The short of it:
Good concepts, some good designs, plagued by standard deluxe-shortcomings. Fun flapping gimmick but probably not worth your money. Grade: C
The long of it:
Unlike many, I liked the idea of a wing-flapping Geonosian figure. While I'm not specifically a big fan of this Star Wars race, the Geonosian figures have had some charm to them and I was kinda hoping for more. Sadly, this figure is hurt badly by Hasbro's classic deluxe-shortcomings to the point where I actually feel BAD for it.
The set comes with 1 geonosian pod (a beehive-shaped translucent... um, pod, I guess... that the figure can fit inside of), 1 big horkin' sonic blaster, 1 big horkin' sonic blaster blast-effect/missile, and 1 flapping geonosian.
The pod is smelly and I don't remember it in the film - that doesn't make it a bad thing though. It also is the only thing that separates this set from a standard $5 Saga figure - that unfortunately does make it a not-worth-it thing. It's made of barely-translucent brown soft plastic that has very fine sparklies in the mix; the pod has some pretty intricate sculpting all over the outside and has a nice black paint wash to bring those details out. The back of the pod has a HUGE suction cup which is fairly effective and the bottom of the pod has a flat surface with a hole and an LFL copyright - other than that, it's fairly natural looking. The front has a cut almost top to bottom that can be opened like a plastic coin purse, opening it really enhances the stink factor but does give you enough space to house your hidden Geonosian. Not alone worth buying the set for.
The sonic blaster seems really big, it's bigger than most figures' rifles and houses a spring, the plastic is a mix of hard and very soft dark brown materials. The main body of the gun is bigger than Padme's torso, and the stock makes this big gun even bigger. There aren't many intricate details sculpted here, but it's far from featureless. The blast effect reminds one of the cage in the Mousetrap boardgame only smaller and with a big spring-loaded missile-stick on the back; it fits into the blaster only one way and has no button to fire it, you simply push the end of the missile (which sticks out the back of the blaster a bit) to the side and it fires - too heavy to go more than a foot or so. Another item that doesn't come off enough good enough to warrant your ten bucks.
The figure would actually be pretty good if not for the following issues:
- cruddy materials;
- poor paint choices;
- preposed arms without added articulation.
The wings are very soft, softer even than the regular Saga geonosian, and this wouldn't be much of a problem except the wings stay on their flapping posts via holes in the wing bases that go over a bump on either side of the post - why is this a problem? Because the soft wings don't want to stay on the posts, and once you get flapping, they can actually come right off; even if they don't come off, they easily sag and warp and won't stay upright. And since the legs are that weird geonosian design to begin with and are made of rubbery plastic, it's hard to keep the legs from warping.
The figure's colors are very frustrating because they don't really come too close to matching previous Geonosian figures who are dark green while our deluxe flying friend here is more a mishmash of light green/yellow, brown, and black. I think Hasbro actually tried to make the figure iridescent (pearly) like previous Geonosians, but the bright base color hides this from view. The various paint details and paint washes don't mix well between the various parts.
The arms are a real disappointment to me because they're so preposed and have no real way to get around that, the right arm has this off-to-the-side overhanded cup look while the left arm is bent at the elbow over 90 degrees so the forearm is crossing the whole torso - like Geonosian physiology wasn't strange enough without Hasbro's bizarre design choices. The arms are made to look normal (and I use that term VERY loosely) only while holding the blaster, but even that is a chore to make look passable thanks to warping and a lack of movable waist.
So what isn't crappy about this figure? I can actually get him to stand on his own (wings-up) with or without his blaster, he has a separate skirt piece which is new, he's the same size as the other Geonosians, and the flapping gimmick is fun and surprisingly accurate-looking if you do it over and over. Sure, the flapping gimmick requires some showing of gears and a geared, spring-loaded lever which isn't that attractive, but since these guys look weird anyway, it's no biggie.
Ultimately, if this figure had no pod, a different arm configuration, smaller blaster, and better coloring, I could easily see this as a popular basic Saga figure selling at $5; but at twice that, this set fails miserably mainly for the same reason most other deluxe Hasbro SW figures fail - there's usually not enough "deluxe" quality put into these so-called deluxe figures to warrant our $10. This is a deluxe figure yet it has a less-than-basic articulation and pose, a less-than-basic set of accessories, and is made up of less-than-basic paint and materials; so what if it comes with a big hollow pod? That alone isn't worth jacking up the price and lowering the quality and it's a shame because if this toy was made with more respect towards the buyer, it might actually have a chance of being worthy of the title "deluxe" and the inflated pricepoint that goes along with it.
My final grade for this is Grade: C, which is almost all generosity for initial design effort and a cute flapping gimmick.