When I first heard about this new line of Vintage 12” Star Wars figures from Gentle Giant that would recreate the classic 3.75” Kenner Star Wars figures in 12” form, my first thought was cool idea but is it something I (not personally much of a 12” collector) would really be interested in? Then I started to look at the figures during San Diego Comic Con, and I thought, yeah this is definitely a cool idea.
The folks at Gentle Giant told me that they took 3-D scans of the original Kenner figures and recreated them in 12” form in exact detail down to the original Kenner counterparts. From what I could tell by looking at them in the glass cases, they did just that. Of course at the time I didn’t have any Kenner figures in-hand to compare but from what I could remember, they looked pretty good. Still for $85 (the price tag for the San Diego Comic Con exclusive Stormtrooper and the Celebration V exclusive Boba Fett), I just couldn’t decide if this is something I would be willing to collect. Just like a lot of you, I grew up playing with the old Kenner figures and they do have a special place in my heart but not being a 12” collector, I still had my doubts.
Finally at Celebration V, I got my hands on the CV exclusive Boba Fett and decided it was time for an in-depth look at this line to determine just how good or bad the line really is. Let me tell you, this is a really cool line.
My first thought when I saw the Boba Fett figure on its recreated Vintage Cardback was “WOW!” This looks really good for a 12” figure and really brought back memories of the old line. My second thought was, “Damn, I’m really going to hate opening this thing up to review it.” Fortunately, I later learned this wasn’t as much of a problem as I originally thought.
Although not obvious until you actually open the figure, the plastic piece that your figure sits in is not glued to the cardback. It is held in place by the outer plastic cover the protects the cardback and the figure. To open it, all you just need to slit a couple pieces of tape and pull it apart. This not only allows you to preserve the vintage cardback for independent display (if desired), it allows you to repackage the figure easily to appear as if it’s never been opened. You can play with your figure and display it MOC at the same time. I thought this was a brilliant idea because you really want to take these figures out for play, but the way to display these bad boys is on the cardback. I imagine a whole wall covered in these figures on their original Kenner cardbacks would look pretty cool.
Once I got the figure out of the package and into my hands, I noticed it felt pretty light for a 12” figure. The plastic Gentle Giant used for this Boba Fett figure seems to be very sturdy, but the inside of the figure appears to be mostly hollow. Still, there was just enough weight to the figure so I had no problems standing the figure up with no outside support. It actually stays in the standing position better than the 3.75” Kenner counterpart. The figure seems durable enough that you could let your kids experience the fun you had playing with the Kenner figures without doing any serious damage to it.
The figure also has a simple design. These things aren’t filled with articulation, but that was done on purpose to re-create an exact 12” replica of figures originally issued decades ago. We all know action figure construction has improved significantly since those original Kenner figures were released, and sometimes I forget how simple and unique those old figures really were.
I knew these figures were pretty dead-on to the original Kenner figures just by looking at them in those glass cases at SDCC, but now it was time to do a side-by-side comparison with my original Kenner Boba Fett figure (one of the few original Kenner figures I still own, in fact) to see if there was any minute details missing. I looked at both figures from every angle – front, back, sides, top, and bottom – and Gentle Giant didn’t miss a beat. Even things like the Hong Kong mark on the back of the figure’s leg and the seam in the middle of the figure’s helmet are all there. Even the figure’s accessory (which in this case is a blaster rifle) is exactly duplicated.
As mentioned earlier, this line kicked off with a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive Empire Strikes Back Stormtrooper and a Celebration V exclusive Empire Strikes Back Boba Fett figure. If you missed out on those two, worry not. Gentle Giant will be releasing 12 figures in this line wherever Gentle Giant products are sold, including regular issues of the Stormtrooper and Boba Fett. Here is a list of the 12 figures you can look forward to:
- Sand People
- Luke Skywalker
- Han Solo
- Darth Vader
- Ben Kenobi
- Princess Leia Organa
- Boba Fett
And like the Boba Fett shown here, each figure will come packaged on its original Kenner cardback and feature all their original accessories, like vinyl capes and pop-out lightsabers. After that, we can expect such classic characters as Greedo, Hammerhead, and Walrusman to be released. If the line is a success, we might end up seeing almost every Kenner figure that was made re-released in this new 12” line.
If you are not a big 12” collector (like me) but are a fan of the old Star Wars figures, I highly recommend you get at least one of these figures for yourself to see just how cool they are.
Check out hi-res images of this figure in our GALLER
Y below. Figure provided to us by Gentle Giant.