Friday, July 29, 2011

A Scoundrel With Two Arms, The Power Of The Force Ponda Baba Is A Good Sculpt With A Few Problems.

The Good: Cool alien, Decent accessories
The Bad: Poor balance, Poor poseability, A better version exists, No removable arm!
The Basics: Ponda Baba is a pretty distinctive alien from the Star Wars Cantina who appears in a very average, but hard-to-balance Power Of The Force action figure.

When it comes to the old Kenner Star Wars action figures, there are actually very few that have not been improved upon since by Hasbro. In addition to increasing articulation and getting the sculpts to look more precisely like how the characters appeared in the films, Hasbro has made the figures more playable with realistic features that are based on how the characters appeared in the movies. So, for example, Ponda Baba figures from Hasbro almost always have a detachable arm. The Power Of The Force Ponda Baba, despite how generally good it was back in the day, does not have that play feature and is hard to get to stand upright.

For those unfamiliar with Ponda Baba, this creature is one of the many aliens seen in the Mos Eisley Cantina in A New Hope (reviewed here!). This alien was originally called "Walrus Face" in Kenner's old toy line and this was the alien that menaces Luke Skywalker through Dr. Evizan and gets his arm lopped off for his troubles.

The 4" Ponda Baba figure is pretty cool and it fleshes out the full Star Wars universe wonderfully, though it has been improved upon since.


Ponda Baba is an alien seen in the Cantina in Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope). The figure stands 3 7/8" tall to the top of its rounded, walrus-like head. Ponda Baba is a fairly average looking biped with a tan flight suit and a bright orange coat over his upper half. Ponda Baba's head, however, looks very much like a walrus's.

This toy is a decent sculpt, looking precisely like the alien scoundrel. Ponda Baba is fairly rich in his coloring detail, with skin tones that have subtlety and shading. The top of his head is darker than the mouth area and the figure's mouth is accurately colored to look swollen and pink. Similarly, Ponda Baba's pants are darker toward the boots, as if he has been sprayed with oil or dirt at past of his job. Ponda Baba's jacket has not faded at all, which is a nice touch.


Ponda Baba, alien that he is in the Cantina, requires few accessories. But the ones that he does come with look pretty serious. Ponda Baba comes with two different guns, a blaster pistol and a blaster rifle. Both are monotonal black plastic guns which fit in either of Ponda Baba's hands and both are unique to this figure. The blaster pistol is a small (1 1/16" long) plastic gun with a scope and a strangely elongated handle. It looks efficient enough to cut down even a Jedi at close range and is disproportionately large compared to the figure.

The blaster rifle is also disproportionately large with a 1 3/4" length and a barrel that looks more like a cannon with its 1/8" in diameter circumference. The blaster rifle features a secondary grip or strap near the emitter end which makes it look like the figure could hold the weapon in a two-handed grip, but the figure's articulation does not support that.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Ponda Baba is fair in that regard. The figure is poorly articulated and lacks significant articulation to make him interesting with his secondary firearm. In addition to low articulation, Ponda Baba is not poseable at all. If the feet are moved even slightly out of a flatfooted position, this figure tips over. Hell, even in his flatfooted position, this figure with surprisingly spread legs tips over pretty easily. He comes with only six points of articulation: swivel joints at the groin socket, shoulders, neck, and waist. The elbows do not extend or turn.

Fortunately, Ponda Baba has holes in the soles of his feet that allow him to be plugged into playsets or starships that have the corresponding pegs. There, he may be posed in more outrageous positions. Otherwise, this is a very tipable figure.


Ponda Baba is part of the Power Of The Force four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was incredibly common. Ponda Baba was ridiculously overproduced, appearing on at least two different cards as an identical sculpt. In other words, Ponda Baba is a poor investment and it may often be found dirt cheap, especially since there have been at least two recasts since.


Ponda Baba might look cool, but he doesn't stand up. In a pinch this is a fine background figure for displays, but for those serious about getting the best Star Wars figures for play or display, this may be passed by.

For other Star Wars: A New Hope figures in the "Power Of The Force" line, please check out my reviews of:
Death Star Gunner
Cantina Aliens 3-pack
Death Star Escape 3-pack
Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise


For other action figure reviews, please be sure to visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

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