Figure of the Day: Day 672
3/8/2008 5:12:51 PM | Reported by Adam

DENGAR Bounty Hunter
Power of the Force Collection 2
Item No.:
Asst. 69605 No. 69687
Manufacturer: Kenner
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster Pistol, Rifle
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: Summer 1997
Appearances: Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Dengar (also known as "Payback") was a Corellian mercenary and Imperial Assassin, Grade One active during the Galactic Civil War. The acerbic bounty hunter and pilot of the Punishing One was among an elite group of hunters recruited by Darth Vader to capture Han Solo and the passengers of the Millennium Falcon shortly after the Battle of Hoth. At this time, he was a middle-aged man of heavy build, wearing battered dark brown Stormtrooper armor with a dingy cloth wrapped around his head to conceal the circuitry for his enhanced auditory and visual systems. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam's toy room.

Commentary: Ah, Dengar. A tubby guy in purplish stormtrooper armor with a towel on his head. That's why they have to call him "Payback," you know, to make up for the fact that he's really got a look of a costume that was cobbled together on-set a few days before shooting. He could be worse. Well, that's not true-- of all the Dengar figures made by any company ever, this one is generally considered to be the worst. The 2004 edition had a lot of enhanced detail and added articulation. The 1980s edition had the backpack-- which the 1997 one does not. If anything, some fans have rationalized this to be a Jabba's Palace Dengar, but I think it's best just to call it what it is. And what it is, is not Kenner's finest work. The sculpting looked a little off from other figures released at the time leading many to speculate that this figure was not done by the usual team of sculptors employed by the company. He's a little tall, his features are a little flat, and he could stand to have a little bit more personality in the face. The problem is that nearly 11 years later, the only thing this figure is good for is something to fill out your storage boxes. Newer figures are more fun to play with or pose, and the vintage figure is a unique collectible from a bygone era of toy production. This guy is the unwanted middle child, ready to be abandoned at the corner of Been There and Done That. For the time, the actual quality (and not authenticity) of the figure's look isn't too shabby. Unlike later figures, his limbs don't fall off, and he could probably get into a fight with the family dog and stay mostly intact. So as an actual toy, he works really well because Kenner's engineers followed the guidelines of his day. If you need a Dengar figure for your kids, and the Galactic Heroes version isn't going to do, give them this one. He's about as pricey as half the retail price of a Galactic Heroes set, plus he has moving arms and legs. (The Galactic Heroes sculpt is arguably more interesting, though.)

Collector's Notes: When this figure was released, people snatched him up. But at the time, they'd buy anything because there wasn't a lot of product being made per year. In 1995, Kenner released only 12 carded figures. In 1996, it was 14. So you can guess that by the time this figure was released around the third wave of 1997, people were itching for figures to buy, plus since he was a bounty hunter back when new bounty hunter stuff was still exciting and not yet another retread, the kids went nuts for him. Today he's worth about two bucks.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 672: March 8, 2008

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