Busts are expensive, but banks? Not so much. Diamond Select Toys has cranked out several of these vinyl banks over the last few years, and we recently got our hands on samples of the latest two: Boba Fett, based on his Return of the Jedi armor, and a Clone Trooper as seen in Revenge of the Sith. While not the heavy, weapons-grade collectibles you see from Gentle Giant or Sideshow they really do look quite nice as a collectible, or as something you could get a kid and not worry that he might knock it off a shelf and kill the dog.
Check out over 20 images and get a load of the markings and details on Boba Fett's backpack, after the break.
The Clone Trooper Bank comes packaged in a clear plastic bag, with a small barcode sticker on the bottom as packaging. (The Toys R Us version comes in a cardboard tray, so this version is significantly greener in terms of waste. I approve.) At just over 8-inches tall, the bust has an articulated neck and little else-- it's a bank, after all. He's clutching a smaller blaster, and the deco is sparse but good. You'll note black and grey on his armor, plus a little added wash on his right forearm which really brings out the panel with all the buttons.
A coin slot can be found right under his neck on the back, so you could display this item and it wouldn't be immediately obvious that it's a bank. Heck, if they painted it white rather than mold it in white vinyl, they could probably make it look just like a higher-end collectible bust. In Japan, toy makers have discovered that you can paint plastic and at times it will look (but not feel) as good as die-cast metal or other materials, and I'm sure the same would hold true here if Diamond opted to throw down another quarter per unit to paint the thing. Sure, it's a few cents, but you could probably add several dollars in visual value with just a little paint.
I dig the articulated neck, and the blaster looks fantastic too. Again, a little extra paint to give it some damage or scoring marks would be fantastic, but as it is, it still looks really good. Bank collecting has come a long way since the ones from Return of the Jedi, or if you're a smidgen younger, that weird one where Wicket the Ewok looks off-model and has a cape for some reason. Overall, it's a nice piece-- if it had legs, it would make a heck of a nice collectible figure, and as it stands the deco is on par with (or superior to) the bulk of Hasbro's 3 3/4-inch offerings.
Toys R Us has an exclusive Jango Fett, but Boba Fett is the one you probably want. While his helmet feels a little small for the body, it shines in every other respect. The yellow shoulder armor looks like separate pieces. The silver blast marks look great, and can be found on every piece of the character's costume. Heck, he's got detail I rarely see on Boba Fett items at this price point-- the back of the jet pack may be one of the most impressive pieces in recent memory.
When you flip him around, you'll notice a number of symbols on his backpack that you never see on the action figures or smaller toys. As I don't buy a lot of the higher-end stuff, I actually don't think I've ever seen them on a mass-produced Boba Fett thing in my own collection. (Or possibly ever. I'm only somewhat ashamed to say that.) It's rare that I get something that shows me something new after years and years of art and photo books and toys, but here we are.
The cape sits nicely, and the rocket pack covers up the coin slot quite well. With all the paint and the gear, this one barely even registers as a bank. Were he given just a little more paint and a slightly less dynamic pose, it could probably pass for a high- or medium-end collectible. I like it. I'm still figuring out where it's going to sit in my office, but it's definitely going to be a fixture.
Should You Get Them?
Neither one is a mind-bendlingly great item in and of itself, but both are excellent items for the price. I'm particularly impressed with Boba Fett, mostly as a warning shot to other manufacturers which shows just what Diamond can do for under $20. The Clone Trooper, being mostly white plastic with a little black, is merely good. But Boba Fett? I'm impressed. I never thought I would have wanted to maintain a bank collection. If you've got $20 burning a hole in your pocket, or if you're jonesing for something new not from the Phantom Menace this month, give Boba a look. He's available at comic shops, online retailers, and Toys R Us.
...if Diamond is reading, I'd like to see Max Rebo next please.
-- TV's Adam Pawlus
Samples courtesy Diamond Select Toys