Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Nonchalant-looking Villain: The Attack Of The Clones Count Dooku Doesn't Quite Stand Up.

The Good: Decent sculpt, Decent Accessories, Much of the coloring detail, Magnet in hand is cool, Collectible value.
The Bad: Low poseability, Cannot stand unaided, Odd facial sculpt
The Basics: The definitive villain of Attack Of The Clones is poorly rendered for the toy line, making Count Dooku less a Dark Lord and more a Tippy Doof.

Sometimes, I find myself drifting when reviewing. Tonight, as I consider the Star Wars Attack Of The Clones action figure of Count Dooku, for example, I'm recalling a riff from the short-lived television show Sports Night (reviewed here!). In that, there is an exchange between Casey McCall and the others in a meeting about a kicker for the Cincinnati Bengal Tigers. He's complaining about how the kicker missed a field goal during an important game and no matter what others say about him, he simply responds, "He can't kick!" That riff keeps coming back to me as I contemplate the Attack Of The Clones Count Dooku figure because with his cloak on, he can't stand. There are so many good things about this figure, but at the end of the analysis, "He can't stand!"

Count Dooku, for those not in the know, was one of two villains behind-the-scenes in Attack Of The Clones (reviewed here!). The human Sith Lord was working for Darth Sideous to orchestrate a galactic war which would allow Sideous to consolidate power. Count Dooku is the leader of the Separatist forces which are seceding from the Republic.

This 4" Count Dooku figure is a fair sculpt, but is plagued by the inarticulation problems of figures of the era and by an inability to remain standing. Ultimately, that made it impossible for me to recommend what could have been an average figure.


Count Dooku is sculpted in his regal-looking tunic with a removable cape. He is the human Sith Lord and bears an appropriate resemblance to Christopher Lee, the actor who played Dooku. Dooku is cast with a surprisingly wide stance, so his gait is quite wide and he only has one true position he can stand up in.

The Count Dooku figure stands, only without his cape on, at full 4" tall, and is cast in hard plastic for everything but the cape and skirtlike part of his tunic (everything below the waist), which is cast in a softer, more rubbery plastic. Count Dooku's outfit is ridiculously simple as it is a dark brown tunic with a clasp molded at the top and a belt molded on. The only other detailing is the figure's boots and they are adequately rendered. Count Dooku's cloak is a lighter brown and rests on his shoulders, around the figure's neck. It simply slides off when one wants a look that is more vertical for the figure.

This toy is a weird, but generally decent sculpt. The bearded face does look like Christopher Lee. But, in contrast to the angry expression shown on the packaging, Count Dooku's expression has him with raised eyebrows and eyes looking up. So Count Dooku looks like he is asking, "Why me?" to the heavens as opposed to like he is a serious threat to Yoda. Count Dooku is cast with an appropriately prominent nose which looks quite regal and realistic. Even so, this is not one of the most detailed figures as the hands do not even have molded on fingernails.

As for the coloring, Hasbro rather interestingly delivers an action figure with realistic depth and shading to the outfit, but not the skin tones. Count Dooku is monotonally white (Caucasian), while his hair is gray with yellowing highlights and his cape is colored to have wear insinuated into its folds. Dooku's boots are a clean black and his eyes are little more than black dots on the white eyeball.


Count Dooku, fierce Sith Lord exposed by Obi-Wan Kenobi on Geonosis, comes armed with three accessories. This Count Dooku features two lightsabers and a hologram of Darth Sideous. Dooku's standard lightsaber is his scimitar-style red-bladed lightsaber. It is 2 7/8" long, features a silver and black handle and looks good in either of Dooku's hands, though it is clearly intended for his more articulated right hand. The coloring and sculpting detail on Dooku's lightsaber is more impressive than most of the rest of the figure.

Count Dooku also comes with a green-bladed lightsaber, presumably Anakin's. The same length as Dooku's, the alternate lightsaber features a steel handle supplemented plain black lines. While the 2 1/8" long green plastic blade is detached from the handle, Dooku may use his left hand to attract the lightsaber, as it has a magnet in it. This can also make it simply look like Dooku is an amazing magician who can balance a lightsaber on his hand. Like many of the Attack Of The Clones lightsabers, the removable blade on this alternate lightsaber makes it very fragile and increases the likelihood of it breaking.

Finally, there is the 1 3/4" tall hologram figure of Darth Sideous. This is a translucent purple-blue minifigure which is instantly recognizable as Darth Sideous. I spent a good deal of time laughing about this - it won't seem nearly as funny now - but the packaging illustrates that the minifigure can be turned to face Count Dooku. Seriously, on the packaging, there is an arrow that shows the lines of force for Dooku's lightsaber attack motion and the same movement notes show how one can turn the hologram figure so it faces Count Dooku. Hilarious.


The four inch toy line was designed for play, but Count Dooku is terribly lame in that regard. With his cape on, Count Dooku figure is very poorly-balanced even when in a flatfooted position and cannot remain standing. As well, without his cape on, moving his feet even slightly out of a flatfooted position completely mortgages his stability. The figure falls over unless one is able to plug him into an accessory that has foot pegs (his feet have the appropriate holes in both heels).

Because of the balance issues, Count Dooku is a poor figure as far as poseability goes. He is given only seven points of articulation, all of which are simple swivel joints. Count Dooku, as an action figure, has joints at the groin socket, shoulders, neck, right wrist and waist. There is no articulation in the knees or ankles, which matters less considering that moving the legs causes Dooku to fall over.

Turning Count Dooku at the waist causes his right arm to make a slashing downward motion. The same feature is pretty much spring-loaded into the legs, so squeezing the legs makes the right arm travel a whole ninety degree arc. And this would be a cool playing function if the figure didn't fall over all the time.


Count Dooku was the shortpacked figure of the first Attack Of The Clones toy line. While they seemed to eventually filter into the marketplace, Dooku remained surprisingly rare, bought up by collectors twice as fast because of a "Darth Tyrannus" variant nameplate. At its peak, Count Dooku sold for over $50. Even now, Count Dooku is a fair investment and is ideal for collectors and investors, perhaps even more than for children who actually want a Count Dooku to play with, but its value hasn't been that high in years!

Count Dooku is Attack Of The Clones figure #27 from the 2002 assortment.


Count Dooku should be a great figure. The sculpt is decent, he has collectible value and there are cool accessories (even the ones that only turn to face the traitorous Sith Lord), but he doesn't stand up. It all comes back to that and it sucks the life from an otherwise cool figure.

For other Attack Of The Clones line figures and toys, please check out my reviews on:
#02 Arena Escape Padme Amidala
#10 Shaak Ti
#23 Yoda
#39 Supreme Chancellor Palpatine
Deluxe Yoda with Force Powers
Deluxe Nexu
Geonosian Starfighter
Hailfire Droid


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

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

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