PAX BONKIK Rodian Podracer Mechanic
30th Anniversary Collection Basic Figures
Item No.: Asst. 87500 No. 87651
Includes: Blaster, removable vest, coin
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: November 2007
Appearances: The Phantom Menace
Bio: Pax and his younger brother, Trax, are the slaves of Podracer Mars Guo and work for him as mechanics. The brothers are very close but are separated through a series of misfortunes, until freed from slavery by Podracer Teemto Pagalies. (Taken from the toy's cardback.)
Image: Adam's toy shelves.
Commentary: The ingredients of Pax Bonkik: take some fan fiction given cred by the official site, add a figure mold that sold really poorly in 2006, put a blue Han Solo vest on him, and repaint the whole thing-- oh and while you're add it, remove the holster. Presto! New figure. As one of the few Phantom Menace-based creations last year, it's not a huge surprise that the figure managed to sell. What is surprising that, with the memory of the Greedo figure on which it was based still fresh on everyone's minds, that this figure a) got made and b) seems to be selling well. In a way, it's refreshing and in another way, it's scary. Greedo is one of the best-known aliens in the entire saga, while this guy didn't even have a name until StarWars.com held a contest. But I digress, this is about toys, not the rest of everything else or whatever.
Pax is a solid figure. As toys go, he's one of my favorites of late 2007, just because Hasbro did a really good job with him. I'd have liked a holster, just out of habit, but even without it, it's hard to deny Hasbro once again proved that deco is nearly everything. The bright cream color on his snout fades into a dark green on his head, giving the figure a much more distinctive look than the all-green faced Greedo. The blue vest looks sharp and fits well, two things that the previous Greedo's vest did not. And when it comes right down to it, the figure is loaded with articulation-- collectors eat that crap up. Plus kids love aliens, or so I'm told. On paper, this figure seemed like a surefire turkey but Hasbro's keen ability to make it look good-- and predict how many they could sell without it clogging up stores-- seems to have made it a winner so far. I might be proven wrong down the road, but it seems that this is one of Hasbro's best-planned repaints yet. Nevermind the fact most fans couldn't tell you who it is without consulting reference materials. Huzzah!
Collector's Notes: Since Pax and Trax Bonkik are basically the same guy, just buy two of this one and call it a day. The figure has been selling fairly well in the few markets I monitor, which is surprising given some stores are still choking on the Vintage Greedo on which it is based. It looks better overall, though, so maybe the unwashed non-collecting masses really do have some sense of taste. If you're debating Pax or Greedo as the sole Rodian in your collection, get Pax-- he has better production values.
Day 668: March 4, 2008