The Saga Collection
Item No.: Asst. 85770 No. 86980
Includes: Blaster, backpack, helmet, display stand
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: Fall 2006
Appearances: Return of the Jedi
Bio: Hand picked by Han Solo for the mission to Endor, these troopers are the best and brightest of the Rebel Alliance. Survivors of some of the toughest battles of the Galactic Civil War, each one of them is a skilled marksman, expert in demolitions, and an easy match in hand to hand combat for any stormtrooper. Each of these men can survive in the wilderness for weeks at a time, remaining silent and unseen, until the command is given to strike. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' 2006 toy shelves.
Commentary: A common complaint with collectors is that Hasbro doesn't make enough, in terms of quantity or variety, of "trooper" figures. In 2006, they went all out by releasing a whopping three unique Rebel Troopers based on the uniforms used on Endor. There was this one, another one based on this configuration, and another one based on the "original" modern 1998 figure with a new head.
This figure is cool for a variety of reasons-- one of which is in the notes below. The figure itself, though, is based on a 2002 action figure but with a new head, new deco, a new belt, and new legs. In other words, they changed the figure just enough for it to be basically brand new, and as an added bonus, a repaint (or really, the original paint) of the figure has darker skin and slightly different decoration, thus making it yet another totally new figure. The added knee and ankle joints make this figure just a little more fun to play with, but the jacket and arms are what could probably have used the most enhanced articulation. Still, as you're probably going to buy this figure for your Falcon's gunner crew, articulation may not be your main reason for making the purchase. There's a lot to like here-- it's a good figure with neat accessories, good articulation, and as an added bonus, he has a little extra history behind him. While we've been given more than enough Endor Rebel Troopers over the years, they're all unique and have some compelling reason to pick them up-- especially this one. So go get one.
Collector's Notes: While not explicitly named as such on the packaging, this particular Endor Rebel is based on a publicity still that was eventually developed into a full character by the expanded universe. Airen Cracken is apparently this Rebel's true identity, and he's best known as one of the gunners on the Millennium Falcon while Lando Calrissian took the ship during the Battle of Endor. So hey, it's almost an Expanded Universe figure!
Day 315: March 17, 2007