Review – Sideshow 1/6 Holo Darth Sidious with Mechno Chair

30 09 2007

Here’s something you don’t get to see too often up close – the Sideshow 1/6 Holo Darth Sidious with Mechno Chair! It’s really a Star Wars furniture imagined in the same vein as the droids, holo projectors and Dejarik chess game made hugely popular in the Original Trilogy. And it’s Nute Gunray’s version of what R2D2 is to Luke only it looks more lavish and the holo ‘screen’ is bigger. Some things don’t change even in the realm of sci-fi huh.

Onto the review.

Bottomline:

Wonderfully conceptualised into 1/6 scale the Sideshow mechno chair is. It looks just like the movie version except minus the robotic movement and the holo effect. The downside is that the significant weight of the holo Darth Sidious can bend the pointed feet of the mechno chair. Definitely an artifact for Star Wars fans.

What’s good:

  • Special piece of Star Wars furniture.
  • Accurate construction.
  • Beautiful details and paint work.
  • On-off switch is better than a strip of plastic.

What could be better:

  • Feet of mechno chair bends when stressed with weight.
  • Possibility of loosening leg joints if Holo Darth Sidious statue is placed on it long term.

Review Details

Packaging

Sideshow’s mechno chair comes in smaller packaging. What is consistent, however, is that it is still easy to access the figure inside. Holo Darth Sidious is packed side by side to the mechno chair as seen below.

Quality of Product

Sideshow’s mechno chair looks just like the moving version in the movie. In terms of accuracy, this 1/6 scale Star Wars furniture scores well. Yes, all the 4 pointed legs are replicated exactly. The copper colour on the body and the numerous engraved patterns are all imagined in 1/6 scale here. While all these are mighty cool, I did find some disappointing traits.

Happily fixing the Holo Darth Sidious statue over the mechno chair, I discovered that the chair was tilted to one side. Thinking that it was due to the need to adjust the legs, I proceeded to find the leg joints to articulate them. After some seemingly perfect adjustments, I set the statue onto the mechno chair again. It was then that I realised the degree of arc on the back pointed legs differ.

Some fiddling later, I could confirm that the difference in the arches was due to the weight of the Darth Sidious statue bending the arc. So, the material used is not altogether solid. I find the statue too heavy for the mechno chair. I hope the leg joints will not give way given that they are designed in a seemingly impractical(but aesthetically appealing…) way to hold up something of this weight. In the movie, the statue was a CG hologram, the mechno chair was also CG rendered. The mecho chair’s weight was zero. Translate that into a real product and real product engineering may be required. Unfortunately, I do not spy any revolutionary joint design on the legs to support the Holo Darth Sidious’ statue weight. You may want to re-think how you want to display this in the long run.

To achieve the hologram effect, Sideshow has employed a bulb-with-switch mechanism to mimic what was seen in the movie. I have no complains in the area. I prefer the switch to a strip of plastic, as seen in the Hot Toys Endoskeleton, to keep the circuit opened. It’s also probably because it is more appropriate to have an actual switch on the mechno chair than on a cool looking robot like the Endoskeleton. Sideshow provides 2 LR44 batteries to power the ‘hologram’.

The Holo Darth Sidious statue is molded in translucent plastic to allow some light to permeate through it thereby achieving somewhat the hologram effect. It’s a pretty good effect. The only glaring difference is the lack of noise and flickering in the ‘hologram’. It’s more like a moving statue with a communications unit inside it.

Sideshow did a commendable job sculpting Darth Sidious here. The poise and proportions of the statue is good. On a lighter note, it does look like a religious statue if displayed by itself!

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