Saturday, February 16, 2013

Outside The Coloring, The Vintage Collection Kithaba (Skiff Guard) Is A Great Star Wars Action Figure!

The Good: Awesome accessories, Good articulation, Incredible sculpt, Great balance
The Bad: Coloring is wrong!
The Basics: The Vintage Collection Kithaba (Skiff Guard) initially looks great, but Hasbro inexplicably got the coloring of the figure wrong for key areas!

Really, Hasbro?! I am baffled by Hasbro right now, a company that has started making pretty incredible sculpts of its Star Wars figures, yet seems unable to match their own figures to the artwork on the figure’s card! I am looking at the Vintage Collection Kithaba action figure, which my wife picked me up as a pre-anniversary present on our last trip to the nearest city with a Toys R’ Us, and I am stymied. The Kithaba (Skiff Guard) action figure was never one of my first choice figures, but when she was in a gifting mood and the figures were on sale “two for . . .”, this became the figure that I got as the second to meet the sale’s requirements and get the reduced price. No sooner had I brought the figures back to the car to show my loving wife than she noted, of the Kithaba,”They mixed up the colors.” And she is right. The picture clearly shows the character of the Kithaba (Skiff Guard) with a bright red bandanna and dark pants, but the figure has bright red pants and a muddy brown-gray bandana on its head! And the photo clearly shows the character has green skin.

So, from this, we are led to believe that Hasbro creates immaculate sculpts (because the Kithaba is a masterwork on the sculpting front) based either on memory or people who suffer from a chromatic dyslexia and mix up the colors they see! I would think someone in quality control would have caught, very early on in the process, that the figure’s colors were reversed and did not match the picture and for a toy line that is usually exceptional, this robs the Kithaba (Skiff Guard) of a perfect rating.

For those unfamiliar with the Kithaba Skiff Guard, he is one of the many leathery-skinned goons who knocked around the Rebels in Return Of The Jedi (reviewed here!). At the Pit Of Carkoon, the Kithaba Skiff Guard was charged with making sure Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca did not escape before they were thrown to the Sarlaac monster. If he hadn’t been killed, he would probably be unemployed now.

The 4" Kithaba Skiff Master was completely recast from the prior figures and this version seems to be sitting on the shelves from a line that otherwise sold out.


The Kithaba Skiff Guard figure stands 3 7/8" tall to the top of his ridged, bald head. He is an alien who basically looks like an alien pirate.

This toy is a decent sculpt, in fact it is easy to see with the quality of the sculpt why many fans might overlook the coloring issue! The figure features a fluffy-looking shirt with a belt featuring a pistol holster that is functional and a belt across his chest (made of soft plastic that I discovered is actually detachable. The pants of the Kithaba Skiff Guard are tucked into his boots and that is a great, sensible detail for a reptile character in the desert who does not want to get sand in its boots! But what is most impressive about the sculpt are the hands and face. This looks just like the bulldog-like reptile shown on the package as far as the sculpt goes and the hands look bony and defined at each joint. They also feature the character’s fingernails which is a pretty cool fine detail!

The Kithaba Skiff Guard is way off on the coloring for the outfit and the skin tones, though – ironically – Hasbro got the right colors for the bandana and pants, they just reversed them! That said, the detailing for the eyes and teeth is an incredible masterwork of coloring precision and the figure looks great, divorced from the reality of the photograph. Hasbro also gave the white and light tan shirts this character wears a dirty grain that looks very realistic!


The Kithaba Skiff Guard works for Jabba The Hutt and thus needs only two things: a pole staff and a blaster pistol. The pole staff is the same as the one found in the Vintage Collection Slave Leia figures, down to the coloring. It is a 3 3/4" staff that has a paddle at the base. It is monotonally colored the same color as the character’s bandana, but either of his hands hold it!

As for the blaster, the 13/16” long blaster looks exactly like the handheld weapon used by many of Jabba’s goons at the outset of Return Of The Jedi! The blaster features ailver accents on the sides which distinguish it easily from other blasters in the Star Wars universe. The blaster fits in either of the Kithaba Skiff Guard’s hands or in the holster on the goon’s belt!


The four inch toy line was designed for play and the Kithaba Skiff Master is exceptionally good for it. First, the figure has amazing balance. Flatfooted, the Kithaba Skiff Master is entirely solid and it can even be posed in a few poses outside the flatfooted position. The holes in the bottom of his feet allow him to stand tall on any number of playsets in outlandish poses or in more threatening poses as befits his station and position.

As well, the Kithaba Skiff Master holds up exceptionally well in the articulation department. He 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 waist all have simple swivel joints that provide the figure with more than enough posing options to make the figure worthwhile!


The Kithaba Skiff Guard is part of the Vintage Collection line that was released in 2011 and it is one of the easier ones to find. He was packaged in lines that included Nom Anor and the deleted scenes-based Return Of The Jedi figures, so he ended up as something of an oversight to many collectors (or maybe fans were savvy enough to catch the coloring issue right away and reject the figure!). The Kithaba Skiff Guard is Vintage Collection figure VC56. It is hard to believe this figure will appreciate in value.


The Vintage Collection Kithaba Skiff Guard would easily be a perfect figure, if only Hasbro had bother to color the figure right!

For other Vintage Collection figures of characters from Return Of The Jedi, please check out my reviews of:
Endor AT-ST Crew
Ewok Scouts Two-Pack
VCP3 Boba Fett (Mail-Away)
VC09 Boba Fett
VC21 Gamorrean Guard
VC22 Admiral Ackbar
VC48 Weequay Skiff Master
VC64 Princess Leia (Slave Outfit)
VC65 TIE Fighter Pilot
VC87 Luke Skywalker (Lightsaber Construction)
VC88 Princess Leia (Sandstorm Outfit)
VC89 Lando Calrissian (Sandstorm Outfit)
VC90 Colonel Cracken
VC91 Rebel Pilot (Mon Calamari)


For other Star Wars toy reviews, please check out my Star Wars Toy Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment