Thursday, July 27, 2023

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,050: Tusken Raider (The Retro Collection)

TUSKEN RAIDER (Kenner Style)
The Retro Collection 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure Shop Disney / Hasbro Pulse Exclusive Set
Item No.:
Asst. F7649 No. F7649
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Gaffi stick, cape, Jawa, R2-D2, C-3PO, Death Squad Commander, Obi-Wan Kenobi
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $69.99
Availability: May 2023
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: The Star Wars Retro Collection features design and detailing inspired by the original 1970s Star Wars figures and eatures original figure design and detailing! Continue your collection from a galaxy far, far away. (Stolen from the marketing copy. Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Click here to buy it at eBay now!

Commentary: At this point you can probably write my review before I do. "It's not as crisp as the original." "The paint is perfect but the flaws in the originals gave them character." "It's like time travel, but not!" I'd say the same about the Sand People, or Tusken Raider figures. And I hope you like this mold, because they're reusing it for The Book of Boba Fett figure later. It looks like it might have been designed by copying details from one of the variants from the middle of the run. The eyes aren't quite as sunken in and the holes are painted, and the cheek tubes are not hollow. I'd say the eyes are the most jarring change of the new release, as they're shallower and brighter. Through deeper cuts in the sculpt, Kenner was able to fudge black centers to the eyes without spending for another paint application. They just used nice, cheap shadows.

As with most of these figures, all the landmarks are here. The colors are really close to my old Kenner figure, but the gaffi stick is a lighter shade of brown in 2023 and the 2023 cape seems to have a hint of more yellow to it. (I would have expected the opposite.) I think a lot of people would be fooled if you swapped out the new accessories on an old figure, so educate yourself in case some unscrupulous seller does so.

The figure itself has been updated in the many ways you don't want. On the good side of things, the old copyright marks on the leg are gone so it's easy to tell a new figure from an old. What you might not like are the generation loss on the sculpted details. Many of the tattered edges are still there, but they're diminished ever-so-slightly. You won't know at first glance, but by comparing one to an original I assume what one wants is the real thing - the genuine article! There's a subtle texture on the 1970s figure that is smoothed out and shiny in 2023, but the tan plastic absorbs most of the detail so you might not notice. What you will notice is the dark brown paint over the face and bandolier. The pouches look fine, but the orignals are sharper and frequently painted in a sloppier way that sometimes leaves traces of unpainted plastic between them, helping them pop. Th brown wrappings around the mouth lost a lot of detail, but there are still sculpted elements there - it's like a new sculpt was made by someone who didn't quite understand the original figure or costume. The painted silver detail is incredibly shiny, and the eyes and "nose" look just a little off. In an era of AI upscaling and digital copies losing fidelity once you scan a copy of a copy, it seems like nobody went back in to improve those imperfections. Then again, your eyesight might not be what it was in 1983 so you'll just look at it and go "Looks great" and get on with your day.

For those looking to build their armies or add a new "variant" to an old Kenner collection, this is a great figure. It's just different enough to be interesting. I don't think it will be hard to authenticate an original given the changes, and you can throw this one at a kid or anyone you don't want touching your originals. It's a great set, and I hope Hasbro does more six packs like this to fill out the line between now and whenever the license finally becomes unprofitable. I'm guessing 2027, what about you?

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Hasbro Pulse.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,050: July 27, 2023

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