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Legacy Collection

Willrow Hood - LC - Basic (BD53)

Name: Willrow Hood
Collection: Legacy Collection
Number: BD53
Source: The Empire Strikes Back
Availability: December 2009
License: Hasbro

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Willrow Hood works for the gas mining company on Cloud City. When the Empire seizes control of the city, Hood destroys a computer memory core to prevent the Empire from discovering information about secret transactions with the Rebels.

Joy to collectors, Willrow Hood is come! What’s to be said of Willrow Hood? A figure that was born out of one collector’s passion and eventually brought to fruition by a wary toy company in Rhode Island, Willrow Hood is a fine example of the zeal and fervor for the beloved hobby of Star Wars collecting. He started off as an almost unattainable dream by Jedi Defender constituent Scott Pearson. But Scott rallied like-minded collectors and after more than seven years of working hard and pleading with Hasbro, the dream became a reality and the character was released in The Empires Strikes Back wave of 2009's Legacy Collection. Willrow Hood is as relevant as any of the characters we see (or barely see) in the Star Wars film that do not have speaking parts or you can only catch a brief glimpse of them in the film. The Star Wars toy line since the Vintage days has been full of these characters. There are too many to list but the basic line wouldn't be the same without them. Hasbro continued in this tradition and released additional "barely noticeable" characters in the modern line and we are sure you can think of many examples of these as well. Willrow Hood is actually a little bit more special than the other previously released obscure action figures we have received because his entrance into the line was initiated by someone who is just like us, a passionate fan.

Willrow Hood is a great action figure. He is super-articulated (perfect for holding ice cream makers) with 14 points and the joints have been tucked away nicely and do not protrude out from the figure. They are well hidden and look like they are part of his uniform. His uniform, which is all orange except for his black boots, is perfectly matched to the onscreen costume, including lack of distinct belt and a fitted style. His likeness is very good, although we have to admit that the action figure came out a bit leaner than we had expected. Don’t get us wrong, Willrow has his signature beer-belly (ice cream belly?) but it looks the slightest bit dramatic due to the rest of his body looking leaner than it is in the film. If you look at the movie stills, Willrow Hood is a thicker character all around (including a rounder face), not just in his gut. Of course this is a small attention to detail that we feel was only marginally missed by Hasbro, but we feel it is still there nonetheless. His face looks a great deal like the character and Hasbro gave him some orange coloring in the eyes which is no doubt brought out to a high degree thanks to his jumpsuit. Willrow Hood also comes outfitted with a blaster, but you likely aren’t going to pose him with it. Rather, we are sure you will take every opportunity to pose him with the signature ice cream maker accessory. This “computer core” is awesomely sculpted and has what you may consider an Easter egg, albeit quite blatant. If you turn the ice cream maker upside down, the Rebel Alliance symbol is emblazoned at the bottom of it. It is true to scale, accurately detailed, and obviously necessary to complete this near-perfectly constructed action figure.

We hope that Willrow Hood will be well-received by the collecting community. It certainly won't be the most popular figure on the block, but he has merit and unparalleled worth in the basic figure line. Fans of The Empire Strikes Back fans will likely purchase this figure to flesh out their Bespin dioramas. But we believe that he will find a place in the home of even the pickiest collectors. For Willrow Hood represents so much more than a Star Wars guy in an orange flight suit carrying an ice cream maker. He represents what all of us share in the deepest fiber of our beings when it comes to Star Wars collecting. And it is quite comforting that Hasbro does listen to us and is serving to make us happy, one figure at a time. If you think that Willrow Hood has knocked a figure out of the possibility of being made, we beg to differ. He may have slightly bumped the next Luke Skywalker figure a little further down, but Hasbro will ensure that we will get them all eventually. If you aren't seeing that Willrow Hood is an indication that almost any character in the Star Wars universe is a possibility, then you may just not get this hobby. It should be a loud and clear sign that Hasbro is willing, ready and able to make collectors' dreams a reality. And in case you are wondering, Willrow Hood looks great next to the Bespin characters like your Cloud Car Pilot and Lobot action figures. Oh, and the new Cloud City Wing Guard just looks phenomenal next to him too! Give Willrow a chance. We know he will make you a very proud and happy collector! (And show a fellow collector a little support, seven years is a LONG time to wait.)

We have an extra special feature for this Willrow Hood Research Droids Reviews entry. We have interviewed the man himself, Scott Pearson, of JediDefender.com and asked him a few things about this landmark figure. Scott started the petition to have Willrow Hood made way back in 2002. Keep reading!

JTA: So, why Willrow Hood? What was it about him that grabbed you?

Scott: In a nutshell, the humor of seeing an obvious real world appliance show up in the Star Wars galaxy. I also think it is funny that the Empire is taking over your home and you can grab anything you have and you decide to grab an Ice Cream Maker! And not to take anything away from the “official” Starwars.com story of the Ice Cream Maker being some sort of computer part or whatever, but why couldn’t it just be left that this dude really wanted to save his Ice Cream? Not everything in the galaxy needs to be related to the overall Rebel vs Empire story.

JTA: Willrow Hood is a perfect example of “the voice of the people.” Your passion for the character to find its way into the action figure line is unprecedented. Did you ever lose the faith that he would ever be made, or did Hasbro’s constant “thumb’s down” make you petition for him even stronger?

Scott: I never really thought it was going to happen, to be perfectly honest, so my faith was rather low all along. There was some prominent members of this community that when the whole thing started were rather rude and condescending about the movement. I’d say that was more of a motivation than Hasbro saying no over the years. I want to give a lot of credit for the actual event happening though to fellow JediDefender staff members Matt Colman and Jeff Smentek. Matt especially, who basically camped out with Hasbro at Comic Con one year and was instrumental in changing a lot of minds over there. I also credit many of the friends I have made over the years who really helped out during the 1st ToyFare Fan’s Choice poll by getting the word out all over the internet. When Willrow made the final top 25, that was the moment when I thought that it might actually happen.

JTA: Your cause for this figure seemed to be scoffed at by many in the collecting community (even some well-respected writers). How did you deal with the comments you must have inevitably heard from your most vocal critics? We always were in support of this figure because we feel he is as relevant as any other non-speaking Star Wars character and we are thrilled to see him made in plastic form, but we have to admit that the contant negative feedback must have been disappointing for you.

Scott: The passion of the Star Wars collecting world is amazing to me. What is also amazing is that we collect the most expansive and wide ranging toy line of all time. People are actually passionate about getting figures made for instance of Camie and Fixer and were mad that they were almost canceled. Characters that didn’t even appear in the movies! One thing I realized soon after Revenge of the Sith is that Hasbro is listening to the board chatter and has been responding to wishlists for many years. Over at JediDefender we have been doing polling for most wanted characters for each movie for a while now. What is amazing is how much of the initial lists we’ve done has been knocked off over the years. And so, in my opinion, almost EVERYTHING relevant will be made by the time the line ends. So, for this reason, I’ve ignored a lot of the criticism of what a stupid choice Willrow Hood is and he is taking a spot away from something way more needed. Hasbro will eventually make a resculpted super articulated Hoth Luke or Bespin Han…they are listening.

JTA: Is there a second Bespin denizen we can expect to hear you clamoring for next?

Scott: I personally don’t have one, but I know a lot of people want Wiorkettle and Treva Horne. I’d support those choices as they would continue to flesh out a rather forgotten corner of the Hasbro modern line. I also hope a Vintage updated mustachioed Bespin Guard is eventually made.

Editor's Note: So do we Scott, so do we!

JTA: What is your opinion of the finished Willrow Hood action figure? It must be one of the most rewarding accomplishments of your “career”. We hope the whole process has been worthwhile for you (we are sure it was).

Scott: He turned out great! I really love everything about him and Hasbro nailed both the likeness and the articulation out of the park! It was a pretty big thrill to open the box a few weeks ago to play around with something that was the result of many years of hard work and comraderie in a hobby I truly love. This made the whole thing truly worthwhile.

Thank you Scott, for your time and for spearheading the effort to see this wonderful Star Wars character finally realized in plastic! It is our hope that Hasbro sees this figure as an overall success so that they won't be shy in creating the next obscure background character. And we hope others will be inspired to start their own petitions to see their favorite characters get made too. Prodding Hasbro enough indeed works! Read about Scott's complete journey of Willrow Hood HERE.

Collector Notes

Willrow Hood

Status: Willrow Hood is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 14 points

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

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: blaster pistol, computer memory core ("ice cream maker")

Original Droid Factory/Build A Droid Part: HK-50 right arm

Date Stamp: 2009

Assortment Number: 89027/87535

UPC: 653569444763

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.

Willrow Hood

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 9, 2009
Category: Legacy Collection
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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