KIR KANOS Training Uniform
The Legacy Collection Previews Exclusive
Item No.: No. 87924
Includes: Pike, helmet, 5 other figures
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: December 2008
Appearances: Crimson Empire comic books
Bio: Each member of the Royal Guard has undergone grueling tests of combat reflexes and stamina, and is trained in the deadly art of echani. (Taken from the figure's box.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' living room.
Commentary: Early reactions to this set were mixed, especially as it wasn't immediately obvious that Kir Kanos and his four multi-colored buddies had removable helmets with unique, full heads under their helmets. I'm in the minority (or so it seems) of liking the overall design of the characters from the comics, which has been knocked as Power Ranger-esuqe in the various forums out there. The important thing, to me, is that it's true to the comic designs. So at least they look right, and have unique details like a special symbol on their helmet which is also repeated on the back of their shirt-- I didn't see that coming, it's a nice touch.
Where the figure falls apart for me is in its construction. His crotchial region and legs are borrowed from the "Training Fatigues" Clone Trooper sold in late 2007, and his head is from the 2006 Kir Kanos. (As is Jax's, Alum Frost and Lemmet Tauk both have new heads.) How is this a problem? Thankfully, the legs aren't too restricted so you can force him to sit if you want-- but the arms are terrible. They're standard swivel shoulders, the kind you had on all your vintage figures from the 1980s. These are joined by very loose swivel elbows, which tend to pop apart very easily. (Like when you remove the figures from the box.) The wrists are also swivels, but this is normal and really nothing of any great consequence. He can hold his weapon, but he's not really able to have much movement. In a lot of ways, this figure feels like a big step back from the original Kir Kanos a few years ago, which was really pretty awesome for the most part.
While I can deal with weird articulation, one thing I have a huge problem with is a bad face sculpt. Interestingly, this figure doesn't have a bad face sculpt-- as we've seen it before and it looked pretty good. No, here Hasbro opted to use a low-grade plastic and paint it badly. This ruins an otherwise good figure. A light brown color was used for his eyes and eyebrows, and this seems to melt into the very pale color of flesh used for the head. The details are largely lost, and his eyes look a little bloodshot. As I work somewhere where these are sold, I got to look at a few of them-- and they're all like this. The other characters are slightly better than this one but this one is a bit of a downer. It's not a terrible release, but it comes up short on so many levels it's a little disappointing. Hasbro did wonderful exclusive figures in its boxed sets for Diamond over the years, it makes one wonder what the heck went wrong here.
If I tell you it's awful, you'll probably pick it up and say "it isn't really all that bad," but if I tell you it's awesome, you're likely to disagree. It's that kind of figure, much like how Balls of Fury is that kind of a movie.
Collector's Notes: This is the second figure of Kir Kanos, the first was released as a shared exclusive in 2006. That one is the better of the two. The boxed set-- if you're curious-- includes Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, and 3 other guards. The Emperor has a unique paint job and probably has the best flesh color I've ever seen on the mold, but Vader is the same as the 2006/2007 one. We'll go into those more later.