Episode I Collection 1
Item No.: Asst. 84085 No. 84092
Includes: Blaster, Backpack, CommTech Chip
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: May 1999
Appearances: The Phantom Menace
Bio: The greedy Trade Federation has created an army that requires no food, no drink, no sleep. Millions of these high-tech battle droids amass into a virtually unstoppable armed force. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.
Commentary: There are four variations on this Battle Droid, all with the same packaging-- this one is "shot," as it looks like it's been shot. There's also clean and dirty, as well as "sliced." (We'll talk about these in future installments.) As the prequel era's first true army builder, Hasbro did everything right on this one. The figure has two joints for each limb, a removable backpack, a removable head, and a blaster that can plug into its backpack. The pose is what fans were demanding at the time-- more or less static/neutral-- and you can make this guy sit, stand, crouch, or do whatever it is your sick mind wants. In almost every sense, for 1999, it is one of the most perfect action figures Hasbro has ever done, plus it has the benefit of having been made from a non-"gummy" plastic, so it's much less likely to fall over than later releases due to sagging issues. As far as toys go, Battle Droids don't come any better than this mold, and this mold comes in four flavors, which should be most helpful to building your expanding army.
Of course, even though the figure has several "damage" variants and loads of articulation, there are places to nitpick. I bring these up not because I personally see them as a problem, but readers have commented on this sort of thing so it's worth sharing as some of you will no doubt complain if I don't mention this. The legs are a smidge inauthentic due to the figure being a good toy first and an accurate representation second-- they're a little thicker, and as such, they do look different than the movie. (Frankly, this doesn't bother me in the slightest-- I'd rather have a figure that can stand over one that has 100% perfect legs.) One area that may bug you, though, and it kinda bugs me, is the head. It's just a little bit off, having been made as a toy prior to final-final cut of the film. This sort of thing happens a lot when you try to get the digital models made as merchandise before the movie hits the silver screen, and as such, Hasbro has gone back and made many new droids to correct the head. Still, it's not so horribly off that you won't enjoy the figure-- and I'm willing to bet a lot of you wouldn't notice unless you held it up to other droid figures and/or the movie to compare it. On its own, it looks great, it's a lot of fun, and it's one of the best Battle Droid molds you can get.
Collector's Notes: The 1999 Battle Droid mold didn't see a heck of a lot of use-- so go track down this initial release, already.
Day 471: August 20, 2007