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The Vintage Collection

Death Star Droid - TVC - Basic (VC197)

Name: Death Star Droid
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC197 (Walmart Exclusive)
Source: A New Hope
Availability: August 2021
License: Hasbro

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It’s truly a shame. It appears that Hasbro’s goal is to “mimic the gimmick” of the vintage Kenner line with its multiple waves of The Vintage Collection focused on celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Lucasfilm. All of these figures are Walmart exclusives, and to pour salt into the wound, Hasbro is shipping them out to collectors in the worst ways imaginable. Overall, the Hasbro Star Wars exclusive program is in shambles. And while there seemingly knocking out The Ninety Six Kenner Star Wars figures more briskly than ever, they appear rushed and miss some critical details preventing them from becoming definitive releases. Take the Death Star Droid figure, for example. Hasbro didn’t create a Death Star Droid from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Death Star Droid (VC197) is not the RA-7 droid from the Sandcrawler, nor is it the RA-7 droid on the Death Star that Luke, Han, and Chewbacca pass outside the elevator. No, The Vintage Collection Death Star Droid is MB-RA-7 which is the “fancy” name for the vintage Kenner figure created by Matt Busch. Hasbro released a Death Star Droid based on 1979’s SW Death Star Droid action figure, NOT the film’s character. Some may find this “cute” and acceptable. But we’re disappointed by this laziness. Again, we ask Hasbro to no longer “mimic the gimmick” and instead create screen-accurate interpretations of Star Wars action figures.

In all honesty, we thought we’d never see the Death Star Droid released In The Vintage Collection. It’s always been a character on Hasbro’s backburner. Always released as an exclusive or in parts as a pack-in premium, the Death Star Droid has never received a fair chance at retail. And here we are once again; the Death Star Droid is a retail exclusive, this time for Walmart. Back in 2008’s The Legacy Collection line, none of us ever expected to see the Build A Droid figures released as whole figures. But Hasbro proved us wrong a few short years later when they added repainted Build A Droid parts to create new characters like 2011’s TVC R5-D4 (VC40) figure, for example. Then, Hasbro surprised us when they added a completed Death Star Droid figure, MB-RA-7, as one-third of the 2012 TVC Droid Set Special Action Figure Set Target exclusive multipack. With little to no changes, the figure felt like a misfit in that set as well because once again, the figure has deco based on a vintage Kenner action figure and NOT an on-screen character. And here we are again. Hasbro decides to re-release the same dang tooling again with a few changes and card it singly as a modern counterpart/replacement for the 1979 SW Death Star Droid action figure. It’s a painful decision by Hasbro because they’ll probably never release another The Vintage Collection Death Star Droid figure again. And by the way, why didn’t they ask Disney for permission to use the tooling of the Droid Factory RA-7 droid? It’s infinitely better.

If the re-release of the MB-RA-7 figure wasn’t aggravating enough, Hasbro attempted to “revisit” the action figure as an on-screen character. What do we mean by this? As you know, 1979’s SW Death Star Droid is shiny, pure, and clean. But Hasbro decided to add some dirt, wear, and tear to 2021’s TVC Death Star Droid (VC197) figure by including paint operations that recreate these types of effects. Were they attempting to add the detail of an RA-7 stuck in a dirty Sandcrawler waiting to be sold to locals? Did they have no idea they were doing this to an action figure that pays homage to its original Kenner version yet attempted to make it different that collectors wouldn’t notice? We’re not too sure, but we believe that Hasbro failed The Vintage Collection collectors with this release. To further worsen things, during the Hasbro Pulse Fan Event online, Hasbro bragged how they used the “shiniest silver paint” available. Well, Hasbro didn’t look too hard. Alclad II Chrome (ALC-107), Vallejo Metal Color Chrome 77.707, and Vallejo Metal Color Silver 77.724 are three examples that provide a chrome-like finish without the problems caused by vac-metalization. For us, “bittersweet” best describes The Vintage Collection Death Star Droid (VC197) figure. Honestly, we’re happy to see this character in this packaging, but it might be the weakest figure in the entire line, and that’s not where the line should be at this stage of the game.

Collector Notes

Death Star Droid

Status: Death Star Droid is a repaint of 2008's TLC MB-RA-7 Build A Droid figure.

Articulation Count: 15 points (10 areas of articulation)

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

Accessory Count: None

Accessory Details: None

Date Stamp: 2008

Assortment Number: F3116

UPC: 5010993895151

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

Death Star Droid (VC197)

Luke Skywalker (Endor) (VC198)

Tusken Raider (VC199)

Added: July 15, 2021
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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