Ponda Baba

April 13, 2013 | By More

Ponda Baba TVC (11)

One of the more memorable aliens in the Cantina Scene from the original Star Wars movie is the Walrus Man, later named as Ponda Baba in West End Games’ Galaxy Guide 1: A New Hope, published in 1989.


Ponda Baba TVC (4)Ponda Baba  (VC70) , a.k.a Walrus Man, was released a couple of years ago as part of Hasbro’s Star Wars Vintage Collection, and it is so loaded with extra features that this is pretty much the definitive version for the character.


Ponda has a much more accurate costume than his vintage Kenner counterpart, and since most of the alien characters in the cantina scene required only a mask and some hands in addition to rather common clothes, you can see that several of the costume elements on Ponda are the same we see reused by other characters in the movie. In fact, other than the coloring, Ponda Baba seems to be wearing the exact same clothes as Biggs Darklighter from the deleted scenes, or even Luke’s from the award ceremony at the end of the film.


Although the detailing on the clothes is nice and the sculpting is realistic enough, the more interesting parts are the head and especially the hands. Ponda’s face is rather unexpressive but it seems to me that the shape and proportion of the head were tweaked just a little bit to make it look lees than a rubber mask worn over by a stunt double.


The hands are were things start to get interesting. Apparently, Ponda Baba had oddly-shaped, alien hands during the scene where he and his pal Evazan are bullying Luke Skywalker, but after Ben Kenobi steps in and Ponda loses an arm, the hand attached to the severed appendage is clearly more humanoid.


Ponda Baba TVC (5)For years Hasbro had been producing Ponda Baba figures with the humanoid hands, but this time they decided to acknowledge the blooper and provide a second set of alien-sucker hands, as well as a severed-arm feature.


In his standard-arm mode, Ponda Baba is as well articulated as most of the characters in the Vintage Collection with:


• Ball jointed neck.

• Pegged hinge shoulders.

• Pegged hinge elbows.

• Swivel wrists.

• Swivel waist.

• Swivel hips.

• Pegged hinge knees.

• Pegged hinge ankles.


Ponda Baba TVC (2)However, using the severed right arm, the elbow joint goes away and is replaced by a simple swivel just above the elbow, which is the place of the cut. The hands and the damaged arm can be replaced quite easily but they stay put without any problem.


Besides the alternate appendages Ponda also comes with a blaster pistol and a cantina glass. The humanoid hands work fine with either accessory, but the alien hands are much less versatile, although he can grab the pistol with some effort.


The paint application on Ponda Baba is quite good, although not particularly complex since most of the figure is molded in the final colors of plastic with just a few minor details picked out in metallic paint.


Ponda Baba is one of my favorite characters in this line and even though as a whole I was not very interested in the alternate hand designs, I certainly appreciate the effort on Hasbro’s part.


Ponda Baba TVC (3)

Errex Score: 95/100

Ponda Baba TVC

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Category: Featured, Star Wars, Toy Reviews

About the Author ()

I've been collecting action figures since the original Kenner Star Wars days. Nowadays, I still collect pretty much anything that catches my eye.

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