Friday, February 10, 2012

A Villain Is Always Better When He Can Stand; The Shadows Of The Empire Prince Xizor Is Only Mediocre.

The Good: Very inexpensive, Cool accessory.
The Bad: Terrible balance issues, Light on coloring details, Low articulation.
The Basics: The Shadows Of The Empire Prince Xizor figure is a concept figure that simply does not stand up.

There are few concept figures from Star Wars that actually have the originality of Prince Xizor. Lately, when Hasbro does a concept figure, it tends to be a pretty boring variation on a Clone Trooper or a droid that could have appeared in a background scene of one of the Star Wars films. But Prince Xizor is an action figured based upon the multi-media Star Wars project Shadows Of The Empire!

For those unfamiliar with the Prince Xizor, he was the head of the criminal underworld, Black Sun, in the book Shadows Of The Empire (reviewed here). Working for the Emperor to control the seedy underbelly of crime, much the way Darth Vader was used to control the Imperial Military, Xizor was a gangster and villain who acted as an adversary to the Rebels in the time between The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi!

The 4" Prince Xizor figure is a very average action figure, but he falls over constantly, seriously reducing his value on every front. Looking somewhat primitive by today’s standards, the Prince Xizor figure is average at its very best.


The Prince Xizor is a green-skinned alien who has four elongated finger that end in wicked-looking nails. The Prince Xizor figure stands 4 1/4" tall to the top of his bald, green, somewhat reptellian head. He has a pony tail and a slight bit of hair behind his left ear, also back in a tight black strand. Xizor is sculpted with a stern-looking visage and little beady eyes that glare at the consumer. He is constructed with hard plastic, save his stiff plastic robes. The robes look very Oriental and this makes Prince Xizor look like an alien samurai gangster.

This toy is a decent sculpt, looking like the Prince Xizor, as he appeared in the video game for Shadows Of The Empire. Prince Xizor is colored very basically. The figure lacks any shading depth or subtlety. So, all of his skin is the same green color, his outfit is two shades of purple with minimal ornamentation – only around the edges and he lacks any finer details. Even Xizor’s eyes are simply white dots with small black circles within them. Xizor’s lips and nails are also lacking any coloring to set them apart from the rest of the figure.


The Prince Xizor, elite gangster leader that he is, comes only with a pair of energy blade shields. The 2 3/4” long by 1 7/8” wide fan separates into two handheld energy blade shields. These are like lightsabers – translucent blue on a black handgrip, save that instead of being sword-shaped, these are shaped like a three segment fan. These look cool, but are not detailed in any meaningful way. Xizor can hold one energy blade shield per hand or connect them into the larger weapon/shield to hold both in one hand.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and the Prince Xizor is poor in that regard. The figure is mildly articulated and has absolutely terrible balance. The figure tips over when the feet are flatfooted or when the figure’s feet are moved even slightly out of a flatfooted position. This Prince Xizor has only six points of articulation, with swivel joints at the groin socket, shoulders, neck and waist. The robes, stiff as they are, inhibit most of the movement of the legs and – ironically – are not quite stiff enough to hold the figure up! As a result, this is a figure that ends up on his back more often than not.


The Prince Xizor is part of the Shadows Of The Empire four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was exceptionally common. This was a pegwarmer at the time and was massively overproduced, arguably because the concept did not catch on with anyone other than the die-hard fans and collectors. Now, it remains easy to find on the secondary market and may be easily and inexpensively replaced should you actually want one. In other words, this figure is a terrible investment piece!


The Shadows Of The Empire Prince Xizor is a literally lame figure that is a throwback to a time when Star Wars figures were much cheaper than they are now. While concept figures are a catch-22 for collectors to begin with, the Prince Xizor figure is a stronger concept with a terribly weak execution. That makes it ultimately easy to pass by.

For other Star Wars concept figures, please check out my reviews of:
Legacy Collection HK-50
Legacy Collection EVO Trooper
Comic Packs Wedge Antilles and Borsk Fey'lya


For other toy reviews, please click here to visit my index page!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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