Episode I Collection 1
Item No.: Asst. 84085 No. 84092
Includes: Blaster, Backpack, CommTech Chip
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: May 1999
Appearances: The Phantom Menace
Bio: The greedy Trade Federation has created an army that requires no food, no drink, no sleep. Millions of these high-tech battle droids amass into a virtually unstoppable armed force. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' yard. This is probably my favorite photo I've got out of this column so far.
Commentary: There are four variations on this Battle Droid, all with the same packaging-- this one is "dirty," as it is covered in a brown grime. In addition to this one, there are tan ones in "clean," "sliced," and "shot." This figure marks Hasbro's very first attempt at having multiple versions of an army builder in the marketplace at once all under the same basic SKU, which I felt was pretty awesome. Ideally, they'd do this more often-- after all, why settle for selling me one droid when you can sell me two different ones?
Ten years later, I still like this figure a whole bunch and wish I had more of it. At the time, it was one of the most articulated figures as it had knees and elbows, which was pretty uncommon. You can even fold him down into a compact wad for storage, which is nice. He can stand fairly easily, and gravity doesn't cause his limbs to bend out of shape like most (OK, pretty much all) releases from 2002 and beyond. It's really unfortunate Hasbro didn't keep using this mold as it seemed to make for the very best toys. One downside of this figure is that after 10 years, it's a little sticky-- the signs of the plastic aging are an unfortunate side-effect of the hobby, so if you own these you might want to check them and wipe them down with a damp cloth or rubbing alcohol. Just be careful not to wipe the paint off.
Collector's Notes: The 1999 Battle Droid mold didn't see a heck of a lot of use. While the other three paint jobs were eventually used on the Saga Legends mold in 2007 and 2008, this one wasn't-- so if you want this "flavor" of droid, you'd better get this one.
Day 1,061: July 8, 2009