Monday, October 23, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 170: Durge

DURGE Commander of the Separatist Forces
Clone Wars Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 84851 No. 84816
Number: 0445
Includes: Blaster Rifle, Blaster Pistols, Rocket Pack, Bola
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $5.99
Availability: November 2003
Appearances: Clone Wars

Bio: This 2,000-year-old bounty hunter replaces Jango Fett as Count Dooku's right-hand man. A century before the Clone Wars, Durge was captured and tortured by Mandalorian warriors while trying to collect a bounty on their leader. Durge escaped and went into hibernation to recuperate. Shortly after the Battle of Geonosis, Durge awakened seeking revenge, only to find that the Mandalorians were all but extinct. Upon learning that the Republic's Clone Troopers were created from Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett, Durge joined the Confederacy to enact his revenge upon Jango's clones. Along with Commander Asajj Ventress, Durge may be the one of the most formidable adversaries the Jedi have ever faced. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' Clone Wars shelf.

Commentary: When first introduced in 2003, we (the toy press) met Durge in Rhode Island at Hasbro HQ. Hasbro was curious about our reactions, and I still remember mine-- confusion. He's supposed to be this awesome 2,000-year-old man. For starters, he isn't Mel Brooks, but his arms looks like they could be-- I mean, pink human arms? Exposed arms on a heavily armed bounty hunter? Why not just cut a hole in his armor for his genitals and add on a "kick me" sign? I mean, who exposes a weak point? This was altered on future Durge items, but yeesh, why does he need to have his arms exposed? Easy access to needles for injecting death sticks?

Anyway, the figure. It's a neat design. Designed from the get-go to ingratiate himself into fan hearts, he has a design taken from Boba Fett on his chest, a ton of guns, a rocket pack, loads of armor, and when we first met him in the comic books, he was killing Gungans on one of Naboo's lunar colonies. That's pretty damned spiffy. The figure itself is good, but not great, as it has a ball-jointed neck and shoulders to match. The rest of his joints are normal, more or less, and he has spiky boots and some of the best paint seen on a figure, even if some of it is exposed human flesh. The pistols fit nicely into the holsters, although the tubes all over his body do come out if you move him more than their liking. For fans of the Expanded Universe, bounty hunters, or unique looking creations, this is a must-buy. He has his faults, some of which border on ridiculous, but he's still a nice figure.

Collector's Notes: A regular Durge figure isn't dirt cheap, but you can get one for under $20. The Deluxe Durge with Swoop Bike set costs about the same, and has more articulation and arguably superior deco. Durge's rifle and one of his pistols were reused in 2006 as weapons for Dud Bolt and Mars Guo. Introduced alongside Asajj Ventress, it turned out that fans, kids, and collectors were more interested in a pale goth chick with lightsabers than a heavily armored bounty hunter who was designed to be a bigger threat than a Fett. Not that anyone was surprised, really.

Day 170: October 23, 2006

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