Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,360: Mandalore

MANDALORE The Fett Legacy
30th Anniversary Collection Evolutions
Item No.:
Asst. 87480 No. 87563
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Shield, spear, axe, cape, removable shoulder armor
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: 2008
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: The Mandalorians are proud people whose lives are based on war. For thousands of years, these skilled fighters have crisscrossed the galaxy on crusades of conquest. They are feared and respected for their unparalleled battle skills and have left a blazing mark upon history. Mandalore the Indomitable is a legendary leader from long ago; Jango Fett "fathers" the clone trooper army; and his "son" Boba Fett uses his Mandalorian skill to become the greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' pig room.

Commentary: This was a truly delightful surprise of a figure! In the now-ancient Tales of the Jedi comic series, we were treated to a meeting with one of the earliest incarnations of Mandalore and we now have a figure with him! This one fought Ulic-Qel Droma (also now a figure) and met an untimely end as the Sith War progressed. The super-articulated character makes a good translation to three dimensions, and arguably has more detail than his coconut-masket comic book ancestor. It really does look like a supremely primitive Boba Fett, which is good and bad when you consider this is still a spacefaring culture. Either way, the figure matches the concept, which is what you want.

There's a hole in his armor which lets you plug in spare weapons for storage, and the design seems like it could have even been a Jack Kirby-era villain, if not necessarily drawn by the man himself. (Beef him up a little, he could fight in New Gods maybe. Or maybe not, I'm no expert... or am I? [I'm not.]) Weapons can hang over his shoulder, and his cape is one of the best Hasbro has ever offered on a figure of this size. I'd even suggest getting spares of Mandalore just to give the cape to other figures like the 2008 Space Armor Saesee Tiin, that's how good it is. The deco is pretty light, but functional-- you will not be disappointed with this release.

Collector's Notes: While unlikely, you may be able to find this and other black-carded comic packs in your area. Try Kmarts or other places you don't touch with a 10-foot pole, you may be pleasantly surprised. (But the cost is probably closer to modern packs, $13-$15.) On the collector's market, she goes for around $10 before shipping sealed with her companion.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,360: August 31, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,359: Hoth Rebel Trooper

REBEL TROOPER Battle of Hoth
30th Anniversary Collection Ultimate Battle Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 87565 No. 87566
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, backpack
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $49.99 (part of a set)
Availability: November 2007
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: A chance discovery by a probe droid reveals the Rebel Alliance's main base on the planet Hoth. Darth Vader prepares for a surprise long-range attack, but his plans are ruined when Admiral Kendal Ozzel leaves hyperspace near the planet, setting off the Rebels' early-warning sensors. Vader then launches a ground attack with a powerful onslaught of Snowtroopers and AT-ST Walkers. The Rebels target their laser turrets at the invading Imperials, and Luke bravely leads his fellow Rebels into battle with the formidable walkers. But the Alliance is outnumbered and outgunned, and the order is given to retreat. The Rebels succeed in fleeing the panet, giving the Empire a cold and bittersweet victory. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's bathroom.

Commentary: The Rebel Trooper seems to be one Hasbro doesn't seem too high on making great, at least until the 2009 release. This figure was released in 2007, and was based on a version from 2004 which was awful back then. The figure has 6 points of articulation, an incredibly strange pose, an iffy sculpt, and was short. Any one of those things would have made it unpleasant, but all of them combined gives you a figure that really should be given away as an afterthought in a big boxed set. And hey-- he was! As box-filler, he's pretty cool. Just throw him off to the side to get stomped by an AT-ST or whatever, and he's pretty decent. It's just that when he's next to your other figures, his inferiority makes itself apparent. As a repaint, he's pretty similar to the original. His pants and grey elements are a little darker than the first release, but the face is the same, the goggles are still green (if a different green), and the paint masks don't seem all that different. A lot of people didn't realize he was different at first, so this is one I wouldn't suggest jumping on unless you were going to buy the complete gift set anyway.

Collector's Notes: The full set does still command a slight premium price, and at $50 or less is a bargain. This is only the second use of this mold, so I wouldn't suggest going nuts over it as better Hoth Rebel Trooper figures have been made and will be made in the future. (But if you're buying the box anyway, he's certainly a nice release.)

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,359: August 30, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,358: Concept Art Snowtrooper

SNOWTROOPER Episode V Concept Art
The Legacy Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87535 No. 87866
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #BD48
Includes: Blaster, backpack, droid part
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: November 2009
Appearances: Art of The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: In this concept art by Joe Johnston, the Imperial snowtrooper wears armor with features that are reminiscent of armor actually worn by samurai warriors. The gear has stylized elegance while still protecting the trooper from blaster fire and extreme cold. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's AT-AT. The POTF2 one.

Commentary: The Snowtrooper has a unique distinction in having not one, but two completely different concept figures made. The first was based on Ralph McQuarrie's art, and this one was based on Joe Johnston's. I think this one makes for a better toy, as he has a cloth piece covering his legs and even more articulation than his predecessor. The samurai-inspired helmet and armor plating looks great, and it's hard to fault the markings on the helmet as they seem ripped right out of the late 1970s. If anything, this figure looks more like the Return of the Jedi Biker Scout in a lot of ways. There isn't a lot of dirt or grime here, which is sensible for an art-inspired toy, and his silver blaster fits right into his holster. Given the relative scarcity/popularity of this release, army building may not be possible, but it's a very good figure if you're lucky enough to get one or more of them. After all, few concept figures are truly super articulated, and this one made the cut. Nice job!

Collector's Notes: As of summer 2010, this figure commands a slight premium-- you can still probably get one for $10-ish. I expect this to fade in a couple of years, but who knows. I still would suggest getting him sooner over later if he can be found for under $10.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,358: August 27, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,357: Snowtrooper

SNOWTROOPER Battle of Hoth
30th Anniversary Collection Ultimate Battle Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 87565 No. 87566
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $49.99 (part of a set)
Availability: November 2007
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: A chance discovery by a probe droid reveals the Rebel Alliance's main base on the planet Hoth. Darth Vader prepares for a surprise long-range attack, but his plans are ruined when Admiral Kendal Ozzel leaves hyperspace near the planet, setting off the Rebels' early-warning sensors. Vader then launches a ground attack with a powerful onslaught of Snowtroopers and AT-ST Walkers. The Rebels target their laser turrets at the invading Imperials, and Luke bravely leads his fellow Rebels into battle with the formidable walkers. But the Alliance is outnumbered and outgunned, and the order is given to retreat. The Rebels succeed in fleeing the panet, giving the Empire a cold and bittersweet victory. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's bathroom.

Commentary: If there's one Imperial trooper that Hasbro hasn't been shy about redoing, it's the Snowtrooper. This version is a repaint of the 2006 figure, which itself was a mix of the 1997 legs and the 2003 figure from the waist on up. He has six points of articulation, which may not sound like much but that's two more than the 1980s original. What makes this figure distinctive is his "dirt" damage, the reddish, almost orange smudges seem like a sort of a rust got dropped on top of this one. The rank badge is painted differently, the chest lights are decorated in a unique way, and the body suit is a little different. So yeah, this is a distinctive Snowtrooper that would stand out as being a little different in a diorama, assuming you wanted such a thing. (You do, if you ask me.)

Collector's Notes: The set went from hot to undesirable to hot again pretty quickly, and now it tends to command a premium. This is good, because the set itself is so packed with neat stuff that the initial $50 asking price was actually sort of low. After all, you got an AT-ST, 8 figures, and a Hoth Turret. Compare this to 2009, when $44 got you an AT-ST and one figure. Pretty sad, really, especially given this was just two years.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,357: August 26, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,356: Leia (Hoth Outfit)

LEIA Hoth Outfit
The Vintage Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 97568 No. 97570
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: VC02
Includes: Blaster, removable vest
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99-$9.99
Availability: June 2010
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Celebrate the legendary Star Wars saga that changed the universe forever! This collection brings to life the incredible story of good versus evil that captured our imagination and took us to a galaxy far, far away. Iconic Star Wars heroes and villains are captured with incredible detail and premium features to commemorate each epic tale in the Star Wars saga. May the Fore be with you! (Taken from the figure's packaging. There is no bio.)

Image: Adam's bathroom.

Commentary: When the pictures first got out it seemed pretty dull, but it turns out this new Leia is pretty good. Princess Leia Organa isn't super-articulated, but she's close. This finely sculpted figure has no ankle joints, but everything else moves about as good as you can reasonably expect. In addition to her puffy snow suit, she has some metal bits sculpted on and it looks like she would be right at home in a nice Hoth playset. (If you want one, I suggest getting either of the originals from Kenner in the 1980s.) If you have a big Millennium Falcon you should probably get her just to flesh it out, and then you can complain that there still isn't a top-notch Bespin Han to buy yet. Her hair is a little dark, and her skin is a little pale, but other than that our space princess seems to be basically the right color when compared to photography from the film. This figure is so much better than the 1998 one it isn't funny, so it's a clear improvement over any previous version of the character in this outfit. There isn't much else you can do with her that would be reasonable at this stage, so hey Hasbro-- good work! Who's next?

Collector's Notes: The figure hit in June 2010, but the street date was initially said to be August. (When I see it, is when it is out.) She's good enough to buy, so if you see her, grab one. According to some, she's one of the more popular new Vintage figures but at press time it isn't much of a challenge to grab them all.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,356: August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,355: Clone Trooper Fives

FIVES Clone Trooper Rookie
The Clone Wars Wal-Mart Exclusive Clone Wars Rookies Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 14657 No. 91914
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Helmet, blaster, Rex
Action Feature: Removable helmet
Retail: $12.88
Availability: August 2009
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: Commando droids overrun a clone trooper outpost manned by new recruits. By the time Captain Rex arrives, the troopers are either dead or have been forced to retreat from the outpost. Rex and the remaining troopers engage in a fierce battle to retake the outpost. Clone Trooper Fives watches in respectful awe as Rex marks one of the rookie troopers with the blood of a monstrous Rishi eeel to commememorate the trooper's valor. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's desk.

Commentary: Hasbro has released fewer plain white Clones than I'd have expected, and Fives is one of the first ones to have a removable helmet. The body is the same clone body you're all used to, but the head is pretty interesting in that he actually has some distinctive facial markings. For starters, he has a little beard painted on, which is unusual for most clones so far. Second, he has a "5" on his head, hence the name. If you want distinctive clone characters, this is one to buy because, frankly, this is the only plain white clone with a unique face so far. Articulation is 14 points, the fancy wrists are here, and there's really no reason to not buy this one. Although if he comes out carded some day, odds are you don't need (but probably want) the eel blood-covered Rex that Fives comes with.

Collector's Notes: The figure sold well, but seemingly showed up at other places after Wal-Mart was done with it. So it's hard to tell if it was really a hit or not, but either way, it's worth your while to track down.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,355: August 24, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,354: Heavy Assault Super Battle Droid

SUPER BATTLE DROID Heavy Assault
The Clone Wars Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87638 No. 89470
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #11
Includes: Projectile
Action Feature: Firing rocket arm weapon
Retail: $7.99
Availability: August 2009
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: These tireless, fearless droids are used in heavy infantry assaults, unleashing an unrelenting onslaught of firepower until the object of their attack is destroyed. They have integrated weapons, such as a built-in arm cannon, and are sometimes used as field officers in the droid army. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's desk.

Commentary: Sometimes, repaints are pretty welcome. I'd say the Heavy Assault Super Battle Droid is one of the good ones. The coloring is pretty different than the previous releases, as he is lacking the dirt/damage paint and has a lighter grey painted on what amounts to the top of his body. There's also a swell faction logo on his arm which, I must confess, I don't know what it is as of yet. Maybe it's a spin on the Radioactive symbol. The newly tooled arm has a giant gun hand, and you can load a rocket in there and shoot it at your other toys. This is an honest-to-goodness fun toy, big and beefy and ready to knock down other action figures. He isn't super articulated but he's certainly good enough to buy if you dig his look... and dig knocking over other toys.

Collector's Notes: The figure didn't exactly perform terribly well, and depending on your stores you might find some sitting on the shelves. If they're cheap, I suggest you pick up a bunch of them while you can. It's a great figure and should be good in any toy box, diorama, or trade pile because they're neat.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,354: August 23, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,353: Rebel Trooper

REBEL TROOPER Tantive IV Defender
Saga Collection 2
Item No.:
Asst. 84861 No. ???
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #0254
Includes: Blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: January 2003
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: The Rebel Blockade Runner Tantive IV was on an urgent mission to Tatooine. Princess Leia Organa, armed with secret plans to the Death Star, was on her way to find General Obi-Wan Kenobi when the ship was attacked by an Imperial Star Destroyer. The heroic Rebel troopers were the last line of defense as the ship was boarded by Darth Vader and a platoon of Stormtroopers. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's desk.

Commentary: In 2001, Hasbro told us we would get three head variants of the Rebel Trooper. Version 1 hit in 2001, versions 2 and 3 hit in early 2003. Better late than never, right? This new version has a new head, but the faces are pretty similar, so this would be "dark hair Saga variant" in my book. The other is a reddish, lighter brown. Designed with a molded-on helmet, the figure has articulation at the shoulders, wrists, hips, neck, knees, ankles, but not waist. Hasbro aped the style of the then-popular 21st Century Toys modern warefare action figures, giving this figure a pretty good ability to crouch without the use of the slightly more expensive ball joints we're used to today. While good at the time, a lot of modern fans outright hate these figures and complain incessantly that they need to be updated. Given that this body had a total of 5 different heads and a complete comic-style repaint, I'm pretty much done with wanting to ever see another version of this trooper, but I see their point. For army-builders or completeists only if you already have a Rebel Trooper, otherwise, I suggest you get at least one.

Collector's Notes: The figure was late, temporarily popular, and hard to identify. A lot of fans don't know there are two different heads on the Saga cardback because they share an essentially identical package. (I don't count date stamps. [And if you don't know what those are, that's good.]) Most of these are pretty cheap, but be sure to ask a lot of questions from the seller if you're looking for a specific version. This specific one has dark brown (almost black) hair, while the other, as stated above, is more red.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,353: August 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,352: Rocket Battle Droid

ROCKET BATTLE DROID with can opener
The Clone Wars Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87638 No. 87958
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #25
Includes: Blaster, launcher, rocket, rocketpack
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: Spring 2009
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: Some Battle Droids are supplied with jet backpacks, which enable them to navigate for short distances through the vacuum of space to board Republic ships during battle. Since they do not need oxygen, the droids are useful as part of raiding parties to infiltrate and capture ships. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's desk.

Commentary: The Rocket Battle Droid was a pretty grim spin on the goofy Battle Droids. These red robots would fly through space looking for lost escape pods, cracking them open and causing the poor victims inside to be blown out into space. Unlike their cousins, they're pretty good at their job and they can afford to be goofy because they're so good at what they do. If they were worried, it probably would take them down a peg. The figure's body is the same as the basic 2008 Battle Droid, but it has a new head and a new backpack. The miner's helmet-style light on his head is pretty cool, and the rocket pack seems a lot neater than the big backpack with the antenna. The Rocket Battle Droid has 8 points of articulation, which isn't bad, and is generally a good release.

Collector's Notes: The figure was available on a blue card in early 2009 and a red card in late 2009 and 2010. The same figure was also repackaged for the Target Ambush at Ambregado set, in a slightly different shade of red. Either version is acceptable, I don't believe most fans will notice the difference. For the purposes of this column, we're not going to cover the other release.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,352: August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,351: Rebel Trooper (Biker Scout Disguise)

REBEL TROOPER Shield Generator Assault
The Legacy Collection Battle Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 87752 No. 87779
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, Helmet, R2-D2, Han Solo, Imperial Officer
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: August 2008
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Some Rebel troopers disguise themselves in the uniforms of captured or fallen Imperial soldiers to infiltrate the enemy's position. (Taken from the figure's box.)

Image: Adam's desk.

Commentary: The Endor Trooper in Biker Scout Disguise was actually a former Fan's Choice candidate, back when Hasbro told fans that, if made, they couldn't do a removable helmet because of the beard. How far we've come! This figure takes the super-articulated Scout Trooper body and gives him a new head plus the helmet. The paint job is slightly worse than an average Biker Scout, with some details like the soles of the boots being left unpainted. His midsection is also left plain white rather than being decorated in a cream color. Other than that, it's super articulated and awesome. Were this a carded figure, I'd strongly suggest buying it. It doesn't break a ton of new ground, but it's made from enough quality parts and is a decent enough idea that you should totally get the set.

Collector's Notes: The set itself is still findable in some markets. While Hasbro has not identified him as such, it appears this is in fact Nik Sant, a bearded Endor Rebel named for Santa Claus. That's how great imaginations are in Lucasfilm's naming camp. "Dude's got a beard? SANTA CLAUS."

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,351: August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,350: Roth-Del Masona

ROTH-DEL MASONA vs. Geonosis Warrior
The Legacy Collection Geonosis Arena Showdown
Item No.:
Asst. 91751 No. 91756
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #5 of 6
Includes: Lightsaber, Super Battle Droid
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: October 2009
Appearances: Attack of the Clones

Bio: The Jedi Knights rush to Geonosis to rescue Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padme from execution. The Jedi brandish their lightsabers against the Geonosian warriors and the massive army of battle droids, super battle droids, and droidekas. All hope seems lost that any Jedi will survive this battle, then Yoda arrives with an army of clone troopers. Although many Jedi are lost that day, others survive this climactic battle that ushers in the Clone Wars. (Taken from the figure's box-- that's right, it's the same generic copy on every box.)

Image: Adam's Geonosis Arena playset.

Commentary: It's both surprising and completely understandable that Roth-Del Masona is rotting on some Target store shelves. This exclusive action figure, which was packaged with a Super Battle Droid, was one of only two all-new characters introduced over the six 2-packs. The figure takes a Mace Windu and throws on a new head, plus a bunch of paint. The outfit is pretty close to the film, but it adds a lot of extra cream coloring to the middle of his chest, when it should be closer to the amount on the original Mace Windu figure on which he was based. He has 14 points of articulation, and is basically not a character anyone who only watches the movies would know. He was killed by General Grievous off-screen, so really, this is a pretty low-level Jedi to consider making. The assortment was pretty dull when you consider the only two new figures were Jedi that people flat-out don't know. So yeah, you can probably still find him, but the main reason to get him is because you have to collect them all.

Collector's Notes: This one can be had for SRP, easily, if not cheaper. Since he came with a barely-a-repaint of a figure which has been widely available, it's no surprise he wasn't a huge hit, but it's unfortunate that the new Jedi figures in this assortment were generally the weakest performers.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,350: August 17, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,349: Clone Captain Rex (Rookies)

CAPTAIN REX Eel Blood
The Clone Wars Wal-Mart Exclusive Clone Wars Rookies Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 14657 No. 91914
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Helmet, blasters, Fives
Action Feature: Firing rocket launcher
Retail: $12.88
Availability: August 2009
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: Commando droids overrun a clone trooper outpost manned by new recruits. By the time Captain Rex arrives, the troopers are either dead or have been forced to retreat from the outpost. Rex and the remaining troopers engage in a fierce battle to retake the outpost. Clone Trooper Fives watches in respectful awe as Rex marks one of the rookie troopers with the blood of a monstrous Rishi eeel to commememorate the trooper's valor. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' desk.

Commentary: There are no shortage of Captain Rex figures, particularly if you're in to variations. This specific one was made to tie in to the first season episode "Rookies." You can tell because his hands are covered in a gooey blue eel blood, which was used to mark a handprint on Echo's armor. the figure itself uses the same construction as Rex, which used basically the same construction as a standard Clone Trooper from the animated line. He has the enhanced wrist joints and the normal compliment of articulation, 14 points. His armor is basically clean, except for the eel blood splattered on his hand (which can be tough to see) and on his forearm (which you can't miss). There is also some "damage" in his blue stripes, which may make this a compelling figure for you. If you have a Rex, the only reason to get this one is the eel blood. And the figure Fives, which is packed with him.

Collector's Notes: There are multiple barely-different repaints of this Rex figure, but this one is one of the more distinctive ones. The original figure came in clean and dirty, and at least one of the versions was effectively "shiny"-- which is to say, perfectly clean stripes and no damage markings of any kind.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,349: August 16, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,348: Camie Marstrap

CAMIE MARSTRAP & Laze "Fixer" Loneozner
The Legacy Collection Celebration V Exclusive Comic Pack
Item No.:
No. 19671
Number: #VCP02
Includes: Pet creature, Fixer figure, Empire comic book #8 reprint
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $14.99
Availability: August 2010
Appearances: Star Wars deleted scene, Empire comics

Bio: Fixer and Camie meet their friends Luke Skywalker and Biggs Darklighter at Tosche Station to work on their T-16 skyhoppers. As they make plans to go swooping through Beggar's Canyon to bulls-eye womp rats, they share their dream of leaving behind the remote desert planet of Tatooine to seek out fame and glory as part of the Rebel Alliance. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' bathroom, again.

Commentary: Few characters in Star Wars are famous for being removed from the film, but Camie makes the cut. Played by Koo Stark, she's big on the trivia circuit for being known as an adult film star. Wikipedia seems to put it as she wasn't so much an "adult actress" but an actress who did some nudity in a movie early on, but not being an expert in all things 1970s I don't know. Anyway, both Camie and Fixer seem pretty accurate to their movie outfits, in Camie's case she has really long boots, a really short skirt, and a shirt. Her upper legs are bare, and I actually can't tell if her crotch region is painted or the same color as her legs. Yeah yeah, I'm a perv for looking, like you wouldn't after word got out of a similar Slave Leia test shot from 1997. (I saw it, it's real.)

This figure is a completely new sculpt and is, on the whole, very nicely articulated. She has no ankle joints, but that's reasonable given it would muss up the look of the boots. (Ankle joints are not always good-- see the Comic Pack Leia from Shadows of the Empire for a good example.) The head sculpt is nice, the outfit is about right, and the range of motion is acceptable. Given that she's a convention exclusive of a fan so obscure I would wager a significant number of the convention-goers won't know she was cut from the original film, I'm not particularly concerned that she can't sit due to how her clothes were sculpted. Due to the nature of the figure-- being a comic pack and a deleted scene figure-- this is one of the most exciting releases for us older fans who are in to such things. If I were you, I'd go out of my way to get this set. It's just so cool that Hasbro actually made it.

Collector's Notes: The set was originally slated as a comic pack in the main line, but that was not meant to be. The final release was on the blue and black "Dark Side Approacheth" cardback style which itself was packaged in an attractive window box. It's pretty wasteful, but attractive. There are foil elements on the outer package, a velcro latch, and enough graphical wizardry to make you feel like you bought a premium product. $14.99 is pretty cheap for what this is, especially given that's regular retail for most comic packs these days. Get it.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,348: August 13, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,347: Zuckuss (4-LOM in Kenner Colors)

ZUCKUSS ...or 4-LOM in Vintage Kenner Colors
The Vintage Collection Jedi-Con and Celebration V Exclusive
Item No.:
No. 19672
Number: #VCP02
Includes: Blaster, 4-LOM figure
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $14.99
Availability: August 2010
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: 4-LOM was an ambitious protocol droid who overwrote his own programming to embark on a life of crime. A LOM-series droid, 4-LOM's first assignment was aboard a luxury liner named the Kuari Princess, where he served as a translator between the vessel's wealthy passengers and its computer. He found this work mundane and undemanding, and after the Kuari Princess's computer altered his programming, 4-LOM began to steal from his passengers. Eventually, he left the Kuari Princess for good, becoming an expert thief, information broker, and, after Jabba Desilijic Tiure altered his programming further, a highly successful bounty hunter. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' bathroom. The exclusive "Kenner deco" or "error" figure stands in front of the standard retail release version with the correct name on the package.

Commentary: Did you ever wish you had the 2007 Zuckuss mold in 1982 Kenner 4-LOM colors? Well, now you can buy it! At first I was hard-pressed to think why it would be exciting, but the comparison shows a few niceties-- the exclusive version has a red light on his head, a much cleaner body, some silver, and generally looks very "classic." It seems like an old goofy space toy, which means I automatically love the super-articulated, 14-joint Bounty Hunter robot. He can stand, sit, carry his weapon, and basically be awesome. What more could you possibly hope for? I prefer this version to the 2007 original, just because it looks so gosh darn clean and space-like. It's really pretty wonderful, and his companion 4-LOM is even better. I wish Hasbro just made these standard retail releases because they are so nice, but well, for now, you can probably get them at the convention or online shortly after the show.

Packaging Notes: 4-LOM (modern name robot) also appears in the basic Vintage assortments shipping now, and it is very similar to the convention exclusive Zuckuss (classic name robot). Some key differences are as follows: the Exclusive version has no UPC, the bubble is not extended so that it may stand freely, it has foil, and the back says "Original Zuckuss Card" instead of "Original 4-LOM Card." The figure's pose inside the packaging is also significantly different. The carded figure came inside a box which velcros shut, which itself had a slipcase. The packaging for the individual Vintage figure got a little warped on my sample, so pay attention to that if you want pristine packaging inside your packaging.

Collector's Notes: The figure was sold at Germany's Jedi-Con long before its US release, but we don't count that. USA! USA! The item was sold at Celebration V and is like there right now if you'd like to wait in a line in Florida... and these are neat enough to warrant it.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,347: August 12, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,346: Captain Typho

CAPTAIN TYPHO Episode II
The Legacy Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87535 No. 87981
Number: #BD47
Includes: Blaster, hat, comlink, droid part
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: June 2009
Appearances: Attack of the Clones

Bio: Gregor Typho is Senator Padm:eacute; Amidala's head of security and an able starfighter pilot. He is diligent and capable in the performance of his duties, yet he is up against devious enemies who will stop at nothing to eliminate Padme. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' Big AT-AT.

Commentary: If you were to make a list of like twelve characters fans never asked to have redone, Captain Typho would likely appear on the list. In 2002 we got a version of him in a pilot-esque outfit, and this version adds his hat and coat for a more formal Naboo security officer look. Hasbro went all out making this an excellent figure, which seems goofy given that it just isn't a character fans care about much one way or another. He is indeed super articulated, plus he has some cloth around his waist so you can actually move his legs a little. His hat is removable. His head sculpt is excellent. His blaster is even painted up, for heaven's sake. Why on Earth would Hasbro put so much time and effort into a non-character with such features as a removable communicator? Or am I answering my own question? The amount of work put into this figure is incredible, and the craftsmanship is above and beyond what you expect from a Hasbro Star Wars action figure. Still, it's Captain Typho, and that one strike is likely to make most fans skip it. Which is a shame, because as I said, it's really a well-done figure.

Collector's Notes: Some regions of the country received ample amounts of this wave-- the vocal regions did not. As such, he's a little hard to get and his inclusion of an HK-47 part makes him slightly more desirable than he should be.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,346: August 11, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,345: Jedi Padawan

JEDI PADAWAN Large Boy
Star Tours Jedi Training Academy Set
Item No.:
No. 87801
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, 4 additional figures
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $34.99
Availability: June 2009
Appearances: n/a

Bio: STAR TOURS takes you to the Jedi Training Academy where you train to be a Jedi Knight! You and your fellow Padawans will experience the power of the Force and learn to battle with a lightsaber from a Jedi Master. May the Force be with you! (Taken from the figure's box.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' Big AT-AT.

Commentary: This Padawan figure seems to be modeled after a real person, but we don't know who it is. (If anybody.) Utilizing the 2000 Power of the Jedi Anakin Skywalker body with a new head (rather than the 1999 Naboo Anakin Skywalker body, which would have been a better choice) this figure managed to fudge us a new Jedi figure with a decidedly non-Jedi mold. To be honest, the figure looks more like Kitster than it does a regular Jedi. This may make him a good stand-in for your Mos Espa displays since the odds of Hasbro making an actual official Kitster are inversely proportional to the temperature in Hell at a given time. The figure's articulation is unremarkable, while he does have knee joints there's little else to speak of here. The important thing for you to remember is that there are very few Padawan figures, so this may be worth getting just to add to your very small squad of very small Jedi. He isn't remarkable, but the character is unique to this figure.

Collector's Notes: Sold only at Disney parks, I have been told that this set has shown up on sale. I have not confirmed this, but you may be able to get it at a reduced price.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,345: August 10, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,344: Clone Trooper Jek

CLONE TROOPER JEK and Yoda
The Clone Wars Wal-Mart Exclusive Set, later individual
Item No.:
Asst. 16721 No. 89320
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #2 of 2
Includes: Pistols, rocket launcher, rocket, firing rocket launcher, helmet, bandolier, Yoda figure with accessories
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.96
Availability: August 2009
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: Yoda, Lieutenant Thire and clone troopers Jek and Rys are ambushed by battle droids on Rugosa. The troopers doubt they can prevail since they are greatly outnumbered. Yoda helps Jek see that weapons do not necessarily mean victory and that the mind is also a powerful weapon that they can use to out-think the droids. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' desk.

Commentary: Hasbro is great about realizing when they can milk a mold, and Clone Trooper Jek is a great example of a repaint you'd want. Sporting essentially a modified Rex body, the figure has a bald head and hip holsters for his pistols, giving him a unique appearance while using mostly existing parts with some red paint slapped on. It's pretty accurate to the TV show, and is articulated at 14 points-- including the specially enhanced wrist joints. There's not much else to say other than it's another repaint of an insanely good mold, plus he's from the fairly popular episode Ambush. At the right price, I'd say buy him.

Collector's Notes: A carded Jek figure was also sold in early 2010. For all intents and purposes, it's basically the same figure with some minor deco changes-- specifically some painted details on the bandolier were added. For the purposes of this column, we're considering it a variation and not a new figure. The 2-pack later showed up (sans Wal-Mart sticker) at many Toys "R" Us stores, which I believe means the item was either an intentionally timed exclusive or a sort of a planned closeout. You may be able to find these still.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,344: August 9, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,343: Wedge Antilles

WEDGE ANTILLES with blaster pistol
Power of the Force Carry Case Pack-In
Item No.:
Asst. 87557 No. 87558
Manufacturer: Kenner
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster pistol, Millennium Falcon Carry Case
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: Summer 1998
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Wedge Antilles was a famed Corellian pilot and general, known as a hero of the Rebel Alliance and New Republic. A standout starfighter pilot, he was one of the few to survive the Battle of Yavin, after which he founded Rogue Squadron with his friend Luke Skywalker. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' desk.

Commentary: I try not to swear too much, but when I pulled up the photo to write about this Wedge Antilles my first thought was literally "Man, fuck that figure." The 1997 figure is a baffling release (which we'll get in on below), but for the sake of the column, we'll focus on the actual figure here. Since this was the only mold that existed, Hasbro's Rhode Island division (back when the Cincinnati division did most of the line's work) decided they had a great idea-- to take a Millennium Falcon carry case, and to take a 1995 X-Wing Luke Skywalker and put a new head on it. And presto, Wedge! Two variants of the figure exist-- both have very different paint jobs, the second of which is slightly more authentic but still off. The mold is, obviously, the Hoth Snowspeeder pilot suit.

The first release has Luke's markings on his helmet, plus white stripes on his sleeves. The second release (pictured) is more authentic to the helmet in the movie, and the white stripes were dropped. It's still pretty iffy, and even in 1997 there was a lot of moaning about this one. With only six points of articulation, there's not much to speak of here. He's too muscular and since he wasn't released at a sensible price point (setting a tradition for Wedge figures), he was met with more scorn than delight.

Collector's Notes: The last time I checked, the figure wasn't going for much. The product itself makes no sense-- why is Wedge the bonus figure with Han Solo's ship? Why was he painted badly? Why did this figure start a precedent of Wedge being released only as an exclusive but never as an individual mass-market release? Despite the higher price tag in 1997, the figure's price has stayed low and there's really no good reason to shell out big bucks for this one. It just isn't that good.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,343: August 6, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,342: Comic Pack Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker

OBI-WAN KENOBI & Bail Organa
30th Anniversary Collection Wal-Mart Comic Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 87557 No. 87558
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber hilt, robes, baby, comic book, Bail Organa figure
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $11.99
Availability: January 2008
Appearances: Revenge of the Sith

Bio: Darkness descends over the galaxy as Palpatine's power increases and Darth Vader joins him as his Sith apprentice. The former Anakin Skywalker is unaware that his beloved Padmé gave birth to twins after their final meeting. And if those children are to remain alive, he must never know they exist. So Obi-Wan secretly brings Leia to Bail Organa and his wife, who will raise her as their daughter. Then he travels to Tatooine, where Owen and Beru Lars become the guardians of their nephew, Luke Skywalker. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' desk.

Commentary: Are you sick of this mold? Too bad! Hasbro has another Obi-Wan Kenobi based on the 2005 Revenge of the Sith pilot version which, undoubtedly, was the last big breakthrough with this particular outfit. Sure, we've since seen a new head sculpt and new hip joints, but they're all basically the same as this one. This takes that same 2005 body, gives it a cloth robe, and a baby repainted from a late 2005 exclusive "Separation of the Twins" exclusive. Obi-Wan still has 14 points of articulation, but since he'll likely only be carrying a baby, this was a little much. The sculpt is good, the lightsaber hangs just fine, and the figure just happens to be sculpted to hold the baby. Or rather, the baby was sculpted to fit in Obi-Wan's arms. For fans of wanting to get everything, this figure qualifies as different enough to make you mad-- the baby blanket is a new color, and the cloth cape is different than the version from 2005. I personally think that as the baby figure sets go, the comic pack is superior to the individual ones.

Collector's Notes: None are on eBay as of the time I wrote this feature, but other sellers are charging seemingly high prices for this set. I wouldn't overpay for it, but if you can get it for a fair price it's absolutely worth owning for the babies. Assuming you want baby figures of Luke and Leia, of course.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,342: August 5, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,341: Han Solo (Hoth Hangar)

HAN SOLO Echo Base Outfit
The Vintage Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 97568 No. 97571
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #VC03
Includes: Blaster, mask, torch
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99-$9.99
Availability: June 2010
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Solo was a Human from Corellia who achieved galactic fame as a member of the Rebel Alliance and later the New Republic. Solo became caught up with the Rebel Alliance, courtesy of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa, whom he helped rescue from the Death Star. Solo helped Skywalker destroy the Death Star when it attacked the Rebel base at Yavin 4, where they had taken Organa. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' bathroom. Yes, it's that white.

Commentary: While strongly hinted at for nearly a year, this new Han Solo is a version of the character you probably never realized you saw in the movie. He was in there, but his appearance was so brief that any sane person wouldn't think it would warrant a figure. Considering that just under 2 years ago, we got a deleted scene Sandstorm Han Solo, it's a safe bet that literally nothing is off the table as far as obscure character outfits go. The figure itself is a mixed bag-- some bits are great, some, well, not so great. The new elements-- the head, arms, and coat-- are pretty wonderful. The body is the same we've seen on the 2006 Endor Han as well as the Sandstorm Han and a few others, which means he has those spindly legs and the increasingly worse holster that seems to be falling right off the figure. As a diorama figure, this one is pretty good-- he looks OK and can "fix things," which is basically what you would want. He's not much of a sitter, and I think if he experienced heavy play you would lose his holster. That thing just feels flimsy. It's a non-essential outfit and a pretty obscure debut for Han Solo in this new vintage line (particularly when we haven't had a decent update of the Bespin Han Solo since almost ever), but hey, it is what it is. Since it's technically a new outfit, I'd have to say go for it. In short, it's a Bespin Han but wearing the Hoth Han jacket hanging open. Unless you're short on funds, odds are he's on your wish list so grab him as you so deem fit.

Collector's Notes: Depending on how your stores were, this figure is either new this week, or you saw it in June. Either way it's new! Get it if you want it, I assume that you probably will.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,341: August 4, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,340: General Grievous

GENERAL GRIEVOUS Interchangeable Battle-Damage Parts
The Clone Wars Basic Figures with Galactic Battle Game
Item No.:
Asst. 94736 No. 97559
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #CW10
Includes: Spare arm stumps, spare damaged, head, removable legs, display stand, lightsabers, card, Galactic Battle Game die
Action Feature: Interchangeable Battle-Damage Parts
Retail: $7.49
Availability: June 2010
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: Within his secret lair, General Grievous stores his spare cybernetic parts to replace any that become damaged. When two Jedi infiltrate his hideout, he relishes the opportunity to duel them for their lightsabers. Injured during battle, Grievous temporarily retreats to be repaired by his medical droid.(Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' TV tray.

Commentary: My initial reaction to this figure was a mix of scorn and praise. I'd say that stuck-- this General Grievous was clearly designed with collector tastes in mind, despite Hasbro claiming their new entries were kid-focused. The figure has crazy amounts of articulation and spare parts, besting the finest offerings from Legacy and beyond. So why the scorn? The figure is cast in incredibly soft (rubbery) plastic to avoid easy breakage, which means that if you live in a warm climate he will not stand up for more than a few minutes. He cannot support his own weight, and his display stand accessory is of no value since he has no foot holes. If the figure could stand and was made from a material that's not going to warp easily, I'd say this might be one of Hasbro's best-ever offerings of the bad general. I mean, it's remarkable what they tried to do here, working in so many joints without hurting the look and feel of the character. It's also from "Lair of Grievous," a great episode of The Clone Wars. Sadly, the limbs pop out way too easily and it feels incredibly fragile, which is bad for a figure theoretically aimed at kids.

If you don't open your figures, this is a gorgeous specimen. The damaged head with the slashed-up face plate is stunning, and it's easy to admire how Hasbro worked in all those leg joints to give the figure a range of motion unexpected for a character of his design. But he can't stand, which, to me, is a huge problem. Also, the armor on his shoulders pops off if you so much as look at it, so be prepared to lose a lot of small parts with this one. Great idea, decent execution, but ultimately it seems to collapse from under its own weight in terms of both ambition and actual weight. It's a figure that's so cool in what it tries to do, and unlike the 2008 General Grievous from The Legacy Collection I have to give Hasbro credit for working in so much here that it's clear they were really, really trying to make a wonderful figure for fans of all ages. It's just so dang spindly that it may be difficult to keep this figure in good shape after opening it.

Collector's Notes: Depending on how your stores were, this figure is either new this week, or you saw it in June. Either way it's new and will likely be in circulation for a while.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,340: August 3, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,339: Coleman Trebor

COLEMAN TREBOR & Jango Fett
The Legacy Collection Target Exclusive Geonosis Arena
Item No.:
Asst. 91751 No. 91753
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #1 of 6
Includes: Pistols, helmet, backpack, companion Jedi
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: October 2009
Appearances: Attack of the Clones

Bio: The Jedi Knights rush to Geonosis to rescue Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padmé from execution. The Jedi brandish their lightsabers against the Geonosian warriors and the massive army of battle droids, super battle droids, and droidekas. All hope seems lost that any Jedi will survive this battle, then Yoda arrives with an army of clone troopers. Although many Jedi are lost that day, others survive this climactic battle that ushers in the Clone Wars. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' old apartment.

Commentary: The original release of Coleman Trebor was one fans either said they didn't like or couldn't find, which don't exactly go together too well. If you fall into either camp, this 2009 release is arguably a big improvement. Building on the 2008 Qui-Gon Jinn Evolutions body, new hands, boots, and head were affixed to a retooled torso, and a couple of modifications later you end up with a super-articulated version. While not as beefy as his previous release, he still looks sharp and is much more articulated if you're in to such things. He has good articulation, a good sculpt, and deco that certainly doesn't disappoint. If you can get a deal on this one, or also want the companion Jango figure, you should snag it.

Collector's Notes: Depending on where you live this may be available-- as I write this, the assortment in which he ships is still available at many Target stores. Keep your eyes peeled, or watch eBay for someone inevitably dumping it on the cheap.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,339: August 2, 2010