Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Very Average Imperial Officer Figure Rises Above In Captain Needa!

The Good: Amazing articulation, Good sculpt, Good accessories.
The Bad: Balance issues, Minor painting issues.
The Basics: A very articulated and neat-looking toy, the Captain Needa action figure is robbed of perfection by balance issues.

I often wonder what the actors from the original Star Wars trilogy think about being made into action figures. I have had contact with several of the actors over the years and many have a mix of amusement (at the sculpts), pleasure (they are immortalized in plastic!) and anger (they did not receive payment for use of their likeness), but the ones I am most interested in are the actors who took on bit parts. After all, characters like Captain Needa had less than a minute total airtime in the Star Wars Saga, yet now there is an action figure even of him! Indeed, Captain Needa is one of the last major Imperial characters to be made into an action figure, as part of the Legacy Collection Star Wars figure line. The Legacy Collection has been pretty cool about making new figures of obscure characters, like Pons Limbic (click here for review!).

For those unfamiliar with Captain Needa, he was the Imperial officer who lost track of the Millennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back (click here for the review of the film!). Following that, he was Force choked by Darth Vader and killed. His time in command of a Star Destroyer was brief, but memorable.

The Legacy Collection is the only place Captain Needa was made into an action figure (to date) and the toy is a good one. Instead of simply reusing a past Imperial Officer's body and popping a new head on it, Captain Needa appears to be made of all new parts.


Captain Needa is as detailed for a bland, Imperial 4" tall action figure as one might get. Captain Needa was released in 2009 as part of Hasbro's Legacy Collection with the Droid Factory bonus. It appears he was a late release intended originally for the 2008 line and he was held over as part of the first of two 2009 Droid Factory Legacy Collection assortments. Captain Needa appears on the Stormtrooper helmet-shaped card with the rounded plastic bubble.

This toy is a fairly impressive sculpt, capturing Captain Needa's bland expression and tight lips. The sculpt is good, but Captain Needa was never a terribly distinct Imperial captain. As such, he appears in his gray Imperial outfit with the black gloves and black boots. Captain Needa's skin is monotonally white (caucasian) and that is a bit lighter than the character looked in the movie. The paint job for Needa is not bad overall, but his lips are not colored and on mine, there was a silver line connecting his rank insignia on his left side with the "pen" in his pocket next to it.

As for the costume detailing, Captain Needa is a decent sculpt. He is dressed in a standard Imperial uniform with the long jacket that hangs down almost like a skirt. The detailing on this figure is impressive down to the belt buckle, which has a little button on it that makes it look functional! Needa's hat even looks like it is made of stiff, pressed cloth and that hat covers a faint widow's peak.


Captain Needa, tool of the Empire that he is, comes with only one accessory outside the hat he is outfitted with: an Imperial blaster. The hat comes on the figure and pulls off easily and is molded well to look like exactly what it is. It also has the painted detail of the button on the front of the hat which looks good as well.

Needa's blaster is the standard Imperial blaster pistol. While it may be held in either hand well, it comes in his right hand and the 1 1/8" long gun is molded to look like a laser gun. There are no painted on details on the firearm.

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. Captain Needa comes with left leg section of the U-3PO droid. This is a silver-gray leg that has joints at the knee and ankle.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Captain Needa is amazing in that regard. Not only does this Legacy Collection figure have amazing articulation, but he looks good while having increased flexibility! Unfortunately, though, he is problematically balanced. While his joints are tight enough to be supportive, Needa requires a lot of effort to get him to pose in a position where he actually looks good. That said, Captain Needa comes with fourteen points of articulation, many of which are not just simple swivel joints. Captain Needa has joints at the ankles, knees, groin socket, shoulders, elbows, wrists, neck, and waist and he twists at any of those points. The shoulders, elbows AND knees are all ball-and-socket joints and the head is on a ball joint, which allows his to nod up and down as well as look left to right. This Captain Needa figure has more dexterity, balance and posability than earlier Imperial toys, like Captain Piett!

For added support, should one wish to make improbable poses with the figure, there are playsets with foot pegs which fit into the holes in either of Captain Needa's feet.


Captain Needa is part of the 2009 Legacy Collection four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was not incredibly common, but Captain Needa was not at all the highlight of the series. As a result, Needa may still be found in some stores at a reduced cost. Because of the improved articulation of the figure, and the probable appearance of the actor who played Needa on the convention circuit, this toy might become a good investment figure, though that is in no way a given.

Captain Needa is BD40 in the Legacy Collection and is one that is ideal for collectors looking for a broad sense of the Star Wars universe!


Captain Needa is finally made into an action figure and while he might seem initially bland, he is a surprisingly articulated and cool toy. Unfortunately, his inability to stand up easily does knock him down a little bit.

For other Star Wars figures, please check out my reviews of:
Darth Maul and Sith Speeder
Power Of The Force Nien Nunb
Jeremoch Colton


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

© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted withoug permission.

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