EMPEROR PALPATINE Order 66
30th Anniversary Collection Target Exclusive
Item No.: Asst. 87357 No. 87358
Number: 1 of 6
Includes: Force Lightning, cloth cloak, swappable hand, Commander Thire figure
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: March 2007
Bio: Emperor Palpatine is accompanied by the elite shock troopers, led by Commander Thire. The Emperor wields great power and seeks only those who are exceptionally loyal and strong for this elite unit. (Taken from the figure's box.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' toy room, standing on a TIE Bomber for some reason.
Commentary: Order 66 as an exclusive line presented some unique challenges to Hasbro, no doubt, but the end result was a very cheap pair of figures that's about 50% interesting per set. This Emperor Palpatine figure was packaged with the fairly nifty Commander Thire, and is made of mostly existing parts. The base figure is a 2005 release, complete with interchangeable right hand (lightsaber hand or non-lightsaber hand) plus his lightning which snaps-on to his hand. To complete the "new" aspect, he's got a big cloth cloak-- which really is what makes this a unique figure. It's entirely possible you can cobble this figure out of existing accessories, but well, that's the point. So how is it? Pretty good. It doesn't have the gnarled "Emperor" head of the 2005 release, which is a downer, because the figure is named "Emperor." At no point in the flick does the Emperor have his rank at the same time as his non-freakish, non-deformed face. So from a story perspective, this is a badly named (or thought out) figure, as Palpatine never had a big black cloak and a lightsaber before his transformation, either. If anything, it's a pretty off-screen figure and what you might have pictured Palpatine wearing if and when he ever had to go take care of some of his own business.
The figure has a slashing right arm which is activated by pushing him down. His feet (foot, technically) are one piece, so it's a pretty slick mechanism. The figure has no difficulty standing on his own. His arms have limited articulation, but it's good enough to more or less futz with. He has no legs to speak of and can't possibly sit. When you get right down to it, this is a $3 eyesore tacked on to the otherwise nifty Thire figure, so as a set, it's a pretty good deal. (It's better than a $13 Clone Trooper, certainly.) It's just that this is another figure that will most likely end up in your junk drawer if you have a better version. The 2008 Order 66 sets also feature Palpatine, except that version actually looks somewhat compelling.
Collector's Notes: This was one of the less popular sets in the Order 66 2-packs, but it did sell out at most stores before the line hit the markdown stage. Palpatine is a but of a buzzkill, but he's the pill you have to swallow if you want Thire. And if you're a clone fan, you probably want this set.
Day 637: February 2, 2008