IG-88 vs. Boba Fett
Shadows of the Empire Comic Pack Assortment
Item No.: Asst. 69590 No. 69568
Includes: 2 blasters, Boba Fett, comic book
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: Summer 1996
Appearances: Shadows of the Empire & The Empire Strikes Back
Bio: The battered war droid IG-88 was among the bounty hunters commissioned by Darth Vader to hunt down and capture the Millennium Falcon after the Battle of Hoth. IG-88 is one of five droids created by Holowan scientists, who deliberately programmed the units to maximize their freedom of action in combat. This experiment proved tragic when, upon activiation, the new IG prototypes eliminated their programmers and escaped to fulfill whatever mission lie within their distorted metallic intellects. IG-88's programming has caused it to value Imperial credits over organic life, making it a devastatingly efficient hunting machine. It is loaded down with a mass of heavy weaponry such as a heavy blaster and blaster rifle as well as a flamethrower, sonic stunner and grenade launcher. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.
Commentary: Some fans see the concept of two figures and a comic as a new thing-- not so. Kenner did two such packs in 1996, including Boba Fett vs. IG-88. Both figures were based somewhat on older sculpts, with IG-88 here being a modified 1980s vintage figure with a few minor tweaks, like an added waist joint and new deco. Obviously, a new mold was constructed, but most fans just assumed Hasbro tossed in a joint at the waist and added new paint and called it a day. Not so. There's a little more work here than that, although the details are somewhat minor. (It's also worth noting the original figure was pretty excellent for its day.) The newly dirty deco, retooled guns, and companion figure (the first-ever ESB-specific deco Boba Fett action figure) made it a huge hit, and it sold really well upon its initial release. Of course, that's probably just due to people still wanting a Boba Fett, although IG-88 was a really decent figure for its day, and one of a few figures from the films being marketed as what would eventually come to be known as the "Expanded Universe." It's not perfect, but it's neat-- arguably, it's more neat in its packaging, as all it is really good for is standing around and looking cool. Oh well. I like it, but more recent versions in 2001 and 2007 make this one look pretty dull.
Collector's Notes: As the prototype for the hugely popular 30th Anniversary comic pack concept, one might think this set and its companion piece, Darth Vader vs. Xizor, are currently valued collectibles. If so, you'd be wrong. The secondary market prices don't even keep up with inflation of the original MSRP, and you can get this set for about $7 if you play your cards right. The comic itself is just a reprint of part of the monthly/collected Shadows of the Empire comics, so if you have those, this is a comic you can skip.
Day 492: September 10, 2007