Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,388: R5-P8 (Droid Factory)

R5-P8 The Clone Wars
Droid Factory   The Clone Wars Boxed Set
Item No.:
No. 67792
Manufacturer: Disney
Number: n/a
Includes: R5-013, R2-C2, R5-S9, R5-P8 with cannon
Action Feature: You can remove central leg, dome, and legs from body
Retail: $29.99
Availability: April 2017
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: All different types of Astromech droids populate the Star Wars galaxy.  Each droid is different and has their own unique personality and colors. These four new Astromech figures are featured in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  I'm thrilled someone got to make R5-P8, because the design from the cartoon was a brilliant idea.   Pirates painted a toothy grin on a droid dome, and slapped a gun on its head.  Awesome!  What's less awesome is the colors don't quite match - or rather, they do.  The animation model has a different colored body than it does a dome, so the all-brown "realistic" figure isn't the match I would hope it would have been.   I still love it.

The revised face gives him just so much personality, and this is the kind of thing I wish we could see in greater numbers.  This is basically an urban vinyl artist figure, on a TV show, made as an action figure.  The gun on his dome reminds me of the "phantom toys of 1986," where Hasbro bashed up some war droid figures that never saw release.  The gun fits in the hat hole on his head, making use of the opportunities the format affords the toy.  The thing that amazes me is they have this brown figure and the manufacturers slapped dirt deco on it.  Can you tell?  Maybe, maybe not.  The figure is basically medium grey, but the dirt makes it look brown.  Why? I have no idea - I didn't even realize that it was grey at first.  From the back the figure has even more boxes and panels painted, showing Disney went the extra mile for some reason I don't understand.  Kudos to them for not taking shortcuts.

It's rare that I see a new deco Astromech figure where I can honestly point at it and say "this is wildly different."   Disney was lucky enough that they got the ability to give themselves this one, I bet it would have done great just about anywhere.  You don't see Astromechs with guns or teeth every day, so go ahead and get this one.   If you can get the set for about the $30 retail price, you simply must do so.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Disney Hollywood Studios.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,388: July 19, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,387: See-Threepio (C-3PO, Droid Factory)

SEE-THREEPIO (C-3PO) 40th Anniversary Theme Park Edition
Droid Factory   Carded Figure 2-Pack
Item No.:
No. 67792
Manufacturer: Disney
Number: n/a
Includes: Removable limbs, R2-D2 figure
Action Feature: You can remove central leg, dome, and legs from body
Retail: $24.99
Availability: April 2017
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: All different types of Astromech droids populate the Star Wars galaxy.  Each droid is different and has their own unique personality and colors. C-3PO is a protocol droid that is fluent in over seven million forms of communication.  He is a constant companion to Astromech R2-D2, a skilled starship mechanic and fighter pilot's assistant.  Over the years, these two droids were involved in some of the galaxy's most defining moments and thrilling battles.  Join C-3PO and R2-D2 on their adventures throughout the galaxy. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  As part of a two-pack with R2-D2, See-Threepio (C-3PO) may be a required purchase - you can't get one without the other.  Based largely on the Hasbro Droid Factory tooling from 2009, this has been something fans were requesting for a while - just cast it in C-3PO colors and we'll buy it!  Well, that's what we said.  I assume we all did it, because here we are, and I did.   You may have bought this same basic figure tooling as U-3PO, K-3PO, or any protocol droid from Droid Factory  but C-3PO with dirt and a silver right leg only can be bought in this set.  So far.

C-3PO can  be split up at the neck, shoulders, and hips - he's also jointed at those spots plus the elbows, knees, ankles, and wrists.   You're not going to be overwhelmed by this one, but it turned out nicely.  The Disney people cast him in a decent dull gold color, minus the right leg which is now greyish silver.  What's particularly exciting is just how much dirt they added to him - at a glance, that silver leg looks almost golden!  He has no problems standing or posing like C-3PO, but the shoulders are rather dull and flat, but you do see all sorts of detail on the hands, arms, and the rest of the body.  In spots the dirt is extremely subtle, had they left it off you might not even notice.  It could be worse.  It could be green.


I like this C-3PO, mostly because this mold has never been C-3PO before.  The level of deco is good and the figure is sturdy and fun.  If you need a C-3PO - especially one with a matching R2-D2 - this is the set for you.   It won't change your life, but as the only 40th anniversary 3 3/4-inch C-3PO you may as well get it.  It would be my hope this set stays in distribution for some time, just so kids can get one if/when Hasbro decides to not sell them again for a year or three.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Disney Hollywood Studios.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,387: July 17, 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,386: Artoo-Deetoo (R2-D2, Droid Factory)

ARTOO-DEETOO (R2-D2) 40th Anniversary Theme Park Edition
Droid Factory   Carded Figure 2-Pack
Item No.:
No. 67792
Manufacturer: Disney
Number: n/a
Includes: Removable limbs, dome, C-3PO figure
Action Feature: You can remove central leg, dome, and legs from body
Retail: $24.99
Availability: April 2017
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: All different types of Astromech droids populate the Star Wars galaxy.  Each droid is different and has their own unique personality and colors. C-3PO is a protocol droid that is fluent in over seven million forms of communication.  He is a constant companion to Astromech R2-D2, a skilled starship mechanic and fighter pilot's assistant.  Over the years, these two droids were involved in some of the galaxy's most defining moments and thrilling battles.  Join C-3PO and R2-D2 on their adventures throughout the galaxy. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  While Chopper broke new ground and gave us something that serves as a high benchmark for the format, Artoo-Deetoo (R2-D2) meets expectations.  This is the same "wireless" version of the mold since the second phase of the Droid Factory, with the same mold being used for the right and left legs plus a dome with a hole in it - so you can use a hat.  (Sold separately.)

R2-D2 has 5 points of articulation and is a fairly sturdy little fellow.  Deco is more or less standard issue R2-D2 with a fairly intense printing of desert sands on his body.  The color is hard to get right, as you've no doubt seen on many other Hasbro R2-D2 figures over the years.   They did a good job printing on the deco cleanly, but it also looks like it might be, uh, smeared... let's go with chocolate.  The dome deco is great, but the dirt body seems a little exaggerated - especially compared to the photo of the prop shown on the back of the packaging.  The result is on the happy side of decent, but you might actually be happy with your existing R2-D2 toys. The lack of foot wires may make this one less than fully definitive, but at least it's an R2-D2 in a set at a price you can probably swing.

I'd say this one is for completists only, just because you do doubt have an R2-D2, or perhaps 40something flavors of him.   This is another one - and you may  have bought the same basic configuration sans dirt in the Droid Factory parts bins.  I love the packaging, the set is a good one, but it's still just another R2-D2 using existing tooling.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Disney Hollywood Studios.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,386: July 12, 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,385: C1-10P "Chopper" (Droid Factory)

C1-10P "CHOPPER" Theme Park Edition
Droid Factory   Carded Figure
Item No.:
No. 67792
Manufacturer: Disney
Number: n/a
Includes: Swappable legs, center leg with wheel, center leg with rocket, head-arms, removable dome
Action Feature: Removable limbs, articulated head hands, fold-out arm in the chest, removable radar dish
Retail: $12.99
Availability: April 2017
Appearances: Star Wars Rebels

Bio: All different types of Astromech droids populate the Star Wars galaxy.  Each droid is different and has their own unique personality and colors.  This cranky old C1-10P Astromech is a loyal friend and member of the Ghost Rebel Crew and is often squabbling around the Phantom.   (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  Well, I'm impressed.  Hasbro's take on this droid was simple, cheap, and impossible to find for long.  Disney decided to make their own deluxe version of C1-10P "Chopper" for their theme parks and it's streets ahead of Hasbro's model.  They both seem to have come from a similar data file for reference, but the colors, articulation, and features are significantly different.   This one does stuff.

Hasbro's model was good for the price - it was about $4.99 when you could find it, and had 3 joints with no accessories or gimmicks.  If Hasbro could keep to that price point, that kind of figure is a perfectly good product for the masses.  Disney decided to do a much more expensive version, but packed so much into it that you're going to want it.  The orange is deeper, and there are many more paint operations on the body - front and back.  Panels are painted which Hasbro ignored. Rivets and vents have color and dimension, wires are decorated, and that little crater at the bottom of his canister body has been painted.

Nearly every moving piece pops off.  If you want to do matched legs, you can.  If you want a mismatched leg like on the first three seasons of the show, you can.  The body has a detailed array of mechanical bits under his dome, and you can remove the arms or radar dish if you like.  You've got options.  The arms not only rotate, but bend at the elbows and wrists.  If you want to remove them, you can store them inside his droid dome.  These things are the very definition of small parts/choke hazard, so I'd very strongly recommend buying an extra one in case you or your kid decide to eat a part.  (Don't do this.)
Each leg of the four included have rolling wheels, save for the rocket leg.  That's the only part that feels as if it comes up short, simply because it doesn't have a flame piece to plug in or some other gadget or color to really send it to the next level.  This is just me whining, because this is a gorgeous droid with more panels, parts, and pieces than anything Hasbro has given us in the 3 3/4-inch size in a few years.  You can even flip out the claw arm in its chest.  I'm amazed they included the spare "matching" leg from "The Forgotten Droid."  Or so I assume - for all I know it's a spoiler and he gets a replacement in a future episode.  Either way, I appreciate the foresight to include it in case I or some kid wanted it for whatever reason.

With things like articulated ankles and rolling wheels, this is a figure that is going to make anyone who waited to see if Hasbro did a better Chopper just cave in and buy this one.   It's not merely kinda better, this would be a top-notch release had Hasbro thrown it on a The Black Series or The Vintage Collection cardback.  It's well worth the $13, and I'd even go as far as to say a reasonable premium isn't so bad as to avoid the Theme Park Tax.   Look, I hate scalpers as much as the next guy, but plane tickets, parking, admission, and time off work are expensive.  If you can scare this one up at a reasonable price and you love either droid toys or Star Wars Rebels you won't be sorry.  You'll also wonder what else Disney can do if left to their own devices to do 3 3/4-inch toys without Hasbro.   This take on Chopper is expressive and packed with about as many features as I would consider to be reasonable, and then some.   I'm impressed, I'm genuinely impressed.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Disney Hollywood Studios.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,385: July 10, 2017

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,384: Qui-Gon Jinn (The Black Series)

QUI-GON JINN Big Figure Debut
The Force Awakens The Black Series 6-Inch Figure
Item No.:
Asst. B3834 No. C2141
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #40
Includes: Lightsaber blade, hilt, alternate hand
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: May 2017
Appearances: The Phantom Menace

Bio:  A venerable if maverick Jedi Master, Qui-Gon Jinn was a student of the living Force. Qui-Gon lived for the moment, espousing a philosophy of "feel, don't think -- use your instincts.” (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  No movie got flushed down the crapper faster than The Phantom Menace.  After its 1999 debut, Hasbro couldn't get away from it fast enough - by 2000, the line had rebranded and new characters from the first prequel were generally scarce.  This Qui-Gon Jinn is only the second figure from the film to enter the 6-inch action figure assortments, the first of which was in 2013.   While some fans request characters from Episode I, they are neither legion nor loud.   With a new movie every year I assume that one every three years is probably a good clip, as I don't expect much other than maybe some day getting Obi-Wan Kenobi or when it costs out, Jar Jar Binks as a convention exclusive.

This is a good figure - I'd go as far as to say an essential one for a collection.  I'd personally want a few figures from each movie, and The Phantom Menace offers few options.  It wouldn't surprise me to see him in a two-pack with Darth Maul as a retailer exclusive in the near future (I swear I have no advance knowledge of this if it shows up), and it's nice enough to warrant a purchase.  If you see it for retail price, get it.  At a slight mark-up, it's still good enough that you might want to consider getting it anyway.  You'll want to buy a robe for it, but aside from that Hasbro delivered all killer no filler here.

Qui-Gon appeared in an assortment with intricate figures and a lot of plastic.  Also some figures lacking in "oomph."   He's probably the weakest new guy in the batch - the Royal Guard has robes.  The Tusken Raider is one of the most ornate figures in the line, with tons of gear.  Lando has a big cape and a couple of accessories.  Qui-Gon is present with a lightsaber and an alternate hand - no cloak, no robes.   I assume this is purely to keep costs of the entire wave down, but it felt like it was missing with Obi-Wan Kenobi, and doubly so here since Qui-Gon frequently had some bonus garment over this outfit.   It's still a good figure, and the hands swap out easily, but I assume all this is doing is creating a market for Etsy stores and people who can sew 1:12 scale clothing.   The lightsaber plugs in his belt nicely, and the removable blade plugs in without a fight.   The Jedi gesture hand is a nice bonus and adds something to fight poses.

This is a figure with a swell sculpt - the head looks great, if a little pale.  The eyes are painted nicely and seemingly cast separate from the rest of the head, which in no doubt would add to the cost of the figure.  The beard and mustache look about as real as their movie counterparts, plus his hair is slightly flexible - so you can move his head a little bit.  Articulation is standard The Black Series fare, with a range of motion that's acceptable.  He can get both hands on his lightsaber, but it doesn't look a heck of a lot better than the 1999 Jedi Duel release.  If he has one or no hands on the lightsaber, he looks a lot better - the Jedi gesture, holding the lightsaber out, it's a lot more expressive.

Deco is superior to other Hasbro Qui-Gon toys, with parts of the robes painted in colors we usually don't see.  The outer level is a bit darker, and an inner garment is even darker than that.  The pants are fine, the boots are cool, and the textures are top-notch.  I love how they got his face to not be glossy, although it is a little pale.  I'm happy with the likeness overall, although if you get the facial hair and nose right you're halfway there.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.  

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,384: July 5, 2017

Monday, July 3, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,383: Death Squad Commander (The Black Series / 40th Anniversary)

DEATH SQUAD COMMANDER 40th Anniversary
40th Anniversary Collection / The Black Series  6-Inch Figure Debut
Item No.:
Asst. C1688 No. C2717
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #n/a
Includes: Blaster, Helmet
Action Feature: Removable helmet, working holster
Retail: $22.99
Availability: May 2017
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Death Star troopers were elite Imperial Navy troopers chosen by Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin for placement on the first Death Star.       (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)   Back in the late 1970s, Kenner changed the name from "Death Squad Commander" to "Star Destroyer Commander," and the name has been in flux ever since.

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary: I really like this Death Squad Commander figure because Hasbro made what comes in the box work - there's nothing disappointing here.  In and of itself, it's good - but it doesn't match the look of the man Derek Torrent on the cardback with a microphone or headphones, and it doesn't match the look of the original 1978 Kenner action figure of which this is ostensibly a update.   If you accept it at its own value, it's lovely.  If you wanted something else, this is not that.

Hasbro managed to make a good figure here.  It's not overwhelming like the Tusken Raider's many features - that one is a bizarre gem cut by an expert jeweler.  This is a perfectly nice figure that does nothing new, but does everything correctly.  The helmet slips on and off easily, with a full head of hair and a decent head sculpt under there.  The eyes are painted nicely, the sideburns are funky, and I have no idea if it was meant to represent a specific character, actor, or VIP within Lucasfilm/Hasbro/Disney.  Maybe it's Bob Iger's son-in-law, I have no idea - but it looks convincingly human and has a little personality  behind the eyes, and I like that.  His black costume with silver belt looks j ust like the other figures we've seen recently, and that's good.  It has a working holster, which is also good.  The bend-and-swivel hands are nice, as are the rocker ankles.  This is a figure that's far better than it needed to be, and I appreciate this.

He has no problems holding his blaster in his gloved hands, which come complete with buckles.  The left arm has the Imperial cog on the shoulder, with glossy boots and gloves.  What really surprised me was how perfectly the joints were cut - the thigh swivels are just above the "skirt" line, so they're practically invisible.  We usually don't get that kind of foresight, so whoever did this one up must really love us and love toys.

As one of the Original 12, this figure has some undeserved weight associated with its history.   It's not one most fans would select as a favorite, but it's part of a group of the original cardback and that counts for a lot in the toy world.  This is a quality figure, but it's not as awesome as an alien or an armored trooper or a Twi'lek of some sort.  It's just solid.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.  

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,383: July 3, 2017