First Look: Gentle Giant 2009 (Mania.com)
By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Friday, March 20, 2009
The International Toy Fair has come and gone. What is left in its wake is waiting, a lot of waiting. For some, action figures bought at the local department store or Toys R Us are enough. Maybe you’ll get lucky and be there the moment a store employee puts out the box of crisp, brand new figures. More often than not we flip the racks and find numerous duplicates of figures nobody wants. Later we shell out two or three times the price for the same figure online. As I have gotten older I have grown tired of trying to get all the action figures in a toy line such as Star Wars. It’s impossible with all the Comic Con exclusives and Star Wars shows that happen around the world. There is after all only one Steven Sansweet.
I’m ready to spend more and buy less on what I really want in my Star Wars collection. I’ve grown tired with flimsy action figure sculpts that try to appeal to ten year olds and collectors. I’m sure that some of you are ready to do the same thing. The best place to go for high-end unique collectibles is Gentle Giant LTD. They have given Mania access to their new releases and this Toy Maniac has assembled his favorite Star Wars picks from their 2009 new line.
Star Wars the Clone Wars is about to end its first season. A second season is already in the works and as of July of last year they already had over half the scripts written (see my interview with series producer Catherine Winder). My favorite character to emerge from the series has been Captain Rex. Obviously a shadowy reflection of Boba Fett but pushed into the light instead of the darkness. I just hope that Rex survives long enough so that we can see what happens to him after Order 66 is issued. Gentle Giant has captured the character perfectly and the interchangeable heads are a prefect touch and tribute this character. Gentle Giant has been producing a line of Star Wars animated mini statues and maquettes that put all other companies to shame. The beauty of these designs is that they are not tied to any other property. No movie, cartoon or comic of the original Star Wars character exits with them in these likenesses. They are just brilliantly done. My two personal favorites are Animated Darth Vader and Animated (Rebel Pilot) Luke Skywalker. Joining my list of animated favorites is Han Solo in the Detention Block. That little puff of smoke is genius and you can see Han saying “Luke, we’re going to have company!”. Han in the Detention Block is an AFX Star Wars Exclusive.
What must go on the shelf is Gentle Giant’s Star Wars Trash Compactor scene (see header picture and gallery for close ups) bookends. The details are astounding and even the Diagona gets in an appearance. The only thing left to do, besides wait (due in November), is decide whether they will hold up the plethora of Star Wars book or every incarnation of the saga on DVD and VHS I have.
Snow Troopers, Black Hole Troopers and even a Gariandan mini bust are scheduled for 2009.
There are plenty of pictures of mini busts, statues and posters (including their new Horror collectibles) in the gallery of what is coming soon from Gentle Giant LTD.
San diego Comic Con 2009:
It is over four months away and already the different companies have been announcing their SDCC 2009 exclusives (see Hasbro’s here). Gentle Giant’s will include both a Halo Master Chief and Dumbledore mini busts (see gallery). The best exclusive, probably for the entire convention, will be Gentle Giant’s pink Darth Vader helmet. Its proceeds will benefit breast cancer research. Outside of the pink Vader helmet there is a sweet mini bust of Ralph McQuarrie’s original Boba Fett design (see gallery). The alternate helmet really makes it a conversation piece and it will truly stand out better than that action figure version I paid double for on eBay.
Gentle Giant Youtube Presentation: