Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,033: Boba Fett (Kenner Flavor, The Vintage Collection)

BOBA FETT Kenner Flavor
The Vintage Collection 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure, Target Exclusive
Item No.:
No. F8069
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #275
Includes: Blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $22.99
Availability: May 2023
Appearances: A white mail-in box in 1979
Bio: With his customized Mandalorian armor, deadly weaponry, and silent demeanor, Boba Fett was one of the most feared hunters in the Star Wars galaxy. (Taken from the Tareget description. There is no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon! 

Click here to buy it at eBay!

Commentary: That sense of shame you feel when you pay for Boba Fett is hard to ignore. I begrudgingly like the figure a lot, despite the colors not quite matching and the price being a complete robbery. Hasbro made a super-articulated version of one of 1979's most infamous action figures. Of course it's going to sell out. If you see it, it pushes the buttons in your brain and asks if you "Want to be 5 years old again?"

It's a Boba Fett TVC 186 [FOTD #2,791] figure from 2021, which was $12.99 at the time. This new release lacks the cape, and has fewer paint applications, yet costs a whopping $10 more. There may not be a Boba Fett tax, but we've absolutely seen Hasbro charge an exclusive tax on items at Amazon, Walmart, Target, GameStop, and elsewhere over the last couple of years. If this one hits clearance, it's really going to sting. The 2021 mold is Hasbro's best for Boba Fett, but we've also seen vast improvements made in Hasbro action figures over the last couple of years. It's pretty inexcusable to charge us that much more, especially with a standard Vintage figure having climbed to $16.99 now, but here I am, paying for it. And the sick thing? The colors are off in at least a few places.

Hasbro got a completely new mold for a Boba Fett exclusive last year, and it cost less than this repaint. This is my main beef. But how is the execution? Close - but off in enough ways where I think you can say it's not quite good enough. If you're charging me $10 more for a repaint from two years ago, I expect as close to perfection as man can achieve. Thanks to Boba Fett having a fair amount of variation in his production runs over the years, maybe there's some interpretation and mixing and matching being done here, because the colors don't look specific to any one of the Kenner Fetts I've got handy. The blue body suit and yellow armor elements match one I have standing on my desk which I got from a neighbor when I was a kid. The visor and red on the mask and gauntlet look a little closer to a different, later release. The red rocket doesn't seem to match any Boba Fett I've ever seen, with the painted tip of the rangefinder not matching the original toy one bit. The blue on his backpack is a very good match, while the visor does not match the brown (or black-ish) colors of the originals. Also the green on the chest and codpiece don't match anything I've got in my stash, but it isn't far off from the tri-logo version.

If you look at the back of the helmet, you'll see some red highlights with a stripe around the top and a red box painted on the back. The back of 1979 Boba Fett's helmet was completely unpainted. Maybe someone over there felt the rangefinder needed "something" to make it look not totally cheap, but if I were them I'd have left off the red on the back of the helmet. Nobody's going to see it other than openers, and those of us who do see it are going to ask why they bothered. If they want to maximize revenue, why spend money to put something there that doesn't belong?

Given the price point and the specificity of this release, I'm nit-pickty. The Wookiee scalps weren't on the original, but I can understand not wanting to retool the figure for this release. In terms of Hasbro making money hand over fist marking it up higher to Target, and then Target charging us more for it, and I assume it will completely sell out, I assume all corporate parties will be very pleased with this figure's performance.Surely someone over there will be asking how to do it with Darth Vader, or even Luke with a yellow opaque lightsaber blade and a lemon head for us beautiful junkies out there. The nostalgia animal will eat itself, and as long as you pick a popular character there's probably little risk of being stuck with unsold product.

If Hasbro were a singular person I would hope they feel some shame for this release only because with less paint, an easy redeco, and something fans line up to buy, charging us secondary market mark-ups at the time of release makes me feel that we could be in for an unpleasant road ahead for collecting toys. Companies tend to charge what they think they can get for an item, and I bought one. You probably did too, if you saw it. If it were a little better - if that rocket were the right color, or the visor better matched the old Kenner toy - I'd probably say "yeah, well, they did it right." I'll pay a premium for perfection, but this ain't it. Instead I'm paying for nostalgic novelty, and the sick thing is you can just get a Kenner-style Boba Fett on Amazon for about the same price - with Bossk thrown in for about the same cost. I admire Hasbro's line of thought here, and I imagine it was hard work getting the blue of the body right. Color matching red is difficult, possibly nearly impossible. I guess the question now is "when will they do it again?" and "will it be the 12-inch Kenner Boba Fett figure colors next time?"

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Target.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,037: June 13, 2023

1 comment:

MisterPL said...

Regarding The Boba Fett Tax™: Is it really Hasbro?

I know manufacturers have to meet their own margin but they only get one shot at it; when they sell to retailers. In this case it feels like it's the Target Toy Buyer who's shaking collectors' pockets for every dime by pricing these so high. Even at the deepest clearance there's a sense that Target is still making a small profit.