Saturday, March 3, 2007

Figure of the Day: Day 301: Kyle Katarn

KYLE KATARN from Dark Forces Video Game
Power of the Force Collection 2
Item No.:
Asst. 69605 No. 69893
Number: n/a
Includes: Blasters
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $5.99
Availability: Fall 1998
Appearances: Dark Forces

Bio: It is a period of civil war. The Rebel Alliance struggles to free the galaxy from the clutches of the evil Galactic Empire. Discovering that Imperial forces have begun developing a new type of stormtrooper, the Rebels call on mercenary Kyle Katarn. His mission: seek out and destroy the secret Imperial project called Dark Trooper. A rogue mercenary loyal to no one, Kyle Katarn has accepted a near-impossible mission to destroy the Empire's ability to develop an army of unstoppable stormtroopers known as Dark Troopers. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus.

Commentary: If you loved figures based on the games, books, and novels, then 1998's assortment of Expanded Universe figures like Kyle Katarn must've been awesomely exciting for you as it was for me. Kyle wasn't exactly a perfect replica of the character in the game, his packaging illustration is a cut scene from the original Dark Forces with a beard drawn on it. The figure itself fared a little bit better, with a decent set of armor, a unique shirt, interesting armor, and gloves. He had some problems holding his weapons, but the figure looked decent for 1998 and this is the kind of figure collectors should be jumping on, especially with the Dark Trooper about to be reissued. There is nothing striking about this figure's sculpt or appearance beyond the fact that it exists. There are so few game-based figures that the fact that you can buy this is reason enough to do so. It's not so much that it's bland, but it's not like the Pote Snitkin figure released around the same time that had a breathtakingly good sculpt. It's just OK.

Collector's Notes: This figure was actually somewhat hard to get, and quite popular for a variety of reasons. While based on a mishmash of Kyle Katarn's appearances from Dark Forces and Jedi Knight, a lot of fans who played neither game jumped on this figure because we all thought it looked a little bit like George Lucas. (Oh, how foolish and young we were.) The figure also has a pop-up diorama on the packaging of the Imperial Shuttle, which was the only modern Imperial Shuttle which would be available until about 2003. Kyle should set you back $6-$15, depending on where and when you get it.

Day 301: March 3, 2007

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