DARTH MAUL (Black Series) (2013)
Back in September I was out shopping at Toys R Us when I came across the latest Star Wars offerings from Hasbro. Despite being a fan of the franchise I haven’t paid much attention to the toys for the past 10+ years. The sculpting and articulation has improved some since i stopped buying them in the early 2000s but it just seemed to be the same toys over and over again. What caught my eye on this particular visit wasn’t the latest 3 3/4″ product though, it was a brand new line of 6″ figures. There were 4 figures in the set dubbed “the Black Series”, Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, a Sandtrooper, and Darth Maul. I’ll admit I was tempted to buy them all but it was the Darth Maul that really had me questioning my no Star Wars policy. Maul was my favorite character from the prequels and remains one of my favorite characters from the entire series. I already had a decent 12″ Darth Maul at home and a bunch of 3 3/4″ ones so as cool as this new figure was I managed to convince myself to leave it on the shelf. I went home and blogged about the 12″ figure instead and boasted about my strength of will.
A few days later I was talking to my brother Doug and he told me that he had just seen the Black Series figures for the first time. Knowing my love of Darth Maul he was surprised to hear that I was able to leave it behind. I told him that I thought it was really cool but that I simply couldn’t justify buying more Star Wars figures. He responded, “well maybe it would make a good Christmas present then.”
So on Christmas morning I wasn’t exactly surprised to receive the Black Series Darth Maul from Doug. He also got me the Greedo from wave 2. He had spilled the beans about that purchase as well in the weeks leading up to the holidays. But while the Star Wars toys may have proved a poorly kept secret Doug did surprise me with something else really cool which I will review soon.
By buying me two Star Wars Black figures Doug has sealed my fate; I am doomed to collect these things. Had it only been Darth Maul perhaps I could have displayed him on my work desk away from the rest of my collection where I could enjoy him as a one-off collectable. But with 2 of these super cool figures sitting on my desk at home, staring at me as I write these reviews, I find myself excited about what figure I’ll acquire next. Fingers crossed for a Walrus Man or an Admiral Ackbar soon.
So what makes this Darth Maul figure so much different from the many others I have? Well the most obvious difference is the size. At 6 inches this figure can be displayed with my DC collection, Marvel Legends, Ninja Turtles and other such lines. 3 3/4″ is my action figure scale of choice but I like to have some variety in my collection. After 3 decades of small Star Wars figures it’s nice to see these characters in this new scale. The larger size allows for more detail. Great things can be done on the smaller figures but Star Wars isn’t a line best known for it’s fine detail. With this figure all the layers of Maul’s robes can be seen and appreciated. There are several layers of plastic and cloth and yet his movement isn’t hampered.
The posability is probably the thing that most separates this figure from smaller incarnations of the character. He’s got articulated ankles, swivel wrists, double jointed knees, and ball joints at his hips, waist, neck, shoulders, and elbows. He can be posed a ton of ways.
For accessories he’s got his double bladed lightsaber which can be broken into two separate sabers. He also has the binoculars that he used in Phantom Menace. Coolest of all is his alternate head. He can be displayed with his exposed spiky head or with his hooded, fully cloaked head.
Another thing I really like about this figure is how short he is. I only have 2 figures from the line so it could be that maybe Greedo is just really tall but he stands a full head taller than Maul. I’m not sure if Maul was supposed to be short in the films but I know that the actor who played him, Ray Park, is quite small so I think it shows a nice attention to detail. Great figure. Thanks Doug. 10 out of 10.