Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,447: Admiral Ackbar (The Black Series 6-Inch)

ADMIRAL ACKBAR with First Order Officer
The Black Series 6-Inch Toys R Us Exclusive
Item No.:
   No. C3225
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, second figure, second blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $39.99
Availability: November 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: Ackbar became a Grand Admiral in the New Republic, winning many victories, including the pivotal Battle of Jakku.   He retired to Mon Cala, but was coaxed back into service with the Resistance by Leia Organa. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  The new movie was full of surprises, including a bevy of costume changes when none were necessary.   Admiral Ackbar was in a vest with a light short-sleeved shirt last time, and now he's in this one-color tunic.  The designs are different - meaning he apparently has a few uniforms... or the Resistance issued new ones in the day or two between his appearances.   His The Force Awakens figure was made as a 3 3/4-inch figure, and the 6-inch figure is his only The Last Jedi uniform toy.   Hasbro (and other licenses) have been pretty bad about picking any one line as a "definitive" collector line, which has made it hard to get really excited about any toy format in the current generation.  Some things exist as a big figure, or only as a small.  Or a LEGO man.  Or a Pop! bobble head.   The 3 3/4-inch line was generally close to the Format of Record - most (but not all) figures would be made in that scale eventually.   It appears Lucasfilm, Hasbro, or Disney is no longer interested in telegraphing any one format as the go-to for the collector who wants everybody as part of their collection.

Having said that, it's a good figure.  Why we got him and his generic companion as an exclusive and not as main-line figures is a bit of a head-scratcher, particularly since the bulk of other exclusives are redeco figures with new accessories or plussed-up via soft goods.   Considering that fancy Rey is $35, it's almost unbelievable that you can get not one but two new-to-this-format characters for $40.  Admiral Ackbar has a more or less typical Rebel blaster, complete with silver accents.  He has no holster, and I don't recall him using it in the movie.

The costume itself is more interesting than its cinematic counterpart.  On screen, it's pretty flat and smooth.  The toy has a lot of wrinkles, hints of a belly, and numerous folds giving it a little more dimension.  It's lacking in dynamic color, but that's true of the entire Resistance's wardrobe.  It either feels like leftover pilot garb from the original trilogy or nondescript earthtones.   The 1983 costume was odd and striking - this looks like something I could've bought at Eddie Bauer in the late 1990s.   Of course, the actual execution is superb.  Hasbro knocked the design out of the park, there's just not much to play with here.

Articulation is good, and so are the fishy bits.  Articulated elbows, bend-and-swivel wrists, and everything you might expect from the very best of this line are present.   His opening mouth is really cool, the eyes are big and expressive, and the skin is covered in subtle shading.  The wrinkles and fishy bits are superbly sculpted, complete with painted elements that give hints of his lobster origins.  Little spines and spikes bring a lot of life to this classic creature, and the sculpting and decoration on his dome were really well-done.   While it would be difficult to capture all of the detail and retain this price, Hasbro did a great job of bringing home the important elements.   This is easily one of the best 6-inch scale action figures, and to see it sit on shelves given that it's a decent item at a fair price is a little heartbreaking - especially since we just sat through Ackbar's last adventure.   (original voice actor Erik Bauersfeld passed in 2016, and the character was just blown out in space.)   I'll miss him, but I'd also  like to say that I really hope Hasbro considers producing a Return of the Jedi version of the character since they showed us just what an awesome job they can do.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Toys R Us.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,447: January 17, 2018

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