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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,770: Battle Droid

BATTLE DROID Tan Edition
Discover the Force Movie Heroes Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 36563 No. 37751
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #MH04
Includes: Stand, card, die, blaster, firing blaster, projectile
Action Feature: Removable limbs
Retail: $8.99
Availability: January 2012
Appearances: The Phantom Menace

Bio: Battle droids are the perfect soldiers - programmed to fight without hesitation and deployed in vast numbers that overwhelm opponents. Individually, though, their limited cognitive ability makes them vulnerable when they go up against skilled Jedi who can outwit and outmaneuver them. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' photo area.

Commentary: The very definition of "just different enough to make you mad," Hasbro decided to try our loyalty with this Battle Droid. Two versions of it-- the first release was tan, the second is red-- were released, and each one had a different Ultimate Battle Game card with different artwork. The figure is based on a removable limbs mold with 5 points of articulation, best known for being part of a 2-pack starting in 2002 with the deluxe C-3PO Droid Factory set. It was doubled up with itself in Saga Legends and was generally known as the cheapo Battle Droid, as the 2010 edition came with two stunning super-articulated versions for a mere $7-$8. This time around, though, we get the worst articulation at the highest price. This figure is not worth $9.

The deco is new-- the tan color is different from previous releases, as are the blast marks and dirty spots. The shoulders are clearly different, and there's a little color throughout. The paint job is quite nice, it's just that Hasbro is now selling you half of a $7 2-pack for $9. That's just wrong. The figure is nifty, but compared to the $10 Vintage edition one peg over, it's insulting. The figure has no real problems standing or sitting, and the standard blaster may plug in to his backpack. What's more, he includes a Clone Wars oversized rocket launcher which fits better in his hands than it does the animated droid. (Good call on that, Hasbro.) For the dozenth-plus take on a 2002 mold, this figure is about as good as they come-- and I sincerely hope they retire this mold for good after this year. Getting two of this mold in a set feels like a steal, but getting one for $9 feels like a ripoff. It's different from your other Battle Droids, though, so if you like armies or need every version you'll want to get this one too. I don't regret tracking this variant down, but that's because I have a problem. If you're a well-adjusted individual you may want to direct your discretionary income and spare time toward other, more meaningful pursuits than "this robot is slightly different than the 50 robots I already bought."

Collector's Notes: According to the date stamps on the cardback, the tan version was produced before the more common red version. Lately, I'm only seeing the tan one at Target stores so you may want to go there first if you intend on picking this one up. I have no doubt the running change was made when someone realized that a red color would set the mold apart from the vintage version, which is significantly better for basically the same price. I'd say this is a figure for collectors (or clearance) only.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,770: March 27, 2012

1 comment:

Dan Heasley said...

Timely review! Picked this one up with the Target 50% off coupon having previously not realized it was "just different enough."