Hasbro struck on a clever idea, recently, to pad out their Star Wars line: take the animated versions of the characters seen in Genndy Tartakovsky's Clone Wars, and do them in a realistic style. Voila, instant subseries.
Yoda recieves a kybuck as a gift for healing an ailing Wookiee princess on Kashyyyk. The Jedi Master forms a bond of friendship with this swift herbivore. When General Grievous attacks Coruscant during the Clone Wars, Yoda sometimes rides the kybuck during skirmishes but keeps the creature safely away from any danger.
Honestly, it's a good idea: the Clone Wars cartoon kicked all kinds of ass, but the figures didn't live up to it. Plus, they looked weird when you tried to mix the collection. So take the basic designs, throw them on the normal figures, and set them loose upon the shelves. Pretty smart, really.
Yoda and his kybuck
showed up briefly in the first episode of Clone Wars, a quick flash in a montage of battles. They returned for episode 23, where we got to see the pair in action, fighting off the droid invasion. So why does Yoda have a space-horse to ride? Because he's tiny and nearly immobile on his own. Unless all the droids were going to come to him, not much was going to happen: Yoda needed transportation, or he'd still be hobbling out of his room by the time the droids left.
This Yoda is surprisingly good - he's got a cloth robe, and underneath he's wearing a war-worthy outfit. It's just tan pants and a brown shirt, but it suits him. He's also got a white sash with his lightsaber sheathed (or is it holstered?) on his back. The robe not only has a slit to allow the lightsaber to poke through, but a pair of slits in the hood for Yoda's ears. Aww, how cute! Of course, the huge seams keep the robe from sitting on him properly, but that's nothing new - the chronic flaw with real cloth on toys.
The figure is only 1⅞ tall,
but surprisingly articulated, with balljointed ankles, T-crotch, swivel waist, swivel wrists, balljointed shoulders and a ball-and-socket neck. Nice! He has a very angry look on his little green face, and though his hands seem to be different sizes, his right hand can hold his lightsaber perfectly. Either lightsaber, in fact: he has one that's just the hilt, and one that's ignited to show the greenish-blue blade.
The kybuck is a nice figure... or accessory. Whichever you want to consider it. Made up for Clone Wars, a kybuck was a native species of Kshyyyk, the Wookie homeworld. They wander around fields, eat grass and run away from their predators. Heckuva life. Oh, and somehow they're related to Tauntauns. Sure, why not?
Articulation here is simple: just the Big Five.
Well, and a swivel for the tail, but who's counting? The arms and legs are just swivels, but his (her?) head is a balljoint. Honestly, even with five joints, the kybuck only has one pose. Since the legs only have hip pegs and no sort of knees or ankles, the hooves only come into contact with the ground one way. And let's be honest, those little t-rex arms aren't going to add much play value. Basically, we're looking at an articulated display stand for Yoda.
To that end, there's a footpeg and a handle on the kybuck's saddle so Yoda won't fall off. Yay! The sculpt is good, giving the kybuck a realistic texture on its skin and hooves, and creating the illusion of thick fur on the elbows and heels. The saddle and harness are de-stylized versions of the ones seen on the show, and though he has two curved horns instead of a single head-crest, they look nice.
A figure like this is basically the opposite of a caricature: in that case, it's taking a real person and drawing it in an animated style; this is taking animation and making it look real. Reproportionalizing it, or something. An "untoon." Whatever ridiculous term you come up with, it was a cool idea on Hasbro's part, and the pair of Yoda and his Kybuck are okay additions to your Star Wars collection. Sure, articulation could be better, but don't let that scare you away.