Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,861: Naboo Royal Guard

The Vintage Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 37499 No.  37503  
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #VC83
Includes: Helmet, blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: January 2012
Appearances: The Phantom Menace

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.  No specific character information.)

Image: Adam's closet.

Commentary:  I like this Naboo Royal Guard, and I liked the original from 2000 too.  It had a fantastic sculpt for the time, and this one does as well.  It's almost a crying shame Hasbro phased out variant trooper heads, because I'd have probably bought a couple more of these if there was a little variety.  I'm thrilled that they gave it a different head and helmet from the original, which had darker skin and a mustache plus a different paint job on the helmet.  The head sculpt is good, but it doesn't seem to be modeled after anything too specific, nor is the face sculpting necessarily better than the 2000 original.  It's good-- it's really nice-- but with no real basis of comparison, all I can say is that it's A-OK.

The uniform is a big improvement, mostly in that they added a ton of joints to it while keeping the design friendly to sitting.  The original was really a preposed statue whose arms were meant to be in one specific pose, which was kind of cool to play around with but ultimately quite limiting as a toy.  This figure has the standard 14 joints plus a holster, so there's a little more going on here.  The jacket sculpting is great once again, and the added wash deco brings out the leathery detail quite nicely.  He has more going on in the boots, pants, and gloves as well but the blaster doesn't seem particularly exciting.  It's nice, sure, but I wouldn't say it's remarkable.  The figure is quite nice, and in the era of $8 figures would still be a good one.  Its only real flaw is that it's very by-the-numbers, which most fans are going to like but I'm always looking for something a little more new and exciting.  2012 Ric Olie finally got a jacket, 2012 Aurra Sing finally got her antenna.  The Naboo Royal Guard succeeds in being a decent modern interpretation of a figure that, while good, was semi-flawed on the first go 'round.  I appreciate the improvement, but something extra-- a companion droid, an extra gun-- would've made a world of difference now that we're at $9.99.

Having said that, I still think this is a fine figure and a worthy entry into this year's unbalanced line.   There's very little Hasbro could do to make it better short of throwing in an alternate head so you can army-build and have a reason to buy more of it.  I mean, it just plain looks good and works well.  You can't ask much more than that!

Collector's Notes: You can find this one.  If you can't, this means that you don't go outside.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,861: August 1, 2012

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