Episode I Collection 1
Item No.: Asst. 84085 No. 84077
Includes: Staff, CommTech Chip
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: May 1999
Appearances: The Phantom Menace
Bio: A creature from the underwater depths of the planet Naboo, Jar Jar Binks must convince his fellow Gungans to take up arms against the greedy Trade Federation in a battle to preserve the planet. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.
Commentary: Nothing took as much heat as Jar Jar Binks when it came to hate for Episode I. Fans even re-edited the movie to make him seem like a wise warrior, which I found interesting, especially as this particular action figure seems to make it look like that's what the character might be. Later releases had big floppy ears or his tongue sticking out, but Hasbro made their first Jar Jar in a pose with a neutral face, a huge weapon, and a stance that's, frankly, normal. The Gungan outcast has his vest, shirt, and pants, as well as a very ornate pattern on his skin. With a mere six points of articulation, this is a pretty run-of-the-mill figure, but for most purposes, it may be the best. He doesn't have some big awkward pose, he doesn't have a scene-specific head, and he can (more or less) sit without too much trouble. So in short: he's good, but he's plain. There's really nothing to make this a "wowie zowie" figure, but it isn't bad either-- and there are some really bad Jar Jar Binks figures, which we'll be getting to shortly.
Collector's Notes: While Celebration I, the first big Star Wars convention in recent history, had no exclusives they did have a few prequel figures early. And this was one of them. Since this convention took place mere hours before the big toy launch for the prequels, the figure had a very short window of being new, exciting, and desirable. After its initial shipment, it tended to sit around a lot and now you can probably get one for close to nothing.
Day 275: February 5, 2007