Thursday, March 29, 2012

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,772: Qui-Gon Jinn

QUI-GON JINN Light-Up Lightsaber Blade!
Discover the Force Movie Heroes
Item No.:
Asst. 87752 No. 36573
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #MH18
Includes: Stand, card, die
Action Feature: Light-up lightsaber
Retail: $8.99
Availability: February 2012
Appearances: The Phantom Menace

Bio: Qui-Gon Jinn battles Darth Maul in a deadly confrontation on Naboo. The Jedi Master first duels the Sith apprentice on Tatooine, barely escaping the confrontation, then faces him again on Naboo. Qui-Gon is up against a relentless enemy who tests his mastery of the lightsaber. Although he's strong in the Force, Qui-Gon battles for his life against this powerful foe. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' photo area.

Commentary: Old-school Kenner meets modern Hasbro! This Gui-Gon Jinn is an interesting synthesis of new and old design techniques to the point where I'm honestly not sure what to make of it. His shoulders and hips are classic joints like the 1970s figures, and he has no waist joint. If you remove the lower part of his robe-- easily done, as it's a belt tabbed in the back-- he can sit in pretty much any legit 1980s Kenner vehicle unless his lightsaber gets in the way. On the other hand, he has ball-jointed knees and a ball-jointed left elbow, plus a jointed wrist and a ball-jointed neck plus the best Liam Neeson head sculpt yet. It's so real, he could practically speak "I've got full-blown AIDS." (Did you watch "Life's Too Short?" The improv bit? With Ricky Gervais? It was funny. Anyway.) The pose is also similar to the old Kenner figures, and I get a kick out of that.

The other nifty thing-- and shortcoming-- is the figure's action feature, a swell light-up lightsaber which is activated by his belt. If you push the buckle, it lights up until you let go-- so fighting with lit-up sabers is difficult. My big complaint, though, is that the battery isn't replaceable. I don't know what this means for corrosion over the coming decades, which we as collectors are sort of worried about at times. There's a battery in this guy, and it ain't coming out. I don't like this. I love the feature and how it works, but I want to be able to replace the battery and it's my guess that I won't be able to buy a new one in 10+ years when the battery runs down or leaks or something. And I have to literally crack the figure open if I want to remove the battery. I know this may be a ridiculous thing to Hasbro, but seriously, consider your audience: a lot of people, maybe not the biggest market, are buying these and will hold on to them for years or decades. Is it safe to have a permanently-installed battery? (I'm not calling them out, I honestly don't know.)

I have zero understanding of why Hasbro put in the expense of giving him ball-jointed knees, but they did and there you go. I think this may be the best toy figure of Qui-Gon to date since he can actually sit and has a cool fun toy feature. Sure, his shoulders are a little broad, but if you can get beyond that this may be the best, funnest Qui-Gon Jinn figure Hasbro has ever and will ever make. Get it if you dare, fun lovers!

Collector's Notes: A relatively new release, this figure is a little tough to come by in the wilds of retail. Wave 1 of Movie Heroes may be in the way at a store near you.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,772: March 29, 2012

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