It was just over a year ago when Hasbro announced the HasLab initiative and when we couldn’t log on fast enough to lend our support (we believe we were just about the 10th backer). For the next 45 days we tracked the daily progress of The Khetanna, knowing full well at first it was not a sure thing but as we predicted (at about the halfway point) the Barge became a reality just before the deadline. Flash forward a year and a month and the toy/playset that sits before us was both worth the wait and worth every single penny.
Upon our Monday delivery of the barge, Sprocket the Minature Schnauzer quickly claimed it for himself. As much as he thought he we would make the perfect “Barge Buddy” we had Little League practice and tests to grade so the maiden voyage would have to wait another 24 hours.
On Tuesday with my true “Barge Buddy” Aaron at the ready, we embarked on turning the 53″ box into the largest Star Wars Hasbro toy to date.
Hasbro spent a considerable amount of time making sure The Khetanna had the best chance possible of arriving in mint condition. Multiple layers of cardboard, styrofoam, plastic on the top and bottom to protect from moisture and so on.
Now for carded and boxed collectors, this would be where the fun stops but that seems like just a shame because this toy is amazing and deserves to be played with.
Like a good student and collector, my Barge Buddy and I stopped to read the instruction booklet before unpacking, as stated on the cover. Even the instructions were a joy to read as they include funny bits and suggestions on which previously released figures to use in some cases.
Now with the removal of the styrofoam from the box, it opened up access to the two figures included with the set. Jabba the Hutt, which is a scaled down version of The Black Series 6″ version was included in one end and The Power of the Force carded Yakface was held in the other.
This figure is in every way the exact same figure included in the latest wave of The Vintage Collection now available on Hasbropulse.com. The major difference besides the cardback is the inclusion of the coin and very small drinking class, the same one it appears that was released with the #25 R2-D2 from The Vintage Collection but this time in white as opposed to yellow.
Now at this stage, with the Barge ready to take shape, celebratory glasses of bourbon were poured in order to put us in the same mood Jabba’s entourage were in most of the time.
This final assembly of the Barge took about an hour and a half as a constant careful touch was used. The hardest part hands down were the construction of the sails. The cloth sails needed to be stretched across the braces and the fit was so tight it took considerable attempts to pop them into place.
The Barge has an insane amount of detail even on the underbelly of the ship. Little pegs are included to pop into place for extra engine detail on the bottom of the engines. The paint apps are incredible as well. As we learned last month at Toy Fair, this vehicle has over 1000 paint applications, another record for any Star Wars toy Hasbro has ever produced.
The ship comes included with a full galley, a prison cell, an armory, a smuggler hatch, a trap door, loads of shutters which open, three stairwells with opening deck hatches, a removable rail (for falling droids), three cannons, slots for previously released cannons, decorative mounted statues and a screen accurate art relief of the Hutt himself.
The set is a diorama builder’s dream come true as each environment in as beautiful and unique as the next. The amount of figure photography which will be produced from this set alone will be staggering as the scale and possible lighting sources are going to be amazing to play with.
While the set is near perfect there are just two things we wish the set could have included. The first is our buddy the Hammerhead corpse. We were really looking forward to this being a removable figure but alas he is both glued and mounted on a peg to the jail cell floor. Second, in attempting to take note of each and every character present on the Barge we have been rewatching the Battle of Carkoon and one feature the Barge is missing, especially with a new Skiff coming this year, is a “rope” for Luke and Leia to swing to safety on. This could have been mounted to the underside of the upper sail but perhaps Hasbro can make a cool figure two-pack that includes that snap-on accessory. Otherwise, this Barge is well worth the money and truth be told, now that we have had eyes and hands on it, we would have happily paid double for it.
For those looking to make screen accurate scenes, it should be noted that Jabba’s glass came included with Princess Leia from The Legacy collection and a few of her re-releases.
On a side note, in doing additional research about the layout of the Barge, we happened upon our Toys ‘R’ Us Midnight Madness Certificate from nearly 20 years! This was very exciting as it has been misplaced for long over a decade now.
In conclusion, we have only one thing left to say, open your Barges and (like it says in the instruction booklet) “play”!