Monday, July 28, 2008

Figure of the Day: Day 814: Death Star Gunner

The Saga Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 85770 No. 84121
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #041
Includes: Helmet, armor, blaster, stand
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $6.99
Availability: Summer 2006
Appearances: Star Wars and Return of the Jedi

Image: Adam Pawlus' kitchen floor.

Bio: The immense weaponry of the Imperial fleet was operated by these highly skilled gunners. They were easily recognizable in their large, distinctive helmets, which were designed to protect them from the dangerous flashback of turbolaser batteries. Accustomed to the vast power under their control, they operated with smooth, calm precision, even during the fiercest battles. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Commentary: Fans like to throw the word "controversial" around, to give figures and their hobbies more importance. The Death Star Gunner would fit the bill because, for about five minutes, fans expressed low levels of concern that this release had a clone's head under his removable helmet. Unlike the 1997 release, Hasbro designed this figure to try to be all things to all fans. It has removable armor, so you could basically get it to look like his Return of the Jedi or Star Wars appearances. The figure has a great level of detail, and being reasonably recent, fits in well with the line as a whole.

Given all the bells and whistles Hasbro put into the accessories and the sculpt of the toy, it's almost a crying shame they didn't spend the additional nickel and make it perfect. It has 12 points of articulation, making it almost super articulated. It's missing ankles, and the elbows are swivel joints and not ball joints. The unfortunate thing is that because of these minor shortcomings, a lot of fans online have written this figure off, but this is OK as there will be no pleasing those individuals. The figure can sit, stand, and be posed quite nicely, making it one of Hasbro's better releases over the past few years. It isn't perfect, but it's so good you probably won't care all that much. Get one if you don't already have one, it's a great addition to your growing Imperial navy.

Collector's Notes: This figure was the first-ever trooper from the original trilogy to be made as a toy featuring the face of a Clone Trooper. At first, fans were arguing if it was supposed to be a clone or not-- eventually, additional similar figures satisfied the argument. This particular Gunner was rereleased in 2007 as part of a Kmart exclusive tin set that nobody wanted which also featured R4-I9, Darth Vader, and a Scout Trooper. (Actually, it's a great set, it's just stuff we probably mostly have by now.)

--Adam Pawlus

Day 814: July 28, 2008

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

dont forget the fact that the kmart tins were waaay overpriced and cost as much or more as individual figures. i love the look of the DSG. he's not perfect, but i think he's perfect enough.