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Premium Format Figures

Tusken Raider - Premium Format Figures

Name: Tusken Raider
Number: Item #71401
Edition Size: 500 (Exclusive) 750 (Regular)
Scale: Premium Format Figures
Source: A New Hope
Availability: January 2009
License: Sideshow Collectibles

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Fearsome desert savages inhabiting the rocky Jundland Wastes, Tusken Raiders, or Sand People as they are also known, are the foremost reason Tatooine colonists do not wander far from their isolated communities. Extremely territorial and aggressive, Tusken Raiders will attack with very little provocation. They show no allegiance to even their native world-mates and have been known to attack Jawa scouting parties on occasion. They brandish a deadly bladed club known as a gaderffii and also carry projectile rifles with which to shoot at passing vehicles. For transportation, Sand People have domesticated the hardy bantha, a longhaired spiral-horned quadruped also found on Tatooine. These nomads purposely travel in single file, to conceal their numbers.

On the desert planet Tatooine, a moisture farmer named Owen Lars buys a pair of droids named R2D2 and C3PO. He leaves the droids in the charge of his nephew Luke Skywalker, but when R2D2 escapes, Luke and C3PO set out in a landspeeder to find him, knowing that dangerous Tusken Raiders inhabit the area. They soon locate R2 on the scanner and catch up with him, only to learn that danger is nearby. R2 tells them that he detects several creatures closing in on their location, and as Luke fears, the creatures are Tusken Raiders. They are quickly attacked, leaving Luke unconscious as the landspeeder is raided for parts.

The Tusken Raiders flee at the sound of a vicious creature, discovered to be a mysterious hooded figure approaching from across the desert sand. Once the figure has checked on the fallen Luke, his hood is removed to reveal an older bearded man. Luke awakens to see that the man is the local hermit Ben Kenobi, who later reveals that he is Obi-Wan Kenobi, a Jedi Knight who had known Luke's father and suspects a great potential for Luke to be strong in the Force. Their chance meeting through this Tusken Raider attack would begin the series of events that saves the Galaxy from certain destruction at the hands of Darth Vader.

Sideshow Collectibles has picked some interesting Star Wars characters for their Premium Format Figures line. Sure, they started out with some core characters like Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi, but then they took a diversion from the main characters and produced background characters like the Tusken Raider. It’s an awkwardly awesome Premium Format Figure. There is no doubt that it’s made from quality materials, but we wonder why characters like Chewbacca wouldn’t be a priority. (Or maybe it is and they just can’t figure out away to produce him authentically in this line yet.) However, the Tusken Raider Premium Format Figure is nonetheless an expertly crafted high-end collectible produced in multiple materials (something that Sideshow Collectibles refers to as a mixed media figure). The use of linen, leather and polystone is a perfect marriage and they work equally to produce the most aesthetically pleasing version of the Tusken Raider character from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Great attention was paid to all the nooks and crannies on the gloves of the costume, so proper credit must be given to the sculptors for this. The wonderful sculpting is made better by the stunning paint job given to this figure. Even the base is completely amazing and looks as if a small section of the rocky Tunisian desert has been used to create it. The Tusken Raider stands strong and confident on top of it.

A multi-layered costume including a linen underskirt and cloak adorn the simple polystone body while a leather harness and belt complete the worn outfit. He also comes with a polystone head, hands, feet, and the interchangeable weapons are also cast from this material. The mouth portion in cast in polystone and it is finished beautifully with a incredibly realistic paint operation. It looks just like the leathery bandages seen in the film.While excellently sculpted and detailed, the we feel the Tusken Raider lacks a bit in its pose. The sculptors took some artistic license here and developed a very dramatic (and off-screen) position for the Tusken Raider. The stance of this figure, while very stylized, is clumsy and awkward. A more erect stance would have served the Tusken Raider much, much better and it would have also been more authentic to his appearance in Episode IV. The figure also comes posed with an open left hand. While it is very neat to see all the details of the fingers and palm, it looks like he is gesturing a passion like some political speech instead of trying to terrorize a Tatooine intruder. It certainly doesn’t seem necessary in the least, besides, the open hand is a pose that really works best for Darth Vader. It is quite cool that Sideshow attempted a "background" character to immortalize in the 1/4 scale collection. It will look fantastic set next to your Luke Skywalker PF figure. But it goes without saying that the Tusken Raider is infinitely better.

The costume on this figure is absolutely flawless. Sideshow would be unable to do it better. It is the perfect color, looks rugged and dirty, and has an extremely authentic drape to it. It’s amazing how worn Sideshow Collectibles has been able to make the cloak and robes appear. In fact, the bottom of the outer robes are frayed to exacting detail and we would love to know if the fraying was done by hand, or if the artists had a special tool to create this effect. But it is impressively realistic no matter the method. We’re particularly taken with the simple details as well. For example, the four points atop his head are stunningly sharp-looking. And the sculpting done for the “eyes” are perfect (usually a detail that is surprisingly hard to get right with other licensees) and just aid this Premium Format Figure in having an almost perfect likeness. These details only help reiterate the dangerous nature that these wasteland denizens will impose on any vagabond ignorant enough to walk alone in a desolate section of Tatooine. Again, the head wrappings are so realistic, you will be convinced that they are made of some soft-goods material. And while the costume and head are cast in different materials, great care was taken to make sure everything matches and seamlessly falls into place. Having a low edition size of only 500 pieces for this exclusive version, this will sure grow value over time. Some trivia for you: Sideshow Collectibles didn’t ship the gaderffi stick attachment with the exclusive version and had to ship replacement parts in April 2009.

Collector Notes

Tusken Raider

Status: The Tusken Raider Premium Format figure is a stunning 1:4 scale reproduction. The figure is cast in high-quality, heavy-weight polystone, and dressed in an expertly-tailored scale reproduction of the costume. Each figure is hand-painted and hand-finished, and individually hand-numbered. This amazingly detailed figure is a truly worthy addition to any Star Wars collection!

Announcement: The Tusken Raider Premium Format Figure was announced on July 22, 2008.

Pre-order Information: The Tusken Raider Premium Format Figure went up for pre-order on July 29, 2008.

Articulation: None

Assembly: 3 parts

Assembly Details: Tusken Raider figure, right hand attachment with gaderffi stick, environmental display base (Tatooine)

Sideshow Exclusive: Interchangeable Right Hand Holding Rifle

Date Stamp: 2009

UPC: 747720218956

Retail: $299.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.

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Added: October 21, 2012
Category: Premium Format Figures
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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