I’m pressed for time today, but I also wanted to dig into the newest wave of Star Wars 6-inch Black Series figures, so I’m going with the one figure in this assortment that I have the least to say about: The AT-AT Driver! Of course, that shouldn’t be mistaken for a general lack of affection for this guy.
Somewhere along the way, I fell into the misconception that AT-AT Drivers were just repainted TIE Pilots. It’s an easy mistake to make, although with how long I’ve been collecting Star Wars figures, you’d think I would have known better. Indeed, playing around with this figure really made me appreciate how different the two designs are and in some cases, they are oddly different. For example, the AT-AT Driver has the leg harness that we see on most of the Rebel Pilot flight suits. Why does the AT-AT Driver have those, but the TIE Pilot doesn’t? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? These aren’t questions I can answer here, so let’s just check out the damn figure.
Wow, he’s fantastic! Well, except for one glaring problem he’s fantastic, but I’ll get to that in a bit. I’ve always been partial to this design, although to be honest the pair that I had as a kid rarely left my Kenner AT-AT’s head. And the pair of modern 3 3/4-inchers that I now own rarely ever leave Hasbro’s Super AT-AT’s head. Well, here’s one that I’ll be able to display on his own, because obviously there ain’t no 6-inch Super AT-AT to put him in and let’s be honest, it’s never coming. Although, a properly scaled cockpit would be cool!
The sculpt here is excellent. You get all kinds of rumples, stitching, pockets, and texturing in the underlying jumpsuit. The boots are nice and chunky, the gauntlets look great, and the shoulder armor is cast in soft and pliable plastic so as not to impede the articulation. I would have liked more of a matte finish for the suit, but Hasbro went for bare plastic, which has a glossy sheen to it.
I really dig the attention to detail on the control box. The sculpt is so sharp and the paint is neat and carefully applied. Same goes for the box on his back. The hoses run from the box to the cylinders on the back of the helmet and are flexible enough to allow the head to move unhindered.
Besides the control box on the chest, it’s always been the helmet on these guys that I loved the most, and Hasbro went all out recreating it for this figure and he’d be just about perfect if it wasn’t for that majorly droopy Imperial Insignia on the right side of his helmet. Dammit, Hasbro! You were so close here and you blew it on an easy one! To be fair, that emblem droop doesn’t bother me nearly as much as I thought it would, but it’s still going to make me hunt down another one of these.
The articulation is as good as we get with the regular troopers. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hips. The knees are double hinged, there are swivel cuts in the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint buried in the chest and another under the helmet. And while this guy is probably used to just sitting down and driving his AT-AT you can get some nice poses out of him. Toss in the E-11 Blaster that he comes with and he’s ready for action. It would have been cool to get an homage to the rifle that came with the vintage figure too, but oh well!
Don’t let my brevity today fool you into thinking I don’t totally dig this figure, because I sure do. Is it really any better than Hasbro has done in the 3 3/4-inch scale? Probably not. But, Hasbro hit all the right points on this guy, save for one damn sloppy emblem placement, and I’m very happy to have him joining my 6-inch scaled Imperial Forces. Even though he’s got nothing to drive, he’s an important figure that I can finally check off my Black Series want list. Now to go hunt down a better one…