Episode I Beast Assortment
Item No.: Asst. 84125 No. 84094
Includes: Boomer staff, Kaadu beast
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: May 1999
Appearances: The Phantom Menace
Bio: The kaadu are nimble creatures from the planet Naboo. Often used by the amphibious Gungans as steeds, they carry Gungan warriors like Jar Jar Binks into battle against the seemingly unstoppable Trade Federation army. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.
Commentary: With loads of articulation (more or less) and a goofy facial expression, this version of Jar Jar Binks is easily one of the better ones in the past eight years. In addition to the then-traditional six joints, he had knee joints as well as a swivel on one of his arms which made him slightly more mobile. His added articulation and goofy pose helped make this figure a little bit more fun than the rest, and it really does need something to set it apart given that almost all the Episode I-era Jar Jar figures all used the same basic sculpt with a few modifications. The textures aren't anything too fancy, but the coloring on the skin remains impressive and his wide-eyed stare still looks pretty good. The figure has no problem sitting on his Kaadu, a dinosaur-like steed which features leg moving action and has some problems standing on its own because of this.
Collector's Notes: It's cheap (about five bucks or so), and it's fun, so you should get one. Still, Hasbro hasn't made a new Jar Jar Binks from 2002, and hasn't made a new Phantom Menace version since 2001-- so if you want a Jar Jar for your collection, why not this one? You could do worse, and yes, we'll be looking at "worse" in the coming months of this very column.
Day 490: September 8, 2007