Sunday, May 20, 2007

Figure of the Day: Day 379: Tusken Raider

The Saga Collection Vintage Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 87129 No. 87065
Number: n/a
Includes: Rifle, cloak, gaffi stick
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $10.99
Availability: Summer 2006
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Holy crap, Tusken Raiders are cool. And freaky. Kids love their howls. (Taken from the figure's cardback, I swear.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves, specifically the Early Bird Kit stage. Man I love that thing.

Commentary: One thing I love about the Tusken Raider is that this particular action figure looks a lot like Kenner's early concept drawings-- just click on the picture to see. It isn't identical, but it does look pretty slick. This new Tusken Raider features real cloth robes for the very first time, which is arguably a good thing. The cloak is very bulky, and the inner cloak (skirt) is excessively so. Still, the figure has a great range of articulation and if you futz with it, it looks better than almost anything else you can buy in the way of Tusken Raiders. The figure's deco is excellent, the texture of the soft goods is incredible, and the figure has 14 points of articulation-- but the elbows aren't ball joints, so fans will no doubt say "hey Hasbro, you can give it another try and we're still interested." Because they can, and we are.

The texture sculpted on the figure's chest is good, the paint wipe brings out a lot of detail you might not ordinarily see. However, the bulky cloak obscures this fine craftsmanship, resulting in a figure that looks less stunning and more... meh. When I first saw the figure I didn't much care for it, but it's a lot of fun to play with and it does look good in dioramas. With awesome packaging, two weapons, and the best articulation of any Tusken on the market today, this is an awesome figure you just gotta get. Thankfully for you, you've got options.

Collector's Notes: The 2006 Vintage line wasn't quite a huge hit, with two figures (Luke X-Wing, Biker Scout) being hugely popular, two figures (Han Solo, Greedo) being not very popular, and this one was popular or not, depending on the store. I had no problem finding them, and in 2007, the figure was repackaged with the Toys "R" Us exclusive Bantha & Tusken Raiders Battle Pack for $44.99. As such, if you want the figure and a Bantha, consider the Battle Pack. A downside, though, is the legs on the Battle Pack version are spread a little bit more than the regular version, so you may still wish to own both even though there are no significant changes between the two. (There is a red/dark brown variant, though, and we'll get to that one later.)

For those who don't know: modern "vintage" figures are brand new figures made with the latest toy techniques, but are packaged on replicas of the packaging used from 1978-1984 (so far). These provide a cheaper, and in some cases more interesting looking, alternative to the original Kenner products which often fetch tens or hundreds of dollars. In 2007, Hasbro will release six more of these "vintage" figures, including Bossk, IG-88, a Snowtrooper, Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues), Han Solo (Hoth Battle Gear), and Princess Leia Organa (Battle Poncho). These should be available this May or June, and you can pre-order them online now at stores like Entertainment Earth-- but they should be available everywhere fine toys are sold. (And in some cases, the 2006 figures are still available at some toy stores.)

Day 379: May 20, 2007

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