In the animated television series Star Wars: Droids – The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO, Boba Fett acquires BL-17, a Battle Legionnaire battle droid creted to serve Mandalorian Protectors during the Clone Wars. The bounty hunter uses the droid on espionage missions while hunting fugitives.
is extremely exciting to get something finally from Hasbro
that is based upon the Droids television series, especially
since those lines died (may they rest in peace) all the way
back in 1985. After years of getting consistent “no” responses
from Hasbro about receiving possible action figures based
on the Droids and Ewoks cartoons, Hasbro
finally decides to cave in and come through for fans to make
our wishes true. Appearing in an episode called “A
Race To The Finish” (its one and only appearance),
Hasbro decides that their first character in mind is a relatively
unknown droid named BL-17 (obviously chosen since they could use parts from other figures to make this one). You may be surprised to find out
that BL-17 doesn’t have a great likeness to his animated
counterpart, but we have to remember that the action figure
is “realism” based, so some artistic license
applies. But in particular, we think it is the character’s
eyes that throws off the ideal likeness of the droid in the
cartoon. BL-17 appears in the cartoon with almost human eyes
and it is a quality that we don’t see often in droids.
But Hasbro approached the action figure to look more like
a distant cousin of C-3PO more than anything else. We guess you
could say that the animated version of BL-17 almost looks
like a human with a droid suit on. Hmm, isn’t that
what C-3PO is now that we think about it? We’re confused a little bit by this,
but despite the ambiguity, the Boba Fett/BL-17 Droid
Factory two-pack is a very welcomed addition to the action figure
line and we also think it is a great nod to the vintage Expanded
Universe lines. It is our hope that this set opens the door
for additional Droids characters.
(And hopefully Ewoks action
figures aren’t too far behind either….)
two figures complement each other excellently and the colors
between them interact very well. Boba Fett is essentially a repack of
2007’s TAC Animated Debut: Boba Fett (30 24) basic
figure but with weapons from the Boba
Fett figure which was part of 2008's TAC The Fett Legacy Evolutions set. We were shown during 2009's San Diego Comic Con that Boba Fett was going to be repainted dramatically from the original,
but alas, we were simply given a repack of an old figure, albeit far from the worst they could have chosen for us.
We are not sure the reason of this sudden change but the
choice of this Boba Fett figure does look very faithful to
his appearance in the Droids series.
If Boba Fett was to be repainted as was shown, he would look
a great deal more like his comic book or movie appearances.
So we commend Hasbro on at least getting “most” of
the colors right for this release. Of course, BL-17 is the
reason to get worked up (in a good way) over this set. This
droid utilizes the arms and legs from 2007’s TAC 4-LOM
(30 41) figure, but has been given a whole new torso and
head. What’s more, this figure has an “optical
illusion” so to speak. If you look at the torso as
a whole (from the neck down to his groin disregarding limbs
and head) you will see a pattern that looks a lot like the
visage of Boba Fett (his trademark helmet). Was this intentional?
It is visible to a much lesser degree in the animated cartoon,
but clearly present on the action figure. Is this some sort
of Boba Fett branding to advertise ownership? We don’t
know, but it is very cool and we are not so sure if Hasbro
is even aware of what they’ve done. (Actually, we believe
they are well aware of this.) The coloring on BL-17 is fantastic
and looks right in place with all the other Droids characters
out there. Hasbro went the distance and gave this droid the
perfect balance of wear and tear to show that he has seen
some action. He is bright and if you look closely
at his paint job, you will see that the paint used is full
of metallic elements that make it gleam and glisten.
C-3PO for the same level of intellect, BL-17 was able to
successfully befriend Boba Fett. But BL-17 has a tenacious
attitude and ended up being an adamant and opposing foe.
While the action figure doesn’t possess this duality
with the expression on his face, there is something that
gives you a wary feeling when appreciating this action figure.
BL-17 is still a finely sculpted work and an excellent start
to hopefully reignite interest in Droids action
figures. It is barely a door opener, but we think anything
can serve as a catalyst to spark new interest in these classically
vintage lines. This particular Droid
Factory set only contains the jetpack of the Dark
Trooper (Phase III) Build A Droid figure. So, you’ve
guessed it, if you’re looking to build him, then you
are going to need this set too, otherwise you are going to
have a big hole on your figure’s back. Coupled with
poor distribution and fans clamoring “no way” to
the sets' MSRP, we doubt that there will be much hope for
Factory exclusive any time soon. Hasbro should
have found ways to make this set much more affordable because
we understand how $17.00 for each set will alienate collectors.
Anything can happen, but these have not been warmly embraced
by many collectors. And this is quite a shame because the
sets are fantastic. Not getting the retail space they needed
either, this Droid
Factory series just didn’t get a
fair chance in any fashion. Clearance reports will ensure
sell through of this set, but we don’t think any price
will wow collectors into buying another Boba Fett figure
they already have. Dare we say here, “you snooze, you
lose” with this collection of figures? We encourage
you to support the exclusive Droid
Factory line. We all want
Hasbro to give us the most bag for our buck, and we think
that the Droid
Factory and Build
A Droid premium is the best
one yet. Let’s ensure its success, even if we don’t
like all of the pieces in the assortment.
Assortment Number: 91931/14860
Retail: $16.99 USD
Original Droid Factory/Build A Droid Part: Dark Trooper (Phase III) jetpack
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Status: Boba Fett is a very slight repaint of 2007's TAC Animated Debut: Boba Fett (30 23) figure. The biggest difference is that his gun now sports a flat black paint job.
Articulation Count: 22 points (14 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel left gauntlet (1), swivel right gauntlet (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 4
Accessory Details: blaster rifle, blaster pistol, removable jetpack, removable rangefinder
Date Stamp: 2004
Status: BL-17 is a kit-bashed figure that utlizes the arms and legs of 2007's TAC 4-LOM (30 41) figure with an all-new body and all-new head. The figure has also been repainted in the colors of the character from the Droids television series.
Articulation Count: 21 points (13 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel left wrist (1), swivel right wrist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: None
Accessory Details: None
Date Stamp: 2007