Ten years after the fight to save Naboo from invasion, the galaxy is on the brink of civil war. Under the leadership of a renegade Jedi, thousands of solar systems threaten to secede from the Galactic Republic. A courageous Jedi Knight, his impulsive and headstrong apprentice, and a queen-turned-senator are drawn into the heart of the conflict... and the beginning of war.
A decade earlier, the Trade Federation's army of battle droids invaded the peaceful planet of Naboo. Now these droids are back in even greater numbers, ready to march against the Jedi and the forces of the Galactic Republic.
Hasbro goofed! And it most likely isn’t even their fault. When preparations are in place for the next Star Wars film, licensees normally aren’t given the big picture of what’s actually going on in the movie. Sure, some important spoilers have to be revealed in order to make cool toys, but many other important details get left by the wayside and it’s usually up to the licensees to scramble to correct the error at a later date, but in time while the property is hot. In Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones, the B1 Battle Droids change their color from tan to red. Because the Separatists have established their droid factory on Geonosis, a red desert planet, it made sense to develop a few battalions of the Separatist Droid Army to blend in with the surroundings. This was a detail that did not make it to the Hasbro design team right away and in typical fashion Hasbro began assembling an all-new Battle Droid sculpt for the basic figure line, but the droids were cast in their original appearance as seen in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. So, Battle Droid (Arena Battle) is a misnomer as far as the tan version of the Battle Droid is concerned. Try as hard as you may, but you will not see any tan Battle Droids in Episode II. Just the very packaging of this figure is a big glaring error. Thankfully, Hasbro was alerted to the error in a decent amount of time and the red/maroon version made it out in a future assortment in very early 2003.
The all-new Battle Droid (Arena Battle) sculpt is very good. We should qualify that by saying the sculpt is far from perfection, but we love most how the droids are able to believably hold the droid blasters in their hands. Granted, the collector is left with only one true meaningful pose to recreate that pose, but it honestly looks great and we have to admit that we’re impressed. It’s far from super-articulated, but it’s a great start and we’re hopeful that time will continue to bring us better and better versions of this character. Battle Droid (Arena Battle) comes with only seven points of articulation, but it looks nice displayed and has an impressive center of gravity for being such a spindly and thin Star Wars character. Hasbro spent a few extra pennies to give the Battle Droid a layered appearance. There are varying degrees of dirt and/or battle-damage and the slash marks from what we’re assuming are lightsaber wounds couldn’t be done better. An extra nice feature of the sculpt is the head, which is a ball-socket joint by the way, because you do get a nice range of motion from the head and it “locks” into place when upright and looking ahead. We have to say that we’re quite taken with that little nugget of detail in particular. Hinge-jointed knees would have benefitted the Battle Droid (Arena Battle) action figure very much, but the good news is that the legs uphold the body quite well and with a little bit of patience you can position this action figure easily in your collection.
Surprisingly, Battle Droid (Arena Battle) comes with five accessories. These include the removable backpack, the droid blaster, the droid blaster firing effect and two electro effects that have been meant to recreate that these droids have been hit with fire from the Grand Army of the Republic. One effect tightly wraps around the droid’s right arm while the other tightly wraps around the droid’s left leg. What’s nice about getting both Battle Droid colors is that you have an update to the Battle Droids released in the Episode I line in 1999 as well as a matching “new” red/maroon Battle Droid from Episode II. Sometimes different color droids or clones are made at two different times and it’s hard to get them to look the same in the line. Here we get the same sculpt, one on the heels of the other, in the same basic figure line so the only difference that exists between them is their color. And the bonus is that they’re actually good sculpts that should appeal to the collecting body as a whole. So take your pick. Hasbro has released Battle Droid (Arena Battle) (’02 #11) [TPM] – released first and Battle Droid (Arena Battle) (’02 #11) [AOTC] – released second for your collecting pleasure. Both should impress you to some degree or another. With admirable articulation and fantastic sculpts, they should alleviate the need for an all-new sculpt for some time. Then again, we’re Star Wars collectors. We will probably want an all-new sculpt tomorrow.
Battle Droid (Arena Battle) [TPM]
Status: Battle Droid (Arena Battle) [TPM] is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 7 points
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 swivel shoulders, 2 swivel elbows, 2 swivel hips
Accessory Count: 5
Accessory Details: removable backpack, droid blaster, blast effect, right arm electro effect, left leg electro effect
Date Stamp: 2002
Assortment Number: 84865/84861
Retail: $4.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.