Monday, February 6, 2012

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,734: Anakin Skywalker

ANAKIN SKYWALKER Firing Lightsaber Launcher!
The Clone Wars Basic Action Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 37290 No. 37293
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: CW1
Includes: Lightsaber, display stand, launcher, projectile
Action Feature: Launching lightsaber disc
Retail: $8.99
Availability: January 2012
Appearances: Clone Wars TV series

Bio: Anakin defeats battle droids with a whirling Lightsaber attack. Using the Force, Skywalker launches into combat with lightning-swift maneuvers. The droids are no match for this powerful Jedi and soon fall under the spinning strikes from Anakin's blade. (Yes, this press release was taken from the Hasbro web site.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' photo area.

Commentary: I was actually quite surprised Hasbro cranked out another new Anakin Skywalker sculpt after having just released a very good one in the 2010/2011 range. Why not just keep using the same sculpt? After all, he has no new articulation-- the figure continues to lack ankles, and while thinner, he doesn't really look significantly better than the last release. He's still good-- don't get me wrong, but it's an overall lateral move. It's not better, it's not worse, it's just different.

The biggest change to the design is the addition to some cloth bits which allow for improved use in vehicles. He can sit better, although not significantly so. The range of motion is improved somewhat, but the deco is really what's visually different. The robes are a darker brown, with an almost grey piece hanging over them. He seems thinner and a little more rounded, his face isn't quite as angular as his predecessor. If anything, the head sculpt reminds me more of the 2008 versions of Anakin.. a little rounder, a little paler, a little less harsh. A tiny detail that I'm quite happy to see added is a communicator on his left wrist, which has been lacking from most previous releases. Bravo!

His new lightsaber launcher is an interesting but wonky piece of equipment-- it's charming in that it reminds me of the Kenner of old, in that it's too big to carry (ala Jurassic Park weapons) and the "lightsaber" part really doesn't look like a lightsaber. The launcher itself has a swordlike silhouette, and a teeny-tiny clip which can be positioned on Anakin's arm. At first glance, I thought it was designed to hold his lightsaber. That's how small it is.

Overall I would say it's an acceptable figure. It wasn't an essential release, and it looks marginally closer to the animation model than the previous one-- and the previous one looked a little more heroic with a thicker build and a harsher face. However, this 2012 Anakin can hold a weapon with either hand, so I guess that's an important evolutionary step forward. I'd much rather have seen an entirely new character (or outfit for Anakin), but it's a perfectly acceptable figure for kids and, I assume, most collectors.

Collector's Notes: New! And common. Anakin, Commander Cody, and the Clone Trooper were the only overwhelmingly new figures in this wave, with a refreshed Cad Bane and a repainted Chewbacca rounding it out in terms of potentially interesting releases. Given that this makes up 10 of the (alleged) 19 figures we're going to get this year, and we just saw another 5 pop up in a preview, I have a hard time believing that this will truly, honestly be all we see this year.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,734: February 6, 2012

1 comment:

Elias of "Customs for the Kid" said...

Another interesting thing about this figure that you might have missed is the hinge/ball joint on the head of the figure very similar to the neck joints found on the Thor figures. This is the first figure that I've seen made like this for the Star Wars line.