Monday, October 24, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,659: Wedge Antilles

WEDGE ANTILLES Delayed and a Pain
The Vintage Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 97568 No. 21489
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: VC28
Includes: Blaster, helmet
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: May 2011
Appearances: Star Wars

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 Force be with you! (Taken from the figure's packaging. There is no bio.)

Image: Adam's basement in one of a few studio tests... of questionable value.

Commentary: There's a story behind Wedge Antilles and we don't know the whole thing yet. Originally slated for wave 3 of Vintage at the end of 2010, the figure got pushed back and the assortment was thrown into a weird revision spiral, which resulted in this figure being shipped at a tiny ratio compared to his casemates. Hasbro delayed him to fix or tweak him, but now that we have the final figure in-hand it's hard to figure out exactly what it was they did. I dug through my photos from Celebration V and it seems the body is indeed the same one they debuted at the show, but there are few or no good looks at the head I could see. From the original prototype, the head was retooled, but aside from that the figure is basically just a Vintage Saga X-Wing Luke with a new head and nice deco.

The reason to buy this figure is for the a) packaging or b) head. The face sculpt and deco is unquestionably an improvement over the last few Wedge figures, although it would be nice if they used the taller body without the lightsaber hole in the belt. His articulation is as good as ever with 14 points, and the helmet is quite snug. How snug? Well, when I tried to take it off the head came with it and it was sort of a trial to pop it back out.

I only have the one-- and to date I believe this is the only Vintage figure I have yet to see on retail shelves-- and mine had some extra paint on the chin, which was easily scraped off. This is a superior sculpt than the 2009 Wedge X-Wing pack-in figure, but given the cost you might want to weigh your options as to which version is best. For carded collectors, I think this is the best. If you plan on leaving the helmet on the figure, though, the X-Wing WITH Wedge and his droid may be a cheaper solution, depending on where you shop. On paper this is just another pilot figure and offers little new, but to fans: it's Wedge. It's Wedge on a vintage cardback. And for that reason, this figure is arguably worth a premium.

Collector's Notes: Hasbro has promised to bring the figure back at two public conventions now-- San Diego and New York Comic Cons in 2011. It is assumed they will make good, although a few "where is this?" items have seemingly fallen off the table for the time being. This is the first retail-carded single non-exclusive Wedge Antilles figure, and as the character has had a history of bizarre problems it's no surprise that this would be wonky, too. Not counting the variations, there are no fewer than 5 different orange flight suit Wedge Antilles figures, plus a dress uniform one from the comic packs and a major helmet variant from the initial POTF2 release in 1998. If you only collect Wedge toys, you could probably assemble more than a dozen toys for your shrine.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,659: October 24, 2011

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