This truncated wave of action figures in Hasbro's The Vintage Collection includes only three new figures of characters from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, & the Expanded Universe.
Wave Schedule Changes Shown during the presentation at Toy Fair back in February, this wave only consists of three all-new figures. Originally, there was a different wave of 5 figures planned to ship next, but those have now been pushed back to 2012. The big-screen release of The Phantom Menace has caused a number of figures to shift around in the schedule, although the numbering will remain the same. Check out the The Vintage Collection Checklist to see how the waves are now broken down.
"Revenge" of the Jedi chase figures While this wave is now listed as "wave 9", fans might wonder...Where's wave 8? Wave 8 is now made up entirely of repackaged figures, released in several different case assortments. The bulk of these repacks are the 12 full-sized "Revenge of the Jedi"* exclusive figures from the Death Star SDCC 2011 Exclusive set**. These figures are spread out in wave 8 cases, but also the cases of wave 9. All 12 figures are based on previously-released versions, but there are some differences, which will be detailed as each figure is archived. The rest of the figures in both wave 8 & 9 are carry-forwards from previous waves.
(*)Quick historical note: REVENGE of the Jedi was the original name planned for Episode VI. The name was changed to RETURN of the Jedi after George Lucas decided that Jedi wouldn't actually seek revenge. While the name change was done before the film's release in 1983, the "Revenge" name was used for early concepts and packaging (and was eventually used for the title of Episode III...but that's another tale).
(**) The 2 mini-figures of Salacious Crumb (VC66) and the Mouse Droid (VC67) will not be re-released.
Boba Fett (Prototype Armor) mailaway offer This wave also sees the official debut of the 2011 mailaway offer for a Boba Fett figure in his white prototype armor. Based on a time when Boba was thought to be a super-Stormtrooper, the colors were eventually changed to his more familiar color scheme as seen in The Empire Strikes Back. Much like last year's promotion, the cards include a sticker for the promotion, which can be removed without harming the front of the cards. In a move sure to drive collectors crazy, the figure is now number VC61 as if it were part of the main line, not an exclusive.
Although there was a mix-up with the online form, the mail-in certificate is REQUIRED to send away for your special figure. You can use the UPCs from any of the current figures from current The Vintage Collection, The Clone Wars, or Saga Legends. See form for specifics.
Anyway, onto the reviews!
VC63: B-Wing Pilot (Keyan Farlander):
The first figure reviewed today is one of the "Revenge" repacks. This was part of the Death Star set, although the figure itself was originally released as part of the Evolutions: Rebel Pilot Legacy II in 2008.
The differences between the Evolutions figure are this one are limited to the colors. The sculpting & accessories are identical. This time around, the tubes and legstraps are white instead of tan. Since the Evolutions series presented the same high quality as can be found in The Vintage Collection, this figure fits in nicely. Even though Keyan Farlander is a repackaged figure of the B-Wing Pilot, it's also a "new repack" to the line overall. What I mean by this is that it has never been available on the Vintage cardback, other than in the Death Star set.
The only drawback is the ankle joints, which suffer from being cast in red plastic instead of black. This is something that Hasbro does quite often, and it detracts a bit from the overall appearance. However, the B-Wing Pilot has leggings that cover the feet, so it's really only noticeable from the back or if the toes are pointed.
VC68: Rebel Soldier (Echo Base Battle Gear):
As for new sculpted figures, here's one that's long overdue. While we've gotten several Rebel Soldiers from Hoth before, they are normally sculpted in the full battle gear from the trenches. This outfit was seen inside Echo Base, in the form of deck officers, tauntaun handlers, and more. In addition, the classic Kenner figure was sculpted like the officers, but sported the Echo Base colors. So now, we have both for all those too-cool Hoth dioramas fans are building!
The articulation is just what you've come to expect, with a ball-jointed neck, swivel wrists & hips, and ball-hinged joints at the shoulders, elbows, knees, ankles, & torso. In addition, their is a working holster to store the blaster when not in use, plus a nice surprise feature...the goggles are removable and can be worn over the eyes or on top of the headgear.
Once again the ankle joints are a drawback here...and since the pants are considerably lighter than the boots, they really stand out. Another odd thing is happening to mine...the ankles don't bend fully forward, so the figure tends to fall backwards over time unless you lean him forward a bit.
VC69: Bastila Shan:
At long last, we se the release of Bastila Shan, the winner of the 2009 Fans' Choice Figure poll. Although strangely enough....nowhere on the packaging does it identify her as such. Long in demand by fans of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video game, this is one figure that I can honestly say might never have been made if not for the fan support. She was a finalist in the 2006 FCF poll as well, and basically she slipped through the cracks in favor of other characters. Bastila does get a fancy "Character Debut! Never before offered as a figure!" sticker instead. This adds a level of excitement to a figure of a characters that...let's face it...most Star Wars fans are likely asking "Who?"
As for the figure itself, she has all the required articulation points fans have come to expect, and the sculpting is spot-on to the source material. I think the coors might be a bit dark compared to the image used for the card artwork, but in-game shots show her outfit is in fact dark (or as one fan wrote "she looks like she raided Wolverine's closet").
As far as accessories go, Bastila comes armed with a double-bladed lightsaber. much like most of the recent Jedi Knight figure, she has both "on" and "off" versions of this weapon, and the "off" version sports a peg so it can be attached to her belt. A nice touch!
Unlike the other figures in today's review, Bastila's ankle joints are cast in the same dark color as her boots, so they blend in perfectly.
VC70: Ponda Baba (Walrus Man):
Finally, what is EASILY my favorite figure in the wave...Ponda Baba. Or as old-school fans like to refer to him as: "Walrus Man".
First, let's give Hasbro a round of applause for including 9 accessories in the "coffin"-style bubble...NINE! Yes, they are small, but who says it can't be done?!
As a nod to a blooper in A New Hope, the Aqualish pirate includes both his fin hands and hairy hands, so you are able to showcase him whichever way you choose. But Hasbro didn't stop there! They also gave him an alternate blood-stained "lightsaber-damaged" right arm, so you can recreate the climactic "Cantina Showdown" scene against Ben Kenobi when Ponda got a little carried away in Chalmun's cantina. Fans of Robot Chicken will know this was all just a misunderstanding, but I digress...;)
In addition to the multiple limbs, this figure also includes a drinking glass and a blaster that can be stored in the attached holster. The ankles joints still don't match the boots, but they are dark enough where it doesn't really detract from the overall appearance. Although we've got wait a little longer for Dr. Evazan, this figure upgrade is a worthy addition to The Vintage Collection.
Stay tuned for more updates later tonight on the official Rebelscum.com Facebook page as I head back into the studio for more photos of this ninth wave from The Vintage Collection!
Rebelscum Breast Cancer Awareness Charity Patch Posted By Philip on November 25, 2014: Thanks to everybody that ordered patches. I sent a check for $1,600.00 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation on Monday. While it's not as much as I hoped for, it's still very much appreciated. They will remain for sale in the store for anybody that still wishes to purchase them. Details after the jump.