Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bossk, The Badass Reptilian Bounty Hunter Barely Balances (But Looks Cool!)

The Good: Amazing detailing, Good coloring, Great costume work, Decent accessory
The Bad: Slight balancing issues
The Basics: Easily one of the coolest-looking bounty hunters, the 12" Bossk would have been perfect if only his balance weren't off!

A few days ago, I began cleaning out a display I have. In the process of moving, all of my dolls got knocked over and because I have them sealed in a giant aquarium so I never have to dust them (clever idea, great way to use old aquariums!) I needed to open the display up anyway so I decided I would take a little time, reset the display and review all of the dolls in the display. I reviewed 4-LOM last week and quite some time before that, I reviewed Aurra Sing (reviewed here!). But no, my doll collection is not just those two dolls.

And yes, my collection is a collection of 12" Star Wars Action Figures. They are dolls by all accounts with cloth costumes and one of the best they did was Bossk. Bossk, like many of the bounty hunters, was not a speaking part and he (or it) appeared in a single scene in The Empire Strikes Back (reviewed here!), which is pretty much known as the bounty hunter scene in that movie. For those not versed in Star Wars lore, that's the very brief scene aboard an Imperial Star Destroyer where Darth Vader hires a group of bounty hunters to capture Han Solo in his attempt to trap Luke Skywalker. There are several bounty hunters standing in a line and Bossk is the lizard-like creature that growls at an Imperial officer. Common Star Wars lore claims that it is Bossk who is the bounty hunter who appears in the background in Jabba's Palace in Return Of The Jedi (reviewed here!) as well. Given that it's not a speaking role, there's not much to contradict or corroborate that save that they look identical.


Bossk is a reptilian bounty hunter that had perhaps ten seconds of screentime in The Empire Strikes Back and less in Return Of The Jedi. The figure stands 12 1/8" tall to the top of the crest ridge on its head. Bossk is a puke yellow color on its head and more of a greenish tone on its arms and feet. The scales on the arms, hands and feet are accented with reddish-brown highlights that add a realistic depth to the skin tones. The figure is made of hard plastic and after four or more years out of its packaging, it shows no fading or wear from light or air sources. The head, unlike the main body of the figure, is made of a lightly more elastic (or rubbery) plastic, though the coloring is consistent with the rest of the figure.

This toy is a wonderful sculpt, looking precisely like the bounty hunter. Bossk is amazing in its coloring detail, including reddish-brown highlights on the back of the figure's head. This looks like a lizard man with real depth and tone to its body.


Bossk, modest lizard creature that it is, comes dressed in a flight jumpsuit made of actual cloth. Bossk's outfit is held on with Velcro in the back and truth be told, I've never tried to undress it. The stitching on the costume is actually fairly impressive and the figure looks good. The outfit is accented with plastic accents like a chest piece that has some pretty extraordinary detailing to it. As well, on its ankles, there are little tools or bombs or ammunition that are actually carefully inserted into fabric loops. This is a level of care and detailing that makes this a superlative display piece!

Bossk, like a good bounty hunter, comes with a firearm. This is an five inch plastic blaster rifle that fits perfectly in its right hand. The blaster rifle is detailed well as far as containing all of the nooks and crannies the firearm appears to have in the film, including the strap that allows Bossk to keep the weapon slung over its shoulder! There is no detailing that makes it look worn or more realistic, though, as this is simply solid black plastic. It is a fairly faithful replica of what appeared in The Empire Strikes Back and it looks good in Bossk's claw!


I don't know who plays with these twelve-inch figures. As far as displaying, though, there is much to recommend Bossk. First, this is a well-articulated action figure. Bossk is impressively poseable, despite having only nine points of articulation. This bounty hunter has joints at the knees, groin socket, shoulders, elbows and neck. The neck is a simple swivel socket, which is all right. As a result, it can turn its head left to right, but not front to back as any sort of nodding motion. However, the shoulder joints and groin are both ball and socket joints, so the hunter's arms and legs move realistically! As well, the joints are all hidden beneath the fabric costume allowing for decent range-of-motion without looking doofy from inconsistencies in any aspect of the creature or its costume.

There are limits to the arm's range of motion, though. As a result, Bossk cannot do things like hold the blaster rifle in a two-handed supporting position. Bossk cannot turn at the waist, which does limit some of its poseability. More problematic is that Bossk is not incredibly well balanced. When posed in a flatfooted position, its claws press down, or the feet rise near the toe claws, which throws the balance off slightly. As a result, it is virtually impossible to get Bossk so stable that he does not wobble or shake at all from vibrations near one's display. Bossk can be situated such that it does not fall over. Still, it is not the easiest figure to balance completely.


Bossk is part of the Power Of The Jedi twelve-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that were released during a time that they were largely being mass produced. Bossk was actually fairly common, which tended to devalue the figure quite a bit (though most of the Star Wars figures have taken a hit from overproduction and the sheer number of them that have not been taken out of their packaging on the hopes that someday they might be an investment that pays dividends).

In other words, Bossk is only truly worth something to people who have a fetish for bounty hunters or aliens, it is not going to be a gold mine for anyone's collection.


Bossk is one of the coolest looking bounty hunters and this is an amazing sculpt of the creature with an impressive costume. If only it had been designed to stand perfectly flatfooted, this would have been a perfect doll.

For other 12" Power Of The Jedi dolls, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Han Solo In Carbonite
Slave Leia


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

© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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