Monday, October 25, 2010

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,399: Nrin Vakil

NRIN VAKIL & Ibtisam
The Legacy Collection Wal-Mart Exclusive Comic Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 12974 No. 87885
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Helmet, blaster, Ibtisam, comic book
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $11.99
Availability: March 2009
Appearances: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron comic books

Bio: Ibtisam and Nrin Vakil seem destined to be enemies: Ibtisam is a Mon Calamari and Vakil is a Quarren - two species that have been foes for centuries. Yet an unlikely friendship evolves on a mission to Malrev. Ibtisam finds herself becoming attached to the stoic Nrin Vakil, while Nrin's initial animosity turns to respect for the courageous Mon Calamari, proving that the bonds of friendship can rise above the blind hostility of the past. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' Galactic Heroes diorama. I really like how it turned out.

Commentary: A great shortcut in storytelling is to put people from warring races together to see what happens. Sure, you sometimes will get a Romeo & Juliet, West Side Story, or something that tends to go down as a classic. But sometimes you get Grease, and Grease sucks. With the Rogue Squadron comic books, we got the pairing of Ibtisam, the Mon Calamari, and Nrin Vakil, the Quarren. They appeared in several stories together, but what really matters here? Toys. And they do make nice ones.

Hasbro took an X-wing Luke body and gave him new arms and a new head. Presto! New figure. That's how you make a pilot. As a bonus it also has a barely-longer torso, so it isn't quite as short as Commander Skywalker. Fully articulated with 14 points, the squid-themed alien is decorated better than any other Quarren, with a lot of extra detail in the face and hands. If you get a good look at him in person, note the exquisitely painted eyes, the carefully decorated tusks, and the slightly darker shade of the wrinkles and folds on his person. Hasbro really did a nice job here, putting a lot of its money into making sure that the new parts looked good-- and they do! He even has a new helmet for his uniquely shaped head, which no other figure has used to date. This figure is excellent, and its only real flaw is poor timing-- in 2008, some fans tired of the Expanded Universe to the point where some items performed below expectations. Also, by this time, the character wasn't as popular, and we've been swimming in pilots. It's a shame it didn't do better, because it's a great example of Hasbro making a lot out of its existing tooling and going the extra mile to make a reused body into something really nice.

Collector's Notes: This set, despite being really nice, did not sell well. It's possible (although decreasingly likely as of now) that you might find one at a local Wal-Mart if you live in the right area. It's worth owning for its retail asking price, especially if you love alien pilots. No other versions of this character exist in action figure form.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,399: October 25, 2010

1 comment:

r2witco said...

I really wish I had been able to find these guys when they were out as I'm a little tired of only having human x-wing pilots. I thought they were cool before, but after reading your review I really want this set now.

Thanks for the review, and yes he looks great in that diorama piece.