Thursday, March 1, 2012

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,752: AT-RT Driver

The Vintage Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 97568 No. 28438
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: VC46
Includes: Helmet, rifle, other rifle, backpack
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: February 2011
Appearances: Revenge of the Sith

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 Pawlus' Ultarama

Commentary: Adventure! Excitement! Three waves in to 2011, it would seem a Star Wars collector craves not these things. New characters were far and few between, so an upgrade of the AT-RT Driver-- especially without an easily purchased movie-style AT-RT on the market since 2005-- seemed odd. Sure, it's a quality figure, but the usual questions of "why him?" and "why now?" are hard to ignore. Of course, now a year has passed, so I guess this kind of thing doesn't matter so much. With 14 points of articulation, he's on par with the 2005 release while having a slightly improved range of movement. The sculpt is crisper, the deco is just a little better, and the removable backpack is a nice touch. While better than previous releases, I wouldn't say it's significantly better except in the articulation department. The addition of ball-jointed hips allow him to better ride a vehicle, but since Hasbro has kept movie AT-RTs out of circulation he may not be a figure that you noticed you were missing just yet.

It's a strange place to be in to have a figure like this-- which is nicely sculpted, well-engineered, and nicely accessorized-- and find it boring. It's an AT-RT Driver, and a good one. The 2005 one was really good too. Given the vast difference in pricing, I suppose get whatever floats your boat-- the extra movement in the 2011 release makes it superior, but it's hard to argue with a cheaper figure, especially if you already own it. There's nothing wrong with the new figure, just like there was nothing wrong with the old one. New or different deco may have been more exciting, if Hasbro tossed in a repaint I might be a little more jazzed. As it is, I feel like this is Hasbro saying "You love troopers, right? And drivers? Here's another one, about 14% better than the one you already have!"

Collector's Notes: The secondary market pricing for this figure is at (or under) retail, while the 2005 version is as low as $2. It's hard to argue with the numbers, but if you like vintage packaging the new one is the clear winner. It's also (possibly) at a store near you, which is a plus.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,752: March 1, 2012

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