Monday, July 12, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,324: Jar Jar Binks (Senator)

JAR JAR BINKS Gungan Senator
Saga Collection 2
Item No.:
Asst. 84861 No. 84821
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #0224
Includes: Pole, electric bolt for pole
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: April 2002
Appearances: Attack of the Clones

Bio: Now a Senate representative from Naboo, Jar Jar wears the elaborate Gungan outfit deemed proper for the ceremonial grandeur of the Senate. In a twist of fate, Jar Jar is manipulated to propose the motion that gives Chancellor Palpatine the powers of an emperor. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' kitchen.

Commentary: While Jar Jar Binks doesn't get a break from fans for his character, and this is expected, one would think that a little more love would be lavished upon his toys. One would be wrong. Aside from the animated-style Jar Jar figure in 2009, this 2002 release was the final one. Actually, at press time, Hasbro hasn't made another one in the basic action figure movie-style line, and this one was a real stinker to go out on. Hasbro makes great figures-- and this is not one of them.

Jar Jar has an awkward pose, not seen on film. He has a weapon, not seen on film. As far as I know this wasn't the result of some excised scene, but rather Hasbro trying to make a character fans hate into something exciting. The end result is something that isn't true to the movie and isn't fun to play with, his big bulky robes prevent him from doing anything but looking awkward. His shoulders, neck, and poseable have articulation you can exploit but all you can have him do is "fight." It's kinda dippy, which is unfortunate because I'd like to have a Jar Jar in this outfit that, you know, just kinda stands around and looks OK. The sculpting and deco of this figure are quite good, but the problem here is that the pose and personality of the toy are all wrong. I can admire them for taking some license with it (and this very figure was on my desk for most of the past 7 years), but it really could have been a little more collector-friendly by not trying to amp up his combat-readiness.

Collector's Notes: Got a nickel? You can afford one of these. (Just like I can afford your mom. For a nickel.) But seriously, you can get one of these for next to nothing. As such, don't pay retail, get it in a lot or better still, get it from someone dumping their stash. As of today Hasbro has not confirmed a new Jar Jar based on any of the movies, and if you want the character in this costume it's literally your only choice.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,324: July 12, 2010


Anonymous said...

This figure looks good getting pushed out of the way by Orn Free Taa (as seen on ROTS, after the crsh landing of Invisble Hand.) At least that's where I use him in my display.

Bravo said...

Another figures that shows why Saga (2002) mostly sucked. A straight forward "boring" character in robes was made into a nonsensical action pose (and it still peg warmed). Hasbro screwed over "Attack of the Clones" by making stuff that often didn't even look good or was gimmick ladened to the pointless of being next to useless.

Compare Episode 1 toys, which were better overall, very few obnoxiously posed figures, mostly in the Cinema Scenes.