Monday, June 22, 2009

Figure of the Day: Day 1,049: Skiff Guard Lando Calrissian

LANDO CALRISSIAN Skiff Guard
Power of the Force Collection 1
Item No.:
Asst. 69570 No. 69622
Manufacturer: Kenner
Number: n/a
Includes: Helmet, pike, Freeze Frame in 1998 packaging
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: March 1997
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: A daring rescue attempt to free the carbonite-imprisoned Han Solo takes a dangerous turn for Leia Organa. Lando Calrissian, disguised as a Skiff Guard, plays a vital role in rescuing Solo from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' desk.

Commentary: This figure is like a story your drunk friends tell you when you wish they'd just shut up so you can get on with your evening. You had to be there. If you were there in 1997, you already know that Lando Calrissian in Skiff Guard Disguise was one of few Return of the Jedi figures available during the first few years of the line, and part of the first-ever all-ROTJ assortment. He used the same basic head design as the previous Lando release, and as the next one, but he was pretty swell.

By today's standards, this is not a good figure. I won't sugar coat it. By 1997's, it was great. He wasn't nearly as beefy as the late-1995 Lando figure, his armor was very nicely detailed compared to other figures that Kenner had on the market, and he had the then-normal six points of articulation. This meant he could sit, stand, or even have both hands on his weapon because Kenner's sculptors were a clever lot who understood how to get more out of less. I loved this figure because the armor looked good, plus he was one of the very first "dirty" figures. Hasbro dusted his pants with a little grime, which was pretty novel in a Kenner release in those days. While he didn't have the articulation or blaster holster that we saw on the 2004 version, it's still a nice, solid toy that will hold together if you abuse it. There's little danger in him falling apart at the seams, so as a kid's toy, this is arguably the best Skiff Lando that the Hasbro umbrella has ever released.

Collector's Notes: This figure sold for a couple of years and did pretty well. As early modern Lando figures go, this was my favorite. Today, he's worth less than it would cost you to buy a Happy Meal. There are a number of minor packaging variants as well, including the famous "Sealt Marie" typo. These are also worth nothing, but are amusing curiosities.


Day 1,049: June 22, 2009

3 comments:

Jeff said...

I loved the vintage figure, I thought it was one of the best of the original line, so I was pretty stoked to get this, as it was even better. In my opinion, it's one of the standouts from the Kenner era.

Ben Carthage said...

This was one of my favorites in the line at the time, I thought it was great. I felt it was one of the figures least in need of an upgrade, but the more recent one was so terrific it made me forget all about this guy, Some figures they never quite get right, and some, like this guy (and, say, Bossk) they nail every time out.

FreeTheBirds said...

This was a great figure for its time, I remember seeing one in Target for the first time and snapping it right up. He sits on my desk now at work with a few other figures from his era that have since been upgraded.