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JTA Presents: Evolutions - Ree-Yees

Welcome to another one our JTA Presents: Evolutions features! Let’s check out how close or far we are from having an ideal Hasbro 3.75″ Ree-Yees action figure. Have we arrived at definitive status yet? Weigh in and let us know what conclusion you’ll come to by clicking through and adding your two cents in the comments!

Ree-Yees

 

Who doesn’t love a three-eyed drunk who’s part of Jabba’s entourage? Ree-Yees is a character that’s always been favored by longtime Star Wars collectors. Almost every incarnation of him as an action figure has turned out beautifully. Each has its set of issues, but none of them terrible enough to warrant passing on the figure. The span of years between the three versions Kenner and Hasbro produced is a near-perfect decade and a half between each of them. The coincidental 15 years apart from each other blatantly shows how far Kenner and Hasbro revolutionized their processed and technology with each new version of Ree-Yees produced. And although we may not have 100% perfect version of Ree-Yees today, the latest version refuses to age. In fact, there are aspects on all of them that resist aging. Let’s take a closer look.

 

Ree-Yees from 1983’s Return Of The Jedi line.

            

The vintage Kenner Ree-Yees began it all. A favorite figure in 1983, Ree-Yees showed that drunk Grans were just as crucial to the line as Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight Outfit). Limited in articulated, and in all honesty not one of Kenner’s best sculpts, the large-headed Ree-Yees came with a unique gold blaster rifle that he didn’t utilize in the film. A drinking glass would have been a more appropriate accessory here. Despite the figure’s faults, Kenner produced a reasonably accurate figure, and Ree-Yees will always remain a permanent fixture in Star Wars collectors collections until they can collect no more. Those who grew up with the original Kenner line realize how vital this figure was to hooking us as Star Wars fans. We got to know these characters through the playtime we had with them.

 

Ree-Yees from 1998’s The Power Of The Force “2” [Green/Freeze Frame] line.

            

The first modern Ree-Yees action figure was part of The Power Of The Force “2” [Green/Freeze Frame] line. It came with a Freeze Frame action slide. Collectors were impressed with Kenner/Hasbro because the figure stood apart from, both in sculpting and deco, most of the figures previously produced in the line. His leathery costume was shiny, and his textured skin was beige and dull. He came with a slight action-oriented pose and looked fantastic amongst the many other aliens from Jabba’s Sail Barge of which he was part. For years this figure satisfied collectors, but articulation was becoming more and more of an issue. Soon this Ree-Yees figure lost its luster and collectors began championing Hasbro for a super-articulated version. But it would as long as the first modern figure took to arrive from the vintage Kenner version.

 

Ree-Yees (#28) from 2014’s The Black Series [Phase I] line.

            

Jedi Temple Archives broke the news the night of Hasbro’s 2013 NYCC Preview Party that an all-new Ree-Yees action figure was coming in early 2014 as part of The Black Series [Phase I] line. It was exciting news for all collectors because the last figure was already 15 years old, and the original Kenner figures just turned 30 years old! When Ree-Yees arrived at retail, it was warmly embraced. But collectors noticed almost immediately that the figure’s head was too small. And some of the paint operations lacked the quality it deserved. Also, super-articulated purists were very disappointed by the figure’s lack of articulated ankles. Regardless of the figure’s setbacks, it remains the best version of Ree-Yees on the market today. The question is, does he need to be revisited in any way?

 

Ree-Yees Group Shot

Ree-Yees

 

Questions for discussion:

1. In your opinion, do we have a definitive version of this figure?

2. If we don’t have a definitive version of this figure, should Hasbro tool a new figure from the ground up again, or should they tweak a current sculpt to perfect it instead?

3. If the figure ranks as definitive for you, do you want to see it repackaged in vintage Kenner packaging (The Vintage Collection) if it isn’t already?

4. Add any other points of note or interest in the comments about any of these versions of Ree-Yees action figures.

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