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JTA Presents: Evolutions - Plo Koon

Welcome to another one of our JTA Presents: Evolutions features! Let’s check out how close or far we are from having an ideal Hasbro 3.75″ Plo Koon 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!

Plo Koon

 

Plo Koon is another fan-favorite Jedi Master. He’s been with us throughout the entire Prequel Trilogy, and he suffered a devastating death during Order 66, but that hasn’t stopped Star Wars enthusiasts from loving him. His appearance didn’t get altered all that much, if at all, and maintained a somewhat consistent look throughout Episode I, Episode II and Episode III. But the Hasbro action figures surely looked different each time they added him into the basic figure line. The character has gone through more retools and repaints than the average action figure, and collectors want to know why Hasbro took some approaches with the action figures they made of him.

 

Plo Koon from 2000’s Power Of The Jedi line.

            

The first version of Plo Koon came in the Power Of The Jedi line and is explicitly based on his appearance in The Phantom Menace. The figure comes with long molded robes and a bright yellow lightsaber accessory. The likeness of the figure is fantastic, but with limited mobility, the figure became too static for most collectors’ needs. Also, because of the molded robes, the figure wasn’t able to sit as he did in Episode I. Because of this, collectors quickly became eager to see what Hasbro would do next with the character.

 

Plo Koon (Arena Battle) (’02 #12) from 2002’s Star Wars “Saga” [Phase I] line.

            

Because of the incredible amount of action during the Battle of Geonosis, Hasbro decided to take a more aggressive approach with the Jedi they created for the Star Wars “Saga” line. All of the characters featured in those scenes came in pre-posed action stances, which worked for them as much as it did against them. Sure, figures like Saesee Tiin, Shaak Ti and Plo Koon looked great while in the Geonosis Arena playset, but anywhere else in your collection did not work nearly as well. This version Plo Koon (Arena Battle) (’02 #12) came with a lightsaber accessory in addition to a blast effect. But the figure has a wonky pose.

 

Plo Koon from 2004’s OTC Jedi High Council (Featuring Plo Koon, Obi-Wan Kenobi & Eeth Koth) (Scene 2) Scene Packs Toys R Us Exclusive

            

During The Original Trilogy Collection era, Hasbro decided to finish off the Jedi High Council Screen Scenes. Plo Koon was one of the Jedi Masters chosen for one of the sets. They took the 2002 Star Wars “Saga” figure, tooled all-new legs and added soft-goods so the figure could sit in the included chair. It was a significant upgrade to the 2002 release but still lacked any meaningful articulation in the upper body. Once again, collectors became increasingly impatient with Hasbro and hoped they would develop an all-new figure from the ground up.

 

Plo Koon (III 16) from 2005’s Revenge Of The Sith line.

            

The Revenge Of The Sith line brought collectors an all-new version of Plo Koon based on his appearance from Episode III. Sadly, the figure came without any soft-goods robes, and the paint job looked off in a couple of ways. Plo Koon’s skin was too orange, and his Jedi outfit was too “red” in nature. Collectors weren’t sure what happened with translating the figure from the blueprints to the production line, but something went awry. Still, collectors were glad to see many articulation enhancements to this release, even if they weren’t perfect updates. The lower skirt inhibited lower leg movement significantly, so that was one of the greatest setbacks of this figure.

 

Plo Koon from 2008’s TAC Plo Koon/R4-F5 Droid Factory (1 of 6) Walmart exclusive set.

            

Apparently, Hasbro wasn’t entirely happy with their 2005 ROTS Plo Koon (III 16) figure either. Almost three years after its release, Hasbro felt the sculpt was alright enough to reuse for the 2008TAC Walmart exclusive Droid Factory collection. But they decided to drastically repaint the figure in the hopes of making him more authentic and screen-accurate. They succeeded. The updated Plo Koon figure is markedly improved thanks to muted tones, better coloring and overall stricter adherence to screen-accuracy. Keep in mind, the articulation issues didn’t improve with this release, but aesthetically, Plo Koon never looked better up until this point. Hasbro reissued this version of Plo Koon into The Legacy Collection and Legacy Collection Saga Legends lines as well.

 

Plo Koon (BD45) from 2009’s Legacy Collection line.

            

For the Legacy Collection Build A Droid/Droid Factory basic figure line, Hasbro took parts of the Revenge of the Sith figure and then tooled a whole bunch of new one for what is right now the best version of Plo Koon money can buy. Gone are the figure’s swivel elbows and wonky leg articulation and they’re replaced with premium articulation. The only issue with this release is the removable face mask which does not stay in place for anything. A few collectors glued it permanently into the figure’s face, but others are hoping for one more tweak from Hasbro to give us the most-definitive version of him possible. It’s a great figure. It’s a shame it has a major flaw.

 

Plo Koon Group Shot

Plo Koon

 

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 Plo Koon action figures.

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