Battle droids operate STAPs on Naboo. They are part of the massive battle droid army deployed by the Trade Federation to seize control of the peaceful planet. The single trooper aerial platforms (STAPs) are lightweight reconnaissance and patrol vehicles armed with blaster cannons.
While there is some latent excitement over the 3D release of Episode I in theaters for 2012, the energy for the toy line is anything but that. Hasbro has literally scavenged the deepest depths of their earliest tooling from the Episode I toy line and have revisited them 13 years laster. Some have held up well over the years and some just need to be retired. The STAP With Battle Droid set falls somewhere in the middle. It's a beautiful sculpt of the vehicle, but it's too large in scale and still slightly dwarfs the included Battle Droid. Both STAP and Battle Droid first saw release as Episode I Sneak Preview figures in 1998 during The Power Of The Force line. Back then the set was something of a jaw-dropper. Since 1998 was an era of exaggerated features on action figures, the STAP and Battle Droid brought a new level of authenticity to the toy line, which is properly the exact reason why is doesn’t look “terrible” in 2012. Whether or not this is something you want for your collection again is obviously your choice, but Hasbro has updated the paint jobs significantly. And that usually qualifies as “new enough” for many collectors.
Some have criticized that the updated paint jobs aren’t that great, but we take strong exception with that. The STAP in particular may be a little brighter in 2012 versus 1998/1999, but the color is matched very well and if you watch the film you’ll see that it isn’t inaccurate in the least. The same action features have been carried over in this sculpt for years. Hasbro has overused it and have amortized the tooling cost tenfold where they could have absolutely afforded to bring us an all-new and accurately scaled version for the 2012. But that wasn’t in the cards and the STAP With Battle Droid from 1998 has been relegated for release instead. 2008’s TCW B’omarr Monastery Assault Battle Packs set and 2009’s TCW STAP With Battle Droid Deluxe Toys R Us exclusive utilize the same mold from years ago too. And while both the latter are inspired from The Clone Wars television show and film, the current STAP is a vehicle that seamlessly works in all formats; animated and realistic. And most vehicles work quite honestly. That is even more reason to revamp it and get it scaled accurately to the various media outlets in which it appears. Think of how many ways they could revisit an all-new sculpted STAP vehicle in the toy line. The possibilities are endless.
While we hope that the rerelease of this doesn’t hurt the line, we remain cautious that Hasbro needs to bring more newness to the line than they have been. The opening releases of 2012’s Star Wars [The Phantom Menace 3D] line have been lackluster at best. And quite frankly, lackluster is too generous of a term here. It’s been very disappointing. We are amenable to the fact that Hasbro needed to concentrate on toys from the Episode I line. But they could have done more to make it new (and better) than it was in the past. Obviously the multimedia event won’t be a fraction as large as it was in 1999, so Hasbro should have been on their toes to capture collector’s interest by revitalizing the toy line by introducing much more new stuff than they had. Rehashing stuff isn’t the answer. We aren’t saying that Hasbro shouldn’t have rereleased anything from 1999. We’d be foolish to say such a thing. But a STAP is a key vehicle from Episode I and deserves an update after all of these years. Here’s hoping that more updates to vehicles and the figures are in the works for 2012. Because we don’t know just how much longer we can support a line full of stuff we saw over a decade ago.
STAP With Battle Droid
Assortment Number: 37744/36576
Retail: $16.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Status: STAP is a repaint of the STAP from 1998's POTF2 STAP And Battle Droid (Episode I Sneak Preview) set.
Articulation Count: 3
Articulation Details: 2 swivel handlebars, pivot platform
Accessory Count: 3
Accessory Details: 2 projectiles, clear plastic stand
Date Stamp: 1998
Status: Battle Droid is a repaint of the Battle Droid from 1998's POTF2 STAP And Battle Droid (Episode I Sneak Preview) set.
Articulation Count: 14
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 swivel shoulders, 2 hinge-jointed elbows, 2 swivel hips, 2 hinge-jointed knees
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: removable backpack
Date Stamp: 1998