Monday, May 2, 2011

The Weequay (Skiff Master) From The Star Wars Vintage Collection May Be A Step Backward.

The Good: Wonderful coloring detail, Awesome accessories, Good articulation
The Bad: Balance issues, Articulation points that are undone by costuming details
The Basics: While the Vintage Collection Weequay (Skiff Master) is currently a good investment, I find myself unimpressed with it in many ways.

With my recent influx of Star Wars Vintage Collection figures, I have been feeling very excited about reviewing Star Wars figures again. Because many of these figures have been Saga Legends Collection figures, which are essentially the “best of” the Star Wars franchise, there have been few that have left me uber-impressed; Hasbro has reached a plateau in its toy creation where they are hitting on almost every major criteria with the Star Wars line. So, it is almost surprising to me that I would have anything left to criticize in their new creations, and yet here I am with the 2011 Vintage Collection Weequay (Skiff Master) feeling strangely let down. After a string of figures that are perfect or close enough to it to warrant Hasbro quitting while they’re ahead, the Weequay (Skiff Master) entered my collection with little fanfare and little to leave me impressed, despite having better coloring, better accessories and increased articulation over the similar Power Of The Force Weequay figure.

For those unfamiliar with the Weequay Skiff Master, he is the leathery-skinned goon who shoves Luke Skywalker toward the plank in Return Of The Jedi (reviewed here!). As a guard in the employ of Jabba The Hutt, the Weequay Skiff Master was basically a thug in the desert who became a mild inconvenience to the new Jedi, Luke Skywalker.

The 4" Weequay Skiff Master was completely recast from the late-90's Power Of The Force figure in the 2010 Vintage Collection and it remains hard to find on the shelves when I write this. If more fans took them out of the package, though, this Weequay Skiff Master might end up as an unlikely pegwarmer.


The Weequay Skiff Master figure stands 3 7/8" tall to the top of his domed, bald head. He is an alien who is wearing a padded shirt so long it effectively acts as a dress or skant.

This toy is a decent sculpt, with one seriously annoying issue. The figure features a padded dress shirt with a belt featuring an almost functional pouch and an actually functional holster for the Skiff Master’s pistol. The pants of the Weequay Skiff master flare out at the bottom like little bell bottoms and the creature’s shoes have an assembled look to them with straps painted on and molded across the top. But what is most impressive about the sculpt is the back shoulder area of the figure. The sculptors at Hasbro seemed the have a great idea of actual physics of the shirt and the molded plastic is bunched and sagging in the back shoulder area and it looks like a real puffy shirt!

It is astonishing, then, that Hasbro could get the neck so very very wrong. The Weequay Skiff Master has a big, round head that has three little strands of hair flaring out of the back of the domed skull. And all of this rests on a disproportionately tiny neck. And it looks ridiculous from the side or any angle the neck might be exposed from.

The Weequay Skiff Master is outfitted in a tan outfit that is brushed with a darker tan to give it a weathered look and that is a wonderful detail for the figure that is an exceptional detail! Similarly, the detailing on the face and hands has remarkably realistic depth and shading for a character that was mostly a latex mask. But in this figure, the Weequay Skiff Master looks like a viable being as all of its brown ridges are accented by dark crannies. The Weequay Skiff Master also has troublingly black eyes which are very cool.


The Weequay Skiff Master works for Jabba The Hutt and thus needs only two things: a vibro-ax and a blaster. The vibro-ax is pretty much the standard for the denizens of Jabba’s entourage in that it is a 3 ½” pole that could fit any of the Weequay or Nikkto figures Hasbro might release. In addition to being more appropriately proportioned than prior skiff guard staffs, the Weequay Skiff Master’s vibro-ax is more durable, so it is less likely to arrive annoyingly bent, like the staffs and vibro-ax’s in the Battle Of Sarlaac Pit multipack. This vibro-ax also features realistic silver coloring on the blade and the instrumentation which, presumably, makes the deadly weapon vibrate! The Weequay Skiff Master holds the vibro-ax best in his right hand, though it may hold it in its left or do a two-handed grip on the device!

As for the blaster, the 13/16” long blaster looks exactly like the handheld weapon used by many of Jabba’s goons at the outset of Return Of The Jedi! The blaster features a brassy finish to the butt and silver accents on the sides which distinguish it easily from other blasters in the Star Wars universe. The blaster fits in either of the Weequay Skiff Master’s hands or in the holster on the goon’s belt!


The four inch toy line was designed for play and the Weequay Skiff Master is generally good for it. First, the figure has decent balance. Flatfooted, the Weequay Skiff Master is pretty solid, but when moved out of a flatfooted position, the figure falls over exceptionally easily. This is because the figure has articulation which is pointless and undone by the sculpt itself. The cuffs of the pants hand down below the ankles of the Weequay Skiff Master, inhibiting the ankle articulation. That design flaw rivals the pencil neck for what keeps the Weequay Skiff Master from being perfect. Still, the holes in the bottom of his feet allow him to stand tall on any number of playsets in outlandish poses or in more threatening poses as befits his station and position.

Conversely, the Weequay Skiff Master holds up exceptionally well in the articulation department, despite the ankle issue. He has hinged ball and socket joints at the ankles, knees, elbows and shoulders, as well as a ball and socket joint which allows a great range of motion for the head. The wrists, groin socket and waist all have simple swivel joints that provide the figure with more than enough posing options to make the figure worthwhile!


The Weequay Skiff Master is part of the Vintage Collection line that was released in 2011 and it is one of the harder ones to find at the moment. The Weequay Skiff Master is Vintage Collection figure VC48 and it easily replaces the Power Of The Force Weequay Skiff Guard, but given how different the two figures are, that one might still be worth holding onto. Right now, this looks to be a strong investment figure . . . unless collectors start opening them up and becoming dissatisfied with the sculpting and balance issues not immediately evident from outside.


The Vintage Collection Weequay Skiff Master is a good addition to a complete Star Wars action figure collection, despite creating some new problems for collectors that the less sophisticated model Kenner produced did not possess.

For other Vintage Collection figures, please check out my reviews of:
VCP03 Boba Fett
VC11 (Twin Pod) Cloud Car Pilot
VC22 Admiral Ackbar


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.

| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment