The Good: Good idea, Nice stand, Generally good poseability
The Bad: Flexibility/Sculpt issues
The Basics: With a VERY weak "recommend," Admiral Ozzel's action figure becomes a decent-enough addition to most fan's figure collections.
As I continue to clean up around the house to keep my new wife happy and prepare us for our inevitable move elsewhere, I find myself going through boxes of action figures and looking at many of them from at least five years of distance. I find, more often than not, that this allows me to evaluate them much more objectively than I would have been able to when they were originally released. So, for example, as I come across a box filled with a variety of figures including the first I've found of the 2003 Saga series of Star Wars figures, I find myself much less impressed by simple good ideas. The 2003 Star Wars figures featured brand new sculpts of many figures using improved sculpting technology and Star Wars action figures suddenly had a lot more articulation than they originally did.
As well, the 2003 Saga series included sculpts of some characters who had never been made into Hasbro action figures either since the beginning of the Star Wars action figure line or the reboot of the line that began in 1995. One of the new-to-the-line action figures was Hasbro's first crack at Admiral Ozzel. Admiral Ozzel, as his name suggests, was a high ranking Imperial officer aboard the Star Destroyer Executor in The Empire Strikes Back (reviewed here!). Admiral Ozzel is the officer who does not want to take the Imperial fleet to Hoth and comes out of hyperspace close to the system, for which Darth Vader rewards him with a strangulation compliments of the Force.
The 4" Admiral Ozzel figure is a good idea, but viewed objectively is much more average than extraordinary, though he is just good enough for die-hard fans to bother with.
Admiral Ozzel is a human Imperial officer seen only at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back. The figure stands 3 3/4" tall to the top of his Imperial box-shaped hat. Admiral Ozzel is dressed in a textured gray uniform of an Imperial Officer with tall black boots, a pair of black gloves and a hat as accents. The outfit is realistically clean, unmarred by dust or dirt the way a ranking admiral aboard a starship ought to be. The figure is made of hard plastic for his chest, torso and legs and accented by soft plastic arms and the bottom portion of the shirt which comes below the waist.
This toy is a decent sculpt for the uniform, but not the face. The uniform has such incredible detailing as the six red and six blue rank pins that denote his rank as an Admiral. He also has three pens tucked into chest pockets and a tiny pin in the center of his cap. His belt buckle is detailed as much as it was in the movie and the entire uniform has a texture to it that makes it appear like the weave of the outfit from the film.
Where the sculpt falls down is in the essential portion that defines this figure as Admiral Ozzel, namely his face. Ozzel was played by actor Michael Sheard and having seen The Empire Strikes Back many times and met Sheard in person (very nice guy!), this looks nothing like him. Instead, this figure looks more like Sheard as Adolf Hitler (whom he played four times in his career) and the figure I uncovered seems marred by a lack of attention to the finer details. The skin tones are monolithic without any realistic shading and the painted details are somewhat sloppy. For example, the character's mustache is molded onto the upper lip of the face, but it is painted on with a much broader handle than the character actually had. As well, there were paint flecks on my Ozzel's lips (he looks very teethy), his hair in back and even a slight smudge of one of the blue rank indicators.
Admiral Ozzel, dignified Imperial Officer who can delegate, comes with only two accessories: an imperial blaster and a stand which could be deck plating from the Executor. The stand is a simple 2 1/2" by 1 1/2" plastic block which stands just over 1/4" off the surface the figure is on. The sides of the stand have slots and two tabs so it may be interconnected with other stands. The black stand could be deck plating, save that it says Star Wars on it. It has a single peg which fits into either of Admiral Ozzel's feet (they have holes in the bottom) and it seems Hasbro has finally caught up with the Star Trek line by Playmates in trying to make the figures into display pieces.
Admiral Ozzel, being aboard the Executor probably does not need a firearm, but those who play with the toy will appreciate that he comes with a blaster pistol. The black plastic gun is just over an inch long and includes such molded surface details as the scope. It is simple, in scale with Admiral Ozzel - previous Star Wars toy lines had the firearms disturbingly large - and looks good.
The four inch toy line was designed for play and Admiral Ozzel gets real points in that regard. The figure is very well balanced on his stand or off. Flatfooted, Admiral Ozzel is well-balanced and manages to stay up even on surfaces that wobble, especially if he is plugged into his base. He can even be given outlandish upper-body poses and still remain balanced.
Admiral Ozzel is also gifted with quite a bit of articulation, which also sets him apart from Imperial officers from earlier Star Wars toy lines. He comes with ten points of articulation, all of which are simple swivel joints, save a head which is actually on a ball and socket joint! Admiral Ozzel has joints at the groin socket, shoulders, elbows, wrists, neck, and waist. The elbows do not extend, but the swivel joint there allows Ozzel to appear as if he is bending his elbows and aim his blaster. Rather coolly, the left hand of the figure is posed open and the figure is flexible enough to have Ozzel reaching for his neck as if Vader is choking him using the Force!
Unfortunately, his legs have limited articulation and no flexibility at the knees or ankles. Still, this is a very stable figure and he has the additional benefit of holes in the soles of his feet that may be stuck in pegs on various playsets or the stand. With those, he may be posed in almost limitless, straight-legged poses!
Admiral Ozzel is part of the 2003 Star Wars Saga four-inch line, a series of Star Wars action figures that was strangely uncommon. Admiral Ozzel was underproduced and this appears to be the only sculpt of him to date! This enhances his value as well. In the 2003 line, this was figure #15. Investors might want to hold onto the figure, if they can find it cheap, though it does appear to have received its bump in value from Sheard's death in 2005, one suspects years from now it will continue to appreciate in value.
Admiral Ozzel is a good villain for those who love the deeper Star Wars universe, despite being framed as a figure that does not look much like Ozzel. Still, the playability and poseability of this figure make it popular and worth the buy.
For other 2003 Original Trilogy Collection Star Wars figures from The Empire Strikes Back, please check out my reviews of:
#01 Hoth Rebel Trooper
#03 Hoth Attack Luke Skywalker
#13 Hoth Rescue Han Solo
#17 Executor Meeting Dengar
#18 Executor Meeting Bossk
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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