Thursday, May 31, 2012

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,817: Anakin Skywalker

ANAKIN SKYWALKER  Jedi Padawan, Take 2
The Vintage Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 37499 No.  37500  
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #VC80
Includes: Lightsaber, helmet, hilt, training remote
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: January 2012
Appearances: The Phantom Menace

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 Force be with you!  (Taken from the figure's packaging.  No specific character information.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' Ultarama.

Commentary:  On the short list of figures from Episode I I never expected to see updated, Anakin Skywalker was on the top of the list.  The 1999 release was perfectly fine, while he wasn't impressive there wasn't anything wrong with him and it wasn't like it was a figure I used a heck of a lot.   This one is almost a total upgrade, and I only say "almost" because the 1999 release had a communicator and a cloak, while this version doesn't.  However, this one does have an awesome new training lightsaber as well as the sadly all-too-uncommon Jedi Training remote, which still doesn't exist with a base tall enough for Luke Skywalker to use!  Heck, Hasbro even made it for the 12-inch size, yet this is-- and correct me if I'm wrong-- the first real 3 3/4-inch remote after all these years.  A lightsaber hilt was sized to fit his belt, and he also includes a Jedi training helmet, similar to the ones the 2003 Padawana of Ashla, Jempa, and Chian included.   As gear goes, Hasbro did a nice job.

Since Anakin is a short figure, it wasn't necessarily expected that Hasbro would give him the super-articulation treatment-- but they did, and it's great.  There's a little cloth for his "skirt" piece the detail on the robes is quite impressive, and the boots look great, too.  His hair color seems a little dark-- a common problem this year, Anakin's hair is frequently a little off-- but the face sculpt looks pretty great.

While not necessarily a figure you were asking for, Hasbro did a great job with him.  It's so odd to see that, in 2012, we're seeing "A" and "A+" efforts being made for characters that none of us were really sitting around demanding.  With high prices, it's really important to see Hasbro execute figures in the best possible fashion, and while $10 is pretty expensive for a single figure, at least we're getting a lot of entirely new sculpts and those new sculpts aren't losing detail when they go from prototype to finished product.   If we had figures like this in 1999, I think we'd all have died of shock.   While I wouldn't consider him essential, if you're upgrading your old figures you're going to want him. 

Collector's Notes: You shouldn't have too much trouble finding him, either.  He might dry up as the wave starts to go away as he didn't appear in subsequent assortments, but he's not popular so a tank of gas and an afternoon might help you get him-- failing that, order online or wait until he's cheap on eBay.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,817: May 31, 2012

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