Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,963: Death Star Droid (Black, Custom)

DEATH STAR DROID Fan-Made Black Repaint of Death Star Droid
Fan-Produced Custom Figure
Item No.:
No. n/a
Manufacturer: Stan Solo
Number: n/a
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $30-$45
Availability: ca. December 2021
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: The figures are moulded colour plastic, they are factory made and professionally painted, these are not 3D printed. The figure has SS stamped on the leg as this is a complete custom figure. (Stolen from the Stan Solo Creations web site. There is no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Commentary: Another unlicensed figure is this Death Star Droid in black - it's one of three flavors put out by Stan Solo. One is a very dull gold, another is silver with black eyes. This black with silver eyes is particularly amusing because I inherited a fan's collection in the 1990s with an actual custom in these exact colors, so I have a pretty good basis for comparison. I don't know if it's the black paint or the mold, but the details are very soft, and there's an "SS" on the back of the thigh. There's no mistaking this for the genuine article.

Jointed at the neck, shoulders, and hips, this Death Star Droid brings you the appearance of the Death Star Droid 5D6-RA-7 rather than the silver Sandcrawler Droid we got as kids. The arms bow out a little more than the original, and some of the finer details on the face and chest seem very washed out. It's not bad, but if you get super close you'll notice that things are a little on the flat side. His C-3PO is a little sharper, and Super7's recent (and excellent) Maria from Metropolis is even better. It gives the figure a copy-of-a-copy look and feel that is unfortunate, but that's probably some sort of generation loss for you.

Since you're not a kid in 1979, you probably won't care so much. You can just put him on a shelf and he'll stand. You can bend his legs and toss him in a ship. He looks great in a sea of other Kenner-style figures, and looks like he completely belongs. I love the silver eyes, but I should note that they're a duller silver than Kenner's original figure. I really do like the shiny black paint though!

But is it a good deal? Kind of. If you have skills, making your own custom would probably set you back at least $8-$15 shipped for a rough Kenner original figure, plus some paint. I assume you'll also want to remove the black paint from the eyes of an original, and which seems to leave a nice silver finish underneath. Or you could buy this reproduction/bootleg. Since I do not want to churn out bootlegs or mask the eyes out, I'm fine having something like this.

Since Hasbro has been dragging their feet on Kenner releases - we got 49 non-proto figure announcements since 2019, which isn't bad. We got 34 non-proto Kenner releases since 2019 - that's averaging 8.5 per year - and that's a little slow. As far as we know, 15 are scheduled for 2023 (all new releases of old molds,) so it might be a very long time until Hasbro gets to the Death Star Droid and even longer until they repaint it in black. As such, I'd say this is certainly good enough if you have the cash to not wait. If Hasbro ever makes noise to the effect of "don't buy the bootleg customs, we're working on it," I'd change my tune - but they're not, so go ahead and look for this one online.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Todd. Thanks Todd!

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,963: September 27, 2022

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