Star Wars (Rogue One): Imperial Combat Assault Tank by Hasbro

I make it no secret that Rogue One is my favorite of all the modern Star Wars flicks. Hell, if you take away the nostalgia boost from A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, it may even be my favorite of all time. But that still didn’t get me to shell out $80 for Hasbro’s Assault Tank because, well… it seemed like an awful lot of money. But Amazon had a Deal of the Day on this baby last week, reducing it to $48 and even then I thought good and hard before finally giving in. Was it worth it? Let’s open it up and find out!

Behold the faux vintage packaging! The old style silver border and the Kenner logo really punches me in the nostalgia button and makes for a very handsome bit of presentation. I also really miss the days when they used to just let pictures of the toy and a bunch of figures do the talking. And because it’s a fully enclosed box, it’s also collector friendly, so I won’t feel tempted to throw it out. Also notice that they finally stopped calling this thing a Hover Tank? Apparently, it was originally supposed to hover in the film, but that got nixed for the final production and I guess the toy companies never got the memo. This resulted in “Hover Tank” appearing on the packaging of the LEGO set and the pilot figure. I kind of wish they kept the name on this package, though. It would have been another cool mistake for the ages, along the lines of the whole 4-LOM/Zuckuss mix-up. Anyway… The tank comes out of the box with very little assembly required, and it can indeed go back in the box, which is always a big plus for me when it comes to this vintage packaging. All you have to do to get the tank ready for action is load up the cargo containers on the back and plug in the guns on the sides. There are no stickers to apply either.

Here she is ready to patrol the streets of your neighborhood and haul away all of your Kyber crystals. The TX-225A “Occupier” Tank doubles as both an armed cargo carrier or troop transport. I’m starting out with it set up first as the former, with the three cargo containers loaded up in the back. My first impression out of the box is that this toy has a real nice heft to it, which hasn’t been the case with most of Hasbro’s vehicles these days. Many of them have had a hollow and cheap plastic feel, but this tank feels solid. It’s a decent size, but not impressively large. I’ll talk about scale again when we load some figures onto it. Beyond that, I’m not sure what to talk about first, the sculpt or the paint, because both stand out right away as being exceptional. Let’s go with the paint first…

It’s all about the weathering, folks. Hasbro dry-brushed the hell out of this thing, giving it tons of wear and tear and making it feel right at home in the used-future of the Star Wars Universe. It’s one of the things most missing from a lot of Hasbro’s vehicles these days, they come out of the box with little to no paint apps and looking all bright and shiny. It tends suck a lot of the character out right out of the designs. Nearly every edge on this tank is painted to look like the finish is scraped down to the bare metal. There are blotches of wear and tear scattered around the body, there are abrasions near the hatches to show frequent use, and even the overall paint job looks like it’s been blasted by Jedha’s harsh climate. This is exactly the kind of personality and craftsmanship that we don’t usually see on Hasbro’s Star Wars vehicles, and it really sets this one apart as being a collector’s piece. It looks like a workhorse that’s been patrolling the streets of the Holy City of that desert moon for years. I love it!

As for the sculpt, there’s some wonderful detail work on the hull that reminds me of some of the old WWII tank models I used to build with my father when I was a kid. You get mesh grating, straps, hatches, panel lines, bolts, and compartments on the sides, just to name some of the highlights. There aren’t any play gimmicks here, just some cool practical features. The vehicle rolls along on two real working rubber treads, which I personally dig a lot more than a hover tank any day! There are double-barreled cannon mounted on each side of the driver compartment and these can swivel 180-degrees to lay down destructive fire in front, above, or behind. You also get a double-barreled cannon peeking out the bottom front section, which can swivel left and right.

There’s a hatch on top that can be removed to allow engine access. The side hatch actually looks like it could open too, but that’s just part of the sculpt. Hasbro even coughed up a lick of paint for some of the components in there. The hatches locks in flush with the body of the vehicle and it actually takes a bit of work to get it open.

Two additional hatches are there for personnel. One allows the driver to pop his head out and see, while the one behind it accommodates the tank commander. These are basically cannon-fodder hatches, or if my old war movie knowledge is applicable, perfect for lobbing grenades into.

The entire plate over the driver compartment is also removable to give you access and also to see how much incredible work Hasbro put into it.  There isn’t an inch of this interior that isn’t packed with detail. There’s grating on the floor, wires and controls on the walls, a shifter lever, control yokes at each seat and a little sticker showing some gauges on the dashboard. If you get all the way in there, you can see a hatch behind the driver’s seat that leads into the back. It doesn’t open, but for a moment, I thought it did.

Also, check out how much detail is sculpted into the inside of the removable hatch! There’s a fan and ventilation system and I love how the filter compartments are sculpted underneath where the vents are on the outside of the panel. This kind of stuff is just so damn cool.

The three cargo containers simply lay in the bed of the tank, but they stay put quite well and are easy to lift out. Removing them allows you to slide the flooring to each side, revealing an area with foot pegs, turning the tank into a troop transport. There are eight pegs in there. We’ll load it up with some troops in a little bit. But first…

Here’s where things get really mind-blowing. One of the cargo containers actually opens and you can remove three of the storage cylinders. I didn’t read a lot about this tank before I bought it and I certainly wasn’t expecting that. That goes double for the fact that you can open each of the three canisters…

…and slide out the Kyber crystals. OK, sure the interiors are made of super soft, gummy plastic. And they don’t really look like anything. But come on, I’d still say that’s going above and beyond! These are the kinds of features that I love in toys. Forget about the electronics and the spring loaded gimmicks. Just give me stuff like this! OK, so we’ve seen all the tank has to offer, let’s take her for a spin with some figures.

For this review, I’m using all 5-POA Rogue One figures. I haven’t been buying many of the 3.75-inch Vintage Collection stuff, and besides, 5-POA is the only way many of the Rogue One figures have been released anyway. These figures fit perfectly in the tank’s driver compartment. The driver seat is raised so that his head will poke out the top of the tank, and I had no trouble replacing the hatch with a Stormtrooper in the co-pilot seat. I’ll likely end up picking up a few of the Vintage Collection Tank Driver, because the 5-POA one is only available as part of the Jedha 4-pack, and he’s the only troop builder in that set.

With the cargo containers removed and the floor plates slid back, the tank will comfortably transport six Stormtroopers in the back. Keep in mind that the foot pegs do not work all that well with the 5-POA figures, nor are they positioned all that well to hold the figures this way. Still, I really dig this as a troop transport and if I dig out a couple of my super-articulated Stormies, I could add a few sitting on the tailgate.

As far as scale is concerned, the tank is definitely a bit undersized, but not by too much. Most of the stills from Rogue One that I consulted show the top of the tank at about the same height as the Stormtroopers escorting it on foot. In the case of the figures, they stand a smidge taller. Personally, I think the figures look fine riding on it, but when they’re walking alongside, it’s when I can see that the vehicle needed to be a bit bigger. It’s not a deal-breaker for me, especially when you consider how many Star Wars vehicles have been down-sized to make the toys work. Although I suppose there’s a case to be made that Hasbro could have scaled this thing properly without breaking the bank, and for $80, they probably should have.

In the end, this is a very, VERY nice toy. The quality and attention to detail feels more in line with the work Hasbro put into the heavy hitters like the huge Millennium Falcon and AT-AT Walkers. Hell, when it comes to the paintwork, I’d say it’s better. And yet I’m still torn on the sense of value here. As nice as it is, my gut reaction tells me that the original MSRP of $80 is WAY too high for this. But then I look at the prices of some of Hasbro’s other recent vehicle releases. Both Kylo Ren’s Silencer from The Last Jedi and the TIE Striker from Rogue One retailed for $50, which is a lot, although granted both of those came with pack-in figures. So grading on the scale of Hasbro’s other ship prices, maybe this one isn’t so bad, but I knew I was never forking over $80 for this. At $48 I’m glad I picked it up, but even at that price, I feel like it should have included a pack-in of the Tank Commander figure.

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Star Wars: Droid “Special Action Figure” Set by Hasbro

I’ve still been on a bit of a Star Wars kick lately, which mostly amounts to me finally getting around to opening some of the figures in my receivings stack and getting them featured here on FFZ. A couple of years back Hasbro released some neat tributes to the old Kenner three-packs with modern figures in the old style Kenner packaging. Yup, it was pretty much an extension of the Vintage Collection. At one point Amazon was selling these sets for six bucks and I said, “why not? I like droids!” and I tacked it on to one of my orders.

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Despite growing up during the heyday of the Kenner Star Wars Toy Age, I have no recollection of the original three-packs. I’ve seen them on collector sites and from time to time at Toy Shows, but I don’t think I ever saw these as a kid. Maybe I just wasn’t interested in them because I already had the figures. Anyway, the package consists of a vintage style Kenner card that sort of morphs into a window box at the bottom to display the three figures. It’s a great reproduction of the original package and deliciously nostalgic, but at the same time kind of bland because there’s very little artwork on the front. Nonetheless, it’s still plenty cool.

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The back shows all three of these recreated sets that Hasbro produced. I can’t vouch for the “Villain Set” but I’ve seen lots of photos of Kenner’s original “Droid Set” and the “Android Set.” Wait, Android Set? It’s got Chewie, R2, and 3PO, how does that constitute an Android Set??? Oh, never mind. The set we’re looking at today contains R5-D4, Death Star Droid, and Power Droid, and that makes it a nice tight set focused on the Jawa droid sale on Tatooine. Sadly, the packaging is not collector friendly as the bubble is still glued to the backing, so you’re going to have to do some damage to get these droids free.

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I’ll just take these figures in order going from left to right and that starts us off with R5-D4. The body of this mold has been around the block a couple times, starting out life as Vintage Collection R2-D2, and even this R5 is a straight repack of an earlier release, complete with the glued down front access door. Not that I’m complaining because I think this figure happens to be pretty great.

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He features the usual removable third leg, which is how I think the Astromechs should always be done in this scale. Hasbro, I love ya, but cool it with the third leg that’s tied to the head rotation. Oh wait, there’s still a head turning gimmick… D’oh! In this case the head is tied to a second antenna that comes out of his head. It’s a pretty crappy gimmick because you have to have R5 turning his head all the way over his shoulder to get it to stick up. Always with the head turning gimmicks, Hasbro, enough is enough, eh? Actually, I take that back. Give me an R5 figure that actually blows his top. That would be cool.

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The only discernable difference between this R5 and the previous release in my collection (other than the missing antenna) is the paint. This new release is much cleaner, particularly on the head and it doesn’t have the extra silver paint slop around the eyes. I’m not usually a fan of Hasbro’s attempts to dirty things up with paint, but in this case I actually like the weathered one better. Either way, this R5 is still a great figure and I’m glad to get another one.

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Next up, we’ve got Death Star Droid, also known as RA-7. For some crazy reason I was obsessed with the original Kenner Death Star Droid as a kid. I used to pair him up with R5 and they used to be the Imperial versions of R2 and 3PO and show up in all my stupid adventures. Old habits are hard to kick, and since then I’ve always tried to get whatever figures Hasbro made of this guy. After my Great Star Wars Purge, I only have two RA-7’s left, I thought this one would be another repaint of them, but not so! It’s a completely different figure.

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Yeah! Gotta love that funky purple RA-7. He’s from the Marvel Comic Pack with everybody’s favorite comic, The Jawas of Doom! But that’s a feature for another time. The biggest giveaway is this new figure’s enormous head, which I’m not all that keen on. I don’t know if it’s really more screen accurate or not, but it looks kind of ridiculous next to the other two Death Star droids with the more sensibly sized noggins.

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The other big giveaway is all the extra articulation. My other RA-7’s only have the five basic points plus swivels in their waists. This guy has ball jointed elbows, hinged knees, and a ball joint in the torso. Honestly, the added elbow articulation doesn’t really do much to enhance the figure, but at least with the knees he can sit down and take a load off. I’m pretty sure he was sitting down in the Sandcrawler, so that’s a big win to anyone looking to recreate that scene. Oh, and then there’s this…

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Yeah, he just pulls apart, which leads me to believe this figure is just a bunch of repainted Build-A-Droid parts. The new grey paintjob is pretty good and it makes him stand out among his two brothers. While he’s not quite the same without that bitchin’ chrome finish from the original Kenner figure, I still like this figure a whole lot. That’s OK, he’s still cool enough. And now I have a Death Star droid that can get blasted into a million pieces.

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And last up is the Power Droid. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Oh, crap… not another one of these stupid boxes on legs. Yeah, I have a couple of these Gonk Droids, so I wasn’t expecting much either. But it turns out this one is the only completely new figure in the set, or at least I’ve never seen him before. He’s a nice surprise because he looks pretty screen accurate and he doesn’t have any kind of stupid walking gimmick like previous releases. In fact, his legs just have regular hinges at the tops and at the ankles. I really dig the paint wash on him too. And then there’s this little surprise…

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Yeah, I already spoiled it in the earlier pictures, but it sure surprised the heck out of me. You can lift off the top and reveal his smooth and creamy caramel droid center. Actually he’s just full of droid parts. There’s some extra paint hits in there, but that’s a bout it. Ok, so after all the fuss, he really is just a box on feet and there’s not a lot else to say about this guy. But I still love him, dammit!

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I’m pretty sure these sets were originally Target Exclusives. That’s the only store I ever recall seeing them in and boy were they clogging the pegs for a long time. I remember scoffing at the original MSRP that put them at about $25 and they hung around the clearance endcaps for a while too. Yeah, for three figures, twenty-five bucks really isn’t that bad, and I wasn’t buying Star Wars at the time anyway, so it’s not like I was the intended audience for something like this. Somewhere along the way Amazon must have nabbed a ton of these because they still have them on sale. They’re not six bucks anymore, but they’re only ten, and at two-fitty a figure, that’s still a nice deal. Now I just wish I had forked up the money for that Original Trilogy Collection Sandcrawler so I can fill it up with all these nifty droids.

Star Wars Vintage Collection: AT-ST (K-Mart Exclusive) by Hasbro

How about a little more Star Wars for the week? Today we’re checking out Hasbro’s AT-ST from the Vintage Collection. This vehicle was originally released way back in 2009 as a Walmart Exclusive and then got repacked and re-released last year as a K-Mart Exclusive. Fun fact… There are no K-Marts left in my area, they’ve all closed down! The nearest one is about an hour away and going in there is really depressing. It’s seriously like some kind of sad, soulless retail gulag stuck in the 70’s. I try not to go there. But all that is beside the point because I bought mine from Amazon and it even qualified for free Prime shipping. EAT THAT, K-MART EXCLUSIVE!!!! A WINNER IS ME!!!! I was tempted to pick up the AT-ST Driver two pack as well, but then I figured I’m perfectly fine having it piloted by regular AT-AT drivers. If they’re qualified to operate a full blown AT-AT, seems like driving a chicken walker should be child’s play. I’ve been meaning to grab one of these for a long while now, and I’m pretty excited to get it open and check it out!

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Obviously, I’m a big fan of the Vintage Collection packaging. How can you not dig this? It’s just gorgeous. Although I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the scene. It looks like Vader is prodding Wicket with his lightsaber under the feet of the AT-ST in some kind of sick war atrocity game. “You’re next, Logray!” One side has the huge ugly K-Mart Exclusive medallion, and that sucks, but thankfully the other side is the same image only clean, so the box will still display well from one side.

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Inside, you get a cardboard tray, an instruction sheet, and a bunch of chicken walker parts. Yes, assembly is definitely required, and I was very worried that once assembled, this thing was never going to go back in the box. Indeed, most of the vehicle is designed to not come apart again, but you can still easily separate it into two halves and once that’s done, the AT-ST will fit comfortably back into the box for storage. I don’t have room for this on my shelves right now, so being able to keep it in the box is a huge appeal here. While there are some stickers, they are already applied, so all you need to do is snap this thing together and you’re ready to go stomp some Ewoks into goo.

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It’s been a long time since I owned the original Kenner mold of the AT-ST, but even without an eyeball comparison it’s pretty easy to see that this new version is bigger. It’s still nowhere near to being in proper scale to the 3 ¾” figures, but like the BMF Falcon and AT-AT and the Battlepack Slave-1, I find it to be a happy compromise between toy and scale model. I have, however, hunted down some pictures of the original Kenner toy, and I have to say I’m surprised at how much sculpted detail Hasbro seemed to drop from this newer toy. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? I see a big difference in the detailing on the back of the head and the legs and actually prefer the vintage version’s detailing over this one. My guess is that Hasbro had to take some liberties with the legs on this thing to make them strong enough to hold the increased bulk, but it really messes with the aesthetics. This AT-ST has cankles… CANKLES!!! Why does it feel like everything has to be a compromise? Now, that’s not to say this toy is all bad… let’s see what she’s got, and we’ll start from the top and work our way down…

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The biggest draw about this new version for me was hearing that it could actually seat two figures. The interior of the cockpit is pretty simple and relies mostly on stickers for detail. The cockpit is pretty cramped and I had my doubts it would be roomy enough for two, but even my less than super-articulated Legacy AT-AT Drivers could both fit inside fairly well. Still, I would not want to take this on a long trip across Endor and have to share that cabin.

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Outside, the head now features two opening viewports on the front and an actual guard rail up top. As with the Kenner version, the top has the screen accurate hatch that opens, plus the entire top is hinged to open to get better access to the inside. The side weapons consist of a gun and what looks like a missile pack or grenade launcher, which I vaguely recognize from playing some Star Wars game with an AT-ST in it. Both weapons rotate 360 degrees.

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You have two options as to how you want to outfit the chin gun. You get a regular gun cluster that looks more film accurate and you get a set of firing missile launchers, which will likely appeal more to the kiddies, or at least that’s Hasbro’s intent. It’s a really cool idea to give us the choice. The missile launchers don’t look nearly as bad as I thought they might, but I still prefer the regular gun package.

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The construction of the legs is completely different from the old Kenner toy. Gone is the goofy walking gimmick and in its place is an extra articulation arm that really gives the AT-ST a lot of poseability more akin to what was seen in the films. Remember that scene where the AT-ST was freaking out and trying to keep its balance on top of the logs? This one can pretty much do that. It can also squat all the way down to assume a boarding posture to make it easier for the pilots to get in and out.

Unfortunately, the new legs are poorly designed for the one thing you will need them to do most of the time.. standing. The ankle hinges and the next set of hinges up are pretty strong ratchet joints. The actual knees, on the other hand, aren’t ratchets and they are in no way suited to hold the toy’s bulk. Why Hasbro didn’t make these ratcheting joints as well is beyond me because they seriously compromise the toy. I even tried over tightening the screws and it didn’t make a difference. There are some sweet spots, where I can get this thing to stand, but it will still collapse at the slightest provocation.

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The AT-ST’s deco isn’t all that great either. The paint on the legs look like this thing has been wading through piles of Ewok shit. I was not a big fan of the muddy feet on Hasbro’s Endor AT-AT and I’m not liking it much here either. There are a few other ham handed attempts at weathering and distress, but none of it looks that good and it’s inconsistently placed. It almost looks like they started doing it on the front, decided it didn’t look so good and just stopped.

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I’ve waited a long time to get this thing and in the end I’m rather disappointed. It looks decent enough on the shelf with some figures around it, but getting it to stand is a total bitch, all because Hasbro couldn’t be bothered to outfit it with an extra pair of ratchet joints. I’m not happy with the deco and it looks like its lacking a lot of detail from the original Kenner toy, particularly on the back of the head and the legs. At $25, I’m not completely sorry I bought it, but that’s a good ten bucks less than the MSRP, and quite frankly I was hoping for something a lot better. I was originally planning to get out a whole bunch of figures and have a blast shooting pictures, but I got frustrated pretty quickly and decided to move on to other things.

Star Wars Vintage Collection: Kithaba and Nikto by Hasbro

It’s the final leg of my quest to assemble a crew of Vintage Collection Skiff Guards for my Tatooine Skiff. The last two I needed were Kithaba and Nikto. Yeah, these guys are definitely back-benchers, but hey, they can’t all be Weequay, right? You’ve got to have some less popular dudes to fall into the Sarlaac when the plan to execute the Jedi and his buddies goes tits up, and in my universe it sure ain’t going to be Weequay or Klaatu.

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Normally I shed a tear when I have to rip open Vintage Collection packaging, but this time around it didn’t bother me so much because I’m not particularly fond of either of these cards. The deco is still awesome, but the pictures of the characters are rubbish. Kithaba looks like he’s posing for a vacation photo. “Here I am in front of Jabba’s Sail Barge. I got everyone t-shirts at the gift shop.” Nikto looks like he’s about to push a reporter’s camera out of his face. “Nikto… Nikto… Is it true? You let the Jedi and his friends escape?” “What do you want me to say? We did the best we could. Just leave me alone.” Naturally, both cards are ruined anyway by giant stickers of Darth Maul’s face telling me I could win a life sized statue of him signed by Lucas. Honestly, I’d rather have an Ewok shit on my carpet then have that in my house. But enough preamble, let’s bust these guys open and we’ll start with Kithaba. Wait, wasn’t this guy Barada? Oh sweet Jesus, it’s a different guy??? I’m not going to become embroiled in another Klaatu vs Wooof debate. If you’re interested, you can check out particulars at SKIFFGUARDS.COM, which I might add is probably one of the greatest sites I’ve ever seen and quite probably the reason the Internet was created. Where was I? Oh yeah… Kithaba.

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Once again, Hasbro, you are blowing me away with these figures, particularly in your attention to the sculpted detail. Kithaba’s shirt and vest are wonderfully recreated here and the shoulder strap and pouches are actually sculpted as a different piece. Damn, that’s cool! He also has a functional holster for his hold out blaster, and you all know by now how much I love those functional holsters. Kithaba’s portrait is pretty accurate to his on screen appearance. A lot more so than the crappy photo-shopped image used on the card, for example the error in his bandana color is correct on the figure. The face sculpt is pretty spot on for a Klatooinian, as he kind of looks like a cross between a lizard and a very ugly bulldog. The paintwork is excellent, particularly on his little row of bottom teeth.

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Besides the aforementioned hold out blaster, Kithaba also comes with one of those weird, long gun-pole things. It’s a damn ambiguous weapon, and if I was a Skiff Guard and got one of those instead of the much cooler and functional force pike, I would have been mighty pissed off.

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Moving on to Nikto, he too is an amazing little sculpt that really captures all the fine points of the character. Nikto was a well-known fashionista as is evidenced by his fancy puffed out shirt and his metrosexual front-laced turquoise tunic. He’s got quilted pants with a stylish yellow stripe running down each leg. Of course, he also has a piece of armor over his chest, because looking good at the cost of getting stabbed in the throat isn’t a worthwhile trade off. I’m not sure about the hat, though. It looks like he’s wearing a dog bed on his head, which leads me to the other amazing point about this figure… HOLY CRAP, YOU CAN TAKE HIS HAT OFF!

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Yes, you could also take off Wooof’s hat, but for some reason the fact that Nikto’s hat comes off is a lot more impressive to me. I’m not saying that as a kid I used to stare at my vintage Nikto figure and curse Kenner for not making his hat removable, but I literally had to pause and take a breath before finally being able to take a peek at Nikto’s bare noggin. My reaction? Huh, his head’s smaller than I thought it would be. It was a little anti-climactic.

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Nikto comes with the same pole-gun-thingy as Kithaba and a silver painted hold out blaster, which can fit in his functional holster. Yay!

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Both figures feature the same articulation. You get ball joints in the neck, shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles. They have swivels in their waists and wrists, and their hip joints are the traditional t-crotch.

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So, there ya have it. Two more excellent Skiff Guards from the Vintage Collection. And while this pair technically completes my Skiff Guard collection, I’m still going to go after the Deleted Sandstorm versions of Lando, Han, and Luke just because they were there too and I need them to round out the display. I should note, that buying these figures has made me take a second look at some of the other Vintage Collection figures out there. I’m trying not to go nuts, because after all I don’t collect Star Wars anymore, right? But I will have another Vintage Collection figure to look at next week.

Star Wars Vintage Collection: Weequay and Wooof by Hasbro

A couple of weeks back I promised I’d be hunting down more Vintage Collection Skiff Guards and I have indeed done just that. If I promise you I’ll take out the garbage or leave the toilet seat down, I’m probably lying, but a promise to buy new toys is a promise I always keep. The next two nefarious sand pirates to join my crew are Weequay and Wooof. Wooof? WOOOF??? This guy is Klaatu. What the hell is this Wooof nonsense all about? Well, in a flurry of Jameson-fueled irritation, I found my way to a wiki article that is telling me that he was called Klaatu but then the original production name for him was Wooof, but then it says they were two different characters, and now I’m just as confused and back to just saying screw it… I’m calling him Klaatu. It helps that I got him loose, so there’s no evidence he was ever named Wooof.

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So, I’ve got no card to show you for Wooof Klaatu, but there’s Weequay’s card. As you can see, this isn’t the imposter, known as “Skiff Master Weequay,” that we looked at last time. No sir, this is the Weequay I grew up with and the one that will always have a special place in my fanboy heart. Look at him standing there proudly on the bow of his skiff. So noble… so magnificent… so Weequay! Since time began, Weequay figures have been sculpted with only one thing in mind… to hold their force pikes across their chests and mimic that… dare I say? Iconic pose. But now we finally have an articulated version that can do so much more. Let’s get him open and check him out…

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Weequay has always had pretty good figures, and the Vintage Collection version just does some fine tuning. He’s not the most intricately sculpted of the Skiff Guards, but that’s more on his character design than anything else. Weequay sports his trademark ribbed brown leather vest with shoulder guards and a simple belt with some sculpted pouches. There’s no functional holster, but in fairness the on screen character didn’t have a holster either.

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The head sculpt is fortified with all that raisin-headed goodness that I expect from my Weequay figures. He looks perpetually pissed off, as if letting us know that even an awesome job where you throw prisoners into giant sand vagina monsters can get to be a chore after a while. As with Skiff Master Weequay, I think Hasbro could have done a better job sculpting his braids, but they’re not bad. Weequay’s articulation includes ball joints in the neck, shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles. He has a T-crotch, swivels in the wrists and he can swivel at the waist. He comes with his pike and a hold out blaster. Well done, Hasbro.

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And then there’s Klaatu. I gotta tell you, Hasbro went above and beyond on this guy. The head sculpt is fantastic. It’s as expressive as you can get from a lizard man in this scale. His vest is sculpted over an armor plate and his belt secures a softgoods skirt that looks like it’s some kind of crazy Tatooine goat hair, but I’ll concede that it’s probably not.

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Klaatu features a removable hood, a removable bandolier strap, and a functional holster. Hooray for functional holsters! He comes with the same force pike (but different paint job) as Weequay and a very cool hold out blaster. Klaatu features ball joints in his neck, shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles. He has a T-crotch and he has swivel cuts in the waist and wrists.

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Weequay and Klaatu are a seriously cool pair of figures. If the Vintage Collection’s aim is to produce truly definitive versions of characters, Hasbro certainly succeeded here. Granted, I’m a little biased since I love the Sarlaac sequence in RotJ so much, but it’s just great to see these guys get such amazing figures. I grabbed them for ten bucks each and now my Tatooine Skiff is just that much nearer to being fully crewed. That leaves Kithaba and Nikto and I’ll be checking them out next week.

Star Wars Vintage Collection: Weequay (Skiff Master) by Hasbro

I’ll refer you back to this feature for my confession of love for all things Weequay and my naive childhood notion that Weequay was the dude’s name and not his race. Yes, we’ll chalk that up to ignorance and not an early onset of racism. And while the brown vested Weequay will always be my favorite, the VC version of that figure is still eluding me now on order, so this week we’ll have to settle for the “Skiff Master” version. Hey, it’s all good. I prefer Coke, but offer me a Pepsi on a hot day and I’ll still accept it and thank you kindly. The Weequay figure isn’t officially Throne Room fodder, but more a part of my mission to stock my POTF2 Skiff with a Vintage Collection crew, but he’s also going to be hanging out somewhere in my Throne Room display. Hey, the guy can’t be feeding the Sarlacc all the time.

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The vintage style cards are so awesome. The fact that every figure Hasbro produces isn’t slapped onto one of these cards makes me question the sanity of the persons at Hasbro responsible for that decision. Even at times when I swore off Star Wars completely, seeing these cards on the pegs was always akin to offering a recovering addict a taste of blow. But it’s the ultimate instance of not being able to have your cake and eat it too. I want to buy them, I want to keep them carded, but I don’t have the space to buy doubles and I’m an opener at heart. Plus, opening this guy hurts even more because the card doesn’t have a giant f’ing Darth Maul face sticker on it schilling a mail away for Lucas’ toenail clippings or other such crap. And so I take a belt of Jameson to steady my nerves, and I rip the bastard open.

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The thing I dig so much about the skiff guards in RotJ is that they’re basically mercenary pirates that fly boats around in the desert. How is that not awesome? The Weequays are especially cool because they look like they were born mean and their heads have clearly been left out in the sun too long. Everyone knows those two things are top of the list when recruiting desert pirates. Hasbro did a fantastic job recreating this figure from his portrait. His grungy, segmented tunic looks spot on, his sculpted belt is perfect and his head is a great likeness. Weequay even has a functional holster. Damn, I love functional holsters in my 3 ¾” figures. Hey, Mattel… check this out. It’s a functional holster on a 3 ¾” figure. The gun can come out and the guy can hold it. Thought you might like to see this before you go and design those $15 Voltron pilot figures and… oh, wait that was last year… I’m way too late. Never mind. I also dig the way he wears his gun butt facing front, like he’s f’cking Lee Van Cleef. Welcome to FigureFan, where you get references to Voltron, Star Wars, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly all in the same feature. Enjoy!

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If I’m going to nitpick anything on Skiff Master Weequay, it’s going to be his sculpted hair braid. It’s a bit heavy handed and it sticks out a little too far. If this were a regular release, I’d be cool with it, but I’ve come to treat a lot of these VC figures as definitive. As in, “this is it, Hasbro, this is the last version of this figure I’m ever going to buy so please for the love of god, make it perfect!” The hair braids don’t ruin the figure for me by any stretch, but a little extra care could have been invested to make it look perfect. That’s all I’m saying. If all I can do is bitch about the guy’s braids, I think he’s doing ok.

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Weequay’s articulation features a ball jointed neck and shoulders. The arms have ball joints in the elbows and swivels in the wrists. He’s got ball jointed knees and swivels in his ankles. He’s got a standard T-crotch, which is somewhat restricted by his tunic, and he can also swivel at the waist. The shoulder joints in my figure feel like super tight ratchet joints. It’s kind of odd for a 3 ¾” figure, but it certainly helps him hold his poses.

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Accessories? What self-respecting mercenary desert pirate would be complete without some weapons? Weequay comes with a hold out blaster, which fits nicely in his holster, and a pike. I love the design of these pikes. Next to the Dreadnok chainsaw gun, I think it’s my favorite weapon design of the 80s. While Weequay comes carded holding his blaster in his left hand, it’s actually made to fit perfectly into his right. If you want him to hold it in his off hand, you better save those clear rubber bands!

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Skiff Master may not be my favorite Weequay, but I really love this figure. Everything about it is quality. In fact, I love it so much that after playing around with him for just a little while, I went and ordered the other VC Weequay along with Wooof, and I’m already eyeing VC Kithaba and Nikto. It’s a figure like this that make me weep for most of what Hasbro is turning out in the 3 ¾” scale these days. But let’s not sully Weequay’s feature by dwelling on the bad. Let’s celebrate the triumph of Weequay, for he is truly an excellent figure.

By my reckoning, I still have two more days of this Jabba madness. What’s on tap for tomorrow? I have no idea… I better start rummaging through some totes.

Star Wars: Vintage Collection: Princess Leia (Slave Outfit) by Hasbro

I had every intention of keeping my promise and stopping back today with a look at 6-inch Artemis from Mattel’s Young Justice line, but unfortunately my camera ran out of batteries and I was too drunk off my ass busy to run out and get fresh ones, so I’m going to go with a quickie that I’ve been holding on to since a little before Christmas. Holy shit, it’s Star Wars!

Yeah, not much Star Wars around here. In fact, every time I buy a new Star Wars figure, I consider it an epic fail of willpower on my part. Usually I can keep it in check until Hasbro decides to release some awesome huge new version of a classic vehicle or a figure that I really want for some reason or another. That having been said, I’ll freely admit that it is difficult to resist just about any of these Vintage Collection carded figures. And by that I mean the ones from the Original Trilogy, not the prequel figures on the crappy ret-conned cards.
So, Princess Leia in Slave Outfit. I really wanted to pick her up when she was released last year to go with my then new Jabba the Hutt figure and dias. Unfortunately, I never did see her in the stores, and I was not willing to pay the highway robbery of the online prices. Amazingly enough, I was in a Target about a week before Christmas and happened to be scooping up some new Marvel Universe figures when I spotted her hanging on the pegs. There were only like four or five Vintage Collection figures there and bafflingly enough she was one of them. I threw her on the pile and went off to check out. The register didn’t recognize her barcode so the cashier needed to come up with a price. I’m thinking, well you just rang up five Marvel Universe figures at $6.99 a piece, so that’s what she’ll call it and I’d be fine. Instead she says, “How’s three bucks sound?” Yeah, it sounded just fine.
Anyway, it wasn’t until I got this figure home that I realized she didn’t include the second set of legs that the last release did. The ones that allowed her to sit in a reclining position. I’m sure I could probably still get her to recline by my Jabba figure, but insteady I just opted to slap her in a Starcase and leave her carded. Yes, that means you just read all of this for nothing, because I’m not really going to review her. It also means for some bizarre reason I had a spare Star Wars Starcase lying around. Weird. Suffice it to say, the sculpt looks fine, the softgoods loin cloth is good, but maybe a little too full, and she comes with a pole arm and a… a drinking glass? Um ok.
I may get around to opening her sooner or later, especially since Hasbro slapped that ugly Boba Fett Mail Away sticker right on top of her photo, but for now, she’s staying carded. I will admit I found it surprising that her first appearance in this outfit wasn’t until the 1995 Power of the Force 2 line. Even more surprising… I actually still own that figure carded. Once again, weird.

By the way, Hasbro, can you please get the friggin Gamorrean Guard back on the pegs, please?

Star Wars Vintage Collection: Zam Wesell by Hasbro

I haven’t looked at a lot of Hasbro’s Vintage Collection Star Wars figures here, mainly because I can’t find any of the ones I want on the pegs and I’m not prepared to buy a whole case of them online. The pegs around my parts are clogged with the Prequel figures and while I was happy to get General Grievous carded this way as a curiosity, I don’t have a lot of interest in many of the other Prequel figures. Nonetheless, a good friend of mine knowing I was fond of the Zam Wesell character (or at least what she looked like), sent me along the loose figure, so I thought I’d check her out here.

It’s true I really liked the design of this character, although I like to forget that she was some kind of shapeshifting lizard. Besides the fact that she was one of the few chick bounty hunters in Star Wars, I liked the way she looked a bit like she was plucked out of a Sergio Leone film. The long duster and the rifle definitely have that Old West vibe going on. I’ve owned two of the previous incarnations (Preview and Saga), both of which were really well sculpted, but both suffered from some annoying pre-posing and poor articulation. I’m happy to say that this Vintage Collection version makes up for all the past sins and offers up what is likely to be the definitive figure of this character, at least as far as I’m concerned. Like I said, I don’t have the packaging, but chances are you won’t have a problem seeing what her card looks like if the Prequel figures are selling as poorly in your area as they are in mine. Just go down to Target or Walmart and check it out!

Zam’s outfit is very nicely detailed, especially whatever the hell those tubes are on the front of her chest. The belt is sculpted from soft plastic and includes a working holster for her pistol. Her duster is soft plastic, and while it doesn’t really get in the way of her articulation, she can’t really sit down with it. The human head sculpt won’t win any awards for its resemblance to the actress in Attack of the Clones, but at least it ain’t a f’ugly sculpt, as Hasbro is known to turn out some bad looking lady figures in this scale. Zam isn’t one of them, that is unless you slap on her lizard head. I guess the sculpting is ok, but it looks really stupid on top of her flesh tone neck. One other cool thing about Zam, both of her hands are sculpted to hold her weapons.

Zam’s articulation includes a ball jointed neck, ball joints in the shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles and regular rotating hip joints. She also has that universal joint in her torso. Yeah, we’ve seen better articulation in this scale, but only by a few points so Zam has nothing to be ashamed of in this department and you can certainly get some great poses out of her.

Zam comes with a nice little selection of weapons and accessories. Her weapons include a blaster pistol that fits into her holster and her sniper rifle. The paintwork on the rifle is particularly impressive for such a thin and fragile accessory. Her helmet is removable and works with the other three accessories. You get the visor thingy, the face mask that goes across her face and another sculpted version of it that just hangs off of one side. All of these pieces just peg right into the holes on either side of her helmet and stay in place pretty well.

I think Zam is a fair enough argument for putting some Prequel figures out in the Vintage Collection. The fake retconned packaging doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest, but in this case the figure inside is fantastic, so who am I to argue with the packaging. You can take it or leave it, and at $7.99, it’s not like we’re really paying extra for the packaging anyway. Plus, I don’t feel compelled to buy two of her and keep one carded like I’ve been doing with most of the Original Trilogy figures in this line.

Star Wars Vintage Collection: General Grievous by Hasbro

I swore to myself I wasn’t going to buy any Vintage Collection figures based on the prequels and yet here we are. I really thought this was a stupid idea on Hasbro’s part to take such a great concept as the VC and sully it by shoehorning the prequel figures into retconned packaging. I still think it is. Nonetheless, I really wanted to own this Grievous figure as it looked simply amazing and leaps and bounds better than the old Grievous figure that I had in my collection. “So, who cares about the packaging anyway?”, says I to myself, “I’m just buying it for the figure.” And yet before I got to the register, I convinced myself that the packaging looked so damn good, I needed an extra to leave carded and pop into a clamshell. Kudos, Hasbro, you have defeated me again!


So, yeah. The original concept here was to give fans awesome figures based on vintage originals and mount them on the same cards as the old ones. Obviously we’re straying here, since the prequel figures aren’t vintage and they were never issued on this style cardback. Part of me wants to see this whole operation as part of Lucas’ plan to make us think that characters like Grievous were already part of the master plan when he sat down to pen the original Star Wars. Then the more rational part of me says, “just shut up and enjoy the damn toys.” And I certainly can’t argue with results. The card looks awesome. The figure looks awesome. The figure on the card looks awesome. Of course, these no longer come in clamshells, but Hasbro has conveniently provided us the opportunity to buy them online. The back panel of the card still shows Grievous in his original Revenge of the Sith packaging to compare it with the new stuff.

I’ll lay my tortured opinionw about the prequel films aside and say that General Grievous was my favorite character from the newer films. When I purged all the prequel stuff out of my collection a few years back, I still kept Grievous, although now I can pretty much discard them all, since this new figure is absolutely fantastic and skunks all the previous Grievouses in every possible way. Keep in mind, I’m not saying this figure is perfect, as there are still a few unfortunate elements at work here, but it is an outstanding figure. All of his armor plates are cast in soft plastic, so you can bend his chest plates out to reveal his chest. His armor also has a nice brushed finish to give it a realistic bone look.

The real softgoods cape is an excellent addition to the figure. It’s remarkably well crafted with the correct insignia on the back and a gorgeous red liner. It also has sewn in pouches for Grievous to store his trophy lightsbaers. I’m not usually a fan of using softgoods in figures this small, but in this case it not only looks great, but it eliminates all the poseability problems that the plastic cape added to previous releases. It actually looks like someone took a 1:6 scale accessory and shrunk it down for a 3 3/4″ figure. Plus he can easily remove it for when he wants to get down and start busting open caps of whoop ass on Jedi fools.

But like I said, this figure does still have a few issues worth noting. The use of soft bendy plastic for the legs, for example, is unfortunate. I’m totally amazed that Grievous can stand so well, but these legs are still prone to easy warping and they don’t always stay where you want them to. And then there’s the arms. While they will peg into each other, this severely limits their articulation. The figure was definitely designed with the assumption that we’re going to be keeping his arms separated most of the time, which is admittedly how I plan on displaying him anyway.

Grievous comes with a nice dose of accessories. He has his blaster, two activated lightsabers (one green and one blue), and two trophy light saber hilts, that can actually be tucked into pouches on his cape. Yeah, I said that already, but it’s such a cool feature, I had to say it again. Sadly, he does not come with a figure stand, but then none of the VC figures do. Even more sad is that his feet do not have pegholes, so you can’t even help him out with one of Hasbro’s generic Star Wars stands.

If you’re a fan of the Wheezing G-Man, I can’t recommend this figure enough. True, I fell in love with the packaging too, but if your will is stronger than mine, I still suggest you ignore the retconned packaging and get the figure anyway. Truth is, I dig him so much, I’m probably going to have to hunt down his starfighter too.

Star Wars Vintage Collection: Mail Away Boba Fett by Hasbro

This isn’t going to be any kind of in-depth look at the figure because I ain’t opening him, but I finally got my Rocket-Firing Boba Fett in the mail a few days ago so I thought I’d post a few pictures. Although I’m guessing that everybody and their grandmother probably got this guy before I did.  

Turns out I was lucky for the delay because I got mine after Hasbro instituted their new packing procedures. Instead of tossing his flimsy box into a mailer and chucking him to the postal winds to get the shit beaten out of him, they finally started to double box him. Honestly, it really didn’t matter to me either way. If mine was beat to hell I would have been happy to open him, but since he showed up this way I just sealed him in a starcase to hang him on my wall.

Even though I was around and actually playing with Star Wars figures back when this figure was supposed to be released, I can’t say as I ever felt like any great part of my childhood was robbed because my Fett couldn’t fire his rocket. I guess even back then I wasn’t much into the whole firing missile gimmick. Anyway, he’s a nice looking figure and a really nice fanwank to us older collectors.