Friday, February 13, 2009

Figure of the Day: Day 958: Bane Malar

BANE MALAR Helmet Dude
The Legacy Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87535 No. 87679
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #BD07
Includes: Droid piece, blaster, rifle
Action Feature: Rifle fits in holster
Retail: $7.99
Availability: July 2008
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: The mysterious bounty hunter Bane Malar occasionally visits Jabba's palace on the Western Dune Sea. He reveals little of himself, causing suspicion among the Hutt's hangers-on and rumors that Malar is a telepath who steals people's secrets to use against them later. (Taken from the set's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' TV tray.

Commentary: As far as anyone can tell, Bane Malar was a costume designed for Return of the Jedi and is nowhere to be seen in the finished film. A similar character does appear on screen, but this isn't him. One might wonder why make a figure of this guy first, or why fans requested it, or even more baffling-- why some fans said this was a favorite character. I assume hyperbole plays a big role, but the important thing is what we have here is a pretty great figure that will be right at home in any diorama featuring Jabba the Hutt. He's a little shorter than most other figures, but has all the articulation that you might reasonably be able to hope for. This dark-blue suited... creature seems to be a labor of love from Hasbro as he's loaded with detail. The folds of his flight suit and the unique shape of his helmet all look fantastic, no doubt helped by the fact that this action figure may be the first or only look collectors have of the guy. With no face to muck up, Hasbro spent its time creating a fantastic costume and making sure we as fans have a figure that is likely to be the best (and only) release the character ever sees. With this in mind, all fans of Jabba's palace probably need to have one or more of this guy, but if you're trying to save room in your collection for characters that you actually know and recognize, well, this ain't it.

Collector's Notes: Given his nearly anonymous status in the film, it's more than a little shocking that this was a strong seller. Shipped from the same wave that gave us Yarna da'l' Gargan, and in the same ratio, it's a little surprising that the character known in the credits as "Fat Dancer" not only had more recognition, but huge fan demand. What is surprising is that she didn't sell too well, and Bane Malar tended to move fairly briskly. I guess it just goes to show that even fans don't always know what we really want.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 958: February 13, 2009

1 comment:

Ben Carthage said...

As regards Bane's sales vs. Gargan's, despite massive amounts of (puzzling, to me) fan noise about Gargan, the simple fact is that kids account for most of the sales of this line and kids don't want a fat chick who can barely move as a toy. Bane looks like some sort of cool bad guy and I would bet that accounts for his better sales. To me Gargan is a solid argument for not making figures just because fans agitate (I'm looking at you, ICMG).