Figure of the Day: Day 682
3/18/2008 8:34:22 PM | Reported by Adam

TUSKEN RAIDER Sand People
Power of the Force Collection 2
Item No.:
Asst. 69605 No. 69603
Manufacturer: Kenner
Number: n/a
Includes: Gaffi stick, clamshell cloak
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: Fall 1996
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Tusken Raiders, less formally referred to as Sand People or simply as Tuskens, were a culture of nomadic, primitive sapients indigenous to Tatooine, where they were quite hostile to local settlers. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam's toy room. Specifically, the shelf reserved for Star Tours, and the Figures of the Damned. But I repeat myself.

Commentary: One of the fun things about writing this column is thinking back to when I got these figures, back to when they were new and really freaking exciting. When this Tusken Raider hit stores, the new line had only been available for little more than a year and aliens were in short supply. As such, fans were pretty forgiving of substandard figures, and back then, this one wasn't too great. Today, it's almost terrible. The figure could be moved at the shoulders, hips, waist, and neck-- and that's it. With the figure's plastic clamshell cloak, the only parts that could really move without making the figure look terrible were the arms and head, so it already had a strike against it there. What's worse, only one of the two arms had hands capable of holding a weapon, and the first releases were molded in such a way so that the figure could only grip the silver part at the end-- this looked weird. Later releases, like the one pictured, allowed the figure to grip a weapon anywhere you so decided. So from a "fun" perspective, this figure was a few steps back from the 1978 version. He couldn't sit without removing the cloak, he couldn't easily grip his weapon (and couldn't hold it with both hands), oh yeah-- and his head was sculpted so he was sort of looking downward. On the bright side, it held together-- but it wasn't fun to play with. The sculpt was acceptable for its time, but it didn't really hold up that well. This is what happens when you release a substandard figure-- if it isn't good enough for today, it certainly won't be good enough for tomorrow. I would suggest this one for Tusken fanatics only, it works OK as a crowd-filler but if you aren't planning on making a Tusken raiding clan for your A'Sharad Hett to lead-- and really, if you aren't, you're no fun at all-- this is one figure you can easily skip.

Collector's Notes: There are a couple of big variants to watch out for. The figure itself has two hand molds used for the left hand-- one has an open hand, the other has the fingers molded to the thumb. As you may guess, the latter makes it hard to hold the weapon. The figure also shipped on a red cardback or a green cardback. Neither version is particularly more desirable today-- in 1997, there were premiums paid for the red and/or closed hand versions, but today it's not exactly a figure people want. ( MORE IMAGES )

--Adam Pawlus



Day 682: March 18, 2008



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