Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 122: Rebel Trooper

REBEL TROOPER Tantive IV Defender
Power of the Jedi Collection 1; Saga Collection Troop Builder Set
Item No.:
Asst. 84455 No. 84658; No. 26816
Number: n/a
Includes: Rebel pistol, Force File (POTJ only), Display Stand (Saga only)
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $6.99-$19.99
Availability: Fall 2001
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: The Rebel Blockade Runner Tantive IV was on an urgent mission to Tatooine. Princess Leia Organa, armed with secret plans to the Death Star, was on her way to find General Obi-Wan Kenobi when the ship was attacked by an Imperial Star Destroyer. The heroic Rebel troopers were the last line of defense as the ship was boarded by Darth Vader and a platoon of Stormtroopers. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam's other toy shelf.

Commentary: When first released, the Rebel Trooper was something of a surprise because it used a new form of leg articulation that Hasbro had never used before, but was popularized by 21st Century Toys' 1:18 scale military lines. Here, a cut joint in the knee allowed for a greater range of motion without using a ball joint or a hinge, and I'd say the results are mixed. It isn't bad, but it's not a type of joint that all figures could pull off well. In addition to these unique joints on the knees, he has boot articulation (which is required for any pose with these knees), wrist joints, and the obligatory neck, waist, shoulder, and hip joints. So he's quite posable but not perfect by a longshot. This figure was a long-requested resculpt of the 1997 Rebel Fleet Trooper, a figure with the wrong pants who could tower over Darth Vader. As such, this new figure became a favorite quickly by virtue of it not sucking. The sculpt is good, the face is generic, and the costume is authentic. What more could you ask for? (Well, a working holster probably. But you ain't gonna get one.)

Collector's Notes: This is where it gets complicated. In 2001, Hasbro said they would release variants of this figure and the Imperial Officer figures with new heads. Both figures would each receive 2 new heads when released in the Saga line at the end of 2002/beginning of 2003, but this is the only head released in Power of the Jedi packaging. To make matters more complicated, unless you examine them side-by-side, the two different Saga heads look virtually identical-- really the only easy way to distinguish them is hair color despite their having unique sculpts.

Before that, though, this exact figure would be released in a plain white box Internet-only Troop Builder 4-Pack which also included clear display stands, but was identical to the first figure's release. Finally, this figure was also included in a fairly rare Mexico-exclusive Power of the Jedi 4-Pack with Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and a Sandtrooper. So, in short, you can get this figure in nearly any configuration-- but I recommend the troop builder box.

Day 122: September 5, 2006

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