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30 (77-07)

Arena Encounter - TAC - Battle Packs (Exclusive)

Name: Arena Encounter
Collection: 30 (77-07)
Number: N/A (Battle Packs) (Exclusive)
Source: Attack Of The Clones
Availability: September 2007
License: Hasbro

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As the galaxy hurtles toward war, Anakin Skywalker, Padmé Amidala, and Obi-Wan Kenobi are captured on the planet Geonosis and sentenced to death. Poggle the Lesser, Archduke of Geonosis, accuses the trio of being spies and has them chained to stone pillars in the Geonosian arena. The three friends watch helplessly as bloodthirsty beasts are unleashed into the arena to kill them. At the last minute, they are save from death by the arrival of Jedi Knights. A brutal battle erupts as more Republic and Separatist reinforcements arrive, ending all hope of a peaceful end to the conflict.

The 30 (77-07) line afforded Hasbro many opportunities to get things right (at least better). Hasbro definitely used the product year(s) of this line to enhance some already greatly sculpted items and breathe new life in them thanks to stunning new and improved paint jobs. And it seemed to many outsiders looking in that it was indeed the time to tweak incorrect paint applications or slightly retool figures to make them the best they could be (until all-new versions could be manufactured of course). When looking at the Arena Encounter Toys R Us exclusive Battle Packs set (which interestingly is not referred to or labeled as an Ultimate Battle Packs set), Hasbro indeed improved the three Geonosis Arena beasts to an impressive degree (with updated paint jobs alone). Layered in gorgeous multiple paint applications, they are painted so well we bet you’ll be hard pressed to find any complaints. This doesn’t mean that the creatures themselves are flawless. But a great paint job can soothe the wounds of where the figure lacks. The electronics have been removed from the figures that originally came with them. This is a blessing to some and a curse to others. (We prefer bells and whistles to be removed in our opinion.) We weren’t too happy to see that some of the wonky action features have been left as is. (We’re hoping in general that action features will altogether be abandoned at this point.) But the enhanced paint applications alone really make you sit and pause and ponder just how wonderful of a job Hasbro did to make this set a worthwhile purchase. They are perfectly and beautifully painted to look exactly as they did in Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones. And this means a lot since the original versions of these creatures in the Star Wars line just didn’t deliver as well as they should have leaving collectors wanting more….for years. You should look at this set as three tremendous upgrades to three previously released creatures and nothing else. Obviously you’re not going to be happy with the pack-in action figures, so it will benefit you to focus your energies towards the beasts.

Keeping in mind that the Arena Encounter is really just a hodgepodge of products that were originally available in the 2002 and 2003 of the Star Wars “Saga” line, Hasbro has effortlessly made this contemporary for collectors of the 30 (77-07) line and beyond and the set almost looks completely new (if it weren’t for those terrible pack-in figures) thanks to the awesome new paint jobs the creatures have. But we should probably address that paint deco changes have been made to the included basic figures as well. The revised paint jobs do not improve the aesthetics of the figures unfortunately. This may be a moot point anyway since these figures are terribly outdated now. Padmé Amidala’s hair is darker and has streaks. And while she comes with her blaster from the original basic figure, the pillar is nowhere to be found. This is a shame because it would have fit in perfectly with this set. The garish included Anakin Skywalker figure is a repaint of the 2002 Deluxe figure (the one with the splitting Geonosian Warrior). His paint applications in the face have been improved to lessen that awful “deer in headlights” look, but he is severely lacking in articulation and even a natural action stance. (We do appreciate the soft-goods however.) Obi-Wan Kenobi seems to have the least amount of changes as far as deco is concerned, but interestingly he comes with an all-new spear based on the one he came with in the 2003 basic figure assortment. Hasbro has removed the metal section from the spear and cast it in all plastic. (We also tend to be of the opinion that they made Obi-Wan’s face look worse than better now.) We know the inclusion of these three characters makes the most sense, but the set would have benefitted so much more from extra Geonosian Warriors or random Jedi Knights who fought in the three heroes’ rescue (or any other figures without strange action poses or ones that have more articulation). But it is what it is.

But as we have mentioned earlier, the things to get excited about here are the beasts. The Acklay is just stunning. There is a ton of gradual shading in his skin and extra care was made to expertly paint fine details like teeth and three eyes in an expert fashion. His tummy is a lot lighter for this release and the crown of his head is darker with more natural coloring. This could just be in our heads, but we had a significantly easier time posing him upright that the beast assortment version. The plastic doesn’t seem that much improved, but we had less of a time getting aggravated posing it. The paint job on this Acklay is so good that we would recommend selling your other one and getting this one instead. It’s that good. The Nexu also has a fantastically new paint job. The “tiger” like stripes are crisper and Hasbro has given the eyes more eeriness and personality. The battle-damage scar has been removed. And since the electronic are gone, so is the button which activates it and it leaves a whole on the Nexu’s side. The Nexu is much improved and it’s great to get a more movie-accurate version. The Reek has also seen a substantial repainting and we have to say that it and the Acklay make this set worth the $59.99 price tag. The Reek’s sides are significantly darker and there is much less “red” on the top of the creature. Hasbro has also given the Reek new personality. They have now included more distinguishable start and stops for the yellow paint which color its triceratops-like horns. (It doesn't all bleed together like the original release.) The old version’s head looked like one big “red” mess. That has thankfully been remedied here. This set is totally worth it. We suggest ensuring a way to get it into your collection. It has truly exceeded our every expectation. No, we aren’t excited about the included figures but there will definitely be much better ones available in the future. But now is the time to enjoy the updated beasts!

Collector Notes

Arena Encounter

Assortment Number: 87549

UPC: 653569261730

Retail: $59.99

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

Anakin Skywalker

Anakin, accompanied by Padmé, races to Geonosis to rescue his friend and master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, who has been captured by Separatist forces. Sneaking onto the planet, he has to battle his way through a dangerous assembly line in a battle droid foundry then is captured before he can free Obi-Wan.

Status: Anakin Skywalker is a repaint of 2002's SW Anakin Skywalker (with Lightsaber Slashing Action) Deluxe figure.

Articulation Count: 8

Articulation Details: swivel head, 2 hinge-jointed shoulders (action feature), 2 swivel wrists, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips

Accessory Count: 4

Accessory Details: blue lightsaber, green lightsaber, soft-goods vest, belt

Date Stamp: 2002

Padmé Amidala

Padmé accompanies Anakin to Geonosis after they learn that Obi-Wan has been captured. She hopes to use her diplomatic influence as a Senator to free him, but she, too, is taken captive. As she faces death in the arena, she confesses her true feelings for Anakin even though their love is forbidden by the Jedi Code.

Status: Padmé Amidala is a repaint of 2002's SW Padmé Amidala (Arena Escape) ('02 #02) figure. This time she comes without the column/pillar accessory.

Articulation Count: 6

Articulation Details: swivel head, swivel left shoulder, spring loaded hinge-jointed right arm (action feature), spring loaded swivel waist (action feature), 2 swivel hips

Accessory Count: 3

Accessory Details: droid blaster, removable holster, metal chain

Date Stamp: 2002

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan's investigation into the attempt on Padmé's life leads him to Jango Fett, who escapes to Geonosis with Obi-Wan on his trail. On Geonosis, Obi-Wan learns of an impending Separatist attack and manages to send a partial communication to the Jedi Council before he is captured and brought to the arena for execution.

Status: Obi-Wan Kenobi is a repaint of 2003's SW Obi-Wan Kenobi (Acklay Battle) ('03 #01) figure. This time he comes with the column/pillar accessory.

Articulation Count: 6 points

Articulation Details: swivel head, swivel left shoulder, hinge-jointed right shoulder, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips

Accessory Count: 3

Accessory Details: lightsaber, binders, spear

Date Stamp: 2002

Nexu

One of the three beasts let loose in the arena, the nexu has a massive mouth filled with razor-sharp teeth and deadly claws. Its muscular build and ferocious nature make it a perfect creature for Geonosian executions. It targets Padmé, who uses her own shackles, and her ingenuity, to keep the animal at bay.

Status: Nexu is a repaint of 2002's SW Nexu Deluxe figure. This time the electronics have been removed. The button to activate the electronics has also been removed.

Articulation Count: 7 points

Articulation Details: swivel head, hinge-jointed jaw, 2 swivel shoulders, 2 swivel hips, wired tail

Accessory Count: None

Accessory Details: None

Date Stamp: 2002

Reek

The reek has tough, leathery skin and deadly horns. Geonosians in charge of the animals steer the powerful reek toward Anakin. As fighting breaks out in the arena, the chaos sends the reek into a frenzied charge and trampling anyone in its path. During the battle, Anakin momentarily calms the beast and uses it as a mount.

Status: Reek is a repaint of 2002's SW Reek (Arena Battle Beast) creature. This time the electronics have been removed.

Articulation Count: 6 points

Articulation Details: hinge-jointed head (from removed sound activation action feature), 2 swivel shoulders, hinge jointed left elbow, 2 swivel hips

Accessory Count: None

Accessory Details: None

Date Stamp: 2002

Acklay

The acklay uses its sharp claws and pointed fangs to tear apart its prey. Carnivorous and aggressive, it is one of the beasts released into the Geonosian execution arena to put Obi-Wan, Anakin and Padmé to death. Geonosian picadors herd the beast toward Obi-Wan, who uses his Jedi skills to outmaneuver the creature.

Status: Acklay is a repaint of 2002's SW Acklay (Arena Battle Beast) creature.

Articulation Count: 19

Articulation Details: spring-loaded hinge-jointed head, 6 ball-jointed "shoulders", 6 hinge-jointed "elbows", 6 hinge-jointed "wrists"

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: guts, removable belly cover

Date Stamp: 2002









30 (77-07) Battle Packs Wave 1
Battle On Geonosis
Jedi Training On Dagobah

30 (77-07) Battle Packs Wave 2
Capture Of The Tantive IV

30 (77-07) Battle Packs Wave 3
Jedi Vs. Darth Sidious (See TSC Jedi Vs. Darth Sidious)
Jedi Vs. Sith (See ROTS Jedi Vs. Sith)

30 (77-07) Battle Packs Wave 4
Betrayal On Bespin
Clone Attack On Coruscant (See ROTS Clone Attack On Coruscant)
Droid Factory Capture
Hunt For Grievous
(See TSC Hunt For Grievous)

30 (77-07) Battle Packs Wave 5
Battle On Mygeeto

30 (77-07) Battle Packs (TARGET Exclusives)
Ambush On Ilum
ARC-170 Elite Squad
AT-RT Assault Squad
Attack On Kashyyyk
Betrayal On Felucia

30 (77-07) Battle Packs (Toys R Us Exclusives)
Arena Encounter
Bantha With Tusken Raiders [Version 1]
Bantha With Tusken Raiders [Version 2]
Hoth Patrol
STAP Attack

30 (77-07) Battle Packs (Walmart Exclusives)
Treachery On Saleucami

Added: January 14, 2011
Category: 30 (77-07)
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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