The Good: Good articulation, Good sculpt, Good accessories, Great coloring detail.
The Bad: Proportionately more expensive.
The Basics: The latest Ugnaught is an amazing sculpt, but would have been better as a two-pack!.
When it comes to figures from The Empire Strikes Back, there are very few I do not yet have. In fact, because of how Hasbro has resculpted most of them, I have many characters from one of my favorite films of all time in many different iterations. Hasbro has tried to make the old characters better by improving the sculpts, giving them more articulation and paying greater attention to coloring details. The more I considered the latest Ugnaught figure from the 2008/2009 Legacy Collection, the only serious detraction I could find was that the two different Ugnaughts released as BD43 did not just come together as a two-pack like prior Ugnaught figures. Today, I am considering the Ugnaught Engineer - which I am defining as such because it is slightly taller and features the apron with tools that Ugnaught Engineer had on the gaming cards from the mid-'90's.
For those unfamiliar with the Ugnaught, they were the diminutive, pig-nosed technicians working in Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back (click here for the review of the film!). The Ugnaught Engineer was seen walking down the hallways on Bespin with his lunch pail in vigorous conversation with another Ugnaught. He was also seen in the Carbon Freeze Chamber which was used to seal Han Solo in Carbonite.
The Legacy Collection recast of the Ugnaught Engineer has superior coloring and articulation compared to the Power Of The Force Ugnaught, but because the Ugnaughts are pretty utilitarian worker figures, there's no negative consequence to stocking up on them. In other words, despite having a near-perfect Ugnaught figure in this Ugnaught Engineer, there is no reason to get rid of the prior iteration.
The Ugnaught Engineer is incredibly detailed both in the sculpt and the coloring, both for the figure and his accessory. The small, snouted humanoid stands 3 1/4" tall, which puts him in proper scale to the other Star Wars action figures. The Ugnaught was released in 2009 as part of Hasbro's Legacy Collection with the Droid Factory bonus. It appears he was a late release intended originally for the 2008 line and he was held over as part of the first of two 2009 Droid Factory Legacy Collection assortments. Ugnaught appears on the Stormtrooper helmet-shaped card with the rounded plastic bubble.
This toy is a fairly impressive sculpt, capturing the Ugnaught's stern expression and cheek flaps and piercing eyes. The sculpt is good, featuring the Ugnaught's white hair brushed back and his stocky frame covered by a rubbery apron. The apron features tools in the pocket which are sculpted incredibly well and pockets that almost look functional. The Ugnaught's hands are easily - and appropriately - cheated by heavy gloves the Ugnaught Engineer wore.
As for the coloring, the Ugnaught Engineer is most impressive in that regard. The gloves, for example, are not a monotonal brown. They have darker patches that make them look like they have been worked in. The Ugnaught's face is not monotonal peach colored, either; the various skin folds that make the creature look piggish have shading that is realistic and accents the figure. While the hair is monotonal white, the severity of the sculpt adds natural shading in most light! Even the tools, eyes and teeth have realistic coloring, making this a real step up from the Power Of The Force Ugnaught!
The Ugnaught Engineer, worker in the gas mines that he is, comes with two accessories: a lunch pail (or tool kit) and a console. The lunch pail is a very simple 5/8" long white box with a handle that fits in either of the Ugnaught's hands. In contrast to the rich coloring of the Ugnaught, the box looks pretty simple and unrealistic.
The Ugnaught also comes with a console. The console is the control panel to the Carbon Freeze Chamber and is a gunmetal-colored stand 2 1/4" high. This stand terminates in a 1 1/8" wide by 1" tall panel which looks like it has physical controls for regulating the Tibana Gas mine! The console is so detailed that the dials, buttons and hoses all look functional and are realistically colored silver, black, and red.
This figure was part of the "Droid Factory" line of the Legacy Collection figures and the basic premise was that for every six figures you bought, you'd get a seventh which would be assembled from parts in each of the six toys in the collection. The Ugnaught comes with left arm section of the U-3PO droid. This is a silver-gray arm that has joints at the elbow and wrist. This sets U-3P0 up to be the most articulated protocol droid Hasbro made!
The four inch toy line was designed for play and the Ugnaught Engineer is very good in that regard. Not only does this Legacy Collection figure have great articulation, but he looks good while having increased flexibility! The Ugnaught Engineer is solidly built and has great balance, owed in part to being shorter and having a lower center of gravity.
The Ugnaught comes with twelve points of articulation, many of which are not just simple swivel joints. The Ugnaught Engineer has joints at the knees, groin socket, shoulders, elbows, wrists, neck, and waist and he twists at any of those points. The shoulders, elbows AND knees are all ball-and-socket joints and the head is on a ball joint, which allows his to nod up and down as well as look left to right. This Ugnaught figure has more dexterity, balance and posability than the earlier Ugnaught toy and the only drawback is that the apron is a bit stiffer than it has to be and thus the leg articulation is somewhat inhibited.
For added support, should one wish to make improbable poses with the figure, there are playsets with foot pegs which fit into the holes in either of Ugnaught's feet.
The Ugnaught Engineer is part of the 2009 Legacy Collection four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was not incredibly common, but the Ugnaught Engineer was one of two Ugnaughts in the same series with the same collector number. While this was equally common as the Ugnaught Technician, this was generally preferred by the fans and is somewhat harder to find now in the secondary market.
The Ugnaught Engineer is BD43 in the Legacy Collection and is one that is ideal for collectors looking to flesh out their Bespin play scenes!
The Ugnaught Engineer is pretty wonderful, but because it is smaller than most Star Wars action figures, most collectors will feel somewhat cheated by the fact that there is only one in the pack. Hasbro could have made this a two-pack and helped collectors get more for their money. Still, this is a pretty decent sculpt and worthwhile accent figure.
For other Legacy Collection Build-A-Droid figures, please check out my reviews of:
BD7 Bane Malar
BD35 Pons Limbic
BD40 Captain Needa
For other Star Wars toy reviews, please visit my index page!
© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.