Figure of the Day: Day 706
4/11/2008 7:49:54 PM - Adam

AT-AT transforms into AT-AT Driver
30th Anniversary Collection Star Wars Transformers
Item No.:
Asst. 85772 No. 87450
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Figure pilot, firing projectile, launcher
Action Feature: Transforms from AT-AT to AT-AT Driver and back again, firing missile
Retail: $14.99
Availability: Late 2007
Appearances: n/a

Bio: Wherever the Empire's enemies dig in, this AT-AT is sure to show up, sooner or later. Armored against all but the most powerful weapons, it is nearly invincible in vehicle mode. When the Rebels bring out the really big lasers, though, the driver triggers the special command that turns his walker into a massive assault robot! (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' TV tray.

Commentary: There's nothing particularly wrong with this AT-AT, but well, it's not like it's super awesome either. In "robot" mode, the figure is actually surprisingly decent. While the head sculpt is very weak being that it feels fairly undefined and fuzzy, the body is pretty decent. Unfortunately, in Transformers toys, the head is where a lot of the personalty comes from-- you could have a toy that's essentially a brick, but slap a decent head on it and the whole thing comes out looking pretty decent. This figure just doesn't benefit from its little helmet, but the robot mode does benefit from some of the best arms seen in any line of Transformers. Typically, you're lucky to get an articulated elbow, but each arm has a joint at the wrists, the elbows, the shoulders, the forearms, and the biceps. That's pretty handy! The vehicle legs turn into the robot legs, and they feature ball joints for enhanced posability. I should point out that the legs are pretty thin, and you'll need to make the most out of their range of movement to prevent gravity from dragging down the robot. It's also worth noting that, unlike many other toys in this line, you can actually store the pilot figure in the chest while in robot mode.

The vehicle is very decent. It's hard to do the AT-AT wrong, and this version looks a lot like the Action Fleet ship, or the Structors model, or any of a number of AT-AT toys released since the 1980s. The single most distinctive thing about this figure is that its front legs have articulated "toes"-- if you decide to pose the vehicle in a walking mode, that means it looks like they're hanging down a little. That's a really nice feature, especially considering it doesn't add to the articulation or the toy's function in any way. Heck, even the big Hasbro and Kenner versions never had that, so I gotta say good job to the designers. Each leg has a knee joint, which is nice, plus the head can pivot and telescopes in and out a little. Hasbro also did a great job painting up the body to look a little dirty and used, while the legs are unpainted and pristine. It's an inconsistent look, but at least it's decent. Finally, the AT-AT's chin guns can be detached and used as a hand blaster. Oh, and if you didn't see the picture, you can pop open the head and place the pilot inside.

As Transformers toys go, the Star Wars line has always been a little weaker than the Autobots and Decepticons as a rule. This is probably in part due to how you can't really adjust the proportions of the Lucasverse vehicles too much, but this one does seem to work as a transforming toy pretty well. I wasn't sorry I got this one, although I have shelves of toys from Armada, Energon, Cybertron, Beast Wars, and more that cost less and are more fun than this one was.

Collector's Notes: The entire Star Wars Transformers line is notable in that nothing ever goes away. It's possible a few might vanish this year, but since its introduction nearly every single item has been kept in circulation so (heaven forbid) people can actually buy them. You can probably get this at your favorite local toy store right now.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 706: April 11, 2008