The Good: Fairly decent sculpts, Great balance, Decent base, Very good coloring on the figures
The Bad: Cheap cardboard backdrop, Low articulation, Abysmal collectible value.
The Basics: You can never have too many thugs and guards for Jabba’s Palace or a Tatooine scene, so the Jabba’s Skiff Guards 3-Pack is still worth picking up!
There are very few older figures that have been recast that I continue to recommend the older versions of. Still, when something is well-made, it’s worth picking up even if there is a version with more bells and whistles, at least when it comes to action figures. After all, with many action figures, they fill out scenes where more creatures, soldiers, or aliens make for a richer play or display environment. Arguably one of the best values in the Star Wars figure market – even now – is the Jabba’s Skiff Guards 3-pack!
The Jabba’s Skiff Guards is a collection from Return Of The Jedi (click here for the review of the film!) that features three different aliens seen mulling around the floating skiffs Jabba uses when he takes the heroes off to be executed at the Pit of Carkoon. The characters of Klaatu, Barada, and the generic Nikto fight and die for Jabba over the course of a single scene.
The 4" figures are decent, at least as support characters for the ships with which they are associated.
This is a set of three action figures and a "playset" (or more accurately a play environment). The Jabba’s Skiff Guards fits the 4" figure line and the three figures each come with a accessory. The Nikto figure is the brown and green amphibian or reptile in his skiff guard outfit. The figure stands 4" tall to the top of his head, which has a cloth wrap molded to it. This version of Nikto is underdetailed on the costume, but surprisingly cool on the level of detail for the face and hands. The face has tiny horns and bumps, the hands have similar detailing (with even the barest fingernails). The costume is a clean version of leather armor for the top, but the “white” pants are actually colored and shaded to look dirty and worn. The shin guards are a nice detail as well!
Klaatu looks like his white outfit has actually been through a sandstorm, which makes perfect sense for the character. Klaatu is colored a rich forest green and looks more amphibious than reptilian. The coloring detail – the shading and depth to the face and hands, make this 3 7/8” figure look like he was based on something more real than a latex mask.
The real grail of this set might well be Barada. Barada is green and yellow-skinned with mottling that looks entirely realistic. Even the headband the figure wears looks somewhat deteriorated and worn. His white shirt is speckled to look like it is dirty and dusty and he even has cool details like a backpack molded to his back!
As for the background play environment, the base is a 9 3/4" inch long by two inch wide section of skiff deck and it has a slot in the back. The slot is just wide enough for the cardboard back that has the mural of the sands of Tatooine and Jabba’s main Sail Barge on it. The cardboard backer is problematic because it is easily bent, but by this time Hasbro designed it so that it came completely ready for play. It does not need to be cut out at the bottom to fit into the slot. The base has three plastic pegs which fit the holes in the figures' feet and allow them to easily stand on the base.
Each of the Jabba’s Skiff Guards figures come a single accessory, tailored to them. Klaatu comes with a 3 5/16” vibro-ax that is cast in a brownish gunmetal color plastic that fits the earth tones of his costume – boots, shoulder pads – well. It is a monotonal colored weapon with a decent amount of surface details like two blades that look like they would be deadly!
The Nikto figure features a three-pronged force pike that is the same length as Klaatu’s vibro-ax. Colored in a gunmetal colored plastic, this is a well-detailed accessory that fits nicely in Nikto’s two-handed grip.
Barada comes with a simple, somewhat underwhelming 1 1/2” black plastic blaster pistol. Given how detailed the figure is, it stands out, being clean and monotonal, in his hand.
The four inch toy line was designed for play and the guards fit that fairly well and the play environment is a good idea. Still, the figures are poorly articulated and later sculpts - there are later sculpts of each of Jabba’s Skiff Guards - improved upon them a little bit. All three figures have limited articulation, but great balance even when they are off their action base. As well, all three figures have foot pegs so they can stand on the play base easily enough. Still, the figures come with only five points of articulation each all of which are simple swivel joints. They have joints at the groin socket, shoulders, and neck. The elbows do not extend, so all arm posing is straight-armed.
The Jabba’s Skiff Guards play environment is part of the Power Of The Force four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was incredibly common. This three pack was tragically overproduced and is exceptionally easy to find in the secondary market, even now. Given that subsequent three-packs of Jabba’s Skiff Guards include figures with better articulation and more accessories, it is hard to imagine the value on this three-pack ever bouncing back. Even so, the quality of these figures is hard to deny, making it worth buying while they are available so inexpensively now.
The Jabba’s Skiff Guards three-pack is a decent set of alien warriors that fleshes out and Jabba’s Palace type play environment, even now. That makes it worth picking up and a surprisingly easy set to recommend!
For other Star Wars 3-packs of action figures, please check out my reviews of:
Final Jedi Duel
For other toy reviews, please visit my index page!
© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.