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REVIEW: STAR WARS 12" PLO KOON
By Thomas Wheeler

I'm not certain where this 12" version of one of the more interesting Jedi Knights was originally intended for. I'd assumed that Plo Koon was planned as a Star Wars Fan Club exclusive, but I ended up getting mine from an online retailer.

Plo Koon is a Kel Dor from the planet Dorin, and needs special equipment to protect his eyes and nostrils from the oxygen-rich atmosphere of Coruscant. He is descended from a long line of Jedi, and was seen in both Episodes 1 and 2 of the Star Wars saga.

Other figures listed on the back of his box include the most recent assortment of action figures, consisting of bounty hunters Zuckuss and Dengar, and that Elvis-sideburned Imperial Officer. The 12" Ultimate Jango Fett is also shown.

After the superb job Hasbro did with Jedi member Ki-Adi-Mundi a while back, my expectations for Plo Koon were understandably high. Maybe a little too high.

Don't get me wrong. Hasbro's done a truly superb job with this figure. The head is ornately sculpted and incredibly well painted. The Jedi's outfit is very well made from several types of fabric. The eerie alien hands are as well executed as the head, and he comes with a well-made lightsaber. Hasbro's 12" line of Star Wars figures has always displayed high quality, and Plo Koon is no exception.

BUT -- there's one problem that resulted in an even bigger problem. The figure uses a G.I.Joe body. I've disliked this practice since they started it, because the limbs of a G.I.Joe figure are rather scrawny compared to the more heroic proportions of the Action Man body which they have used and/or modified in the past. Fortunately, this aspect is well concealed under Plo Koon's robes.

What I AM complaining about is the fact that these figures have very loose necks. It's a problem related to wear and tear on the molds, and is not a difficult problem to fix.

Unfortunately, given the much larger than usual size of Plo Koon's head, including a thick neck that "cuts off" at the collar line and then reduces into a standard G.I.Joe neck joint, the problem is magnified to the point where a Bobblehead toy is the height of stability compared to this. Plo Koon's wonderfully sculpted, superbly detailed, masterfully painted head bounces around like a chiropractor's worst nightmare.

Maybe they're not all like that. But given the high percentage of loose G.I.Joe heads I've encountered over the past few years -- well, not even I can have that bad a run of rotten luck. The overall percentage has to be fairly high, high enough so that this problem should have long ago been addressed.

Do I recommend PLO KOON, though? Actually, yes, I do. It's a superbly crafted figure with astounding detail to both the plastic features and the uniform. It's a worthy addition to the growing "Jedi Council" series of 12" Star Wars figures. But I don't recommend him quite as highly as Ki-Adi-Mundi, and I do give warning as to what you MIGHT encounter when you open him.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I give Plo Koon a very strong 8. Make it an 8.5. This could've been a ten, by the way, if Hasbro would either use a more stable body or fix the problem they have with the existing one. Bottom line -- Plo Koon is a very good figure, with one very infortunate fallacy.

(Author's note: I've gotten a number of e-mails asking me where I get the pictures for the toys that I review. The answer is -- I take them myself. I enjoy photography, and fortunately I live in a reasonably picturesque apartment complex. About the only "location shot" I had to do recently was the G.I.Joe SWAT Sniper, which I wanted to put in a sort of urban setting, so I found another location that had pre-fab metal steps. Those who think I've been sending in pictures from product catalogs -- sorry, the photowork is all mine. I hope you enjoy it as much as the articles.)