BOBA FETT'S SLAVE I with Boba Fett
Original Trilogy Collection Target Exclusive
Item No.: No. 34512
Includes: Figure, 8 Projectiles
Action Feature: Firing rockets, moving wings
Availability: Fall 2004
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back
Column Notes: It's vehicle week! This week, we focus on the hardware created for our action figures, which gets too little attention. From giant space freighters to tiny bikes, there's quite a large variety of vehicles to be had, and we look at seven random examples over the next week.
Bio: The elliptical silhouette of the Slave I is the last thing any fugitive would want to see on his or her rear sensor display. The Slave I's sophisticated anti-detection gear and stealth package ensure that very few fugitives ever see their captor coming. The vessel is armed with numerous laser cannons, as well as concealed projectile launchers. The battle-worn vessel was originally owned and piloted by Jango Fett, who passed on his impressive skills to his son, Boba. Shortly after the Battle of Hoth, Boba Fett pilots the Slave I in pusuit of the Millennium Falcon, successfully tracking the fighter from the Anoat system to Bespin. (Taken from the toy's box.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' TV tray. NOTE: The figure shown is not included with this vehicle.
Commentary: While almost the exact same size as the 1980s version of the toy, the Slave I has gone through many a change over the years. This particular version is a retooled version of the 2002 version of the ship, which itself was an all-new mold. Unlike the 1980s and 1996 release, this one doesn't have a cargo hold, nor does it have a moving seat. It has a hidden rocket launcher, and it has a seat. That's the highlight. As a model, it's pretty sweet. As a vehicle, it's quite authentic. As a toy, it's not nearly as exciting as the original toy. There's only one thing the ship really needs to do, and that can be summed up by one line in the film: "Put Captain Solo in the cargo hold." This toy has no cargo hold, nor does it have Captain Solo. Other than flying away, that's the only thing that this ship other did. It seems a real shame to leave that feature out, which is why a lot of fans today are asking if Hasbro might consider revisiting this ship if the Millennium Falcon and AT-TE do good business. At first it may seem like whining, but well, they do make a good point-- this is a boring toy.
Hasbro did a wonderful job painting this ship, and resculpting it to better resemble the original space vehicle. Unfortunately, the wings tend to fall off, and the rotating cannons aren't exactly a lot of fun. The firing rockets, while neat, aren't something we saw in the movie and really aren't all that distinctive. Seeing as we've had a Royal Starship with blast-off panels, a Trade Federation Tank with an ejector seat, and an X-wing with a place to store Luke's stuff. On a small vehicle, having a firing rocket and seating for one is perfectly acceptable, but when it comes to larger ships it isn't a tall order to expect a little more. Even the Jango Fett version of this ship had a few more features, like those awesome sonic bomb deals and a "beacon" gimmick. By incorporating one unique action feature, this could have been a great ship rather than a merely OK one, but the unfortunate thing is that this doesn't really matter. It sold out, largely at full price, and is now actually "worth something." So while it failed as a toy, it was a successful product and collectible. Oh well!
Oh, one added feature before I go. The ship's rotating cannons were sculpted to accept those "blast effects" from a lot of the 2002 figures, so if you have extra little bolts from your action figures, they'll fit right on the ships' guns.
Collector's Notes: This was the second modern-era Slave I based on the model from The Empire Strikes Back. It's also considered the best, which is one of the reasons some fans are willing to shell out the bucks for it these days. It was also somewhat difficult to track down, plus it had amazing packaging depicting a scene from Cloud City. Unless Hasbro eventually announces a reissue, I'd say it's actually worth tracking down and, to a point, overpaying for. If you buy a boxed version, beware: none of these shipped with a rocket in Boba Fett's backpack. 100% of them were missing this accessory, so if you find one that actually has the rocket, odds are it was cracked open and replaced. If you have an actual, factory sealed one with a rocket, please do share because back in 2004 (and 2005), nobody had yet found one.
Day 729: May 4, 2008