Name: Ponda Baba (Walrus Man)
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Source: A New Hope
Availability: October 2011
Updates to some of the earliest neo-classic Star Wars action figures are still happening thank goodness. What would a Star Wars basic action figure line be without new and improved versions of the figures we grew up with in the 70s and 80s? Some updates are taking a lot longer than expected, but at least they’re still coming and that’s pretty much what can be said of Ponda Baba (Walrus Man). He’s a cantina patron who speaks (or grumbles unintelligible dialogue at least) and he has history as one of the first 21 Kenner Star Wars action figures ever created. The wait was long, but it has been well worth it because we now have an unbelievably definitive version of Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) with a few new and excellently executed surprise features that we really just didn’t expect Hasbro to do for us. With an interchangeable right arm and interchangeable hands which pay homage to a blooper no less, Ponda Baba is just everything you would ever want in an action figure. Super-articulated and 99.9% perfectly decorated, this is one amazing action figure that will absolutely not have the ability to age throughout the years. Collectors: consider yourself fortunate if you’re still alive and well with the free will to collect because Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) is the very definition of action figure perfection. It is evident that a great deal of time went into the planning of Ponda Baba (Walrus Man). Trust us that you’re going to be happy too. He’s slender, well-proportioned (even better than the actual actor in the suit quite honestly) and expertly engineered. Interestingly, we’ve found that Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) gives the appearance of a very tall stature. We compared him to Bom Vimdin (VC53) yet their heights barely differ at all. We then noticed that Ponda Baba has longer legs and this is what gives him his illusion of “height”.
Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) is loaded with things that are going to make you smile. The action figure is really sensory overload at times. There is so much to enjoy, but we’re probably more eager that we have a “hit it out of the park” update to one of the original “21 backs”. And it’s the small things getting us giddy. For example, Hasbro has truly perfected the way action figures wear jackets. They’re now incorporated to be non-removable yet appear like a separate piece. Think about how the Han Solo (Bespin Outfit) (VC50) action figure was constructed. The same approach has been applied here. The head sculpt is wonderful. We’re slightly disappointed by the paint application of his tusks as it appears a little bit sloppy, but the rest of the figure is done so well, you probably won’t care at all. In an unprecedented move (not that they couldn’t do this before, but just that they chose not to do it), Hasbro has developed a removable ball-jointed right arm. This is to replicate the loss of his arm in the film. Once the arm attachment with the ball-jointed shoulder and ball-jointed elbow is removed, you can replace it with another ball-jointed shoulder attachment (with a swivel elbow joint). The ball-joint has been eliminated so that the elbow can be easily removed to show “blood” from the lightsaber battle-damage. The results are fantastic and we’re very impressed how the parts are seamless. But perhaps the neatest interchangeable body parts on Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) are the “flipper hands” which come from a blooper in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. (These “hands” were later used in The Star Wars Holiday Special too, so consider us doubly lucky because we have another figure from that Star Wars source too.) Hasbro actually took the time to sculpt individual finger like appendages to hold the included bar glass. The drinking glass fits in the “flipper” hand like a glove. It’s amazing.
Status: Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 14 points
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel hands, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles
Accessory Count: 6
Accessory Details: blaster pistol, drinking glass, 2 interchangeable "flipper" hands, interchangeable ball-jointed arm with detachable forearm section
Date Stamp: 2011
Assortment Number: 32242/97568
Retail: $8.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
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