Well, here it is, my first review on JD. I hope you enjoy and not take it too seriously as I am not a hard core fan that can spot inconsistencies as well as some of the veterans!
Let's get started!
The AT-AT driver is my first (and only) purchase so far of the TSC line. I loved this figure when it first came out in 1980 ( I was four at the time) and I also loved him when he came out in 1998 as an exclusive pack-in with the almighty POTF2 AT-AT vehicle.
He was then later released in the POTF2 line as a Star Wars fan club exclusive (with a freeze frame)! Name the other three POTF2 exclusive figures that the fan club offered for 5 bonus points.
This guy is pretty much standard in regards to articulation. He features a ball mounted head (for great poseability) as well as ball jointed knees. Standard hip joints along with swivel jointed wrists and angle cut elbows are also featured. As well, this figure features swivel jointed calves for extra poseability.
I'm not a big fan of swivel jointed elbows because they are easy to detach and often look funny. I guess cost was an issue here as I am spoiled with the SA Clone Trooper.
Overall, the articulation is great for a figure that doesn't have much action in the movie(s).
I am very impressed with the secondary paint ops that this figure has. If you look at the head shot, you'll notice a lot of small details were caught. I haven't compared the figure to the movie/publicity shots, but I'd guess it's fairly accurate. It's simply amazing how technology/improvements in production has come in 25 years!
On the figure I obtained, there were no noticeable flaws which is a big accomplishment considering how many figures Hasbro crams out. Employee morale in China must have been high the day this figure made its way down the line!
You can see the improvement in paint in the following photos:
Aside from articulation and scale, I do have one minor complaint which can be taken as a compliment too. As added detail, Hasbro decided to tool the AT-AT drivers leg straps as a separate piece (the first two versions vintage and POTF2 featured the straps as molded detail).
I love the way it looks but it does pose problems if one decides to pose his/her figure in a crouching/sitting position. But like I said before, there's really no reason for your AT-AT driver to be crouched but he does need to sit if he's going to man your AT-AT! I suppose you could mess around with the straps (move them up) to allow him to sit which in the end, is no biggie.
You can't have your cake and eat it too!
I must admit, I'm a marketing guy, so I'm a sucker for packaging. And for the most part, I'm an opener (aside from the OTC line) so I'm pretty much sucked into to collecting this entire TSC line.
I know how much it works to create a custom package for each release, and let me tell you, it's not easy and it's VERY time consuming. So kudos to the SW Hasbro team for executing this piece of art!
As you know, this new line is reminiscent of the OTC line (black cardback with the Star Wars logo in a silver gradient). The bubble has changed (more wrap around) and there is a new spot for the randomly packed holograph figure. As with the OTC line, the backdrop behind the figure relates to the actual figure and is a very cool touch considering they could have went the cheap route and used a generic backdrop.
The cardback features cross-sell for the wave, along with an overview of the included figure. As well, you must look at the back of the package if you want to see which holographic figure is included.
No brochures this time :-(
Gone are the days of useless pack-ins: freeze frames (who has a slide projector these days?), Force Files, Commtechs, etc.
Now we get a cool pack-in - a holographic figure! I believe there are 12 total for this line 6 baddies, 6 good guys and they are only packed as such, meaning you can only get a baddie holograph with a villain figure and vice versa.
It's a neat idea that I believe came to fruition because of the collectors requests for holographic figures (see countless exclusives and the last wave of ROTS). My figure came with a stormtrooper holographic figure - your mileage will vary.
Another neat pack-in that is included with the TSC figures is a film specific (not to mention character specific) figure stand. This is a neat idea as a lot of us really do open our figures! The film logo is engraved while the character's name is tampo printed (to save $$).
It sure is tough to go from $4.79 all the way up to $6.99. Two dollars is a lot of extra cash when you buy 100+ figures a year! I look at it like this, are we gaining $2 worth of articulation/pack-ins? No, not really - the ROTS figures were darn near perfect and they, for the most part, featured the same level of articulation, pack-ins, and paint ops.
Sure, I know the reason why the price increased - demand and supply, but it's difficult to justify collecting after such a banter year with ROTS.
In the end, it's up to the individual collector whether or not these figures are worth the extra money. For me, it's a simple yes. I enjoy collecting with my three year old and it's worth the money spent to hear him say "Darth Vader" or "Stormtrooper" (even though it's an AT-AT driver)!
I'd rather spend $25 on toys versus $25 on beer, drugs or gambling - but that's just me! A five year old stuck in a thirty year old shell.