Posted by Rich on August 6, 2013 at 09:41 AM CST
Hasbro's use of pliable plastic and soft goods in their Black Series 6-inch Darth Maul figure works well aesthetically, but it comes at a price.

If you're going to display Darth Maul with the outer robe accessory on, you'll have to settle for a limited number of simple poses. While the robe looks great because the attached head sits flush against the hood and doesn't have the gap I've seen on other hooded figures, it severely hinders the figure's articulation. In fact, the robe reduces the articulation so much that it's difficult to achieve many two-hand poses with the lightsaber. If that wasn't bad enough, the outer robe forces the figure to always appear hunched over. The head doesn't move and even adjusting the ball-jointed torso upward doesn't correct the awkward hunched stance.

When the robe is removed, the figure shines. The baggy tunic and pants the character wears don't bode well to super articulation, but Hasbro did a good job with what they had to work with. The figure can achieve a number of iconic poses from both The Phantom Menace as well as a number of art pieces such as paintings and statues. Despite this, I still feel there's room for improvement. Swivels at the forearms and calves are a must, especially since the first wave of 6-inch figures have a limited range of movement at the hip. Oddly, the left wrist on my figure shows marks for up-to-down hinged movement, but the wrists actually hinge left to right. I'm not sure if this is a factory error or an instance of shared tooling.

There isn't much to complain about from a paint applications standpoint. The face tattoos are crisp and even though I did have a wonky right eye on the robed head, the eyes translate the demonic glare perfectly. As is the norm with the majority of Hasbro's Darth Maul figures, the horns aren't fully painted to the base of the head and I was expecting that was something that would have been corrected at a larger scale.

Darth Maul is the weakest figure in the first wave of Hasbro's Black Series 6-inch figures. Displaying the figure with the hooded robe limits the articulation, essentially turning it into a statue, and while the articulation sans the robe is good, it could have been better. Itís a good figure, but if you have the option of only picking up one figure from this wave, I'd recommended one of the other three before this one.

View the photo archive entry for Hasbro's The Black Series 6-inch Darth Maul figure.
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