Saturday, September 30, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 147: R2-Q5

R2-Q5 Imperial Astromech Droid
Power of the Jedi Collection 2
Item No.:
Asst. 84455 No. 84629
Number: n/a
Includes: Death Star Holograph, Force File
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $5.99-$6.99
Availability: Summer 2001
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: R2 units specialize in starship diagnostics and repairs. However, Imperial designers consider astromechs to be unneccesary weight for their short range TIE fighters. On the second Death Star, R2-Q5 helps maintain the station's elaborate weapons and security systems, and also services all TIE fighters and bombers. (Taken from the figure's Force File.)

Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus. And those white specks? Dust. (I'm not taking the damn picture again.)

Commentary: Power of the Jedi was considered to be the finest hour for Star Wars by many collectors, because it took cast-aside releases from Episode I and Power of the Force collections alongside some of the most obscure and weird offerings including aliens, the RPG, concept art, and of course droids like R2-Q5. Originally slated to be part of a two-pack, this would be the first use of this body mold (different from R2-R9) which would be re-used for numerous R3- and R4-series droids, as well as remolded for the "Bartoo-Deetoo" version of R2-D2 for Jabba's Sail Barge. The figure has 7 moving parts, and was considered to be one of the best molds to use for any Astromech droid. The problem is that the big eye was sculpted, frankly, really shoddily-- it's flat, and doesn't stand out all that much. Future releases would correct this, but for the time being, this R2-Q5 is as good as they'll get.

Collector's Notes: Upon release, the figure shipped in a case with all-new sculpted Lando Calrissian, Tessek, and Jar Jar Binks with wacky tongue and collapsed Pit Droid. The assortment was very hard to find for months and proved to be a huge hit, and today these figures aren't exactly all that hard to get. Still, they're all quite good, and this is an Astromech droid you just have to add to your collection. Someone needs to help out the Stormtroopers, after all.

Day 147: September 30, 2006

Friday, September 29, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 146: Paploo

PAPLOO Imperial AT-ST & Speeder Bike
Power of the Jedi Collection Toys "R" Us Exclusive
Item No.:
No. 32468
Number: n/a
Includes: AT-ST, Speeder Bike
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $29.99
Availability: 2001
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: To destroy the second Death Star, the Rebels need to gain control of the shield generator on Endor. Just before the battle begins, the wily Ewok Paploo commandeers an Imperial speeder bike and creates a diversion that enables the Rebel strike team to infiltrate the bunker. The Rebel team, led by Han Solo and Princess Leia, is soon surrounded by Emperor’s troops and pinned down by an Imperial AT-ST. Just when it looks as if the Rebels are beaten, the Ewoks ambush the Imperial army in a pivotal battle between the technological brawn of the Empire and the primitive resourcefulness of the Ewok tribe. (Taken from Hasbro.)

Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus.

Commentary: Hasbro proved that, with the modern line, they weren't going to spend a lot of money on Ewoks as they reused the 1998 Wicket body to make multiple figures, like Paploo here. This exclusive Ewok is a modified Wicket with a new head sculpt, but he's a bit more "correct" in size compared to Wicket-- but not Chief Chirpa-- and has the 5 joints you'd come to expect on your Ewoks. The coloring is simple, the texture is adequate, and the overall figure is OK. The vintage figure offered a little more and felt like a better release, even though the new one has better overall sculpting. I have hopes Hasbro will make an all-new Paploo before the line ends, as he's a great Ewok and could certainly benefit from a figure that wasn't a hard-to-get exclusive. Still, if this were to be the only modern incarnation of the character, I'd say you should get it because it is "good enough," but doesn't qualify as especially great. Still, he's cute, and even if they do a new one, we'd say get this one just to flesh out the crowds. I like Ewoks and I think you would like this one, too, just to fill out your too-empty Endor shelves.

Collector's Notes: The here-and-gone-again exclusive for Toys "R" Us really offered a rare team-up of an exclusive figure with two hard-to-find vehicles. The original rumor was that it would include Chewbacca or an AT-ST Driver as well, but the bean counters got it down to a single packed-in figure. For what you got in the box, it made sense as it seemed almost like overkill to put two vehicles in a set together when modifications were indeed made to the Endor-themed gift pack. This was also one of many Endor-themed exclusives for Toys "R" Us, along with the Original Trilogy Collection Endor Gift Set with 5 figures and a Speeder Bike, and the 2006 AT-AT with Scout Trooper and AT-AT Driver.

Day 146: September 29, 2006

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 145: Captain Typho

CAPTAIN TYPHO Padme's Head of Security
Saga Collection Collection 2
Item No.:
Asst. 84861 No. 84862
Number: 0209
Includes: Helmet, Blaster Pistol, Blast Effect
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: April 2002
Appearances: Attack of the Clones

Bio: Captain Typho is Senator Padme Amidala's head of security and personal bodyguard. This loyal and determined leader courageously defends Padme from all who threaten her life. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus.

Commentary: After Hugh Quarshie decided not to come back for the second prequel, the character of Captain Panaka was invented to make sure Padme had some sort of royal bodyguard character around. With few lines, this nifty character had a good costume which is what makes it an interesting figure. With a hole on his belt to carry his gun and seven points of articulation it hits the "good not great" mark. With its removable helmet and accessories, it's a pretty nicely made figure, but for those who don't care about the character there's really nothing to fawn over here. It has a good design, with excellent sculpting, good paint, and a lot of wrinkles on the outfit. Unfortunately, it came out beside some really amazing figures in one of the biggest gluts of new releases ever-- and because of that, he doesn't really stand out. Still, for what he is, he's worth getting. After all, how many Naboo pilots are out there anyway?

Collector's Notes: It's entirely possible this figure will never be hard to get. On the secondary market, it's pretty close to worthless. If you want one, you can have one-- just don't expect to see it in stores again anytime soon, you're going to have to trade or go online to buy one most likely.

Day 145: September 28, 2006

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 144: Luke Skwalker in X-wing Fighter Pilot Gear

LUKE SKYAWLKER in X-wing Fighter Pilot Gear
Power of the Force Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 69570 No. 69581
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, Blaster Pistol
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: December 1995
Appearances: Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Growing up on the twin-sun planet of Tatooine, Luke Skywalker had always looked tot he stars. He had been told that his father was a great star pilot, and it was clear that the young Luke had inherited some of his skills. In the arid deserts of the Jundland Wastes, Luke and his best friend Biggs Darklighter, would race their T-16 skyhoppers. Tagging womprats in Beggar's Canyon or threading the Stone needle, Luke and Biggs were the best of friends, and daring pilots. Unfortunately, they were separated when Biggs went to the Academy, and Luke was forced to stay behind.

Years later, Luke would be caught up in the Rebellion's fight against the Empire. On the moon of Yavin 4, Luke was pressed into service as a pilot with one of the assault teams that was trying to defend the Rebel base from the Empire's dreaded Death Star battle station. Luke passed flight simulator tests and was awarded a T-65B X-wing fighter, with R2-D2 to fly as his onboard astromech droid. Luke was reunited with his friend Biggs, who was also flying in the mission against the Death Star. Born were members of the X-wing Red Squadron, with Luke serving as Red Five. Dodging TIE fighters in the space battle above the surface of the Death Star, Luke, Biggs, and Wedge Antilles made an attack to run down the Death Star trench. Darth Vader's custom TIE and two TIE fighters dogged them, forcing Wedge to veer away. Biggs was killed, and a remorseful Luke completed his mission alone. With the timely arrival of the Millennium Falcon, Luke's pursuers were scattered. Guided by the Force, Luke fired his proton torpedo into the thermal exhaust port and destroyed the Death Star. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus.

Commentary: Back in 1995, fans were both desperate for new figures and pretty forgiving due to the parade of toy technology that passed since the last "new" figure nearly 10 years earlier. As such, Luke Skywalker in X-wing Fighter Pilot Gear was genuinely impressive when it came out after Christmas in 1995, as it was loaded with paint ops, had a good sculpt, and despite the name, was modeled after the Empire Strikes Back flight suit as seen on Hoth. In short, it was newer than new, and quite spiffy. The figure had six points of articulation-- the line's standard in the early days-- with a non-removable helmet. There's a lot of good texture on the outfit, and the helmet alone had more paint detail than most original vintage action figures did on their whole bodies. Truly, this was an early high point in what would be an incredible figure line, and as such it's a figure that, as a collector, you owe it to yourself to get. If you're trying to keep your collection size down, though, you may wish to skip this version for one of the revised sculpts offered since 2001, but they're pretty similar to this one except for a few torso changes.

Collector's Notes: This figure had its share of variations. There was a packaging variant (look for .00 or .01, this was one of the first figures to popularize the revision numbers), plus a tray variant-- which heralded the weapon variant. The inner plastic tray could hold a short or long lightsaber, and some figures sold during the transition had a short saber in the long tray. As an added bonus, some fans found VERY short lightsabers which were largely considered to be errors. If this weren't enough, in 1997, the short lightsaber version of the figure was again repackaged in the green packaging, and it seems all units shipped with a quasi-sepia foil sticker of Luke on the front of the packaging. Although it is possible later shipments did not have the sticker, the sticker is easily removed so you don't need to make a big fuss about that. (There might be a slanted bubble variant too but I don't much feel like checking at the moment.)

Now, if you found that annoying and hard to follow, consider that variation hunting and tracking this sort of thing down was all the rage up until about 1999. This is why I'm not overly big on reporting every last variant, or collecting them-- you could effectively double or triple the size of your collection from 1995-1998 if you picked up all the major variations.

Day 144: September 27, 2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 143: Captain Rex (RX-24)

RX-24 (REX) Captain Rex
Star Tours Collection 1, Disney Park Exclusive
Item No.:
No. 10153
Number: n/a
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $10.00
Availability: Spring 2002
Appearances: Star Tours

Bio: RX-24, nicknamed Rex, was the inexperienced pilot droid for the Endor Express, a StarSpeeder 3000 flight offered by the Star Tours travel agency. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus.

Commentary: Long rumored and often delayed, RX-24 is the "must own" figure from the Star Tours action figure line, which, to date, spans 12 figures. Rex is a new mold, recognizable, and nicely articulated with a flip-up visor on his head. There's a lot to like, because he's the main attraction (well, sort of) when it comes to the Disney ride and he's a fairly original design. There's not too much detail here, but he does fit in with the rest of the line nicely and is worth tracking down.

Collector's Notes: As a theme park exclusive that's pretty much run its course, eBay or bust. It's a good figure, so be sure to get one-- you'll be glad you did.

Day 143: September 26, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 142: Obi-Wan Kenobi

OBI-WAN KENOBI The Final Lightsaber Duel
Episode I VHS Tie-In
Item No.:
Asst. 84385 No. 84522
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, display stand
Action Feature: Push button for lightsaber attack
Retail: $14.99
Availability: Spring 2000
Appearances: The Phantom Menace

Bio: Darth Maul and his double-bladed lightsaber prove a fearsome challenge to Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi as the trio battle it out in the Theed generator complex. With hopes for victory nearly gone, Obi-Wan leaps from the brink of certain death and uses his fallen master's weapon to cut the evil Sith Lord in two! (Taken from the set's cardback.)

Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus.

Commentary: With Episode I, fans were treated to a line with more articulation, better sculpts, and of course, a higher price point. Realizing the need to offer multiple versions of a single character, Hasbro made figures like this Obi-Wan Kenobi, which basically took the deluxe design from 1999, made some modifications, and have him Qui-Gon Jinn's lightsaber to effectively capture a character as he appeared for mere seconds on screen. (A proud tradition, I should add, carried on to this very day.) The figure's articulation is nothing fancy, and in hindsight, its sculpt is OK. It's a figure designed to cut down Darth Maul, and was meant to be the first in a line of two-packs which capture scenes from the film. Obviously, it didn't work, but this set of figures was pretty nifty when it came out as a tie-in to the home video release of Episode I. Which, if you'll recall, was before George Lucas decided DVD was a good thing for his films.

While this is not a must-buy figure, it is a nice one. The display stand is pretty decent, and Darth Maul can be cut in half-- even though it's one of two figures that can claim this. If the price is right, the unique sculpt and styling of these figures is a worthy addition to any collection, although there's little to get excited about if you own other, similar figures.

Collector's Notes: During a great many toy run, I stumbled on piles of this set at a Kmart in Phoenix, all of which were sealed and missing their lightsabers due to either theft or a flaw in the package design. When picking up one of these, do take care to examine the piece for missing accessories.

Day 142: September 25, 2006

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 141: General Grievous

GENERAL GRIEVOUS Grievous' Wheel Bike
Revenge of the Sith Vehicles
Item No.:
Asst. 85196 No. 85348
Number: n/a
Includes: Wheel bike
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: April 2005
Appearances: Revenge of the Sith

Bio: General Grievous' wheel bike is a custom-designed mobile attack vehicle. He sits in the center sphere, and the wheel revolves around him in driving mode. The four legs are used in walking mode and to climb vertical surfaces, such as the sinkholes on Utapau where he battles Obi-Wan Kenobi on Boga. (Taken from the set's box.)

Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus.

Commentary: The vehicle itself is flawed, so we'll just focus on General Grievous himself, the lone pack-in figure of the latest regular assortment vehicle collection. As a freebie, he's good-- he does his job, which is to sit in the bike. Problem is, he's a little flimsy and doesn't really like to stay put. The figure itself has very limited articulation and due to loss of limbs on screen, is not entirely true to the movie. Still, he can sit, he can hold the controls, and for the purposes of a shelf display, he works well. As a toy, or as your only Grievous, this is not a good figure. Like many pack-in figures, pretend the only purpose this one has is to man a vehicle. His slightly brighter coloring is true to how most fans presently perceive Grievous, rather than the brown/tan color of earlier releases-- and he was one of the first figures to be colored correctly. Or "correctly." This is not a figure you'll track down for his own right, but if you're getting the vehicle anyway, you'll be glad you own this one too.

Collector's Notes: Hasbro was wise to pack this figure in with the Wheel Bike as most other figures don't act as good pilots. The vehicle proved popular enough to continue selling through 2006, and in new packaging for The Saga Collection. Hasbro rarely offers a vehicle for more than a few months at a time, let alone nearly 1 1/2 years. As a result, this is a fairly common figure/vehicle, so you can get one on the cheap with little effort as of today. Still, it seems to be phasing out now so if you were waiting, your chances of walking into the store and buying one will likely end for good within 3 months.

Day 141: September 24, 2006

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 140: Neimoidian Commander

Revenge of the Sith Collection 1
Item No.:
Asst. 85173 No. 86710
Number: n/a
Includes: Helmet, staff
Action Feature: Squeeze legs for attack
Retail: $5.24-$6.99
Availability: Fall 2005
Appearances: n/a

Bio: Neimoidian warriors are specially trained members of the Neimoidian Gunnery Battalion. Commanders have distinctive armor befitting their rand and are armed with special Neimoidian weaponry that is being mass-produced for use in the Clone Wars. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus.

Commentary: In a very confusing move, at the end of 2005, Hasbro decided to release the worst selling figure of the year in a new, not-in-the-movie color scheme and called it the Neimoidian Commander. In most markets, it sold through, and unless we're mistaken proved Hasbro can make up a figure design and it doesn't look half bad. I like this one more than the original for a variety of reasons, and because of it, I asked a friend of mine taking a silkscreen class to make me a "Droid Army" logo T-shirt. (Thank you, Victoria.) I'm fascinated by faction logos and there are more than a few toys I've purchased solely because they had a big one. (That's why I bought extras of these.) The figure itself is nicely articulated with the typical six points plus swivel wrists and elbows, along with ankles. It's going to move almost any way you want it to unless you really want it to sit and sit well.

Collector's Notes: Looking to expand your armies? Need cannon fodder? Want something overwhelmingly original? Then this is a figure you have to buy. I love the idea of Hasbro making up concepts if they're good, and redecorating "troopers" is a welcome move. I'd be angry with Ninja Lukes and Kung-Fu Qui-Gons, but if they want to add variant armor sets to toys that are pretty good in the first place, I say bring on more.

Day 140: September 23, 2006

Friday, September 22, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 139: Luke Skywalker (Endor Poncho)

Power of the Force Millennium Mint Coin Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 69675 No. 84026
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, poncho, display base, coin
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: Summer 1998
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Luke Skywalker was the son of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and Naboo Senator Padme Amidala, and the older twin brother of Leia Organa Solo. A celebrated pilot and leader, Skywalker was most famous for destroying the first Death Star and prompting Darth Vader to kill Emperor Palpatine, which led to the eventual downfall of the Galactic Empire and made him the greatest hero of the Rebel Alliance. He was later promoted to general, though left the military to become an influential member of the New Republic and a prominent Jedi Master. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus.

Commentary: By 1998, Hasbro was left with tons of product on the shelves and in production, balancing the demands for exclusives with the fan demand for no exclusives. Items like the Millennium Mint Coins were developed as a Toys "R" Us exclusive, and Luke Skywalker came out about halfway through the run. The figure is loosely based on the pack-in figure from the 1997 Speederbike, but he had retooled arms and legs as well as the obvious new coin-friendly extras. As far as the pre-Prequel figures go, this is one of the better ones and at the time, it was one of the harder ones to find. Some markets got a lot of Leia and no Luke, and the others, well, some variation on that. The figure itself has 6 points of articulation, but the main reason to get it is for the coin and stand, especially with a new version of Luke and his poncho coming to stores any day now. This figure is an excellent example of the 1998 line, and the quality you found therein. The originality was lacking given the coin was a revised coin from the 1980s, but it still looks a lot better than a lot of other items on the market in other toy lines at the time. Remember, 1998 is only three or four years removed from the Kenner Congo line, so these are huge improvements over the norm for the day even if, by today's standards, they're fairly primitive.

Collector's Notes: It's cheap, so if you want one, you can have one. Given the unknown nature of the 2007 coin collection thus far, a similar (if not identical) coin might be on the way shortly. As such, you might want to hold off buying this figure if just for the coin. Since it's in the process of being upgraded and replaced in The Saga Collection, the main reason to get this figure is for a curiosity or a strong urge to collect them all. The 1998 line is excellent, though, so I have to say you can do a lot worse than figures like this one.

Day 139: September 22, 2006

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 138: 2-1B Medic Droid

2-1B Medic Droid
Power of the Force Collection 2
Item No.:
Asst. 69605 No. 69618
Number: n/a
Includes: Diagnostic tool
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: January 1997
Appearances: Empire Strikes Back

Bio: 2-1B (or Too-Onebee) was a 2-1B surgical droid that joined the Rebel Alliance. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus.

Commentary: Starting in 1997, Kenner started making the figures just a little bit less beefy and a little more realistic. This is a good thing, because the first and only modern release of 2-1B was almost 9 years ago and the figure is still very, very good when compared to recent releases. While some improvements could be made, this release is quite good. His neck and shoulders are articulated nicely, with awkward hip joints making his legs move-- just not very well. The droid is very closely modeled after the prop which, by most photos I've seen, has no feet. His legs just end at a board. The metal paint job, clear torso, and clean paint make this a figure that's aged very well, despite the fact one could redo it nicely were they so inclined.

Collector's Notes: As I have no expectations that we'll ever see a resculpt, I highly recommend this release. And not because it's cheap. The figure goes nicely with the Power of the Jedi FX-7 and Bacta Luke action figures-- if you get one of those, I suggest you get them all. You'll be glad you did.

Day 138: September 21, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 137: Jango Fett

JANGO FETT Sneak Preview
Attack of the Clones Sneak Preview Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 84455 No. 84678
Number: n/a
Includes: 2 blasters, 2 blast effects, rocket pack
Action Feature: plug blast effects on guns or jet pack for realistic blasting something or other
Retail: $6.99
Availability: Spring 2002
Appearances: Attack of the Clones

Bio: Jango Fett was a renowned bounty hunter and the "father" of Boba Fett (his clone). Fett was the leader of the Mandalorians, and later served as the template for the clones of the Grand Army of the Republic. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus.

Commentary: The first figure of Jango Fett came in what was, on paper, the best assortment of all time. It was of a new movie. It was early. It had an astromech, a Fett, a clone, and a female bounty hunter. Surely, this is the best series ever right? Well, sales proved otherwise-- it did OK, but it was fairly easy to find everyone on clearance if you did some looking. They were all very good figures though, especially Jango. Modeled after data scanned from the sets, it's one of the best Fett figures of all time and was certainly tied for the best upon its release in 2002, despite only having six points of articulation. The figure's unique action pose delighted some and upset others, but it's worth noting that it's a great looking figure with some neat display options that make it worth picking up.

By and large, what you see is what you get. You can plug the red "blast effects" on the rockets, or on the guns-- which are also packaged with some other figures. Heck, you can even plug some blast effects on the toy for Jango's Slave I. Hasbro put a lot of work in making bits and pieces of one toy plug in/on another during 2002, which seemed to have been a mandate across other brands with G.I. Joe's Sound Attack and Transforers Armada's Mini-Cons. But I digress. Buy this figure.

Collector's Notes: Due to the glut of action figures released since 2002, this one, too, can be had cheaply. Other versions of Jango exist, but most of them have action features that clutter the look of the figure. This is the cleanest of them, as you can leave off the more distracting options. Other versions have spring-loaded or other features that you might not quite like as much. Until a super-posable version of Jango Fett comes out, this is easily the best one on the market today as far as appearance goes.

Day 137: September 20, 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 136: Ponda Baba

Saga Collection Wal-Mart Exclusive; Original Trilogy Collection Kmart Exclusive
Item No.:
Asst. 32539 No. 32543; No. 34527
Number: 1 of 3; n/a
Includes: 3 glasses, bar section; blaster pistol
Action Feature: removable "slashed off" arm
Retail: $9.96, $19.99
Availability: Summer 2002, Summer 2004
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Ponda Baba was the Aqualish partner of Doctor Evazan. He fulfilled the Aqualish stereotype of being an ill-tempered thug. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus.

Commentary: For years, fans asked Hasbro (then Kenner) "Why don't you add a removable arm feature to Ponda Baba?" When Hasbro first responded to this question, the answer was that they were afraid that it would get loose and fly around in the box before you open it. They seem to have gotten over this fear and released this figure, which is based on the 1997 version of the figure except with new legs and a new arm. The figure has the traditional six points of articulation plus knees and a bonus swivel joint where the arm can be hacked off. While it took a few years to do it, Hasbro did a great job by having an easy-to-remove limb that stays in place on a figure with excellent paint. This is about as good as Ponda Baba figures look, and since you have at least five different ways to buy him, it might be worth doing your homework to pick "the best one" if you're one of the people that hates having more than one Greedo. He stands, he sits, he does it all.

You might want to keep an eye out for paint-- as you can see, the, um, "butt" of his face is painted awkwardly in this sample.

Collector's Notes: This figure is not especially hard to find. The "hacked-off arm" version always comes in a larger box with a bar section, which is a nice display extra even if it isn't 100% accurate to the movie. It's cool, though, and it's a figure worthy of your dollars.

Day 136: September 19, 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 135: Clone Commander (Red)

Revenge of the Sith Collection 1
Item No.:
Asst. 85173 No. 85422
Number: III-33
Includes: Rifle, pistols, rappel line
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $5.24-$5.99
Availability: April 2005
Appearances: Revenge of the Sith

Bio: Clone Commander CT-65/91-6210, known as Deviss, was a clone trooper commander who led K Company out of Commander Bly's 327th Star Corps in the Grand Army of the Republic. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: The Revenge of the Sith shelf of Adam Pawlus.

Commentary: Proof positive that fans don't care where a figure comes from if it's cool, the Clone Commander was based on an earlier concept of Commander Bly. Before the movie came out, people assumed he was in it. (No dice.) Of course, we didn't care-- as fans, we're so clone-crazy that if it looks cool, we'll buy six of them. And look cool, he did-- this figure was loaded with accessories, had 13 points of articulation (only missing a waist), and had a nifty binocular thing on his helmet. He is, in short, awesome... which is no doubt why Hasbro released a green redeco and of course a redeco as Commander Bly.

The best/worst/best again thing about Clone figures these days is their near-perfection. The figure is modeled after the design from the movie quite closely, there really aren't a lot of shortcomings to complain about beyond the aforementioned waist issue and the total lack of weathering. This is one super-clean figure, and the designs have some nice dirt on the boots and a lot of paint scuffs that make the character look a little more distinctive. This figure could be redecorated and reissued, perhaps with the "official" name Commander Deviss, and there would still be a market for it. It's a nice figure, as it has guns that fit in his twin holsters and enough play features to make it one of the best figures-as-toys Hasbro has made in recent years. It can do pretty much anything, but I should take note that the rappel line accessories kinda suck. The rope is too short, otherwise I'd be quite enamored with the idea as I tried to make similar contraptions for my vintage figures using twist-ties and rope.

Collector's Notes: Despite being super-popular, this figure was common for periods of time in 2005. You should have no problem obtaining one for a fair price, but it does seem it might cost slightly more than retail because a) it's popular and b) it doesn't suck. This figure was originally scheduled to be reissued by Hasbro in 2006, but they decided to reissue the harder-to-find green version of the figure instead.

Day 135: September 18, 2006

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 134: Grand Admiral Thrawn

Power of the Force Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 85213 No. 85238
Number: n/a
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $5.99
Availability: Fall 1998
Appearances: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command

Bio: Five years after the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance has driven the evil Empire into a distant corner of the galaxy. But a new danger has arisen: the last of the Emperor's warlords has devised a battle plan that could destroy the New Republic. A tactical and military genius, Grand Admiral Thrawn rallied the remnants of the Imperial fleet and set in motion a plan to destroy the New Republic. Using Force-inhibiting ysalamiri, he became vitally close to achieving his evil plans. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: More tackle boxes.

Commentary: While the figure had some of the best packaging in the modern line, the actual toy for Grand Admiral Thrawn left many fans scratching their heads. Where is the nutrient frame backpack? Why doesn't he have the yellow things on his shoulders? And is he too pale? It was confusing, but this first-ever (and so far, only) member of the Chiss species proved to be one of the most popular figures in his day, thanks to his being the first major "new" villain many fans were exposed to during the second coming of Star Wars. The figure itself is very of its day, with six points of articulation, a removable Force-pusher lizard on his neck, and a blaster pistol. The paint is good, but not great, and the detail in the sculpt can be described similarly. Today, it seems very average but the enthusiasm you may (or may not) have for the character improves the figure many times over. I, for one, was giddy to have a line of Expanded Universe figures (which included concept art as well as comics, novels, games, and so forth). Especially since it was of a character I knew and liked. Fans of Thrawn owe it to themselves to pick this one up, especially since the pricing is quite good these days.

Collector's Notes: Very few figure lines come with their own "reality distortion field," and Expanded Universe toys really seem to pack the most "bugwah?" moments. Hasbro claimed that this 1998 series of 9 figures was a failure, and did not sell. Which in a way was true, as they were next to impossible to find at the Top 5 retailers and many collectors had to slum it in video game stores, scalp shops, and other oddball places just to see these. Many fans also took solace in being able to order some from Sears. The figure was very popular in its day and rumor has it a new one is coming in 2007, along with a new Mara Jade. It seems that the figure is nowhere near as "rare" as some would have you believe, though, and the prices on the secondary market suggest interest has cooled significantly. He can be had for about retail.

Day 134: September 17, 2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 133: Lando Calrissian

LANDO CALRISSIAN Vintage Original Trilogy Collection
Original Trilogy Collection Vintage Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 85213 No. 85238
Number: n/a
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: Fall 2004
Appearances: Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Lando Calrissian a character in the fictional Star Wars universe, was a former smuggler and friend of Han Solo. After losing the Millennium Falcon to Han in a game of sabacc, the same game later won him the job of Baron Administrator of the floating Cloud City and Tibanna gas mine on the gas giant planet of Bespin. He then meets his assistant Lobot. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: On the "Early Bird"/Vintage shelf.

Commentary: Few figures have had as many exciting (and lackluster) turns as Lando Calrissian in this outfit. In late 1995, the first modern version came out, became "rare" overnight and shot up to $40. Then he became common, and nobody cared. In 2001, the Power of the Jedi revamp came out, but the assortment was quite hard to find for a while. This particular version was extremely hot upon release, due to the great articulation, good likeness, and awesome packaging. This quickly changed, proving the collectors going "har har I'll buy that!" isn't enough to support even the best of the best figures, which this figure almost is. As you can see in the picture, he's loaded with articulation, even at the wrist and ankles. Truly, this is a figure that Hasbro put tons of work in to, offering fans anything they could ask for except ball-jointed elbows. The outfit was colored properly, the articulation was there, it had everything except willing collectors and kids. It proves that even the best idea, with the best intentions, and the best execution won't always be a hit. (Of course, you might be able to point to the price.)

Collector's Notes: Of course, even the cloth cape wasn't enough to sway fans to pick up Lando and the figure warmed pegs at stores in some parts of the country through late 2005 and may even still linger in some markets. Seeing how great this figure is, you really have no excuse for not picking one up. It's not a very highly produced figure compared to some others, but its lack of popularity really helped it to choke up stores and make Star Wars look bad. Given how long it lingered after it shipped, he may eventually be lumped in with the Rancor Keeper and Prince Xizor despite not being a second-rate action figure. This is a fine example of "put your money where your mouth is," hopefully all collectors who appreciate good figures bought one because if they didn't, well, it does show what fans will and won't buy. Or what Hasbro made too many of.

Day 133: September 16, 2006

Friday, September 15, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 132: Luke Skywalker

LUKE SKYWALKER Luke's X-wing Fighter
The Saga Collection Toys "R" Us Exclusive
Item No.:
No. 32459
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $44.99
Availability: August 2006
Appearances: Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Luke has had several harrowing adventures in his X-wing fighter: from battling TIE fighters in the destruction of the first Death Star and even crash landing in a desolate swamp on Dagobah. Indeed, he has become one of the finest star pilots in the galaxy! (Taken from the set's box.)

Image: In front of some tackle boxes.

Commentary: Hasbro has proven quite adept at modifying existing figures to make something new. This version of Luke Skywalker takes a torso and legs from 2004, what seems to be a newly crafted head, and new arms to make a new, exclusive pack-in figure. The arms are easily removed so you can exchange them with the 2004 Dagobah Luke, and the figure is now articulated at the basic 6 points plus wrists. It's a surprisingly nice action figure, even though it includes a lightsaber that, in this outfit, he really didn't do a whole lot with. The figure itself is in a lighter shirt with darker hair and looks, to use an oft-used (and overused) term, "realistic." I daresay it's an improvement, and worth snagging if you also want an X-wing and Dragonsnake.

Collector's Notes: At press time, the figure is both new and reasonably common. Thanks to Toys "R" Us' high price point for this item (previous TRU X-wings were closer to $30) the item seems to be sitting around a little, selling slowly in some areas and more quickly in others. As such, you should have no problem getting one right now, but be careful-- a lot of collectors out there are still stealing figures through the popular "swap" method and it's easy to be taken and not realize it until you get home. Examine your toys carefully!

Day 132: September 15, 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 131: Kit Fisto

KIT FISTO Jedi Master
Revenge of the Sith Collection 2
Item No.:
Asst. 85174 No. 85297
Number: III-22
Includes: Display base, Lightsaber
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $5.24-$6.99
Availability: April 2005
Appearances: Revenge of the Sith

Bio: Kit Fisto is a Jedi Master of great skill and vision. He can breathe underwater, making him well suited for missions above and below sea level. He is asked by Mace Windu to help arrest Supreme Chancellor Palpatine for treason. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelf.

Commentary: Sometimes, a figure is obviously better. Other times, it's obviously worse. With Kit Fisto, uh, what to say? The first release was good-- green, unique pose, and an action feature that more or less works. The Clone Wars topless Kit Fisto was, overall, great. This one makes a new, super-poseable figure with a head that I feel sucked but one of the best Jedi Knight bodies ever. So it's a good figure that's bad. I mean, he looks like he had some ridiculous make-up artist go to town making him look like some sort of space hooker. With ball-jointed knees, shoulders, and elbows, plus many other joints, it's such an awesome figure. But look at that head... it's rotten. That's pretty much the long and short of it, and at this point I don't think I can really push this review out beyond "it's great and it sucks." (Is it obvious I wrote this one at the end of a very long writing marathon? Well, it is now.)

Collector's Notes: Repackaged in 2006, this is a figure you can get with no problems. Unfortunately, the "Greatest Battles" version of Kit Fisto really isn't any better, so you might not want to buy both. Or perhaps either. It's a pretty good figure, and it's going to get re-re-released with a new Battle Pack this year, so you will never have a problem finding one. I just can't drive home the point enough... it's a great figure design. And it's kinda crappy. If Hasbro fixed up the head, this might have the potential to be one of the best figures released by the company. Until then, it's a monument to being mediocre.

Day 131: September 14, 2006

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 130: Graxol Kelvyyn

Episode I Cinema Scene Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 84115 No. 84159
Number: n/a
Includes: Display base, CommTech Chip
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: Fall 1999
Appearances: The Phantom Menace

Bio: Graxol Kelvyyn was an Anx that was present in the Boonta Eve Classic on Tatooine. Kelvyyn had a wide web of slave-trading all over the Outer Rim, and had his headquarters on the planet Ryloth. There he lived with opulence and enjoyed his multiple Twi'lek slaves, including his most recent adquisition Shakka. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelf.

Commentary: When first released, Graxol Kelvyyn was the biggest Star Wars figure ever made in the 3 3/4-inch scale. And seven years later, he's still about twice as big as the next in line. He has decent articulation, a blue cloth overcoat thing, and can sit-- an important feature many figures can't do, but he's required to just to fit in his packaging. He's a big alien, and as such, deserves a place in your collection just for his height. The sculpt is very good for its day, and it's part of a great set that includes one of the best Watto figures as well as a Twi'lek slave girl. How can you go wrong with that combination? This figure will probably not see release again for a good long time (if ever) because he can't fit into most figure packaging. As such, he's a real special one, and because he's so big and colorful and awesome, I can't not advise you to get one.

Collector's Notes: Like so many Episode I toys, this set can be for almost nothing these days. Packaged along with a great Watto figure as well as a half-naked alien woman, the set in which she comes should be a must-add item to your collection. Seeing as you can have a giant figure plus two bonus figures and a display stand for under $15 on the secondary market, your not buying this is an insult to toy collectors everywhere. Don't sit around and whine for Hasbro to remake it, trade on the forums or buy it on eBay now. Trust me, if you can appreciate aliens, Episode I figures, or novel concepts figures, this is for you. The price went up a smidge since we looked at Shakka a few months ago, but that's the nature of the market.

Day 130: September 13, 2006

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 129: Oola

OOLA & Salacious Crumb
The Power of the Force Collection, Fan Club Exclusive
Item No.:
No. 69871
Number: n/a
Includes: Salacious Crumb
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: 1998
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Oola was a Twi'lek dancer in Jabba the Hutt's court. She was the daughter of a clan chieftain on Ryloth and was kidnapped and trained by Bib Fortuna and Jerris Rudd as a gift to Jabba. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelf.

Commentary: Originally hitting the Fan Club in 1998, Oola was received as a great figure. With some of the first modern "soft goods" on her legs, a chain, and a pretty great sculpt, this figure has six points of articulation and is (so far) the only figure made of the character, although rumors persist Hasbro has a finished resculpt almost finished and ready-to-go when they're so inclined. While the cloth pieces do look a little out of place, and will probably decay over time, it's still a fantastic figure 8 years later and one you should absolutely add to your collection if you can get one. The main appeal to collectors will be the "hot chick" angle and the "Jabba's Palace" angle, although we expect the latter more than the former in most cases. (Every figure line has hot chicks. Few have Jabba's Palace.)

Collector's Notes: While a fan-made signed "variant" was made, there aren't really any major variations to speak of on this box set. Today, the figure set can be had shipped for about what it cost originally-- $12.99 or so. Happy hunting! The figure came in a window box, which itself was packaged in a white sleeve that was taped to the box. A file card appears on the back.

Day 129: September 12, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 128: Yoda

YODA Battle of Geonosis
The Saga Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 85700 No. 87054
Number: #019
Includes: Lightsaber, lightning, stand, cloak, cane
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $5.24
Availability: Spring 2006
Appearances: Primarily Attack of the Clones

Bio: Jedi Master Yoda swoops down on the Geonosis arena aboard a Republic gunship flown by clone pilots. He arrives just in time as a horde of battle droids surrounds the Jedi Knights. The clone army repels the droids and a full-scale battle breaks out. Amid the chaos and confusion, Yoda follows his instincts to a dark hangar where Count Dooku has injured Obi-Wan and Anakin. Yoda and Dooku battle to a stalemate, but Yoda senses the cloud of the dark side has grown stronger. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' Saga Collection prequel shelf.

Commentary: Along with the Emperor from yesterday, this Yoda has been packaged and repackaged time and again. This figure takes a 2005 Yoda, adds a bolt of lightning from 2002, a stand, and says it's from a different movie. The figure has ball joints on the feet, shoulders, and neck, with normal joints at the wrists and hips. It's about as jointed as a Yoda can get, and it has a nice sculpt to boot. It's a good figure in and of itself, and if you don't already own this sculpt, it's a nice configuration-- if you want a stand (and you do) and/or don't want a giant Yoda-sized Kashyyyk cannon (and you don't.) I like this figure a lot for what it aspires to be, but it may be overkill as far as your collection is concerned. For the purposes of some duels and some poses, this is the best Yoda, although his cloak is a little annoying as it by and large restricts articulation. It is, however, easily removed.

Collector's Notes: You can also get this figure (with different accessories) in the Revenge of the Sith collection, the Heroes & Villains collection, and the Skirmish in the Senate Battle Pack. To name a few. Odds are you'll see it again elsewhere. With the exception of the stand, though, the 2006 Saga Collection version is cobbled together from other Yoda figures from over the years, so if you want the accessories, you may already have them or can get them with another figure.

Day 128: September 11, 2006

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 127: Emperor Palpatine

EMPEROR PALPATINE Firing Force Lightning
Revenge of the Sith Collection 1
Item No.:
Asst. 85713 No. 85285
Number: III-12
Includes: Lightsaber, lightning
Action Feature: Spring-loaded lightning attack
Retail: $5.24-$19.99
Availability: April 2005-present
Appearances: Primarily Revenge of the Sith

Bio: The Supreme Chancellor extends his power and controls the Galactic Senate. As the Clone Wars rage, he sets into motion the final part of his plan to rule the galaxy and destroy the Jedi. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' Revenge of the Sith shelf.

Commentary: Few figures define overkill as much as Emperor Palpatine. Basically, he's just a guy in a black cloak, and yet he's had close to a dozen different figures of himself in this costume. And this one wasn't even really seen all that much in the movie. It is, however, a great, action-packed figure. With ball-jointed arms, firing lightning, a lightsaber, a ball-jointed neck, and a creepy little face to scare your other toys, he may well be one of the finest Emperor figures ever. There's no getting past the detail on the robes, the oddly colored fingernails, and so much more. The only thing I think this figure is missing is his cane, but that's probably a good thing as this figure isn't about the faux feeble Palpatine, but the raging ball of evil Palpatine. There are no other Palpatine figures that can provide the play value of this one. And due to its widespread availability, there's a good chance you can get one so cheap, someone will pay you to take it away.

Collector's Notes: The figure's only bad/good/bad again side is his widespread distribution. It's possible no figure has been offered so many ways in such a short period of time... except for maybe CommTech Han Solo. This Palpatine was first sold in the configuration listed above. Later, he was in a Kmart exclusive Battle Pack of the Death Star Throne Room, but without all his accessories. In 2006, he's been packaged in Target's Skirmish in the Senate Battle Pack and on a regular "Greatest Battles" cardback which is, without a doubt, the best packaging you can get for this figure. This is a great figure and one of the best versions of this character ever, but they're so easy to get, you really shouldn't pay any real amount of money to get one.

Day 127: September 10, 2006

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 126: Asajj Ventress

Revenge of the Sith Battle Packs Jedi vs. Sith
Item No.:
Asst. 85554 No. 85667
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsabers
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99, part of a gift set
Availability: Summer 2005
Appearances: Primarily The Clone Wars

Bio: Asajj Ventress is a disciple of the dark side of the Force and a follower of Count Dooku. Full of anger and bitterness, she is skilled in lightsaber combat and a sworn enemy of the Jedi. Her powerful ability with the Force makes her a formidable enemy. (Taken from the figure's box.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' Clone Wars shelf.

Commentary: A long time ago I reviewed the first version of this Clone Wars villain, but this figure of Asajj Ventress is arguably the definitive one. Since she's modeled after the cartoon designs, a lot of fans jumped at the chance to get her. It also made a lot of people upset, as they liked the more comic book version released in 2003. Either, way, it's a good figure in its own right with two linkable lightsabers, a unique pose, and arguably significantly better presence. With her more evil looking face, better posture, and added height, she looks like a more formidable opponent than the first release which, while good, looks more like a sickly goth girl by comparison. So with her ball-jointed shoulders and neck, we can say this is a fine figure and one you should add to your collection-- if you can accept the idea of non-movie toys.

The figure doesn't break any new ground, she just refines an existing concept. When I first saw this figure, I assumed it was a repaint of the 2003 release, but Hasbro actually went out and tooled up an all-new figure when they didn't even have to. I really admire seeing Hasbro refining its better sculpts into something really great, so it's hard to say too much about this figure other than "it's good" and "buy it."

Collector's Notes: One of three new molds from the Jedi vs. Sith Battle Pack, this Asajj is the one you should want. It's still fairly priced, about $20-$30. It originally sold for $20 or more at most stores, which was a killer deal for five action figures. I'm actually surprised this item isn't more expensive and popular given how many Clone Wars fans there are, and how little product there is. You should totally get one.

Day 126: September 9, 2006

Friday, September 8, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 125: Han Solo (Death Star Escape)

HAN SOLO Death Star Escape
Power of the Jedi Collection 1
Item No.:
Asst. 84445 No. 84626
Number: n/a
Includes: Stormtrooper Blaster, Force File
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $5.99
Availability: Fall 2001
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Han Solo's reputation as a notorious smuggler and pirate also makes him a target for bounty hunters. After his ship is impounded by the Empire, Han helps Obi-Wan and Luke rescue Princess Leia from the Death Star. A corageous and daring pilot, Solo eventually realizes his personal stake in the Rebels' fight for freedom. (Taken from the figure's Force File)

Image: Yet another Adam's Pawlus toy shelf.

Commentary: Over the years, typically, Han Solo figures got better and better. This was until Power of the Jedi, where the super-cool Bespin Han Solo was followed up by this monstrosity and the "my neck is cut" Han from a two-pack with Chewbacca. (But more on him later.) This figure has an awkward head sculpt, a rotten pose, and can't stand properly. He also has articulation inferior to a previous release which, really, isn't cool in any toy line. The figure itself is very much a "what you see is what you get" release, and I can't say much good about it in the grand scheme of things. It's an OK figure, and one of very few Han figures with a Stormtrooper belt. It's nice that Hasbro made an all-new sculpt in 2001 rather than tweaking the 1999 figure, but honestly, a tweak would've been better. I think if the head on this figure were particularly well done, the figure would have been saved but when you're talking about a figure that can't stand well on its own with an awkward face, there's really not much nice to be said here. For collectors only.

Oh, for the record: eight points of articulation. The typical six, plus arm swivels.

Collector's Notes: This figure came out in a wave with Darth Vader with lightning bolts on his head, and Luke Skywalker in his pilot get-up with buck teeth. It wasn't a proud time to be a fan, as the complaints could be heard for quite some time. The wave hit Target stores' mega-clearance after the holidays, but that shouldn't be seen as a critique on the line as a whole, it just ended up that Han was part of a very weak Collection 1 send-off near the end of the line. It's too bad this figure has been done better so often, but hey, at least this was the low point. I've seen other lines where the figures are far, far worse. I'm probably being a little too harsh but I remember this figure going from the package to a tackle box pretty quickly, and that's disappointing for your favorite characters.

Day 125 September 8, 2006

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 124: Geonosian with Massiff

MASSIFF with Geonosian Handler
Saga Collection Collection 2
Item No.:
Asst. 84861 No. 84803
Number: 0234
Includes: Leash, lizard-dog
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: Spring 2002
Appearances: Attack of the Clones (technically)

Bio: Massiffs are ferocious creatures with razor sharp teeth and agile movements. Although small in size, these aggressive beasts are difficult to restrain, even by their handlers. (Taken from the figure's cardback)

Image: Yet another Adam's Pawlus toy shelf.

Commentary: Here's a unique situation. The main character in the set is a Geonosian Warrior, but this particular product was marketed as a Massiff in 2002, allowing for an unusual dynamic-- is the accessory now the most exciting part of the figure? The Geonosian is a good figure, not a great figure, but one of the first really good Geonosians. The very first Geonosian Warrior was totally naked, no armor or anything. This one is properly outfitted, at least, and is uniquely colored and looks pretty slick. Of course, the Massiff is pretty awesome with only one point of articulation-- his jaw. Together for $5, this was an incredible value and lots of fun at a low price. Of course, the Massiff species never made the final cut on Geonosis.

Collector's Notes: Originally designed for Geonosis, the Massiff species of lizard-dog only appears on Tatooine in the movies. Part of the backstory for the saga indicates the two planets are reasonably close together and spacers helped the species migrate from one world to the other, hence the need for a Tusken Raider with Massif set which was released later in 2002, and was also an awesome deal for the price. The Geonosis set is good as well if for no reason other than to help you build your armies. Deleted scene figure fans take note, this is one you should be adding to your collections.

Day 124 September 7, 2006

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 123: ASP-7 Droid

ASP-7 with Spaceport Supply Rods
Power of the Force Collection 2
Item No.:
Asst. 69605 No. 69704
Number: n/a
Includes: Spaceport Support Rods
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: Summer 1997
Appearances: Star Wars: Special Edition, Shadows of the Empire

Bio: ASP-series droids, also known as asp droids, were general-purpose labor droids manufactured by Industrial Automaton and found throughout the Galaxy. Simple-minded droids, the ASPs were strictly working droids and nothing more; their vocabulary, likely a variant on CBell-1, consisted of only "Yes" and "No" or "Affirmative" or "Negative." The most common of these models was the ASP-7, which stood at 1.6 meters. The Prefect of Mos Eisley kept a large amount of ASP-7s throughout the settlement, such as ASP-704.

A more advanced model, the ASP-19, was used by Darth Vader to hone his lightsaber dueling skills. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam's other toy shelf.

Commentary: While I think some of the information on Wookieepedia about the ASP-7 droid is in error (that or the toy's goofed up), it's a notable figure in the history of the line because it's one of the first all-computer generated Star Wars characters to be produced as a toy. Articulated at the neck twice (so he can nod or look up) as well as the shoulders and hips, it's a fairly good robot and a welcome addition to any quasi-industrial setup you may have in your collection. The sculpt is simple, as is the design from the films. All this figure is really capable of doing is carrying his cargo (or if you have a spare, a lightsaber) and standing there-- he can't really sit; he can't really enter a pose that makes it look like he's doing much aside from fighting or staying put. As such, if you like the look of this figure-- and I do-- I can't say enough good about it. If you want a figure that's probably likely to spark a kid's imagination, this is a good one because it really doesn't have too much of a backstory. If you want a super-posable crazy awesome droid, get something else.

Collector's Notes: ASP droids were first seen in the Shadows of the Empire project, but an action figure wasn't made until Summer of 1997 for the Special Edition line. Back then, nobody cared about this figure. Today is no different, although it's a unique droid and one of my favorite action figures. Despite the unique design from Lucasfilm and an appearances on screen and in the expanded universe, these droids vanished from the Star Wars continuity almost completely after 1997.

Day 123: September 6, 2006