Thursday, June 17, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,828: R1-J1 (Droid Depot Line Look)

R1-J1
Disney Parks Exclusive

Droid Depot Droid Depot Droids boxed set
Item No.:
???
Manufacturer: Disney?
Number: n/a
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: Comes apart
Retail: $49.99
Availability: ??? 2020
Appearances: Galaxy's Edge
Bio: R1-J1 was an R1-series astromech droid with green plating and a yellow trim. It stood 1.94 meters tall and, like all R-series astromech droids, was manufactured by Industrial Automaton.[ (Taken from Wookieepedia. Box has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:
This is a new sculpt! Disney's R1-J1 looks a lot like R1-G4 from Hasbro, which was a big droid the Jawas had in the original Star Wars. They don't share any parts, but have similar coloring and silhouettes. You could put this in your Sandcrawler and it's good enough, but it's skinnier and missing some elements of the movie droid. It's different.

Disney's droid lacks the arms of the previous version, and it's a heck of a lot cleaner. The paint chips and damage are absent, there isn't quite as much paint, and the greeblies are all different. Disney's droid is crisper, with more easily seen rivets around the base of the dome. All of the grey painted bits are different, and the sides look a lot different from Hasbro's. Having said that, the big foot is pretty similar, the back is similar, and they both seem to be cousins.

Disney's R1-J1 droid seems a little bit brighter with cleaner paint. There's a light layer of painted grime over the figure that's incredibly subtle too - and you can't ignore the brighter silver on the eye and the antenna. It's kind of impressive to see how Disney handled the figure with cleaner lines and sharper details, but the Hasbro one is so much more ugly that it's hard to not love. One stands out in the elements at a theme park, and the other has been through goodness knows what.

What makes this new Disney droid special is that it uses build-a-droid elements. You can pop off the dome and swap in an R2 head if you want, and the foot pops off too. Popping the foot off doesn't do you much good in terms of customization, because it doesn't have another part you can put there. You do get to see some hidden gears and guts though, and that's just plain cool. The ability to take apart the robot gives kids a chance to do something with it, making it more than just a nifty robot pepper shaker. Hasbro's figure has a moving head and foot, with barely-telescoping arms. I would say the Disney one is a lot more fun to play with, but for those wanting to fill out a Sandcrawler diorama you jut gotta get the Hasbro one.

I like this set and I get a huge kick out of Disney doing a new R1 unit. There's no reason to make one. No kid is asking for this. I don't think any collector wanted this, either, but they did a good job and it's fun to futz with. Also I'll take any new spin on a droid, mostly because it's better than getting another R2 or R5 in similar-but-different colors. If you see this set at a good price, get it.

Collector's Notes: I got this from eBay for about $63 delivered. I was not happy to overpay by $13, but after tax and shipping, it wasn't too bad. It's still cheaper than paying the theme park parking rate were I still relatively local.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,828: June 17, 2021

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,827: Greef Karga (The Retro Collection)

GREEF KARGA
Kenner Style

The Retro Collection 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure
Item No.:
Asst. F0937 No. F2025
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, vinyl cape
Action Feature: Blaster fits in holster loop
Retail: $9.99
Availability: April 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:
I assume the fact that Greef Karga comes in his season two gear, while pretty much everybody else is dressed for season one, is a Disney issue. (The Vintage figure was also in this costume. That's why you don't remember it either.) Both make use of a simplified version of the costume and different facial hair... and it doesn't look quite as good as the 6-inch head. But do things ever?

Like Gideon, Karga has a vinyl cape - and I would say the cape looks good here. There's no cloth analog for Greef's cloth robes that would probably look great, Hasbro would have to probably develop something new and we'd complain about it. Or, they'd have to do something like The Emperor or Anakin Skywalker... and then we'd complain about that. Given how the robes hang, the goofy piece of vinyl folded over makes a lot of sense. It could stand to be longer, but authenticity is not what makes Kenner figures interesting - it's the errors that make them fun.

The quilted gloves look a bit like the Hoth Kenner figures - a little bulkier than the costume - and the boots are brown, rather than black. I'm not sure if that's how Kenner would do it, but it looks good, so I have no complaints. The buckle is painted gold, and the chest piece has a whopping five colors! That's a lot of detail, what with his shirt and vest and pants and belt and everything. His head has three colors, which seems a good choice when I look at all my old Kenner toys. There's not much to complain about here, other than you have to take the cape off to get him to sit in a vehicle.


I like the blaster. It seems like a deformed version of the TVC blaster, with some elements resized and enlarged. Also the trigger guard is gone. You know, typical Kenner stuff. They did a good job, and I was pleased to see you can shove it in the loop on the figure's holster too. Greef Karga has no problems holding the blaster either, Hasbro did a much better job with the fingers than Kenner usually did. I pulled out some of my Droids humans lately, and I forgot just how rotten Kea Moll's fingers were. Thall Joben's aren't very good either.

I'd love to see a Season One Greef Karga in this format with the mustache and the other costume - but this one is good, too. Cara Dune from season one and Greef from season two means they're not quite a perfect match, which is a pity. And also a very Kenner thing to do. (I mean we didn't get Slave Leia in the format ever, but we had a place for her in a playset.) If you see this figure on shelves, buy it. Better yet, buy the whole case so you can just get everybody - they're all good and neat, occupying a weird place between being art pieces and also some of the better actual toys Hasbro has produced. There's really no reason to skip this one.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,827: June 15, 2021

Monday, June 14, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,826: Jawa (Kenner, The Black Series 6-Inch)

JAWA
Kenner 6-Inch Retro Style

The Black Series Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary Collection
Item No.:
No. F2808
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Cloth robes, blaster connected to bandolier
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: March 2021
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Jawas were a sentient species of meter-tall humanoids native to the Outer Rim desert world of Tatooine. Jawas who migrated from Tatooine were referred to as Offworld Jawas. (Taken from Wookieepedia. Package has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:
A vinyl cape version of this figure would have been welcome too! This Jawa figure is basically similar to the idea behind the Offworld Jawa [FOTD #2,654] - but it's different. The core figure is the same as the other 6-inch scale Jawas, but the cloth robe is a new design based on the late 1970s revision of the Kenner figure, and it's one blaster short. Also it costs about the same, which is pretty great considering a lot of repaints have cost more lately.

This time around, the bandoliers are outside a new cloth robe - it looks neat! You can also see the orangey brown plastic underneath - which is basically the old Kenner colors, but maybe slightly more saturated. I love the bright yellow eyes, and I can't complain that the blaster is basically impossible to lose. It's not the blaster I would have preferred, but it works. I had a bit of a problem getting the gun in his fingers because the wrist joint isn't as stiff as some other Jawa figures I've bought.

I hope Hasbro finds a good way to give us a vinyl cape Jawa too - it might not look quite as good as the cloth one, because throwing a robe over a figure covers a lot of rough spots. Also it's a great robe - the hood fits nicely, and it's not as bizarrely terrible as some of the other 3 3/4-inch and 6-inch Jedi robes. (Come to think of it, how is it that they nailed it in 1979 but kept biffing it since 2005ish?) The figure stands well, and lacks the kind of superfluous paint we saw on Amazon's Kenner Obi-Wan Kenobi - if you look at his legs, they're in plastic color. That's the way Kenner did it... minimal paint, minimal articulation, maximal mark-ups.

The Jawa was one of my favorite figures as a kid, so I'm happy to have a new one. Hasbro has done a pretty good job making so dang many variations of the same figures that I can build an army without buying the same figure twice, but I also don't really have any reason to build an army without playsets or vehicles. He'll go nicely with R5-D4 and the rest, and I hope Hasbro continues to build out this concept with other figures. You really can't go wrong with retro Kenner styling... especially if that might be C-3PO in 1985 yellow style. C'mon Hasbro. Do it.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Amazon.

--Adam Pawlus



Day 2,826: June 14, 2021

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,825: Jaxxon (The Black Series 6-Inch)

JAXXON
Figure Debut

The Black Series Publishing - Shared Exclusive
Item No.:
No. F2815
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: 2 blasters
Action Feature: Holsters work
Retail: $24.99
Availability: May 2021
Appearances: Marvel's Comics

Bio: Jaxxon is a nearly 6-foot tall, green-furred, Lepi smuggler and captain of the Rabbit's Foot. Known for his wise cracks and high kicks, Jaxxon has helped Han Solo and Chewbacca out on more than one occasion. (Taken from the box, which elected to use a gray lettering on a black background. We're getting older, Hasbro, how about some brighter letters here?)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:
When I found out Hasbro was doing Jaxxon, I was surprised. Very surprised. There were two characters on my "I want this but Hasbro will never make them" list - Vlix, and Jaxxon. I was expecting to pester Hasbro to get Vlix, and after I got Vlix, I'd ask for Jaxxon. (I've brought up Jaxxon, but not like Vlix.) I'm kind of amazed we got this character - best known as the butt of jokes made by fans old enough to remember Marvel's first non-movie stories from the 1970s - but he's here. He's real. And, most amazingly, he's a partial retool. The execution was excellent, and while this isn't the style I would have done, it's good.

Hasbro used Tatooine Luke's legs - note the wrapped boots - with X-Wing Luke's arms and torso. The armor is new, the head is new, and I believe the belt is new too. (I admit, I have a few The Black Series figures I haven't opened because I need to cut some lumber to make some risers.) All of the parts go together nicely, resulting in a 2021 figure that's made with the best engineering you could cobble together from 2013 and 2016. I don't mean this to knock it - while he lacks the advanced newer shoulder joints, the better elbow cuts, and the improved knees of recent figures, he's still good. The legs swing forward nicely, the figure stands well, and the range of motion on these particular elbows are good. The painted deco makes everything match, giving the figure that lanky build every interpretation of him so far has had.

I didn't like the early pictures, and I'm not crazy about the saggy ears, but it certainly does add to the idea that Hasbro designed a toy figure head that's meant to resemble a real, wearable creature mask. Much like how The Retro Collection allows Hasbro to fudge the details of screen-used props and costumes - or to get them wrong on purpose to fit the style - Jaxxon is a weirdly realistic rabbit mask. While I would have preferred the cartoony, greener face, Hasbro's designers instead to opt for something that looks like it might not have been out of place in the cantina or in Jabba's palace. Using off-the-shelf costume elements to make the body makes it fit in with Kanan and Ezra and other non-cartoony takes on cartoony players, with proportions befitting some schmuck in a hairy dyed-green Don Post rabbit mask (that never actually existed.) This seems like it could be a costume that someone actually made for a convention or TV appearance, rather than the 1979-style Kenner sculpted head I probably would have held my breath and turned blue to get. I don't love the lighter green fur around the chin, but the subtle front teeth and lumpy fur don't look as bad in person.

Hasbro did a good job cobbling together a figure from existing parts. If you happen to find this figure for sale online - it is not expected to be in any big box stores, although your local comic shop is anybody's guess - I'd suggest buying it. Keep in mind Hasbro's velcro is stronger than Hasbro's glue on this (and many other) exclusive product, so that piece of velcro is likely to peel right off the cardboard when you open the flap. The book box is nice, but also adds waste in an era where Hasbro is gradually shifting over to greener packaging that may - and this makes me cringe - phase out plastic windows on boxes. But I digress. This Jaxxon is an excellent "realistic" interpretation of the character using existing and new pieces from the costume department, and that's praiseworthy. I would also totally buy a 3 3/4-inch Kenner-style one that looks like a sibling of the Walrus Man I have from when I was a kid, or even Greedo. Thousands of them, if necessary, to sell to the unsuspecting public. Just putting that out there. Get a Jaxxon, kids, don't wait for a sale and be sure to thank Hasbro for doing something completely crazy like this.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,825: June 10, 2021

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,824: EG-01 (Droid Depot Line Look)

EG-01
Disney Parks Exclusive

Droid Depot Droid Depot Droids boxed set
Item No.:
???
Manufacturer: Disney?
Number: n/a
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: Comes apart
Retail: $49.99
Availability: ??? 2020
Appearances: Galaxy's Edge
Bio: EG-01 was a GNK-series power droid manufactured by Industrial Automaton[1] with green plating. (Taken from Wookieepedia. Box has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:
This is a new sculpt! At first glance I wasn't sure if EG-01 was a retool of previous Power Droid figures or not, but it looks like they gave us something wholly new here. There are clearly some elements which seem to share inspiration - the guts, for example, may come from a similar digital sculpt - but the exterior and legs are new for this figure. In other words, you probably want it, and you probably want the set.

I make no secret of liking droids (the robots) and Droids (the cartoon) so any time Hasbro or Disney crank out something more than a repaint, I get excited. Disney hasn't fully exploited the existing Power Droid tool, and here we are with a new one. I'm OK with that. There are numerous riffs on these walking batteries in the games and movies, with this one coming from a theme park. You can see it outside of a store, and buy it. Should you? I mean, no, but we're us. We like this kind of thing. The green is incredibly pale, almost looking bleached by a star surrounding whatever planet he was on. The exterior is covered in nifty greeblies, with all sorts of buttons, switches, symbols, vents, panels, and of course the "E"-lookin' symbols we've come to know and love. He's even got a big antenna on it. The droid seems to be one of the largest 3 3/4-inch scale Power Droid figures, and certainly the mst ornate. The top of the head has nifty indentations, a hole for a hat/crane, and all sorts of little bits that arguably make it better than the flat, bland Sandcrawler droid or his tan Hasbro inspiration. (Which I also still like. But this new one looks cooler.)
Articulation is two moving legs - they swing forward, and that's it. That's enough, really. The dome pops off to reveal vents and guts that look somewhat similar to other droids, but it's a new design with some minor differences. What surprised me is the smaller Power Droid's lid fits - it's a perfect fit. It actually lets you swap parts and customize your droids, which would be awesome if there could be more parts in a build-a-droid factory set. (Not bin parts, please. Boxed sets only.) If you somehow get stuck with a lot of extra droid parts and love to make your own robots, I think this feature is going to be a huge selling point. It's not easy to swap parts of differently sized figures.



With incredibly subtle dusty dirt deco, this is a spectacular little robot with an abundance of detail we rarely see on a Power Droid. Someone over there did a great job, and it's a pity this is relegated to theme park souvenir status. Vintage fans would probably dig it, it's a great way to build out the Star Wars toy galaxy with a non-movie (I think) design as I am admittedly lacking in complete movie reference power these days. It's bigger, it has more detail, it's covered in little painted parts... you've got no real reason to skip this one. It's in a nice boxed set, and it's a cool droid. The only way it could be better is if Disney takes the mold and painted it in Kenner 1979 Power Droid colors, giving us the "close enough" Power Droid we've all been wanting for years now.

Collector's Notes: I got this from eBay for about $63 delivered. I was not happy to overpay by $13, but after tax and shipping, it wasn't too bad. It's still cheaper than paying the theme park parking rate were I still relatively local.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,824: June 8, 2021



Monday, June 7, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,823: L4-R6 (Droid Depot Line Look)

L4-R6
Disney Parks Exclusive

Droid Depot Droid Depot Droids boxed set
Item No.:
???
Manufacturer: Disney?
Number: n/a
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: Comes apart
Retail: $49.99
Availability: ??? 2020
Appearances: Galaxy's Edge
Bio: L4-R6 was an R-series astromech droid manufactured by Industrial Automaton who functioned as a repair droid. (Taken from Wookieepedia. Box has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:
With a body that follows the pattern template of R4-M9 [FOTD #2,199], L4-R6 is a confusingly named droid that would be, by the old standards, an R4 unit - hence the cone-shaped head. The chest and outer limbs are painted like R4-M9 from the 2015 Disney set, but in blue, with added paint dirt. The central leg has dirt and silver. The dome is a completely new template, I believe, unless I forgot one some place. Look, I got a lot of droids here.

Making use of the Disney versions of the build-a-droid parts we've been getting for nearly a decade, there's not a lot new beyond color. The dome has a white box around a black eye, with nifty blue panels in an all-new pattern to match a set of robots outside of a store. So you go to a store, and sold nearby, is the stuff directly outside the store - there's not much to the robot beyond that. I like the colors. Blue and white look good on these guys. Disney applied a wonderfully weird pattern of dirt here that pops nicely on the body, while being a lot more subtle on the dome. There are, of course, other blue and white astromech R4 units, but this one can be had in a fancy box with more neat robots.

Articulation is nothing new, so this is best bought as a souvenir, or a fix for the hapless droid junkie. As I do not expect to be near a theme park this year, I/you may be best served ordering online. I can say it's good and durable, with nice deco that changes it up just a bit so it isn't yet another pallet swap. It's also bright enough to fit in with your cartoon figures, if you had any. Should this set come across your desk for a fair price, I'd suggest that you buy one.

Collector's Notes: I got this from eBay for about $63 delivered. I was not happy to overpay by $13, but after tax and shipping, it wasn't too bad. It's still cheaper than paying the theme park parking rate were I still relatively local.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,823: June 7, 2021

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,822: B-R72 (Droid Depot Line Look)

B-R72
Disney Parks Exclusive

Droid Depot Droid Depot Droids boxed set
Item No.:
???
Manufacturer: Disney?
Number: n/a
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: Comes apart
Retail: $49.99
Availability: ??? 2020
Appearances: Galaxy's Edge
Bio: B-R72 was a heavy loader droid with yellow and red plating. The droid belonged to the Droid Depot in Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu. (Taken from Wookieepedia. Box has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:
As a kid, I loved Star Wars toys because of the variety in its selection of aliens and droids. Even though there were eight Ewoks, it never felt like overkill - compared to the last decade, where a lot of what we get is similar to what we already have. But sometimes we get something totally different, like B-R72. This entire figure's purpose is that it stands outside a theme park with four other droids, and now you can buy it. Is this good reason to make a figure? No. But is it cool and different? Oh yes. I like it, it seems like it could be something that hangs out with my Mini-Rigs or was off-camera on Ingo or something.

This loader droid can be dismantled - the head, uni-leg, and arms are all removable. The neck doesn't really move, and the legs are a single piece double-pegged into the torso. So really, all you can do is dismember it or pose its arms. Given my love of old-school Kenner figures, I'm OK with that - it's not like it could fit in a vehicle anyway with those most bellish of bell bottoms. The sculpting seems to match the prop quite nicely, mostly being smooth with minimal specialized surfaces other than some air conditioning ducs for arms and wrenches for hands. It's a gleefully weird mix of specialized parts and what seem to be found objects, with a head that mashes up inspirations from - unless I miss my guess - R2-D2 and Darth Vader's chest. From a fan perspective, it also seems to owe a lot to the G.I. Joe Cobra S.N.A.K.E. armor as well as Monsters Inc.'s own C.D.A. agents... with a hint of DHL's branding.

The 4-inch figure has a surprising amount of paint, which is true of the entire set - there's a light dusting of grit and grim that I don't necessarily think is obvious. You can see some spots where it's absent - and that really stands out - but on the whole it just looks like they used a darker yellow at first glance. I love the red stripes with worn-off spots, and they did a nice job with the weathering. Except on the face, they just skipped that spot entirely. It matches the photos of the prop quite nicely.
This is a neat toy that is one of those figures that both makes me cringe that it took a slot from another potential figure, but also delighted in that it's weird and exists only in a corner of the galaxy where collectors probably aren't paying attention, particularly over the last couple of years. My old-school droid loving self loves this, but my "but why not give me something I might recognize" self thinks it's a waste. That said, I'll take a weird robot over another R2-D2 redeco any day, and I assume we'll probably not see many more toys based on this design. If you see the set, get it.

Collector's Notes: I got this from eBay for about $63 delivered. I was not happy to overpay by $13, but after tax and shipping, it wasn't too bad. It's still cheaper than paying the theme park parking rate were I still relatively local.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,822: June 3, 2021

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,821: Moff Gideon (The Retro Collection)

MOFF GIDEON
Kenner Style

The Retro Collection 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure
Item No.:
Asst. F0937 No. F2024
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Darksaber, blaster, vinyl cape
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: April 2021
Appearances: The Mandalorian

Bio: Gideon was a human male who served as an officer in the Imperial Security Bureau, a law enforcement and intelligence agency 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:
If you're old - and I'm old - Moff Gideon makes for a curious design case. When I first heard The Mandalorian would get retro figures, I assumed they would take design cues from The Power of the Force, Ewoks, and Droids lines - that is to say, cloth capes. Kenner replaced the Jawa's vinyl cape with cloth before the end of the 1970s, and new figures after 1981 were all cloth all the time until the line's first demise. Seeing a figure like Moff Gideon - with a vinyl cape and a Bespin/Jedi/Snowspeeder Luke-style lightsaber, it's a weird trippy choice. Of course, it would make little sense to give him the telescoping lightsaber, because you would be unable to give it to Mando. And you will no doubt want to do that at some point.

Seemingly a demake of the surprisingly good Moff Gideon (The Vintage Collection) [FOTD #2,773], you can see that it seemed they just took that design and rolled it back. (But not a lot.) The original Kenner Darth Vader was almost completely unpainted except for his chest panel buttons, whereas Gideon sports red stripes on his belt and sleeves too. He has grey and black paint on his face - the mustache is a nice touch - which is unusual, but not unheard-of. For example, some releases of Lando had both black and white paint on his face - but most humans had their facial details all painted in one color. I appreciate the extra pennies spent on paint, and while the silver buttons and belt buckle also look nice - are they too nice? Darth Vader's were usually a cruddy white paint, and that sounds truer to what was truly vintage/retro/what we had when Star Wars was still new.

Sculpted detail is a little soft, which is odd because some of those old Kenner figures have incredibly sharp sculpting. It may not have the authentic detail of today, but there are some superbly crisp lines and ridges on those 1978-1985 releases. Hasbro's new "retro" guys are a bit duller, which gets the point across but isn't necessarily true to what was real. Maybe it's intentional. Maybe it isn't. At least Gideon can still stand, sit, and hold his gear. His head has a decent likeness too, even if the head does have a little paint slop. I don't like the paint slop. But whatever.

In addition to the removable cape, he also has a blaster and a Darksaber. The Darksaber is the 1980s-style Luke lightsaber, now cast in a barely-translucent grey plastic to simulate the weird dark blade you've seen on the streaming screen. This is exactly the kind of thing Kenner would have done in the 1980s - they use the same weapon design over and over, rarely (or barely) every changing it. They could have done an all-new design that's truer to the show, but phoning it in a bit is appropriate. Meanwhile, they gave Gideon an all-new blaster pistol. Good for them. I would have happily accepted them just throwing in whatever blaster they had handy, because Kenner was also fond of handing out "Bespin" blasters, Han's blaster, or a Stormtrooper blaster to dang near everybody. You could've got Jedi Luke's blaster here and you'd be fine with it. What I really wish is that we got a cloth cape like Lando Calrissian (General Pilot), but the Darth Vader-esque vinyl cape works well here. I still don't think it clicks with Mando, but Gideon and Greef Karga can rock a slab of vinyl like nobody else.

The good thing - or bad thing - about this kind of figure is it might cause some fans to revisit what they collect, and why. I've certainly become disillusioned with completism after decades thanks to things like carbonized figures, credit collection, gold figures, and holiday figures making me shrug once I open them... or skip them, as the case has been lately. (Yeah, you're not going to see reviews of everything here anymore. The repaint exclusives in the 6-inch line and gold figures broke me.) The Kenner-style figures have proven to be lots of fun for me - I assume younger fans will love displaying them on their cards, while I ran back to pick up the AST-5, CAP-2, INT-4, Imperial Sniper, and other Mini-Rigs and had myself a fun little time playing with all of these guys. Sure, the foot pegs don't quite fit, but at least most vehicles don't require them. If Hasbro expanded its Kenner offering, I could see reconsidering what I buy going forward. I opened up the Best Buy Black Series Qui-Gon Jinn the other day (review a-coming) and while it is better than the last release, it brings me absolutely no joy. Retro Fake Kenner Gideon is a delight - he can hang out with Uncle Gundy and Jann Tosh and everybody, it'll be a good time. Just you see. And it's OK if you don't agree. You can buy 6-inch or 3 3/4-inch super-articulated Gideons if you prefer. I like this one best.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,821: June 1, 2021

Monday, May 31, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,811: R5-Series Astromech Droid White with Red Panels (2015 Edition)

R5-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID
White Dome with Red Markings

Star Tours Droid Factory Customizable Figure
Item No.:
???
Manufacturer: Disney?
Number: n/a
Includes: Head, 2 legs, torso, central third leg, optional hat
Action Feature: Comes apart
Retail: $12.99
Availability: May 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. There were 25 domes in the first 2012 series and 11 domes in the 2015 batch. While Hasbro had said they didn't design the first batch, they included Hasbro copyrights. This batch does not - markings read "© DISNEY" and "© LFL" as well as "China" on each leg.

Image: Adam's photo dump.

Commentary:
The white and red R5-Series Astromech Droid looks a lot like R5-D4, and also the Red R5 Unit Astromech Droid [FOTD #1,897] from way back in 2012. If I didn't know better, I'd assume it was the same part - but there are subtle changes. Should you care? No. But if you're going for full-on completism, there were two runs, they are slightly different, and the "matching" bodies of the time were also changed.

Unless you're completist to a fault, you don't need this. The dome is similar to previous R5 domes, with the same basic pattern - but this time, it's redder. The 2012 version was a little oranger. I would never know this without a side-by-side comparison. Similarly, the panels are the same basic patterns but slightly different. For example the dome's pie slices on top are a little more sloppy this time, and the silver ring "collar" is now the bottom ring, rather than the recessed area between the two rings. Is this worth buying again? Probably not! But it's different enough that you can take notice of it.
The 2015 body is very different than the 2012 release. For starters, the two vertical panels are unpainted - and a bunch of other boxes are now filled in. The 2012 body has sockets for lower legs, the 2015 release has them filled in. The 2012 body is mostly blank on the back, with a few outlined panels. The 2015 body has five red panels filled in. From where I sit, it's different enough to justify buying it - but I also am now side-eyeing my own completism as there are four $50+ vehicles-with-exclusive-droids at Disney parks that I can't seem to easily get. Do I even need this? Probably not.

To mix things up, this build has blue R2 legs (like R5-D4 in the movie) rather than matching red legs. You can see the 2015 feet have some added silver - a box on the front and back on the plus some sculpted silver greeblies stand out nicely for those looking for something different. A silver anklet of sorts is painted around the foot, and the greeblies around the "shoulder" were smoothed out and removed. There's both more - and less - detail on the new one. It's different, and we like different here.


Given the number of Disney astromechs, R5-D4s, R5-D8s, and other very similar droids, I can't actually say it's worth your while to seek out this specific one. I'm reviewing it here just so there's a little more reference that there are indeed multiple versions, but does it matter? Could you even get one now if you wanted one? I have no idea. The lack of names will make it hard to find on eBay and goodness knows what the part bins are like, if they're even still around. For the droid fanatics, you're going to want this one - because it is a different release. For everybody else with dozens (or hundreds) of droids, you're not going to find any reason that this one is any better than the other ones you've got. But it is different.

Collector's Notes: I got this from my pal Shannon who was cool enough to get me a set from Disneyland. Thank you Shannon!

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,820: May 31, 2021



Thursday, May 27, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,819: The Child (The Retro Collection)

THE CHILD
Kenner Style

The Retro Collection 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure
Item No.:
Asst. F0937 No. F2023
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Frog, pram, stand, peg
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: April 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:
The smallest retro-style figure to date is The Child, complete with hovering pram. Back in the day with Kenner, you'd see somebody like Salacious Crumb and Kenner said "this is too small to sell on a package by himself." (Kenner did have leftover bagged ones, but I digress.) To make up some bulk, Hasbro included a fairly sizable accessory. There are probably enough parts in the pack to get your money's worth here, but that doesn't matter. You want the kid, you're buying the kid.

Hasbro's sculptors did a nice job with The Child - but it's really not any fancier than The Vintage Collection release with 3 points of articulation. You can swivel the shoulders and neck - that's it. The head is largely unpainted except for black eyes, and the hands are too small to hold anything. His feet are sculpted, but unpainted - which is the way Kenner probably would have handled it. He has but one foot peg hole, which doesn't seem like how Kenner would have handled that. He's cute and small, fitting in well with the figures I've had for decades.

The hovering carriage is arguably too nice. I'm a big fan of Kenner vehicles, and one thing you didn't see in Star Wars was a painted interior. This one has shiny black upholstery, which seems completely overdone given that this would likely have been unpainted as an actual vintage-era toy. The snap-on lid is nice, and the whole thing is based on the Season 1 Finale rebuild of this transport. It looks fine - a little simpler than Hasbro's other offerings, but nothing about it particularly says "retro." Of note, the peg to the dirt stand looks sort of like a LEGO Technic piece. It's spacious and there's plenty of room for the kid and his frog.

It's $3 cheaper than the Vintage Collection release and arguably exactly as good. I'd say you'll buy whatever you find, and these retro guys are arguably more satisfying than anything else Hasbro has done lately. This isn't to say they're doing a bad job - but how can anyone compete with new toys from the line I grew up with? Get it if you dig it, it's fun and arguably $10 worth of entertainment.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,819: May 27, 2021


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,818: IG-11 (The Retro Collection)

IG-11
Kenner Style

The Retro Collection 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure
Item No.:
Asst. F0937 No. F2021
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Black pistol and black rifle
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: April 2021
Appearances: The Mandalorian

Bio: IG-11, also known as Eyegee-Eleven or simply as IG or Eyegee, was a masculine-programmed IG-series assassin droid who was a bounty hunter during the New Republic Era. IG-11 was programmed to follow protocols of the Bounty Hunters' Guild, and had a built-in self-destruct mechanism to prevent himself from being captured while working as a hired gun. (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:
Star Wars figures generally get better as they go, but IG-11 (and IG-88 before him) have struggled to get better. Kenner's original IG-88 is pretty spectacular, and served as the basis for the 1996 Shadows of the Empire IG-88 as well as this 2021 IG-11. IG-11 isn't as good as the vintage IG-88, despite effectively being a retooled version of that toy. Also note the final figure has two blasters - the original renders show but one.

Hasbro's sculptors seem to be working from digital scans of the original Kenner figure, but with some flaws. The arms are quite similar to the Kenner original, but the old silver droid had fake joints sculpted on the clawed hands. The new IG-11 lacks those marks, adding in thicker and more substantial (but inaccurate to the show) hands. He can hold the weapons fairly well, but the Kenner original does a better job holding the original Kenner blasters. It would be nice if the hands all fit the weapons like a glove - there's no reason to not give them a perfect fit.

IG-11's legs are largely similar to the IG-88 limbs, but the proportions and some small details are changed a bit. IG-11's limbs do not swing as cleanly as my old IG-88 figures (I have extras, you have to remember these things were worthless in the post-ROTJ, pre-Zahn era) but at least they move. The legs are a little wobbly. He's also pretty much the exact height as IG-88, meaning IG-11 won't fit in your vehicles. The torso is retooled, but is in a similar language to IG-88's. The newer droid's bandoliers are sculpted to the torso with significantly cleaner paint, and two colors to bring it to life. This is arguably far better than anything Kenner would have done - the same is true with the metallic shoulder joints. Kenner would never do that. Hasbro also dropped a few painted dots on IG-11's head, which IG-88 does have. Other than that, it's basically the same head in new colors.

I like this figure - but don't love it. It's a quickie retool, and Kenner was generally not keen on those outside of R2-D2 and C-3PO. Precious few parts are reused, but at least they made the deco interesting. The "lava reflection" color choice is gorgeous, and it's consistent with the "Credit Collection" IG-11 in The Black Series. It's a good figure design, but the execution needs some work. It's also noticing that the blasters are remarkably similar to IG-88's, but they're changed enough so a fan with a good eye will see different cuts and unique choices. It won't hold up as a good copy against a Kenner original. That's this line in a nutshell - it's arguably too good and not good enough at the same time, but packaged collectors will undoubtedly get a kick out of it. Minus the big sticker, anyway. Get it if you can.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,818: May 25, 2021