Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,093: General Hera Syndulla (The Retro Collection)

The Retro Collection 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure
Item No.:
Asst. F6874 No. F7306
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster
Action Feature: Blaster can be stored in holster loop
Retail: $11.99
Availability: October 2023
Appearances: Star Wars: Ahsoka

Bio: The Star Wars Retro Collection features design and detailing inspired by the original 1970s Star Wars figures and features 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 Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now! 

Click here to buy it at eBay now!

Commentary: As a kid, I didn't want Star Wars to end - I wanted new stories, new toys! It took a while to get them, and I honestly never thought we'd get more new Kenner-style figures but with General Hera Syndulla it seems like we're getting a bunch more. Shipping at the same time as The Vintage Collection figure (with the same coloring, same costume, same name... they're going to look identical to most people if they're ever in stock at the same time) it feels more and more like we're getting a toy line meant for the Internet era. These no longer exist to make a big brand statement at retail, which in turn promotes the show. Instead, they come out about 2-3 months late (or later) and probably will be a blip at the toy aisle. And for some reason, a whopping three versions of the bombad general are all hitting at roughly the same time, giving fans a lot of options. If they ever see those options. They probably won't.

It may surprise you that Kenner Hera is only the second-ever Kenner-style Twi'lek officially released - we never got an Oola, or Aayla Secura, or... hey wait a minute, do all their names end in an A? I digress. The figure is a pretty good one, but not perfect - which means it's a good Kenner design. For some reason Hasbro is allergic to giving the figures a slight slump in posture, or bent elbows, like the originals - but other than that? She's Kennery enough for you, old man. All five joints turn, the blaster fits in the loop, the colors are nice and bright. She's not line the original in that she has painted patches on her shoulders and back, and some of her holster details are painted. Kenner probably would've left these things off to keep costs down, but Hasbro has not been interested in keeping down costs in its collector brands as of late. They didn't paint the details on her Lekku (that's good) but they did paint her lips, and on my sample it doesn't look as good as the photos. I hope to see her in a store again so I can see if mine is unique, but I'm writing this during the holiday season which is "pretty much any new toy will sell" time.

I love the painted details and I feel like Hasbro went not-quite-the-extra-mile on this one, which is good. The painted goggle lenses and straps are a nice detail, and she fit in the vehicles I pulled out to test without a problem. (How could I not grab the Phantom?) I would love for Hasbro to start doing something with the left hands other than "claw to grip weapon," which we're seeing in Mon Mothma but not others. It would be great to give her pose a little more personality, as a Kenner-style face tends to not be terribly expressive. The figure definitely looks close to how a real 1980s figure might look, but the digital sculpting techniques used to make figures today remove the asymmetry we saw in the originals and as such, picky old-school fans will know she (and her wave mates) aren't quite up to the sharp - but simple - details we saw in the original toy line. I have to say that because we're a picky bunch - her little head tilts and the way her head just barely arches forward on the show is remarkably different from her posture on the figure, which is far more stiff than the bulk of actual real Kenner figures from the old days.

Between you and me I'm just happy this line continues to exist and gives me toys I actually want to fuss around with a lot more than the other brand segments. I pop her out of the package, and she stands - no fuss. That's the way I like it - and if they feel like hiring some old-guard sculptors, if any are still looking for work, I'd love to see them take a crack at a future wave of these guys. It is unreal to me that I have a Super7 Svengoolie, a Kenner Hera, and a number of other "they'll never make that!" retro-style figures. All on my desk. Right now.

(Confidential to Hasbro: I assume you will never do another wave of Ahsoka Retro, but if you do, I'd be down to buy Thrawn, the two not-Jedi, Ezra, and some troopers please.)

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

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,093: December 26, 2023

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