Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Surprisingly Inactive Vehicle Toy, The Sith Speeder With Darth Maul Is An Uninspired Toy.

The Good: Springloaded feature still works well, True to film's design for the toy/figure.
The Bad: Low on playability, Loose port for lightsaber, Figure is less posable than I'd like
The Basics: The Sith Speeder and Darth Maul toy is an Episode I toy failures that most fans are happy to pass by when building their ultimate Star Wars toy collection.

As I reach the bottom of a box of Star Wars toys, I find myself seriously contemplating getting rid of my Sith Speeder and Darth Maul action figure set. The vehicle pairing was part of the incredible effort made by Hasbro to sell all things Darth Maul that they could while Star Wars Episode I was popular. Overlooking how lame Darth Maul actually is (sure, he takes out one Jedi, but he's killed equally quickly by a padawan), the Sith Speeder is actually a toy that makes sense for fleshing out the full Star Wars universe. Unfortunately for fans of the toys, the Sith Speeder is surprisingly, depressingly, boring and most toy enthusiasts and "Star Wars" fans will be able to pass this one by.

The Sith Speeder was first seen in The Phantom Menace (click here for my review of the film!) when Darth Maul rode it on Tatooine. A similar vehicle was seen being ridden by Count Dooku at the climax of the second prequel movie, but to the best of my knowledge a toy of that was not as widely available (if it had been made) as this one was. While the Sith Speeder may be true to what appeared in the movie, it is a dreadfully dull toy.


The Sith Speeder is an open vehicle with a single seat to hold a driver, in this case, a custom-made Darth Maul figure with cloth robes. This is a crescent-shaped levitating vehicle which has an aft engine array which also houses Sith probe droids which launch out of the back. The Sith Speeder is a brown vehicle that is light, has two handles and pedals which allow the Sith Speeder to balance on the ground when they remove it from the box.

The Sith Speeder features an aft compartment which flips open with the touch of a button on the bottom. Pushing the same button again makes the probe droid there fire out. The vehicle comes fully assembled and does not have any decals to apply. The vehicle, which is 4" long, 1 1/2" wide and 3" tall is essentially a circular vehicle with a spot in the middle to hold the pilot, Darth Maul. Fortunately, this comes with a Darth Maul who is designed to sit such that the holes in his feet plug into the pegs on the pedals and hands which are able to hold onto the handlebars perfectly.

The detailing on the Sith Speeder is very good. Primarily colored dark brown, the Sith Speeder features "wear lines" which make it look like the elements have left streaks on the vehicle and discolored it. This makes it fit in well with other Star Wars toys.


In the case of the Sith Speeder, there are only two real accessories (outside the 2 1/2" sith probe which shoots out of the back), the exclusive Darth Maul figure and his lightsaber. This Darth Maul is the familiar black and red Sith lord coifed in light robes which one may imagine flap behind him as he speeds over Tatooine. This Darth Maul is a mix of hard plastic and cloth robes, which I am not, personally, a fan of. The 4" figure is very light on the details, though he does have the trademark red and black facial tattoos.

As for the figure's coloring, the figure looks cleaner than the Sith Speeder! The figure comes with seven points of articulation - groin socket, knees, left elbow, right wrist, shoulders and neck. The knees are hinge joints and the head is on a hinge that only allows it to move up and down (nodding) as opposed to side to side. The elbow and wrist joints rotate, which increases some posability for Darth Maul when he is no longer on his speeder.

The other accessory is Darth Maul's five inch staff-like lightsaber. The elongated silver plastic handle ends in two translucent blades and the lightsaber looks good, though it has molded and not painted surface details. Annoyingly, the hole in the Sith Speeder designed to hold this awesome weapon is significantly larger than the lightsaber, so it wobbles when stuck in the hole.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and the Sith Speeder is dreadfully mediocre in that regard. The Speeder launches a single probe droid and that is far less exciting than missile action. At the back of the Sith Speeder is a button which, when depressed, causes the hatch on the back of the Sith Speeder to open up and the probe droid to pop out. There are no additional features of the toy and it is tough to get excited about it as a result.


The Sith Speeder is part of the Episode I collection, a series of Star Wars toys that was exceptionally common, even for the Sith Speeder. Because of the popularity of Darth Maul, the Sith Speeder sold quite well at the time and there were very few that had to be clearanced. However, the market seems to have been saturated with this toy and as a result these have not appreciated in value in the last decade, making it a poor investment toy.


The Sith Speeder is one of the less inspired vehicle toys and given that there are cooler Sith on the market than Darth Maul, this toy has become easy-to-find, but hard to bother with.

For other Star Wars toys and figures, please check out my reviews of:
Shadows Of The Empire Dash Rendar's Outrider
Power Of The Force Nein Nunb
Star Wars Legacy Collection Jeremoch Colton


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

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

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