Star Wars “Saga Collection:” Rogue Two Snowspeeder by Hasbro

Ahhhh, The Force Awakens has got me with Star Wars toys on the brain again, but not entirely in a good way. I’ve had a blast looking at the 6-inch Black figures last week, but watching reviews for some of the other stuff is really pissing me off, especially since I have some of it on order. The particular offender of this new batch of toys is Poe Dameron’s X-Wing, which sadly looks like a piece of crap when it should be the flagship toy of the line. This caused me to go digging through closets and totes and come up with some Star Wars stuff that I’ve been meaning to look at forever. Today is going to be a bit of a hodgepodge of a Feature, because I’m looking at a vehicle and two figures, all from separate eras of Hasbro’s Star Wars line, but which go so well together. Let’s start with this awesome little ship…

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Released as part of Hasbro’s “Saga Collection” back in 2006, this Rogue Two Snowspeeder was a Target Exclusive that featured some really snazzy diorama packaging and what I believe was the first action figure of Zev “I found them!” Senesca. This beauty was from a time when Target was doing a lot of Star Wars exclusives around Christmas, (Gotta take a look at that Imperial Shuttle someday!) and I remember heading out one day with finding this ship as my sole goal in life. Luckily it was pretty easy to find. In fact, the Target I went to had two whole endcaps full of these things. I’ll note here that I have no idea what happened to poor Zev. He’s probably at the bottom of a Tote somewhere, but he was never the selling point of this set for me. Ironically, one day I will come across him and proclaim… “I found him!”

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The Snowspeeder is excellent and hails from a time when Hasbro really knew how to make great looking and fun vehicles without breaking the bank on the price point, or even having to invest a crazy amount of effort. The ship features some solid paint apps with nice weathering and just a few tampos to depict markings on the hull. The detail in the sculpt is impressive and everything about this toy reminds me why this is one of my favorite Star Wars ship designs. I can still feel what it was like to take my vintage Kenner Snowspeeder out into the backyard and crash it into the snow. Good times! I live in Florida now, so no snow, but boy do I have good times when I bust out my Sandcrawler!

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For a small ship, the dual person cockpit has plenty of room for both pilots. Sure, if you open up the canopy it looks like Luke has to pilot it with his feet, but with the canopy closed they look great in there. Lest my point is too subtle, you can barely fit the one figure into the Force Awakens X-Wing without buttering him up and forcing him in there. Heh. That’s how you get him in. You use the force! Ahem… Moving on…

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Hasbro didn’t futz around with any unnecessary electronics on this thing and in my mind that’s always a good thing. Instead, there’s just a few solid play features. The air brakes open up, the gun on the back rotates, and there’s a folding landing gear on the bottom, which is lowered with a lever. That’s it! Simple and fun! Imagine that? Not even a firing missile!

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While not having Zev with the ship irks my OCD a bit, truth be told I ditched him in that Tote so many years ago, because I wanted to give this ship to Luke and Dak, inaccurate hull markings be damned! And those are the two figures I usually have manning the cockpit.

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Luke is from the “Saga Legends” line from not too long ago. It was the one that included those stands that worked with some kind of collectible card game, because let’s face it, kids can’t play with action figures unless they have cards with rules and all that jazz, right? Riiiiight. Despite the silly pack in, this is one of my favorite Luke Skywalker figures in the 3 3/4″ range. The detail is so impressive, right down to the little hooks and pouches on his belt and the helmet is just amazing for this scale. When I often talk about the 6-inch Black Series not being a big enough improvement to justify the larger scale, this is the sort of thing I’m talking about. This is just a great little figure.

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He also came with a removable helmet, a lightsaber hilt, and the grapple hook he used to take out the AT-AT Walker. The grapple gun isn’t the best of accessories, but hey, they tried. About my only gripe here is that I don’t seem to recall the saber including a blade and that kind of stinks. Maybe I’m wrong, though.

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Dak Ralter, Luke’s trusty (and ultimately doomed) gunner, was originally released as part of the “Vintage Collection” back in 2010 and again in the 3 3/4″ Black Series last year. Crazy enough, I have both of them, probably because I forgot I had the first one, saw the new one at the store and said, “heeeey, I need that guy for the backseat of my Snowspeeder!” That’s cool, though, I always had a thing for the Rebel Pilot figures and you can never have too many of them. While I was never thrilled with the somewhat bewildered look on this guy’s face, it’s still hard to argue with how much detail is in the facial sculpt here. It also represents another great rendition of the Rebel Pilot Suit in this scale. The helmet isn’t as impressive as Luke’s but still damn good. He comes with a blaster and a rifle. Neither did him very much good when the AT-AT Walker foot crushed him. Canon tells us he was killed instantly when the blast hit the cockpit. I’m not so sure…

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I feel kind of mixed about featuring a great toy like this to try to prove a point, but anger fueled me to write it. This Snowspeeder retailed for around $30 and even back then I thought it was a great deal. Now, I’m looking at Poe Dameron’s X-Wing at $50 and I think it’s outrageous. Yeah, I get it, there’s inflation and all that, but the state of Hasbro’s 3 3/4″ Star Wars line in light of how huge this new movie’s release is going to be is really disgraceful. And I can’t get behind people talking about vintage charm when it comes to the new line. Just look at this Snowspeeder. Even the original Kenner release had electronics and this one doesn’t. You see, it’s simpler, but the quality and fun is there. The guns aren’t all warped right out of the package because of shite plastic, the scale is good even if not entirely accurate, and it’s clearly designed to interact well with the figures. Is that so much to ask, Hasbro? Really???

 

Star Wars Saga Collection: Princess Leia in Boushh Disguise by Hasbro

I know… I just featured Slave Leia a couple of days ago. I’m a bad host. I’m double dipping on the Leia. But I wanted to get as many different lines into this week as possible and I just happened to have this Saga Collection version of her lying around too. But it’s ok. Even as a kid I never used my vintage Kenner version as Leia. I rarely ever took off the helmet and the figure was always just another bad ass bounty hunter to me. Decades later and nothing has changed. While my Boba Fett figure can keep his ongoing grudge chasing Han Solo, I consider this Boushh figure to be the original Ubese mercenary, still alive and well and earning his pay by killing Jedi stragglers for Crimson Nova. But for the purposes of this feature, I guess we’ll consider her Leia in disguise…. More than meets the eye!!! Sorry, I’ve had a few Jamesons. Let’s look at the package.

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Damn, this was some fine packaging. It borrowed heavily from the vintage cards with the starfield and the old school logo, and then blows my mind by putting a scene specific printed insert into the back of the bubble. The effect is like you’re getting a mini snowglobe diorama. Leia comes carded with her helmet off and beside her. With the exception of actually reproducing the vintage cards, I think this was Hasbro’s best original package design. Unfortunately, the figures themselves were a total mixed bag. You got some great new sculpts with good articulation, and you got some straight repacks going all the way back to the POTF2 line. Leia here was the first figure released in this series, let’s see how she turned out.

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She is indeed a brand new sculpt, and a mighty fine one at that. Her outfit is layered so that the cape, backpack, belt and bandolier strap are all one piece and fitted over the rest of the figure. The skirt is a second layer that hangs down over the tops of the legs. She’s also been scaled way down from the previous release to fit Leia’s tiny size. The portrait is ok, but not great. I don’t care much for the paint on her eyes, which makes her look kind of drugged out {token Carrie Fisher drug reference deleted} and the stray hair on each side of her face sort of looks more like sideburns than what it’s supposed to be. Still, all in all not bad, and I never display the figure with the helmet off anyway.

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The helmet is similar to what we’ve seen before. It’s a hollow, slightly rubbery piece that fits right over the figure’s head. The sculpt is great and it looks fantastic on the figure. There’s only one problem. Leia’s ponytail hangs out the back! It’s kind of like one of those episodes of Scooby Doo, where Shaggy and Scooby are disguised and sneaking away, but Scooby’s tail is hanging out the back of the disguise. No? Just me then? Ok. It’s not terribly obvious, and you can’t see it from the front, but I have been tempted to snip it off.

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While the sculpt may mingle with current Vintage Collection standards, the articulation sadly does not, but it comes frustratingly close. Leia has a ball jointed neck, as well as ball joints in the shoulders and the knees. She has swivels in the elbows and wrists and she can swivel at the waist. She has a typical T-crotch for articulation in the hips. She’s sort of pre-posed in a way to have her holding her long weapon in one hand and the thermal detonator in the other, but it’s not so obvious that you can’t get some more neutral stances out of her. The biggest shame of this figure is the lack of ball joints in the elbows. Those would have made her a lot closer to being a definitive version.

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In addition to her helmet, Leia comes with her rifle, a tiny thermal detonator, a personalized figure stand, and a hologram of Obi-Wan that looks like gummy candy. Too bad it’s not candy; at least I could eat it instead of throwing it away. The detonator is just a tiny ball that I will probably lose shortly after this feature. It pegs into Leia’s left hand.

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No doubt, this version of Leia/Boushh is a great figure. All this depth in the sculpt makes her look like she’s ahead of her time, especially for a 2006 assortment that retailed at $6.99. And that’s what made the Saga Collection so frustrating. If you were a seasoned Star Wars collector, you could easily spot when you were getting a cool new figure or a crappy old repack. On the other hand, the unsuspecting or those buying them by the case online, were in for quite the crap shoot. I’ve always liked the POTF2 version of Boushh, but this one has long since become my definitive figure of the character.