Figure of the Day: Day 675
3/11/2008 8:39:42 PM - Adam

LLATS WARD Republic Elite Forces
30th Anniversary Collection Mandalorians & Omega Squad
Entertainment Earth Exclusive
Item No.:
Asst. 87467 No. 87455
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Helmet, blaster, cape, rifle, six additional figures
Action Feature: Removable helmet, blaster fits in holster
Retail: $39.99
Availability: Fall 2007
Appearances: n/a

Bio: Everything in the life of Llats revolves around battle and war. He has studied and memorized the campaigns of all the great Mandalorian leaders of the past, and uses these as lessons to enhance the clone troopers' fighting skills. (Taken from the figure's box.)

Image: Adam's toy room.

Commentary: The first figure revealed from the Republic Elite Forces sets, Llats Ward is still something of a mystery. I've been asked for a while just who this figure is based on, and I don't know. I've heard all sorts of answers, from Lucasfilm's own Jim Ward to Adult Swim's Chris Ward, a.k.a. M.C. Chris (or M.C. Peepants) to even me. This isn't me. So in short: I don't know who the head under the helmet is supposed to be. So what is it? Well, the figure takes the hugely popular 2004 Boba Fett mold, tweaks the torso and belt, throws on a new head and helmet, and ditches the rocket pack for a pretty sweet plastic cape. The end result is a new figure in colors that don't seem too far off from some illustrations of Jodo Kast, another Mandalorian Bounty Hunter many fans may recognize. Since this isn't Jodo, the future is still wide open for him. But what about Llats Ward? Who is this armored dude who supposedly can train clone troopers?

Given he's about 50% recycled parts from a good, popular figure, there's not much to complain about. (Aside from maybe the fact you've never met the character before.) I know many fans have lamented the clean look of the human face, but given I don't really know the story behind what he's supposed to be, I'm going to let that slide and just say they did a great job decorating the face. Painting it was a nice touch. The figure's armor features that oh-so-famous skull we've seen all over the place, plus yellow pads and a dark grey bodysuit. The new belt has a functioning holster, and, for the most part, the helmet fits nicely on the head. (Fun fact: the test shot helmets were really snug, so the final releases are a little bit bigger.) I'm fairly sure this would be a somewhat popular figure if sold individually in stores just because he can coast on the tails of the Fett clan. People love Mandalorians and outside Boba and Jango, there aren't many toys out there-- making this worth snagging by default. He's far from perfect, and yes, he could look a little grittier. But as a nifty toy and an extension of the Mandalorian mythos by way of Hasbro rather than a novel or a comic, it's neat. But if you like your toys to have roots in an existing story, well, you probably will consider this one an abomination and have already decided to not get it.

Collector's Notes: This set is an Entertainment Earth exclusive, and the run isn't yet over. A few shipments have come and gone, and the last one sold out before it came in stock-- so basically if you want it, you're going to need to pre-order it from somebody (even EE) or go to eBay to get the set or the figure(s) of your desire. There are no known plans to release these figures individually as of yet. I'm all for Hasbro-created characters to a point, so I'm not complaining too much. I'd still like to see Jodo Kast, though. (And rumor has it I might.)

--Adam Pawlus

Day 675: March 11, 2008