Thursday, June 30, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,577: Salacious Crumb

SALACIOUS CRUMB with Jabba the Hutt
The Legacy Collection Wal-Mart Exclusive
Item No.:
No. 94727
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Oola and Jabba the Hutt figures, throne, throw pillows, pipe, bowl, railing
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $34.97
Availability: August 2010
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Jabba the Hutt and Salacious Crumb sit on a throne as Oola dances for the crime lord. The loathsome Hutt is momentarily entertained by the Twi'lek dancer's graceful performance. His monkey-lizard cackles with glee, knowing that Jabba will soon turn to some other amusement, such as throwing another victim to the hungry rancor. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's toy shelf.

Commentary: You can't go wrong with Salacious Crumb as a toy. Good or bad, it's always a neat character. The original figure was designed to sit on the throne, while the 1998 and 2001 releases shared a sculpt with tails that allowed him to stand on his own to some extent. This release-- which is a redeco of a 2007 figure-- was the first to have more than one point of articulation. This version of Mr. Crumb sports jointed hips and shoulders as well as a ball-jointed head, which helps in making him look as cackley as possible. The sculpt is pretty great, and the figure was designed with sitting in mind-- specifically, tormenting C-3PO. He has no problems perching on a pillow, or near Jabba the Hutt.

This figure is different from previous releases mostly in deco-- it's worth noting that this is the most ornate version of the mold yet. The head has both the upper and lower parts of the beak painted this time, and the hair is slightly darker than previous releases. It seems the paint is darker overall, and the head is also a smidgen darker than the previous one. So it's different, but it may not be different enough to be worthwhile. Since the 2007 release includes a cool C-3PO and the 2010 release includes Jabba the Hutt, I assume you'll want to make sure you buy both.

Collector's Notes: This figure is a redeco of the 2007 Salacious Crumb bundled with C-3PO. This mold is being used again for a 2011 Comic-Con exclusive boxed set of figures in Revenge of the Jedi packaging inside a big cardboard Death Star box, but exact deco changes (if any) are unknown. According to comments made at Toy Fair 2011, I was told the Comic-Con release should be identical to one of the previous releases save for packaging.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,577: June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,576: Paploo

PAPLOO and Nho'Apakk
The Legacy Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87535 No. 93129
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #BD18
Includes: Hood, staff, droid piece, knife, belt, extra Ewok
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: September 2009
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Nho'Apakk and Paploo are two of the Ewoks who inhabit the forested moon of Endor. Like all Ewoks, they prefer to avoid confrontation but are fearsome warriors when threatened. They fight alongside the Rebels to subdue the stormtroopers during the Battle of Endor, ultimately helping to defeat the Empire. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's toy room. I think that's Mighty Muggs Prowl's box behind him.

Commentary: One of the most-requested figures for an update has been Paploo. The Power of the Jedi release was done specifically to fit on a Speeder Bike and reused Wicket's body, so this one... well, it reuses another Ewok body, but it looks more normal. The head, headdress, belt, and staff are new scultps but we've seen the body a few times since 2007. Jointed at the wrist, ankles, shoulders, neck, waist, and hips, this figure has better articulation than any previous Paploo toy. The head sculpt seems to be liked by some and not by others, but there's no doubt that his gear turned out great. The staff has a lot of great detail, with a painted grip and other minor flourishes, and the headdress looks like it stepped right out of the movie... and was turned into rubbery plastic. It looks good, though! Plus the belt! Don't forget the belt, because it has a removable knife as a bonus weapon. To think, this figure was packaged with a second full Ewok figure for the asking price too! It was also the final such 2-pack to date, as it seems all new Ewoks are singles from here on out. Oh, the end of an era!

I like this Paploo more than the previous release, but not as much as the first Kenner figure in the 1980s. They're all neat and good for different reasons, and I'd suggest getting this one simply because I suggest every Ewok as a worthy purchase.

Collector's Notes: Ewok figure 2-packs always do well at retail, meaning they aren't totally worthless. If you want this set today, it'll cost you $15-$20 despite being somewhat easy to get back in 2009 when he first hit.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,576: June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,575: EVO Trooper (Camo)

The Legacy Collection Toys "R" Us Exclusive Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Figure Pack
Item No.:
Asst. 97910 No. 97911
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #1 of 2
Includes: Backpack, twin pistols, rifle
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $29.99
Availability: April 2010
Appearances: The Force Unleashed

Bio: Trained to survive the galaxy's most treacherous weather conditions, EVO troopers have enhanced armor that withstands extreme heat, acid rivers and lightning. Their FA-3 flechette launchers fire shards of metal capable of hitting multiple targets. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's kitchen. The blue dot you can see is my work computer in the other room.

Commentary: If you're anything like me, you bought the original Imperial EVO Trooper in 2008 as part of the 30th Anniversary Collection, and then again when they repackaged it in The Legacy Collection. So why not buy him again? This time around the previously mostly-white figure has had a generous amount of brown camo added to the figure, while some of the knee and shoulder pads lost their grey coloring. I wouldn't rate it better or worse than the original release, but it certainly is different. It still has 14 points of articulation and some great gear, but the toy itself is sort of a lateral move in terms of its appearance. I personally prefer the first carded release, but I don't mind getting new and weird troopers. A black redeco would be nice, but hey, this is better than just more of the same, right?

Collector's Notes: As of now it seems this set has been purged from Toys "R" Us at retail, although it wouldn't stun me if you saw some stragglers. For about $30 it's a wonderful set and is well worth your buying it.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,575: June 28, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,574: Anakin Skywalker (Naboo Pilot)

The Clone Wars Mini Vehicles
Item No.:
Asst. 94737 No. 94828
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, helmet, stand, vehicle
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $18.99
Availability: July 2010
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: Anakin disguises himself as a Naboo pilot to escort Padme on a mission. He conceals his identity while secretly guarding the senator, who takes on the dangerous assignment of spying on a colleague. Sleek and elegant, the Naboo star skiff is covered in gleaming chromium and armed with blaster cannons to discourage threatening encounters. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's kitchen. The blue dot you can see is my work computer in the other room.

Commentary: I initially expected the Anakin Skywalker from this set to be a pre-paint, an example of Hasbro giving us a redeco before the "real" figure. The fact that we still have no Captain Typho has proven me totally wrong so far, as the outfits are pretty similar. Anakin is articulated at the neck, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hips, making him a good figure and an exceptional figure as pack-in pilots go. He can bend just right to sit in his vehicle, and the sculpt is basically exactly what it should be. The removable helmet is nice, the head sculpt is good, and the coloring ain't bad. There's some great detail in the boots, and the red plastic really looks good as it seems to have this wonderful texture that brings it to life. I like this set, and it's nice to see another "in disguise" figure for a change. It's a great way to satisfy people who want a new figure with Hasbro's desire to keep cranking out the most popular characters in new forms.

Collector's Notes: I like this figure and I like the vehicle as well. These items will be packaged under a new assortment SKU and a new product SKU this August or so as Hasbro resets the line-- it should be the same toy in a smaller package. If you're a fan of the Kenner Mini-Rigs from 1981 or so through 1985, this is a must-buy. The Naboo Star Skiff feels like the best spiritual descendant from the 1980s Kenner-designed mini-vehicles, and if I could find a way to vac-metalize this cheaply I'd arrange for someone to do that. (I hear companies in China and Asia do this with Zoids kits all the time. This ship would be awesome all chromed out, don't you think?) Also, it looks like this item will be repackaged in a new 2011-style box at a lower price.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,574: June 27, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,573: Hoth Rebel Trooper

REBEL TROOPER Defense of Hoth, Bearded
The Legacy Collection* Target Exclusive Gift Set
Item No.:
Asst. 97632 No. 97634
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Hat, pistol, rifle, backpack, Radar Laser Cannon, Turret, K-3PO, another Rebel figure, medium repeating blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $39.99
Availability: October 2010
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: The Rebels defend their base on Hoth with every available weapon in their arsenal. They know they can't defeat the Imperial forces attacking them, but they need to delay them long enough to evacuate the base. Rebel troopers blast the enemy from laser towers that ring the base, and fire anti-vehicle cannons and medium repeating blasters at the Snowtroopers and AT-ST walkers. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's Hoth turret.

Commentary: This Rebel Trooper was issued twice in two exclusive sets over the course of about three months-- that's unusual for a figure with exclusive deco. Modeled after the 2009 carded Legacy Collection Hoth Rebel Trooper, this version has a slightly lighter shade of brown for his facial hair. He's still super-articulated, and really a great addition to any army builder's collection. Actually the whole set is pretty slick, with troopers and droids plus a bunch of fun big hardware to add to your snow dioramas. The figure itself has a great sculpt with soft goods around the "skirt" region plus a working holster for his pistol, making it a pretty swell figure that really could have (and should have) been sold carded. I mean, I'm pretty sure both you and I would buy more of these.

It's one of Hasbro's finer Rebel figures as of late, so if you have the chance to get him in this or another exclusive pack I suggest that you do so. You won't be sorry!

Collector's Notes: This figure is pretty swell, if you like such things.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,573: June 24, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,572: Rystall

RYSTALL Jabba's Dancers
Power of the Force Cinema Scenes
Item No.:
Asst. 69650 No. 69849
Manufacturer: Kenner
Number: n/a
Includes: Base, two other figures
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: Mid-Late 1998
Appearances: Return of the Jedi: Special Edition

Bio: Rystáll Sant was a dancer for the Max Rebo Band. She was a near-Human hybrid, born to a Theelin father and a Human mother. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam's Jabba diorama.

Commentary: Do you know and old lady when you see one? I didn't. Rystall had a cameo in Revenge of the Sith but you first met her in the 1997 Return of the Jedi rerelease. The figure was more or less normal for her day, which is to say you get 6 points of articulation. She has no problems standing, but her pose is very dance-specific. I guess she makes a convincing singer too. The figure's sculpt is quite good, with lots of winkles, feathery hair, and-- to say the least-- distinctive hooves on her feet. The purple figure is really colorful, particularly for Jabba's Palace with its many earthy browns. While she can't hold anything in her hands, the figure is pretty much required for a cool Jabba's Palace diorama. (Yes, even if you hate the Special Editions. Those new aliens were pretty cool, you have to admit.)

Collector's Notes: The set was blown out from Hasbro/Kenner around 2000 and was available for cheap online for years. She was also reissued in the 30th Anniversary Collection line in a set of mixed Jabba's Palace Max Rebo Band boxed sets with no significant changes. As such, if you want one, you can get one. The entire set of 3 dancers now sells for about $7. I've seen auctions close for a sealed box sample of this set for as little as $4.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,572: June 23, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,571: R3-A2

R3-A2 Build-A-Droid
The Legacy Collection Droid Factory Figure
Item No.:
Asst. 87535
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: Removable parts
Retail: n/a
Availability: October 2009
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: R3-A2 was an orange R3-series astromech droid. It was seen in the Rebel base during the Battle of Hoth. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam's old back yard.

Commentary: It's rare that astromech droids get more than one toy unless you're R2-D2, but one of the few minor robots to get the second shot at plastic was R3-A2. His first release was a repaint of R3-T7 for Toys "R" Us, but the 2009 figure had better proportions, more accurate deco, and a nice clear dome. With the wide variety of deco in astromech droids, each of the two R3-A2s are different enough where you could probably consider them different droids, so robot fans should see both figures as absolutely essential to their collections. The Saga version sold at Toys "R" Us has an orange box around his central eye, while this version has a largely clear "face." In the movie, the face was clear, so the newer one is clearly (hah) the better of the two. The coloring has gone from orange to more of a reddish orange, and the white plastic is also a little brighter.

Like other astromech droids of this build, he has articulated ankles on his outer feet, a removable third leg, and the usual arm/leg and dome articulation. It's a great little figure if you like these kinds of figures (and I know that you do), so be sure to get one for your Hoth dioramas some day soon. I wouldn't classify it as a remarkable piece, but it's very good and I can't complain about it. (That's high praise.)

Collector's Notes: This figure was packaged with the Star Wars wave of late 2009, and parts of him were packed with 8 different figures-- some of which got to be pretty cheap on the clearance racks of 2010. I wouldn't suggest dropping more than $7 or so on him, just because the individual figures to build him should be $5 or so each-- and really, why not get yourself a whole bunch of figures? Currently, he goes for about $10.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,571: June 22, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,570: Tusken Raider

TUSKEN RAIDER Red Clan "Vintage" Adult
30th Anniversary Collection Bantha with Tusken Raiders Battle Pack
Item No.:
No. 87378
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Cloak, gaffi stick
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $44.99
Availability: Spring 2007
Appearances: Attack of the Clones

Bio: Tusken Raiders are fierce desert savages that keep to themselves, and are a terrifying presence to the colonists that live on Tatooine. Swathed from head to toe in rags and robes, Tusken Raiders brandish their bladed clubs called gaderffii sticks with menacing skill. Also known as Sand People, these aggressive nomads dwell in the rocky Jundland Wastes of Tatooine and ride single file on banthas to conceal their numbers. (Taken from the figure's box.)

Image: Adam's floor.

Commentary: This Tusken Raider is the great 2006 Vintage figure with new deco and new fabric elements. Rather than the wrinkly, bunched-up tan material we now have flat red material covering the figure. It looks less realistic, but it appears completely different from the previous release. The gaffi stick is a great accessory, and the sculpted elements of the figure's body are now a dark reddish brown color while the head is pretty much the same thing. The articulation is identical to the Vintage release.

I like this figure-- and set-- less than I like what it represents. I'm so totally excited when Hasbro can expand the Star Wars universe with its toys, so things like Mini-Rigs (when done well) or the creation of this new clan of Tuskens is just something that makes me smile. I hope we see grey or black clans some day too, or even more of the reds would be nice. I don't think most fans are going to want these, but I find the whole thing quite exciting. Get them if you like fun!

Collector's Notes: If memory serves, Hasbro said there was an even split between the "beige clan" (i.e., original colors) of the Tusken Raider battle packs and the "red clan." The red clan was the second release, and I saw plenty of both spread across multiple cities in the southwestern USA. The red clan Tuskens have not been repackaged or sold elsewhere as of yet.

Day 1,570: June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,569: Shadow Trooper (Clone Bounty Hunter Disguise)

SHADOW TROOPER Enlisted trooper, more or less
30th Anniversary Collection Shared Exclusive
Item No.:
No. 87879
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Antenna, blaster, additional figure
Action Feature: Removable antenna
Retail: $16.99
Availability: Summer 2008
Appearances: n/a

Bio: These specialized troopers pose as bounty hunters or mercenaries to slip in and out of locations, quietly gathering vital information for the Republic. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's old desk.

Commentary: When the Jedi-Con exclusive Clone Trooper set was announced, I went from infuriated to indifferent in about five minutes. "How dare they give a German convention their own exclusive!" I thought. "We're the biggest market in the world, at least share the damn thing!" In no time Hasbro revealed this would be sold on and it would stay there for a few years, getting marked down, because it wasn't selling through.

Based on the 2005 Clone Trooper body (III-41), this "bounty hunter" figure is based on the 2005 Utapau Shadow Trooper which was a Target exclusive. This one has more vibrant colors, the red visor is much sharper and the light grey paint is much brighter. There's dirt on the body, he still has the removable antenna, and his gun is a unique light grey color. (The Target Shadow Trooper is the 2003 AOTC Clone Trooper body with a new helmet and new deco.)

Collector's Notes: If you want this set, you should be able to get it fairly cheap. Do not over pay for this one unless the market demands it. Do some research first.

Day 1,569: June 20, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,568: Super Battle Droid

SUPER BATTLE DROID Another Version with Painted "Jet Pack"
The Clone Wars Clone Troopers & Droids Battle Pack
Item No.:
Asst. 94743 No. 19677
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Stand, additional figures, game card
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $24.99
Availability: June 2010
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: These heavy infantry droids are powerfully built, heavily armed and very strong. Some versions are specially equipped with flight packs for aerial combat. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's game shelves.

Commentary: I wish Hasbro would do even more repaints of the Super Battle Droid from The Clone Wars action figure line. Dropping the snap-on rocket launchers of the 2008 release, this figure takes that mold and repaints it into a striped version similar to the Mygeeto droids Hasbro put out a few years ago which were inspired by the Utapau Shadow Trooper action figures.

The really cool thing about this figure is Hasbro managed to "upgrade" this figure by using paint. Not only is it a dark armored figure with stripes and a big red dot, but if you flip him over there are yellow "jets" on his back. Just by slapping on some yellow paint, Hasbro gave this guy new powers. I love that. It's such a neat design, and you owe it to yourself to grab this set to see one for yourself. Well, that and the Retail Droid, which is basically a soda can with feet and guns. I love that too.

Collector's Notes: This redeco is one of my favorites. The set itself is quite common, plus it has some clones and another droid in it. It's big fun, and I say you should get one-- but you might want to wait, it seems common enough where the price may drop on the secondary market.

Day 1,568: June 17, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,567: Jacen Solo

JACEN SOLO Han and Leia's Kid
The Legacy Collection Shared Exclusive Expanded Universe Wave
Item No.:
Asst. 87535 No. 93306
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #BD59
Includes: Lightsaber, amphistaff armor
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: May 2010
Appearances: Expanded Universe

Bio: Jacen Solo is the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo and is gifted with the ability to communicate with animals. He uses this gift when battling the Yuuzhan Vong: he calls amphistaff serpents to him, and they encircle him to form protective armor. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam's game shelves.

Commentary: In 2009, as the year was winding down, Hasbro bumped a couple of waves into 2010. The bad news is that this meant 2010 was really boring, and the worse news was that Jacen Solo and the other figures from this wave were bumped to exclusive status, shared between Toys "R" Us (which got a 30-day window) and the dotcom market.

Rather than sculpt an entirely new body, Jacen uses a 2007 Vintage Bespin Luke body and gives him a new head with new gear. The darker outfit looks much better than it did on his uncle, and the added Yuuzhan Vong-inspired gear helps hide the fact that this excellent figure is 80% recycled parts. His lightsaber is green which, I guess, is fine and the junk around the figure's neck is a nice touch. It's a pretty great figure, and I'm sure fans of the novels will consider him a required purchase. As my excitement generally comes from the more visual aspects of the franchise, I was less enthusiastic about Jacen when compared to, say, K'kruhk.

Collector's Notes: I think I saw one of this figure on shelves once. There was a lot-- and I mean a lot of whining about this wave's distribution at Toys "R" Us, but the online supplies seem to have been pretty extensive if you actually ordered on time. For those hunting only at brick-and-mortar, though, this wasn't exactly easy to get.

Day 1,567: June 16, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,566: Storm Commando

STORM COMMANDO and General Weir
The Legacy Collection Wal-Mart Exclusive Comic Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 93269 No. 93607
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Helmet, bandolier, blasters
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $14.88
Availability: March 2010
Appearances: Rogue Leader comics

Bio: General Weir launches a counter-rebellion after the Battle of Endor to undermine the Rebel Alliance. The Imperial general discovers that Luke Skywalker is in the city of Coronet and, with his stormtroopers and storm commandos, goes after the Rebel hero. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's former back yard.

Commentary: Part of another Wal-Mart exclusive series of comic packs, the Storm Commando was one of at least four black repaints of a Scout Trooper mold. This one was a straight redeco with no new heads or parts-- the white figure is now black, he has two blaster pistols (see the rubber bands), and a working holster on his ankle. The figure has some dark matte black paint on his person, with a silver visor on his helmet. While Hasbro probably could have left him molded in black, they didn't and the resulting product is all the better for it.

Collector's Notes: This is probably the least interesting of the black Scout Trooper repaints. One was sold with a black Speeder Bike as a Comic-Con exclusive. General Weir had a removable helmet and red bandoliers. A 2009 figure had a new head sculpt and new greaves on his legs, which is arguably the best of them. This one is still pretty cool, though, and a worthy addition to your armies of black repaints. (Everyone out there has a shelf of just black repaints by now, right?)

Day 1,566: June 15, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,565: Kettch

KETTCH in Stormtrooper Disguise
The Legacy Collection Wal-Mart Exclusive Comic Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 12974 No. 87884
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Armor, axe, knife, hood, additional Ewoks, comic book
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $11.99
Availability: March 2009
Appearances: Star Wars Marvel comic books

Bio: Kettch was created by Wes Janson during the hunt for Warlord Zsinj as a prank, much to Wedge Antilles's dismay. According to Wes, Kettch was an eager Ewok fitted with prosthetics which enabled him to fly an X-wing. (Stolen from Wookieepedia, and not at all descriptive of the character in the comics or the action figure.)

Image: Adam's Galactic Heroes backdrop from an AT-RT.

Commentary: One of the most delightful things about the Star Wars line is that it's so big and draws from so many sources that I'm always finding new sub-categories to get excited about. Around 2007 Hasbro got religion with Ewoks, cranking out 2 or more of the little buggers every year. Kettch is based on the furballs as seen in Marvel's Star Wars comic series, where a bunch of angry Ewoks grabbed surplus armor from the Battle of Endor and decided to go fight a group of little blue and pink aliens who were visiting. (This is why the hood is bright orange-- they're trying to capture the Marvel coloring.)

Based on the 1997 Romba sculpt, this figure adds a Clone Trooper armor piece and an axe. Cool, eh? The knife is removable from its sheath, he has ball-jointed ankles and shoulders, and the deco on the body of Kettch seems to be a better Romba than the real Romba. (The nose is better.) I love the idea of Ewoks picking up war scrap and wearing it, so I think this is a fantastic set you should all buy.

Collector's Notes: This comic 3-pack was Wal-Mart's exclusive and has not been reissued. I do not expect that it will be, so buy one if you stumble on one. It was easy to get where I shopped, but I did hear fan complaints that it was not available in their area. I also heard other fans claim it was a pegwarmer. So yeah, that's life in America.

Day 1,565: June 14, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,564: Bom Vimdin

BOM VIMDIN Cantina Patron
The Vintage Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 97568 No. 28621
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: VC48
Includes: Pistol, rifle, glass
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99-$10.99
Availability: July 2011
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Celebrate the legendary Star Wars saga that changed the universe forever! This collection brings to life the incredible story of good versus evil that captured our imagination and took us to a galaxy far, far away. Iconic Star Wars heroes and villains are captured with incredible detail and premium features to commemorate each epic tale in the Star Wars saga. May the Fore be with you! (Taken from the figure's packaging. There is no bio.)

Image: Adam's kitchen.

Commentary: Cantina aliens are a tricky thing-- we love them, we demand them, but as a group we don't always buy them. The last new ones came out around October of 2009, but stuck around until shortly after Vintage launched in 2010 in some markets, meaning it was really no shock that Bom Vimdin is the first (and so far only) Cantina alien released in 2011. With 14 points of articulation, plus a working holster, fans should have little to complain about as engineering goes. The figure can stand, point his rifle, sit, or do whatever. It looks better than most aliens, even ones where Hasbro has significantly more reference material. The gloves are just so perfect, the knobby vest looks genuinely wonderful, and the pants feel aged. The same can be said for the face, which is wrinkly and a little dirty with the trademark horn in the forehead, giant eyes, and pointy ears.

Generally speaking it seems Hasbro put a little more work into Jabba's Palace aiens, but this time it seems this Advozse figure has trumped them all. This guy would be right at home in Jabba's Palace or your Cantina display, and he has enough gear to be exciting in almost any scenario. If you have the chance, get him-- he's great. A quality figure, I hate paying $9 for a figure but the amount of detail on this guy is pretty incredible. Get it.

Collector's Notes: Between Hasbro solicitation typos and trading cards, it seems most of us don't know how to spell his name-- myself and the authors of several books included. It is, in fact, Bom Vimdin with 1 D and 1 N in the last name. (I always saw it as "Bom Vimdim." This is the only version of the character so far, but there's another outfit-- in addition to the knobby brown vest, there's a version with a smooth blue vest and a light blue shirt in various Cantina photography, presumably from the Holiday Special. Check Wookieepedia for pictures. So hey Hasbro-- if you're willing to sculpt an alternate torso, you can repaint the rest of the figure and get a totally different outfit.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,564: June 13, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,563: AC-38 (Ace-38)

AC-38 Star Tours Travel Agency
Star Tours Travel Agency Gift Set
Item No.:
No. 33244
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Base, four other figures
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $39.95
Availability: May 2011
Appearances: Star Tours

Bio: Ace-38 is the tour droid who pilots the Starspeeder 1000 on its daily trips. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's kitchen.

Commentary: Sometimes it's tough to tell the real name of a toy-- the packaging for this one says Ace-38 in multiple places, but Wookieepedia and other resources have him as the (more sensible) AC-38. What I can tell you without question, though, is that this newly tooled figure is actually quite nice. The short droid is about the same height as the Utai (so like R2-D2ish). He's got about 11 points of articulation, with swivels at the wrists, shoulders, hips, forearms, and neck plus bending elbows and bending (and rotating) knees. For an exclusive figure, it's quite good. The figure feels as if it were designed to be able to sit inside a hypothetical Starspeeder 1000 toy, and since there's a larger one in development (supposedly Hasbro-compatible but not a Hasbro product) it's nice to know that this figure may be able to sit in the pilot's seat with few problems. Maybe. I'm hoping.

The deco is great-- grey plastic with blue and orange, matching the motifs of the original (and now very 1980s) ride. He fits right in with the Star Tours Officer and Aly San San, so don't be afraid to set up a nice shelf with these guys on there. They'll match! He's also got a jointed visor on his head, which can be lowered over his eyes if you're so inclined. It's a cute little robot and I'd say it's right up there with Captain Rex (the Disney one) in terms of nifty-itude. It also has a unique torso that looks a little like C-3PO's in places, plus sports a tiny, tiny Star Tours logo on his chest. Due to how the light reflects on it, you can see it in the picture-- it's orange, if you can't tell.

The only thing about this figure I might gripe about is that the design has joints for the ankles and wrists, but the toy does not. It's not a huge loss-- 11 joints is plenty for a short figure-- but more is always better, isn't it? If you're collecting the Star Tours sub-line this is worth picking up. And as sub-lines go, it's getting pretty damned big! Hasbro made 12 individually carded figures plus a number of boxed sets, and depending on how you count that's a grand total of another 23 or so figures. (But that includes the Jedi Mickeys packaged with Yoda and R2-MK, which, really, shouldn't count.)

Collector's Notes: As a new set, it's showing up at various Disney parks right now. This sample was picked up by my pal Shannon at Disneyland a few days ago... and I just happened to be in Los Angeles for meetings so I got to make a hand-off. The set also includes the newly-sculpted Signal Droid, a repackaged C-3PO, and repainted figures Aly San San (WA-7 redeco) and an Utai Luggage Attendant. A companion "Ambush at Star Tours" set hit at the same time. Of the two sets, the Star Tours Travel Agency offers more bang for the buck with more figures, more NEW stuff, and more gear. Collect all 30-something Star Tours action figures-- that's close to what all of Indiana Jones ever got!

Day 1,563: June 10, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,562: Clone Trooper Lieutenant

The Legacy Collection Comic Packs Wave 7
Item No.:
Asst. 87504 No. 91772
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #10
Includes: Helmet, grappling hook, blaster, extra figure
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $14.99
Availability: March 2010
Appearances: Star Wars: Routine Valor Comic Book

Bio: Clone Troopers display more than "Routine Valor" during a battle on Sarrish. When their Republic gunship crashes near a dangerous gun emplacement, the clones launch an attack to capture the promontory on which the gun is anchored. Although the odds are against them, the troopers dont hesitate to take on the deadly challenge. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's old neighbor's yard. The fence was low.

Commentary: Part of the last retail wave of comic packs, this orange Clone Trooper Lieutenant takes pieces of a few existing figures and bashes them together into this unique ranking officer. The kama is similar to the ARC Trooper one. The helmet is similar to the Evolutions sculpt. And the gun? Well, that's new. The blaster rifle has a hole in the barrel which can hold a grappling hook. It doesn't fire or launch, but it just looks cool. The figure has modified 212th Battalion orange markings, and is a pretty clean design. There aren't a lot of dents or dirty marks, making this figure look somewhat pristine. I don't consider the figure a required purchase, but if you have a need for big armies with lots of variety you need to buy this set.

Collector's Notes: While this wave of comic packs tends to be somewhat expensive, this set doesn't seem to be too bad most of the time. If you can get it for roughly retail, you should. Otherwise, just settle for some basic orange clones, and you'll probably be just as happy. The most exciting thing about this one, for me, is the grapple gun.

Day 1,562: June 9, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,561: Rohlan Dyre

ROHLAN DYRE and Jarael
The Legacy Collection Entertainment Earth Exclusive Comic Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 87504 No. 91774
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #15
Includes: Blaster, helmet, backpack, Jarael figure, comic book reprint
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: November 2010
Appearances: Knights of the Old Republic comic books

Bio: Rohlan Dyre was a Human male Mandalorian Crusader and a former commander who fought in the early skirmishes of the Mandalorian Wars. He deserted the wars multiple times in an attempt to find answers pertaining to the war itself. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' apartment's rock pile. What a wonderful amenity.

Commentary: When Hasbro approached me with this wave as an exclusive for my day job at Entertainment Eart, I didn't realize that Rohlan Dyre would be the best of the wave. Truth is, I was excited to get Baron Fel with a decent head sculpt. This great ancient Mandalorian turned out especially well, with a removable helmet, amazingly detailed armor, a removable knife in his boot, a blaster in his holster, and a backpack. Really, you can't beat that for a comic pack figure. I'm surprised Hasbro didn't just hold back on him and sell him carded as a Vintage figure... it's certainly cool enough.

The sculpt of this Knights of the Old Republic comic book figure is wonderful. He has pits in his armor, gashes and cuts, little sculpted rivets (check out his back if you got one), loads of straps, wrinkles, creases, and other stuff. There could stand to be a little more dirt on the figure, but even as a clean release this blue and red armored warrior is pretty slick stuff.

Under the helmet is the character from the comic, complete with scars. I think the sculpt is wonderful, but the painted "scar" seems to clash with the character's dark skin a little much. It's not very subtle, like on Jango Fett figures. He's got nice hair and a decent expression, and my guess is Hasbro scarred this guy and made him meaner as a reaction to the Mandalorians sold in the Elite Forces of the Republic set a few years ago. There's no mistaking this guy for an accountant or an engineer, the dude under the helmet is a mean warrior type. As such, he should be welcome in your collection.

Collector's Notes: Hey, I sell this at my day job. You should buy one, support both this site and my employer so I can afford to spend more time writing about toys for you. I can't get too specific but it is indeed a limited edition.

Day 1,561: June 8, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,560: General McQuarrrie

30th Anniversary Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 87500 No. 85374
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #3040
Includes: Blaster, display stand, hat
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $6.99
Availability: Fall 2007
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Hailing from the prosperous planet of Ralltiir, General Pharl McQuarrie watches as his world is crushed in the iron-fisted grasp of the Empire. He joins the Rebel Alliance and helps establish the Rebels' new base on Hoth, working closely with his friend Jeroen Webb. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' kitchen.

Commentary: In 2007, Hasbro took its Major Derlin mold and slapped on a new head. The result is General McQuarrie, another in a long line of behind-the-scenes people getting an action figure. He retains the holster, and the articulation is the same as Derlin-- 10 points, with cut joints at the wrists and elbows. While some fans took issue with the lack of ball joints, it's certainly good enough for the character. He can still man a giant gun, or hang out in front of a Snowspeeder. The uniform sculpt is adequate, combined with the texture of plastic used it looks pretty good but it's still obviously a toy. A little more texture on the uniform would probably make it feel like a better figure, but since Hasbro was reusing an existing body there wasn't a whole heck of a lot they could do to improve it other than the head.

Speaking of the head, the figure also has a thermal hat accessory. I prefer to leave it off, as it doesn't fit too well and it blocks the view of the Ralph McQuarrie head sculpt. I hope we see more cameo figures as the line goes on-- we got a few George Lucas toys, maybe we can get Ben Burtt or Matt Wood next.

Collector's Notes: The figure sold pretty well, although he did hang around despite shipping in only one wave. He has not been reissued and I don't expect that he will.

Day 1,560: June 7, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,559: Jawa

JAWA The Short One
Original Trilogy Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 84715 No. 85374
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: OTC-24
Includes: Blasters, base, tall Jawa
Action Feature: Light-up eye port on head
Retail: $4.99
Availability: Fall 2004
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Jawas are scavengers who live on Tatooine, home of the heroic Rebel Luke Skywalker. Jawas ride through the desert in their huge sandcrawler vehicles searching for wayward droids and discarded scrap. They trade and sell their equipment and hardware throughout the colonies. Jawas capture R2-D2 and C-3PO when the droids land on Tatooine, and sell them to Luke's uncle. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' patio thing.

Commentary: During the Original Trilogy Collection line most collectors got super-excited by the fact that Hasbro reissued all these great figures in really awesome packaging. (I think the OTC line packaging is better than the current Vintage line. It just looks better.) The earliest rereleases in that series were just straight reissues, but as time went on Hasbro applied new and better paint to some of its older molds. The Jawa set included two unique Jawa molds from 1996 in a set for five bucks, with new darker coloring and a black wipe applied to the mold. The light-up eye port was retained, and it tends to work really well on this mold.

The sculpt was awesome for 1997 and by today's standards isn't anything too special. For diorama filler or to pack your Sandcrawler, this may be one of the best figures you can get. The figure has three (possibly four, if you can get the head to budge) joints and is pretty much only good at standing. He can try to sit, but the angle at which the legs can move and the figure's pose will prevent it from being able to actually sit down inside something. So he'll just be standing, and the big uni-leg has no problem doing that.

The sculpted detail here is really remarkable, particularly for a figure that was (at the time of its release) about eight years old. The twin pack of Jawas seems to be long gone, so you're going to need to (or want to) track this one down. It's neat, it's well-designed, and it's a quality plaything. As a packaged item, this set is gorgeous. As loose figures, this is a wonderful set. You've got no excuse to not buy it unless one Jawa is enough for you and the 2009 ones were good enough.

Collector's Notes: This deco was only sold in the OTC 2-pack. Jawas sold with the OTC Sandcrawler had the original 1996 deco. The 2004 OTC set proved to be quite popular, but I saw it several times and also bought a few of them too. (I like Tusken Raiders and I also like Jawas.)

Day 1,559: June 6, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,558: Aayla Secura

Revenge of the Sith Collection 2
Item No.:
Asst. 85174 No. 85360
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #III-32
Includes: Lightsaber hit, blade, display stand
Action Feature: Hilt plugs into Jedi belt
Retail: $5.25-$6.99
Availability: March 2005
Appearances: Revenge of the Sith, Attack of the Clones

Bio: Aayla Secura is an empathic and highly intelligent Jedi Knight with impressive fighting skills. During the Clone Wars, she leads a battalion of clone troopers against the Separatist forces on the planet Felucia. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: My kitchen.

Commentary: This 2005 Aayla Secura action figure is so close to perfect it's infuriating. Hasbro did a wonderful job here, especially considering what it cost and what her peers looked like. The figure's sculpt is excellent-- her arms seem a smidgen thick but still great. Her blue skin has a little schmutz on it, and her shirt looks a little bit like leather. The texture is really nice, as is the sculpted fabric on her pants and... that flap in front of her crotch. What is that, a tabbard? Tabard? I don't know. I'm writing this on an airplane and can't check. Damn you, reliance on Google.

The figure is, on paper, super-articulated and a massive upgrade from the 2002 release. Her legs are about as perfect as you can get with ball-jointed knees and ankles, the waist pivot is right where the shirt meets the belly. It's perfect. The only shortcoming here is in the arms, as the ball-jointed shoulders and swivel wrists are slightly marred by the lack of ball-jointed elbows. The head sculpt is pretty great, and my favorite feature on this one is the lightsaber hilt which can plug into her belt. Awesome. The only better Aayla figure to date is the animated Clone Wars one, because she has a ton of articulation and space gear.

Collector's Notes: First released in 2005, this figure got a few releases in future Battle Packs. But without the cool stand. The stand is unique to this carded release, and the deco of this base was not used on any other releases of this display stand.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,558: June 3, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,557: R5-P9

R5-P9 Ekelarc Yong's Astromech Droid
The Legacy Collection Battle Over Endor
Item No.:
Asst. 97639 No. 21451
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #1 of 2
Includes: Removable antenna, 3 additional figures
Action Feature: Twist dome for bad motivator
Retail: $24.99-$31.99
Availability: January 2011
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Bravery. Skill. Loyalty. These are defining characteristics of the starfighter pilots on both sides of the conflict at the Battle of Endor. Whether they are Rebels or Imperials, these elite pilots are all focused on the same goal: victory. They are deeply aware that they are deciding the future of the galaxy, and will do everything they can to complete their mission. (Taken from the figure's packaging. Note, there's no character-specific copy on the packaging.)

Image: The backdrop from the packaging.

Commentary: As much as I love my astromech droids, I'm often surprised by what Hasbro elects to give us. While I do have some esoteric robots on my wish list, I can assure you that R5-P9 was not one of them. I didn't even know the name of his pilot companion, Ekelarc Yong, until I got the figure in my hands. I appreciate Hasbro's production of obscure designs to make things interesting for people like me, but seriously, who the Hell is this guy?

A repaint of the 2006 R5-D4 figure (which itself was a remold of the 2004 Vintage R2-D2), the figure has a removable third leg, a removable antenna, and a pop-up "bad motivator." The panel on the left-hand side of the droid is glued down, but the deco is really nice. There's a bit of grime on his body, a little grey and silver paint, and some nice big silver eyes. He's a cutie. I wouldn't define him as an essential purchase unless you're a droid fan... and I am, so I really do love having this guy around.

Collector's Notes: This set is in stores now, and is still really easy to find. If you don't get one, well, don't blame me.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,557: June 2, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,556: Battle Droid Commander

BATTLE DROIDS Commander, packed with "Dirty" Variant
Saga Legends
Item No.:
Asst. 85770 No. 87340
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, second figure, coin
Action Feature: Remove limbs and reassemble!
Retail: $6.99
Availability: Fall 2007
Appearances: The Phantom Menace

Bio: The Separatists utilize battle droids as their primary infantry forces. When assaulting strategically important worlds, these droid forces can be painted with special markings to help them blend into their environment. Though not individually a threat, attacking en masse these droids can become a formidable fighting force. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam's desk.

Commentary: If you can't get enough of the Battle Droid figure (or this mold) then you are going to love this one. The first of the Saga Legends repaints of this particular character, the Battle Droid Commander was exquisitely detailed and covered in dirt, yellow markings, and some silver on a few points too. Basically, Hasbro peaked as far as this mold goes in terms of deco right here. I wish they'd apply it to the new, even more poseable molds.

For those of you keeping track, this is the mold which came off the 2002 "Deluxe C-3PO with Battle Droid" set. The head, arms, and legs pop off at the joint, plus there's a backpack. You can swap limbs and make junker droids too if you want... and I think you do want. Get this one, if you only get one Saga Legends Battle Droids pack, make sure it's this one.

Collector's Notes: This set shipped on and off for a while, and the price on eBay seems to be going up-- somewhat unusual for Saga Legends. If you can get this set for $10 or less, I'd say you should make sure you get one. Or two. It's a nice set.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,556: June 1, 2011