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 Bane Malar action figure is robbed of perfection by balance issues.
For those who might not follow my many reviews, I am a big fan of the Star Wars bounty hunters. They look cool, they tend to have great stories associated with them and they tend to look great together. My bounty hunter collection has been stalled for a while, though, because I have so very many of the bounty hunter dolls and figures already. I was excited, then, when Hasbro made more! Bane Malar was one of the new bounty hunters, fresh from the background scenes from the Cantina and now a figure in the Star Wars Legacy Collection toy line. The Legacy Collection has been pretty cool about making new figures of obscure characters, like Pons Limbic (click here for review!) and Captain Needa (click here for review!) as well as newer ones like Bane Malar.
For those unfamiliar with Bane Malar, this is no surprise given that Bane Malar was only in the background of the Cantina scene in A New Hope (click here for the review of the film!). Hasbro has now created a backstory for the black-clad helmeted creature they named Bane Malar.
The Legacy Collection is the only place Bane Malar was made into an action figure (to date) and the toy is a good one. Made of all new parts, Bane Malar is is a humanoid which would have been an amazing addition to the toy line, save that he seldom is able to stand up!
Bane Malar is exceptionally for a bland 4" tall action figure of a creature that looks like a man in a black jumpsuit with bandoleers across his chest. The helmet obscures his face completely. Bane Malar was released in 2008 as part of Hasbro's Legacy Collection with the Droid Factory bonus. Bane Malar appears on the Stormtrooper helmet-shaped card with the rounded plastic bubble.
This toy is a fairly basic sculpt which truly is a generic male form decked out in black with crisscrossing bandoleers across his chest and back. The figure is molded with a brown belt and the appropriate boots and gloves of the character. There is very little Bane Malar could have to make the costume work, but the Legacy Collection figure does that with a holster. Bane Malar's belt has details like tiny silver studs that make it look like a viable outfit.
All that truly defines Bane Malar, then, is his helmet. Bane Malar looks much like a man with a fishbowl on his head. The top of the helmet has what could be a secondary weapon or scanner and the helmet has a faceplate that completely obscures the character or creature's face.
Bane Malar, free-lance bounty hunter with attitude and a completely fabricated backstory, comes with only weapons: a blaster and a blaster rifle. The blaster pistol is a 3/4" gunmetal colored gun that looks like Han Solo's blaster. It fits in either of Bane Malar's hands or in Bane Malar's holster on his belt.
Unlike the blaster, the blaster rifle is colored to look like it has wear. The gun is 2" long, has a brown stock and gunmetal and rust colored barrel. The weapon has a textured belt under it that allows the gun to be slung over Bane Malar's shoulder. Otherwise, it can fit in either or both of Bane Malar's hands and the figure is so articulated that it can hold the gun in both hands. Rather coolly, the rifle's strap is so detailed it looks like it could be made of fabric and as it is cast in soft plastic, it is very flexible.
This figure was part of the "Droid Factory" line of the Legacy Collection figures and the basic premise was that for every four figures you bought, you'd get a fifth which would be assembled from parts in each of the four toys in the collection. Bane Malar comes with barrel section of the R7-Z0 droid. This is the central part of an R2 droid and there is nothing particularly special about this piece that sets it apart from the base of any other R2 unit.
The four inch toy line was designed for play and Bane Malar would be great if only he stood up better. The Legacy Collection figures have amazing articulation and Bane Malar is no exception! Unfortunately, though, he is problematically balanced. While his joints are tight enough to be supportive, Bane Malar requires a lot of effort to get him to pose in a position where he actually stands up. That said, Bane Malar comes with sixteen points of articulation, many of which are not just simple swivel joints. Bane Malar has joints at the ankles, knees, groin socket, shoulders, elbows, forearms, wrists, neck, and waist and he twists at any of those points. The shoulders, ankles, elbows AND knees are all ball-and-socket joints and the head is on a ball joint, which allows his head to nod up and down as well as look left to right. This Bane Malar figure has more dexterity, balance and posability than most earlier bounty hunter toys.
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 Bane Malar's feet.
Bane Malar is part of the 2008 Legacy Collection four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was not incredibly common, but Bane Malar 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 fact that Bane Malar only appeared on the one card, this toy might become a good investment figure, though that is in no way a given.
Bane Malar is BD7 in the Legacy Collection and is one that is ideal for collectors looking for a broad sense of the Star Wars universe!
Bane Malar arrives as an awkward action figure which is good, but not the extraordinary toy some might have hoped for.
For other Star Wars figures and toys, please check out my reviews of:
Sideshow Collectibles 1:6 Scale Princess Leia As Boushh
Power Of The Force Mynock Hunt 3-pack
For other Star Wars toy reviews, please visit my index page!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.