Saturday, June 11, 2011

3 Frames On Screen, A Lifetime In Plastic: The 12" Aurra Sing Endures!

The Good: Surprisingly good sculpt, Interesting facts in the book, Cool accessories and costume
The Bad: Bulky package, Low posability, grip, Book is repetitive
The Basics: For a character that received almost no airtime in The Phantom Menace, the 12"Aurra Sing is a surprisingly neat toy.

Some people have incredible luck. I mean, the kind of luck that makes the the rest of us jealous. You know, like Harrison Ford, working away as a carpenter on the set of Star Wars: A New Hope when Lucas says, "Stand in with this group, we need a Han Solo." Or that annoying story you hear from time to time about someone who never plays the lottery hand picking their numbers once in her lifetime and getting them all and winning hundreds of millions of dollars for the one dollar she played. Man, luck is a fickle chick!

If you look real close in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (reviewed here!) while watching the widescreen version of the film, during the podrace scene, there is a quick shot of a bounty hunter watching the race. How would you know she's a bounty hunter? She just looks like one! Plus, she's armed to the teeth, so much so that in her few frames on screen, one can see she's got a lot of weapons on her. Her name is Aurra Sing and she is the subject of one of the Star Wars twelve-inch collector figure Masterpiece Edition book and toy combo packs.

One might ask why and that's a fair question. After all, she is on screen for less than three seconds and is edited out of the pan and scan version of The Phantom Menace. She has no lines, she barely has a facial expression! Well, the answer is in the book. The irony is that the Aurra Sing Masterpiece Figure came out before her little four and a half inch figure did!

As the book Dawn Of The Bounty Hunters explains, Aurra Sing was put into the movie at the last minute, but she was very popular with fans and with George Lucas. Plus, she was remarkably well-documented. That makes making a figure much, much easier. And besides, if you're a collector of these toys, you've got enough Luke Skywalkers, so why not make Aurra Sing?

First, the book. Dawn Of The Bounty Hunters is an odd shaped (not rectangular, in order to fit in the trapezoidal packaging of the Masterpiece Edition box) hard cover book that is split into three parts. The first part tells who Aurra Sing is, how she got into The Phantom Menace, the process of making up the actress, and the process of making the Masterpiece Series twelve inch figure. The second part, compiled from all of the books and comic books and movies in the Star Wars series, tells the story of Aurra Sing, the character, and then continued on by telling the combined stories of the bounty hunters that follow her legacy in the Star Wars universe. The last part of the book is a simple list of every known piece of merchandise pertaining to the bounty hunters from the Star Wars universe. And it's an impressive list.

The first section is interesting and it is clear the book is well researched. The second portion of the book is intriguing and reads like a summary of a comic book (which, it largely is). It's not Shakespeare, but for those of us who like the bounty hunters in Star Wars, but don't want to collect all of the comics or spend all of our time reading the Star Wars books, it's a nice way to learn the histories and stories of the infrequently seen characters we like. The last part of the book is impressive in that reading through the lists of bounty hunter merchandise may make one realize just how amazing (in a scary way) the insatiable desires of fans can be. It is very conveniently broken down by character, making it easy to find everything you might ever want featuring the bounty hunter of your choice.

As for the figure, the figure is interesting and part of the biggest criticism of it is addressed in the book. In the book, it explains that the antennae Aurra Sing has had to be made bigger for the toy out of safety concerns. I'm not sure I understand that; how many little kids are going to be bought a figure from a "Masterpiece Series?" And let's face it, this one is a doll.

Outside that, the figure looks good, other than her outfit being too clean. She's a bounty hunter! They make a point of saying how the outfit was smeared with dirt in the movie to make it look like she's been around, but the figure was not accorded the same concern. Bummer.

The problem with the Aurra Sing figure is she does not stand up well and her main weapon, the awesome rifle she has, cannot possibly fit in her hands. There is no way for her to hold the rifle with both hands, which also means it loses serious points for posability. Her limbs have great articulation, but her accessories - when held in her hands - often cause her to tip over. Still . . .

Is it worth it? Only if you're a big fan of Star Wars or truly love the bounty hunters from the series. The plus side is, just about anywhere that still has this has it on severe clearance. The book is interesting, but a one-read type of book and the figure is nice, but frustrating if you like to display your dolls as opposed to play with them. But, at the end of the day, she's cool, her figure looks pretty badass and you and your Star Wars fan friends will get a lot of mileage out of her. The rest of us can live without her.

For other 12" Star Wars dolls, please visit my reviews of:
12" Greedo
12" Original Trilogy Collection Boba Fett
12" Slave Leia


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page on the subject!

© 2011, 2004 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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