Monday, April 9, 2012

Fishing For Imperfections, The Vintage Collection Zam Wesell Is A Near-Perfect Bounty Hunter Figure!

The Good: Wonderful coloring detail, Great accessories, Wonderful articulation, General collectible value
The Bad: One minor coloring issue, One minor accessory issue.
The Basics: The Vintage Collection completely resculpts and recreates Zam Wesell, one of the significant bounty hunters from the Prequel Trilogy, with only a few minor issues.

Right now, I am feeling like a bit of a chump. I write that and feel that way because of Zam Wesell. Zam Wesell, as an action figure, has been subject to a few poorly rendered figures. The Attack Of The Clones premiere figure (reviewed here!) had serious balance issues and the 12” Zam Wesell doll (reviewed here!) had some real proportion issues. So, when I saw the Vintage Collection Zam Wesell figure was hitting the market, I hunted (casually) for it. When I was pleasantly surprised to find it online a few weeks ago at right around the original issue price, I happily bought one. Then, two weeks ago – a week after mine arrived in the mail – my wife and I were out at Five Below and there was the entire Attack Of The Clones Assortment of Vintage Collection figures. Zam Wesell is available dirt cheap in the primary market right now because, apparently, few retailers actually picked up this assortment of Star Wars action figures. Go figure.

For those unfamiliar with the Zam Wesell, she was the influential bounty hunter at the outset of Attack Of The Clones (reviewed here!) who was hired to kill Senator Amidala. It is Zam Wesell who leads Obi-Wan and Anakin on a high-speed chase around Coruscant. She is the Changeling who has limited shape-shifting abilities and the high-powered rifle that nearly kills Obi-Wan Kenobi!

The 4" Zam Wesell was completely recast from the Attack Of The Clones Zam Wesell figure for the 2010 Vintage Collection and it was part of an assortment that appeared briefly at the end of 2010 and early 2011 before disappearing . . . until now.


The Zam Wesell figure stands 3 1/2" tall to the top of her head. She is an alien who looks pretty human and is distinctive in her purple/maroon flight suit. This Zam Wesell figure is made out of hard plastic, save the skirt and attached holster/controls.

This toy is a pretty wonderful sculpt, with a level of detail that was not possible a decade ago. Zam Wesell looks incredible, from the little spikes on the instep of each foot’s boot to the pouches for her comm devices, this figure has ever detail from the character seen briefly in Attack Of The Clones! The character’s gauntlets are detailed as if they have secret functions and her skirt looks appropriately protective. Even the head sculpt is impressive with the short hair that looks almost wet and slicked back. The sculpt even features extended trigger fingers on either hand, so the detailing is pretty incredible.

Zam Wesell is colored with absolutely amazing attention to detail. While her skintones are pretty much monotonal, there is a slight blush to her cheeks and her eyes feature both irises and pupils that are colored. But the real detailing comes in the simplicity of her armor and outfit. Each control, pouch and button on the figure is colored to be distinctly an object that (in the real world would be) looks detachable. But there is not a single part of Zam Wesell that is monotonally colored. The purple outfit is brushed with brown and gray to make it look like Wesell has been working in the filthy underworld and that makes her fit in perfectly with all of the latest Star Wars action figures! This is a pretty incredible rendition as far as the coloring goes.


Zam Wesell is a bounty hunter, so all she comes armed to the teeth! This Zam Wesell features six accessories: her blaster, her rifle, her Changeling head, her helmet with scopes and two veils. Zam Wesell’s blaster is one of the distinctive sidearms of the Star Wars Saga. The 9/16” long blaster is entirely silver and features a flared muzzle end. The tiny gun has great surface detailing, including the trigger button and it fits nicely in either hand of the figure. Unfortunately, it does not actually fit into the holster on Zam Wesell’s right thigh.

The rifle is anything but monotonal! Measuring just under 3”, the blaster rifle is black and silver and has the accurate trigger guard as well as the back trigger. The scope on this accessory makes it look lethal and ready! This Zam Wesell figure features enough articulation to actually hold the blaster rifle in both hands and look pretty amazing there!

The helmet is a cool silver-gray helmet that features the scope array that Zam Wesell’s helmet had in Attack Of The Clones. Brushed with black tones to look weathered, the helmet matches perfectly the rest of the figure and it fits on either of the figure’s heads! The scopes are perfectly rendered so that when they are lowered from the helmet, they fit precisely over the figure’s eyes.

The two veils attach to the helmet and are maroon, red and brushed with darker tones to match perfectly the rest of the figure. The one veil attaches to both sides of the helmet and covers all of Zam Wesell’s face below the eyes, making it impossible to identify the inscrutable bounty hunter! The other veil attaches to only one side and represents the veil pulled aside, as Zam Wesell did when she was speaking with Jango Fett. The one-side veil actually looks pretty good and fits the figure perfectly. When either veil is attached, the scopes may not be lowered over the figure’s eyes.

Finally, there is the alternate head and one of the few problems with the Zam Wesell figure. Zam Wesell comes with her green Changeling head. The head is olive green, has wide eyes and is detailed enough to include the gills and pointed ears of the Changeling. The head fits perfectly atop the head of the figure by simply popping the human head off and replacing it. Alas, doing that does not change the neck area! Zam Wesell’s neck is still that of a Caucasian human, so the green head looks somewhat ridiculous atop the figure.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Zam Wesell is pretty awesome in that regard. First, the figure has great balance. Flatfooted, Zam Wesell is very solid, and because of the lower half articulation of the figure, she has decent posing options. As well, she features the holes in the bottom of her feet that allow her to stand tall on any number of playsets in outlandish poses or stand in an action pose one may imagine!
Zam Wesell holds up exceptionally well in the articulation department, despite the skirt being problematic. She has hinged ball and socket joints at the ankles, knees, elbows and shoulders, as well as a ball and socket joint which allows a great range of motion for the head. The wrists, groin socket and bust all have simple swivel joints that provide the figure with more than enough posing options to make the figure worthwhile!

Unfortunately, Zam Wesell’s skirt is slightly problematic. I love the soft plastic/rubber as opposed to making it with cloth. That is great and looks amazing. The controls are also well-rendered and they attach well to the figure. Oddly, they are detachable so they can separate from the main body of the figure. What is weird is that the skirt may not be removed from the figure after that! The controls pull out of the body, but the legs are set too wide and the shoulders also prevent the skirt from being slipped off! This makes it prohibitive for the figure to sit in any accessory or vehicle that she otherwise would have.

Also, it is worth noting that none of Zam Wesell’s limbs are detachable, so those looking to have her have a showdown with the Jedi will still have to use their imagination!


Zam Wesell is part of the Vintage Collection line that was released in 2010 and it is one of the easier ones to find at the moment, given that the assortment appears to have been dumped at Five Below stores. Zam Wesell is Vintage Collection figure VC30 and it easily replaces the Attack Of The Clones version of the character. Given how much Hasbro got right with this figure, this might reasonably be the final version of this figure, making it a stronger investment figure in the long run than it might initially appear. Assuming Hasbro does not release a similar figure when the 3-D version of Attack Of The Clones is theatrically released, it seems reasonable that this figure will appreciate in value.


Despite the very minor issues with playability and coloring regarding the alternate head, the Vintage Collection Zam Wesell figure is by far the best rendition of the character yet, making it an easy figure to recommend for any Star Wars fan’s collection!

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
VC17 General Grievous
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 check out my index page on the subject by clicking here!

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