I have a love/hate relationship with Sideshow. Their customer service is top notch, their promotional material makes everything drool worthy, but then you actually get the product.
The prototype armor figure is my 5th Sideshow made piece; 1/4 scale Boba, 1/4 scale Han in Carbonite, 1/6 scale Boba (Scum and Villainy), and the Boba Fett Mythos statue round out the other 4. I hope to add reviews for the rest later so I’ll focus my critique on the prototype figure. I will however go on record and say that the Mythos piece is probably the favorite of my entire collection at the moment.
I always found the prototype Fett a curious piece of Star Wars lore. I’m pretty sure no other character has been so heavily documented, both officially by LucasFilm, or though fan research. Tip of the hat to The Dented Helmet. As a fan of the character I was fascinated by the black and white introductory video featuring Ben Burtt narrating the costume design. However when Hasbro introduced the McQuarrie Concept, and had their mail away offer I wasn’t really interested in hunting them down. Sideshow’s release of a 1/6 scale figure however peaked my interest, and now having gotten it I’m scouring eBay for the Hasbro figures.
So here he is, in all his glory, the Sideshow Collectibles 1/6 scale prototype armor Boba Fett…
The packaging is nice. An enlarged t-visor on the front with a picture of the figure on the back. The front also has a flip open panel that offers a brief history of the prototype armor on the backside while allowing us to see the actual figure through a plastic window. And thus began my frustration with this particular piece. I immediately noticed that his right breast plate was detached and hanging out in the bottom of the figure tray. I quickly realized however that it was simply the Velcro used to affix the armor that wasn’t holding as opposed to a more permanent attachment method having failed. The packaging inside the box is well designed, the figure sits in one layer of the tray while all the accessories sit in custom molded recesses in a second layer of the tray. Plastic sheeting helps protect some of the parts and a piece of tape is used to keep the shin tools in their slots.
After pulling the figure out and reattaching the breast plate I was feeling a little better. Then I checked the gauntlet hoses and was happy to find they weren’t kinked or bent. I finally got him to stand up on his own so I started pulling out the accessories. First the stand. Sideshow packed this in a way so that it was stuck together in the wrong configuration. It literally took me 5 minutes to figure out how to separate it (why no instructions?) so I could reassemble it. I was disappointed to find that Sideshow’s method of packing left some minor damage to the base where the stand is inserted. While it is incredibly minor, and wouldn’t be noticed without me pointing it out, I know it’s there. The next thing I noticed was that the holster belt wasn’t positioned like it was in the picture. In my attempt to address that the cod piece fell off. This part isn’t velcroed. The front half of the cod piece clips into the back half and friction is basically supposed to hold the two pieces together. I managed to wiggle the belts into a position to help hold it in place and got the holster belt repositioned but not without a lot of time and frustration.
My next challenge was to actually put the pistol in the holster. The holster itself isn’t a pouch but a strap that somehow wraps around the pistol. I did my best, and you can see it in the pics, but again no instructions. The other tricky attachment is the cape. The attachment point on the shoulder is a single looped stitch to hold the hook on the corner of the cape. Luckily the jet pack helps hold it in place because it flops out pretty easily on it’s own. Next up the shin tools. The shin pouches can barely contain them, in fact a couple have to go under the knee pads to be hidden. It appears to be a scaling problem because even the picture on the box has the tools sticking up under the knee pads. My final production criticism is the coloring. While the soft parts are practically pure white, the armor has a bit of a cream hue. On the box everything looks exactly the same shade, while on the figure there is a distinct difference in color. It actually isn’t as bad as the pictures seem to make it out but it’s still off.
The only artistic criticism I have is the base. Not really a fan of the design, probably because it matches the beach towel. Kudos though to Sideshow for making the extra effort to include the beach towel cape which is a nice nod back to the introductory video. I doubt I’d ever display it on the figure but still a nice gesture.
Believe it or not there are some other things I like about this. The figure itself is a lot less stiffer than the other 1/6 Fett. It’s easier to manipulate and pose, and the hands interchange MUCH smooth than the other Fett. Also the vest and chest armor are worn better by the figure. The chest on the other 1/6 Fett looks like it’s caving in, not the case on the prototype version. The packaging is well put together and aside from a couple pieces of tape I didn’t have to destroy anything to open it.
I also want to give a huge shout out to Sideshow’s customer service. I was hoping to change the shipping address last minute and due to the timing of my call they literally pulled it back off the truck so they could make the change. I may be critical of their products sometimes (because I want the perfect piece) but every interaction I’ve had with their customer service associates have been incredible, and this put them over the top.
Amazingly Proto Fett’s arrival closes out the last lone existing pre-order I had. Now what?
(Re-published with permission. Originally published at The Boba Room.)