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STAR WARS Jabba's Tatooine Skiff by Hasbro review

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GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
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STAR WARS Jabba's Tatooine Skiff by Hasbro review Jts1010

The Jabba subplot is one of my favorite parts of Return of the Jedi, despite various weak elements and horrid changes/additions brought in by the Special Edition. Fortunately (or unfortunately), a large assortment of Jabba-related characters is only available in the "classic" scale produced by Kenner and then Hasbro (3.75-inch figures), and that allows for the production of vehicles and partial sets to go with said figures. In the past year, we have seen the release of a Jabba's Palace Adventure set (with Han Solo in Carbonite and Ree-Yees), the Khetanna (Jabba's sail barge -- exclusively by pre-order from HasLab -- with Jabba and Yak Face), and now the Tatooine Skiff (without any included action figures). This last was one of two apparently identical skiffs that accompanied Jabba's sail barge, and is intended to be the one carrying our protagonists to their intended place of execution. I think we all know how that panned out.

STAR WARS Jabba's Tatooine Skiff by Hasbro review Jts0510

The skiff (apparently given the model designation "Bantha-II" by some over-enthusiastic Lucasfilm associate) is an improved and expanded set compared to the earlier Kenner (or was it already Hasbro) skiff from years ago, which was both toyish and undersized. The new skiff appears to be nearly to scale (at any rate, much more so than the old one), features a more ambitious and aesthetically pleasing stand, has more sensible display options and alternatives, and far more detail. It is approximately 40 cm (15.8 in) long, 11 cm (4.3 in) wide, and 10 cm (3.9 in) tall in itself, or 18 cm (7.1 in) tall when mounted on the stand. It arrives in a rectangular box amply illustrated with photos of the product and a selection of appropriate Hasbro action figures (sold separately). Some basic assembly is required, namely attaching the four railings (the fifth one is an alternative), some of the flooring panels, the two-part pair of steering vanes, and control pedestal, as well as affixing the two transparent plastic supports to the sand dune base. There is a basic little assembly guide to help you out if something doesn't make sense immediately. A sharp X-acto knife would be helpful to slice through all the annoying rubbery elastic ties.

For a basic schematic of the skiff, you can compare HERE.

The skiff is perfectly sculpted (from what I remember and have seen in stills and photos), and very nicely weathered for a fairly mass-produced toy. Below is a look at the (I think unseen) stern (rear) of the skiff. Note the nicely detailed and painted shiny metal elements contrasting with the rusty greenish armored plating. You can also see some of the finely detailed controls, which include articulated handles on both sides (they revolve around their axis).

STAR WARS Jabba's Tatooine Skiff by Hasbro review Jts1110

I suspect that at least in some respects Hasbro had to improvise and imagine things that were not necessarily fully developed for the on-screen model. This was almost certainly the case with the details below the deck and under the storage area cover, seen below.

STAR WARS Jabba's Tatooine Skiff by Hasbro review Jts0710

Similarly, the details within the bow (front) of the skiff, and below the deck on that end.

STAR WARS Jabba's Tatooine Skiff by Hasbro review Jts0810

The starboard (right-side) railing can be exchanged with a damaged version of itself, from which hangs a torn cable, from which you could dangle Lando or any figure of your choice.

STAR WARS Jabba's Tatooine Skiff by Hasbro review Jts0610

For more interactive functionality, you could store various weapons (especially vibro axes) in specially provided compartments within the stern and the bow of the skiff, or inside the storage compartment running along the center of the deck. None of the ones illustrated below came included with the set.

STAR WARS Jabba's Tatooine Skiff by Hasbro review Jts0910

In terms of articulation, the whole skiff can be made to lean left or right because it is attached to the stand by rotating elements that can turn accordingly. The two-part vanes are also fully articulated. You can rotate them completely around their axis and also at an angle to it, and the fans of the vanes can be moved at an angle to their heads (if that is the term). The skiff can fit all the appropriate figures (in this instance with two substitutes) easily enough, but since it does not have pegs for the feet, you would have a hard time keeping them aboard if you tilt the skiff.

STAR WARS Jabba's Tatooine Skiff by Hasbro review Jts0110

Hasbro has produced action figures for all but one (the bandit-scarved human) of the characters that belong on the "hero" or "prisoner" skiff, and I am yet to get the pilot, a Nikto called Vedain. I figured that another Nikto, a skiff guard from the other skiff, would make do as a substitute.

STAR WARS Jabba's Tatooine Skiff by Hasbro review Jts0210

If specieist fans and executives could be ignored (apparently the dogma is that human characters are inherently worthless compared to "cool" or "lame" aliens alike), it would have made sense to add the missing figure to the skiff set -- if Hasbro felt that it would not sell well on its own.

STAR WARS Jabba's Tatooine Skiff by Hasbro review Jts0310

And don't worry, the gangplank is extendable, ready to serve for cargo loading and impromptu executions alike. Or at least they could try. Note that this (starboard = right) side of the skiff has all the sculpted damage, while both sides have weathering -- this is apparently because it is this side of the skiff that gets fired upon from the sail barge in the film. Speaking of which, perhaps to simplify filming this, in some of the earlier shots in the film the image was mirrored (look at Chewbacca's bandolier and Han's shirt lapel) and I reproduced this trick in my photos (compare the one above to the one below).

STAR WARS Jabba's Tatooine Skiff by Hasbro review Jts0410

I could not justify spending the money on the Khetanna HasLab set, but this one was a no-brainer to get. I am very pleased with it, with its capacity, and with its details. It is convincing, realistic, interactive, and useful all at once. If Hasbro had come closer to filling out the ranks of the skiff guards on the other skiff (it has made two or three of them, depending how you count), I would have gotten a second set.

Hope this has been useful. What do you think?

Where to buy? Try Walmart, Amazon, or eBay (though that last option might be overpriced). The skiff sells for about $40 USD, at least on Amazon, from where I got mine.

Big Bad Toy Store has it for $42

Entertainment Earth has it for $40

#starwars #hasbro #rotj #returnofthejedi #jabba #tatooine #skiff #set


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Stryker2011

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Great review. This is not my scale, but this does look good — and a much more reasonable price than the barge.


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GubernatorFan

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Thank you very much. Yes, much more reasonable, and while it clearly cannot be more impressive when it comes to size, the level of detail and decoration seems comparable and the potential use/action aboard is just as good.


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Ahh, I had tried to leave a comment on this a couple days ago when you posted it, but my phone ate it. ;-; Apologies for my slow response, I kept meaning to come back and reply again, only to get sidetracked each time.

So anyWAY.... AWESOME REVIEW! Until you posted it, I had not even realized this had been released, and I'm really pleased to see how it turned out. Your photos are wonderful as always, and you even included the dimensions in your description and everything! There was no way I'd ever have been able to get the actual Sail Barge, but this one seems very reasonable, not to mention quite nice for what it is.  Perhaps this will finally motivate me to pick up a few more 3.75" RotJ figures -- my collection is currently lacking in OT figures in general....due to me being rather picky about them, amongst other things. Razz I like the ones you've assembled for this review though. Smile


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GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
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skywalkersaga wrote:Ahh, I had tried to leave a comment on this a couple days ago when you posted it, but my phone ate it. ;-; Apologies for my slow response, I kept meaning to come back and reply again, only to get sidetracked each time.

So anyWAY.... AWESOME REVIEW! Until you posted it, I had not even realized this had been released, and I'm really pleased to see how it turned out. Your photos are wonderful as always, and you even included the dimensions in your description and everything! There was no way I'd ever have been able to get the actual Sail Barge, but this one seems very reasonable, not to mention quite nice for what it is.  Perhaps this will finally motivate me to pick up a few more 3.75" RotJ figures -- my collection is currently lacking in OT figures in general....due to me being rather picky about them, amongst other things. Razz I like the ones you've assembled for this review though. Smile

Please, no need to apologize. I'm just glad you liked it so much -- I certainly did. And I feel about it in relation to the sail barge just as you do. It also prompted me to pick up the one figure I was missing (the pilot, a slightly different Nikto) and to upgrade to a better-articulated more recent version of Lando in disguise -- both are on their way. When Hasbro provides "super" articulation -- something it had given up for a disappointing but mercifully short while, it tends to do quite well. But they have a ton of characters to revisit, and the situation is not made better by the inclusion of all the Sequel Trilogy stuff I won't look at. By the way, the figures do look better than on the photos, where the camera tended to focus (appropriately) on the vehicle instead. Smile


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Ha, yeah, there was a time the 3.75" figures were practically static, but that was only fairly short-lived, during the AotC prequel period, I think...

And yeah, unfortunately, it's very tough to sift through releases for figures in general these days, without encountering sequels stuff. Means I miss a lot of new things coming out in a wide variety of scales. Even just the other night I looked up something seemingly unrelated and ran into sequels spoilers. Ugh. -_-

I also completely understand what you mean about the figures looking better than in the photos -- that is the downside of the really small figures, is that they don't photograph all that well. I find them absolutely DELIGHTFUL in-hand, but I've noticed that photos rarely do them justice. I think it may be due to the fact that they often have a glossy or at least semi-glossy finish [presumably to make them more durable, as toys], which catches the light in certain unflattering ways. Doesn't stop me from taking pics of them all the same, though! Wink


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GubernatorFan

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skywalkersaga wrote:Ha, yeah, there was a time the 3.75" figures were practically static, but that was only fairly short-lived, during the AotC prequel period, I think...

And yeah, unfortunately, it's very tough to sift through releases for figures in general these days, without encountering sequels stuff. Means I miss a lot of new things coming out in a wide variety of scales. Even just the other night I looked up something seemingly unrelated and ran into sequels spoilers. Ugh. -_-

I also completely understand what you mean about the figures looking better than in the photos -- that is the downside of the really small figures, is that they don't photograph all that well. I find them absolutely DELIGHTFUL in-hand, but I've noticed that photos rarely do them justice. I think it may be due to the fact that they often have a glossy or at least semi-glossy finish [presumably to make them more durable, as toys], which catches the light in certain unflattering ways. Doesn't stop me from taking pics of them all the same, though! Wink

I'm loving the return to the "super" articulation, and just wish they would release more characters they haven't done from the Original Trilogy (like the purple-robed emperor's dignitary who was more impressive than the two Hasbro did release, or the imperial crewmen in dark blue overalls and simple black helmets, which would be just a repaint of the rebel ground crew from Yavin), and revisit all the ones that need better articulation (Lando in disguise was one of them, and they have made a replacement; but then there are the other ones, like the black jumpsuit imperial officers, who only exist with angle-cut elbows and no knee articulation). Filling out the list of skiff guards at least for the "hero" or "prisoner" skiff should have a been a no-brainer, and like I said if they thought a human baddie wouldn't be exciting enough to sell on his own, they could have packaged him with the skiff and driven up the price just a little. Really, they should produce the figures for the other skiff too, since they have already made some of them.

I think you're right, the smaller figures do tend to have a (relatively) glossy finish compared to what we get in bigger scales, and that might cause some of the difference when photographing. I also think there may be a relative depth effect -- with them you can usually get more depth to your scene, but that means more of it will be out of focus as your camera seizes on something at a particular spot. Actually, I'm about to post (one of these days) another 3.75"-scale review, of the recent Hasbro imperials from Rogue One, so we'll see how that turns out.


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Nicely detailed review, GubernatorFan! I love the photos of the skiff with all of the figures situated on it as they appear in the film. It looks incredible!

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GubernatorFan

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TheReviewSpot wrote:Nicely detailed review, GubernatorFan! I love the photos of the skiff with all of the figures situated on it as they appear in the film. It looks incredible!

Thank you very much! Well, it does help that Hasbro produced a pretty superb product this time. But you know how that works. If you are curious, I also reviewed three of their recent imperial figures in the same "classic" scale; they were all very good.


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