<CENTER>DEATH STAR TRASH COMPACTOR DETAILED PICTURES AND REVIEW</CENTER> <CENTER> By Ishi Tib</CENTER> While already released since December of last year, the Trash Compactor sets have been suffering from poor distribution and it is now that they are slowly starting to surface at Walmart retailers throughout the country. The toy is made of two separate sets that when placed together recreate with authenticity and fantastic details the thrilling movie sequence from "A New Hope," where our heroes Han, Luke, Leia and Chewbacca are about to lose their lives as the walls of the Death Star's Trash Compactor dangerously start to close in on them and the Dianoga monster has gotten a hold of Luke's neck. Although considered to be the new version of a Cinema Scene, nicely rendered and beautifully packed, the Compactor does have one major problem which has held back some collectors from buying them, not a problem with its design but rather a steep price of $16.87 for each section. Keep in mind that in order to get the entire set you would need to spend over $35.00 and that's not to mention the price paid by "two -of-each-collectors" like myself_ where the total price tag could then rise up to $70.00 The sections, in my opinion, should had been offered at a lower price somewhere around $10.00 or $11.00, since all we get are two figures and one half of the Dianoga monster. When we compared them to the Cinema Scenes from the past which sold for around $15.00 and included a complete third figure, base and backdrop as well, we can see a noticeable difference. Nevertheless each section piece truly showcases nice attention to detail as well as playability. With this said, let's put the Trash Compactor under the scope, breaking it down into packaging/backdrop, base and characters ... <CENTER>PACKAGING AND BACKDROP FIRST AND SECOND DIORAMA SECTIONS</CENTER> Don't let your eyes take you into looking for the usual rectangular shape of a Cinema Scene window box; the new versions length are almost 2 1/2" shorter in length than previous Scene boxes and about 1" wider, practically having a square shape and can be easily hidden behind other product, so give those toy aisles a good scanning if you want to find Them. Besides the usual big frontal window common on Cinema Scenes, the package also includes a small rectangular window opening running along its top, allowing the sets to be viewed from a different angle. The usual Saga swirled blue background graphics have been downsized and a newer design has taken over reflecting more of a star-burst look with noticeably less swirls. The left and right sides of the box show the pictures of the characters corresponding to the given section inside, while its back side offers a full shot of the sets together as one unit, and a smaller shot explaining how they can be attached to each other. There is also a short writing explaining the events of the scene. The removable inner cardboard which holds the sets in place, features a full picture of the Trash Compactor's walls and can be turned into a backdrop (picture will cover one lateral side and half of the back side) by cutting along the drawn dotted lines. Once cut off, the backdrop easily slides into the slots provided with each base. When the sets are put together and the backdrops are in place the Trash Compactor will have an open front allowing for easy viewing of the scene while the rest will be walled in. <CENTER>COMPACTOR'S BASE FIRST AND SECOND DIORAMA SECTIONS</CENTER> The base(s) are constructed of 75% translucent plastic, noticeable when held up to a light, mainly around the water effect areas. These areas can acquire and enhanced look if the sets get hit directly by a light or such light is placed underneath them. The junk, which is scattered all over the bases, is a combination of different "metal" objects, wheels and bars and has been nicely captured showing intricate design and detail. There is a removable square chunk of junk with attached pipe located at the front outer ends of each section. I'm still trying to figure out why these two pieces are detachable since such feature serves no purpose. The bases can be securely hooked up by using nicely disguised connecting pieces at their front inner ends. For instance, the section with Luke and Han has a small metal bar as part of the "trash" which plugs into a a rectangular "trash" piece with orifice on the Chewie and Leia base. Both connecting pieces can be pivoted, allowing to line up the sections side by side (true-like effect) or as a long double display, without the need of getting them apart. Each figure can be removed and placed back in the bases without any complications. There are two holes provided for each of the legs, only one for Leia and one for each half of the Dianoga. Two of the three (except front) outer sides of each set and as previously mentioned, are purposely grooved so the cut out backdrops can be held in place. There's an outer border, surrounding the bases (except front) which has been accented by using the sequence of relieved bar and circles seen as part of the design on the Death Star walls. <CENTER>HAN SOLO FIRST DIORAMA SECTION</CENTER> Han is one great figure. There is a good resemblance to the actor and the hair style mimics almost with exact precision that of the character. Although he carries a slightly curved stance, the figure stands on its own nicely. His gun also stays within his grasp even after removing the clear plastic band which holds it in place in the package. His left hand is open and when the figure gets properly placed in the base, it truly gives the illusion of holding Luke's arm, as if he was pulling him away from being drowned by the Dianoga. The Stormtrooper outfit is superior to the one offered with the commtech Stormie. Each piece appears to be more authentic to the original design and more in proportion with each other. Grooves and protruding gadgets on the armor and belt are more define as well. Han's Stormtrooper outfit has been splattered with "dirt" at the torso and thighs and there is even molded garbage pieces to his legs. The figure gets second place in articulation when compared to the rest of the characters in the set, offering a fully rotating neck, shoulders, waist and legs/hips. This is one of the best Han in Stormtrooper outfits yet, despite his preposed stance. <CENTER>LUKE SKYWALKER FIRST DIORAMA SECTION</CENTER> Luke is a very realistic sculpt and the best of the set, in my opinion. His face has a painful expression with his eyes almost shut and his mouth open, grasping out for air as he is being strangle by the Dianoga's tail. His hair has been darken and flatten, making it appear as if it was wet. Luke's pose is moment-exact as he is kneeling down with his right hand placed over the Dianoga trying to ease the pressure of the monster's tail. His left arm is extended to the side and his hand is holding a blaster which remains in it after removing the rubber band His outfit is just as well rendered as Han's and even has more dirt splattering his torso and molded on garbage bits on his right leg. Articulation is a plus. He is articulated at the neck, shoulders, waist, hips and knees. The articulated knees offer the same knee movement as seen on the Saga Bespin Luke; they can be completely rotated allowing for several poses and better stability. One downside of this figure is the lack of articulated elbows. Such feature would had given the sculpt a perfect score. Given the fact his arms are stuck in one pose takes away from the playability factor of the figure. and although the left arm can be moved around without creating much of a weird look, his right one, once it gets below chest level gives one the feeling his having stomach cramps.