I just voted in the latest contest between Episode One figures, and I noted I completely disagree with most of the results.
JediTricks will probably love my conclusion because if all the vans voted as I would have (given the match pairings stayed the same), Watto would end up winning my vote for the ultimate best Episode One figure. -but note, poor Mr. Watto was disqualified in the very first round, and lost to TC-14 of all things.
Well, here's a rant as to how I would have voted and why (given their match pairings)
OOM-9 vs Maul - I'd pick Maul: articulation, durablity, paint job, interesting character.
Adi Gallia vs Destroyer - I'd pick Destroyer (not chosen) because of superior sculpt, action feature, large size. Not that Adi Gallia isn't one of my favorite Episode One extras, but...
And between Maul and even the Destroyer, I'd still choose Maul, for all the above reasons.
I did choose Maul over Adi Gallia and hope he wins this round.
Between the Queen and Panaka, I'd go with Panaka, like the fans did. Cool pose, interesting new character, good likeness, colorful costume, bad *** warrior.
Between the BattleDroid and Master Yoda, I'd go with the BattleDroid. I never felt the Episode One figure did Yoda justice - he should be sculpted with two legs by now. The vintage is still superior in everything but head scupt for Yoda. As to the droid, while flimsy, a lot of articulation and a useful army builder with practical paint variations. I would have chosen the Droid. (Not Chosen by Fans)
Between Panaka and the Droid, I'd choose Panaka for the same reasons, and just that he's more exciting than a 'dumb droid.'
So between Panaka and Yoda, I'm still for Panaka. He's by far the best figure out of this bunch... hope the captain wins.
With R2 (Booster Rockets) and JarJar, there is no question between both a traditional Star Wars favorite character, and a whatever, plus this is one of the most ingenious action features on an R2D2 figure yet, and I hope to see the lost scene restored on the Phantom DVD. Also, R2 is molded on an impressive (larger) and better scale, to me.
Between Ki Adi Mundi and the Naboo Royal Guard, I would have gone with the Guard. (Not the fans' pick) He has a removeable helmet which carries on a nice new trend for those of us watching Hasbro since 1995, and he has an exciting action pose, looks serious and brave, and is a nice ethnic variation from the typical generic troopers we've seen in the past. Ki does have a great paint job, has become a favorite comic book character, and is a Jedi, but I'm hoping for an Episode 2 or 3 resculpt of Mr. Mundi, with more articulation and action posing possiblities. This was the toughest call yet, though. But the Guard gets it.
For the same reason, I would go with the Guard over R2D2. In Ki Adi Mundi's case, I'd vote for R2D2 (and hope he wins) because of R2's fine engineering again. Ki is way cool though, and it's still the toughest call. He's the most deserving so far, to have gone as far as he's gotten.
Between Tarpals and the Queen (Coruscant) I would have chosen the Gungan all the way. The Coruscant Queen was never painted that well, and had limited sculpting done for her. Compare that Amidala to the POTJ Theed Invasion Queen, and you'll see how good the Senate Queen could have been done. Tarpals is perfect with extra sculpted armor and an appropriate accessory. He's close to the best Gungan sculpt there is, too -what with his whiskers. (But the Queen won)
Between Anakin and Obi-Wan (Jedi Knight), I would have chosen Anakin all the way. Obi-Wan's head leans to the left on every one of his figures I've seen (this is the soft goods figure) and while the resculpt was good to make a figure kids could put in vehicles (that could sit down), they have almost never yet made a sculpt that looks like Ewan McGreggor. For doing a child for the first time, and making it look like him, Anakin came out great. (Obi-Wan actually won).
Between Anakin and Tarpals, I would've gone with Tarpals (who obviously can't make it now). I might've chosen the Queen over Anakin, due to her original look and different sculpting. But while Tarpals should've taken this whole round, I will now be voting for the Queen. There's no way THAT Obi-Wan deserves to take this away from these rounds. As a matter of fact, the only Obi-Wan I really like is the 2 pack Generator Duel Obi-Wan. And that's rough as he's one of my favorite characters - and will be my favorite prequel character, no doubt. Here's to hope for good Episode 2 figures with RealScans of Ewan McGreggor!
So who would win this division for me? Maul vs. Panaka, I'd still go with Maul unless Adi Gallia beats him. Then I'd go with Panaka.
Tarpals verse the Naboo Guard? I'd go with the Guard - he's more exciting. But if it comes down to Ki versus the Queen, I'll go with Ki even though neither of them were my first choices. At least Ki doesn't screw up his paint job - and he's that much more exciting!
Then Darth Maul's superior paint job and articulation would have to aide him in sweeping this division title. In the real poll, he still has a very favorable chance if he defeats Adi Gallia and then Ki Adi Mundi. It really is the Jedi vs. the Sith. I'm rooting for the Sith!
It seems I'm always on the Sith side of things, he-he-he, as the "Eastern Division" gets under way over here. Fans voted more closely to how I would in these cases I think.
Palpatine vs. Qui-Gon Jedi Master (soft goods) - there is no doubt that the quiet threat of the future Galactic Emperor as well as nice material choices for his robe, an appropriate Senate Cam accessory, and a great likeness take me to conclude in the Senator's favor. Qui-Gon playing Braveheart (or Rob Roy) doesn't do it for me. It was a nice figure though, compared to the Obi-Wan soft goods.
Between the PodRacers, Ody and Gasgano? Well 6 arms are better than 2! Gasgano was a wild new type of sculpt!
But there was no question about it between some twig pieces of plastic, and a dignified Senator. Palpatine deserved to win!
Ric Olee vs. Nute Gunray presents a problem. I love alien figures -that's what makes Star Wars collecting so much fun. But Nute annoyed me and pegwarmed bad, too. Ric is a pilot with a removeable helmet. Not exactly Rogue Squadron, but maybe Ric's taking back the galaxy, too: one hair follicle replaced at a time! So I'd choose Ric over Nute's limited poseability, but Hasbro did give him a cool sculpt, and two REAL legs - more than we'd expected or hoped for. (But Ric was not the Fans' choice)
Darth Sidious or Pit Droids? Two-packs are nice, but why bother asking? The Sith Lord had two legs, and a vastly superior sculpt over earlier Emperor Palpatine sculpt styles Hasbro could've emulated. Sidious was Lord of Quality.
Between Ric Olee and Darth Sidious, I would've chosen the N1 fighter pilot though. Accesories, detail, and a colorful addition to my collection. But we never saw that match.
Instead it's Sidious vs. Nute, and I'd have to go with Nute for color choices, the alien factor, and details allowed in his design.
But Nute will not beat Palpatine in the next round!
How could Sio Bibble defeat C-3PO? Threepio is one of the best paint jobs I've seen in the entire line!
Mace or Valorum? Who's the Master?
Mace or Threepio, though? I still would've gone with the Talkative One. Between Mace and Sio Bibble, I'll choose Mace though. I'm glad they made the Governor, but he's just not as exciting as a Jedi, and they could have detailed him more like the effort put into Palpatine's figure.
So Mace will win this, while I think it should've been the Droid.
Rune and Padme? Rune deserved it - an alien, a superior sculpt and paint job, plus extra effort to give him legs and material choice detailing. Padme does look more like Natalie Portman than any other figure they've done, except for maybe Theed Invasion Queen.
TC-14 vs. Watto! Uuuggh! How could TC-14 win? He's very useful, as E-3PO, U-3PO, as well as the Trade Federation Droid, so I am very glad when Hasbro repaints theses droids like R2B1 (who was not in the poll for whatever reason???) but Watto was perhaps their greatest sculpt and the first figure with wings that I can recall, not to mention appropriate accessory, etc.
Rune will get my vote as it stands, but it should've been Watto! (Rune will beat TC-14, or should at least)
Palpatine would still take the cake from Ric Olee (my choice for that round) or Darth Sidious.
Threepio would not defeat Watto, but we'll never see that match. So between Sio Bibble, Mace, Rune, and TC-14, I think Rune Haako has to come away with it.
Between all these, I'd still wind up going with Senator Palpatine. He was one of the first Episode One figures I got my hands on, in the Midnight Madness, and ever since SirSteve previewed the pictures, I wanted my Palpatine. The Senator is winning, and we all know that conquest is his destiny! All Hail Lord Palpatine!
But if it came down to Palpatine vs. Watto, I'd vote for Watto any day. Palpatine will defeat Rune, and then it will be Palpatine vs. Maul.
Remember, who is the Master? Palpatine should win! (But maybe won't if all the kids are voting) This is a tough choice: Maul is more exciting and both are very detailed in terms of paint jobs. Maul has articulation, Palpatine has superior materials.
But Watto would've defeated Maul in my book.
Well, in a few weeks we'll all be able to see how this turns out!
Omitted figures that Hasbro forgot: Naboo Jedi and Anakin, Swimming JarJar, Maul Tatooine and Soft Goods, Sidious Hologram, Naboo Security (not that we care), Boss Nass (not that we'd even think of caring), regular Destroyer Droid, and R2B1 - one of the best they should've included).