Figure of the Day: Day 628
1/24/2008 8:18:34 PM | Reported by Adam

GRAND MOFF TARKIN with Imperial Issue Blaster Rifle and Pistol
Power of the Force Collection 2, 3
Item No.:
Asst. 69705 No. 69702
Number: n/a
Manufacturer: Kenner
Includes: Rifle, Pistol
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: Summer 1997-Spring 2000
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: As one of Emperor Palpatine's most loyal administrators, Grand Moff Tarkin devised and administered the construction of the first Death Star battle station. The governor ruled a large section of the Outer Rim Territories, including Tatooine, with an iron fist of terror and brutality. (Taken from the figure's 1998 cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.

Commentary: In the early days of the modern line, fans cried out for Wedge, Slave Leia, and Grand Moff Tarkin-- and Hasbro delivered! The figure was supposedly going to be released in 1998 but, according to second-hand reports, his position was swapped with that of the Ewoks to get the figure out early. While it isn't a perfect figure by 2008's standards, this was a heck of a nice release in 1997. The likeness was very good, even if the body was a little... shall we say "healthy" for the aging actor. The sculpt was crisp, the deco was superb, plus it was a fan-requested character that, at the time, had never seen an action figure. Sure, it took 20 years, but the most amazing thing of all was that Tarkin sold well for a good period of time. Given that it's an old guy with no action scenes and no notable extras to speak of, that was pretty amazing considering one of the supposed golden rules of toys was that old men don't sell. It didn't hurt that the line had tons of fresh blood at the time, with new people just chomping at the bit to buy the next "collectible" thing. Seeing as it had a sticker advertising it was the first-ever Kenner action figure of the character on the package, it didn't seem too far a stretch for pretty much anyone vaguely interested in the line to go and buy one. Stickers help!

Collector's Notes: The figure was first released on a "Collection 2" cardback in supremely limited numbers-- I owned one, but opened it as it was an early sample from before any confirmation that there would be a variant. "Collection 3" shipped later, with or without the holographic card sticker. In 1998, the figure was repackaged with a Freeze Frame Action Slide bonus accessory. It's great to see a figure like this be a hit, but it doesn't mean that it didn't fall victim to overproduction like many toys in 1997 and 1998. Tons of this figure showed up in early 2000 at Toys "R" Us and Kay-Bee Toys on closeout for about $2-$3 each. As such, the figure can still be had quite cheaply, and I would probably suggest you get it. The 2007 Diamond Exclusive Tarkin is nice, but not as accurate, plus the hair color on this figure is, in my opinion, much better. [ MORE IMAGES ]

Day 628: January 24, 2008

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