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The Vintage Collection

Nien Nunb - TVC - Basic (VC106)

Name: Nien Nunb
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC106
Source: Return Of The Jedi
Availability: September 2012/September 2023
License: Hasbro

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It seems that poor Nien Nunb cannot escape controversy or, more accurately, “bad things” in general. Firstly, everyone has misspelled this character's name since 1983. Nien Numb, Nine Nunb, Nine Numb, Nein Nunb, and Nein Numb are all examples we have seen published in various articles, books, and web searches, and we’re sure there are other variations we haven’t listed here that have sadly butchered the name as well. In 1997, Hasbro made a pretty good Nien Nunb action figure, but they ignored this character for over a decade until 2009 in the Legacy Collection. But it wasn’t the version of Nien Nunb we wanted. Hasbro developed a relatively interesting Nien Nunb (B-wing Pilot) figure – which Gentle Giant Ltd added to their Mini Bust collection, too – which to this day creates robust debates that it’s not Nien Nunb at all, but instead Ten Numb as a B-wing pilot. (We do not accept that argument as more evidence suggests it IS Nien Nunb. We digress.) If you’re curious, this pilot Nien Nunb figure was mainly the center of a debate about the proper height. OK, fine. But Hasbro just reused an existing sculpt taller than the actual character. It was repainted, for goodness sake. While we’re undoubtedly amenable to accepting this Sullustan's stature as shorter than other Star Wars characters, what we aren’t ready to take is that the Rebel hero is as small in size as Hasbro made for The Vintage Collection. This release is a travesty concerning what Nien Nunb looks like. But it's a pretty good action figure suffering a few issues. The 2023 re-release is a disappointment thanks to paint operations that pale in comparison; even worse, Hasbro once again neglected the red/link layer of the mouth, so it's still screen-inaccurate. Why couldn't they revisit the source materials before finalizing it? The TVC Nien Nunb figure is taller than Mawhonic (Podracer Pilot), but not by much! We’ll get back to that in a moment. But it feels like Nien Nunb is a character that continually gets mistreated in the basic figure lineup. If you accept the more diminutive stature, we will confirm that The Vintage Collection Nien Nunb is spectacular, even if it's too short for a Sullustan.

Neither version is perfect, but it's still the best version of the character to date, and we’d be surprised if you don’t agree. Star Wars collectors have been desperate for a Nien Nunb update. There was a 14-year wait from the 1983 ROTJ Nien Nunb Kenner figure to the first modern 1997 POTF2 [Red/Green] Nien Nunb action figure. And there has been a 15-year wait between the first modern update (the 1997 figure) and this version in the “vintage” Kenner packaging. It’s fantastic that it was in Hasbro’s plans to get him into The Vintage Collection in 2012, and it's fitting to re-release Nien Nunb in 2023 to celebrate Return Of The Jedi 40. Hasbro’s sculptors have done a brilliant job of getting all of the details perfectly in this figure, but we feel the figure still lacks but only in its paint job (overlooking the height issue at the moment). Since Hasbro re-released the exact figure, a running change is evidently no longer in the works. Even more, it kills us that Nien Nunb's characteristic pink mouth “jowls” have been neglected and are the same color as the rest of the head. It’s a notable setback overall here because Nien Nunb is an action figure that visually is one of Hasbro’s finest efforts (like so many other of their action figures in The Vintage Collection). But we would be lying if we told you it didn’t bother us. Usually, minor issues are easy to overlook compared to the positivity a fantastic action figure brings to the table, but sadly, this one won’t escape our attention. It's worth mentioning that Hasbro updated the ankle joints to match the black shows of the character. We're grateful they take the time to correct these annoying issues from the original collection. Nien Nunb has an excellent portrait. The skullcap is snug, and the large ears stick out like we see onscreen. The pilot uniform is relatively flawless, in our estimation. The red jumpsuit complements the standard back vest (sculpted to the body, thank goodness, and not a bulky removable accessory). Then, Hasbro added the lower-leg coverings to complete the look. Nien Nunb is fully articulated and has an incredible 22 points of movement that suit the action figure well.

The figure comes lightly outfitted with only two accessories: a blaster pistol (which fits into a functioning holster) and a large blaster rifle (which doesn’t interact as nicely with either hand). But we will beat the dead horse: what about that glaring height issue? As mentioned, we have difficulty accepting that Nien Nunb is short or shorter than most human males in the Star Wars saga. Some stills show how tall Nien Nunb is to other Rebels. Wookieepedia has Nien Nunb listed as 1.6 meters, shorter than Luke Skywalker’s 1.72 meters, but this contradicts visual evidence. The disparity in their height comparisons is alarming if you pose Nien Nunb next to any Luke Skywalker figure in The Vintage Collection. We think Hasbro has heard too many complaints about Nien Nunb’s height and has greatly overcompensated here. Again, if we’re wrong about that, then we’re wrong. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter in the long run because Nien Nunb is a gorgeous action figure nonetheless. The wait was more than worth it, and it was part of the final wave of figures to bid farewell to the first run of The Vintage Collection. Now, everyone has a second opportunity to secure Nien Nunb during the 40th Anniversary of Return Of The Jedi. Collectors should warmly accept this figure, and if you’re unwilling to accept its flaws, it would be a big mistake to do that. We would be surprised if collectors find fault with this figure that would prevent them from buying it, so we hope we’re right about that. The figure is made better thanks to its packaging, of course. It’s a line look that we will always want to see active and more important than the Legacy Collection Droid Factory line. Hasbro produced several modern updates to the original vintage Kenner action figures in wave 16 of The Vintage Collection. We’re incredibly thankful Nien Nunb was one of the chosen few to receive this coveted update before the line went away for a few years. But now that it's back, Hasbro consistently gives us some remarkable figures in the lineup. Be sure to grab General Lando Calrissian’s co-pilot. You need this one, and you’ll find favor with it.

Editor's Note: Hasbro re-released The Vintage Collection Nien Nunb (VC106) figure in September 2023 with a significant number of changes. Updates include: (1) new paint operations/deco including different approach on figure's eyes, (2) lighter skin complexion with less wash (3) matching ankle joint pegs, (4) different color palette of outfit, (5) refreshed 2023 packaging with different graphics and Return Of The Jedi 40 logo, and (6) different placement of action figure and accessories in bubble

Review Status Update: The original publication date of this review is September 27, 2012. It was subsequently updated with a new Photo Gallery and revised General Analysis and republished on August 30, 2023 after Hasbro reissued the figure.

Collector Notes

Nien Nunb

Status: Nien Nunb 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 shoulder (2), swivel left glove (1), swivel right glove (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: blaster pistol, blaster rifle

Date Stamp: 2011

Packaging Details:

Version 1: Return Of The Jedi

Name: Nien Nunb

Year: 2012

Assortment Number: 39653/37499

UPC: 653569732792

Retail: $9.99 USD

Details: Initial release

Version 2: Return Of The Jedi

Name: Nien Nunb

Year: 2023

Assortment Number: F7317/F6878

UPC: 5010996133717

Retail: $14.99 USD

Details: Reissue (figure and card updated)

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

Nien Nunb

The Vintage Collection Wave 16

Mawhonic (Podracer Pilot) (VC71)

Naboo Pilot (VC72)

Aurra Sing (VC73)

Gungan Warrior (VC74)

Ahsoka (VC102)

Obi-Wan Kenobi (VC103)

Lumat (VC104)

Emperor's Royal Guard (VC105)

Nien Nunb (VC106)

Weequay (VC107)

Republic Trooper (The Old Republic) (VC113)

Orrimaarko (Prune Face) (VC114)

Added: September 27, 2012
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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