C-3PO Mos Espa Race
Discover the Force Walmart Exclusive Battle Packs
Item No.: Asst. 38606 No. 38607
Includes: Sebulba, Anakin Skywalker, Pit Droids, display stands, die, cards, helmets, wrenches
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: January 2012
Appearances: The Phantom Menace
Bio: Podracers line up at Mos Espa Arena's starting grid to compete in the Boonta Eve Classic Podrace. The mechanically gifted Anakin has built his own Podracer and is assembling the protocol droid C-3PO. The ruthless Sebulba is determined to win the race at any cost. Pit droids are part of the racing teams an eagerly assist with repairs. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' photo area.
Commentary: Sometimes Hasbro can make an old figure look really great with just some paint, and this C-3PO is a heck of a nice upgrade from the 1999 original. This time around there are some gold elements which hint at what he'll look like in the future while several colors of wires are clearly visible and painted much more cleanly than before. Since the metal bits are now a matte grey plastic color instead of shiny silver paint, his guts really come to life unlike before. The 1999 head may be better with the lighter eyes resembling the movie better, but the 2012 one is just generally more colorful.
Since he was a 1999 mold repainted for a quick and cheap exclusive, the figure has only 6 points of articulation and was designed without any thought to his needing to hold accessories. As such, what you see is basically what you'll get, and short of completely resculpting the figure there's not a lot you could do to make a better one at this point. The original 1999 sculpt really isn't bad, and while I'm sure Hasbro could do a better new one today I'm glad they put those resources on to new Pod Racers and other characters. If you have the old one you don't need the new one, but the coloring and wiring remind me a lot of some of the later single-carded Star Tours figures and he might look good hanging out with them.
Collector's Notes: The Mos Espa Race Battle Pack didn't start hitting widely at Walmart until about early April, so he might be around at a store near you still. The set isn't bad, but don't buy it if you're looking for pilots for your Pod Racers. Do buy it if you just want some cool-looking figures to stand around or leave in the box. At $25 it's not exactly a bargain, but you do get about $28-$30 worth of figures. Even if all of those figures were sculpted over 10 years ago, the deco on all of them (even Sebulba) is different enough to warrant your attention.