Episode I VHS Tie-In
Item No.: Asst. 84385 No. 84522
Includes: Lightsaber, display stand
Action Feature: Push button for lightsaber attack
Availability: Spring 2000
Appearances: The Phantom Menace
Bio: Darth Maul and his double-bladed lightsaber prove a fearsome challenge to Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi as the trio battle it out in the Theed generator complex. With hopes for victory nearly gone, Obi-Wan leaps from the brink of certain death and uses his fallen master's weapon to cut the evil Sith Lord in two! (Taken from the set's cardback.)
Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus.
Commentary: With Episode I, fans were treated to a line with more articulation, better sculpts, and of course, a higher price point. Realizing the need to offer multiple versions of a single character, Hasbro made figures like this Obi-Wan Kenobi, which basically took the deluxe design from 1999, made some modifications, and have him Qui-Gon Jinn's lightsaber to effectively capture a character as he appeared for mere seconds on screen. (A proud tradition, I should add, carried on to this very day.) The figure's articulation is nothing fancy, and in hindsight, its sculpt is OK. It's a figure designed to cut down Darth Maul, and was meant to be the first in a line of two-packs which capture scenes from the film. Obviously, it didn't work, but this set of figures was pretty nifty when it came out as a tie-in to the home video release of Episode I. Which, if you'll recall, was before George Lucas decided DVD was a good thing for his films.
While this is not a must-buy figure, it is a nice one. The display stand is pretty decent, and Darth Maul can be cut in half-- even though it's one of two figures that can claim this. If the price is right, the unique sculpt and styling of these figures is a worthy addition to any collection, although there's little to get excited about if you own other, similar figures.
Collector's Notes: During a great many toy run, I stumbled on piles of this set at a Kmart in Phoenix, all of which were sealed and missing their lightsabers due to either theft or a flaw in the package design. When picking up one of these, do take care to examine the piece for missing accessories.
Day 142: September 25, 2006