It’s quite uplifting how Hasbro can manage to grab onto our heartstrings with some of the products they release in The Vintage Collection. Typically Hasbro releases a “hefty” product at TARGET stores and this year it’s the illustrious Special Action Figure Set which mimics the three packs of an era long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. While the nine action figure set isn’t perfect, it should appease the most critical collector’s palate because it directly pays homage to the sets that are essentially impossible to add to anyone’s collection regardless of budget. The original three packs are not only rare, but they are ultra expensive. But thankfully now we all have a fair chance to add this “mock-up” to our collections with better made action figures without the sacrifice of that beautifully engaging vintage packaging. Tow of the figures in this set, the Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot and Bespin Wing Guard (who is actually Utris M’Toc) don’t belong in this set because they are from A New Hope and the Expanded Universe respectively. Not really setbacks in any way, we think Hasbro could have at least given the Bespin Wing Guard a new portrait (the mustached Bespin Security Guard from the vintage line) which would have made this multipack a home run. (It’s slightly frustrating how Hasbro couldn’t have given us one new figure in this set. That gesture would have been amazing but such is life we suppose. So while we have all of these figures multiple times already, this set is all about the presentation and the nostalgic ties we have to the original vintage line. (It’s really just about the vintage line if we’re honest, isn’t it?) So what does everyone need to know about this exclusive nine pack of Star Wars action figures? There are some figures that have changes made to them and most people want to know about that!
HOTH REBELS: Han Solo/Hoth Rebel Trooper/FX-7
Han Solo is a slight repaint of the Han Solo that came with the 2008 TAC Han Solo/R-3PO Droid Factory set. What makes this version of him different from the 2008 figure is the new paint operations applied to the parka hood and scarf. The scarf is darker and the fur” around the hood has been painted with much more realism than previously done. Other than that the figures are pretty much the same. But those who consider different paint application as a new figure, then Han Solo is a new figure. Hoth Rebel Trooper is a straight repack of the Hoth Rebel Trooper that came in the 2010 SW [SOTDS] Defense Of Hoth multipack, which is a repaint of the 2009 TLC Hoth Rebel Trooper (BD 42) figure. This is the bearded trooper with the lighter hair color. We noticed a slight change in the positioning of his legs. The new figure in the TVC nine-pack doesn’t have that wide of a stance but we have no way of knowing if this was intentional or not. Perhaps the most exciting figure in this group of action figures is the long overdue rerelease of 2001’s POTJ FX-7 figure. There are some significant updates made to FX-7. The 2010 version is darker in color (unfortunately our photos don’t show the variances that well) and there are cleaner details like the red and white lines used to decorate it for this version of the medical droid. The biggest difference is FX-7’s extension arm which is now silver and white instead of tan and white. It looks so much better. While we are thrilled to have FX-7 in this multipack, we hope that this soon means that it is a candidate for The Vintage Collection basic figure line!
BESPIN ALLIANCE: Bespin Wing Guard/Lando Calrissian/
Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues)
What the heck is the Bespin Alliance? Apparently it’s the three figures contained in this set! We’ve been hearing rumors for quite some time now that Hasbro wants to give everyone another chance at the figures that composed the final Expanded Universe wave of the Legacy Collection (the TRU exclusive wave). It looks like that plan has begun as Cloud City Wing Guard [Utris M’Toc] is included in this set here. The inclusion of Utris M’Toc is bittersweet because although it’s great Hasbro is getting him back out there again, he really doesn’t fit in well with the rest of the figures that make up this set. Again, we wish Hasbro would have used a portrait somewhere within their huge catalogue of parts to release an “all-new” Bespin Security Guard. They totally missed the boat here with that and it makes us mad! Utris M’Toc looks to be a straight repack of the 2010 LC Cloud City Wing Guard (BD50) but the paint job on the face looks very different from the sample we own. We have noticed that samples vary from each other so it may just be that these two figures look very different from each other. But we won’t say that the multipack Utris M’Toc is a repaint of the Legacy Collection figure. (But it does look different.) Lando Calrissian is another bittersweet figure. Hasbro didn’t improve the swivel elbows, but they did enhance the paint job on his portrait, specifically his eyes. Instead of just “black dots'” for eyes, Hasbro has now given Lando brown eyes with black pupils. It does a world of good for him and we love what Hasbro has done. But again, why couldn’t they have enhanced his arms to make this the definitive Lando Calrissian action figure? (They updated Shaak Ti’s arms in the Geonosis Arena Showdown Shaak Ti/Geonosian Warrior set, so why not here?) Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues) is a straight repack of 2010’s TVC Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues) (VC04) figure.
IMPERIAL SET: 4-LOM/AT-AT Driver/Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot
Hasbro decided to relax a little bit when it came to the figures in the Imperial Set. 4-LOM is a straight repack of the 2010 TVC 4-LOM (VC10) figure. It is important to note that it is a straight repack of this figure and not the 2007 TAC 4-LOM (No. 41) because Hasbro made some paint operation changes like lightening the green in the eyes and changing some of the rusting and wear on his body. AT-AT Driver is a repack of the 2009 LC AT-AT Driver (BD49) figure. The paint job looks a little bit sloppier of the figure in the multipack, but this could just be our sample. And the Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot is a repack of the figure included in TARGET’s 2009 LC Imperial TIE Fighter as well as 2009’s LC Imperial Pilot Legacy (Series II) Evolutions set. Unfortunately, this Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot is specific to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. But this makes complete sense because we didn’t see any of these pilots in Episode V. But we still think a generic pilot without the helmet deco would have been a better choice to include in this multipack. Overall, the TARGET exclusive Special Action Figure Set is a nice gift to collectors. Word directly from Hasbro is that TARGET is excited about this product and will be working with Hasbro to create at least one more. If these sell well, more should be coming down the pike. So it’s up to us if we’re going to make this a success or not. We think it’s a mandatory purchase. This may be the only way you’ll be able to get these classic multipacks into your collection. Now is the time to make your move.