Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Gentle Giant: No Galaxy for Old Men !

I have recently added Dooku mini-bust to my collection thanks to my dear friend Cndncr. Although it’s one of the oldest in the Gentle Giant mini-bust line I couldn’t get one till today. After the acquisition of Dooku I realized that finally three important old men from the saga Dooku, Tarkin and Ben Kenobi are together in my collection. For the record when it comes to the “old” Obi-Wan of the original trilogy, I prefer to call him Ben.

These mini-busts represent the different stages in Gentle Giant’s Star Wars journey so this review will be important to see how GG evolved over the years.

The three gentlemen here are important human characters but exactly how old were they at their final appearances ? Dooku was 83, Tarkin 64 and Ben Kenobi was 57 years old.

First of all these age figures doesn’t seem realistic to me when I look at these shots. Ben Kenobi seems older than 57 and I think Tarkin must be at his late 70’s.

There is a problem here because if we compare these products with the actors we have a different result, but if we look them keeping in mind their “official” ages we have another conclusion. Personally I see these busts as if Gentle Giant intended to make them as they were in the movies, without considering their ages in the databank.

Count Dooku (Limited to 2500 pieces)

Obi-Wan (Ben) Kenobi - A New Hope (Limited to 6000 pieces)

Grand Moff Tarkin (Limited to 6000 pieces)

If we look at all three we have to admit that all of them are well sculpted pieces, but the painting of the busts is not at the same level for all. In terms of paintjob the best one is Dooku. There are lots of skin details. Tarkin has some wrinkles also but it seems old Ben aged better than the others. He has the skin of a baby, no wrinkles, no detail...

Ben Kenobi is again the loser if we look at the costumes. Tarkin has his sharp imperial uniform and Dooku's well dressed as we know from the movie. But unfortunately Ben's outfit looks brand new without any texture or "weathering".

Apart from these each bust has its own special feature; Dooku is the old-school bust with no arms, Tarkin has his Death Star chair and Ben Kenobi has his lightsaber on his belt.

The edition sizes of these busts are weird. 2500 Pieces is very good for Dooku. Ben is a popular character and that's why there are 6000 pieces but 5000 would be more than enough, but producing 6000 pieces of Tarkin is insane. This guy's edition size should be similar to Dooku. Because of this Dooku is one of the few precious regular mini-busts of Gentle Giant. On the other hand Ben & Tarkin are suffering with low market prices.

When you have a review with three items it is inevitable to rank them. Here’s my ranking for these there;

1. Dooku
2. Tarkin
3. Ben Kenobi

To conclude, I have to admit that our beloved Gentle Giant is not improving over the years in terms of painting. Afterall Dooku is the oldest product and it's the most detailed one, but I love them all.

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