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The Vintage Collection

Battle Droid - TVC - Basic (VC78)

Name: Battle Droid
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC78
Source: The Phantom Menace
Availability: January 2012
License: Hasbro

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Oh boy. This will likely be a controversial review so buckle yourselves in tightly, OK? We wonder why Hasbro feels it’s so necessary to develop an all-new sculpt for a staple Star Wars character when they already have a “good enough” version in circulation. We are not trying to say Hasbro shouldn’t improve upon their previous efforts, but do tooling budgets really have to be expended on a completely new sculpt of a Battle Droid when we don’t have desperately needed characters like Jocasta Nu, Toryn Farr and Sergeant Doallyn? And should they waste these precious resources when the final product isn’t a significant enough upgrade... or even a step or two back? The new The Vintage Collection Battle Droid shocked us when we took it out of the package because we didn'y realize until the moment we had it in our hands that Hasbro has built a new one from the ground up. Unless it was bad information, we were under the impression that the Battle Droid figure from the 2009 SW [SOTDS] Episode I: The Phantom Menace Blu-ray Release Commemorative Figure & Mini-Poster Collection multipack was to be repacked for this The Vintage Collection release. That’s not what happened. So if you want an Episode I specific Battle Droid that will match the height and other proportions of your many other maroon colored Episode II specific Battle Droids, then that Blu-ray set is your only bet to secure him for your collection. How disappointing is this? We aren’t trying to claim that The Vintage Collection Battle Droid is a total waste of time. It isn’t. Because this sculpt was made in 2011, the details are going to be pretty close to screen accurate as they can get, although a few of them are still off a bit. But regardless of how good the details are, we can totally assure you that we are not prepared to fully welcome it into the basic figure line just yet either. Why you ask? We’re glad you asked.

If you have already army built the Episode II Battle Droid, your efforts now appear to be all for naught. Hasbro has decided to go with a whole new scale for the Battle Droid. And while we can see eye to eye that the previous Battle Droid (that originated from 2009’s/2010’s LC Geonosis Arena Showdown sets) is a little too large, we didn’t think it was terrible to the point where Hasbro felt the need to work up an entirely all-new sculpt. (Well, maybe.) What makes this worse is that Hasbro has made one or two errors with the new Battle Droid that seemingly renders this new effort pointless. Think of the new The Vintage Collection Battle Droid as the realistic version of 2008’s TCW Battle Droid (No. 7) figure (with more articulation). That is the best way we can describe it. But as you know, this means that the figure isn’t perfect. The Clone Wars version and this figure are nearly identical in height and size to each other and they interestingly almost have the same paint job application. Because the ball-socket joints in the hips and shoulders are smaller, you don’t get the same range of movement with the limbs as we did on the Geonosis Arena Showdown Battle Droids. (Those droid were awesome because of how mobile and flexible they were. Now all of that flexibility has all but disappeared and it’s borderline depressing.) Also, the ball-socket head has less rotation due to reduced reduced scale of the head and the neck post that ball-joint is attached to is much too short as well. We absolutely agree that the previous Battle Droid had neck extensions that were much too long, but at least it could be altered by the collector so the right height of the neck could be attained. Your option to make the neck longer is gone and the Battle Droid’s head hangs much too low. Sigh. In an interesting move, Hasbro has actually sculpted its photoreceptors on this droid for the first time. You can actually feel them. We like the route they took here very much.

In another infuriating move, Hasbro has decided to make two (2) holes on the figure’s back: one for the antenna attachment (smaller hole) and one for the backpack (larger hole). But should you choose to display the figure with the antenna attachment, you’ll see the big gaping hole for the backpack. (Obviously if you display the Battle Droid with the backpack it’s large enough to hide the antenna attachment hole.) This “oops” is unacceptable at this point in the game. These are rookie errors and it’s maddening that they’ve abandoned a more than acceptable sculpt to bring us something, well, inferior. We hate to say that but that’s how we feel at the moment. That doesn’t mean that the 2009/2010 Battle Droid sculpt couldn’t have tweaked and improved, but creating an all-new sculpt that is much more limiting for posing options and aesthetically displeasing is no solution either. On the bright side, the Battle Droid is nicely painted, but the head and backpack have been left unattended and don't match the rest of the droid. Another sigh. This is another disappointing detail. If you just place this figure in your collection if will absolutely look good. But it isn’t functional the way it needs to be to make articulation junkies, including us, happy. So whether the new The Vintage Collection Battle Droid is a good figure or not, well, that is a conundrum we still don’t think we’re ready to answer. We’re mad that Hasbro didn’t work out its kinks before mass-producing it, but we think it has its moments too. We’re divided and probably will remain so for quite some time. With all of the incredible figures they produce, it just alludes us why there are some that just give them incredible difficulty. There will be another take needed before this droid is perfect, but we hope that Hasbro brings back the wide range motion in the shoulders and hips first.

Collector Notes

Battle Droid

Status: Battle Droid is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 13 points

Articulation Details: ball-socket head, sliding neck post, hinge-jointed neck base, 2 ball-socket shoulders, 2 hinge-jointed elbows, 2 ball-socket hips, 2 hinge-jointed knees, 2 hinge-jointed ankles

Accessory Count: 3

Accessory Details: droid blaster, removable backpack, removable antenna

Date Stamp: 2011

Assortment Number: 30787/37499

UPC: 653569723936

Retail: $8.99 USD

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



The Vintage Collection Wave 10
Qui-Gon Jinn (VC75)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (VC76)
Ratts Tyerell & Pit Droid (VC77)
Battle Droid (VC78)
Darth Sidious (VC79)
Anakin Skywalker (VC80)
Ben Quadinaros & Otoga-222 (VC81)
Daultay Dofine (VC82)
Naboo Royal Guard (VC83)
Queen Amidala (VC84)
Quinlan Vos (VC85)
Darth Maul (VC86)

Added: January 10, 2012
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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