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Legacy Collection

AT-AT Driver - LC - Basic (BD49)

Name: AT-AT Driver
Collection: Legacy Collection
Number: BD49
Source: The Empire Strikes Back
Availability: December 2009
License: Hasbro

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The massive AT-AT walkers need skilled drivers to handle them efficiently in battle. AT-AT drivers are experts at operating these ground assault vehicles to keep them moving over rough terrain while pounding their targets with laser cannon fire.

The Empire Strikes Back wave of figures from the Legacy Collection is full of surprises. AT-AT Driver is one of these figures that has a few. Originally thought to be a super-articulated version of 2006's The Saga Collection AT-AT Driver (SAGA 009) figure, he is actually an all-new sculpt from head to toe. Hasbro studied all the details on this character and have gotten it right for the first time in the basic line. But hardcore Original Trilogy fans will obviously be disgruntled with this figure since he has a removable helmet and a clone head, but if you can get past this "linking" of original trilogy to the prequel trilogy, the figure is actually excellent. Loaded with 14 points of articulation, the AT-AT Driver is nearly definitive but of course it has one or two small issues that keep it from being absolutely perfect. We don't have any big complaints about this figure, but we do wish a few things got addressed before it was finalized. The AT-AT Driver is exactly proportioned to the pilot that we saw in Episode V. The colors, fine details (like on the helmet), and body structure in particular are nearly flawless. Faithful and accurate attention was paid to get all of his dimensions correct. Specifically, this means that he has a larger than normal helmet that looks slightly too big for the body, a thinner body and a tighter (not so baggy) flight uniform. (The same is true for TIE Fighter Pilots.) We personally count ourselves very fortunate that Hasbro nailed this on the figure. While you may initially think he looks big-headed, this is intentional AND accurate to the characters in the film. Just check out some reference photos in various Star Wars heirloom books or the Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary if you doubt this.

The new AT-AT Driver improves upon the 2006 in many ways. You may be surprised by this unless you have a flawless memory, but the 2006 TSC AT-AT Driver (SAGA 009) only has 11 points of articulation. We didn't have a clear memory of this either and were surprised ourselves. Adding two ankle joints in addition to a waist joint this time around, the AT-AT Driver gets super-articulated status and he is impressive will all of the points of articulation. Probably the most impressive update to this figure is his helmet. First, the helmet is now perfectly sculpted and accurate in size. Specifically, the portion of the helmet that houses the artificial air supply nozzles falls much lower than as seen on the 2006 figure. Also, the "eyes" on the face plate are simply perfect this time. These enhancements make the helmet top notch this time around. The bottom of the white chest portion is shaped with a curve, the 2006 figure had it shaped in a straight line and the uniform on the new AT-AT Driver is also cast in a lighter gray and from what we can tell from the pictures we have seen is more accurate. Hasbro has also improved their approach to making the 'cod sections' on action figures better than ever and not so boxy. Instead of a simple connection piece that attaches the legs, Hasbro is apparently doing a fine job to hide the joints as best they can. If you compare the 2006 figure to the new one, you will notice that the 2009 figure has a distinctly shaped rear whereas the 2006 figure has simply a "box" for a butt. (We apologize for looking at our figures in this much detail, but it makes a huge difference.) It actually is quite reminiscent to the vintage figure (who also has a distinctly shaped rear end as well). For goodness sake, are we really talking about action figure butts now in this column? We don't even think we mentioned this detail in the Princess Leia (BD17) figure review! But (no pun intended) this is fact and it truly adds unprecedented realism to the action figure.

While the figure is awesome, he is not without issues. He has a little trouble standing on his own. Whether it is due to a poor center of gravity or his much thinner and slightly odd shaped/positioned legs, this ultimately may not be an issue for most collectors since you are likely planning to seat him in your AT-AT vehicle anyway. We can certainly stand the figure with just a little bit of patience, but we think it should have had a more confident grounding than it does and he falls over a little too easily in our opinion. There are definitely many more figures with worse standing issues, so don't be alarmed. Also, believe it or not, the 2006 figure has more detail on the back portion of the chest armor than the new figure. We wished Hasbro would have transferred this incredible 'back plate' detail to the new figure. While we love the super-articulation, it is easy to bump him out of a straight pose as his joints are ever so loose that it makes it easy to knock him out of a pose you are trying to achieve. But all of these "issues" are only very minor problems. Overall, the AT-AT Driver is a marked improvement and it is hard to believe how much further Hasbro has come in giving an action figure more and more detail in only three short years since we got the 2006 TSC AT-AT Driver (SAGA 009) version. It is the definitive AT-AT Driver for the time (and may be for a while), but we believe purists will want Hasbro to tackle this figure again but without a removable helmet. (And we also feel this way too.) Bonuses like the extra movement this figure has in addition to the removable chest box and helmet add a great amount of play value and makes this figure worthy of it price. We still give this figure the highest marks despite having a few very small issues and we are proud to have it replace our 2006 TSC AT-AT Driver (SAGA 009) as the definitive version for the time being. It certainly is worthy of inclusion into your collection too.

Collector Notes

AT-AT Driver

Status: AT-AT Driver is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 14 points

Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel forearms, ball-jointed torso, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: removable helmet/chest box combination, blaster

Original Droid Factory/Build A Droid Part: HK-50 body

Date Stamp: 2009

Assortment Number: 88336/87535

UPC: 653569430346

Retail: $7.99 USD

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





AT-AT Driver

 

Legacy Collection Wave 5 (Wave 12)
Episode V Concept Art Snowtrooper (BD48)
AT-AT Driver (BD49)
Cloud City Wing Guard [Sergeant Edian] (BD50)
Luke Skywalker (BD51)
R2-X2 (BD52)
Willrow Hood (BD53)
Zuckuss (BD54)
Snowtrooper (BD55)
HK-50 (Build A Droid)

 
Added: December 6, 2009
Category: Legacy Collection
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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