Friday, December 29, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 237: Wedge Antilles

Original Trilogy Collection Internet Exclusive
Item No.:
No. 87058
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, helmet, display base
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: Late 2005
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: A true hero of the Rebellion, Wedge Antilles has flown in some of the most important battles against the Empire, and lived to tell about them. The brave young Corellian first piloted an X-wing fighter in the battle of Yavin and helped Luke Skywalker destroy the first Death Star. A few years later, during the battle of Hoth, he and tailgunner Wes Janson were the first to successfully take down an Imperial walker using a harpoon and tow-cable. During the Battle of Endor, Wedge, as Red Leader, spearheaded an attack that took aim at the Second Death Star's main reactor. In an amazing display of death-defying aviation, Wedge zoomed in with the Millenium Falcon and destroyed the massive space station. He will forever be known as one of the galaxy's finest pilots! (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus.

Commentary: Poor, poor Wedge Antilles can never get a break. Despite having a total of three action figures, a Titanium ship, an Action Fleet X-Wing, and more, he's pretty much guaranteed to always be a repaint or rehash. This particular release is, arguably, the best yet-- it takes the 1999 Wedge's head (which wasn't that great) and the 2004 Dutch Vander Gold Leader body which, again, wasn't that great. (It'll be reused for Biggs in 2007.) The figure has a fair amount of articulation, but he's a smidge tall, his head sculpt is ancient, and the helmet could be better. I won't get into the chin strap debate, but let's just say it could be better.

The wrinkles and folds in the costume aren't bad, but the joints in the hips and knees are a little stuff. The grey... stuff around his legs tends to be stiff as well, popping out of the hole in his backside if he tries to sit most of the time. This is a figure that, in its packaging, looks great. (After all, it's OTC packaging.) Outside, though, it's just another head swap, and this one really, honestly, shouldn't have been a $13 figure. Since Hasbro seems to make a new Wedge with old parts every few years, it's hard to advise anyone to go out and buy any one version-- an improved, but still sub-standard version will no doubt be in stores by 2011.

Collector's Notes: As a character that had actual lines in all three movies, it's a little surprising that none of his action figures have been very easy to get, fairly priced, or were made from a new mold. The first Wedge was the 1995 Hoth Pilot Luke with a new head-- and it looked rotten. The second Wedge was the 1998 Biggs body with a new head, which looked OK. And #1 came with a $30 carry case, and #2 was in an impossible-to-find (for a time) Rebel Pilots 3-pack that cost $20. Isn't it time Hasbro made an individually carded Wedge for its regular assortment, for less than $10?

Day 237: December 29, 2006

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