Friday, August 10, 2012

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,868: Ewok Kneesaa

KNEESAA Ewok Princess, Ewok Pack
Discover the Force Toys R Us Exclusive
Item No.:
Asst. A0790 No. A0791
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Packaged with Flitchee, Nanta, Teebo, and Tippet figures
Action Feature: Swappable hoods, removable  bola sash
Retail: $39.99
Availability: August 2012
Appearances: Ewoks comics, TV, etc.

Bio: The Ewoks of Bright Tree Village join forces with the Rebels to battle Imperial troopers.  These diminutive natives of Endor are fierce fighters with an array of weapons to help defeat the troopers and immobilize Imperial walkers.  Armed with spears, clubs and weapons taken from overpowered troopers, the Ewoks do their part to free the galaxy.   (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo hole.

Commentary: I represent a sort of weird transitional generation of Star Wars fanboy: I was born just after Star Wars but was getting the toys before Return of the Jedi hit theaters, which put me at the perfect age for Ewok stuff.  As a kid I had a bunch of the books, I still have a half-empty box of Ewok valentines, a Wicket bank, and I've had Wicket and Kneesaa magnets on the back of my metal desk chair as a kid and they've been on the fridge ever since I moved into my own place.  I watched the cartoons and some of my most vivid memories of childhood involve watching the cartoons on my birthday.  I even got all the Ewoks "Kenner Preschool" figural stuff which include a couple of glossy hard plastic Kneesaa figures. So you could say that the announcement that Kneesaa was seeing action figure plastic was exciting, not just because they've never done her before, but because she was arguably one of the most-merchandised Ewoks and never even had a prototype action figure.  Figures like this are the reason I'm still here writing.  Hasbro, I'll be at Celebration VI, and while I normally hate being touched there's a free hug in it for whoever came up with this pack.  (I don't know if this is a threat or a promise.)

Kneesaa has the distinction of being a figure I've argued about with someone else in the toy biz who got one before I did because he said she had a new torso sculpt and I said "nowai, she's Wicket with a new head."  Turns out we were both right.  I think.  Checking out the sculpted fur detail between 2010 Wicket and 2012 Kneesaa, they're cut from the same cloth.  They have very similar patterns and, uh, check their butts.  (Sorry. I feel gross even writing it, it's not like there are many landmarks on a furball body to compare.)  But the backsides are similar and detailed, so there you have it.  They were changed slightly, one such change is that the neck peg on Kneesaa has been retooled and the heads are not completely easily swappable.  Kneesaa has a completely new head sculpt with black glossy eyes and somewhat angular facial fur, which gives the figure a nifty design with elements from the cartoon as well as a traditional movie Ewok.  A pink hood matches the cartoon, and a bola may be worn over her shoulder.  An alternate grey hood looks more like a movie character, but lacks color or any real personality.  Still, for another background Ewok, it's neat.

Kneesaa has ball-jointed shoulders, ankles, hips, and a neck.  The wrists swivel freely and this is probably one of no more than 5 figures in the last year that really made me smile when I got it.   The level of detail on the face is remarkable, she has painted lips, a little grey nose, black eyes, a little bit of flesh visible around the eyes, and a grey wash to bring out the fur detail.   Most Ewok figures are pretty good, but this one is clearly a cut above the rest.   She's very happy hanging out with my Season 2 Green Hood Wicket, thank you Hasbro.

At the risk of making this about me more, this is one of those rare figures that make me glad I stuck around.  The set itself is packed with so much newness (as new heads and paint and gear go) that it makes up for, frankly, a less-than-fully-exciting 2012 and the endless slew of hate mail you send to my inbox, instead of Hasbro's, for some reason.  Anything I can get from the 1980s makes me extra-happy.

Collector's Notes:  $40 is a lot of money for 5 Ewoks, but I had no complaints about paying it.  Ewok 2-packs historically run $7-$8, and the one Ewok 3-pack sold for $10-$13.   Math tells me this isn't worth the $40, but you do get 5 figures, 9 hoods, 4 sashes, 3 knives, 1 blaster, 2 spears, 2 drumsticks, a horned hat, an axe, and a necklace.  The only thing missing is Teebo's spear. Without a doubt, this isn't just the most packed-out set of Ewoks ever, but it may well be the most accessorized gift set in the history of the Star Wars action figure license.  While I would gladly pay $40 for Kneesaa (or Vlix), you may not.  The other Ewoks, and the decision to include the cartoony and comic accessories as well as movie lookalikes was a work of genius on Hasbro's part.  I will most likely buy a second of this set to have them in their alternate gear, despite swearing off troop building a couple of years back.  Three more Ewok figures are due out in 2012 and it's my assumption that this burst of 8 figures is likely going to never go repeated.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,868: August 10, 2012

1 comment:

Campbell said...

The Princess? She's here?