Sunday, July 8, 2007

Figure of the Day: Day 428: Holiday C-3PO (Santa Claus)

C-3PO Holiday Edition 2002
Saga Wal-Mart Exclusive
Item No.:
No. ???
Number: n/a
Includes: R2-D2, display base, greeting card
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $13.99
Availability: November 2002
Appearances: n/a

Bio: Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd. are delighted to present, for the first time, this Star Wars Holiday Edition commemorative. Inspired by the artwork of renowned artist Ralph McQuarrie, this specially designed set captures the imaginative vision of McQuarrie's art in collectible 3-3/4" action figure scale. Our gift to you, this piece is a distinctive addition to any Star Wars collection. May the Force be with you, and happy holidays. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' figures of the damned shelf.

Commentary: It's Christmas in July! So far, Hasbro has made about 6 "Holiday" figures, with C-3PO and his pal R2-D2 being the first and so far, the most well received. These were priced well, and despite being modeled after existing molds, were pretty cool. C-3PO has a beard in his hand, three meaningful points of articulation, and a hat. They had me at beard. The figure is absolutely an odd entry in the line and it skirts the edge of what should be counted as part of the film line, but as it's a McQuarrie design and fairly cool, plus a part of the official Lucasfilm holiday card lineup, how could we not look at this one? The sculpt isn't too special-- there isn't much texture on the shiny parts, nor the red or furry parts, but dammit, it's Santa C-3PO. Isn't that enough? It'd be cool to see this released again as it did sell insanely quickly, disappearing completely from the Phoenix Wal-Marts I frequented at the time in mere days. Maybe a soft goods jacket and hat might be nice additions this time around, but one thing is for sure: this was a high point, and I'd rather see these revisited than Holiday Darth Vader 2005. Man, that figure sucks.

Collector's Notes: While a Wal-Mart exclusive, this was initially developed as a Fan Club exclusive which was dumped for reasons officially unknown, but seeing how the Club changed owners several times since 1999, I'd say you can probably wager a few guesses. If memory serves, the shipping cases indicated this was in fact meant for the Fan Club. Rumor has it something like under 15,000 were made, making it a particularly low run for a Wal-Mart exclusive. It's also worth noting the price-- $13.99 for two figures may not sound half bad, but in 2002, basic carded figures sold for the crazy price of $4.99, and odds are we'll never see them that cheap again.

Day 428: July 8, 2007

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