Slowly but surely, I’m filling in the gaps in my 2011 Clone Wars collection. Last month I finally found and reviewed Chewbacca, and over the weekend I added my Armored Savage Opress review. This time, I’m back with the other Savage Opress. Arguably much less desirable, the shirtless Savage Opress has supposedly been much easier to find at retail (but not for me) since his release in the summer. I haven’t watched the Savage Opress arc of Clone Wars since it aired last winter, so I can’t place if this version of the character actually appeared in the show or not. If he did, I presume it was when the Night Sisters were “enhancing” Savage Opress with their Sith magic. This Savage Opress is much more beefcake than the other figure–does that make him a better figure as well?
There are two main things about this Savage Opress’ sculpt that differentiate it from the armored version. The first (and obvious) difference is that this version of Savage Opress is shirtless.This figure is very reminescent of the comic book-based Darth Maul figure from the Sith Legacy 3-pack, which is actually my favorite version of Darth Maul. Opress’ abnormal, citron-toned skin has a fright-inducing quality to it, and the plethora of tattoos on his body up the intimidation factor further. And to be blunt, all of the markings on his upper-body are just plain cool. This version of Savage Opress is much more fun and interesting to look at than the armored version of the charter.
The second major difference from the armored version is the head sculpt, which is all-new and totally different. Whereas the armored Savage Opress has a reserved, menacing grimace, the shirtless Savage Opress has a vicious, crazed expression on his face. This Savage Opress is the one that looks like he wants to cut you to pieces and then eat the pieces, and ultimately the one that looks more evil to me.
A lesser difference is that the skirt on this Savage Opress is fully-plastic, whereas the armored version utilized softgoods for the sides of the skirt. While I really liked the cloth on the armored version, I feel like the all-plastic grey skirt works better with the shirtless upper-body due to all of the black marking on Opress’ torso. There’s no lateral leg movement to inhibit in the first place, so there’s no reason not to apply a fully-plastic skirt. His boots have been painted a lighter grey here as opposed to the armored version’s black, making the dark upper-body tattoos pop even further. All these lower-body differences result in a great visual contrast between the upper and lower bodies that look terrific aesthetically.
Accessory-wise, this Savage Opress has the same giant missile-firing battle axe as the armored one, as well as a more realistic (and practical) battle axe. For whatever reason I’m actually kind of fond of the missile-firing battle axe, but it’s nice to have the option of a less “action feature” version of the weapon.
The shirtless Savage Opress has the same glaring flaw as the armored version: poor articulation. Shirtless Opress has the same 12 points: neck, waist, ball-jointed shoulders and elbows, swivel wrists, T-crotch hips and ball-jointed knees. Everything I said about the armored version stands with this version, so let me quote myself from my Armored Savage Opress review:
“The articulation on this figure is, quite frankly, god-awful… Savage Opress is saddled with the much-maligned T-crotch, dooming his legs to forever only move forward and backward with no possible side-to-side motion. Further complicating this issue is a couple of other crucial missing points of articulation: torso and ankles. Somewhere during the development cycle, Hasbro seems to have forgotten that ball-jointed knees are meaningless if there’s no other lower-body articulation to support them. As things stand, the knee joints are worthless because Savage Opress can only stand up straight without falling over.
With trivial lower-body articulation and only a waist joint for his torso, you end up with a Sith Apprentice that’s pretty useless for doing anything except standing straight up and defending oncoming attacks… Finally, Savage Opress has issues both with the sculpting of his wrists and the joints themselves. Both of Opress’ wrists have been sculpted in a grasping position in order to hold his [battle axe] and his rocket-firing giant axe.”
In addition to the dismal articulation issues, this Savage Opress doesn’t come with a lightsaber of any kind. I realize that that’s because it represents Opress before he was trained by Dooku, but c’mon! Kids–and collectors–want Opress with a double-bladed lightsaber. Period. Considering it’s a complete pain in the ass to find the armored version with the lightsaber, it would have been nice to have one here as well.
According to his Galactic Battle Card, this untrained pre-Dooku trained Savage Opress has 30% better stats in battling skills than the fully-trained Dooku’s assassin version of the character. That makes no sense. None. Even worse, Chewbacca has a higher “battling skills” stat than Savage Opress–CHEWBACCA!! I’m sorry, but Savage Opress would turn Chewbacca into Wookie shish-kabobs in moments. I realize no one–not even kids–care about the Galactic Battle game, but Hasbro could at least try to have some semblance of coherency when it comes to the game since they continue to waste resources on it.
The Savage Opress wave of Clone Wars figures has been shipping (barely) to stores since late August, and has been a real pain in the butt to find in stores. I just found and bought him at Target this week, so he is out there–you’ll just have to work a bit to find him. Online options for Savage Opress are pretty limited:
If you’re looking for a single figure purchase, you can get Clone Wars Shirtless Savage Opress from Amazon right now from a multitude of sellers at varying price-points.At the time of writing this article, he’s available as low as $7.99, which is pretty great considering the pain in the ass he’s been to find at retail.
Big Bad Toy Store has the Clone Wars Series 6 set of figures including Chewbacca, Savage Oppress, R7-D4, Jar Jar Binks, Red Leader ARC, and Even Piell for $69.99. They also have the Clone Wars 2011 Series 6 case of 12 containing Chewbacca and some other rare figures in-stock right now for $104.99.
Overall: It’s kinda funny, but I think I like this version of Savage Opress which is either obscure or not in the show at all as much or more than the accurate, armored version. Although this shirtless Savage Opress suffers from the same articulation pitfalls as his armored counterpart, this version is visually much more fun to look at and stylistically more exciting. He can wield the smaller axe he comes with better than armored Opress can hold his double-bladed lightsaber, and his psycho, feral head sculpt is great. In the end, shirtless Savage Opress is nowhere near as essential to a collector as the popular armored version and is probably a figure all but huge fans will pass on, but I like him so much more than I expected to, and this is the version that I’m going to be keeping on my desk for the next few months. If you just want to have a cool action figure of Darth Maul’s little bro and don’t care which is his “main” costume, then this is the one that I recommend.