Monday, May 23, 2011

Ketwol Was Never Cool: But If It Had Been, The Power Of The Jedi Ketwol Would Still Seem Less Cool Now!

The Good: Fine sculpt, Fleshes out the Cantina aliens fine, Great balance
The Bad: Underwhelming accessory, Mediocre articulation
The Basics: Fleshing out yet another dark corner of the Cantina, Ketwol is an average, somewhat underwhelming Star Wars action figure.

Back before I started working for a new comic book shop, I used to visit the owner of the store at a pretty crappy local market he used to run a booth in. There, he unloaded a lot of Star Wars figures at severely discounted prices, based largely on how overproduced they were. One of the series' he had cheap was the Power Of The Jedi figure, from which I had reviewed the Bespin Guard (here!) and FX-7 (here!) figures before I ever met him. It was a series of action figures I generally liked, but had been released during one of the periods when I thought I would not be collecting any more. But when my wife was looking for gifts for me last year and we were getting a package deal on a lot of Star Wars figures, one of the ones I put in the pile was the Power Of The Jedi Ketwol action figure.

For those unfamiliar with Ketwol, he was yet another Cantina alien seen in A New Hope (click here for my review!). Seen for about two seconds in the Special Edition, Ketwol was a green-headed reptile whose head (which is pretty much all we see of him) look looked like a cross between an ant eater and an elephant!

The 4" Ketwol looks like he might have been a joke from Hasbro; Hasbro had to design full-bodied figures of so many characters that were simply seen from the torso up. In the case of Ketwol, he was a digital character who only existed from the bust up in A New Hope. As a result, the figure of Ketwol is actually little more than a pair of mechanical stilts below the waist and in the Force File, readers are informed that Ketwol is an alien that pretty much exists only from the waist up with tiny stubby legs below the waist!


Ketwol is an alien with green skin, claws for hands and simple clothing! The figure stands 4" tall to the top of his head. Ketwol is a green alien who wears a yellow-orange shirt and a rusty-red cloak. Attached to his actual feet - scant centimeters below his waist - are two stilt legs which make Ketwol stand like a fairly common humanoid.

This toy is a wonderful sculpt, which makes sense given that Ketwol is a digitally-created character and ought to be able to be rendered as a figure because Lucasfilm has great ties with Hasbro. Ketwol is very much an alien, despite having a generally humanoid shape. His head is over large and features a descending trunk nose that hangs from the center of his face to the middle of his chest. The trunk is flanked on either side by descending horns or proboscis which end in wicked looking hooks. Ketwol's face resembles an elephant crossed with an ant for its overall structure and the alien reminds one of how wonderfully imaginative Star Wars was.

As for the coloring details, Ketwol is not simply monotonal green skinned. Instead, he has realistic shading and highlights along his nose ridge and the crown of his head. Unfortunately, Hasbro did not put as much attention into his hands, which are simply green. This is almost unnoticeable because Ketwol's loud orange shirt is given realistic shading and splotching to make it look worn and lived in. Similarly, Ketwol's cloak is not a monotonal red and that works well for him.


Ketwol comes with arguably the most lame accessory of any Star Wars action figure, in addition to his Jedi Force File. Ketwol comes with a pair of rubber pants. The pants are stiff rubber, slide over the front of Ketwol's metal stilt legs and inhibit his leg movement, though they look all right on him. The pants have realistic texture to them and are colored to feature different shades of brown, so they appear worn, though they are not incredible and one feels Ketwol could use a weapon or a glass.

As part of the Power Of The Jedi toy line, Ketwol comes with a Jedi Force File. This is a tiny fold-out magazine which describes Ketwol, his species, natural enemies and allies and offers ideas for play with the figure. This is a pretty cool idea and appeals to trading card collectors as well.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Ketwol is pretty lame in that regard, despite having a great sense of balance. The figure is also pretty poorly articulated, though he was as articulated as pretty much all of the figures at the time were. He comes with only six points of articulation and he is even able to stand when his feet are moved out of flatfooted position, because of the stiff cloak he wears. He has joints at the groin socket, shoulders, neck and waist. All of the joints are simple swivel joints.


Ketwol is part of the expanded saga Power Of The Jedi four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was fairly common. Ketwol was one of the most overproduced of the line and as a result can still be found dirt cheap, despite being a Cantina Alien who only appears in this one casting. In other words, Ketwol is a poor investment as it may often be found selling lower than its original issue price. Even so, those looking for another Cantina alien to enjoy are likely to enjoy Ketwol as it does flesh out the larger Star Wars universe!


Disappointing, even for a Power Of The Jedi action figure, Ketwol is still worthwhile to fans, despite being pretty poorly articulated. This is a bare "recommend," despite the issues with it.

For other Cantina alien action figure reviews, check out my reviews of:
Legacy Collection Leesub Sirln
Legacy Collection Bane Malar
Saga Collection Hem Dazon
12" Power Of The Force Greedo


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

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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