Monday, August 11, 2008

Figure of the Day: Day 824: Achk Med-Beq

ACHK MED-BEQ Coruscant Outlander Club
Saga Collection 2
Item No.:
Asst. 84861 No. 84742
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #0337
Includes: Glass, blaster, table
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: Fall 2003
Appearances: Attack of the Clones

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.

Bio: Known confidant of Lt. Dannl Faytonni, Achk Med-Beq wore the uniform of a Republic official while visiting a popular gambling club in Coruscant's entertainment district. He was seen conversing with Twi'leks when a pair of Jedi showed up in pursuit of a changeling assassin. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Commentary: This character's entire claim to fame is that this is the guy who did the voice and mannerisms for Jar Jar Binks. Lucas gave him a cameo in Episode II, and that character eventually got the name Ahck Med-Beq, which is, of course, a play on Ahmed Best. The figure itself uses the same body created for Lt. Dannl Faytonni, but adds a new head and recolored hands. Around 2003, Hasbro got religion in the area of repaints. Previously, the company had been astonishingly hesitant to just repaint an existing figure in its Star Wars line, or for that matter, give it a new head. There were a few exceptions, but as of 2003 the company actively developed figures with the intent of reusing the body or other parts one or more times. Both Achk and Dannl were released around the same time, allowing fans to buy these and other Outlander Club patrons to build their very own dioramas.

So, how is the figure? Great! With 14 points of articulation, he's pretty poseable, but this was a figure from before the time Hasbro was big on ball joints. As such, the elbows swivel, but don't bend, and the knee joints are somewhat ugly. Since the figure's main purpose is to stand, drink, and potentially react, it's easy to make it a good one. By adding a table for environment building and a drink just to make him look cool, Hasbro took what could have been a potentially mundane figure and made it stand out as one of the better figures of his era. Nice job, Hasbro.

Collector's Notes: A one-time release in 2003, Achk Med-Beq has yet to return to the world-- even as a repaint or a retool. It's a safe bet he'll not show up again, but the sheer abundance of characters in the line keeps his price down at a healthy $5 or so on the secondary market. Grab him if you can!

--Adam Pawlus

Day 824: August 11, 2008

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