REVIEW: SIDESHOW BOSSK and IG-88 1/6 FIGURES

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“Bounty hunters. We don’t need their scum!”
― Admiral Piett (deceased)

When you ask any Star Wars fan about their favorite scenes from The Empire Strikes Back, you will be counting a lot of votes for the scene in which Darth Vader informs the collected group of bounty hunters of their target aboard the Executor. This was, after all, the first official appearance of Boba-Fett (in live-action form anyway) and was also the coolest collection of badass aliens since the cantina scene in A New Hope.

Two of the other standouts on-board were the Trandoshan Wookie hunter, Bossk, and the assassin droid, IG-88. A gun-toting lizard-humanoid and a killer droid? Yes, please! These two are automatic members of any bounty hunter rouges gallery, but should they join your growing group of one-sixth scum and villainy? Let’s find out.

Bossk-IG-88-parts

WHAT’S IN THE BOX

BOSSK
• Bossk figure with detailed pressure suit, flak vest, support rig
• Two (2) sets of hands; Two (2) Neutral hands, One (1) right trigger hand, One (1) left rifle support hand
• Relby v-10 micro grenade launcher
• Hex-shaped base

IG-88
• IG-88 figure with light-feature in head and extendable legs
• Three (3) concussion grenades
• Bandolier with instrument pins magnets for attaching grenades
• E-11 blaster
• DLT-20A blaster rifle
• Hex-shaped base

Bossk-fire-1600

SCULPTS – BOSSK: 8/10, IG-88: 9/10

BOSSK
As far as movie accuracy goes, this Bossk sculpt is an improvement over the original Sideshow (V1) version, which was roughly based on the Dark Forces video game. V1 came with two heads, however – one with his mouth open – this version just has one.

The shape and detail are good – much more screen accurate than its predecessor. The color is…debatable. Since he was in only one dimly lit scene, Bossk’s skin color is hotly contested. This may be a bit too green, whereas the V1 may have been too mustard-yellowish. Where it falls short paint-wise is the eyes. Many have complained about a “googly-eyed” look due to a difference in size/position of the iris area. The severity of this seems to vary from figure to figure but I’ve seen very few that were balanced. Mine are slightly unequal. It’s unfortunate because this is otherwise a nice sculpt. A repaint/touch-up is going to be tricky here due to the gloss that would have to be removed from the eye before fixing. I like the slightly open mouth and I happen to like the color – especially under lights.

IG-88-sparks-1600IG:88
Being a droid, IG-88 doesn’t suffer as much of the scrutiny that befalls a human (or even a Trandoshan) sculpt. I have not extensively studied the head of the film version of IG-88 (or the drink dispensers from the cantina), but in rough comparisons, this looks pretty movie-accurate. The main point of differentiation being the very top of the head. Sideshow decided to trigger the light up function by pressing the top of his head down to turn lights on and press again to turn them off. This leaves a little separation of the lower “cone” and the upper cone, where the original looked like one smooth piece. The movie version also had at least one hose leading from the back of the “neck” into one of the “mouth” openings on the lower head, which is missing here.

My only gripe – and it may pertain to me only or might be (or may become) more of an issue for more people – is the aforementioned light up function. Triggering this by pressing the top of the head down, while a somewhat clever solution, felt a little clumsy, or maybe more accurately, flimsy, from the get-go – not a solid “click” or feeling to the switch function. Beyond just that feeling of flimsiness, mine stopped working after triggering it maybe 8-10 times while taking photos. It now only stays on while holding it down. I don’t know if this is a systematic problem or if I just got a bad break, but it’s a bummer nonetheless. Sideshow’s customer service was very responsive, but could not replace the part so I’m stuck with it unless I can figure out how to fix it. My score doesn’t reflect this as I haven’t seen a rash of people complaining about this yet, but you may want to limit the number of times you use this feature or press it very gently.

Bossk-IG-88-pair-1800

CLOTHING/ ACCESSORIES – BOSSK: 7/10, IG-88: 7/10

BOSSK
The clothing here is essentially the same as the V1 Bossk. Though that version was released a few years back, it holds it’s own against today’s detailed releases. The cloth part of the suit is a simple, straightforward jumpsuit. The color has apparently changed a bit from V1 and the debate over authenticity rages. I did some research, even checking with the Star Wars Costume book, but there is still only one badly colored photo from 1980 which does not decide the shade convincingly. I think this is very close though.

The bottom of each leg ends in a bandolier of grenades and the arms are cuffed at the elbow. It looks like the uncovered lower leg is a little longer than the movie version. Adjusting the pant cuffs down to fix this doesn’t seem like an easy task. I got them down a little, but I’m afraid of ripping a seam.

The rest of the details, and there are a bunch, all seem to be there.

IG:88
Aside from a leather bandolier of grenades, IG is shockingly naked, so we’ll talk about his metallic, wired/tubed exterior. I’m told that the V1 had a better paint job than this new version. I don’t have one to compare this to, but looking at images, it seems the first one was a bit “rustier” overall. To my eye, it does look more authentic. But the new version is not terrible by any stretch. There are rust marks, detailed as well as you’d expect on any mass-produced figure.

There are a lot of nice details here and while I haven’t done a bolt-by-bolt comparison, it looks very authentic overall. Yes, there are some misplaced tubes/wires here and there but where would the fun be if you didn’t need to spend countless hours comparing and adjusting/fixing things on your expensive collectibles?

ARTICULATION – BOSSK: 7/10, IG-88: 5/10

BOSSK
Trandoshans possess some long forearms and just three clawed digits. Visually, these look right on a reptilian-based life form and likely added enough detail to keep Bossk from looking like just a man in an astronaut suit and lizard mask in Empire. But in figure form, they are a challenge to pose especially when holding weapons or other props. Sideshow has included a weapon holding right-hand that includes a small hole near the “thumb” to receive a pin on the gun barrel to hold it in place (fun fact: Bossk was ostensibly left-handed in Empire – holding his gun in his left hand – but has since, in other canon material, been made right-handed). Left-hand options include an open palm/spread “claw” and a slightly closed grip to hold the barrel of his micro-grenade launcher.

Hands aside, Bossk is fairly flexible. His arms and legs only bend to slightly more than 90º, which limits posing a bit, but you can get him into some dynamic poses. His feet – being wider than human figures – provide a bit more stability in balancing. The left thigh joint on mine started to get a little loose after posing him in a “take a knee” stance (no anthems were playing at the time).

IG:88
Now, as for our angry droid friend…frankly, in this department he doesn’t hold up well, literally. First and foremost, the thigh connections – where the upper leg meets the torso – are very loose. This is not just mine as I’ve heard this from other collectors. It’s possible – but not a little un-frustrating – for him to hold a pose without the stand. Top-heaviness and loose legs do not a stable figure make. I have him stand-less on my shelf currently, but with some tac on his feet to hold them in place and he’s leaned forward onto Bossk and Boba more than once.

Conversely, the shoulder joints, which rotate the arm up and down, are extremely tight! When I first got it, I almost thought – stunned – that they weren’t meant to move at all until I started talking to other owners. Even when I knew they did move I was very afraid of breaking them by rotating them up and down. It does seem to have become slightly easier now that they’ve been moved a few times, but still very tight.

The ankles are tight enough (which, along with the wide, flat “feet” are the only reason it can stand on its own at all) and the extendible legs stay extended well enough. The hands – consisting of two “pincers” with a support piece on the right to support the bottom of the E-11 blaster – don’t lock tightly when engaged and if it weren’t for a pin on the guns which fits into a hole in the arm, they wouldn’t hold at all. The flexible, accordion-tubed elbows bend, but only about 70º or so.

There is no movement at the waist, which makes sense for his structure, but makes you wonder how this guy was very effective at fighting/shooting anything except that maybe his mechanical nature meant that he could take a licking and keep on ticking!

Bossk-IG-88-firefight-1800

PRICE POINT  – BOSSK: 8/10, IG-88: 8/10

Since the two figures are roughly the same price ($210 for Bossk and $215 for IG-88) and feature about the same amount of accessories, I’ll score them together in this section.

The prices of 1/6th figures today are wide-ranging. The $180 -$220 range is just about the middle-of-the-road. Neither of these two come with a large array of accessories. Would I have liked a second Bossk sculpt or the axe, which was the exclusive extra that came with IG V1? Sure. But their body structures and clothing (in Bossk’s case anyway) are somewhat complex and detailed and given the high cost of the Star Wars franchise, I would say these are priced just about right. IG-88 should be better constructed for the price, however.

Bossk-mid-1600

OVERALL DESIGN – BOSSK: 8/10, IG-88: 6/10 

BOSSK 
I like this Bossk figure and there is enough good there for me to recommend picking him up. I think it’s more film-accurate than the V1 in most respects and although it doesn’t come with a second sculpt, the price is right.

IG-88 
I’ve always loved the look of IG-88 and thought the idea of a droid bounty hunter was fascinating. I’m collecting the bounty hunters so, for me, he’s a must. I think if I could have found a V1 exclusive (with the axe) for a reasonable price (they’ve shot up recently) I would have gone with that. I don’t know if V1 is any more solidly built, however – it may have all the same issues this new one does, just with a better paint job.

To be fair, it’s a complex figure. The actual IG-88 didn’t need to actually move and was bolted to the floor while shooting. It’s a challenge to make moveable joints for a character like this. There are some solutions online to help the thigh joints hold better but this should have been something addressed before it hit the shelves.

LongVerdict

wptrevor

Trevor is a New York-based Creative Director and owner of The Brand Counselors. He has a growing collection of 75+ 1:6th scale stock and custom figures (and more and more Lego sets). Toy photography melds his childhood dreams of comic book illustration and film directing with his design talents and – in his mind – justifies the money he spends on these things. He has been featured on CNN.com and Spoiler Free Movie Sleuth. When he’s not shooting, he enjoys kayaking with his wife, catching up on good TV and building seemingly endless custom figures.

Last modified: August 3, 2018

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REVIEW: SIDESHOW BOSSK and IG-88 1/6 FIGURES

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