Monday, October 18, 2010

A Cool Little Alien Fleshes Out The Whole Star Wars Saga: Utai!

The Good: Good sculpt, Fine accessories, Good articulation.
The Bad: Price seems high for such a small figure.
The Basics: A good, not great, Star Wars action figure, the Utai is a good little alien.

I've been in a Revenge Of The Sith mood for a while now, prompted in no small part from my finally acquiring some Episode III action figures. It is always interesting to me to see what characters or aliens make the first string and which ones get pushed back to later assortments. So, it is of little surprise that there were various recasts of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala on the Revenge Of The Sith card, but that that line-up also included the Medical Droid, Nemoidian Guard and Mustafar Sentry while the equally brief appearance of the Utai was saved for release until the Star Wars Legacy Collection. In fact, I had no idea that the Utai had been done as an action figure until I found one on clearance in Michigan!

For those unfamiliar with the Utai, this is not a surprise at all. The Utai are not characters, they are the name of an alien race seen very briefly in Revenge Of The Sith (click here for my review!). The Utai are the diminutive aliens seen fueling vehicles and herding the giant lizards on Utapau when Obi-Wan Kenobi makes the trip there to stop General Grievous. They only have a few frames on screen, but their action figure helps flesh out the full Star Wars universe.


The Utai figure is well-detailed, though it lacks some surface painted details that could have made it even better. The little alien in the armored uniform stands 3 1/8" tall as an action figure, which made me feel there should have been two in a pack! The Utai was released in 2009 as part of Hasbro's Legacy Collection with the Droid Factory bonus. The obscure character 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 the picture on the package! The head is good and it includes such things as the slightly extended eye stalks and the mammalian snout. The figure's eyes are rightfully obscured by the goggles molded over the eyes. The Utai's skin is monotonally purple-gray. The sculpted details include the communicator on the right wrist and the hands even have knuckles as well as fingernails!

The costuming details are decent and the chestplate includes a tube that runs from the front armor to the back. The pants include knee guards which are molded on and look good when the figure bends at the knees. The skin on the exposed parts of the Utai in the midsection are detailed both with molded curves and with painted embellishments. The hands of the figure are detailed well with painted and molded details, like accents around the nails, knuckles and between the fingers. The hands are molded to be able to hold the rifle the Utai comes with.


The Utai, simple herder that it is, comes with only one accessory in addition to the droid part. That is a blaster rifle and it appears unique to the Utai. The rifle is cast in silver-gray plastic and has a strap hanging down from the main body. The 2 3/4" blaster has a non-functional grip at the back (annoyingly it is pictured without plastic filling it in, which was present in mine!) and is ideal for a two-handed grip by the Utai.

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 Utai comes with left leg of the YVH-1 droid. This is a skeletal humanoid droid (it actually reminds me of a Terminator!) and the leg is articulated at both the knee and the ankle!


The four inch toy line was designed for play and the Utai is quite good in that regard. This Legacy Collection figure has impressive articulation as well as decent balance! Flatfooted, this is a very balanced toy and it is hard to tip the Utai over. Also, the Utai comes with twelve points of articulation, many of which are not just simple swivel joints. the Utai has joints at the knees, groin socket, shoulders, elbows, forearm, neck, and waist and he twists at any of those points. The shoulders, elbows AND knees are all ball-and-socket joints with hinge joints, offering unreal amounts of articulation! The head is on a ball joint, which allows the alien to nod up and down as well as look left to right, at least in a limited fashion!

And for whatever improbable poses one might find where he will not remain standing, there are playsets with foot pegs which fit into the holes in either of the Utai's feet.


The Utai is part of the 2009 Legacy Collection four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was not incredibly common and this is the only version of the Utai to date. Fans of the toys saw an investment winner in this figure and because this Utai was not overproduced it might pay off down the line, though this is now usually only available on the secondary market.

The Utai is BD41 in the Legacy Collection.


The Utai is a great little figure for fans fleshing out the entire "Star Wars" universe, but it is not perfect and the detailing feels a little sloppy in points - like the communicator being molded on, but not having highlights between the buttons. Between that and the feeling that it is expensive for such a significantly smaller figure makes it harder to enthusiastically recommend.

For other Legacy Collection figures, please check out my reviews of:
BD17 Princess Leia (Slave Leia)
BD39 Jawa with Security Droid
BD42 Jeremoch Colton
BD50 Wing Guard
BD52 R2-X2


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page!

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

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