Star Wars Saturdays- Something Really Reeks! Electronic Arena Battle Beast and Playskool (Galactic Heroes) Arena Adventure!

I don’t hate the Star Wars prequels. I don’t think they’re particularly good films, but they’re still fun enough that I can sit and enjoy them in spite of the ropey dialogue, the abundance of frame cluttering CGI and the walking “fuck you” to the many fans that grew up with the original trilogy- the indisputably despised Jar Jar Binks. I could easily find something in each prequel film that I really liked, and in Episode II- Attack of the Clones it would probably be the three monsters in the Geonosian arena that are supposed to execute Obi-Wan, Anakin and Padme. From Dianogas to Rathtars, every Star Wars movie to date seems to have a giant monster or a creature of some kind that the protagonists have to defeat or escape (I don’t actually remember there being anything in Rogue One or The Last Jedi actually).

Episode II had three different creatures  of which I desperately desired plastic versions of when I was twelve, if only to have some variety on which creature I could feed my other figures to.

Anyway, flash forward to last year and I was wandering around a local convention when I spotted this gnarly beast, nestled among a selection of Power Rangers toys.

 

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If memory serves me rightly, the seller was asking £6 for him and I knew there was no way in hell I would be leaving without him. You don’t get very much for six quid these days, so when an alien/rhinoceros/dinosaur comes across your your path at that price, you really have to grab it by the horns.

The Reek sat around for nearly year as I kept on planning on reviewing him on here but never getting around to it. I finally got around to opening him today and he is truly marvelous. As I was removing him from his packaging he growled at me, which was a sure fire sign that we were going to have a long and happy relationship, as I have special place in my heart for small plastic creatures that make noises.

To be honest, it did actually scare the shit out of me as I’d totally forgotten that the box quite clearly said “ELECTRONIC” in big bold words and I really wasn’t expecting his  batteries to still be working fifteen years later.

 

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As huge horned monstrosities go, he’s a very nice looking figure and a pretty good representation of the Reek seen onscreen. The picture doesn’t really do his details justice, as his bumpy skin does far more impressive and realistic in person, in a lizardy kinda way.

 

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As cool looking as he is, I always feel “deluxe” figures like this should come with a regular sized figure, just for some play value. I’m guessing loads of kids would only buy this if they already had a stockpile of regular Star Wars figures, but there were a few times as a kid where I opted for some awesome looking playset or toy and had to wait to actually buy the figures to go with it. Some Star Wars deluxe sets in the ’90s came with regular figures, like special edition Jabba and a Han Solo, and there was the Naboo sea monster I covered that came with Qui-Gon (the post seems to have vanished much to my annoyance), so it would have been cool if it came with some sort of Geonosian animal handler. Just something to get trampled or butted, ya know? Luckily I have a vast array of Star Wars figures to get trampled and butted so it wasn’t too much of issue.

 

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I don’t think I mentioned it yet, but if you push on the Reek’s underside, it will make him kick his leg, butt his head as well as make him do a growling noise. The noise doesn’t sound anything like how the Reek should in my opinion, as I distinctly remember it making a bellowing noise in the movies and this sounds like a lion or something. I’m not going to lose too much sleep over it though, he makes some noise which is good enough for me. I really like how he butts his head, so you can properly make him attack other figures. Here he is trying to destroy any possibility of Anakin ever being able to conceive children with Padme.

 

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So overall, it’s an awesome figure and I am glad I finally own one. However it wasn’t the only Reek toy released back then! There was another, although it was intended for a much younger age.

 

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Ta-dah! The Playskool ‘Arena Adventure’ playset! The Playskool line actually ended up being called the ‘Galactic Heroes’ line which is still going today. I covered some more modern sets recently, and will definitely be doing some more Galactic Heroes reviews as I really do like cutesy, deformed action figures (Funko Pops aside of which I unfortunately despise), especially when they are cutesy, deformed, Star Wars action figures.

 

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This version of the Reek isn’t anywhere near as detailed as the other but what he lacks in detail, he makes up for in charm and sheer chunkiness. You just couldn’t envision this thing being a method in which anyone would execute somebody.

 

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Accompanying the Reek are wee cutesy figures of Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu (who looks like a giant baby) and a Geonosian warrior. I originally bought this set around 2005 from Home Bargains (a discount store I have a LOT of love for due to it’s seemingly endless supply of very affordable Star Wars toys) along with two other Playskool sets, the ‘Stompin’ Wampa’ and ‘Fast through the Forest’ sets, and they were all about £2.99 each, which was a complete steal in my opinion. For under three quid, I could have a creature and THREE figures as well?! I understand that at £2.99 they were obviously reduced and I’m sure they initially retailed at closer to £10, but even ten pound doesn’t feel too bad considering for a few figures and a monster. One purchase and you already have a little collection started!

 

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The figures are all very simple and deformed looking, each figure sporting three fingers and a thumb instead of the five digits. Until more recently, all the figures in the line featured legs that were fixed in a squat position, which looked a little strange but not offputtingly weird. Most of the figures in the line also had some sort of articulation, usually at the wrist or shoulder so they could move their lightsaber or blaster. The more recent figures have straightened out legs so look a little taller and have better articulation, but I definitely prefer the simplicity of the earlier figures.

The cool thing about these early Playskool sets is that the Jedi characters all have magnets in their outstretched hands so you can knock over other magnetic characters. In this set, Anakin and Mace can both cling to the side of the Reek, riding into battle.

 

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It’s a fun little feature that works quite well. I think some of the other Playskool sets have better magnetic features, but this isn’t too bad at all.

 

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Like the other Reek, this one can also headbutt if you push one of its back legs. There aren’t any fancy sound effects, but I can make those myself and can do it so that it sounds a lot less like a lion and more like a Reek.

 

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So there we go, I think that concludes my look at two Star Wars Reeks from Episode II. If I had to pick a favourite, it would probably be the Playskool one, just because I really like cute deformed action figures.

One final thing! My girlfriend noticed that the button you press to make the larger, more detailed Reek make a noise/headbutt is in a location with a strange bulge that suggests I very well might have been unawaredly poking the Reek’s genitalia, perhaps explaining why it seems so pissed off. Or maybe it’s happy about it. I’m unsure. It’s still weird.

 

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It’s not quite as much of an oversight as the ToyBiz “Shape Shifter” Punisher though, or the vibrating Harry Potter Broom (you should go look those things up). Perhaps I should do a post looking at ridiculous toy oversights? I’m fairly certain that there’s probably 270,000,000 videos on YouTube that have already done that though, so probably not.

 

Oh, this will be the last Star Wars Saturday!  The reason being is that I have so many Star Wars things I want to review or laugh at that I don’t just want to limit my posts on Star Wars things to only Saturdays. We’ll see if actually manage to bother writing on other days anyway, I’m a lazy shit so who knows?

 

I hope everybody has a great weekend!

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