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The Vintage Collection

Jar Jar Binks - TVC - Basic (VC108)

Name: Jar Jar Binks
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC108
Source: The Phantom Menace
Availability: August 2012
License: Hasbro

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So close, yet a little too far away for our own liking. Let’s just get it out in the open. You either love or hate Jar Jar Binks. We get it. But throughout the years, the less he talked, the more Star Wars fans were able to appreciate the character. Gungans are indeed an awesome species. Their design is very intriguing and the empathy blatantly displayed in their eyes is both heartwarming and encouraging. It’s hard to believe they were able to fight so valiantly at the Battle of Naboo to protect their homeland from the threat of Separatist invasion. It’s popular to talk smack about Jar Jar Binks. It’s almost as popular as saying The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars film of all time. (Sorry, we’re Return Of The Jedi lovers – well some of us here are at least.) Despite the lauded disdain for this poor Star Wars character, Hasbro has seen it fit to consistently release action figures of him throughout the years. We did experience a dry spell of Jar Jar Binks characters prior to 2009. It wasn’t until then that Star Wars collectors didn’t see a new version of him for almost a decade. But ever since he made his debut in The Clone Wars television show, it’s hard to forget about a character that entertains and ye, even annoys us from time to time. After 2009’s TCW Jar Jar Binks (No. 24) figure, we didn’t get another Jar Jar Binks action figure until 2012’s SW [TPM 3D] Jar Jar Binks (MH13) figure was released. That version of the figure was done very well. It lacked in articulation, but the head sculpt and paint job were beyond excellent. Frankly, we’re on the fence and can’t decide if this particular version of Jar Jar Binks rivals The Vintage Collection version. Let’s see if we’re able to fairly assess the situation. The Vintage Collection figure is actually a significant retool lof the Movie Heroes version and they share quite a few parts with each other. So why does the Movie Heroes version look a little bit better to us?

2012’s TVC Jar Jar Binks (VC108) is indeed an excellently sculpted action figure and that's because it borrows so much from the Movie Heroes version. Although the paint job isn’t perfect, Hasbro didn’t go cheap on the paint operations like they had on previous Gungan efforts. For years Hasbro neglected the ornate skin pattern that decorated the length of the arms. But they’ve added it back and we’re quite impressed how well it looks and confirms how important it is for them not to discount it in the future Gungan action figures they decide to manufacture. Figures like 2009’s LC Gungan Warrior (BD07) and 2012’s SW [TPM 3D] Gungan Warrior (5 of 12) look great but the lack of ornamentation on their skin is disconcerting. Jar Jar Bink’s skin tone is a little too orange here but it certainly isn’t glaring at least for our standards. We have heard that this significantly bothers other collectors, so you may share either opinion. Still, you might find the paint job on the Movie Heroes Jar Jar Binks a little more enticing. The use of soft-goods is actually quite fantastic here. Jar Jar’s skirt is identical to the glossy leathery material seen in Episode I. We’re thoroughly impressed with the results. It isn’t ill-fitted and it clings to his silhouetter very nicely. Where Jar Jar Binks does lack sadly is the mismatched ball-joints. Are you ready for this? The Movie Heroes version didn't have this issue? So where's the breakdown? It’s such a shame that Hasbro is so inconsistent with this that it just makes us sigh. Jar Jar Binks’ shoulder joints and knee joints are case in a very light beige color. It’s especially noticeable in the knees, but the same error interrupts the smooth skin pattern that leads all the way up to his shoulder joints. Even a darker orange paint in lieu of the pattern would have diminished the shock your eyes will see from this mismatched joint. But aside from these errors, Jar Jar still looks pretty good to us.

The last issue we have with Jar Jar Binks is his head joint. Hasbro tried to include some extra functionality for collectors, but they overstepped their bounds and ended creating something that in turn hurt the aesthetics of the character. He comes with a ball-jointed neck and ball-socket head. But the ball-jointed neck leaves a big gaping hole at the base of it that looks simply terrible. This is one of the few significant retools this figure sustained from the Movie Heroes incarnation. Unless you push his neck all the way forward, you’re not going to be able to hide the square shaped joint from view. And it is a really bad distraction. It’s a shame that Hasbro has made the joint too big where it can’t be covered up by the neck because Jar Jar Binks has fine potential. If they managed to clean up the paint job issues and the mismatched joints, maybe the issue of the neck joint would be a little bit more tolerable. But further tweaking will be required before we have a truly definitive version of Jar Jar Binks. Right now, and we hate to admit it, but the Movie Heroes Jar Jar Binks is superior in a few more ways than The Vintage Collection version. And this sentiment is just plain abnormal. Figures from The Vintage Collection should not be rivaled by an kid-focused line. Does The Vintage Collection Jar Jar Binks have premium articulation? Yes. Is the sculpt pretty good? Yes. Does the sum of its parts equal a definitive action figure? No. You’ll also have two packaging choices to purchase Jar Jar Binks. He comes in standard The Vintage Collection packaging as well as the variant “Lost” line look with a retro-modern feel to it. (It’s number EP101 in that collection.) This is one of the best Jar Jar Binks action figure available at the moment, but it certainly isn’t perfect yet. And we're still quite partial to the Movie Heroes version, even after all of that retooling they did to it!

Collector Notes

Jar Jar Binks

Status: Jar Jar Binks is significant retool of 2012's SW [TPM 3D] Jar Jar Binks (MH13) figure. This time the figure comes with new arms, a retooled torso, retooled neck, retooled cod section and retooled lower legs. While the figure shares the same head sculpt, it has a differently sized ball-socket joint that prohibits it from being interchangeable with the Movie Heroes version.

Articulation Count: 15

Articulation Details: ball-socket head, ball-jointed neck, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel wrists, ball-jointed waist, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: staff, atlatl

Date Stamp: 2012

Assortment Number: 39649/37499

UPC: 653569732617

Retail: $9.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.

The Vintage Collection Wave 15
Jar Jar Binks (VC108)
Clone Trooper Lieutenant (VC109)
Shock Trooper (VC110)
Princess Leia (Bespin Outfit) (VC111)
Sandtrooper (VC112)
Darth Vader (VC115)

Added: August 2, 2012
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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