Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Figure of the Day: Day 835: Biggs Darklighter (Imperial Pilot)

The Legacy Collection Imperial Pilot Legacy
Item No.:
Asst. 87874 No. 87650
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, helmet, two clones
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: July 26, 2008
Appearances: Star Wars: Empire comic book series

Image: Adam Pawlus' TV tray.

Bio: Biggs Darklighter was a starfighter pilot of the Alliance to Restore the Republic and childhood friend of Luke Skywalker. Darklighter flew a T-65 X-wing starfighter with Red Squadron during the Battle of Yavin as Red Three. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Commentary: From 1977 to 2006, Biggs Darklighter had exactly one action figure. Since 2007, he's had three-- one and a half of which are new sculpts. This one is based on the 2004 TIE Fighter Pilot body, with a few changes. From the waist down, he's essentially that old figure. His arms, head, torso, and helmet are completely new. He's not quite super-articulated as he has no ankles, with the detail on his costume being decent for a toy that's 50% four years old-- oh, and they got a holster on him, too. That's a first for an Imperial Pilot.

The strangest thing about this figure is his helmet. If you read the Empire comics on which it is based, there were notes in the comic indicating that the unusual cut-away helmets were used purely for artistic license so you, the reader, would be able to identify one character from another. (Sensible.) The problem is Hasbro missed the memo, so what you have here is an interpretation more than a replica-- it's like the Marvel-based figures. The artists didn't intend for them to be goofy covers, it was just the limitations and aesthetics of the medium circa 1977 coming in to play. Likewise, the artistic license employed for the comics was brought to the world of toys, which is both good and bad. Good, because it's something different. Bad, because we still don't have a normal super-articulated TIE Fighter Pilot yet.

Ultimately, it's a neat figure. This particular Biggs Darklighter really isn't like anything you have, and the enhanced articulation is always nice to see. Since this is the only TIE Fighter Pilot on the market today, it might be worth getting, despite the big goofy helmet. (You can tell in the picture that the helmet is positively huge when compared to the rest of the head.) I really do feel Hasbro would have been better served with an enclosed helmet, but what do I know, I just buy these things.

Collector's Notes: A new release, and a popular one-- two of the three figures in this set are squarely non-film items, making it a unique little release well worth picking up. It's not yet known how popular it will be in the long run but I expect it to sell well as fans require more pilots to populate their ships. The other figures in the set are a Clone Pilot based on a combination of Attack of the Clones and Clone Wars concepts while the final figure is a super-articulated (save for the ankles) pilot from Revenge of the Sith, now with a removable helmet.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 835: August 26, 2008

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Actually... I swapped the chest piece and helmet with the Baron Fel figure and was surprised to find that the cutaway helmet looks 100x better on Fel. His head is actually more sized accurately for it. Conversely, the Biggs figure looks great with the full mask Tie helmet although the chest piece is a bit big.