Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My First Grievous: The 30th Anniversary Episode III Heroes & Villains Collection General Grievous Does Not Stand Up.

The Good: Looks good, Decent weaponry
The Bad: Poor articulation, Dreadfully bad balance.
The Basics: Despite being a cool gift from my loving wife, the 2006 General Grievous figure is not likely to remain in my collection long.

I absolutely love my wife. In addition to keeping me in toys, she has been remarkably cool, of late, with me going through the boxes and piles of Star Wars figures around the house to thin out my collection. She still gets me Star Wars figures, which is super nice of her and for our last winter solstice celebration, she gave me my first General Grievous figure. Yes, it took me until 2010 before I added a General Grievous to my collection. Despite the long wait, I suspect the 2006 Episode III Heroes & Villains Collection General Grievous is already headed out of my collection (I'm going to stand it up beside the new 2010 Saga Legends Grievous and make my decision after writing this review!). This figure, one of the few General Grievous figures to have the villain with all four arms out, is definitely one which looks better in the package than it does out of it.

For those unfamiliar with General Grievous, he (or it - it's yet another Star Wars cyborg, though it is definitely more droid than organic) is the primary antagonist for Obi-Wan Knobi in Revenge Of The Sith (reviewed here!). The leader of the Separatist Droid armies after the untimely death of Count Dooku, General Grievous is a military leader loyal to Darth Sideous who has a collection of lightsabers taken from Jedi he has killed throughout the years!

The 4" General Grievous is all-right (as I wrote the review, I discovered a heretofore hidden point of articulation!), but it is far from perfect and has enough that could be improved on to make me hope another Grievous in the market is better.


The General Grievous figure stands 4 1/4" tall to the top of his droid head. He is a robot with clawed feet which make it hard for him to stand unaided, but the general structure of a Battle Droid. General Grievous features four arms in this incarnation which ought to make it one of the ultimate badass versions of the character, though sculpting issues rob it of its full potential (see "Playability" below!).

This toy is a great sculpt, which makes sense for a virtual character. General Grievous is cast with the solid skeletal framing of a Battle Droid in the legs and arms. The torso is more bulky, making it look like it has some sort of alien body beneath the droid armor there. Grievous's head is like a mechanical skull and Hasbro captured the intended menace of the character well with this sculpt.

This General Grievous is also gifted with decent coloring. General Grievous does not have a clean droid body in this iteration. Instead, he has a weathered and rusted look on his legs, arms and torso. Hasbro got the coloring details in the eyes right as well, infusing the mechanical head with two eyes that resemble the golden eyes of the Sith lords!


General Grievous is a Jedi-killer and the only weapons he needs are the lightsabers he has taken from the bodies of the many Jedi he has killed, though he has a blaster as well. This General Grievous comes with four simple, solid lightsabers: two blue, two green. Each lightsaber is 2 3/4" long with a 5/8" long silver handle and a translucent blade. Grievous's hands are molded to hold the lightsabers, so they fit perfectly in his grips.

The blaster, presumably the one he used to kill his first Jedi with before getting all of the lightsabers, is a simple 1 1/4" gun molded entirely in black plastic. The blaster features a scope on the top and a heavier barrel than many of the Star Wars toy blasters. It fits in two of Grievous's hands well, but not the other two.

Like all of the 2006 Saga Collection figures, General Grievous features a hologram figure. General Grievous comes with a 2" tall blue Darth Vader hologram inaction figure. The game piece-like figure is solid blue and features Darth Vader with his lightsaber raised at the ready!


The four inch toy line was designed for play and this General Grievous gets mixed marks there. First, his balance is very awkward and one wishes immediately he came with the standard stand for the 2006 figures (because this was a subset of the main line, one suspects they justified keeping the stand out of it). Flatfooted, this figure has absolutely terrible balance. However, the saving grace for this General Grievous was that he has knee articulation (which was very well hidden!) and that allows one to pose him beyond the failing attempts at flat-footed. The holes in the bottom of his feet allow him to stand on any number of playsets in outlandish poses.

General Grievous does flop in the articulation department, though I have a better feeling about him after poking enough for this review to make it worth my while. This Grievous has hinged ball and socket joints at the knees and shoulders, as well as a ball and socket joint which allows a great range of motion for the head. The only other points of articulation are at the groin socket and those are simple swivel joints which allow the legs to move. My gripe here is that neither the wrists nor the elbows have any articulation. This kills the realistic sense of movement that the four arms could have provided the General Grievous figure.

What knocks the playability score up a tiny bit is the secret feature. This General Grievous is meant for play and by pressing the head down into the chest, the arms swing. This makes Grievous attack with realistic slashing motions for his many lightsabers! That's a surprisingly cool little addition to the figure.


General Grievous is part of the Saga line that was released in 2006. This General Grievous was part of the Episode III Heroes & Villains Collection sub-collection to the 2006 Saga Collection and is figure #9 of 12. General Grievous was shortpacked, though because there have been so many General Grievous figures to hit the marketplace, this one is not a great investment piece. Indeed, none of the General Grievous figures have stood up terribly well as a must-buy piece for investors.


Despite a pretty wonderful sculpt and realistic coloring aspects, the 2006 General Grievous figure's balance and articulation issues keep it down and into territory where others might easily usurp it.

For other figures from the 2006 Saga Collection, please check out my reviews of:
001 Princess Leia as Boushh
003 Bib Fortuna
005 X-Wing Pilot Luke Skywalker
007 General Veers
022 Firespeeder Pilot
031 Momaw Nadon
033 Hem Dazon
071 Kitik Keed'Kak


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

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

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