Tusken Raiders are fierce desert nomads on Tatooine. Also known as Sand People, Tuskens are hostile to outsiders and launch vicious attacks. They are armed with spear-like gaderffi sticks and powerful Tusken rifles.
One of the things fans looked forward to the most for the 2012 lineup was the Walmart Discover The Force promotion. Not only did it cull together some really fun exclusives, but it brought collectors six all-new basic figures, something that is always welcomed by all. In fact, the way it is right now two of those six will never see general release (but always in motion is the future). The other six in the group of 12 are repacks and repaints. While some actually make our stomachs hurt that they’ve been yet again released on a basic figure card back, others have been tweaked to see new (or “newish”) again. One figure, the Tusken Raider may have received the most significant amount of upgrades. Granted, the updates it did receive aren’t totally noteworthy. The figure still lack ball-jointed elbows and his soft-goods are still too baggy, but the figure hops over seamlessly into 2012 from its origin as being one of the candidates in wave 1 of the VTSC (“vintage” The Saga Collection) figures. A pretty good figure that has not been used that often since its 2006 release, it’s nice to know it’s holding up well enough six years after the fact. There are differences between Episode I and Episode IV Tusken Raiders, but the differences we don’t think will ever be captured in Hasbro’s scale. Coloring and “masks” are clearly different. Even though this Tusken raider is meant to be sourced from Episode I, it has all of the characteristics of an Episode IV version.
As just mentioned, the Tusken Raider is a repaint of 2006’s VTSC Sand People figure, but you should note that there are some major differences, especially in the torso and head. And the soft-goods are completely new. A different material was used and its color is different with a pinkish hue. The same sculpt and articulation was carried forward and we wished so badly that Hasbro would have taken the time, energy and money to upgrade those darn swivel elbows that just don’t “cut” it by today’s standards. The figure loses functionality because of this choice of articulation. When you try to pose his arms, you’ll be lucky if you don’t snap off one of his forearms in the process. And it’s very hard to pose him with his accessories. If Hasbro decides that they’re not updating the older sculpt for this release, then hopefully that means an all-new sculpt is only a few years out. (That is fine with us.) Besides the updated paint applications and all-new soft-goods, the rest of the figure is the same including its accessories. Both the gaderffi stick and the sniper rifle are included here as well. The differences between the Tusken Raider character from one film to the next are minimal (from an action figure perspective). Hasbro feels that one sculpt can be used to represent them all. (We think they could easily get away with two unique sculpts however.) Obviously this one is meant to be an upgrade to the Desert Sniper during the Boonta Eve Classic Podrace sequence of the film.
We hope that the Discover The Force line continues with each 3D release. It’s clearly a focus of concentration by the Hasbro team and some very clever (and sometimes quirky) concepts have been born out of it. Think about it, a wave of 12 figures, half of which are all-new and the other half to fill holes and bring the public key characters back for another chance at retail. Then with the gimmicky 3D glasses to round everything out, what more could you want? Of course we’d like to see a few more enhancements made to figures to keep them current with today’s standards, but we hope they keep this concept alive. A figure like the Tusken Raider is not only a great tie-in to The Phantom Menace 3D film. It gives young (or newer) collectors a change to pick up a figure at the retail level that has been absent for years. Even if you bought the 2007 TAC Bantha With Tusken Raiders Battle Packs set that was exclusive to Toys R Us (which was based on Episode II incidentally), the Tusken Raiders in those sets (because two different styles were released) were yet different from both the 2006 version and now this one. For a species that is supposed to be very similar across all the films, there is certainly some diversity in the Hasbro line at least, just maybe not here. Welcome this latest update of the Tusken Raider into your collection. You need him to shoot his rifle at your podracers you just picked up from The Vintage Collection. And he is a better than average figure. But Hasbro, you absolutely have to do something with those swivel elbows!
Status: Tusken Raider is a repaint of 2006's VTSC Sand People figure with all-new soft-goods.
Articulation Count: 14 points
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 swivel elbows, 2 swivel wrists, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles
Accessory Count: 3
Accessory Details: removable soft-goods cloak, gaderffi stick, sniper rifle
Date Stamp: 2005
Assortment Number: 38599/38601
Retail: $8.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.