Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Big, Blue And Political, The Orn Free Taa Action Figure Stands Ready . . . To Pass Bills! (My 100th Star Wars Action Figure Review!)

The Good: Impressive sculpt, Decent (enough) accessory
The Bad: VERY limited articulation and playability.
The Basics: The blue politician from Attack Of The Clones stands and has arm articulation to make speeches, but offer little else for play or collectors.

Since the Star Wars prequel trilogy movies hit theaters, I have often thought George Lucas missed out on a great opportunity. Episode II, Attack Of The Clones might have been the best opportunity Lucas had, but let slip through his fingers and that is because in that film, Lucas had both a bevy of bounty hunters and several politicians. To mirror the scene in The Empire Strikes Back where an Imperial Officer snidely declares (of bounty hunters) "We don't need their scum," Lucas could easily have made a wink to the fans by having a bounty hunter see a politician and repeat that line. When the politicians are like Orn Free Taa, it would be pretty easy to make such a commentary!

Orn Free Taa, a Twi'lek Senator who appeared briefly in Attack Of The Clones (reviewed here!), is now an action figure from Hasbro. One of the background Senators, he is present in key scenes where Palpatine is manipulating others under the guise of protecting Amidala. He is bloated and blue and covered in robes.

This 4" Orn Free Taa figure is generally decent and it is a good figure in that it fleshes out the full Star Wars universe fairly well. However, posed as he is, this is a figure that is limited to standing in one place and looking like he is in the middle of a filibuster. Ultimately, despite the sculpt, it ends up as a pretty average action figure and given that it is already geared toward a very specific niche audience, one suspects those in that niche (Star Wars action figure fans) would want something with a little more action to it or that could be posed doing more than just one possible thing.


Orn Free Taa in this form is a blue robed, openhanded politician from any of the few scenes he was in in Attack Of The Clones. He stands flatfooted with slightly flexible robes and a hands molded with the fingers open, as if imploring his audience for something. He looks like he has eaten well and while he might appear fat, it is just the way his under robes are sculpted!

The Orn Free Taa figure stands only 3 5/8" tall, reminding toy enthusiasts and children that to get into the Galactic Senate, one need not be a mammoth in terms of height! Orn Free Taa is appropriately coifed in robes that cover his bare feet and the attentive fan will note one of the pieces of the robe is actually a scarf. This figure is made of a combination of hard plastic - the main body and limbs are solid - and has soft plastic outer robes. The figure is cast the hard plastic, then colored appropriately. Ironically, the inner robes are pretty solid, making it pointless to have any articulation outside the arms and neck, but still Hasbro tried.

This toy is a decent sculpt, capturing the muted facial features of Orn Free Taa quite well. The head tentacles on the figure actually have some decent shading to them that makes the collection feel like Hasbro put some real effort into the coloring. As well, the robes are detailed with padding and button details. As well, some finer details, like fingernails, are cast into this toy, though they are not colored.


Orn Free Taa, being a Senator and politician, requires very few accessories. As a result, this figure comes with a Senate Cam Droid only. The Senate Cam Droid is a tiny (5/8" in diameter) disc-shaped choking hazard that realistically recreates the floating droids that capture all of the action of the Galactic Senate when its members debate. This tiny droid is attached (but may easily be detached from) to a three-inch tall translucent plastic base that allows those with even limited imagination to imagine the droid is hovering in midair. On its own, this accessory stands up as (unlike earlier Star Wars figures that had similar accessories, this is a straight column), which is must do because neither of Orn Free Taa's hands are capable of holding anything. This is both a pointless accessory and the only one a Orn Free Taa figure could realistically have.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Orn Free Taa is not bad in that regard. That is to say, he is about as active as the character in the film he is from. As a result, Orn Free Taa stands and remains balanced. Indeed, because the figure's feet may barely be moved, there is not much that can be done to knock Orn Free Taa over or set him off balance. Despite having a swinging joint at the groin socket, this figure's legs do not move beneath the robes. As well, with robes made of the stiff plastic, this figure is one of the most stable Star Wars figures Hasbro produced. It is virtually impossible to knock him over, save by flicking him right in the face (rather impressively, lightly knocking the figure in the face causes Orn Free Taa to wobble, but not fall down). The arms and hands of Orn Free Taa may easily be posed in any way because there is no way to unbalance him in order to knock him over!

Despite having the flexible robes, Orn Free Taa is a poor figure as far as poseability goes. He is graced with only nine points of articulation (seven in all practicality) and that is a huge letdown considering the overall quality of the figure. The lowered flexibility pretty much mandates collectors pose the figure in very set ways. Orn Free Taa, as an action figure, has joints at the groin socket, shoulders, wrists, biceps and neck. There is no articulation in the knees or ankles, which matters less considering that the thigh joint can barely be moved and the state of the thick robes which prevent movement there. So while Orn Free Taa has great arm articulation for expressions and making limited movements with his arms, his head tentacles prevent him from even turning his head.


Orn Free Taa is part of the 2002 Star Wars saga collection of four-inch action figures. This series of Star Wars action figures was fairly common and the Orn Free Taa figure was #35 in that collection and was in no way shortpacked in the cases. As a result, Orn Free Taa was pretty well available in the cases of this product and as a result is still widely available on the secondary market today. In other words, this Orn Free Taa is a poor investment and is more ideal for collectors and children who actually want an interesting Orn Free Taa to play with!


Orn Free Taa is an interesting figure, but despite the inability to tip him over, collectors are likely to want to get more out of their figures than simply having one that just stands there while others act around it. Thoroughly average.

For other Attack Of The Clones line figures and toys, please check out my reviews on:
#01 Acklay Battle Obi-Wan Kenobi
#02 Arena Escape Padme Amidala
#10 Shaak Ti
#13 Kamino Escape Jango Fett
#23 Yoda
#27 Count Dooku
#39 Supreme Chancellor Palpatine
Deluxe C-3PO with Droid Factory
Deluxe Yoda with Force Powers
Deluxe Nexu


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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