JABBA THE HUTT
I started this blog about 10 months ago. For the first few months my site views hovered around 150 a day. Being new to the world of blogging I was pretty stoked about those numbers at the time. For the past several months my views are pretty much always somewhere between 400 and 500 a day. I’d like to think that the increase in views is a direct result of my effort to keep things fresh by posting at least 3 or 4 reviews a week. I’d like to think that my nostalgia fueled light hearted writing style as kept 400+ people entertained, informed and coming back regularly.
Sadly that is not the case. Most of you are here to look at Angelina Jolie’s boobs. For those of you that are coming back day after day to read these posts thank you so much. It’s very much appreciated. I’d like to think that I’ve charmed at least a few strangers out there. But from my site stats I can clearly see that most of my traffic is the result of a single post. Every single day my most viewed post is my review of a Lara Croft: Tomb Raider figure. The figure isn’t even a good one. It just so happens that I included a picture of Angelina Jolie in her bathing suit (as seen in the Tomb Raider movie) that I lifted from some other website. I had no idea the impact it would have on my site. It’s not even like there’s a new Tomb Raider movie or game out. Angelina is still hot but she’s the mother of like a dozen kids now. It boggles my mind how many people are still googling “Angelina Jolie: Tomb Raider” on a daily basis.
What I find even stranger is that my second most popular post, almost every day, is Jabba the Hutt. I like Jabba as much as the next guy but it makes you wonder just who it is exactly googling these things. My Barack Obama post has almost no views at all and yet people can’t seem to get enough of Angelina and Jabba. If you’re curious about my other most popular posts they are consistently Macho Man Randy Savage and Barbapapa. Don’t ask me to explain it. Hopefully at least a few of the people who stumble across my site while looking for a semi-nude pic of Ms. Jolie actually stop to check out some of my other posts.
Today I want to talk about my #2 most popular post. I previously reviewed a Jabba the Hutt figure from the late 90s Power of the Force line of Star Wars figures. I wrote a long thoughtful review about the character but before I could post it my internet crashed and I lost a good hour’s worth of writing. I was extremely pissed off and decided to post a quick half-assed review anyway because there was no way I was gonna write out all that I had lost all over again. I had no idea at the time that my laziest post would become one of my most popular. I figured I should finally post a review worthy of this glorious gangster slug.
This is the original Jabba the Hutt figure released in 1983 to coincide with the release of the third Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi. This is one of the very few original Star Wars toys from my childhood that I held onto. I absolutely loved this thing when I was a kid and I still do. The figure came as part of a play set that also included Jabba’s platform, his food bowl and stand, his pipe, and his court jester Salacious Crumb. It was a great set and one of the more impressive toys in my collection at the time. When you ask people what their favorite Star Wars movie is you’ll probably get plenty of “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back” responses but not so many for “Return of the Jedi”. It’s the ewoks fault. The second half of Jedi does suffer because of those tree dwelling teddy bears but the first act of Jedi is my absolute favorite section of the Star Wars series. That stuff at Jabba’s palace was just amazing.
I love creatures so the scenes in the palace were, to 5 year old me, the greatest thing to happen on film since the Cantina scene in the original movie. I loved Ree Yees and Squid Head and the Gamorean Guards. They all looked awesome on screen and made for awesome figures. Like most creatures in the Star Wars universe though they were relegated to a few background shots. But those early scenes also introduced us to Jabba the Hutt. Now here was a creature that played a major role in the series. He had loads of screen time and exchanged dialogue with the stars. The first time I saw him I was in film creature heaven. People can diss the puppet all they want but I don’t think any of the computer generated versions of the character that have come since have been anywhere near as believable looking on screen. My young mind barely had time to process the coolest film monster I had ever seen before Lucas then throws the Rancor at us; an even bigger, fiercer creature. Then a few scenes later we’re introduced to the Sarlacc, a less impressive looking beast but one that still captured my imagination. I never had a sarlacc toy but that thing made an appearance every time Doug and I played with our Star Wars toys, whether it was a hole in the sandbox or simply the edge of the bed.
Those opening scenes of Jedi will never cease to put a smile on my face and this toy allowed me to play out those scenes over and over again. The Jabba figure itself is pretty rad and holds up much better than many other vintage Star Wars figures. He has articulated arms and one joint that separates his upper half from his slug body. When you turn his head his tail swishes back and forth allowing him to trip up any attackers. The sculpt and paint job both do a pretty decent job of capturing what was seen in the movie. The eyes are done very uniquely with a clear glass like lens giving them real depth instead of just being painted on.
The base that he sits on is also pretty great looking even if it isn’t the most functional thing. In the movie Jabba sat on this platform where he could oversee all the action on the floor like his dancing girls. When he was displeased he would have a trapdoor in the floor open thus feeding whoever was standing there to the Rancor. This toy is a combination of the two. It serves as a resting place for Jabba but opens up like a trapdoor to reveal a pit filled with bones and rats which is supposed to represent the Rancor’s pit. I’m not sure how anyone is ever supposed to fall down there with Jabba’s fat ass forever planted on top of it but it was a neat effort by the designers. The doors are opened when you turn the heads of the gargoyles that adorn the front of the platform. The platform also features a string with collar attached so that you can enslave Leia at your leisure and a strange looking table that hold’s Jabba’s bowl and hookah pipe.
One of my favorite things about this set was the inclusion of the lizard-monkey Salacious Crumb. I loved this toy as a kid and often gave him much more to do than just sit and giggle as he did in the movie. While the toy isn’t articulated at all it had a nice paint job and was a pretty good likeness of the puppet.
I could go on but I think this post is long enough. Hopefully future google searches will bring folks to this post as opposed to the crappy one I posted months ago. 9 out of 10.