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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,682: Cortosis Battle Droid

CORTOSIS BATTLE DROID Wal-Mart Exclusive Droid Factory Packs
The Legacy Collection Droid Factory
Item No.:
Asst. 91939 No. 91929
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: 2 of 5
Includes: Anakin Skywalker, Darktrooper arms
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $17.00
Availability: July 2009
Appearances: I, Jedi

Bio: In Star Wars: The New Droid Army video game, Anakin Skywalker must stop the creation of a new battle droid army after the Battle of Geonosis. This time, the Techno Union is creating battle droids with shells made of cortosis, a material that blocks lightsaber attacks, making these droids a particular threat to the Jedi. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's desk.

Commentary: The Cortosis Battle Droid is an upgraded Super Battle Droid, and was part of the weakest two-pack in the second (and final) Wal-Mart build-a-droid program. I'm not sure if it was as a result of Hasbro raising wholesale prices or Wal-Mart jacking up retail, but the sets cost nearly twice as much and didn't provide as much newness-- this droid has a unique deco and new limbs, but his companion Anakin Skywalker figure was largely unchanged from its previous releases.

The droid is an upgraded 2008 Super Battle Droid, and I must say I do like how it turned out overall. The big red dot on his head, the dark grey panels, and the gun hands make it look a lot meaner-- and a little less logical in its design-- than its siblings. Gun fists mean he can't pick up things, but as a video game villain I can appreciate wanting to do something weird which is meant to be hacked apart anyway. The articulation is good, about as close to super-articulated as this design can get. (No ankles, no wrists, no neck.) For those building armies it's a great addition, but on its own the robot could stand to be more exciting.

Collector's Notes: The reason you will buy this set is for its build-a-Darktrooper piece. The set on eBay is frequently listed, but does not sell-- so odds are it's overvalued by sellers and when they start listing them cheaply, you should be able to get one for under $15. At the time of its release, figures were about $8 each so $17 for two full-size figures and arms for a much larger figure could be taken as a decent (but not great) value. Collectors fumed at the price, especially as the 2008 build-a-droid sets were better and significantly cheaper at $10 per two-pack.

An incomplete sample of the build-a-droid Darktrooper figure from this collection recently closed at $60. I wasn't able to find one, but in the past, I've noticed that while the complete Darktrooper goes for $60 or more, the lot of the 5 2-packs-- complete WITH the part-- often goes for less. Proof that collectors are insane? I would say "yes."

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,682: November 24, 2011

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