Friday, January 14, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,458

CLOUD CITY WING GUARD Sgt. Edian, or "The Black One"
The Legacy Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87535 No. 88338
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #BD50
Includes: Blaster, hat, baton, droid part
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: Late 2009/Early 2010
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: The elite Wing Guard is in charge of security on Cloud City, working as police officers, customs officials, and crisis controllers. Troopers such as Utris M'Toc and Sergeant Edian handle these crucial duties with honesty and efficiency. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' former apartment's pool's water pump thing.

Commentary: It's always a little sad when Hasbro makes a high-quality figure and fans don't buy it-- especially when it's an army builder produced in low numbers that turns into a pegwarmer. The Cloud City Wing Guard's first release-- the human with the dark skin-- didn't do so well. The figure was in the final wave of basic Droid Factory figures shipped to all major retailers, and unlike the other figures in the case just sorta floundered despite having an exceptional sculpt with great accessories. Some have speculated that due to his features, Hasbro had initially planned on doing a white guard and just changed his skin color but I can't say for sure if this is true-- it's an interesting assumption and I can see where it comes from if you look at the figure up close-- his features don't quite match the card photo, although this may be more the hairstyle and the deco on the face. The actual human has a little more color in his features than the figure does, so the toy does feel just a smidgen off. Also, his hat doesn't fit perfectly well, you're likely to knock it off if you touch the figure.

When it comes to the body, this figure shines like no other-- good hands hold the accessories, his holsters work well, and the sculpt is just stunning. The amount of wrinkles and detail in this clothing are just about perfect, plus it's nice that everything is set up properly. No longer do we have baby blue accessories, or a jacket that for some reason is hanging open, or a substandard head sculpt. The legs are able to stand or sit with no problems, and this figure really should have been an honorary vintage release-- except for the hat not fitting on the head, the engineering is as good as or better than your average collector-driven release. The added gold details on the coat look great, the white undershirt collar is visible, and he just looks like he belongs on some awesome Cloud City playset that Hasbro will never actually produce. This is one of the greatest figures that the fandom at large failed to embrace, so be sure to snag one (or more) if you can on the cheap.

Collector's Notes: The tail-end Legacy figures were tough to find but this one rotted on the shelves something fierce, just like the Power of the Jedi release at the beginning of the last decade. People just don't like this trooper. I picked up a few of these for about fifty cents a pop. In 2010, Hasbro released an alien-faced variant of this figure with a different head sculpt which only shipped in cases with the Expanded Universe wave. (In other words, Toys "R" Us and online retailers.) The initial release was available everywhere and may even still be there now since it was a bit of a slow seller. It's seeming unlikely that we'll ever get the vintage 1980s moustache variant remade in the modern line now that we've had four Bespin Guards and the only ones that had any heat were hard-to-find exclusives.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,458: January 14, 2011


pursuit agent said...

Have to respectfully disagree. Here's a sculpt with too many wrinkles sculpted in for once (look how smooth the uniforms are in the reference photos). That, coupled with with them issuing him a hat that serves no purpose being a separate piece (other than to look awful just tottering on the back of the head), made this an easy one to skip. But then, I skipped his silly blue-smeared alien companion as well...

darren said...

I only just bagged the 2 variants, and I reckon theyre pretty damn good. For what could be a fairly dull figure theyve done a great job. (strange that they seem so dull to me since theyre one of the few geezers that smacked down Han Solo and lived to tell the tale!) Hasbro have all my love that sideshow are losing these days, I'll buy em again on a vintage card too!

Bravo said...

I agree with pursuit agent.

They overthought this figure with the excess wrinkles and the hat. They even made him too tall (better than too short, but...). They overthought the POTJ one by making an open-jacket that never appeared on screen (and arguably the removable hat, too).

"Features don't quite match the card photo"? There's an understatement. Card art shows a guy who looks like Mos Def. The actual figure more resembles Sam Neil (except in skin color).

It was unpopular because it wasn't a good figure in the eyes of, well, most of its target audience.

That all sound hard, but the hat was the worst problem really.

Chris said...

I can understand the removable hat. Seperate hat makes sense for army builders, switch the heads out and you've got a new figure. The same hat will likely be added to the Asian wing guard when we finally get him. I like the figure, granted he's not identical to the packaging but the packaging doesn't match the actor in the film either.
Good base figure, essential for pushing carbonite around your dioramas.