While there wasn't really much originality or excitement from collectors for the re-issued first wave of Class I Fleet Vehicles, the second wave are new and pretty fantastic, starting with this Republic Assault Submarine. It's got great features, an all new Scuba Trooper, and transforming attack mode.
The second wave of Movie Heroes has less re-issue more new sculpt with action feature. More focused on play than display, they're still very displayable unlike the old action feature laden figures of old. A new iteration of Queen Amidala in Theed Palace battle outfit is most welcomed since we haven't had a version since 1999 and it badly needed an updated. How does she measure up?
We second our dose of pasty white, angry, former padawans turned gun for hire with the all new Aurra Sing from the Discover The Force Walmart exclusive wave of figures. Twelve years is a long time to upgrade from the almost pre-posed Power of the Jedi figure, but it's a worthy and even definitive effort.
I think Aurra Sing has evolved quite nicely in the Star Wars mythos. When she first appeared as a passing glimpse in The Phantom Menace, we hardly knew the personality of the padawan turned bounty hunter. Her recent appearance in The Clone Wars really cemented the deal of her badassery. The new Gentle Giant minibust is based on The Episode I version played by actress Michonne Bourriage, and it's a stunning piece that not only captures her likeness quite compellingly, but there's so much more.
Gentle Giant has always been pretty ingenius when it comes to their Holiday Edition busts. We can usually expect some kind of twist on a Star Wars theme like a or Holiday Max Rebo or Yakface. However, when it comes to their summer convention exclusives, it's been an overwhelming offering of Clones and Troopers. There's perfectly sensible reasoning behind this, since these types of minibusts normally sell through fairly well. For the 2012 convention season, starting with this month's WonderCon, Gentle Giant takes a different approach and offers a piece that is fun, whimsical, commemorative, and what Adam Pawlus refers to quite appropriately as an iconic cultural touchstone.
We normally like our Calamari lightly breaded, sauteed in garlic butter, with spicy cherry peppers, then pan fried to a golden crisp. But this new Mon Calamari A-Wing Pilot from the ROTJ Blu-Ray Deleted Scene is the business.
We finally have the Cracken released, and he's a mix of old and new. The head and top torso are new while the bottom legs are from 2006's Rebel Trooper (SAGA046). The actual figure doesn't look anything like the guy on the cardback, who actually bears a close resemblance to one of the kiosk folks at my local mall, stubble and all.
Hello, what have we here? When it comes to Lando figures, the Skiff Guard outfit is probably the most popular, and Hasbro decided to add a chock full of accessories, including a Skiff Guard helmet and Force Pike, to elevate the new Deleted Scene figure from good to extraordinarily good. You can multi-task Lando from Skiff to Sandstorm by swapping out his hood and poncho.
At first glance, the value proposition for this figure, since it could potentially hang next to a 2011 Revenge Slave Leia on a store peg, may only appear to be the new Deleted Scene specific accroutements with less bling (i.e. slave chain), But Hasbro made some nuanced paint app changes to give a slight improvement to this version of the 2009 Slave Leia as well by lightening up her top, boots, and making the lips less starkly red.
The overall presentation is good, and Hasbro was even mindful enough to allow less poof on the cape by allowing you to tie it up in the back.
When Luke Skywalker Jedi Knight/Endor Capture was released in 2010, we thought he was the epitome of Luke action figureness. The end all. The template.
This set as a whole is not bad. The not fully assembled Episode I C-3PO, while lacking the 14 points of articulation we see as standard today, is as solidly sculpted and painted now as it was back in 1999. The only drawback is that he can't hold the included Anakin Podracer flag as he should be able to. The Power of the Jedi Sebulba (Boonta Eve Challenge) sculpt is good enough and Anakin Skywalker, from 2000's POTJ "mechanic" figure, is marginal for what he is due to the limited articulation. This Anakin mold is also used for the Target 2 Pack exclusive, with the "dirtier" variation for this Battle Pack.
Walmart appears to be the retailer of choice for exclusives in 2012 with their "Discover The Force" campaign. Each Hasbro Star Wars merchandise includes a pair of 3D glasses and a 3D image on the packaging to share the concept with the TPM re-rerelease. The Royal Starship Droids aren't entirely new but it is a great Battle Pack that evokes one of my favorite scenes in the film which re-introduces R2-D2 as always saving the day.
Comparing the new Vintage Collection Battle Droid to the first versions from 1999 is almost like comparing a Vintage Kenner Stormtrooper with a modern super-articulated version. They're just worlds of sculpt, design, and engineering apart.
Ratts Tyerell was originally supposed to be included as a 2 pack with BD11 Clegg Holdfast but was held back to be released in 2012 as part of The Vintage Collection. The date stamp on the figure even indicates 2009. How does he hold up over 2 years later? Hasbro executed a decent design and sculpt albeit we would have liked to have seen the "screaming" face instead of a calmer, grinning Ratts. The included Pit Droid has a nice new deco and is a re-used mold from the Bonus Pit Droids packed in place of Commtech Chips that were only released in Asia for The Episode I Collection.
Presenting the Susan Lucci of the Fan's Choice Polls. Always the bridesmaid never the bride and all that stuff. Ben Quadinaros finally gets plasticized and in good style as a figure with good sculpt and likeness to the character and a workmanlike 12 points of articulation. He's packed with an Otoga-222 pit droid that was originally included with the 1999 Ody Mandrell figure. With the upcoming release of Mawhonic, the circle of pod racers are complete.