Sand People always hang single file on the pegs to hide their prices.
When I was a kid there were two Star Wars figures that you really wanted to have at least a pair of. The first and most obvious was the Stormtrooper. (Who could have just one?) The other choice for the budding army builder (long before the concept really existed) was the "Sand People" figure. It was an unspoken rule that you'd need two or three to attack that landspeeder, and to knock Luke with the telescoping lightsaber (but you'd pretend he didn't have it yet) to the ground. For whatever reason, the Sand People figure, with it's vinyl cape and that funny stick weapon, was one of my favorites. (I'd always pretend that Greedo, another favorite, was secretly leading them.) So, how does this new "vintage" version of the old Sand People figure rate compared to that classic gem?
First, how's the packaging? This vintage style packaging isn't exactly a new concept at this point, but it deserves the praise it's due. In particular, and for whatever reason, I happen to think that this is one of the best looking carded figures of the new VTSC (vintage the saga collection) bunch. More than likely it's just the nostalgia factor working its magic, but I really like the way this one turned out -- which is kind of silly, because the figure itself is pretty boring under the bubble. My one gripe, and I've mentioned this before about the vintage style packaging, is how the choking hazard sticker covers up so much of the Star Wars logo. It'd be nice if the card was more visible all around.
How does the figure look? Fresh out of the package, it doesn't look like much. The fabric robes cover everything except the head and hands. (Thinking about it some more, I think it would have been nice if they had packed the figure with the robes open.) The cloth itself is decent, but not perfect. It could stand to be a little darker and perhaps more aged. The quality isn't terrible, but I'm instantly noticing that the edges are bound to fray apart, and that some of the stitching isn't tied off. Still, I'm more than happy with the cut and fold of the fabric.
Under the robes there's a fair amount of detail. The torso and arms are nicely textured, the bandoliers are well detailed, and the head looks basically right, though it could maybe stand to be a bit more accurate. For what this figure is, and considering the price (between $10 and $12), I'd like to have seen a head sculpt and paint job that was better. The head's too round and the detail is a bit muddy -- both sculpt and paint. I'd have to look, but I'm guessing that this head may be reworked from an older Tusken Raider figure. Comparing it to the SAGA version or the POTJ version, it's perhaps not as good.
The figure comes with two accessories. There's the old standard gaffi stick, which as usual, is a bit off from being movie accurate. I'm not impressed by this thing -- it doesn't even seem long enough. As well, there's a nicely painted and detailed long rifle. Seems like they tightened up and repainted the POTJ rifle, doing a good job of it.
How does the toy feel? In general, this is a well built figure. The plastic used is firm, all of the joints are snug, and I'm really impressed by the way they've built the lower skirt onto the figure. Sometimes this just doesn't work out with these smaller figures, but this time it fits together well. My one and only complaint, and this is more of a design thing than a production issue, is how the elbows want to pop apart too easily. With that said...
What about play value? One of the main reasons to shell out the extra money for these particular figures, is the promised amount of detail and articulation. In many ways this figure does and doesn't deliver. I'm happy with the idea of having a Sand People figure with ball jointed shoulders, knees and neck. I'm even happy to have the wrist and ankle articulation, but the choice of a cut joint for the elbows is completely weird to me. This limits the play value and poses that you can put an otherwise fun toy into. More importantly though, there's the sad fact that these stupid elbows tend to break apart when you're fiddling around with the toy. Go to pull his robes off, and one or both of the forearms end up lost inside.
Taking into consideration what I said earlier about the Sand People figure being a natural classic when it comes to real honest-to-goodness play, I'd have to rate this version as being less than perfect. Better elbows would have made this guy great, but as is, he's just adequate.
Would I recommend that you buy it? Yes, I like this figure and in spite of the price that some stores are putting on them, I do recommend buying it. Would I rate this as being another one of those figures, like the original Sand People figure, that you need to have multiples of? Well, I suppose that all depends on the price. In my mind, as nice as this figure looks carded, and as much as it's more detailed (sort of) and articulated than previous versions, I'm not sure that it's worth nearly twice as much money. In this case my one "sand person" may just have to travel alone.
More photos of this figure are located >> here << in database.