Sunday, April 15, 2007

Figure of the Day: Day 344: Momaw Nadon

MOMAW NADON with Cantina Bar Section
Saga Collection Wal-Mart Exclusive
Item No.:
Asst. 32539 No. 32544
Number: 2 of 3
Includes: Bar section, 3 glasses
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.96
Availability: Summer 2002
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: On the planet Tatooine, the Mos Eisley Cantina, also known as Chalmun's Cantina, is the hot spot for entertainment and intrigue. Many species intermingle there, spying and conducting shady business. Bounty hunters frequent the seedy joint, hoping to catch their prey in an unguarded moment. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker went to the cantina to find transportation off the planet, which led to their first meeting with Han Solo. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.

Commentary: When the new Momaw Nadon came out, people were pretty excited-- after all, this exclusive version had a better torso and significantly better paint than its 1997 ancestor. (And, for that matter, its 1979 ancestor.) Despite a new version of the character being produced in 2007, this one is still very good-- look at the texture and decoration on the skin, for example. Multiple shades of brown add to the "realism" of this hammer-headed alien from another galaxy, with his tunic being a fairly decent design. The 1997 version seemed to more closely resemble the early concept artwork than the on-screen character. (Note the first-ever neckerchief on this figure-- at least that's what I think it is. It was carried forward on future figures as well.) With six points of articulation, this figure (and future figures) never really broke the barrier of too-few joints, but this is less a figure for playing and more a figure for standing around and drinking. He looks great, and was an early example of what Hasbro could do, if so inclined, with a little bit of paint and a mold many considered antiquated. New fans and picky collectors will likely want to skip this figure for the newer version, unless, of course, they want more bar sections. Then they should totally get this one.

Collector's Notes: The big selling point of this figure was the faux-playset aspect of the bar section. For just $10, you could get an action figure and a big accessory which could link to other big accessories to create a diorama. In theory, this is a wonderful, genius idea that I believe Hasbro should continue in its basic line. (Hell, they should put a piece of Death Star with every figure for a year-- sell hundreds of figures. You can just toss in floor tiles with the bigger ones. But I digress.) The problem is that this design was somewhat flawed as far as I can tell-- take the barstools. Please. The bar didn't have stools around it, the various patrons just stood around. Given that the action figures aren't always designed to sit down properly, not having stools would have made these sections infinitely better. Still, for a fun playset, they're nice-- just not exactly authentic and, ironically, if Hasbro did a little less work they'd work better with our action figures.

A quick aside-- you can link together multiple bar sections to make a nice big bar scene. You can find more bar sections packed with the Wal-Mart exclusive Greedo and Ponda Baba figures, and the Kmart exclusive Cantina 3-packs (Obi-Wan, Zutton, Ponda Baba; Dr. Evazan, Kitik Keed'kak, Wuher.) A second wave of Wal-Mart exclusive packs was not distributed to stores. Finally, the "curved sections" to end the bar are coming out in 2007 in wave 4 of the 30th Anniversary Collection with Elis Helrot and M'iiyoom Onith. (So you'll probably want to buy those.)

Day 344: April 15, 2007

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