Friday, December 17, 2010

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,438: Pit Droid

PIT DROID White Crouching Deco
30th Anniversary Collection Saga Legends (also Episode I bonus figure)
Item No.:
Asst. 85770 No. 84190
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Box, extra figure
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $6.99
Availability: Early 2000/Late 2007
Appearances: The Phantom Menace

Bio: Pit droids help repair and maintain podracers with zealous efficiency. Small yet incredibly strong, pit droids often dash onto the racetrack before the vehicles have stopped, risking their mechanical lives in their eagerness to get to work. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' desk, being grabbed by a 10-inch Force Battlers Anakin Skywalker. Which, I might add, is a really neat toy.

Commentary: Yet another claim against Hasbro never listening to fan needs, this Pit Droid was a reissue of a fairly scarce and expensive 1999 release from Europe and Asia. Over there, the Episode I line had bonus Battle Droid and Pit Droid figures rather than CommTech chips, and for whatever reason Hasbro opted out of releasing the Pit Droids in the USA until 2007. This resulted in very high prices on eBay but, oddly, I stumbled on some of these at Comic-Con for a couple of bucks in a pile of unwanted Gundam kits. Go figure.

The figure itself is good but arguably nothing special. With five points of articulation, this squatting cybernetic mechanic was designed as a pit crew for Pod Racer vehicles, of which there were a grand total of two. He has a ball-jointed head, unusual for the time, plus typical swivel shoulders and hips. He can stand or sit with ease, although his feet are too small for foot pegs. He can stand on his own with little problem, but he's still a snap to knock over. Due to his pose, he can be posed in a variety of useful ways including repairing stuff, lounging, sitting, and so on. This was the first pose Hasbro made for the figures, the later releases had the arms a little more skewed.

Collector's Notes: This figure's 1999 release was expensive and hard to find, but has since dropped. The 2-packs issued in 2007 are pretty close to worthless, so don't overpay for them-- anything over $10 shipped is too much right now.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,438: December 17, 2010


Philip Ayres said...

Not all of Europe had the Battle/Pit droids. The UK got English language chips like the UK and certain other nations got com chips in their own language, I know I've got two foreign language com chips in my box, the Nemodians in Spannish I think.

The Battle Droid variations were a big draw in the UK until The Entertainer toy chain got a load in cheap.... and in there were a few of one of the pit droid waves.

Bravo said...

Nemodians speaking Spanish? Did they still have their Asian stereotype accents?

I wanted a Battle Droid/bonus Battle Droid pack..."here's a good figure, here's a less articulated stunt double". Of course, with new battle droid 2 packs, why bother hunting down a decade old foreign release?