The Saga Collection Shared Exclusive
Item No.: No. 87269
Includes: Blaster, backpack, 6 other action figures
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: December 2006
Appearances: Star Wars: Republic Commando
Bio: Known to his men as "Boss," Three-Eight doesn't talk much, except to bark out orders in a voice that carries over the fiercest artillery barrage. (Taken from the figure's box.)
Image: Adam's desk.
Commentary: It may not seem fathomable today, but back in 2006 the idea of new and interesting Clone Trooper figures based on video games was exciting, uncharted new ground. By 2013 we got three versions of Republic Commando Boss, but this was the very first version of the chief of Delta Squad. Hasbro made the entire team by reusing its Scorch mold, and the item was a shared exclusive between a few online accounts. As such, you could grab it basically anywhere that wasn't Walmart, Kmart, Toys R Us, Target, and a long-forgotten chain called Kay-Bee Toys. They used to be in malls. Malls were these buildings you could go to and buy things like shoes or books or an Orange Julius while seeing girls that would never, ever give you their phone numbers while you and your buddies for some ungodly reason went to see "Carpool" starring Tom Arnold and underrated character actor David Paymer. Oh, good times.
Fan complaints are pretty much what drives the internet, and these early Commando figures received their fair share mostly due to the lower-than-anticipated articulation tally. Scorch had only 10 joints, so his brothers did as well - no knees, no ankles, and the shoulders could only swivel. Some fans found this abhorrent, others shrugged and went on with their day. Considering it was about $35 for 7 figures ($5 per figure) I didn't have much reason to complain, a single figure in 2006 was about $6.99 normally and frankly I didn't expect this figure to ever occupy a vehicle anyway. (Since I got it, it never has sat in a ship.)
With a bright blue visor and orange-striped armor, Boss was a striking release and to this day, still looks awesome standing around holding his gun. The oversized blaster is modeled after the video game Star Wars: Republic Commando, and his backpack is shared with Sev... minus a piece. This figure also has more intense mud on his boots plus a black outline around his visor, which I prefer. The light, white scrapes also seem more pronounced on this earlier release, but the gun's lack of scuffing and the figure's lack of leg joints may give the later version of Boss a slight edge. I hesitate to declare any of the versions as the big winner, because each has its own unique benefits, which is a nice way of saying Hasbro never did completely top this figure from nearly seven years ago.
Collector's Notes: The set, in the box, is awesome as you get a video game background inserted in a quasi-vintage The Saga Collection box. It's a beautiful display piece with several unique figures, and may be priced accordingly. It was as high as $100 over the last few years, but I'm seeing them sell for closer to $60 and I gotta say $60 is pretty good for the entire package.
Day 2,030: March 26, 2013