Star Wars: Emperor Palpatine (Deluxe Edition) Hot Toys Sixth Scale Figure Review


What very well may be my last sixth scale figure for the year turned out to be one that has blown me completely away.  There have been many Star Wars sixth scale figures from both Hot Toys and Sideshow Collectibles this year and so much awesomeness with the majority of each one.  Just when you think nothing could get better, a figure like this arrives.

When Emperor Palpatine was put up for pre-order, I jumped on it (using some Sideshow Rewards, of course, so the damage to my bank account wasn’t that bad).  I snagged the deluxe edition because, to me, it was a no-brainer to get a throne for him to sit on.  It’s like Jabba not having his throne and I can’t have that.

If you want to go the normal figure route, you can just get the figure with most of the accessories in this set if you don’t have the room or money for the deluxe version, or if you own the previous throne Sideshow released a long time ago.  Perhaps you have a custom!  Suffice to say, you have options to get his figure in your collection.

The box is pretty big – probably the largest box I have besides the one for Jabba and his throne.  Once again, the packaging is the standard Star Wars box but the front and back is actually printed on a slipcase.  Once you slide it off the box, you are treated to a picture of the figure on the back and you can see the majority of the stuff that comes in the package.

The figure is just a bit below 12″ tall.  I go through all the articulation in the video embedded at the end of this feature but I’ll state that all the usual articulation on a Hot Toys figure is found here (neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, legs, knees, and ankles).  I didn’t find anything to be overly tight and nothing was loose.  I’m really happy when I don’t have to deal with figures that potentially fall over after posing them.

The fabric for the cloak is fine quality.  It is probably better than the 15 or 20 year old housecoat I own.  The texture of it is smooth and it’s not that heavy.  The sleeves have wiring that you can play with to have it hang the way you want when you’re posing the figure.  I think that was a great design choice to make.

Below, you can see ol’ Palpy wanting to flash the smooth and silky robe that lies beneath his cloak.  It is similar in texture to the one the Imperial Royal Guard has under its main robe.  The same can be said for the boots.  I like the parallels between the outfits on both figures.  It kinda ties them both together.

This is one awesome portrait sculpt here on this figure.  The sculpting is spot on and all the attention to detail really make the figure look life-like.  What I’m really a fan of is how the wrinkly details hug the mouth and lead down to the chin and how it also follows the cheekbone, traveling up around the hairline.  Props also need to be given for how the skin and wrinkles look on the neck.

The subtle wash used on all the wrinkles and skin help with giving him that evil, dark look as it brings out more of the sculpt.  The portrait is intensified due to how they eyes and brow are sculpted. It’s almost as he’s looking into your soul here.  Thankfully the pupils and the irides (plural of “iris” – I learned something new writing this up!) are placed well.

Palpatine is sporting that slicked back, thin hairdo that I’ll probably have when I’m 80, so it makes me dig him even more.  The teeth, though, I can’t relate to.  They’re so yellow and look unhygienic.  I guess those serving the Dark Side don’t have to worry about gum disease.

Although the sculpt all over the head is done very well, it will probably be a rare thing to see someone displaying the figure without the hood or cloak off.  The hood has a wire as well so you can play around with how it hangs.  When you have the slight shadow on the face from the hood, the figure seems even more imposing, if you can believe it.

The Emperor comes with four extra hands, bringing the total to six.  You have hands for pointing and holding the cane as well as a set of open hands that are used for the Force lighting effect accessories I’ll get to in a bit.

The cane is a lightweight glossy piece of plastic.  It’s not an accessory to go into great detail about except to say it seems to match what we saw in the film and the shape of it is really unique.

The figure also comes with a stand for anyone wanting to display him upright.  At first I couldn’t imagine why this would be used, especially when this set comes with the throne but after doing the video I thought people would perhaps use it if they wanted to keep Palpatine posed with the Force lightning effects and not wanting to risk the figure falling over.  I took a picture of the stand with the additional piece you can put on the standard Hot Toys Star Wars stand.  If I used this stand, which I probably won’t, I would keep this piece on it.

DSC_0015DSC_0017The figure looks damn cool posed with the cane in hand.  I actually may keep the cane leaning close to the throne but I won’t be posing him holding it in my cabinet as he’ll be sitting most of the time.


Speaking of the throne, this thing is pretty big.  I thought it would have a bit more weight to it.  I have figures that weigh more than the chair.  It initially comes in two pieces (I show it in the video) and you just slide the base into the bottom of the chair.  The chair actually swivels so you don’t have to pick up the whole chair to reposition it when your figure is sitting in it.

If you insert two triple A batteries (not included) into the bottom of the chair and flick the switch, the chair lights up in various places.  The four pictures at the top of the collage below (click to enlarge) show the chair without any of the lights on but the others show the chair lights up the control panels on both sides of the armrests.  In addition, a bright white light shines down from the top.

As you can see, Palpatine fits snug in the chair/throne.  Some of the press pictures made it look like he could actually touch the floor but he can’t.  Even if you had Palpatine leaning forward, which would look awkward, he can barely touch his feet to the ground.  For those thinking they can drape the robe lower to cover his feet, there’s not much more give than you see in these pics.

In addition to the Throne, the deluxe edition comes with Luke’s lightsaber hilt.  It is the exact one that came with the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker figure Hot Toys released earlier in the year.  It think it was decent of them to throw it in just in case people passed on that figure but wanted to have a lightsaber hilt to sit alongside The Emperor on the throne or to hold.  DSC_0014DSC_0029DSC_0030DSC_0032As mentioned, the figure is able to be posed with Force lightning effects coming from its hands.  Two lightweight pieces are included and wiggle in-between the fingers of the open hands.  There are instructions included but they really don’t show a good close-up.  What you see in the pics below is my first attempt at placing them.  I thought I did well, so I left them for the photos.

I am blown away with how awesome the effects look in person.  Yeah, the promo pics look amazing but to play around with them in-hand and experience it all with my own eyes totally leveled me.  It looks astonishing.  I tried a quick before and during lightning attack below and I think it turned out well.

I think those who have ordered this figure are going to have a blast posing the figure with the Force lightning effects.  I should have actually gotten my Jedi Luke out and had him lay at the feet of Palpatine with the bolts blasting down upon him.

As of the time of writing this, I only have one Imperial Royal Guard and although I would really like to get another one to put on either side of The Emperor, that money could go to another unique character.  I’m going to try having those two figures plus my Return of the Jedi Darth Vader that Sideshow Collectibles released a long time ago all together, as seen below, to see if it satisfies me.  I mean, I do have Tarkin and (the ANH) Vader side by side, so it make sense.  But then again, The Emperor needs his two guards.


It’s going to be a damn hard time to make a best of the year list with all the sixth scale figures I’ve collected this year.  I’m not even going to be able to count the ones I passed on!  One thing is for certain: this figure will be in the top five, if not top three.  As stated, I’m blown away and more mesmerized than I thought I would be with this figure and throne in hand.  The multiple display options are welcome and I think many will utilize everything that’s included here.  This set is well worth the money.  If you’re sitting on the fence, get off it before this one becomes much sought after on the secondary market.


Enjoy the video!