Friday, August 8, 2008

Figure of the Day: Day 823: Romba

ROMBA & Graak
30th Anniversary Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87500 No. 87409
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #3043
Includes: Spear, knife, hood, Graak figure, coin (2007), display stand (2008)
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $6.99
Availability: Fall 2007
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Image: Adam Pawlus' Endor shelf.

Bio: When the Ewoks mistake C-3PO for a god, Han Leia, and Chewie use this misunderstanding to get past the Ewok's initial distrust of them. The Ewoks eventually welcome the Rebels into their tribe and help them destroy the shield generatior protecting the Death Star. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Commentary: If there's one thing Hasbro is great at, it's always leave fans wanting more. Romba was last available in 1985, one of the final figures in Kenner's original vintage line. His update was a long time coming, and the new release comes up short. As in, tiny. More properly sized than in the old days, this tiny furball is almost a head shorter than his ancestor, but features even more articulation than ever. Kenner's original had four joints, and Hasbro's new version sports ten. That's pretty impressive for such a small figure. What's more, he has a belt with a removable knife, and his ankles are ball-jointed. This new sculpt is surprisingly good, and will no doubt be used as the basis for a great many new warriors over the coming years. The only real downside of this figure is the deco-- Hasbro added a very light pink on his nose, lips, and around his eyes. The movie reference (which is somewhat spotty for Ewoks) shows the figure as having a darker nose with no obvious rings around his eyes, and I think dropping the rings would make a big difference on any future reissue. They make him look a little creepy, which I don't think was Lucas' intent for Return of the Jedi. As the only modern Romba, I can't say enough positive about getting him-- just go for it, already, he's adorable.

Collector's Notes: Romba was created with future repaints in mind, and Hasbro isn't wasting any time making new figures. Leektar uses the same body, but with a new belt, hood, and head. In 2009, Wal-Mart will have an exclusive comic-based Ewok named Kettch which uses the same mold, but adds chest armor and new coloring. It's also worth noting this set was rereleased in 2008 with a display stand.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 823: August 8, 2008

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