Thursday, January 25, 2007

Figure of the Day: Day 264: Lando Calrissian

LANDO CALRISSIAN with Heavy Rifle and Blaster Pistol
Power of the Force Collection 1
Item No.:
Asst. 69570 No. 69583
Number: n/a
Includes: Heavy Rifle, Blaster Pistol
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: December 1995

Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: A former smuggler and friend of Han Solo. After losing the Millennium Falcon to Han in a game of sabacc, the same game later won Lando the job of Baron Administrator of the floating Cloud City and Tibanna gas mine on the gas giant planet of Bespin. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.

Commentary: Six points of articulation and a cape aren't much when you're the super-beefy Lando Calrissian, but sometimes you can find popularity from other sources. Between the new surge in collectors, the "ha-ha Colt 45" crowd, and of course, Empire Strikes Back fans went nuts for the figure upon its release, even while fully admitting that Lando's new figure could totally take on He-Man in a fight. What you see is pretty much what you get, as there's very little special texture on Lando, and unlike many modern figures, in hindsight, he looks like more of a toy than an attempt to capture the likeness of Billy Dee Williams. Later releases in this outfit would be slimmed down considerably, include a cloth cape, and employ significantly better sculpting techniques in order to make the best possible figures. (One was released in 2001, and another in 2004.) The figure was often called "disco Lando" due to the changes made in his costume for the action figure and, I assume, the pose as well.

Collector's Notes: In 1996, this figure went from "new" to "rare" in about five minutes. He first shipped at two per case-- and then stopped shipping for a couple of months. Fans went berserk, paying upwards of $40 for this brand-new action figure. This sort of hype wasn't too uncommon when the line was new, as nobody really knew the scope of the line to come and every release seemed like the last (or best) one. Today, the figure doesn't exactly go for a lot of money, but it's a great example of what hype can do for a figure that, with few exceptions, wasn't all that great.

Day 264: January 25, 2007

No comments: