General Grievous, as seen in Star Wars Revenge of the Sith, was the third "deluxe" release by Hasbro in their Star Wars Black Series 6 inch scale line - following on from the Gamorrean Guard and Moloch. Grievous is the first deluxe to be a general release, and he signals the start of the D numbering system for deluxe releases.
Being an oversized deluxe release, Grievous comes in an enlarged version of the phase 3 black series packaging. Whie the design features and colours remain the same the box is both wider and deeper than a standard Black Series release. The Titus artwork is particularly striking on this release and makes the General appear very menacing with his cloak trailing out to the side.
Grievous signals the first time a deluxe release has been numbered, with the Gamorrean and Moloch that preceded him being exclusives. Grievous is numbered as D1 on the red spine, indicating more deluxe releases are planned.
"General Grievous was a brilliant Separatist military strategist and feared Jedi hunter, known for his ruthlessness and hacking cough. His body itself was a weapon, allowing him lightning quick strikes and devastating blows. But he was also quick to run from a fight, a tactic that worked until one final meeting with Obi-Wan Kenobi."
Paint & Sculpt 4/5
The head sculpt on Grievous, up close, is impressive with some excellent decor applied under the head to detail those organic red and yellow bloodshot eyes.
The body is also well executed with the dark grey mechanism of the body contrasting with the beige panels of the armour. Several panels are weathered with some dry brush additions to dirty up the General.
While there was criticism of Grievous being too short, he is a good inch taller than a standard 6 inch figure and for me does not look significantly under or over scaled. Grievous is listed as being 2.2m tall, which converts to 18.3cm at 1/12 scale. The figure, at full height is pretty much exactly that height. Again this may be a case of a characters perceived height and build vs the recorded specs.
The soft goods cloak supplied with Grievous works OK. It is a little too heavy and therefore doesn't scale as well as perhaps a sculpted rubberised version would. It is nicely tailored with red lining but the neck clasp piece is a lot larger than what we see on screen and it doesn't wrap under the nec pieces of the armour.
Grievous is armed with a blaster and a collection of light sabers. The blaster is a new sculpt to the line and is cast in grey plastic with no other paint apps. While it fits in his right hand, the fit is not snug with the hands designed more to hold the light sabers.
Each of the four sabers is a different design and each are painted slighly differently using either black or gold (or both) colours. We have two green bladess and two blue blades. Each blade is meant to be removable, but I had significant trouble with two of the four with the blades refusing to release.
Grievous is designed to hold a saber in each of his four hands, and here the grip is fine and each saber sits in place well. When not in use the hilts (assuming you can remove the blades) fit in four tailored pouches in the inside of his cape.
Grievous, due to his build and design, does not comply with the usual set of articulation we see on a Black Series character. In essence he comes in with a count of 19 articulation points, but many are very different joints to what we are used to
Head : Ball joint head and jointed neck
Body : Waist swivel
Arms : Shoulder Joint x 4 (one for each arm), single elbow joint x 4
Legs : Hip joint, double jointed knee, shin pivot and ankle rotation
While you can't get him into his crab mode where he runs away, there is plenty of movement in the joints, although they do feel very fragile and none of the joints are ratcheted so do also feel loose.
The arms are designed to work in isolation, or each "pair" can be joined to make a full arm. This is not too difficult to achieve once the two sides are lined up. Once joined the articulation is reduced as the shoulder and elbows now have to work together and therefore lose some movement where they now work against each other.
Stability is the big issue for Grievous and for most of our review we had to use a stand to keep him upright. The body is so slim and light and the joints too loose that keeping him stood is hard, especially when the heavy cloak is in place. Hasbro may have wanted to consider including a stand.
When a stand is in play there are some great poses you can achieve, my favourite being his hunched over walk with hands behind his back as he stalks the bridge of his ship.
General Grievous is another fantastic looking prequel release, ready to take command of the recently released Battle Droid figures. Hasbro have been very faithful to the design of the droid, with some nifty engineering to give us the options of having a two armed or four armed Grievous. This does means some sacrifices have been made, particularly his stability
The cloak works to a degree, but feels out of scale with the figure - especially with that huge clasp piece. The sabers are also disappointing with the faults in removing the blades which means I can't display all four hilts in Grievous' cloak.
Grievous is also a figure that wildy varies in price. For me this is a £25 - £27 figure, and nothing more and I would urge patience to get this figure at the right price. At this sub £30 price this is a solid 3/5 release and reflects some good value for money. At the £40+ price people were paying initially I can see why many were overly disappointed.