Posted by D. Martin on February 18, 2012 at 08:22 PM CST
The Phantom Menace is back in theatres and the toy store shelves are beginning to party like it's 1999. The second assortment released in Hasbro's brand new Movie Heroes line featured six completely new figures based on the main characters in the first film in the Star Wars saga. Like all the figures in the Movie Heroes line, every figure in this assortment features a tan display stand, a playing card, and a six-sided die.

Jar Jar Binks

The last time I recall seeing a single carded Episode I Jar Jar figure was back in the Power Of The Jedi collection. It was a great figure, and surpassed all the previously released figures based on this character, and in fact even stood as the best realistic Jar Jar we had ever seen. That was until the Movie Heroes Jar Jar was released. This updated Jar Jar Binks figure is finely detailed and captures both his posture and facial expression perfectly. If it weren't for the Vintage Collection one shown at Toy Fair last week, this figure would have been the quintessential figure, despite its limited and somewhat fragile articulation.

For every positive comment that can be made on this figure, the upcoming super articulated figure trumps. If you aren't a completist and your goal is to only collect the very best versions of any character, wait for the Vintage figure to come out. If you can't wait, the only truly negative point you can make about this figure is that it doesn't stand too well without the display stand. One tiny bump and Jar Jar will be up to his old tricks.

This Jar Jar Binks figure comes with a large firing Gungan crossbow and blue energy ball projectile.

Darth Maul

This isn't the first Lightsaber swinging Darth Maul action figure we've ever seen, but with the exception of the first deluxe Darth Maul from 1999, this one is second to none. In fact, if the original one had the head sculpt of the Movie Heroes Maul and better wrist articulation, it would still be one of the Best Mauls ever made, but this isn't a review of the 1999 figure, is it? The Movie Heroes Darth Maul does have a film accurate silhouette, but is pretty dedicated to its pose. That isn't a bad thing per se, since it is a boss pose but in a era where alternate display options rules the popular opinion one has to ask what place a dedicated pose has on collectors' shelves.

Not unlike the Anakin figure, the Movie Heroes Darth Maul is out of scale from the Maul released last month on a Vintage card, and that is a hard pill to swallow. All said, this figure was a good effort, but doesn't really hit it out of the park. If you only buy one Darth Maul this year, look at the Vintage one and leave this one for the kids.

Darth Maul comes with his double bladed Lightsaber and sports an action feature that, with the squeeze of his legs, allows him to swing his weapon with abandon.

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