Thursday, August 31, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 117: Gonk Droid

Jawa and "GONK" DROID
Power of the Force Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 84185 No. 84198
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, CommTech Chip
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $6.99
Availability: September 1999
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Power droids are boxy droids with two legs that serve as mobile batteries, capable of powering a variety of machinery and vehicles. They are commonly encountered, due to their versatility. Some models of power droid are colloquially referred to as "gonks." (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' floor.

Commentary: Around the time of Episode I, fans were making a bigger ruckus for making the "un-remade" figures from the vintage line, like Gonk, the Power Droid. While some lamented that the new version isn't a big improvement over the old one, well, it kinda is. The vintage one had moving legs. The new one has a button for a "walking" motion. So it does more than the original, and while not as colorful as the 1979 figure, it's still plenty good. The biggest flaw in the figure's design is the aforementioned walking motion because it makes it very difficult to place the legs in a position in which they can allow the figure to stand. (Although it's not impossible to do without one, you might want to save a clear rubber band from a toy's packaging to help him stand upright.)

As far as droids go, he's one of the most unique. After all, he's a walking battery, you can't get much cooler than that short of, oh I don't know, designing a toy so you can plug him in to "power" it. Now admit it, that'd be pretty awesome. Transformers managed to make Mini-Cons that unlocked special features on larger toys, surely a similar mechanic can and should be adapted with droids and vehicles some day. (Although that would make them more toys, and not collectibles, which would surely annoy many collectors.)

Collector's Notes: It's a dime a dozen and it comes with a Jawa. Go buy one, your Sandcrawler needs it. Much like Wedge, "Gonk" became very popular in the 1990s, but some have said that it was mostly thanks to the Internet discussion boards of the time making him into sort of a joke and sort of something cool, somewhat like what happened with Willrow Hood over the past 6 years. The key difference being that if I say "Willrow Hood" to you and "Gonk" to you, odds are that you'll actually know who Gonk is.

Day 117: August 31, 2006

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