DARTH MAUL & I-5YQ
The Legacy Collection Droid Factory Wal-Mart Exclusive
Item No.: Asst. 87638 No. 94076
Number: #4 of 5
Includes: Cloak, lightsaber, Dark Trooper legs, I-5YQ figure
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: July 2009
Appearances: Various novels, comics
Bio: In the novel Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, the Sith apprentice goes after an information broker who knows too much about a plan to destroy the Republic. The broker's modified protocol droid I-5YQ is left without an owner after the deadly outcome between his master and Darth Maul. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)
Image: Adam's desk.
Commentary: The 2009 Droid Factory lineup was, compared to the 2008 version of Walmart's exclusive figures, a world-class overpriced snooze. Sure, there were some neat figures and new tooling, but Anakin was just a repack and Darth Maul here is only "different" because he has a cloak on. No real deco changes were made, but I suppose you could argue the paint on his Sith tattoos may appear sharper this time around. The lightsaber is a repack of the 1999 one, which expired aesthetically around October of 2002. With a ton of articulation and a decent range of movement-- being sculpted without a shirt has real advantages-- Maul is a decent figure from the lore surrounding the films. Having the good sense to keep his pants on, this assassin has a nice, angry facial expression and pretty slick paint. It doesn't hold a candle to some of the newer 2012 sculpts, but at the time-- and for a few years-- this really was Hasbro's finest Maul in terms of articulation and detail. Authenticity suffered slightly, but these are action figures and that's known to happen. Other than cheaping out on the gear, Hasbro did a nice job on this one but he's not the selling point of the collection. I-5YQ, his companion in the 2-pack, is a fantastic figure as is the build-a-Dark Trooper. The entire wave is arguably worth the price of entry, but this individual figure can be had in other ways if you're just here for the Sith figures.
Collector's Notes: This figure started life as an Evolutions figure. It was later repackaged in this set with I-5YQ. After that, it was packaged individually in The Legacy Collection. Oddly, all of these had the pre-2001-style lightsabers and Hasbro wouldn't make a flared blade for him until 2012. The price of this 2-pack and the entire 5-figure wave has climbed steadily over the last year, which is notable as at $17 people scoffed at buying it and the sets sat in many markets. $85 for 11 figures wasn't a very good deal in 2009, but today fans seem to be more accepting of paying out for slightly more interesting items.