Monday, June 21, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,309: Dred Priest

DRED PRIEST Elite Forces of the Republic
30th Anniversary Collection Entertainment Earth Exclusive Mandalorians & Clone Troopers Set
Item No.:
Asst. 87467 No. 87454
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Helmet, rifle, 6 more figures
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $39.99
Availability: November 2007
Appearances: n/a

Bio: A secret army of clone troopers is being engineered on Kamino, created from the genes of Jango Fett, a Mandalorian whose combat skills are exceptional even among the great Mandalorian warrior society. Special clones are created to command these soldiers, but they must be trained to become leaders. Fett seeks out the very best Mandalorian warriors from every corner of the galaxy. These sergeants will train the commandos to fight and lead, and instill in them the Mandalorian values of iron discipline and loyalty. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' desk.

Commentary: While Hasbro has had a few opportunities to design Star Wars vehicles and the occasional figure, it's rare that they get to make up entirely new characters like Dred Priest. Named for (and designed to slightly resemble) Hasbro's chief Star Wars muckymuck Derryl DePriest, it's a fairly distinctive character with red armor. Rather than sculpt a completely new figure, Hasbro made a new torso and head while keeping the 2004 "Vintage" Boba Fett's arms and legs. As such, the articulation is pretty good with 14 joints and a Clone Trooper's rifle for his weapon. He can stand just fine but his belt doesn't do him many favors when it comes to doing things like sitting.

Given that this was basically a new character for the toys, and one designed after a Hasbro employee, there's really not much in the way of reference to say if it's really good or bad as far as the likeness goes. The important thing here is that Hasbro made a cool looking figure with a helmet that fits, plus he has some battered armor that doesn't look all that bad. More scuffing would be cool on his red plates, but eh, at least we got some. It's a neat figure and a rare case of Hasbro innovating and expanding the story with their own new characters. And surprisingly, it totally worked-- it's tough to say if they could pull that off again today given the shifting focus in the hobby, where every remaining collector runs his or her own collecting site. (It's true, look it up. If you don't have a site you're supposed to start one.)

Collector's Notes: This one sold pretty well and then went away. There are no known plans to reissue him, although there have been a lot of fan requests. So grab a loose one off eBay.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,309: June 21, 2010

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