Samuel L. Jackson’s Jedi Master finally arrives in Hasbro’s Black Series range but sadly, it wasn’t worth the wait.
Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu was one of the leading masters of the Jedi Order during The Clone Wars. His unswerving ability came second only to Jedi Master Yoda and was a source of inspiration for countless Padawan learners rising through the Jedi ranks.
Mace Windu was given the S.H Figuarts treatment when Tamashii Nations released a noteworthy action figure based upon his appearance in Attack of the Clones which was an instant hit with fans everywhere. However, despite Hasbro’s Black Series entering its sixth lucrative year, the character has only just made it to the assembly line. But, was the long and arduous wait actually worth it?
In a word…no.
From the outset, the traditional Black Series packaging greets you and reveals the fantastic figure awaiting you inside the box. It’s sleek, black design has become synonymous with the line and has been refined in recent years to showcase the figure in all its glory. However, as soon as you liberate the figure from its cardboard prison, that’s where the problems begin.
The figure itself comes complete with a removable cotton Jedi robe and his iconic purple lightsaber. Initially, it is everything you could want from an action figure. It’s aesthetically pleasing, the lightsaber is perfectly recreated and the resemblance to Samuel L. Jackson is uncanny. But this is where the problems arise for me. I am not a fan of cotton capes/robes on my action figures. They just don’t appease me in the same way as plastic robes do. Therefore, this serves as the figures first strike.
Once the robe has been removed, the figure finally meets my aesthetic requirements. It looks fantastic until you try and pose him. Annoyingly, the ankle joints don’t rotate enough for you to achieve a balance leaving the figure hard to pose. The articulation on the boots simply doesn’t allow you to achieve the desired level of rotation which is so frustrating. He can stand on his own two feet just fine, just don’t try and have him running into danger or recreating his famous pose from the Attack of the Clones archive stills.
On a positive note, Hasbro has totally nailed the sculpt. The physique is hauntingly reminiscent of Samuel L. Jackson and the face replication is right up there with the best figures in the line. However, turning his head uncovers another problem. The joint at the base of the skull where the head meets the neck is one of the ugliest joints I have seen for many years. Where other characters have hair, which would easily hide this unsightly joint, Mace Windu is bald and therefore, the hideous lump of plastic is REALLY noticeable.
In the plus column, the traditional Jedi tunic is finely detailed and resembles cotton, which begs the question of why Hasbro didn’t opt for the same technique with the Jedi Robe. The hands have been crafted with extra definition to resemble skin and are rounded off by realistic looking veins. And finally, the traditional Jedi belt boasts several additional compartments and refinements which gives the figure a pleasing finish.
Overall, I have mixed feelings about this figure. Yes, it is glorious to look at. Yes, it’s a solid figure with a pleasing likeness to Samuel L. Jackson, but aside from that, the figure is a massive disappointment. The lack of articulation paired with the ugly neck joint and the awful cotton cape has left me feeling a little short-changed.
In my honest opinion, after having spent a little time with this figure I would rather pay the additional costs and purchase the superb S.H Figuarts version released a few years ago by Tamashii Nations. The figure was incredibly articulated, boasted a fantastic resemblance to Samuel L. Jackson and avoided the horrible neck joint issue. I know not all fans share my reservations about cotton robes and that’s fine, but for me, this is a major issue.
So, if you’re looking for a glorified shelf warmer and can tolerate the cotton robe, this Mace Windu is for you, but if you’re like me and desire superior articulation and photorealistic poseability then seek out the S.H. Figuarts incarnation. It is the will of the Force and you’ll avoid being disappointed.
Nice try Hasbro, but this is not your best work.
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