Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Figure of the Day: Day 925: TC-14

TC-14 Protocol Droid
Episode I Collection 3
Item No.:
Asst. 84105 No. 84276
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Tray, drink container, CommTech Chip (2000 only), Coin (2007 only)
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $6.99
Availability: Spring 2000
Appearances: The Phantom Menace

Bio: Silver-plated protocol droid TC-14 serves her Trade Federation masters well when she suspects the Jedi identities of Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.

Commentary: One of the first characters that appear in the saga, chronologically speaking, is TC-14. Since seeing the movie, fans quickly identified the figure as an easy repaint for Hasbro, and brought this up in hopes that the company would repaint a C-3PO and sell it to us. Not satisfied to stop at a mere repaint, Hasbro tooled up a brand new figure as its prequel line was on its way out. The figure is stunning-- she has golden eyes, a silver body, greasy black joints, and a fairly suggestive looking beverage dispenser. With only 6 points of articulation, the figure didn't offer fans too much in the way of movement. Still, she could carry a tray and look cool, which is really all one might expect from a figure of this nature in the year 2000. As far as protocol droids go, this was one of Hasbro's best. Ever. Seriously, some of the C-3PO figures look pretty good, but TC-14 stands out as particularly striking with her shiny metal eyes differing from her silver coverings while most C-3PO figures are gold through and through. Also, very few protocol droids were sculpted with hands to hold an accessory-- this is another point in her favor. If you're a droid fan, I'd suggest getting this one just because it's a solid release. Yes, even though it's Nute Gunray's droid, and from a generally disliked film in the series. It's a fine figure, and good sculpting and engineering trump issues of the character's own questionable value to the story.

Collector's Notes: In 2000, the figure had a CommTech chip and was phased out in a hurry. I saw it at retail about five or six times. The 2007 reissue was more common. The figures looked essentially identical, so if you just want one to open get whatever is cheaper. For quite some time, this figure qualified as "hard to get," although last year's reissue has changed this. The figure was quickly repainted in white and sold as K-3PO in the early Power of the Jedi line. (A new, more articulated K-3PO was released in 2008.)

Day 925: December 30, 2008

1 comment:

Blisstasticman said...

Hi Adam, I love your site, and read it every day.
I snagged one of these for myself on the first go 'round, even though I usually feed all the prequel stuff to my kid. I focus my collection on the original Star Wars (episode schmepisode), aka A New Hope. TC-14 is a perfect stand in for the silver protocol droid following R2 and 3PO in their very first scene, walking through the blockade runner. Cutting and pasting the background packaging from the Tantive IV battle pack makes for a tasty little diorama. Just thought I'd share, Happy New Year, and keep uo the great work!