Friday, September 16, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,633: Saesee Tiin

SAESEE TIIN Jedi Flight Gear
The Clone Wars Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 94736 No. 30441
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #CW54
Includes: Stand, lightsaber, backpack, helmet, dice, card
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $8.99
Availability: August 2011
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: Saesee Tiin is an outstanding pilot because of his impressive telepathic abilities and the practice he received flying his starfighter through the challenging winds on his homeworld, Iktotch. When he is on space combat missions, the Jedi Master wears a special helmet and flight pack with swing-out wings. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' desk.

Commentary: In brief, this Saesee Tiin is a very strong figure with a really neat concept of an accessory. The figure succeed, the accessory (as a toy) needs more work. So let's begin with the Jedi-- Hasbro gave him a green lightsaber and cloth robes, so he can easily sit in a Starfighter should Hasbro deem him worthy of an animated ship of his own. (Interestingly, the packaging shows a blue blade.) The sculpt is good, with armored gauntlets, special deco on the armor, and the usual Jedi robes all coming together to give you a strong, all-around great Jedi action figure. If Hasbro just sold you the figure with the lightsaber, I think you'd be quite happy with this release. The head has a good expression, decent deco, and eyes looking up just a little more than I might've preferred-- but it still looks great. He's a good toy figure-- he can't hold his lightsaber with both hands, and he doesn't have ankle joints, but he meets all the necessary criteria of being a good plaything given he can stand, sit, hold his weapon, and fit in a vehicle.

The backpack is where the problems start. You (and Hasbro) may disagree, but I think any time you have to rip a figure's head off to use an accessory you've done the kids a disservice. Part of the fun of playing with a toy is using your imagination and going on an adventure. Ripping off the guy's head is all well and good if you're trying to kill him, but having to pause the action to dismember him, attach a harness, and continue? Awkward. It's not good play unless swapping heads is part of the activity. What's more, the backpack itself doesn't hold together well. It falls off the harness easily, and the fold-out wings fall off the pegs as you turn it. There's no avoiding this-- the tension just causes them to fall off unless you push back heavily on the wing as you go. I'm a little disappointed-- Kenner perfected the perfect pop-out wing backpack years ago, with figures like Tec-Shield Batman and Future Batman being fine examples of the action feature functioning well.

As a collector, you probably won't care-- the backpack is something that belongs in your junk drawer. As someone who messes around with the gear and loves big goofy accessories, I'm disappointed because the look is good, the idea is neat, but the execution is disappointing. The helmet, though fits absolutely perfectly and is painted quite well. So it's a mixed bag-- I think adult fans who like this line will get what they want from this figure, but I expect kids will be a little disappointed at the weak large accessory not being as fun, or solid, as it should be.

Collector's Notes: A new release, he ships in an assortment as one of a few new figures, along with a revised Captain Rex, a Stealth Clone Trooper, a snowy Kit Fisto, Seripas (who is AWESOME), and several repackaged figures.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,633: September 16, 2011

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