Friday, September 17, 2010

Perfection Is Redefined For Bounty Hunter Fans With The Saga Legend IG-88 Action Figure!

The Good: Amazing sculpt, Great articulation, Exceptional playability, Wonderful accessories, Good balance.
The Bad: None.
The Basics: Absolutely perfect, IG-88 from the Saga Legends collection of figures is a perfect, ultra-articulated version of the assassin droid and the ultimate sculpt of that figure!

There is something annoying about companies which continually re-release the same toys over and over again with only minor tweaks in them. Whenever I encounter new sculpts of figures I already have, I am forced to ask "Are the changes significant enough to warrant buying this toy again?" In the case of the new line of Star Wars figures, the Saga Legends collection which is just now hitting the market, the answer is an enthusiastic "yes," at least for the new rendition of IG-88. A few years ago, I would have named the Power Of The Jedi IG-88 a perfect figure and said Hasbro could stop flooding the market with these droids. But with the Saga Legends Collection, they make sufficient improvements to justify rebuying the killer bounty hunter and while I was initially annoyed (I have to spend money again?!) now I am quite excited.

For those unfamiliar with IG-88, that is a surprise and probably says something unfortunate about your level of fandom for Star Wars! IG-88 is one of two droid bounty hunters seen aboard the star destroyer Executor in The Empire Strikes Back (click here for my review of the film). Honestly little more than a prop in the movie, the thin, sleek droid outfitted with a slew of weapons has been the subject of a ton of fanfiction, legitimate Star Wars novels, gaming cards and even a 12" doll. IG-88 is an assassin droid who is supposed to have killed those who designed and activated it when it came on-line. This version of the action figure makes such a backstory seem undeniable.

IG-88's latest casting is part of the new Saga Legends collection for the 4" toy line and it is a masterwork of sculpting and painted details.


The IG-88 figure is amazingly well-detailed, which is saying something because prior versions of the figure seemed to get it perfectly right as well. The tall assassin droid stands 4 3/4" tall as an action figure and it looks entirely dangerous as a result! IG-88 was released in 2010 as part of Hasbro's Saga Legends Collection and it appears to be an entirely new casting of the droid. The droid is cast in fairly soft plastic.

This toy is a fairly impressive sculpt; for a character that was seen ridiculously briefly, this looks just like every picture that exists of it. IG-88 is cast in gunmetal colored plastic which is then touched up with copper highlights to make it look weathered. Painted details include realistic shading for metallic wear on the arms, body, legs and head of the assassin droid. As well, the shoulder region has the darker panels and the face has the tiny diode eyes painted on. This is a masterwork of coloring details.

But what truly sets this IG-88 apart from all earlier versions of the assassin droid are the molded details. IG-88 is actually molded very simply for its basic humanoid shape. Then at several points outer tubes and wires are placed into tiny pegs to give a layered, assembled look to the droid. So, for example, on the droid's midsection are constructs which look like gas tanks or binoculars and they actually float above the surface of the main droid body! These extensions make the droid look absolutely realistic and menacing. Details like that, in conjunction with molded pipe extensions on the upper arms, joints that are largely hidden and a bandoleer that is removable make this IG-88 a perfect new casting that looks lightyears better than the earlier sculpts of the same toy.


IG-88 is an assassin droid and in addition to a knife that looks particularly menacing that may be detached from the back of the droid's bandoleer, IG-88 comes with two firearms, a stand and an additional locker of guns. As part of the Saga Legends Collection, IG-88 comes with a stand. The stand has two pegs for the holes in IG-88's feet (which are actually spread too far apart for the droid to use both). The stand is 2 5/8" wide, 1 3/8" deep and 1/8" tall. It simply tells fans that this figure is from Star Wars and has a slot for the Galactic Battle Game card.

IG-88's primary blaster is a 1 1/8" long gunmetal colored blaster which has a scope and power pack molded right into the blaster. It fits perfectly in either of IG-88's hands and a little clumsily in the holster on the droid's back. This looks great in IG-88's hands arguably because it is not monotonally colored, just like the droid.

Also exceptional on the coloring and molded details is the blaster rifle IG-88 comes with. This deadly-looking weapon is 2 1/4" long and is cast in gunmetal plastic with silver-gray highlights which make the barrel seem more weathered and functional. The gun has a great molded scope, trigger guard and even a tiny second barrel below just near the handle! The gun looks just like the one IG-88 carried in The Empire Strikes Back and this makes it look realistic with the droid.

This figure was part of the "Saga Legends" line of the Star Wars figures and as such, it also includes a locker of "secret weapons" and a card for playing in the Galactic Battle Game. It also includes a six-sided die for the game. The card slides into a slot on the base and the die adds bonuses to IG-88's powerful abilities when it comes time to play that way. The "secret weapons" are basically six black plastic guns thrown into the figure to give it added options. Not all of them fit in IG-88's hands and it is unclear if every version of the Saga Legends IG-88 come with the same six extra guns. While the Battle Droid's weapon (it's amusing I can recognize the guns for various characters at this point!) does fit into IG-88's hand, there are others that are too small or too large (the little cannon that comes in this extra weapon's pack, for example) to fit.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and the IG-88 is perfect in that regard. This Saga Legends figure has impressive balance! Flatfooted, this is a very balanced toy, but with its height it is easy to tip IG-88 over. IG-88 is amazingly articulated and this is a vast improvement on earlier sculpts of IG-88 for playability. IG-88 comes with an astonishing seventeen points of articulation! This version of IG-88 has joints at the ankles, knees, thighs, groin socket, bust, shoulders, biceps, elbows, neck and center of the head. Many of the joints are simple swivel joints, but the knees and elbows are hinge joints. This IG-88 is exceptional for its posability as a result of all of these joints!

For whatever improbable poses one might find where he will not remain standing, the base is solid and IG-88's foot holes make it possible to use him on virtually any Star Wars playset with the foot pegs.


IG-88 is part of the 2000 Saga Legends four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that is just hitting the market as I write this. It is unclear yet whether or not "Star Wars" toy enthusiasts will embrace the new line, which is (so far) entirely made up of recastings of earlier figures. That said, as one who takes the figures out and manipulates them for play and display, this is truly the ultimate IG-88 action figure and if recent trends follow, the Saga Legends series will not have incredible market penetration. As a result, this may actually turn out to be a great investment figure. Either way, it is the best IG-88 figure imaginable and any earlier version for the 4" line may be replaced by this sculpting!

IG-88 is SL02 in the Saga Legends collection.


IG-88 is an amazing sculpt of the assassin droid for the new Star Wars toy line. Anyone who has held off getting an IG-88 figure waiting for the ultimate version, the wait is over! Go forth and buy the Saga Legends IG-88! And Hasbro: You've got it right now. Quit with the IG-88 figures; there is nothing more you can do with this one. This is a perfect figure!

For other "Star Wars" figures, please check out my reviews of:
2009 Legacy Collection Jawa with Security Droid
2008 Legacy Collection Pons Limbic
2006 Saga Collection 31 Momaw Nadon


For more Star Wars toy reviews, please check out my index page!

© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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