Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,929: Anakin Skywalker (Outlander Peasant Disguise 2021 Redux, The Vintage Collection)

(Peasant Disguise, 2021 reissue)

The Vintage Collection
Item No.:
Asst. E5912 No. F1884
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #32 (reissue)
Includes: Lightsaber, hilt, soft goods cloak
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: February 2021
Appearances: Attack of the Clones

Bio: Anakin is assigned to bring Senator Padme Amidala back to Naboo after she escapes another assassination attempt, dressing in peasant clothes to hide his Jedi identity. (From marketing copy. 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!

It's been 20 years since the debut of the movie (and figures) for Attack of the Clones, a weird movie which the adults at the time didn't like very much but time has seemingly favored. You had some awkward dialogue that became meme famous. You had an amazing battle and lots of interesting fights and chases. And you had more terrible dialogue. The action figure line was similarly all over the place, with $5 figures featuring Hasbro's most gutsy stab at action features in any of its Star Wars offerings. This 2022 Anakin Skywalker (Peasant Disguise) is a repaint of a 2011 Anakin Skywalker (Peasant Disguise) [FOTD #1,803] release, which is neat but lacked a little charm. The new release improves the plastic part's deco, but the cloth part is worse. Those wanting the very best will have to cobble together elements from both figures.

Let's start with the cloak - the new fabric feels like a first shot, a rough attempt, the pattern you cut out at lunch to say "we need something kind of like this, but not this." The previous release had a really nice look and feel, like a scaled-down, worn, woven garment. The textile had some personality, which is good, because it's not like it had cool stripes or wild patterns. It's a big shape with a hole in the head, and he can wear it. This poncho feels incredibly new, which would have been more forgivable for the release 10 years ago. It's a step back now, and I don't love it. I do love the lightsaber and hilt, though, those are fine.

The figure itself comes from an era where the figures were nearly half of what they cost now - and you could see that there was cost-cutting in places. The original mold - like this reissue - has no ankle joints, nor a hole in his belt for the lightsaber hilt. I also have a bit of an issue getting him to stand and balance without leaning him forward - a thing Hasbro has recently made great strides on, but was something that held back these figure for years. (For me. Lots of people loved them as is, I wanted them to stand up.) The hips swivel forward, the wrists swivel (but do not bend), and the waist swivels. The shoulders and elbows bend and swivel, and were about as good as you could get at the time. I like that his pose is basically straight up and down, unless you wanted to make use of the joints, and the costume detail is largely excellent. With some work, he can stand - but I really like that he can sit. He doesn't have a ship to sit in, as such, but at least we can all say they did a good job making the joints move freely without barriers.

I didn't think the head was terrible for its original release, but it doesn't feel quite right now. Maybe it's missing the slight sneer, maybe the hair color is a little dark, maybe it's that the photoreal paint we were expecting didn't do much to bring the figure to life. It looks like Anakin, but not really like Hayden Christensen. I will say the head paint is much sharper, the eyes and eyebrows are better, the lips are a little shiny, and Hasbro improved the 2021 head over the 2021 head significantly. It is, without a doubt, better. Is it great? No. The upgraded heads often struggle to get that weird spark of life we're seeing on the brand-new sculpts, but this is better than the previous release of this figure.

The old cloak and the new figure are a match made in heaven (ca. 2018.) I can't point to anything about this release being exceptional for its time and certainly not today, but it is cheaper than the initial release and I applaud Hasbro for trying to improve him for the second go-round. If you just want a cheap figure and a good time, I recommend Anakin Skywalker (Outlander Disguise) [FOTD #1,204] from 2002. As I write this he's on Amazon for $7, dirt cheap for a $5 figure from 2002.) He has a silly pose, but is a magical toy with magnets letting him use the Force to grab a blaster or open a box, plus his telescoping lightsaber feels like retro 1978 chic. For a fidget toy on your desk, the 2002 one is better - for almost every diorama purpose, get the 2021 release. Or don't. Maybe they'll make an even better one. (They won't, but it felt like a positive note to end a review.)

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

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,929: May 31, 2022

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