Friday, August 3, 2007

Figure of the Day: Day 454: Ric Olie

RIC OLIE with Helmet and Naboo Blaster
Episode I Collection 2
Item No.:
Asst. 84095 No. 84109
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, helmet, CommTech Chip
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $6.99
Availability: May 1999
Appearances: The Phantom Menace

Bio: Ric Olie is the pilot of the ill-fated Naboo spacecraft carrying Queen Amidala on Coruscant, the capital of the Galactic Republic. Their quest is to recruit help for the besieged planet of Naboo. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' figure boxes.

Commentary: With Episode I, Hasbro decided to make tons of figures so new fans could collect them all and old fans would have new, never-before-made movie figures from the first new movie in over 15 years. Some of them were huge hits-- and some were Ric Olie. The figure is, on paper, a good one. After all, he piloted two different vehicles-- the Royal Starship, and the Naboo Fighter. He has a removable helmet, and was fairly well articulated with the standard six joints. His likeness was good. His outfit was colored properly. His gun was neat, and his helmet wasn't too small (although it was a snug fit.) Ultimately fans just said "I'd rather buy another Darth Maul" and the rest is toy history. There's really nothing wrong with this figure-- sure, his legs are slightly restricted by his coat, but the figure can still sit down and pilot most vehicles. It just goes to show you that doing a minor figure and doing a good job of it doesn't always translate to sales. Heck, Ric could be considered a troop builder-- I bought a few myself for current (and hypothetical future) vehicle piloting needs. No additional Naboo pilot figures were ever announced, fans aren't requesting them today, and by and large, this is a figure most collectors (and likely Hasbro) prefer not to think about.

Collector's Notes: How does Hasbro spell poison? "R-i-c O-l-i-e." This figure was part of the problem that resulted in a lot of stores realizing that they shouldn't have carried Star Wars in such big numbers. The reason for the figure's poor sales are all over the place-- everybody had a story. In some cases, he shipped in higher numbers. Some sources indicated he had a greater role in the movie which was cut down because his acting wasn't up to George Lucas' standards. And of course, there's the issue that he's a balding guy who didn't do much other than sit in a spaceship and bark exposition. For whatever reason, the figure was good, but unsold units could be found at grocery stores, toy stores, and drug stores for a couple of years after the entire Episode I line was phased out. Nothing's more fun than seeing this one when you're hunting post-Attack of the Clones product, let me tell you. Hasbro did the right thing by making this figure for us, and I'm glad they did-- because there's probably zero chance of a new Naboo pilot ever being made due to this one's record at retail.

Day 454: August 3, 2007

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