Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,281: Sandtrooper

The Legacy Collection Wal-Mart Exclusive
Item No.:
Asst. 93212 No. 93213
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, Staff, Backpack, Dewback
Action Feature: Pose and stuff!
Retail: $30.00
Availability: Fall 2009
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Dewbacks are large, domesticated lizards that are used for transportation on Tatooine. Sandtroopers stationed on the desert planet ride dewbacks, and Tatooine natives use the reptiles to haul goods. Dewbacks easily withstand intense daytime temperatures that cause mechanical equipment to malfunction. Sandtroopers used dewbacks to search for R2-D2 and C-3PO after the droids escaped Imperial forces on the Tantive IV. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam's yard.

Commentary: When we first found out that this Sandtrooper was going to have ball joints for his hips, fans were excited. "Oh boy," they said, "here's hoping Hasbro cards him later!" Well, so far, there's no sign of that so the Dewback is really your only source for this maximally-articulated figure. Short of maybe adding better wrist joints, this may be as good as it gets for us. At first glance he looks like a retooled trooper, but he's really all-new. The helmet has flat lenses truer to a Sandtrooper, the legs are, of course, new, and the body is barely changed. I mean, it's Stormtrooper armor, there's only so much you can do other than the "diamond knee" Sandtrooper variant which, to date, has not been done up as a licensed product. (Or to my knowledge, even fan costumes.) This figure can sit on top of a Dewback fairly well, but it's still an awkward fit. Hasbro is still trying to perfect this kind of joint, apparently neglecting to consider that it was perfected around 1982 with the 3 3/4-inch G.I. Joe line. But I digress.

For now, this is the best Sandtrooper you can buy in terms of articulation and, of course, accessories. Because the Dewback is a damned good accessory.

Collector's Notes: This exclusive didn't seem to get blown out, but the history is still being written there-- a lot of late-2009 Wal-Mart exclusives did end up on the closeout shelves at Ross stores at a fraction of the price, while others ended up at Toys "R" Us at more than full price. The Dewback itself was apparently originally sculpted as an Episode I variant, but changed during production into this model. (The original sculpt makes the rounds on the infotainment sooperhiway.)

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,281: May 12, 2010

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