba has excellent articulation, but it’s older articulation. So, it comes with double hinge-jointed knees. Thankfully, the swivel hips help with the figure’s movement. So you can get some incredible poses, like Ponda Baba brandishing the blaster or running in action. Compared to 2011’s TVC Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) (VC70) figure, The Black Series 6-inch version pales in comparison by a lot. The 6-inch version has a better head sculpt, but the rest of the super-articulated 3.75-inch figure reigns king. It would be excellent if Hasbro took the best of both worlds and revised both figures to make the characters be all they can be in their respective lines.

Collector Notes

Ponda Baba

Status: Ponda Baba is a retool and repaint of 2019's TBS [P3] Luke Skywalker (Yavin Ceremony) (100) figure, This time the figure has an all-new head sculpt and new hands. The figure has also been completely repainted.

Articulation Count: 28 points (17 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), hinge-jointed neck (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), ball-jointed left wrist (2), ball-jointed right wrist (2), ball-jointed torso (2), ball-socket left hip (1), ball-socket right hip (1), swivel left thigh (1), swivel right thigh (1), double hinge-jointed left knee (2), double hinge-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" left ankle (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" right ankle (2)

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: removable jacket shell, DL-21 blaster pistol

Date Stamp: N/A

Assortment Number: F1872/E8908

UPC: 5010993835393

Retail: $24.99 USD

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

The Black Series [Phase IV] Wave 6

Bib Fortuna (ROTJ08)

Boba Fett (Tython) (TM16)

Doctor Evazan (ANH03)

Fennec Shand (TBOBF01)

Migs Mayfeld (Morak) (TM15)

Ponda Baba (ANH02)

Princess Leia Organa (Yavin 4) (ANH01)

Stormtrooper Jedha Patrol (RO09)

Added: February 26, 2022
Category: Black Series [Phase IV], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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