Thursday, April 5, 2012

Balance Issues Are All That Keeps The Vintage Collection General Grievous From Being The Ultimate Griveous Figure!

The Good: Amazing articulation, Amazing sculpt, Great coloring detail, Good sculpt for certain poses, Great accessories.
The Bad: Balance issues/lack of support.
The Basics: General Grievous is easily one of the coolest Clone Troopers and one that ought to be added to anyone's Star Wars toy or display collection!

It was not very long ago – just over a year ago, I believe – that I did not have a single General Grievous action figure. My wife changed that by picking me up the Saga Collection General Grievous (reviewed here!) and I snuck the two-armed Saga Legends General Grievous into the house a short time after that (that’s reviewed here!). Since then, I was mostly content, though I had seen the Vintage Collection General Grievous several times in stores and it looked like it had vastly more articulation than the Saga Collection one. When I found one at Five Below last weekend, I could not resist picking up what I believed would be endorsed by me as the “Ultimate Grievous.”


Hasbro came so close to perfection and honestly, all that truly needs to change on this figure is the feet to make the perfect, never-make-another-one General Grievous action figure. As it is, I think I’m out. This is it for me.

For those unfamiliar with General Grievous, he was the patsy villain in Revenge Of The Sith (click here for the review of the film!). A killer of Jedi, the mostly-robotic cyborg General Grievous appears to be a Sith robot (from the eyes), though he is pretty easily dispatched by Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The Vintage Collection casting of General Grievous is exceptionally articulated and would be absolutely perfect, if only the balance were better for the figure when he was stood in complicated poses.


General Grievous is incredibly detailed both in the sculpt and the coloring. Standing at a full 5" tall when he actually stands tall, the Vintage Collection General Grievous was released in the first wave of 2010 Vintage Collection action figures. This is one of the few figures that has both plastic and cloth elements that actually looks real good with them. Because this Grievous includes both the cape and the four arms, it is arguably the definitive General Grievous action figure.

This toy is a very cool sculpt, which is the robotic General Grievous with every panel and joint looking realistic and cool. The sculpt is so detailed that the two chest panels that protect General Grievous’s biological components may be removed and the portions of the cyborg that are below them have both the sculpted details and coloring details that match what was seen in the film! This Grievous has pretty impressive sculpted aspects like the thin, clawed toes and the plates and panels on every piece of the robot visible under the battle droid-like armor. The face is clear and well-molded, including the side vanes on the head. The sculpt is an immaculate rendition of General Grievous.

The coloring is also excellent, though this is a fairly clean rendition of General Grievous (especially the cape). General Grievous is basically a two-colored droid. However, Hasbro correctly accented the droid on the face – the eyes are immaculately colored in their tiny eye holes – and on the shins where the armor actually has some rust colored accents. The portions of General Grievous’s chest underneath the armor are also appropriately green to look like the biological parts of the cyborg. General Grievous can be a pretty easy character to color correctly and Hasbro got it right with the Vintage Collection rendition!


General Grievous, brutal slayer of the Jedi, comes with five accessories, none of which are unique to this figure. General Grievous comes with: a blaster, two lightsaber hilts and two lightsabers. The blaster pistol is a Republic staple and this version is the 1 3/16" long blaster with the rounded barrel and exceptionally detailed small scope on top. The monotonal black color the blaster makes it look clean and unused, though it still looks good in either of General Grievous’s two lower hands.

General Grievous also comes with two lightsabers- a pale green blade and pale blue blade – and two hilts. This allows one to put two of the hilts in the pockets in Grievous’s removable cloak and have two bladed lightsabers in his hands. All of the lightsabers and hilts fit in any of General Grievous’s four hands and look good there!


The four inch toy line was designed for play and General Grievous is almost perfect in that regard. This Vintage Collection figure has great articulation, but poor balance outside a few very carefully crafted poses. The balance issue was a huge disappointment for me as this is – by far – the most articulated and best looking General Grievous figure I have yet seen. However, it takes a LOT to get this Grievous posed and standing and, unfortunately, it can involve radically changing the pose from how one might want the figure displayed. This would be an issue that I could have overlooked if this figure only had the holes in its feet needed to connect it to any of the many playsets or vehicles with accompanying pegs. Alas, though, this General Grievous does not have holes in either feet which may be plugged into pegs on vehicle or playset toys! As a result, it cannot be posed in all the outlandish poses the joints ought to allow.

General Grievous comes with thirty points of articulation, most of which are not just simple swivel joints. General Grievous has joints at the ankles, knees (two sets, above and below the kneecap!), groin socket, shoulders (all four!), biceps (all four!), elbows (all four!), wrists (all four!), forearms (all four!), neck, and waist and he twists at any of those points. The shoulders, ankles, head and torso are all ball-and-socket joints. The head joint is on a ball-and-socket joint, which allows this General Grievous to look in all directions. This is, by far, the most articulated and poseable General Grievous made!

The additional, very cool playable aspect of this particular General Grievous is the fact that the four arms may be rotated and connected in order to make a two-armed version of General Grievous that still has more articulation than other two armed Grievi!


General Grievous is part of the 2010 Vintage Collection four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was not incredibly common, though this one keeps cropping up in virtually every assortment. Even so, General Grievous has been done several times before and because this particular figure was overproduced, this is not an ideal investment figure. This should be, however, the final General Grievous and if it is, that would make it appreciate eventually. Given that I was able to find one recently in the primary market for only five dollars, I suspect it will be a long time before this shows any appreciable growth. It is not an ideal investment figure.

General Grievous is VC17 in the Vintage Collection.


General Grievous from the Vintage Collection is the best General Grievous action figure yet and one worth picking up, especially at the currently deflated prices!

For other Vintage Collection figures, please check out my reviews of:
VCP03 Boba Fett
VC01 Dengar
VC05 AT-AT Commander
VC10 4-LOM
VC11 (Twin Pod) Cloud Car Pilot
VC22 Admiral Ackbar
VC37 Super Battle Droid
VC41 Commander Gree
VC46 AT-RT Driver
VC48 Weequay Skiff Master
VC49 Fi-Ek Sirch
VC53 Bom Vimdin
VC61 Boba Fett (Prototype Armor) Mail-In
VC65 TIE Fighter Pilot
VC82 Daultay Dofine
VC85 Quinlan Vos
VC86 Darth Maul


For other Star Wars toy reviews, please visit my Toy Review Index Page!

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