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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Figure of the Day: Day 871: Biggs Darklighter

BIGGS DARKLIGHTER Rebel Pilot, Take Two
30th Anniversary Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87500 No. 87210
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #3014
Includes: Blaster, helmet, coin (2007), stand (2008)
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $6.99
Availability: March 2007
Appearances: Star Wars

Image: Adam Pawlus' TV tray.

Bio: As talented a pilot as his friend Luke Skywalker, Biggs joins the Imperial Academy, but what he sees there opens his eyes to the brutality of the Empire. He defects to the Rebel Alliance and serves heroically, but is blown out of the air by Darth Vader at the Battle of Yavin. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Commentary: Biggs Darklighter's claim to fame for a generation was that he was largely cut out of Star Wars while a fraction of fanboys insist that they saw him on the big screen. Oh sure, you could see him for like 29 seconds, but not in any significant capacity-- his role did surface on trading cards, in a 1981 radio drama, in comics, in a novelization, in a kid's storybook, and elsewhere... but not in the movie. Or for that matter, any of the subsequent home video releases, or DVDs. (Do you think the 30 seconds counted in the Special Edition? Well, there's several more minutes of stuff where that came from. So where is it, Lucas? I own two versions of the trilogy on DVD, would you like to make it three?)

While the 1998 version of Luke's best buddy was (at the time) an entirely new body, the 2007 version uses the ever-popular Dutch Vader body once more to create another non-Luke pilot. This means he has the same ball-jointed knees, no waist joint, and the same questionable arm articulation. He's also very tall, and sports a removable helmet. Really, the only new mold used here is the head, which is OK-- most people wouldn't know Biggs from Carrot Top were it not for the mustache, so the figure is basically acceptable. They got the helmet right, and the head looks Biggs-ish. There isn't a lot of high expectations to go on here. It does the job-- had Hasbro produced a Biggs-specific X-wing, odds are that's where he would belong. As it is, he's just OK-- Hasbro can and likely will do a better one between now and the time the line ends. By 2008 standards, it's acceptable, but by no means stellar.

Collector's Notes: There are two major variations on this toy in addition to the standard release. A gold coin/foil cardback version with an Ultimate Galactic Hunt sticker was released in late Summer 2007, and the basic figure was packaged with a stand in 2008. The basic release has a silver coin. Some are rarer than others, but none seem to command a premium at this time.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 871: October 15, 2008

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