Sunday, July 27, 2008

Figure of the Day: Day 813: Captain Tarpals

CAPTAIN TARPALS with Electropole
Episode I Collection 3
Item No.:
Asst. 84105 No. 84121
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Armor, pole arms
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $6.99
Availability: Summer 1999
Appearances: The Phantom Menace

Image: Adam Pawlus' living room on some step thing.

Bio: A military leader with little patience for the exploits of Jar Jar Binks, Captain Tarpals helped lead the Gungan Army against the invading trade Federation forces. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Commentary: Like many figures released including a movie launch window, like some you no doubt bought recently, Captain Tarpals cardback is pretty vague. Of course, when we all saw the movie, we found out there wasn't much to his character other than to act as a competent foil to Jar Jar Binks with the added benefit of amphibious facial hair, for lack of a better description. With six points of articulation, this isn't a remarkable toy, and it's about on par of what you'd expect prior to the year 2000 when it comes to figures from the saga. The armor is nicely detailed, the face is painted well enough, and there's a lot of color in his costume. It's just that it's not exciting. He can hold his weapon with both hands, and yeah, there's some neat coloring on the arms and armor. Since the figure is basically Jar Jar with a nicer head and less annoying personality, there's not a lot to go on about here. Do you like how it looks? Get one. Or get the 2004 version with jointed knees, if you're feeling saucy.

Collector's Notes: This particular Tarpals was around briefly in 1999 and then was removed from the line. No rereleases of this figure exist but a retooled and repainted version with knee joints was sold in a Toys "R" Us exclusive gift set in 2004. Go get that one, as it's worth your money, even at a slight premium. (The set has a Battle Droid, Tarpals, a new Kaadu, a Battle Droid, a Gungan Warrior, and a Naboo Security figure. A good deal, surely, especially for its initial $20 asking price.)

--Adam Pawlus

Day 813: July 27, 2008

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