Klaatu (in Skiff Guard Outfit) - Kenner - Vintage Return of the Jedi (1984)
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Hey Everyone! Don't Be Fooled! We Still Don't Have A Modern Counterpart To 1979's STAR WARS Death Star Droid

Hasbro did collectors of The Vintage Collection no favors with the announcement of the Death Star Droid. It STILL doesn’t reflect the modern counterpart of the on-screen character, because, well, it’s a modern counterpart to the Kenner figure only. (more….)

 

It’s wonderful to see the modern card art for The Vintage Collection Death Star Droid. I give Hasbro a congratulatory thanks for that. The sad thing, however, is that Hasbro gave the figure the deco of an Expanded Universe take on the character (MB-RA-7) – the 1979 STAR WARS Death Star Droid Kenner figure. This fact is evidenced by the black paint on the shoulders and bold black eyes on the portrait. First identified by Hasbro as MB-RA-7 for The Legacy Collection Build A Droid line, we learned that the “MB” in its name stands for Star Wars illustrator Matt Busch’s initials. He authored “You Can Draw Star Wars” features in Star Wars Kids, where he labeled his artist RA-7 with his initials to give it an identity. Essentially, Hasbro created a TVC figure based on a character that doesn’t exist in A New Hope. It’s based on the screen-inaccurate Kenner figure. It’s no different than what Hasbro did with the 50th Anniversary Greedo, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Jawa in the 6″ line. So, we still need a modern definitive counterpart to the classic Kenner figure.

 

In The Power Of The Force “2” Freeze Frame line, Hasbro produced the first “true” ‘Death Star Droid’ and named it Death Star Droid. They updated it in The Legacy Collection Build A Droid line as 5D6-RA-7. This is the character we physically see walking the halls of the Death Star in A New Hope. Some Star Wars collector historians believe that the 1979 SW Death Star Droid figure is based on this character, but due to reference materials, they got the color wrong and painted the figure silver instead of metallic black/gray. I don’t think this is a wise choice for Hasbro to make a modern counterpart of the 1979 figure. There is a better option. But for reference purposes, this is the official Death Star Droid in the film.

 

The best choice for Hasbro to develop a modern counterpart for the classic Kenner Death Star Droid would be 3B6-RA-7. To date, Hasbro has never released this figure on a single card, although some feel the pack-in figure with 2004’s OTC Sandcrawler is the latest modern update we have of this character. The pack-in figure was subsequently re-released in the 30th Anniversary Collection Saga Legends line as RA-7. We see this particular RA-7 droid the clearest in the film, in the belly of the Jawa Sandcrawler. Because of its silver color, I feel that this best represents the 1979 SW Death Star Droid by Kenner. The pitch of the character’s head on the card art also is based on a frame from the scene pictured below that didn’t make it to the film. (I know, I have the original reference image.) So, Hasbro needs to produce 3B6-RA-7 for The Vintage Collection, and then we’ll have a modern replacement for the Death Star Droid. And we’ll have a needed update to make the old version obsolete. Right now, all we have is a novelty impression of the vintage Kenner figure.

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