Boba Fett wasn't always the Mandalorian armor-wearing bad-ass that made it into the final films. Star Wars concept artist Ralph McQuarrie originally envisioned Fett as a sort of super-trooper (meow) in the Imperial army. The concept also stemmed a bit from the original ideas for Darth Vader, though we all know how that turned out. The Fett we saw on screen was a further modified version of McQuarrie's concepts that was finished off by Joe Johnston, who was an art director at Lucasfilm at the time. While the white armor even made it so far as to be screentested, the final version deviated from McQuarrie's original plans quite a bit.
There have been a few different figures and collectibles over the years to commemorate Boba's original all-white armor, but none that were based solely on McQuarrie's original design. That's where Sideshow Collectibles steps in. As part of its new Star Wars Concept Art series of premium format figures, the Boba Fett that had previously only lived as a painting or sketch will soon be realized in 3D.
Few characters from the Star Wars saga truly transcend the franchise. Most everyone knows Darth Vader, and the recent media barrage means they probably know a few other characters, too, but Han Solo is a rare character indeed. Not only is he one of the most memorable rogues in cinematic history, but since his appearance in Star Wars in 1977, dozens of films and stories have tried to capture that very same essence of character Harrison Ford portrayed. Even nearly 40 years later, Han Solo has endured, which is more than you can say for a lot of fictional heroes throughout history. That's why adding this Hot Toys Han Solo figure to my collection was a no-brainer, even if it's not quite up to the company's usual standard of likeness excellence.
It's actually hard to believe Hot Toys never dabbled in the Star Wars universe before, but until this year, the company didn't have a hand in arguably the biggest license in the collectible market. However, that all changed this year with the arrival of The Force Awakens. Since the deal was announced, Hot Toys has not held back in the least when it comes to announcing new figures for the line. There's been a solid mix of classic trilogy characters mixed with some of the new blood, but to this point, there haven't been many unmasked characters released. There have been Stormtroopers a plenty, but when it comes to the faces of the franchise, Hot Toys' selection has been a little light in that department.
Robert E. Howard may not have created Red Sonja directly, but his inspiration for the she-devil with a sword Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith would craft for the Marvel Comics incarnation of Conan the Barbarian is undeniable. Since appearing in that comic back in the 1970s, Sonja's gone on to be a rather large part of the Hyborian mythos, expanding beyond mere guest-star in Conan tales into her own full-fledged adventuress. As one of the preeminent fantasy bad-asses, Red Sonja's always been able to find and inspire audiences no matter which publisher has been telling her tales.
While she's been a staple of Dynamite's catalog as of late, there are surprisingly few Red Sonja collectibles on the market. There have been statues from time to time, but Sideshow Collectibles has been the leader of the pack when it comes to Sonja goods as of late. Already with one impressive Red Sonja statue under its belt, the collectible company has another in the works that shows a different, more detailed side of the crimson-haired warrior.
The hype levels surrounding Star Wars: The Force Awakens may have reached critical mass, but that hasn't stopped fans from clamoring for more. Fortunately, to sate some of those appetites, there have been trading cards and comics and books and toys to hold the hunger for the actual film at bay. I'm as guilty as anyone for jumping head first off the moving bandwagon onto the hype train, and a large part of that is due to the new bad guys we've seen in promotional materials. Apparently I'm not the only one, as trying to find any merchandise with Kylo Ren and the Stormtroopers has been a challenge. Even they can't hold a candle to the desire seemingly everyone invested in Star Wars has for Captain Phasma.
Captain Phasma has appeared in footage and images, but hasn't uttered a single word. The only thing we know about her is that she's played by Gwendoline Christie and has the bossest set of armor. The fan fervor surrounding this character has already pegged her as the successor to Boba Fett. Now that's not from an actual coolness standpoint, obviously. We have no idea how cool she'll be in the movies. That's strictly from the point that any bit of merchandise that she's on becomes more coveted than the Ark of the Covenant. It's been especially true for all the figures Hasbro's made thus far, and it will likely be true for the upcoming Hot Toys version, too.
Looks like Sideshow has finally seen the green light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps the sculptors were just green with envy that so many other DC heroes had their chance to shine already, and it was time to give the brightest star in the Justice League his chance to shine. There will be no more dark days in the future for this character now that Sideshow's finally going to give the emerald in DCU's crown the attention he deserves. It wasn't easy being green, but now that there's a premium format figure for the galaxy's greatest space cop on the way, the hard times are coming to an end.
Is that enough cheeseball Green Lantern preamble for you? Good. Now we can just get to the part where I talk about how great it is that there's a sweet new Green Lantern statue on the way from Sideshow, while also bemoaning the fact that it's yet again another Hal Jordan collectible.
After the long string of successes Hot Toys has had with its various Marvel-themed figures, it actually not all that surprising to learn there will soon be a Stan Lee figure coming from the Hong Kong-based company. This actually isn't the first time the Marvel legend has been captured in figure form, as NECA, Funko, ToyBiz and more have all tried their hand at bringing the living embodiment of comic book history to life before. However, very few have been as true-to-life as Hot Toys' latest piece, which brings Stan to life in all his grandfatherly glory right down to the Members Only jacket.
It's a curious thing that most toy companies have captured Stan well beyond his glory days in the Marvel Bullpen, and instead have focused on his semi-retired persona as the cameo du jour in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This current version is the more recognizable though, I suppose, but it would have been an interesting take to showcase Stan "The Man" in a younger guise back when he was still influencing the biggest guns in the business on a daily basis. It's also a tiny bit sad that Hot Toys' penchant for realism and accuracy depicts the Marvel mainstay in such a fragile form.
Devilishly handsome. Magnificently deviant. Criminally charming. Loki is many things, and now you can count stunning masterpiece among the superlatives bandied about when discussing the Marvel Cinematic Universe's trickster god. Thanks to Sideshow Collectibles, fans of Tom Hiddleston's incarnation of the character will soon be able to swoon over a premium format figure of the blue-eye mischief maker. Teased earlier this year, the large-scale statue is a tremendous piece of work, and one that captures the danger and attraction all at once.
Captured in his guise from the first Avengers film, Loki is presented in his horned helm and traditional deep green garb. The lengthy fabric cape is a brighter shade, and complements the dark, leather-like pants and jacket trimmed in gold. There's a lot of terrific detail in the figure itself, including some outstanding texturing throughout the sleeves and chest. I don't know who does Loki's tailoring, but the facsimile job Sideshow does in on point.
With all they hype and hoopla surrounding Star Wars: The Force Awakens, many companies have dived in head-first into the uncharted waters of what lies in the future. Some however are still relishing in the past, and Sideshow Collectibles' upcoming Darth Maul figure only serves to show that not everyone has forgotten about the one good thing to come from The Phantom Menace. It's actually surprising that it took this long for Maul to get the sixth-scale recognition he's deserved, given just how many different figures Sideshow and Hot Toys have created under the Star Wars banner to this point. Still, good things to those who wait and all that jazz.
Though he was killed off near the end of The Phantom Menace, Maul was resurrected, given new legs (twice) and has since appeared in the animated series that still count as canon in the Star Wars Universe. Much has been made about whether or not Darth Maul actually counts as a Sith. Since he was killed before his training under Sidious was complete, a case could be made that he's just a Force-positive player in the world like so many others who never had the proper training to master their skills. Whatever side of that debate you fall on, Sideshow's Maul figure comes from a time when it seemed that he would be an unstoppable force of evil on the side of the Sith for years to come. You know, until Obi-Wan gave him that 50% discount on life. Whoops.
Another week has gone by and we're still no closer to seeing any of the actual human characters whose faces aren't hidden behind masks from Hot Toys' upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens figure collection. That's okay though. The only thing people really care about is Stormtroopers and their various incarnations. So, it makes perfect sense that the latest sixth-scale soldiers to join up with the previously announced Stormtroopers and Snowtroopers are the Flametroopers.
The First Order's soldiers have comprised a great deal of the action figure reveals so far across multiple scales and sizes. The Flametrooper is a division we've not seen in films before, though given how specialized the Empire was and how the First Order appears to be, there were likely similar troops in the Imperial Army as it existed all those years ago. The Flametroopers have gained some significance as of late thanks to the prevalence of fire and flaming villages in the trailers for The Force Awakens. We don't know who or what they're burning down, or why for that matter, but we do know that they are rather good at their job given the propensity of flames in the five or so minutes of footage that's been released.
Even though he's the king of the seas, DC's Aquaman gets his fair share of guff from the rest of the superhero community... and the fan community. While Aquaman definitely has some redeeming qualities, he's just never been considered a true champion among the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman or Batman. Sure, he gets invited to the big kids' table, but they always seat him near Plastic Man. I mean, it's Plastic Man, guys. Despite all that, Aquaman's come through from the people and animals of Earth more times then most citizens are willing to give him credit.
Fortunately, Arthur Curry has more than just the denizens of Atlantis on his side. He's also got Sideshow Collectibles honor him. As crafters of fine statues showcasing the best and brightest DC has to offer, Sideshow wouldn't select Aquaman if they believed he was a lame duck. That's a lot of time and effort to be spent carefully rendering each piece of scale mail in his armor shirt. No seriously, there are a lot of individual pieces of plating in there to give the suit it's fish-y look. It's impressive.
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