The Good: Great sculpt, Decent articulation, Cool accessories, Great playability
The Bad: Accessory coloring is off and looks ridiculous when attached to figure!
The Basics: Despite having seriously lame accessory coloring, the Bespin Guard is a worthwhile addition to one's toy collection.
One of the last Star Wars toys I bought before I stopped (for so long, but not forever, as it turns out) was the Cloud City Carbon Freezing Chamber. The limited playset captured one of the coolest moments in the Star Wars trilogy and allowed me to make a whole bunch of scenes with my figures that I could not make before. But, of course, when I purchased that, I needed to get some personnel to staff my Bespin! As it so happened, right around the time of the exclusive toy's release, there was the Bespin Guard, Cloud City Security figure released as part of the "Power Of The Jedi" line. That was perfect for the playset!
For those unfamiliar with the Bespin Guard, they were the security forces used by Lando on Cloud City near the end of The Empire Strikes Back (click here for my review!). There were several Bespin Guards in the film and this was the first (new) figure that represented them!
The 4" Bespin Guard figure is fairly cool and it has been followed by the Legacy Collection Wing Guard figures which seem to fix the few faults present in this figure.
The Bespin Guard is a human police worker working for Lando Calrissian on Cloud City. This figure has the Bespin Guard in its fairly familiar (more like fans recognize it when they see it as opposed to knowing it outright) uniform! The figure stands 3 7/8" tall to the top of his head when his hat is on. This Bespin Guard figure is coifed in his dark blue jacket, tight pants with a gun holster which is attached to his right thigh. He is posed so he can hold his blaster with his right hand (while it fits in his left hand, that hand seems more designed to hold his shock baton) or even have his hands bound at the wrists thanks to the binders which come with the figure! The figure is made of a fairly soft plastic, though his jacket is made of an even softer plastic that is more rubbery, and he had a decent amount of painted and molded details for an action figure!
This toy is a wonderful sculpt, looking precisely like the Asian Bespin Guard pictured on the Force File which comes with this figure. The Bespin Guard is average in his coloring detail and facial paint job includes his light eyebrows. But the skin tones are monolithic and lack any realistic shading detail. Still, his pants, shirt and even hair and ears are well-detailed and generally well-colored. This is one of the better detailed figures Hasbro ever produced. In fact, adding the part to the Bespin Guard's hair without it looking ridiculous is a real coup!
Fans will also be amazed by the coloring detail of the paint job on the wheat symbol and cuffs of the Bespin Guard's jacket. The holster, like the accessories, is realistically proportioned and holds the blaster that the Bespin Guard comes with. The costuming detail on the jacket is exceptional with the stripe borders painted on! The pants are molded even to appear like they are more worn or weathered than smooth, so the attention to detail for this figure is exceptional.
Unfortunately for fans, that level of detail did not continue into the accessories. The Bespin Guard, police officer among the clouds, is endowed with only four accessories, plus his Jedi Force File. The main accessory he comes with is a small blaster. The blaster is the Bespin Guard's distinctive blaster pistol, rendered as a 7/8" long powder blue weapon that looks just like the one in the film, at least as it is molded. It fits perfectly into Bespin Guard's right hand, as well as in the holster on his thigh. The blaster looks great as it has surface details like the textured grip and the trigger molded right into it! It is, however, lacking in realistic coloring details; the powder blue plastic it is molded in looks utterly ridiculous, especially when the gun is in the holster.
Equally ridiculous in the coloring is the shock baton the Bespin Guard comes with. The 1 1/8" long baton fits nicely in the Bespin Guard's left hand and it has molded details like the distinct handle. Unfortunately, it also is powder blue. This makes it look silly when it attaches to the front of the holster (there is a tiny hole in the holster and a corresponding peg attached to the baton which allows it to attach). Conceptually, this is a great idea, but the coloring pulls it down a notch.
The other accessory the Bespin Guard comes with are a pair of binders, which are essentially a pair of plastic loops with a stockade-type bar between which fit around the Bespin Guard or Bespin Capture Han's wrist, keeping them immobilized and together before him. These are bigger than the ones from The Empire Strikes Back, but they are functionally useful. There is a peg which allows the binders to the back of the Bespin Guard's back and there they look ridiculous.
The Bespin Guard also comes with a custom hat which fits perfectly on his head and completes his outfit nicely.
As part of the Power Of The Jedi toy line, the Bespin Guard comes with a Jedi Force File. This is a tiny fold-out magazine which describes the Bespin Guard, his species, natural enemies and allies and offers ideas for play with the figure. This is a pretty cool idea and appeals to trading card collectors as well.
The four inch toy line was designed for play and Bespin Guard is great in that regard. The figure is well-articulated and my only real beef with it is that he cannot bend his knees, which later versions seem to be able to do. He comes with eight points of articulation and he is even able to stand when his feet are moved slightly out of flatfooted position. He has joints at the groin socket, shoulders, elbows, neck, and waist. All of the joints are simple swivel joints.
Sadly, the legs cannot be spread far apart because the Bespin Guard will tip over when not in a flatfooted position. However, he has holes in either heel to make him stand on the pegs that adorn some of the Star Wars playsets. With such posability and articulation, this is a very easy Bespin Guard to recommend!
The Bespin Guard is part of the expanded saga Power Of The Jedi four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was fairly common. The Bespin Guard was one of the most overproduced of the line and as a result can still be found dirt cheap. In other words, the Bespin Guard is a poor investment as it may often be found selling lower than its original issue price. Even so, this Bespin Guard is an easy sell, despite the figure being recast; one cannot have too many Bespin Guards.
Not quite perfect because of the coloring of the accessories, the Bespin Guard is a great way to flesh out anyone's Star Wars toy universe!
For other Star Wars action figure reviews, check out my reviews of:
Saga Legends IG-88
Saga Collection Momaw Nadon
Legacy Collection Jawa and Security Droid
For more "Star Wars" toy reviews, please check out my index page!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.