I still remember the lone Star Wars figure I owned a long time ago in a childhood far, far away. Getting that Imperial Guard was a rare treat for me as my two siblings and I were raised by a single mum. Money was always tight and I always had to plead with my mum to get the action figures that sprang from the movies, comics and cartoons that enthralled me my young, nerdy brain.
That Imperial Guard was almost certainly purchased on discount and given how non-descript -- and frankly kind of boring -- the figure was, I could see when the asking price was marked down.
Decades later now, there are once again Star Wars characters gracing my home. But there's nothing non-descript or boring about the Commander Fox and Modal Nodes figures from Sideshow Collectibles' Sixth Scale line.
Both the Bith musician two-pack and the Clone Wars tie-in are Comic-Con exclusives, debuting at this year's edition of the world's biggest nerdfest. (Note: The Modal Nodes two-pack seen here is the Tedn D'Hai and Nalan Cheel set. There's another Comic-Con exclusive offering with their bandmates Tech Mo'r and Doikk Na'ts that's not featured here.)
I could understand why the genetically replicated soldier also known as CC-1010 gets his own insanely detailed toy. He's a member of the Coruscant Guard and the man who lead a squad on a rescue mission to save Padme Amidala from a Hutt crimelord. Without him, there'd arguably be no Luke Skywalker to bring back balance to the Force. He's a war hero!
But the eggheaded musicians from the Mos Eisley cantina? Those guys earned credits laying out music to murder by for the worst criminals in the galaxy. Are we sure we want to immortalise them? Nevertheless, that bouncy ragtime musical riff from Episode IV started running through my head as I unboxed the Modal Nodes figures. They come dressed up cloth shirts and pants, with a fanfar instrument for Tedn and a bandfill for Nalan. These figures aren't as detailed as the Commander Fox one, but the sculpts for their heads and hands will still knock your socks off.
The tiny pimples on their massive domes bring to life the tawdry diets that must plague the lives of intergalactic jazzmen and you won't find any joie de vivre in those giant, beady eyes. They've seen too much playing in the Star Wars universe's wretched hive of scum and villainy; all they want is to collect their checks and blow it on x-rated holos from Hoth. The things sentients do to stay warm on that planet are much, much worse than cutting open a Tauntaun and crawling inside.
The thing that impressed most about the Modal Nodes? The creepy level of detail on those claw-like hands. I can honestly say that I shuddered a little when I looked at the spiny structures of the fingers. Nalan Cheel may play a mean bandfill but I'd never give a high five to an alien with paws like that.
As funny as it is that members of the cantina band get their own figures, it's Commander Fox who stands out as a classic Star Wars figure. The Clone Trooper comes with four weapons -- including a fearsome replica of his signature blaster rifle -- and a plethora of hands with fingers sculpted in a variety of configurations.
The index fingers of the hands set in the firing pose fit snugly inside the weapons' trigger guards and the weathering on Fox's armour is aces. With all the scratched paint and chipped armour, you'll believe Fox has seen action all over the Republic. Underneath that armour, there's a black cloth turtleneck, which matches nicely with the waxy cloth kama that adorns Fox's utility belt. And, yes, those pistols fit in the holsters on the figure's belt. This isn't Sideshow's first appearance at the rodeo, guys.
Thankfully, Fox's switchable hands don't match the creep factor of those that come with the Bith musicians. It's just the opposite. The thumbs-up, v-sign and index finger point variants bring to mind the silent order signals that Fox would give to troops, as well as other lewd usages that George Lucas would probably frown on. The custom base also stands out nicely from the generic ones that Tedn and Nalan ship with. Fox may be just another clone of Jango Fett but damn if he doesn't feel special with the treatment he gets here.
At $US150 for two big ol' figures, the Modal Nodes' two-pack is an impressive value. But all the work put into the Fox action toy certainly justifies its $US125.00 asking price. Head on over to the Sideshow website to learn more about the company's Star Wars exclusives.