Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The True Villain Of Star Wars Isn't Emperor Palpatine, But Merchandising Like The Mighty Muggs!

The Good: Costume looks basically correct
The Bad: Dumb animated look, Giant head, Heavy, Silly accessory.
The Basics: Another disappointing Mighty Muggs toy, Emperor Palpatine at least has robes that are distinct (not just painted on), but is not worth buying.

I have often heard it said that one of the principle difference between males and females as far as hobbies and collectibles is that men will pretty much collect any crap that is properly marketed toward them, while women generally avoid clutter, crap and collectibles. I find this ironic in some ways - as I have been a dealer in Star Trek merchandise at conventions for a decade - in that geek women tend to be a bit more discriminating in what they buy, but they still spend good money on their collections. But even the geek women I know won't buy the Mighty Muggs. Still, the Mighty Muggs Star Wars toy that is arguably the best is the Emperor Palpatine one . . . and none of the geeks I know want it!

Mighty Muggs toys look like they might be plush as they feature animated versions of recognizable Star Wars characters. However, the cartoon-like heads atop disproportionately smaller bodies simply revealed that the heads and toys were solid, like ceramic (they are, in fact, made of a super-hard, heavy plastic). This is as true of the Emperor Palpatine as it is of other Mighty Muggs figures.

For those unfamiliar with Emperor Palpatine, he was the leader of the Galactic Empire seen in Return Of The Jedi (click here for my review of the film!) aboard the "under construction" Death Star II. Emperor Palpatine is an ancient Sith Lord who wears funky robes and looks pretty angry most of the time.

The Mighty Muggs Emperor Palpatine figure is poor and anyone who has seen how Emperor Palpatine actually looked will recognize this bears little resemblance to Ian McDiarmid. This looks like a cartoon version of Palpatine, though this Mighty Mugg includes a vinyl skirt around the legs which make him look like he is actually wearing robes and is quite distinctive from the other, mass-produced Mighty Muggs figures!


Emperor Palpatine is a Sith Lord with an evil sneer. The figure stands 7" tall. Emperor Palpatine is dressed in a gray and black robes which are painted solidly onto the puffy body of the toy. However, around his waist and below there are is an stiff vinyl bell which represents the bottom of his robes and this makes him somewhat distinct.

This toy is a poor sculpt which looks like an oversized, fattened up LEGO figure. Like most Mighty Muggs figures, Emperor Palpatine has a toothy sneer and painted on face which is distorted enough to be distinctive as Palpatine. The hands are open slightly and this allows Palpatine to hold his accessory. If it weren't for the packaging and the fact this was Star Wars merchandise, odds are no one would know what this toy was supposed to be of.


Emperor Palpatine comes with a 2" long Force lightning bolt. The blue plastic veins look more like a squashed frog or tauntaun intestines than Force lightning. This fits into Palpatine's hand and is almost enough for me to downrate the figure for how much more it makes the toy look ridiculous.


The Mighty Muggs toy line was designed for no good reason I can find, perhaps just because someone realized Star Wars fans would buy anything. This heavy toy can be harmful to children and is more intended as a display statue. Sure, it’s a ridiculous display statue, but that’s about it.

Emperor Palpatine comes with only three points of articulation, all of which are simple swivel joints. He has joints at the shoulders and neck. The elbows do not extend, so all arm posing is straight-armed. To be fair, the figure does stand up, largely because of the stiff robe that encircles him.


The Emperor Palpatine is part of the Mighty Muggs Star Wars collection, which no one I know would ever spend money on. The value of these is already declining because it’s a ridiculous concept executed poorly. Emperor Palpatine was vastly overproduced for the interest in the toy and in the character.


For being slightly different than the other Mighty Muggs, the Emperor Palpatine Mighty Muggs figure deserves a little credit. Still, it's not enough to make one want to buy this poor toy/collectible.

For other Star Wars toys, please check out my reviews of:
Comic Images Super Deformed Yoda
Attack Of The Clones Nexu figure
12” Lando Calrissian doll


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

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

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