Figure of the Day: Day 750
5/25/2008 10:24:40 AM - Adam

Episode I Collection 1
Item No.:
Asst. 84085 No. 84252
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Fish, CommTech chip stand
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $6.99
Availability: Early 2000
Appearances: The Phantom Menace

Bio: Jar Jar Binks leads Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi to Naboo's underwater city of Otoh Gunga in order to escape the invading Trade Federation forces. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam's toy shelves.

Commentary: Oh, Jar Jar Binks. Is there any figure you can't make suck? As one of the final figures to see release in Episode I packaging, this Jar Jar Binks isn't all that distinctive. As he wore but one outfit through the entirety of the first prequel, it's somewhat surprising to see he had more than a half dozen figures produced in his likeness over the first two years. While most of the early Episode I Jar Jars are all pretty much the same-- expressionless face, vest, few accessories-- this one stands out because he comes with a little fish figure and has a ball-jointed neck as well as ankles. His ears are flowing behind his head, giving the illusion that he's swimming under a lake and his speed in the currents raise his auditory organs to new heights. Otherwise, he just looks like a bit of a doofus with flapping ears. There's nothing new to the costume or the sculpt, except for the fact it seems Hasbro was working from the movie's design rather than a concept like the earlier figures. In other words, this Jar Jar is more like the Jar Jar on the big screen, for better or worse. It's a neat figure if you plan on doing any undersea displays, plus the ankle articulation is pretty nice to have.

Collector's Notes: A one-timer, this version of Jar Jar came and went quickly, plus he was shortpacked-- proof Hasbro knew what they were doing by early 2000. Despite being a shorter run figure, demand for this figure never really went anywhere-- proof positive that it's not just rarity, but demand that make the big difference.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 750: May 25, 2008