22 Dec 2017

Bandai Star Wars Movie Realization Sohei Darth Maul

The Bandai Star Wars Movie Realization has been a unique series of Star Wars figures that I have loved from the very beginning. Bandai have been pretty slow at releasing new characters though, so any new mold is something to watch out for and add to the collection.

The new Darth Maul is no exception, and right up there with the best from the series so far. Click through below to watch my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Scroll further down too for some more thoughts and photos.



The box art is the usual classy style in this series, with a great pic of the figure on the front and the array of poses and accessories shown on the rear. The figure doesn't come with too much, but what you do get is of high quality and goes well with the figure.



The articulation on the body is as you would expect, and is consistent with the previous figures in the series. The kama around his waist and legs is a softer material that does not hinder the movement of the legs too much.

The shoulder pads are an interesting addition, since they were not shown in the concept art if I remember correctly. They don't look too bad, but are a bit fiddly to get in a decent position when posing the figure.



The head sculpt is a definite highlight for me. Looking at the prototype figures, it wasn't clear how they were designing the face. The choice they've gone with using a disfigured face that is then covered by a battle mask is a perfect combination for this series. The menacing sculpt is a fantastic representation in this feudal Japanese style, especially with the "sohei" sub-title meaning he's a warrior monk.

The base head sculpt is nicely sculpted, with little flames coming out of the eyes. The teeth are also nicely painted, as are all the tattoos on his face. The only main nitpick with the head sculpt is the colour bleed of the red onto the golden horns.



I was able to rub off some of the red paint that had made its way onto the horns, but not all of it. It's not too noticeable in amongst the black weathering, but was a little annoying and should've been avoided at this price point.



The battle mask is painted in a nice glossy red, and is made of a softer plastic so that it can be placed over the horns and top half of his face. There is a warning in the instruction book that placing the mask may rub off paint on the figure, so I'd avoid using it or taking it on and off too much.

I actually think the base disfigured head sculpt looks better without the mask, since the mask makes the top half of the head stick out a bit too much. In the end, I think he looks better on display holding the mask in some way.



The doubled hilted scimitar is beautifully designed, and I love the gentle curvature that it gives in truly ancient Japanese / Chinese style. The transluscent red plastic is similar to Vader's, and looks great with light passing through it. The hilt itself is nicely sculpted and painted too, with gold and silver highlights.

The blade does come apart at the hilt into its separate halves that he can hold in each hand. I love that Bandai even made the little peg removeable that holds the two sides together. This way when he's holding both halves, there's not some strange nub on one of them. Great attention to detail there.



The sculpting and paint app on the costume is pretty good. The forearms and shin armour parts have a nice rust paint application that really sets off the patterning. The waist part is painted in a nice greenish jade metallic colour that offsets the black well. Both front and back are nicely painted.



The beads around his neck are removeable, but as a warrior monk I think he looks better with them on. The bronze colour also gives a nice contrast to the black outfit. It's a shame they arent all separate beads held together with string of some sort. They are a single molded piece of plastic that separates out into the two layers of the beads. It's an OK compromise, but separate beads on real string really would've set it off.



Displayed with the other figures, it becomes clear to me that this series of figures continues to be one of the most interesting and unique Star Wars figures around. The build quality is great, the style in the sculpting is awesome, and the paints application really highlight the figures to their best potential.




There have been a lot of repaints, but if Bandai continue to release new molds of this quality, I'm up to get every figure the release in this series! I hope they announce the Gamorrean Guard and other bounty hunters like IG-88. With more unique characters, this series could truly become legendary!