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The Vintage Collection

Tusken Raider - TVC - Basic (VC199)

Name: Tusken Raider
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC199 (Walmart Exclusive)
Source: A New Hope
Availability: August 2021
License: Hasbro

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When you look back on some of the action figures that Hasbro produced throughout the years, more than a few make you question why they made us wait so long for much-needed updates. We firmly believe this applies to 2006’s VTSC Sand People figure. Now released as Tusken Raider (which is technically still correct), the figure received tremendous enhancements and will likely remain the definitive release of this character in the 3.75-inch Star Wars action figure line. If you were collecting back in 2006 during The Saga Collection, the announcement of a new wave of “Vintage”-inspired Kenner figures was the highlight of that year. And most of us warmly welcome the group of characters Hasbro decided to promote to “Vintage Kenner” status. One of the army builders in this group of five “premium” action figures was the Sand People character. Collectors were eager to buy multiples of them. But once we all realized Hasbro stopped short of giving the action figure ball-jointed elbows, we immediately felt the figure was obsolete upon its release. For us, no premium figure should come with swivel elbow articulation because it’s the worst articulation point ever designed. Star Wars collecting fan sites almost instantly began pleading with Hasbro to update the swivel elbows, but they never listened to us. Instead, they continue to release the 2006 action figure multiples times with many different color schemes in the line, much to the chagrin of the Star Wars collecting community. It was the equivalent of torture. If you don’t think it was that bad, let us count the ways.

Hasbro released the 2006 sculpt of the Sand People/Tusken Raider half a dozen times, and each successive release felt more painful than the previous. There was the inaugural 2006 VTSC Sand People figure. Then Hasbro repainted it twice for two distinct Battle Packs sets. They include 2007’s TAC Bantha With Tusken Raiders [Version 1] and 2007’s TAC Bantha With Tusken Raiders [Version 2] Toys R U exclusives. Then a half a decade later, Hasbro added another repainted version of the figure into the “Discover The Force” Walmart exclusive promotional line as 2012’s SW [TPM 3D] Tusken Raider (11 of 12) Discover The Force release. They also added the exact figure into The Vintage Collection as part of the 2012 TVC Villain Set [Version 2] Target exclusive Special Action Figure Set three-pack. And lastly, Hasbro felt this awful figure needed re-release and added it to the 2017 TBS [P3] Tusken Raider Walmart exclusive lineup. Interestingly, there were heavy rumors at the time that Hasbro would be retooling the figure for The Black Series release, but that never happened. As you can see, Hasbro’s made the most of this tooling. As one of the many characters that are part of The Ninety Six Kenner figures, Tusken Raider needed an official slot in the lineup. Thankfully, they decided to buckle down and retool the most outdated parts of the figure, both the portrait and the arms, and add it to The Vintage Collection via a Walmart exclusive and Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary sub-line. And we now have the perfect modern counterpart to 1978's SW Sand People figure.

Early press images of The Vintage Collection’s Tusken Raider were a bit disconcerting. No one could tell how good, or bad the new head sculpt was, thanks to the awful gray shiny paint that made it look horrid. It felt like a punch in the gut because Hasbro finally decided to update this figure after 15 years, but they did it half-baked instead, or so we thought. After receiving the figure, we were pleasantly surprised with the final figure. It isn’t without some issues, but the final production figure exceeded our expectations, and for that, we’re grateful. The paint operations don’t look nearly as bad as you might believe. And Hasbro did an excellent job matching the color of the portrait with the other parts of the figure. The head is more shapely, screen-accurate, and overall has fair paint operations. We would have liked to see some weathering or texture added, but Hasbro went cheap on us here. Regardless, the figure finally looks like a Tusken Raider from A New Hope. The tiny head is GONE, and in its place is a beautifully sculpted new version. The BEST part about the revised Tusken Raider, however, is the new arms. From shoulder to wrist, everything is new. The original 2006 VTSC Sand People figure came with swivel elbows and swivel wrists. Now we have ball-jointed elbows and swivel wrists. These new and revised articulation points are massive enhancements for the figure, and the figure can hold and maneuver its accessories better than ever.

Speaking of accessories, the Tusken Raider comes with the same ones it always had. You get a blaster rifle. Hasbro ensured they designed the new hands the same way as the original 2006 tooling to ensure the action figure can hold the blaster rifle in the same manner. Preservation of this ability is a detail we’re grateful to see implemented here. The gaderffi stick is still cast in pliable plastic but struggles to maintain a rigid shape and easily bends when placing in the Tusken Raider’s hands. It doesn’t appear that we get more functionality with the ball-jointed elbows when it comes to the accessories. So, while they sucked, we have to hand it to Hasbro that they thoughtfully considered the original design to interact with the included accessories after all of these years. And now, with new arms, they work equally as well. We congratulate Hasbro on this essential detail. We must criticize the new soft-goods “shawl” this time. It began unraveling as soon as we began handling and posing the figure. We lost strand after strand with each pose we made. Hasbro needs to find a vendor who produced premium soft goods for action figures because we see the ones included with the Tusken Raider as unacceptable. The Tusken Raider is on a STAR WARS card, and Hasbro faithfully recreated the character photo. But it seems as if their source material isn’t of high quality. We own better reference images of this figure, and they look much better than what Hasbro included on the card.

Collector Notes

Tusken Raider

Status: Tusken Raider is a retool and repaint of 2006's VTSC Sand People figure. This time the figure has an all-new head sculpt and all-new new arms. The soft-goods materials are different this time too. The figure has also been completely repainted.

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: removable soft-goods cloak, gaderffi stick, sniper rifle

Date Stamp: 2005

Assortment Number: F3118

UPC: 5010993895205

Retail: $12.99 USD

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

The Vintage Collection Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary Wave 1

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The Vintage Collection Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary Wave 2

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Luke Skywalker (Endor) (VC198)

Tusken Raider (VC199)

Added: July 12, 2021
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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