Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 88: Cloud Car Pilot

CLOUD CAR PILOT Original Trilogy Collection
Original Trilogy Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 84715 No. 85054
Number: OTC #19
Includes: Helmet, commlink, blaster, base
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: Summer 2004
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: When the Rebels arrive at Cloud City, the city becomes involved in the battle to save the galaxy. Cloud cars fly in the air around Cloud City. They keep order in the skies and guide arriving vehicles safely to the landing areas. In case of trouble, cloud cars are equipped with a laser cannon. When the Millennium Falcon arrives at Cloud City, a cloud car escorts it to a landing platform. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.

Commentary: It's no secret that a lot of obscure characters have built-in fan demand solely because they were produced in the vintage line, like this Cloud Car Pilot. Hasbro decided to give us what we asked for, and then some. Not content to merely update the figure, the toymakers pulled out all the stops and gave us one of the finest figures ever produced. The figure itself is one of Hasbro's best, at the time, and it remains so to this very day. With a healthy 12 points of articulation, the figure is capable of assuming a great number of poses. The kind of joints used on the knees aren't as awesome as some of the more recent ball-joints, but combined with the boot joint it allows about as much movement as is needed. The design really never received significant screen time in the movie beyond the helmet, really, and as such the figure is fairly true to the concept art for this design as well as the vintage figure from 1982.

As far as accessories go, this is a real hum-dinger. Revamps of the original Kenner blaster and commlink are included, but that's not all! These accessories plug into the belt or to his hands, and he's sporting a nifty removable helmet. Hasbro succeeded in doing something that's quite tough, and that's taking an obscure character and turning it into one of the most fun toys in the entire run of the modern Star Wars line. If you don't own this figure, there's something wrong. It's so good that it reflects poorly on you as a collector for not having had the foresight to buy it, so be sure to get this one before the other collectors point and make fun of you.

Collector's Notes: Despite being a short-run figure in a very popular sub-line, fans didn't jump all over the Cloud Car Pilot. Heck, many probably didn't even buy two for a hypothetical release of the Cloud Car. The item was clearanced out in many markets, and today goes for a couple of dollars of its original price. On the bright side, if you snoozed, you won't lose-- this figure's still easily had and is an excellent example of Hasbro making a figure in a way that no sensible fan, even in jest, could complain about. At this time there are no confirmed plans for the Cloud Car vehicle, although an Expanded Universe Cloud Car was released in 1998 based on concept artwork from the film. A companion concept Cloud Car Pilot was included with the vehicle.

Day 88: August 2, 2006

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