KIR KANOS Crimson Empire
Expanded Universe Internet Exclusive
Item No.: No. 87264
Includes: Staff, blaster, removable cape, removable helmet
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: October 2006
Appearances: Crimson Empire
Bio: Trained secretly in the art of echani and fanatically devoted to the Emperor, the Royal Guard from which these two men rose was the most feared group of warriors in the Empire. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: In front of Coruscant's Jedi Temple from the Mace Windu's Battalion Battle Pack.
Commentary: Hasbro's newfound commitment to the Expanded Universe begins (again) here. The Kir Kanos and Carnor Jax 2-pack is the first in a series of 2-packs that each feature a comic book and two action figures for a decent price. This particular figure fulfills a common fan request: that Hasbro convert a Royal Guard into the characters from the Crimson Empire comic books. While fans largely expected a minor tweak to the neck and a new head, it was a little surprising just how much actual new work Hasbro put in to the creation of this figure (and its sibling, Carnor Jax, which is pretty much the same figure except the paint and head.)
Kir Kanos has been requested for years since his first appearances in the comics, and today fans finally get a crack at him. He's a somewhat limited release, but that's part of the appeal. The figure is very similar to the 2005 Royal Guard mold in terms of articulation with ball-jointed shoulders, knees, and head with additional joints at the wrists, hips, and elbows. You really can't go wrong here as the figure is pretty much everything you could hope for except for the fact that his blaster really doesn't like to stay in the holster on his hip.
Since there are precious few figures from post-Return of the Jedi stories, this one is exciting for many reasons, not the least of which is finally seeing the figure made as a toy nearly a decade after seeing him in the comics. The paint on this figure, though, isn't as good as its sibling-- there are some sloppy parts on the legs of all figures I've examined on the sides (you might not notice it), and I've heard reports on the helmets being hit-and-miss, but mine are all fine.
Collector's Notes: The first samples of this figure had slightly different stitching on the cape and a different helmet. Before, the helmet had a visor you could see through. For the final release, Hasbro painted it over. It is not known if any "see-through" visors escaped into the collector's market. Aside from this, there are no known variants. This figure is exclusive to Internet stores Entertainment Earth, ShopStarWars, and the Hasbro Toy Shop. (It's also available wholesale via Entertainment Earth's EE Distribution division, which is why you might see it elsewhere.)