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The Vintage Collection

Nikto (Skiff Guard) - TVC - Basic (VC99)

Name: Nikto (Skiff Guard)
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC99
Source: Return Of The Jedi
Availability: June 2012/April 2023
License: Hasbro

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If there were one figure we believed would never get a modern update in the contemporary Star Wars action figure line, we’d claim it would be Nikto (Skiff Guard). Then again, Sim Aloo seems unlikelier. A long-running “yet-to-be-made” figure in the modern toy line, Hasbro has mercilessly made us wait 28 years to get this previously unnamed character. Depending on Legends or Canon, this action figure is named Lathe. And with the release of The Vintage Collection release, it marked only the second representation of this specific character in action figure form ever. Hasbro re-released Nikto (Skiff Guard) with changed paint operations and some notable corrections to celebrate Return Of The Jedi 40 in 2023. It’s a fair assessment that Nikto (Skiff Guard) was a long-awaited action figure for The Vintage Collection. Nikto (Skiff Guard) gets its coveted place in the lineup and beats out other more popular classic characters like the AT-AT Driver, Amanaman, EV-9D9, 8D8, or General Madine, which all desperately deserve a place in The Vintage Collection as well. Admittedly, seeing the figure back in the iconic silver and black vintage Kenner packaging is lovely. The card art hasn’t looked better because it’s brighter and crisper. Hasbro used excellent source material. And now, we all see this “difficult to find” figure and its packaging again, thanks to the Return Of The Jedi 40 celebration. It’s not all good, however. As mentioned, Hasbro sharpened the character photo, and it now appears crisper. Coincidentally, you can make out the eyes on the character in the image, something that we couldn’t see when initially released in 1984. Unfortunately, Hasbro didn’t match the teal-colored background featured in the nameplate and figure backer. The 2012 and 2023 releases suffer from this issue and look much greener in the modern The Vintage Collection. Nikto (Skiff Guard) is the last figure in The Vintage Collection to have a VC number that’s only two digits, entering the line as VC99. There’s nothing like useless trivia, right?! Hasbro placed the first release of Nikto (Skiff Guard) in the fourteenth wave during the first run of The Vintage Collection, and that wave of figures barely reached retail. Most had to secure these action figures through online retailers. Distribution was at its worst. So, it’s terrific to see this figure re-released.

The initial release of Nikto (Skiff Guard) is a relatively excellent action figure but has a few imperfections. However, for the re-release, Hasbro took a few steps forward and a couple backward. They thankfully upgraded the mismatched knee and ankle joints on the re-release but sadly applied paint that is much too dark to the face and hands. The 2012 version was too dark, and now the 2023 is darker. They should have made the skin tone notably lighter. Why is Hasbro stuck making Nikto’s skin so dark? There are some things they will correct, like the hair color of Obi-Wan Kenobi (VC31) or the skin color of Mace Windu (VC35), but they won’t lighten the skin tone of Nikto (Skiff Guard). We are disappointed. Hasbro isn’t consistent when mastering the finest details in a premium line such as The Vintage Collection. They’ve kept the line in production for a while now, so why are there still significant issues? With that put to the side, you’ll find that the 2012 head sculpt looks remarkably better. The 2023 version is a step in the wrong direction. However, with the updated joints, we must admit that Nikto (Skiff Guard) is relatively flawless otherwise. We recommend switching the head sculpt and hands with the updated body. This action will give you the best Nikto (Skiff Guard) figure possible. Nikto (Skiff Guard) was featured prominently in Return Of The Jedi, but the jury is still out if we can call the character Lathe still or not. We find Nikto (Skiff Guard) on the second skiff piloted by Pote Snitkin and presumably killed or knocked into the Sarlacc pit by Luke Skywalker. With an excellent sculpt and a relatively excellent and brilliant paint job (minus the head and hands), Nikto (Skiff Guard) is an action figure that probably won’t get the credit it deserves due to the character’s low popularity and relative obscurity. This same kind of thing happened with 2011’s TVC Fi-Ek Sirch (Jedi Knight) (VC49) figure, sadly, one of the most incredible action figures produced for the Star Wars line of all time. Nikto (Skiff Guard) is the same caliber as that figure, but we hope its ties to the Original Trilogy bode better for it. Hopefully, the overriding fact that this is a vintage Kenner update will prevent Nikto (Skiff Guard) from becoming an overlooked figure.

Nikto (Skiff Guard) comes with 22 points of articulation across 14 areas. Of course, all of the standard points are here, and we’re thrilled with them, but we also have wondered if Hasbro could have taken the figure a step further and incorporated ball-jointed hips. It seems that skiff guards, in general, would benefit from including ball-jointed hips. While the figure articulates nicely, you’re limited by its range of movement. Displaying the figure in action-oriented positions has limitations. The stance is everything when you’re at the ready with a force pike or skiff guard blaster. The force pike included here is beautiful. Hasbro cast it in a strong plastic that appears to have the durability to stay straight throughout the years. Not all the skiff guards released in The Vintage Collection came with rigid force pikes. Additionally, Hasbro designed and detailed it perfectly to fit in the figure’s hands. Nikto (Skiff Guard) has a standard functioning holster, which tightly holds the included skiff guard blaster. We should also note that the skiff guard blaster has an excellent sculpt but is brighter and silvery. The reissue is more gray. Lastly, Nikto (Skiff Guard) has a removable helmet, and this approach is different than what we got with 1984’s ROTJ Nikto Kenner figure. We expected the removable helmet feature, but Hasbro did a fine job ensuring a good interaction with the figure’s portrait. It stays on the head well, although we would have preferred a snugger fit. The paint operations throughout the rest of Nikto (Skiff Guard) are stellar. Hasbro brightened up the white stitching on the shirt, and it’s a joy not to see mismatched knee joints any longer. From a tooling perspective, Hasbro focused a lot of detail on the character’s scales and facial structure. We’re thoroughly impressed with the golden “eagle-like eyes” that feel like they glow in a metallic yellow. The classic light blue and gray outfit looks fantastic, and Hasbro ensured they didn’t omit the yellow blood stripes on the side of the pants. Overall, Nikto (Skiff Guard) is a must-have action figure. Sadly, Hasbro didn’t perfect it before re-releasing it, as this is likely the last time we will see this figure in the line.

Editor's Note: Hasbro re-released The Vintage Collection Nikto (Skiff Guard) (VC99) figure in April 2023 with a significant number of changes. Updates include: (1) new matte and darker paint operations on the potrait and other deco including Photo Real, (2) brighter white stitching on shirt, (3) corrected knee and ankle joints to match placement in figure, (4) refreshed 2023 packaging with Return Of The Jedi 40 logo, and (5) different placement of action figure and accessories in bubble

Review Status Update: The original publication date of this review is June 28, 2012. It was subsequently updated with a new Photo Gallery and revised General Analysis and republished on August 18, 2023 after Hasbro reissued the figure.

Collector Notes

Nikto (Skiff Guard)

Status: Nikto (Skiff Guard) is an all-new figure. Hasbro re-released the figure in 2023 with significant changes.

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 wrist (1), swivel right wrist (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: 3

Accessory Details: skiff guard blaster, force pike, removable helmet

Date Stamp: 2011

Packaging Details:

Card: Return Of The Jedi

Name: Nikto (Skiff Guard)

Year: 2023

Assortment Number: F7337/E7763

UPC: 5010996138453

Retail: $14.99 USD

Card: Return Of The Jedi

Name: Nikto (Skiff Guard)

Year: 2012

Assortment Number: 37517/37499

UPC: 653569732488

Retail: $9.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.

Nikto (Skiff Guard)

The Vintage Collection Wave 14

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Added: June 28, 2012
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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