Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) (VC38) - Hasbro - The Vintage Collection (2011)
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Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace - R - Digital Release Commemorative Collection

Name: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Collection: Rebels
Number: N/A
Source: The Phantom Menace
Availability: March 2015
License: Hasbro

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Goodness gracious how the Star Wars toy line has changed. The lines between kids’ stuff and collectors’ stuff have never been so blurred. Claims of “reducing costs” and “keeping affordable items in the marketplace for kids and gift-giving adults” have taken precedence over quality toys. Never before made characters are arriving for the first time in the toy line as dumbed-down five points of articulation action figures and the likelihood of receiving these characters in super-articulated status has reached nonexistent status now. Despite the criticisms by vocal collectors, many retailers have stood their ground and have universally agreed that these simple and poorly painted action figures are selling incredibly well. That’s fine. In fact it is good. But all we would ask is that Hasbro no longer blur the lines as to what we deem as figures for kids versus figures for adult collectors. The latest and pretty big head-scratcher is the set of Digital Release Commemorative Collection four-packs. But before we get into them in detail, perhaps is more important to note that as far as collectors should be concerned is that these technically have never been announced, acknowledged or confirmed by Hasbro. And not that the Rebels line is over and done with and these products can never be ordered in the Rebels line look packaging again (and variations of the packaging like these Digital Release Commemorative Collection sets), it isn’t too far off to say that these sets don’t even really exist. If it weren’t for them clogging up retail space, they would almost be the phantoms of the toy aisles.

Back in the day, Hasbro knew how to deliver awesome Commemorative Collection action figure sets. For the 30th anniversary of Star Wars, they tooled and repainted two dozen figures for the 2006 TAC Commemorative Tin Collection sets. Containing all previously existing tooling, they cleverly repainting, cobbled together parts and introduced these “new” action figures to supplement the already large planned line. And then in 2011, how could we forget the super-articulated figures selected for the Blu-ray Release Commemorative Figure & Mini-Poster Collection sets during the Star Wars [Shadow Of The Dark Side] lineup. All of these multipacks brought forth some of the best action figures in an effort to make them available again to the market while celebrating an important mark in the history of the Star Wars universe, whether it be an anniversary or a release date for the latest media available. In 2015? Well, collectors get treated to clean new packaging (which is very reminiscent of the Hallmark ornament boxes) and four previously released Saga Legends and/or Mission Series figures as content to the packaging. These sets are a total disappointment. We would have rather had Hasbro raise the price by even $10 and include some of the impressive figures they have released in recent years. For example, it would have been ample opportunity to get out popular collector figures like 2012’s TVC Emperor’s Royal Guard (VC105) and 2010’s TVC Gamorrean Guard (VC21) and then maybe include the revised 2012’s Luke Skywalker (Lightsaber Construction) (VC87) and ANY OTHER FIGURE for the Episode VI set and then sell the set for $29.99. Who wouldn’t jump on this?

The same could have been done for Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode IV ad Episode V as well. That was just one example. Instead, we get some good figures and not-so-good figures in these six multipacks. Sure, the Original Trilogy sets are likely going to be hits. There are some good simply articulated action figures in these sets as well as good character selection. But isn’t it the adult collectors who will be the ones to even know what the Digital Release of the Star Wars films is? Shouldn’t the accompanying products be geared for collectors too? Again, we acknowledge that the packaging is attractive, but the contents are very, very disappointing. Each boxed set is housed with a slip case that is very easy to remove. Once removed all four figures are suspended in a window box thanks to clear plastic inserts. Generally speaking, the paint operations aren’t entirely horrendous, but at least one figure in each set has terrible paint operations: either misaligned applications or smudges which look like the figure was rolled in something. Hasbro has certainly had a rough 2014/2015 product year. Between the delays, the inability to announce products that just show up at retail out of the blue and the fielding of overall collector consternation, Hasbro has been treading upstream against a strong and aggravated collector current. Despite a few very nice products in the Rebels and The Black Series lines, we all just hope that Hasbro can get back on track and stay a little more organized for us when The Force Awakens line arrives in full swing. Yes, we’re jaded, apathetic and annoyed, but Hasbro hasn’t fallen completely outside of our graces. We look to the future with intense positivity. This set includes Battle Droid, R2-D2 and Darth Maul from previous Saga Legends and/or Mission Series releases as well as Padmé Amidala from 2012's Star Wars [The Phantom Menace 3D] line.

Collector Notes

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Assortment Number: B0514/B0513

UPC: 630509287383

Retail: $19.99 USD

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

Battle Droid

Status: Battle Droid is a straight repack of the figure from 2013's SW [DV/ROTS] Battle Droid And 212th Battalion Clone Trooper (Utapau) (MS04) Mission Series two-pack.

Articulation Count: 5 points (5 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1)

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: droid blaster, backpack

Date Stamp: 2013


Status: R2-D2 is a straight repack of the figure from 2013's SW [DV/ROTS] R2-D2 And C-3PO (Tantive IV) (MS05) Mission Series set.

Articulation Count: 3 points (3 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel dome (1), swivel left leg (1), swivel right leg (1)

Accessory Count: None

Accessory Details: None

Date Stamp: 2013

Darth Maul

Status: Darth Maul is a straight repack of 2014's SW [DV/ROTS] Darth Maul (SL15) figure.

Articulation Count: 5 points (5 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel rigth hip (1)

Accessory Count: 1

Accessory Details: double-bladed lightsaber

Date Stamp: 2013

Padmé Amidala

Status: Padmé Amidala is a straight repack of 2012's Queen Amidala (MH17) Movie Heroes figure.

Articulation Count: 10 points (8 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1)

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: blaster pistol, backpack

Date Stamp: 2011

Digital Release Commemorative Collection
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi

Added: June 22, 2015
Category: Rebels
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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