Saturday, March 23, 2013

Warping Away From Average, The Shadows Of The Empire Boba Fett Vs. IG-88 Is Only Fair.

The Good: Good balance, Fair sculpt
The Bad: Serious poesability issues, A better sculpt exists, Limbs have warped over time.
The Basics: From the Shadows Of The Empire toy line, the Boba Fett Vs IG-88 two-pack is cool, but not the very best rendition of the character in action figure form.

When it comes to Star Wars action figures, there are a number of figures that leave collectors with an odd sense of anti-nostalgia. It is incredibly easy to look back, especially at the Power Of The Force toy line and say, “What were we thinking, praising that?!” At the time, the only frame of reference was the original Kenner toy line from the early 1980s, which was pretty primitive. But since the Power Of The Force line-up began in the mid-1990s, Star Wars action figures have become exceptionally detailed and been blessed with increased articulation. This makes it easier to want to upgrade one’s collection to the newer figures, away from even the Power Of The Force and Shadows Of The Empire (which were released around the same time) toys. One of the first Shadows Of The Empire figures I advise chucking into the droid parts pile and replacing is IG-88.

IG-88 was only available in a two-pack with Boba Fett. The Boba Fett Vs. IG-88 two-pack from the Shadows Of The Empire toy line was initially popular because of the two popular bounty hunters it included. However, real fans who actually opened up the toys quickly discovered that the Boba Fett figure in the two pack was simply the Power Of The Force Boba Fett (reviewed here!), with less sophisticated coloring detail! Because that figure was thoroughly reviewed elsewhere, I’ll focus on the IG-88 figure in this two-pack. Fortunately, the Boba Fett is not nearly enough to redeem this two-pack.

For those unfamiliar with IG-88, it is a killer droid seen momentarily in The Empire Strikes Back (reviewed here!). In the infamous Bounty Hunter Scene, it is a robot puppet that stands near Boba Fett and looks inscrutable.

The 4" Shadows Of The Empire IG-88 figure has been improved upon since. That makes the Shadows Of The Empire rendition one that is ideal as a background droid, but no longer as a primary IG-88 for fans, collectors or those who want the best possible play experience.


IG-88 is a pretty badass droid that is thin and tall. For the Shadows Of The Empire version, IG-88 stands 4 5/8" tall from his boxy feet to the top of his rounded head. As a droid, IG-88 naturally has no costume to comment about costuming details about. This IG-88 figure even had its bandoleer molded to the body of the droid.

This version of IG-88 is a pretty underwhelming sculpt. The figure is essentially one solid piece, as opposed to the later versions which made the figure layered in order to increase the surface detailing and the sense of intricate parts the original droid puppet actually possessed. This version of IG-88 is colored with a simple gunmetal color with very few highlights or accents. The bandoleer, for example, has three sloppily applied silver paint dots to detail it and IG-88’s “eyes” are paint dots that fill the holes on the droid’s conical head. The figure’s hands are claws that lack the supporting under claw that later versions of the figure possessed. The ribbing at the joints to imply some level of flexibility for the assassin droid is also very primitive.

Over the last few years, I have noticed that the figure’s legs, which are fairly thin, have begun to warp so that IG-88’s left foot no longer sits flat on the surfaces upon which I try to stand the figure. IG-88 is recognizable, but in no way detailed to match the sophistication of the original character.


IG-88, deadly robotic bounty hunter, comes only with his blaster rifle and blaster pistol. Monotonally colored, the black blaster rifle is 2 9/16” long, has a scope molded to the top and fits in either of IG-88’s hands. Hasbro included a pair of ridges on the handle. This prevents (in theory) the gun from becoming front heavy in the figure’s grasp and making the figure look awkward. While it originally succeeded, over the years as the claws have aged and opened up a little, the gun still tilts forward in the figure’s grasp.

The blaster pistol has a similar grip, though it was not frontheavy, so it has not caused any issues with pitching forward in IG-88’s claw. Outside the ridges on the handle, IG-88’s blaster pistol is a standard Imperial blaster pistol. It is 1 5/8” long, monotonal black and has the power pack on the side and a little attachment on the underside of the front of the muzzle that makes it almost look like it was intended to be a flamethrower!

As part of the Shadows Of The Empire toy line, the Boba Fett Vs. IG-88 two-pack comes with a comic book from Dark Horse Comics. The action figure exclusive includes an abbreviated version of the space battle between IG-88 and Boba Fett which was part of their Shadows Of The Empire graphic novel (reviewed here!). It is, by no means, the complete story, nor enough to justify picking the figure up for the comic book alone.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and IG-88 is comparatively poor in that regard. The figure is articulated poorly, though to be fair this is a tough figure to articulate. It comes with only six points of articulation, though it barely stands when its feet are moved well out of flatfooted position. It has joints at the groin socket, shoulders, waist, and head. All of the joints are simple swivel joints, including the shoulders. IG-88 is posed entirely with straight arms and legs, making it virtually impossible to put it in most of the vehicles.

It has holes in either foot to make it stand on the pegs that adorn some of the Star Wars playsets. The Saga Legends IG-88 had greater poseability, so this is ideal more for background scenes than actual play.


The Boba Fett Vs. IG-88 two-pack is part of the expanded saga Shadows Of The Empire four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was fairly common. Even as a premium offering fans the first IG-88 of the new toy line, this was incredibly overproduced and it has since plummeted in value.


While the Boba Fett Vs. IG-88 two-pack from the Shadows Of The Empire toy line may easily be found inexpensively enough, it is hard to justify the expense of having it shipped to you now. Instead, it is a lackluster figure set that includes two figures that have since been recast, repainted, and re-presented to please fans more than this two-pack ever could.

For other IG-88 toys, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
Power Of The Jedi 12” IG-88
Saga Legends IG-88
Power Of The Jedi IG-88


For other toy reviews, please visit my Toy Review Index Page for an organized listing!

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