Monday, April 12, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,799: R2-Series Astromech Droid White with Red Panels

R2-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID
White Dome with Red Panels

The Vintage Collection
Item No.:
No. ???
Manufacturer: Disney
Number: n/a
Includes: Hat (varies)
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: December 2015
Appearances: Better red than... not

Bio: These figures do not have specific packaging or configurations. As such, we will be treating each dome as a unique "figure" as that part is the most plentiful.

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Maybe eBay? Possibly a theme park if it opens? These may still be in bins if bins are accessible - eBay is your best bet.

Commentary:
More droids, more problems! Seemingly not based on anything in particular, this R2-Series Astromech Droid with a White Dome with Red Panels looks fine. It's a white dome - which we don't get a lot from Hasbro or in the movies - with red panels, which we don't see a lot of on R2-style round domes.

The 2015 red astromech body is a bit different than the 2012 model - you can see different red panels are painted, while other panels are now unpainted. The back has more panels filled in, and the deco is a little more red than the slightly orange-tinted 2012 model. I like it - it's different enough so that those who are in the know can tell the difference between release years. Unfortunately, other than the six people who care about such things, nobody else will probably ever notice.

2015 red legs have extra red boxes on them - you can't miss them. The sides and the front/back area have little panels, while the central white leg is completely undecorated.

The dome does exactly what you would hope - white plastic with nearly every panel filled in red. No bald spots here! There's a subtle orange circle under the eye, and a couple of similarly subtle orange lights on the back. A more contrasting color would have worked better, but it fits just fine. A few elements are decorated silver to keep things interesting, giving this R2 unit a look of a snowman of sorts.

While this has no place in a collection other than as one of your many, many droids, it's a neat one. I like that they changed up a few elements so it's just not the same old bodies again, and the white domes are a nice change of pace. You probably missed this one and didn't even realize it - so you're welcome/I'm sorry for showing this one to you. It's not flashy, but it does look like a perfectly nice off-the-assembly-line robot figure. Who knows - maybe it will have a cameo on a future TV project. Or movie. They've done so many designs I expect at some point Lucasfilm will just start pulling from the toys for reference!

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Disney Land via may pal Shannon a few years ago. Thank you Shannon!

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,799: April 12, 2021



Thursday, April 8, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,798: Greef Karga (The Vintage Collection)

GREEF KARGA
Season 2

The Vintage Collection
Item No.:
Asst. E5912 No. F1887
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #185
Includes: Blaster pistol
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: February 2021
Appearances: The Mandalorian

Bio: Greef Karga was a human male and former disgraced magistrate before becoming an agent of the Bounty Hunters' Guild following the collapse of the Galactic Empire. (Stolen from Wookieepedia. Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:
The debut 3 3/4-inch Greef Karga is in his season two gear - while the 6-inch is season one gear. It's been a pretty haphazard mix of costumes in these lines so it's not really possible for a collector to build out a whole, accurate scene easily. If this were the early 2000s, I'd say "Oh this is brilliant, they can just re-sell us these characters in new costumes again." In 2021 it's less and less likely that Hasbro will revisit most faces, and it feels most of our figures could be the only character we ever get in that scale. Unless filming on new Star Wars stops and Hasbro (and other licensors) are forced to dig through recent assets instead. I'd much rather have stuff I know than stuff I don't, but I digress. At least with The Book of Boba Fett you can be pretty sure some of your cast will be able to hold to a mask mandate.

This is a pretty good figure with lots of great details, but could've spent a tiny more time in the oven. The face printing doesn't do justice to Carl Weathers' white beard, but you do get a patchy, printed grey one - it's better than nothing. The sculpting seems good, so a deco variant (which will likely never come) would do wonders for improving his facial hair.

I have to assume this figure was made during filming for season two if not before - so if we assume Hasbro worked from concept art, it's astonishingly good. If not, it's still pretty good. The elbows have an excellent range of motion, the ankles tilt, and the wrists both bend and swivel. I had no problems having him stand, although I don't like the mid-torso waist joint - it's ugly, and isn't nearly as pleasing to the eye as one around the belt. Still, his range of motion is excellent for a figure with a thick plastic cape.

The blaster fits in the holster or in his hand, but it's a weird fit. A lot of the blaster just hangs out of the loop on the leg, so I'd recommend having him hold it in his fist so it doesn't get lost.

I hope Hasbro does more Greef Karga figures in this scale, and it wouldn't be a bad thing to see a head variant on this one down the line. If you can find it, I'd say grab it - but remember there's never going to be a season two Cara Dune figure to go with him. He can still putter around on Nevarro, or hang out with a figure of Dave Navarro if they ever make one of those. Which is probably more likely than a Nevarro playset.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,798: April 8, 2021

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,797: The Child (The Black Series 6-Inch)

THE CHILD
(with The Mandalorian, Din Djarrin)

The Black Series 2020 Line Look Orange Star Wars: The Mandalorian Packaging - Target Exclusive
Item No.:
No. F0874
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #05 - Star Wars: The Mandalorian
Includes: Jetpack, pistol, rifle, cape, Beskar ingots (5), pram, lid, Mando, tracking fob
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $34.99
Availability: November 2020
Appearances: The Mandalorian

Bio: The Mandalorian as a battle-worn and tight-lipped, a formidable bounty hunter in an increasingly dangerous galaxy who finds a mysterious alien pursued by bounty hunters on behalf of Imperial interests. (Taken from the packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:
When I first heard they were doing The Child - also known as the kid, Grogu, Li'l Sprout, Greenie the Seasick Genie, the Great Gazoo, Lucky, the Geico Gecko, Gex, Irish Gizmo, and Frank - I assumed we'd get more figures like this one. At his proper size, this 1 1/2-inch figure is tiny. Not quite Fighter Pods-tiny, but certainly Mordles-esque or sub-M.U.S.C.L.E. in size - so I was expecting Hasbro would release them as non-articulated slug figures to convey various poses or moods. So far, The Black Series has had three unique versions of the Child - one of which sold solo, the other was a head in a bag. Do you get your money's worth? Kinda.

The previous version of this character had a full body and jointed arms - this one has a jointed neck and jointed wrists. That's it. It's not the best fit for the end-of-season-1 Pram we get, but it's a perfectly nice figure for Mando to tuck under his arm or to have tugging at his boots. The sculpt is pretty much the same as before, with hints of wisps of hair painted on the back of the head and nice, big black eyes with tiny whites around them. There's a hint of rosy cheeks and pink ear interiors, with the neck and the ends of his sleeves painted a lighter brown color. The feet under the figure are painted, but there's no foot peg. That's kind of a shame - I would've loved the hover pram to have a peg to plug the little guy in the right place.

This is not better than the figure you bought for $10 by himself (with frog, lost knob, and forgotten bowl) but it is different enough to warrant some attention. You can probably recreate this 2-pack Child's pose with that figure just fine, so I have no real reason to recommend this one other than it's a nice part of a set and his accessories make it very worthwhile.

The selling point for this figure - and arguably the set - is the hover pram from the end of the first season. The form is right - it's smooth and new, greyer, but the deco doesn't seem right. The stripe down the middle doesn't quite match what it seems we see on screen, but it's also the only collectible of the pram as seen in Season 1 Episode 7 that I can find and there's very little reference of it online. So they made a good one - the front snaps on nicely, and there's plenty of interior painted detail that you will likely never ever need to see. You can snap the lid shut with the kid inside, and everything fits together quite nicely. I'd be up for a redeco of this later.

This figure may be essential - if you don't have one, this is a good one. If you've already got the single-pack full-Beskar Mando and a single-pack The Child, you'll be wanting this one mostly for the accessories and unmasked Pedro head. Otherwise, it's more of the same. If you're a Mandalorian fanatic - and let's be honest, most of us are - this is a set you should be hoping Target reissues again because the market could probably use a whole bunch more of it to meet demand for everybody's favorite single space dad since Ben Sisko and for some reason Jake.

Collector's Notes: I got mine my pal Scott since Target was always out. Thank you Scott!

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,797: April 6, 2021

Monday, April 5, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,796: R5-Series Astromech Droid White with Purple Panels

R5-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID
White Dome with Purple Panels

The Vintage Collection
Item No.:
No. ???
Manufacturer: Disney
Number: n/a
Includes: Hat (varies)
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: December 2015
Appearances: Purple, no nurple

Bio: These figures do not have specific packaging or configurations. As such, we will be treating each dome as a unique "figure" as that part is the most plentiful.

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Maybe eBay? Possibly a theme park if it opens? These may still be in bins if bins are accessible - eBay is your best bet.

Commentary:
One of the most recent quartet of additions to the theme park bins, this R5-Series Astromech Droid with a White Dome with Purple Panels is pretty neat. You can pop it on existing purple bodies, and that's what I did! We looked at the body before so there's no shortage of commentary there - let's focus on the new head.

The R5 dome is nothing new, but the patterns are. The unfortunate thing is we've seen so many droids with so many patterns that it can be hard to look at some of those older droids - and because mine aren't set up properly, I can't be 100% certain that when I tell you it's inspired by R5-X2 and R5-X3, that I only think this purple dome has unique paint masks. The rectangles around the eyes are familiar, but the purple stripes are unique. The area around the sides has big thick purple stripes, and I would argue the back of the dome looks more ornate than the front. I don't believe this dome appeared on camera - please prove me wrong in the comments - and the pattern looks a lot like something somebody painted using masking tape during the original trilogy era. It's good.

The top of the dome has a black outline tat is so fine, I would assume it was done by someone who bought the figure to customize it. But that's not the case - it's just extraneous, and under the hat you wouldn't miss it had the left it off. It doesn't hurt anything, though, so it's just a sign that someone at Disney had no problems finding the budget to really soup up some of these robot heads. 

Figures like this are a reminder of the excess we've had in the last few years. I've never been able to get my figures set up quite right, and I have more droids than I can keep straight - there are so many similar-but-different robots that look vaguely like R5-D4 or R2-D2 that it's difficult to keep track of just how many variations exist. (Really, that's the book I would write at this point if I had the time or funding to do it.)

Figures like this serve as a reminder of just how spoiled we are - and I am - that I have good friends that could help me track down droids that have sat on a shelf next to me for five years until I reviewed them, in part because I know you guys get bored when you get a month of nothing but clones or droids. This is one of those figures you're unlikely to get outside eBay or a theme park, and it's one I think is good enough to track down. Of course, if you have one of the aforementioned R5-X2 or R5-X3 figures, maybe you're good to go. If not, and if you just need more purple droids, this is a good one. I don't know where it fits in with a collection or diorama, but it sure is nifty.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Disney Land via may pal Shannon a few years ago. Thank you Shannon!

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,796: April 5 2021


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,795: Din Djarin (The Black Series 6-Inch)

DIN DJARIN
(The Mandalorian and the Child)

The Black Series 2020 Line Look Orange Star Wars: The Mandalorian Packaging - Target Exclusive
Item No.:
No. F0874
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #05 - Star Wars: The Mandalorian
Includes: Jetpack, pistol, rifle, cape, Beskar ingots (5), pram, lid, Grogu, tracking fob
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $34.99
Availability: November 2020
Appearances: The Mandalorian

Bio: The Mandalorian as a battle-worn and tight-lipped, a formidable bounty hunter in an increasingly dangerous galaxy who finds a mysterious alien pursued by bounty hunters on behalf of Imperial interests. (Taken from the packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:
I missed out on Din Djarin and had to call in a favor to get mine much later - and it's pretty good! It's the same figure as The Mandalorian [FOTD #2,748] but with more accessories and a retooled head under a removable helmet. It doesn't fix other quirks - a cloth cape would'e been nice, and the kid doesn't have jointed arms - so it's probably not "worth the money," as it were. But it completely sold out and it's impossible to get, which sort of shows the changing nature of this business - right now the character of Din Djarin is so popular, it doesn't matter. The basic figures are so underserved that Hasbro can pump out more of the same figure, or barely changed figure, or a slight redeco, and it doesn't matter if completists want it or not - there are hundreds of thousands of fans who would likely buy one if only they ever saw one in a store.

The figure's body, rifle, pistol, jetpack, and cape aren't different enough to warrant comment. If it weren't for the head or the new SKU/Date stamps on the foot, I wouldn't consider this a new release. The single, non-exclusive figure has a slug head glued to a now non-removable helmet, while this one has a Pedro Pascal head pushing up against a slightly too-small helmet. My sample had a helmet with a protrusion where his nose sits, and his nose may have been pushed in the tiniest bit. The face is dynamite, expressive, and captures much of the features on his noggin. The mustache isn't quite perfect, but it looks like it would be difficult to replicate - so I don't knock it. The hair seems a little off-color, but depending on the referene photographs you look at it might be perfectl fine. I hated how the hair looked in publicity photos, but in my hands I don't have a problem with it.

As mentioned above, the helmet is a tight fit and I would probably say you're better off displaying with it in his hands or on the shelf - the bump just plain doesn't look good. If you have the previous version of the figure it's not a huge deal, but if this is the only one you have it's somewhat disappointing that the face/helmet fit was anything less than perfect. Given the significant upcharge ($15 extra) it would've been nice to not have to nitpick things like the nose being smooshed in the helmet (although, I have the same problem with Hasbro's The Black Series prop helmets and my own nose) or the lack of a cloth cape to hang off to the side of the rocket pack. This means there's ample reason for Hasbro to try again, unfortunately.

Additional gear include five beskar ingots with no storage container, so you'll either lose them or store them in the pram. The rifle and pistol store on the figure perfectly fine - or at least just as well as before - as does the backpack. One of the more compelling accessories is the first-ever Hasbro tracking fob, and he can hold it just fine. It's a pretty good gift set, but given that you're paying for nearly two full-size figures and not getting anywhere near that much stuff, this is a tough pill to swallow. (Also we'll review the kid and his pram next week.)

As a gift set, this is great - you get a lot of stuff in here and for $35, it's cheaper than the secondary market going rates for these two characters. You could get this Mando and skip the previous version and not feel like you're missing anything, other than the issue with Pedro's nose rubbing the inside of the helmet. It's all here, it's just as good, and you get a little more. While I would've loved to have had the beskar container, I don't work in their approval or budgeting department so I don't know why we got five card-sized metal blocks that aren't really any fun and serve no purpose other than "easily lost extra." But the fob, the kid, the pram, and the unmasked head? This thing could probably be run several more times and sell out. I've yet to see it in the stores myself, so what I think doesn't really matter. The market has spoken, and they love it. And they're right to love it - but if Mando had shinier armor or a cloth cape, this would've been the best thing ever. Instead, it's just pretty good and enough new stuff comes in the box - like the head - to make you not feel like a putz for giving Hasbro and Target another $35. If you luck into it, you may as well buy it.

Collector's Notes: I got mine my pal Scott since Target was always out. Thank you Scott!

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,795: April 1, 2021

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,794: Princess Leia (Bespin Escape, The Vintage Collection)

PRINCESS LEIA (Bespin Escape)
The Vintage Collection
Item No.:
Asst. E5912 No. F1889
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #187
Includes: Blaster pistol
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: February 2021
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Adopted into the House of Organa, the Alderaanian royal family, she was Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, a planet in the Core Worlds known for its dedication to pacifism. The princess was raised as the daughter of Senator Bail Organa and his wife, Queen Breha Organa, making her the heir to the Alderaanian monarchy.(Stolen from Wookieepedia. Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary: The first - and previous - Princess Leia (Bespin Escape) hit stores in 2001. (I got mine signed by Carrie Fisher at Celebration II, behind someone named Tommy, who had the single best personalized thing I've ever seen on a signed figure. I'll never forget it.) But this new figure is somewhat surprising as a partial retool. So many elements are new, I assumed it was a redux of the Hoth Leia (2010 & 2020 redeco) but no! She does share parts - or at least digital sculpting elements - but there's a ton of new tooling here. It's not the same figure.

At first glance I just assumed this was the previous figure with a new head, no vest, and a couple of other tweaks. It looks like they went all out, but let's start with the head. We get a much better - if not particularly emotive - Carrie Fisher head with the hair loops from the end of the second (and best) film. The face printing really brings her to life and her skin tone is, unlike the 2010 Hoth Leia, lively. She looks like a tiny plastic person, which is what we want. The eyes glisten, there's a little make-up, and the hair is a separately molded brown piece that just looks perfect on my sample. (I hear some have a gap, mine did not.) Like Target's 6-inch figure in this costume, this Leia is exquisitely good and the head will make you mad Hasbro reissued any existing figure. You're going to want new heads for all your Leia figures now.

The body seems inspired by the 2010 Hoth Leia figure with a lot of changes. The front of the torso seems nearly the same, with a new back featuring more sculpting and wrinkles. The arms were retooled for the gloveless hands and other elements were removed, with the shoulders now seated in the torso better. The lower torso/butt area seems to be a holdover, as are the thighs - but the thighs were retooled to have copyright marks and some other alterations. The lower legs are new, and she now has ankle joints. They're not rockers, but take the ankles you can get here people. Hasbro made almost a completely new figure while making us think this was just a simple retool - it's kind of amazing. They fooled me, this is way better than what I assumed we were getting from the previews.

Articulation is improved from 2010 Hoth Leia, but not by a lot - the new legs mean ankles, and that's an improvement. The leg articulation is good and she was clearly engineered with sitting in mind - which is what your Millennium Falcon wants. The wrists and elbows are nothing special, and the head/neck has that barbell joint that allows for a slightly better and more human range of movement. She's good - she's like a slightly-better 2010 figure, but not as good as the modern ones with thigh cuts. I wish Hasbro engineered a wholly new figure, but this one does the trick.

The blaster has exceptionally good paint weathering, possibly making it the best Stormtrooper blaster deco I've ever seen - but it does seem a bit exaggerated. It's better than the last one - she came with a pair of gold blasters. This Leia has no problems gripping the gun, and I consider it the best one you can get in this size. You've got two total options, and the previous one was very good too. If you see her - a 1-per-case shortpacked figure - you should buy one or two. I think she's amazing.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,794: March 30, 2021

Monday, March 29, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,793: R0-Series Astromech Droid Black with Orange

R0-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID
Black Dome with Orange Panels

The Vintage Collection
Item No.:
No. ???
Manufacturer: Disney
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: December 2015
Appearances: This may be meant to represent R0-H2 in The Force Awakens

Bio: These figures do not have specific packaging or configurations. As such, we will be treating each dome as a unique "figure" as that part is the most plentiful.

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Maybe eBay? Possibly a theme park if it opens? These may still be in bins if bins are accessible - eBay is your best bet.

Commentary:
I am keeping a series of Repaint Mondays going with the R0 Series Astromech Droid dome in black. There was also a white one which I can't remember reviewing (or at least, search isn't letting me find it as I write this.) This is a bin robot - not to be confused with a dustbin robot - so you could have fished parts out of compartments at Disney parks to put one like this together. You could've also done mismatched parts - but why? In 2015, the dome was the only new part, as the droid body and three legs were existing parts in existing deco which had been around for years. Unless I am mistaken, this is the only R0-series droid to have its dome appear in the bins to date.

Since the droid body itself is nothing new, as we looked at it with an R5-Series Astromech Droid Black with Silver and Orange [FOTD #2,181] back in early 2015. The supposedly non-Hasbro build has the no-wire legs so there are no rights or lefts - just get two and you're all set. The central black leg is unpainted, but the bigger legs have marvelous silver panels on the feet and festive orange dots. It's also a perfect match for the R0 domes, which as far as I know didn't exist until the Disney assimilation of Lucasfilm.

It's a new dome - it has a conical shape, cutting the top off so it looks a little like an R6 or an R5 unit, but not really. It's like R2 got smooshes with the same eye-in-a-square , with different silver elements from the R5 dome on the sides and back. There's a string of lined panels around the neck, and a white box under the eye. There are also four painted "pie slices" on the top of te dome. It's nothing too fancy, but it looks good and is a perfect match for this specific body.

It's a nice droid, but you can get the same body with R5 or R2 heads as well. They all look rather similar, and while cool I don't know much about the R0 domes. Are they really old? The naming conventions would make me think they are, but Microsoft also put out the Xbox One after the Xbox and Xbox 360 - so perhaps it's the latest and greatest in the Age of Resistance. I don't know if there's any literature on it, as the online resources have been somewhat unhelpful. Maybe we'll get an answer if he cameos on one of the TV shows somehow.

As the R0 units have virtually no movie appearances , I can only assume this is meant to be Poe Dameron's droid from The Force Awakens - I don't remember seeing the body, but the dome is in there for sure and it's a very close match. I assume we won't ever get a carded specimen, so if you have the means you should probably just grab one and cram it in one of your many X-Wings. Sure it'll be the wrong X-Wing - I can't fix everything. I like this droid, and at this point I can't help but wonder if it's going to be one of the last brand-new The Force Awakens characters we get as a 3 3/4-inch toy a while. I am assuming that the new trilogy is going to have a sort of plastic exile for a while.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Disney Land via may pal Shannon a few years ago. Thank you Shannon!

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,793: March 29, 2021

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,792: The Child (The Vintage Collection)

THE CHILD
Single, Ready to Mingle

The Vintage Collection
Item No.:
Asst. E5912 No. F1900
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #184
Includes: Stand, 3-piece pram egg, frog
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: February 2021
Appearances: The Mandalorian

Bio: Grogu, known to many simply as "the Child," was a male Force-sensitive Mandalorian foundling that belonged to the same species as Jedi Grand Master Yoda and Jedi Master Yaddle. (Stolen from Wookieepedia. Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:
After debuting in The Vintage Collection as an accessory for a marvelous plussed-up Mando a few months ago, Hasbro released The Child by himself - with the floating pram, season one deco. While Boba Fett is $12.99 and worth it, this is not. If you just want the figure, you're going to pay whatever Hasbro asks - but it's important to remember that The Black Series Grogu was ten bucks, and the pram isn't that much plastic.

The figure is by no means bad - but this is an $8 figure tops. The tiny 1-inch figure has 3 points of articulation with a different head than his Walmart exclusive version - and seemingly different from the Razor Crest pack-in. He's cute, and his ears are down a little for this release. There's a hint of the white around his eyes. The ball-jointed shoulders are a clever design for the scale, plus he has a foot peg hole for some reason. The robes are wide enough that you'll likely never need to use a display stand with him, but it's nice to have options. I like that the collar and sleeves have the lighter color fabric around them, but there's not much here. It's four pieces of plastic and a tiny bit of paint, making it less complex than a typical 5 POA figure at a substantial mark-up. But he's cute, so you're probably going to pay it twice so you can keep one on the card.

His accessories are fine. The cyclops frog looks like the bigger one... it's just tiny and one of the smallest toy creatures in this entire line. On its own it may not seem impressive, but considering that 20 years ago Hasbro was telling us how they're engineering figures to have hands with fingers spread-out and engineered so they won't snap off, it's amazing to see something this small with fully-realized limbs. As a child, I would assume a figure like this would have a base molded to it and the legs would be part of a large blob - this is really well done. It's a shame it's so small and not very colorful, because clearly some work and engineering went in to making it look good for the size.

The pram, out of the box, is substandard. The 2-part lid doesn't quite fit in the base without warping, and it's possible boiling water or a hair dryer could fix it but I haven't tried it yet (nor should we have to.) Things like this need to fit perfectly, otherwise they can't close. It's a little light on deco - the three squares in the front are unpainted - but you do get some orange marks and some simulated scuffing. It's OK, but I wouldn't call it impressive. For $13 I would expect a better form fit or even an alternate pram that's permanently closed. It's a clever design, but since it can't shut well I won't say it's particularly great. I'm sure this more flexible plastic was used for safety purposes - otherwise this thing could shatter of you dropped it funny.

The figure was previously sold as an accessory, and it's possible that was the best way to get him - as a $5 extra, he's a delight. (And still seems expensive.) At $13, it's far from the best bang for the Baby Yoda buck - those collectible figures are bigger and cheaper. The 6-inch scale figure ain't bad. There's a figure that was a full 6-inches tall with marvelous glassy eyes for $20. Because fans demanded it, I am happy Hasbro produced this release - we would not stop asking for it otherwise. Now we got it. Now we can move on.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,792: March 25, 2021

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,791: Boba Fett (The Vintage Collection)

BOBA FETT
2021 Redesign

The Vintage Collection
Item No.:
Asst. E5912 No. F1888
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #186
Includes: Blaster, backpack
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: February 2021
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Fett was one of the most feared bounty hunters in the galaxy during the reign of Emperor Palpatine. He became a legend over the course of his career, which included contracts for both the Empire and the extensive criminal underworld. (Stolen from Wookieepedia. Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:
Something new and almost perfect! It's rare for The Vintage Collection to put out new stuff. So many fans approached Hasbro at conventions in the mid-2010s and said "We want anything on a vintage cardback!" and for nearly four years, that monkey's paw wish has delivered a slate of reissues, parts-swaps, retools, and precious few all-new action figures. We've received precious few all-new sculpts since Rogue One introduced thigh-swivels to the line, so when you get a all-new figure like this Boba Fett it's time for celebration. While not the best toy Boba Fett - arguably, that may be the ForceLink one from 2017 with its simple joints - this is the one all the collectors are going to want. Hasbro took a lot of notes to bring us this gem, and you owe it to yourself to get one. Replace that 2004 Original Trilogy Collection "Vintage" figure, and get this one now.

The figure seems to be a complete redesign, with all the bells and whistles. The last 100% new Boba Fett figure with super-or-better-articulation was around 2008 in the Evolutions pack, at the time the very best (and unmasked) take on the character which served as the basis for most The Vintage Collection rereleases up until last year. This new one adds things like rocker ankles, bend-and-swivel wrists, deeper cut elbows, and thigh cut joints that we've never had on a Boba Fett of this size before. By my count, you've got about 28 joints - 28! While I understand the griping about some figures (cough cough baby Yoda) being this same price, Boba Fett is something of a marvel. In December of 1995 we were reunning around like crazy people to get a pretty good (and the only brown-gloved proto suit) Boba Fett in the entire modern line for $4.99. Adjusted for inflation, that's about $8.60, and this new guy is around $13. Considering you went from 6 joints to 28 with added deco, a painted blaster, and a cloth cape, what's not to love?

While by no means perfect - this style of hip joint isn't great at swinging forward, and the writs gauntlets aren't jointed (but the wrists are) - it's better than you can reasonably expect for a figure at this size. The elbows can bend more than 90 degrees, which means they're taking some design cues from the 6-inch figures. Most Boba Fett figures can't even get to 90 degrees. He has no problems holding his gun, but getting some of the action poses just right may take some work. I was impressed by his center of gravity and didn't have much difficulty getting him to balance, but more impressed by the well-hidden waist joint which actually looks like a natural seam in the costume. Similarly, the other joints also merge nicely with the figure's natural costume design, which was a gift to toy designers looking to hide points of articulation.

It's missing one thing - the chest armor has had two horizontal lines, like an equals sign, on it since day one. The old Kenner toy has them, but this one lacks the grooves or painted representations of them - and may be one of very few Bobas to lack them. I hope there's a deco variant (or a mold variant) to slap them on there, because they were on the digital prototype render.

Deco is no slouch either. The helmet is almost perfect - mine has the tiniest seam at the border of the red on the helmet, but wonderful stripes, damage, and other silver markings. The decals are here, the backpack is colorful, the gloves have two colors on them, the hoses bend better than before, and the wookiee scalps still look great. The cape is nice and doesn't get in the way either. If anything he might be a smidgen more saturated in spots, but I'm OK with that.

He has one blaster, given a but of a dirty, dusty deco and a removable backpack with an unusual, unique peg shape. It's super-tight and fits in well, making it a bit less of an eyesore than the t-slot from 1995 or the falls-off peg from 2008, which leaves it unable to be mounted in the Slave I vehicle. (Unless they retool that again.)

This may well be the best one we get for years. With numerous redesigns from The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian presumably on the horizon, Hasbro wisely invested in a new design they can probably keep selling for quite some time. While the rangefinder isn't jointed, it's otherwise going to be the best overall Boba Fett you can buy on the market today. If every figure from The Vintage Collection were like this - that is, a post-2018 all-new sculpt - I think fans would be a lot happier about buying the same characters again and again. This is a gem. If you only buy one figure this year, this may be the one you should get. Had Hasbro started redesigning their 3 3/4-inch line to this level of quality a few years ago, maybe we wouldn't have gotten (or needed) The Black Series 6-inch line. It's just that good.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,791: March 23, 2021


Monday, March 22, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,790: R6-Series Astromech Droid White with Yellow and Silver

R6-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID
Yellow Dome 2

The Vintage Collection
Item No.:
No. ???
Manufacturer: Disney
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: December 2015
Appearances: n/a

Bio: These figures do not have specific packaging or configurations. As such, we will be treating each dome as a unique "figure" as that part is the most plentiful.

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Maybe eBay? Possibly a theme park if it opens? These may still be in bins if bins are accessible - eBay is your best bet.

Commentary:
I have a pile of un-reviewed droids, and they're unmarked as to what batches they came from other than "not reviewed." Good thinking on my part - so we're going to try to do Repaint Mondays from here on out to get them done this year. This R6 Series Astromech Droid dome is the second yellow one - there was one in 2012 [FOTD #1,889], and then there was another one in 2015. There are some obvious changes - 2012 is more of an orangey yellow. The 2012 dome has more areas filled in - the big tell is the one on the right of the droid's eye (your right, their left.) The top of the 2015 droid's "pie slices" on top of the head are not completely filled in like the previous release. The back of this droid has a green dot on the dome - this is not the case with the 2012 release. Both droids have three silver nubbins painted on the sides of the domes - the 2012 release is surrounded in white plastic, 2015 is painted yellow.

Since the figures were effectively spare parts in bins, the figure as you see it in these photos is just one configuration - we're identifying them by domes and heads, since there are more domes and heads than bodies. When this dome and the others from its wave were added, no new bodies were found - and unless my memory is failing me, this is part of the last batch of new parts going into those bins. (Which I appreciate, hunting these things down is a hassle for fans without friends willing to serve as a droid mule.)

The dome is sufficiently different, but certainly pushes the "just different enough to make you mad" button. It's white with yellow (again), but with different panels painted you can see some differences. For example, the infrared receptors under the eye are tiny and green now, instead of the fuller red last time. To the average fan, it's just yellow - and that probably wouldn't be enough for anyone going through theme park parts to realize there was even a change without being informed of it prior to a park visit. How annoying is that?

I requested this configuration be built because I wanted the dome to match the body's unique yellow hues. You may want something more exotic, but I like it when the droid looks like it was either meant to go together, or some weird horrible accident. I went for the former. The parts all pop off, so you can rotate the dome, remove the legs, and then lose them because you've got too many things to keep track of these days.

The droid has an optional hat - mine had Oswald the Rabbit - but you can mix and match to your liking if you can ever get back to the theme park. On eBay I've seen a few of this exact configuration go for $25-$30, which isn't bad if you're only planning on getting one robot - shipping, parking, and such considerations are well worth the $10 to me. For one figure. But if you want them all, you might want to consider other options or someone willing to do you a favor, or a big trade. Given this droid doesn't really appear in the films, it's pretty much just for people who are droid completists. There are other R6 droids for you to buy, but at this time all of them have been exclusive to Disney theme parks.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Disney Land via may pal Shannon a few years ago. Thank you Shannon!

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,790: March 22, 2021

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,789: Queen Amidala (2021 Redux, The Vintage Collection)

QUEEN AMIDALA
(Redeco, 2021 reissue)

The Vintage Collection
Item No.:
Asst. E5912 No. F1885
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #84 (reissue)
Includes: Blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: February 2021
Appearances: The Phantom Menace

Bio: Padmé Amidala, also known as Padmé Amidala Naberrie, was a human female senator who represented the people of Naboo during the final years of the Galactic Republic. (Stolen from Wookieepedia. Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:
The current era of The Vintage Collection splits its time between repaints - a lot of repaints - and the occasional retool, part-swap, or the even less occasional new release. Queen Amidala is a reissue of a figure from 2012. I was pretty unexcited when I reviewed Queen Amidala [FOTD #1,816] almost nine years ago - and it's pretty much the same figure with new deco. There's not a lot going on here, and the original was just fine. The 2021 version is better and cheaper (when compared to the secondary market), and as Hasbro has selected characters due to things like available tooling and fan interest, it makes sense that we'd see a wide variety of characters that long-time fans have and don't want to buy again.

Gown deco was slightly revised, but the main selling point is the head. Hasbro has done countless really good head sculpts that have been done in by their factory budgeting limits. Sometimes Hasbro would crank out an amazing Anakin sculpt with an off-color skin tone and weird eyes that, in the hands of an artisan, could look excellent. With Padme here, they deployed their fancy printing tech and you can see the dots from the printing around her hairline to give the make-up an added sense of realism. The eyebrows and dots are finer, and the eyes are eerily lifelike. The eyeliner is almost hard to see, but it makes her peepers pop quite nicely. While I am not terribly excited for more reissues, deco like this does show us why Hasbro might want another crack at some of these figures. Sure, it's easy money if the tooling is available, but you also get a nearly perfect likeness on a head the size of a peanut. That's impressive.

The gown was mostly black before, and it's black again. Metallic highlights are a tiny bit sharper and more muted, so you may prefer your original. I like the silver and gold elements a lot, but the figure's sides look more interesting than the front and back. The sleeves are ornate with big patterns painted on them, while the front obfuscates them under the swishing robes of her garments. It's almost a shame she didn't come with some solar-powered base which could spin her around so you could see the design work Trisha Biggar and her team put in on these stunning prequel costumes, but such is life. Also nobody seems to want that.

The first release of this figure was scraping fifty bucks, so I can see why Hasbro thought they should run more. But even if she does look amazing, she's not fun, and in the current era the prequels largely seem unimportant and ignored. As there's no complete program - her wave was something of a grab bag with a TIE Pilot, an Attack of the Clones Anakin, and a Battle Droid, it doesn't seem like a great jumping-on point or a place where buying the full wave seems rewarding. But if you missed her before, and want her now? This is great. I don't assume Hasbro will ever have a need to improve this release because I can't imagine a better head sculpt or deco in the coming decade.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,789: March 18, 2021