Friday, February 19, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,223: Battle Droid Commander

The Legacy Collection Geonosis Arena Showdown
Item No.:
Asst. 91751 No. 91752
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #3 of 6
Includes: Blaster, Backpack, Mace Windu
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: October 2009
Appearances: Attack of the Clones

Bio: This Jedi Council member is respected for his great wisdom and discerning counsel. A diplomat by nature, he urges discussion and compromise over open conflict. Yet when he must raise his lightsaber in battle, he does so with the skill of a true Jedi Knight. (Taken from the figure's box.)

Image: Adam's Geonosis Arena playset.

Commentary: Deco means everything. Some fans argue with me on this, but it can make or break a figure, as is the case with the Battle Droid Commander. For example, the notion of getting another Battle Droid may not be the most exciting prospect, but Hasbro actually made a very uncommon yellow-marked commander on the red Attack of the Clones-style body. This is, in and of itself, quite unique and worth getting excited about. It's also made on a new body mold, which allows the figure to fold up better than ever before, plus he has the most articulation of any regular Battle Droid yet. Unfortunately, Hasbro made the eyes about twice as big as needed, so the figure comes off as looking ridiculous. (Of course, the regular Battle Droid from this assortment had it worse-- Hasbro forgot to give him eyes!) This kind of quality control problem is pretty uncommon, although Hasbro made more big gaffes than usual in its 2009 Legacy line. The giant eyes don't render the toy unplayable, or worthless, but it does prove how one little paint operation can ruin the look and feel of an otherwise fantastic toy.

As stated above, the articulation here is superb. You get ankles, knees, hips, elbows, shoulders, neck, and a bonus neck joint which allows the head to collapse into the body. Clearly, this is the finest engineering work Hasbro has ever done for a Battle Droid figure, plus it can generally stand OK on its own. (I would still suggest keeping stands handy.) The red plastic looks good, the subtle black wash is great, and the yellow stripe markings are superb. However, those eyes throw off the face entirely, and that's generally one of the areas where an action figure can go from great to awful in no time flat. Hasbro earned big points for a fantastic sculpt here, but there's no getting past that head.

Collector's Notes: This figure has not been reissued as of yet. The body mold was also used to make a Battle Droid in the same exclusive assortment-- notable for lacking eyes-- and the IG-97 droid in an as-of-yet unreleased comic pack. Because this pack comes with an existing Mace Windu figure and looks like something Hasbro may correct in the future, it may not be worth your while to buy this one unless you want the big goofy eyes or just want to cover your bets in the off chance Hasbro doesn't repackage it later.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,223: February 19, 2010

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