Monday, March 9, 2009

Figure of the Day: Day 974: Sgt. Harkas (Joker Squad)

SGT. HARKAS or "Hardcase"
The Legacy Collection Entertainment Earth Exclusive
Item No.:
No. 87923
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, helmet, 5 more figures
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $39.99
Availability: March 2009
Appearances: Legacy Comic Books

Bio: Ran Harkas, also known by the nickname Hardcase, was a Human male who served as a sergeant in the Imperial faction loyal to Darth Krayt. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: In front of some vent.

Commentary: In the Star Wars: Legacy storylines, the authors managed to do a really great story which was essentially "filler" with Joker Squad. These characters did make a return appearance, the survivors anyway, and one of the more memorable ones was Sgt. Harkas. He stood out because he had rank stripes, a first for Stormtroopers, and what's really neat is that the color more accurately matches the one used on Gentle Giant's Attack of the Clones clone trooper sergeants. Since Hasbro won't/can't/doesn't make those clones, this is pretty sweet. Of course, just how authentic is it given the fact that Hasbro reused the helmets and bodies of previously released Original Trilogy-era troopers?

It's pretty good. I'm happy to give Hasbro a pass here because the Legacy artists are really inconsistent about how the troopers are drawn, with different helmets, armors, and styles used throughout the series. The lenses on the helmet, don't match the #0 or #0 1/2 guidebooks, but that's probably OK as we never see Harkas in his helmet anyway. Oh, and a few grey details are missing too, but that's OK as these are from a different era. I was surprised to see the final product had an all-white bucket to wear, given the clones usually had stripes of some sort on it. So really, what you have here is a standard-issue Stormtrooper body and helmet with a new head, a white holster, and a normal blaster. The main important thing about this figure is its head sculpt.

He looks a lot like his appearance in the Claws of the Dragon storyline, which is to say, balding less. The figure's hair seems slightly redder than his comic counterpart, and he isn't quite as grizzled. Between the comic and the toy, I prefer how the toy looks. Because of the big hair and beard, there is one tiny problem-- the helmet is an especially tight fit. Since we never saw him wearing the helmet in the comics, it's not quite as big of a deal, but it would've been nice if it wasn't quite so snug. Still, he looks good, and in the package the set looks great. It's wonderful out of the package too, and this figure's extremely tight helmet is pretty much my only big complaint about how the final figures turned out as playthings. He's just perfect to stand around, look at people, point, and yell. He's got a good amount of personality in his face, which is important when you're dealing with a whole squad of dudes in essentially identical gear.

I really wish Hasbro and/or Dark Horse had some sort of vehicle to go with these guys. They seem like they'd be at home in a shuttle or something.

Collector's Notes: Full disclosure: we asked for this from Hasbro as part of my day job at, you guessed it, Entertainment Earth. As such I'm pretty pleased with them. These are the reasons I get up in the morning. It's brand new-- I'm told mine was the first order processed, basically-- so those who pre-ordered should be getting these any day now.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 974: March 9, 2009


Roger said...

Sorry, Adam, but these Stormtroopers fall short of the mark. Hasbro could have gotten away with just resculpting the helmets, and the rest of the armor could have gotten a pass. Unfortunately, nothing.

Mario! said...

My order's status has been "processing" since Saturday. Can't wait to get it in my hands!

Reverend Strone said...

As a counterpoint to those fans who are annoyed that these figures don't have updated helmet sculpts, there are a number of us who are only interested for precisely this very reason. I think these are great looking figures and I plan on owning them in order to add variety to my OT stormie ranks. I don't have any interest in collecting Legacy figures, but as non-clone regular stormtroopers, these figures look fabulous. Congrats to Adam on how well the whole set as turned out.

CHEWIE said...

Thanks for the review Adam, I always enjoy these. Looks like you've convinced me to go ahead and order a few sets.