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  • Writer's pictureMephitsu

Review: Star Wars Black Series Darth Maul, The Clone Wars


The Clone Wars release of Darth Maul represents the character's third release in the Star Wars Black Series after the original 2013 Phantom Menace version and the 2021 Sith Apprentice. Clone Wars Maul is a general release and part of Wave 9 of the Galaxy Collection released in late 2022. Maul is number 11 in the Clone Wars Collection, following on from the 187th Battalion Clone Trooper. Wave 9 was the last wave before the launch of the plastic-free packaging, so Maul arrives with a window box that utilises the yellow accent colour assigned to The Clone Wars.

The Maul figure is a real-world execution of his animated character from Clone Wars and is predominantly a new figure with only the torso and neck appearing to be re-used pieces from the Sith Apprentice Maul and the associated Night Brother releases. The torso is then covered with a soft plastic vest that incorporates two shoulder guard pieces that sit over the burgundy-suited arms. The vest also includes the robotic waist for Maul with painted silver straps across three bands. The legs themselves include the same burgundy suit for the thighs, but then transition to full robotic legs from the knee downward all cast in a gunmetal with darker metallic panels at the joints in particular.

The head appears to be new, or at least tweaked, as it is now somewhere between the neutral look of the original Maul and the sinister grin of the Sith Apprentice release, with a thin partial smile revealing just a hint of teeth beneath. The markings on the face and then down into the chest are painted red over black and are darker on the face. Bone colouring is used on the horns and what appears to be photo-real tech is applied to the eyes. The overall likeness is that of Ray Park and the live-action Maul which is in keeping with the Black Series ethos of creating real-world figures of those characters who appear in the animated series.

Maul comes with his lightsaber which is made in a silver plastic with red details on a couple of the switches and a black central piece. It has a small peg that corresponds to a very well-disguised ‘hook’ on Maul’s central belt allowing the saber hilt to be slung. The fitting of this is not that secure, and the sheer length of the hilt does make it look awkward. The saber features two clip-in red translucent blades and the whole thing can of course be split into two. It can be wielded across both hands with the hands specifically made to hold the saber rather than be dual purpose as we have seen on other force users.

Maul is a fully pinless figure with 20 points of articulation giving him a broad spectrum of movement. The addition of shoulder butterfly joints makes a huge difference to lightsaber posing, and the two-part neck does provide some added menace when posing that smiling head.

There is little to fault about The Clone Wars Darth Maul as a release with an excellent sculpt reflective of his time in the Clone Wars story arc on which the figure is based - while also bringing him into a real-world setting. There are plenty of articulation and posing options, and the saber works well enough with or without the blades. Certainly, another figure that will be a must for Maul fans and Clone Wars collectors.




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About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...

 

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