Thursday, December 11, 2008

Figure of the Day: Day 912: Klaatu (Skiff Guard)

KLAATU Jabba's Skiff Guards
Power of the Jedi Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 84035 No. 84061
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Pike, 2 more figures
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: 1999
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Jabba the Hutt always enjoyed the thrill of using the lives of others as tokens in his games of peril and doom. Years ago he presided over the dangerous Tatooine Podraces where dozens of pilots put their lives on the line as crowds screamed and cheered. He now hoped to surpass that drama by escorting his prisoners Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca to their end in the Great Pit of Carkoon. But the captives quickly overcame the skiff guards Klaatu, Nikto and Barada, and brought Jabba himself to a fitting end. (Taken from the figure's box.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' desk.

Commentary: This figure is the first (and so far, only) modern Klaatu action figure. It's based on the second Klaatu from the original 1980s Kenner line. Also, it's about as good-- which is no faint praise, as that was a fine figure. With 6 points of articulation, the release manages to capture the unique look and feel of the costume with a slightly smaller head. The best thing about the figure is that Hasbro made sure the figure could sit which, in case you haven't noticed, is kind of a big deal to me as a toy fan. While somewhat lacking in articulation and paint applications, it still looks great. Hasbro put extra detail into his face, with two shades of green and black eyes that really look incredible. (It's the kind of thing they tried to pull of with Barada, and failed miserably in his first two modern incarnations.) While not super articulated, the figure is more than capable of standing around on a Skiff, looking menacing, while holding on to his pike and pointing it at Luke. As diorama fodder, it's a great figure. Heck, even for his day this was an impressive release. It's just that today's fan expects every figure to have more than six points of articulation, and with that in mind this is a pretty dull release. Still, he's standing around in my Jabba's Palace cardboard diorama and is right at home-- I assume you'll enjoy the figure if you're the kind of fan to set up displays.

Collector's Notes: First sold in the late 1990s, the figure was repackaged and sold in a Toys "R" Us exclusive figure gift set (before the term "Battle Pack" was coined) with no real changes. So if you want this one, you've got options-- the TRU set is arguably better because it has an exclusive Han Solo and cost about the same. The first set was a real pain to get, but time and a rerelease helped to drive the price down. Oh, and there was a clearance apocalypse in 2000, too.

Day 912: December 11, 2008

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