Here are the Nth releases of these characters within the past 4 months that could potentially cause some redundancy and over saturation in retail. From the head up, they're excellent, and you may argue that at least one or two are the best yet. But the 5 points of articulation are causing much menace for a few collectors, especially since these head sculpts are meant for more action.
When Hasbro bragged during their speedy presentation at this year's Toy Fair that these new Battle Pack figures are the best they've done of these characters yet, they were somewhat correct... from a certain point of view. The regression in articulation has caused much controversy and debate in the collector community since. Yes, these figures feature excellent sculpting and awful POTF2 era poseability. No, it doesn't have to be this good and that bad.
Expanded Canon meets Expanded Universe as the fan favorite Republic Commando Boss gets the Clone Wars treatment in 2012 with good sculpt, but awfully limited leg articulation. He comes with his standard commando weaponry, a zip line, and a cool storage pack to harness his hand blasters.
The leader of the Wolfpack upgrades his armor but loses mobility for his second figure release. There are a few things so right about this figure and a lot that could have been done better. Visually, he looks stunning, but if you can get by with 8 points of articulation on a figure that's meant to be posed dynamically or keep your figures carded, then you'll probably be O.K.
The most prominent and notorious Clone Trooper unit gets an update in plastic in the new and improved 2011 body. He's super-articulated, nicely-decoed and you can generalize this as a repaint of the Movie Heroes Class I BARC Speeder with Clone Trooper and you would be correct. But then there's a slight issue with the helmet.
Plain vanilla ice cream is sometimes all you need to take care of that sweet tooth. It's uncomplicated yet classically flavorful. In the case of the VC45 Phase I Clone Trooper, Hasbro makes plain white even more intriguing by drafting an all new, spectacular sculpt that's aesthetically and proportionally pleasing, proving that super articulation is not the end all, be all of vanilla ice cream or Clone Troopers.
Despite her brief appearances in the films, Aayla Secura has a good following among the fan base. As far as her action figure, I didn't really give much thought to an upgrade even with the less than spectacular efforts in 2003 and 2005.
If you kitbashed Star Trek and Lord of The Rings, you'd probably come close to a Nom Anor. He's muscularly stunning and quite foreboding. As the new Masters of the Universe...whoops, did I just write that?... in the New Jedi Order timeline, the Yuuzhan Vong are quite the compelling and complicated conquering race, and they obviously like to workout.
Nom Anor was a Fan's Choice candidate a few times, and Hasbro finally decided to release him favorite or not.
Kithaba was originally mistaken as Barada in the Kenner line, but Hasbro has updated the red trousered Klatooinian Skiff Guard for The Vintage Collection and I'm happy to see him. He's not perfect, and there are a couple of flaws in the design, but overall the figure is a winner.
He's a wanted man and has the death sentence in 12 systems, but Dr. Evazan is wanted by collectors for our own selfish reasons. We needed an upgrade badly since previous attempts by Hasbro made him more to be like Two Face's skinnier brother. Has it been worth the wait? I'll sum it up in two words: chest hair.
I consider Ponda Baba one of the essentials of any Star Wars action figure collection. He's part of a key iconic scene and that Kenner action figure was such a memorable part of our Creature Cantina playset. Hasbro delivers an "ultimate" Walrus Man with awesome detail, super-articulation, and features that set him evolutions apart from any previous version.
Expanded Universe continues to be popular amongst collectors, particularly when it comes to gaming. The 2009 Fan's Choice winner shares the same game (Knights of the Old Republic) and scarcity, and for now, high premium as the 2006 winner, Darth Revan. While traditionalists would rather stick with film based characters, there is a cross market out there that are buying the game based figures up. Besides, Bastila Shan is great looking.
Hasbro had a few iterations in the modern line of the Hoth Rebel Trooper, but collectors wanted an updated version of the Kenner figure with the tan vest.
Deviations from the normal course can at times turn into disaster, and then there are the few instances where it results into brilliant execution. The new Clone Wars "realistic" Anakin Skywalker has to be considered the best one of this character yet. Don't believe me? Take a look at the comparison shot with VC13 Anakin Skywalker to make you marvel in its superiority.
Let's get this out of the way. That cardback is infallible like a holy relic and brings geeky tears to my eyes. Having a Darth Vader on a Kenner Star Wars card brings back so many memories, it's like an old childhood friendship rekindled. The action figure, while not entirely perfect, is pretty awesome too.