Monday, July 23, 2007

Figure of the Day: Day 443: Sandtrooper

SANDTROOPER & Patrol Droid
Power of the Force Cantina at Mos Eisley
Item No.:
Asst. 84040 No. 84063
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, patrol droid, diorama
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $17.99
Availability: Early 1999
Appearances: Star Wars: Special Edition

Bio: A key command figure in the Rebel Alliance, Princess Leia becomes a source of inspiration for the Rebels when she stays on Hoth, directing the evacuation, even when the base begins to collapse around her. (Taken from the figure's box.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.

Commentary: Hasbro really loves the Sandtrooper, probably because Kenner loved them too. They made new versions every chance they got, packaging them on individual cards, with the Dewback, and in this case, with a pop-up diorama. The figure had a rifle, but where the backpack would plug in, they put a clear plastic rod and connector for the "Face Droid" from the Special Editions. The Sandtrooper is his now-goofy buff self, with only six points of articulation and a questionably authentic sculpt. The deco is good-- not too much dirt-- and the pose is decent. For its day, this was a pretty good figure and about par for the course in terms of how other, similar figures might turn out. In 2007, this is a figure that most fans would probably scoff at due to the 1995-ness of the design. You might want to skip this one, not because it's really bad, but it's pretty outdated and really doesn't offer much that you'd probably really want to have other than the nifty little droid.

Collector's Notes: The diorama that was packaged with this figure had an interesting pre-history-- specifically, it was a mail-in offer that was done a few ways. The first way it was offered was through the Spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi mail-in offer-- you see, when you got the figure in the mail, it came with one of five bonus coupons. Some were for a chance to buy a B'Omarr Monk, some were for dollars-off of a vehicle, and there was one to send off for a Cantina Diorama-- no figures, no box, just an envelope with an instructional sleeve around the flattened diorama. (I've got an envelope full of the coupons somewhere.) Later, Kenner made it available through the Fan Club-- again, as a mail-in offer which awkwardly required a couple of bucks and UPCs from the action figures. This figure came in the third release of the set, which was a retail boxed item that, frankly, was too expensive for what it was. I (and other fans) were also miffed/confused that the set came with a Sandtrooper that specifically did not appear in the Cantina instead the (at the time) highly requested Wuher action figure which wouldn't come out until 2000.

Day 443: July 23, 2007

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