Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,501: Aqua Droid

AQUA DROID includes Retracting Head!
The Clone Wars Basic Figure
Item No.:
Asst. 94736 No. 28525
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #CW46
Includes: Removable blaster attachment
Action Feature: Retractable head
Retail: $6.99
Availability: February 2011
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: Aqua droids battle Obi-Wan Kenobi on Kamino. These underwater droids are part of a Separatist plan to destroy the facilities that supply the Republic with clone troopers. Their legs adjust for land or sea mode, becoming feet for ground missions or rotating into propulsion fins in the water. They have retracting heads to become streamlined for swimming underwater. (Taken form the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's kitchen. With some retouching.

Commentary: Generally when I crack open a figure, my opinion of it is pretty much firm within about ten minutes. With the Aqua Droid, I was initially hugely impressed by the details and features, but a day or two later I realized that the figure suffered from some structural problems which prevents me from calling it great. Why? Weak plastic.

The engineers behind this one went crazy, packing in gobs of articulation. Ball-jointed shoulders, a retractable head, feet that turn into rotors for swimming, and lots of other little details prove that this figure had a lot of great work put into it, much like the 2010 animated General Grievous, but it's plagued with a weak plastic, also like General Grievous. While Grievous was so rubbery that keeping him in good shape could prove quite the challenge, the Aqua Droid's main problems come from that he will collapse under his own weight in a matter of hours, or days-- depending on the climate. He can't stand, even with a display stand, as he'll start to sag courtesy of the plastic or his own joints turning against him. This has happened with numerous Separatist Droid figures since 2000, although it seems the early Episode I Battle Droids were spared this indignity.

In short: he faceplants, often, and this causes his removable gun weapon to misshapen. It's a shame because aside from this, I really like this figure-- the retractable head is fun, the colorful design is a nice change from tan or white warriors, and it just looks like a big, mean, evil water Cylon. If you're a carded figure collector, you should get this one with no reservations, but I think that the toy box or the toy shelf will not be kind to this one in the long run. I plan on buying a little doll stand for this one, so it alters where gravity tugs him down and should prevent long-term warping if I want him in a display environment. (Plus he might look more like he's swimming.)

Collector's Notes: This figure was one of several revealed at and held for Toy Fair, shipping from Hasbro days later. However, it seems he primarily shows up online right now, so you may not yet find him in stores. Our sample came from our sponsor, so as always please feel free to click below to buy it or other items to continue supporting this feature. (We appreciate it.)

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,501: March 16, 2011


Bravo said...

He's out at Wal-Marts, along with the rest of his wave.

Yeah, as a top heavy figure, he falls over easily, the two-piece, ball-socket feet contribute to that. And that's just balance. I don't even know what warmer temperatures will do.

Anthony Williams said...

I saw him @ Wal-Mart today as well. I passed though. Neat, but looks more "Ben-10" than "Star Wars".