Thursday, March 21, 2013

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,027: Tiree

TIREE Pops / Gold 2, Yavin Pilot Pack
Discover the Force Toys R Us Exclusive
Item No.:
Asst. A0790 No. A0792
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Packaged with red Jek Porkins, Davish Krail, Mauler Mithel, and R5-D8 figures
Action Feature: Removable helmet, blaster fits in holster
Retail: $39.99
Availability: August 2012
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: The Battle of Yavin is a decisive battle in the fight to free the galaxy.  The Rebels achieve an important victory when they destroy the Death Star.  The pilots of Red Squadron and Gold Squadron, supported by their trusty Astromech Droids, take on the menacing Imperial pilots in a ferocious space dogfight around the battle station.  (Taken from the set's box.)

Image: Adam's photo hole.

Commentary: Courtesy of the quantity of lore and collectibles surrounding the assault on the first Death Star, it's hard to not recognize Tiree by his familiar name, so if you read the novelization in the 1970s or played the trading card game in the 1990s, you probably know who he is.  And here he is!   A younger pilot, the action figure looks slightly older and, again, uses the Vintage Luke Pilot body rather than the normal adult Pilot body shown on the package.  (You'll recall Davish "Pops" Krail and Vintage Wedge had the same issue.)   Clearly a factory error, the figure's shorter torso still has a hole for a lightsaber in it, making this a figure with a few shortcomings, specifically his coming up short in the height department and his plastic "cloth straps" around his crotchial region restricting movement, making him a questionable pilot for your starfighters.  He looks OK standing on a shelf, though, and I'm pretty sure that's what the bulk of you people are after anyway.  With 14 points of articulation, a blaster, and a nicely-painted helmet, Tiree comes off as a completely acceptable but not terribly exciting package.  

Since fan demand for Rebel Pilots has been high for a while, it's nice to see Hasbro actually make good and try to release most of these guys a decade or two or three after we would've liked them originally.  I'd like to make a proposal to Hasbro: if you have any more pilots, please keep waiting.  I would love to see any future pilots done in the 5-jointed "Saga Legends" style as they seem to be developed with sitting in mind, and I'd be much more interested to see pilot figures created with this as a central design point.  Also, they'll be cheaper, and I sincerely doubt anyone is super-pumped to pay $10 for a pilot nowadays.  But $6?  I'd buy more at $6, even (and especially) without the added unnecessary articulation.   If the orange-suited guy can sit in the ship, I'm happy.

Collector's Notes: This set is still available and had its price changed a couple of times in its short life so far.  I would expect you can go to a Toys R Us near you and buy one as of the day I post this, if not dozens, as the Ewok set in the same assortment proved to be more popular.  This illustrates part of the danger of assortments, which we saw a lot from 2010-2012 with The Clone Wars and Vintage Collection lines.  If one item in the assortment - just one - is a dud, it can cause big problems for the rest of the line.  With one dud in one case, one figure may remain unsold... and one more will be added for each new shipment.  Sooner or later you may see a peg of duds, which tells the store's now-automated inventory systems that there's plenty of the assortment on hand (not drilling down to specific details), meaning nothing else will get ordered.  With exclusives it's less of a problem, but it does show how assortments can mess things up for subsequent shipments of an item.   (Sadly, they're also the best and easiest way to stock this kind of product.)

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,027: March 21, 2013

1 comment:

Chris said...

This set was not released in the UK except in some of the indie stores and like you say it's hard to buy a £50 set for 1 fully new sculpt, 2 new head sculpts on questionable bodies and 2 repaints. Your point about future pilots being done as a 5 POA figure would be fine, as long as the head uses a standard ball joint and the helmet is removable so that they can be easily upgraded onto super articulated bodies. I still think they should be sold as two packs with their respective droids. It'd make a great sub set for droid and pilot collectors.