Ok, so last time we looked at the packaging and the exterior of the toy. This time, we’ll see what’s going on inside. I’ve had a hell of a fun time digging out my totes of Star Wars figures and setting them up in and around this beast. We’ll take a look at each of the three main components of the AT-AT, namely its head, body and rear garage.
The head’s cockpit opens up similarly to the old Kenner toy. You just lift up the hatch to reveal the inside. The early boasting point of this toy’s size was that the head could hold six figures. Can it really? Well, yeah, but only if they’re packed in like sardines. Plus, there are some early reports that the new Vintage Collection General Veers is too tall for the head!
There are two seats for the drivers (but remember, you only get one!) and then six pegs total in front of and behind the tactical screen. The idea here is that you can get two figures in front and two behind. I’d say the maximum capacity of the head without getting ridiculous is more like five, as I can comfortably fit two guard types behind the screen and one in front, or vice versa and have it look ok. Don’t get me wrong, this is a huge improvement over the original Kenner AT-AT’s two-seater roadster head.
The tactical console has a button that will activate a number of phrases, some of which will cause the screen to light up blue. There’s a sticker of the Hoth shield generator that can be applied, but if you choose to leave your AT-AT less scene specific, the light up effect of the screen still looks pretty cool without the sticker. I’m actually considering removing mine. The rear hatch that supposedly leads into the neck is really well done and actually looks like it should open.
There is a concealed handle in the top front of the AT-AT’s hull that works the head movement. When it is concealed, the head locks in a position so that its looking straight. Pull out the handle and the head goes somewhat limp so that it can be moved up, down and side to side by the handle. It would have been cool if the chin lasers could be operated with this device, but those are operated with slider switches under the head itself. The handle also has two fold out cannons so that you can leave it out and it will still look as if it serves a real purpose on the vehicle. That’s a nice touch. There are also three buttons near the handle, which activate different battle sound effects.
All in all, the head upgrade is about on par with what Hasbro did with the recent Millenium Falcon cockpit. Its definitely roomier, fits more figures and adds a load of play value to the toy.
The main body of the Walker opens up on both sides in a gullwing fashion. The bottom portion folds down to form a platform with pegs to hold extra figures. These can also be used as boarding ramps, if you have a surface about the right height, as well as staging platforms for the winches positioned on each side for ferrying troops up and down to and from the surface. The winches are mounted on arms that swing out. A single button drops them and a disc can be turned to raise them back up. Each lift can hold two troopers at a time.
The inside cabin features a trench with a ladder on the wall, a lower platform area, and a raised platform area with a console and a window that looks into the rear garage. The console has a button that activates various phrases, some of which cause the red alert light in the cabin to flash. There are plenty of pegs, two side rails, and two removable console posts, that I chose to leave out because they tend to get in the way. The trench leads to the trap door in the belly of the Walker, which also has a winch, and can be used to recreate Luke’s demolition of the AT-AT in the film, or as another venue for getting troopers down to the surface.
Again, the main cabin is a huge improvement over the old toy. Both toys hold a lot of figures, but this one definitely holds more than the electronic POTF2 or Endor AT-ATs and provides a more interesting play environment. The fact that both sides open also makes it easier to get to everything inside.
The back of the walker opens up to reveal the speeder bike garage. A button deploys the platform that the speeder locks into, accompanied by a sound effect. You can also store more figures in here if you choose to leave the speeder out. There are also windows that can be opened on either side to give your Stormtroopers some much needed target practice.
The speeder bike itself is ok, but it suffers from the very flimsy rubbery plastic that make up the handle bars and the stabilizer boom. I definitely prefer the older one I have that’s closer to the old vintage Kenner toy. Either way, the new figures don’t sit all that well on it, but you can work something out if you’re determined enough. Its a nice enough bonus to round out the package, but nothing special.
I will admit, I was a little worried about buyer’s remorse when I pre-ordered this beast, mainly because I just don’t collect Star Wars toys like I used to. It took me a lot of waffling before buying the huge Millenium Falcon last year, but I never regretted that, and the same is true with this monster of an AT-AT. It seems only slightly less substantial then the Falcon, but that’s probably because a great deal of this toy’s size comes from its legs. And to be fair, its debuting on the toy shelves for about $50 less than the Falcon did. Either way, I’d say it was well worth the price and I highly recommend it, unless you’re willing to wait for the vintage style packaging on the TRU exclusive later on down the road. Detractors may well point out that its still not close to scale, but the only time I find this really apparent is when its seen next to the Snowspeeder. As far as the figures go, its plenty big enough!
While my Star Wars collection is a far cry from what it used to be, this AT-AT makes a nice addition to my showpieces like the big Falcon and the Imperial Shuttle. I’m also very glad I hung on to most of my Imperial figures because now they have somewhere to live.
The only thing I’m afraid of now is that owning this is going to pull me back into collecting a lot more Star Wars figures and toys this year than I had previously planned.