Saturday, August 19, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 105: Zam Wesell

ZAM WESELL Bounty Hunter
Saga Collection Collection 1
Item No.:
Asst. 84851 No. 84655
Number: 0218
Includes: Blaster, face mask, removable arm
Action Feature: Quick-draw action, magnetic arm battle-damage, working holster, removable mask
Retail: $4.99
Availability: April 2002
Appearances: Attack of the Clones

Bio: Zam Wesell is the dangerous, heavily armed bounty hunter mysteriously hired to eliminate Senator Amidala. Swift to action, Wesell is a refined, unrelenting assasin and an excellent tracker. Her quarry's almost nonexistent survival rate confirms Wesell's eminent reputation and unsurpassed markmanship. Wesell gets more than she bargained for when her assassination attempt is foiled by the Senator's Jedi protectors, who pursue the bounty hunter on a harrowing chase through the Coruscant skyline. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.

Commentary: In early 2002, Hasbro released some sneak preview figures, and just a few short months later released a new, more articulated and action-packed version of Zam Wesell. For this release, Hasbro gave her a magnetic "battle damage" arm that, for the record, is the best magnet Hasbro ever used in one of its toys. It's just strong enough to hold, but not so strong that you can't "slice" off her arm if you wanted to. Unfortunately, it was not a feature Hasbro would continue to use and refine, making this figure an interesting high point as far as magnets go. Her quick-draw attack also worked admirably, allowing her to fire on foes quickly without getting too much in the way of her range of movement.

With over a dozen points of articulation, a fantastic paint job, unique coloring, and a face-change-mask, there's a lot to like in this figure, and seeing how she's easy to get, she's one you should go after. Of course, she still can't fit inside the Zam's Speeder vehicle, because, well, I have no freaking idea what the designers were thinking when they made that thing.

Collector's Notes: Zam makes for a good figure, even if her character didn't offer a whole heck of a lot. There are very few purple figures, and very few female figures, which makes this a figure that, I believe, is a welcome addition to any collection. With so much of Star Wars being black or white with accents, a figure like this actually stands out on a shelf of 400 figures. And that takes some doing.

In 2002, in some markets, Zam was what you might call a slow seller. A Toys "R" Us near Arrowhead Mall in Arizona was stuffed to the brim with Zam Wesells, and little else. It took so long for the figures to move that it appeared the store never restocked, but the sheer number of Zam figures, which never shipped above 1 or 2 per case, showed just how popular Star Wars was, and how popular Zam wasn't. The same store also had a massive supply of Jango Fett (Pilot) figures. But I'll always remember the endless supply of Zam figures, because the glass is half-empty.

Day 105: August 19, 2006

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