Tenacious hunters and searchers, probe droids (or probots) have a variety of sensors, and the ones employed by the Empire are armed with powerful blasters and, in some models, shields.
After years of lackluster SDCC presentations, Hasbro stepped up to the plate royally in 2017 as they announced some of the highlights of the Force Friday II product launch (although they couldn’t refer to them as such). Figures from the Original Trilogy, the encore announcement of The Vintage Collection’s return, Original Trilogy beasts and premium collector-focused vehicles were all announced with the standard The Black Series 6” reveals and other 5POA announcements. One Deluxe set of figures was also formally announced at 2017’s San Diego Comic Con which began life as a rumor report right here at Jedi Temple Archives. Hasbro explained at SDCC that kids wanted to see more things from the Original Trilogy and they wanted them to come with more play value, meaning more articulation. Hasbro listened and as a result, they’ve produced the greatest Imperial Probe Droid ever. And the simple Darth Vader figure included isn’t half bad either. Together they form an odd couple but are still connected enough to make sense. Both figures also sport the new Force Link technology which kids of all ages are already learning to love.
Imperial Probe Droid has an absolutely amazing sculpt. And we think Hasbro nailed the color of this Imperial droid perfectly for the first time also. Its sculpt is dynamic and contains details we haven’t noticed until now. Its coloring is unlike any previous Imperial Probe Droid to date, but it also closely resembles the coloring of high-end collectible versions of this character. So it’s our opinion that Hasbro has finally gotten it right. The Imperial Probe Droid still comes with a firing projectile feature, but Hasbro made it almost completely seamless. When the projectile is pushed all the way in you can barely find it. That’s how well Hasbro worked in this feature. For us, however, the greatest feature is the articulated limbs. Each arm has a unique shape and bend. But all five arms are articulation in multiple ways. The “shoulder” portion of the arms have all been graced with ball-jointed articulation and then each arm has another hinge-jointed point of articulation for optimal movement. This extra point can be found in different places depending upon which arm you’re inspecting. In short, the utility arms/legs are nearly perfect.
The included Darth Vader figure is not half as bad as you might think. Picking up on the cues of the well-received Rogue One Darth Vader figure, Hasbro once again gave Darth Vader an extra point of articulation: his waist. Our sample came with a wonky stance and we have great difficulty posing him without him falling to the ground. Darth Vader comes with a removable cape and a lightsaber. We managed to pose him in a variety of ways and he looks great in just about any stance we’ve chosen. Darth Vader’s sculpt is excellent and Hasbro did a fantastic job in recreating his distinct costume from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. The Imperial Probe Droid/Darth Vader Deluxe set is based on events surrounding the Battle of Hoth, and Hasbro has more items planned based on this battle too. While still officially part of the 5POA format, we’re thrilled to see Hasbro give these characters decent articulation, better sculpts, and paint jobs that are acceptable to collectors. And we hope that the Imperial Probe Droid/Darth Vader set performs well at retail so they can continue giving us these wonderful sets.
Imperial Probe Droid/Darth Vader
Assortment Number: C1246/C1245
Retail: $19.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Imperial Probe Droid
Status: Imperial Probe Droid is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 17 points (12 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel head (1), sliding antennae (1), ball-jointed shoulder A (2), ball-jointed shoulder B (2), ball-jointed shoulder C (2), ball-jointed shoulder D (2), ball-jointed shoulder E (2), hinge-jointed arm joint A (1), hinge-jointed arm joint B (1), hinge-jointed arm joint C (1), hinge-jointed arm joint D (1), hinge-jointed arm joint E (1)
Accessory Count: 2
Accessory Details: projectile, "invisible" display stand
Date Stamp: 2016
Status: Darth Vader is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 6 points (6 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1)
Accessory Count: 2
Accessory Details: lightsaber, removable cape
Date Stamp: N/A