Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 80: Podracer Anakin Skywalker

ANAKIN SKYWALKER from Anakin Skywalker's Pod Racer
Episode I Vehicles
Item No.:
Asst. 84020 No. 84097
Number: n/a
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99-$29.99
Availability: May 3, 1999
Appearances: Episode I

Bio: The high speed, adrenaline-packed pod races in Mos Espa are immensely popular events for the local populace. The pilots of these pod racers must have lightning fast reflexes and nerves of plastisteel, especially for the Boonta Eve race at Mos Espa Arena. Here, Mos Espa's best maneuver through a perilous course that winds its way through narrow canyons and tunnels. Facing incredible odds and vicious competition, a victory for the young competitor Anakin Skywalker would make him Mos Espa's best pod racer. (Taken from the toy's box.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelf.

Commentary: Can you say Cornholio? This release of Anakin Skywalker is unique in that he's the only one to wear his distinctive crash helmet from the Boonta races, but also in that he has his arms at a bizarre 90-degree angle which resembles Beavis' alter-ego from Beavis & Butt-Head. His arms are posed this way so he can grasp the controls of the vehicle with which he's packed, but that doesn't mean it doesn't look downright weird otherwise. The figure has the typical six points of articulation, one of which is hampered by a "skirt" piece around his waist which restricts leg movement-- a real bad decision in design given this figure was created solely to be sold as a vehicle pilot that needs to sit down. The sculpt is good, based on other Anakin figures of the day, and his pose is about what it needs to be. The helmet sculpt is top-notch, and I hold out hope that Hasbro will revisit this feature with additional arm articulation, cloth around the waist, and new paint-- it's a marvelously sculpted figure, it just needs a little bit of tweaking and it'll be perfect.

Collector's Notes: This figure, packaged with his vehicle, is about as common as dirt. While many have asked for a reissue, we stand firm in saying that there's no need. Sealed box samples of this toy go for as little as $4 before shipping on eBay, and a rerelease would start at $20-$25, probably as high as $30 were it to be an exclusive. So be a smart shopper-- buy one on the secondary market! It's cheap, and you'll get one sent to your door. Even $4 for just Anakin's a pretty good deal.

Day 80: July 25, 2006

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