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The Vintage Collection

Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) - TVC - Basic (VC70)

Name: Ponda Baba (Walrus Man)
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC70
Source: A New Hope
Availability: October 2011
License: Hasbro

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Updates to some of the earliest neo-classic Star Wars action figures are still happening thank goodness. What would a Star Wars basic action figure line be without new and improved versions of the figures we grew up with in the 70s and 80s? Some updates are taking a lot longer than expected, but at least they’re still coming and that’s pretty much what can be said of Ponda Baba (Walrus Man). He’s a cantina patron who speaks (or grumbles unintelligible dialogue at least) and he has history as one of the first 21 Kenner Star Wars action figures ever created. The wait was long, but it has been well worth it because we now have an unbelievably definitive version of Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) with a few new and excellently executed surprise features that we really just didn’t expect Hasbro to do for us. With an interchangeable right arm and interchangeable hands which pay homage to a blooper no less, Ponda Baba is just everything you would ever want in an action figure. Super-articulated and 99.9% perfectly decorated, this is one amazing action figure that will absolutely not have the ability to age throughout the years. Collectors: consider yourself fortunate if you’re still alive and well with the free will to collect because Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) is the very definition of action figure perfection. It is evident that a great deal of time went into the planning of Ponda Baba (Walrus Man). Trust us that you’re going to be happy too. He’s slender, well-proportioned (even better than the actual actor in the suit quite honestly) and expertly engineered. Interestingly, we’ve found that Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) gives the appearance of a very tall stature. We compared him to Bom Vimdin (VC53) yet their heights barely differ at all. We then noticed that Ponda Baba has longer legs and this is what gives him his illusion of “height”.

Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) is loaded with things that are going to make you smile. The action figure is really sensory overload at times. There is so much to enjoy, but we’re probably more eager that we have a “hit it out of the park” update to one of the original “21 backs”. And it’s the small things getting us giddy. For example, Hasbro has truly perfected the way action figures wear jackets. They’re now incorporated to be non-removable yet appear like a separate piece. Think about how the Han Solo (Bespin Outfit) (VC50) action figure was constructed. The same approach has been applied here. The head sculpt is wonderful. We’re slightly disappointed by the paint application of his tusks as it appears a little bit sloppy, but the rest of the figure is done so well, you probably won’t care at all. In an unprecedented move (not that they couldn’t do this before, but just that they chose not to do it), Hasbro has developed a removable ball-jointed right arm. This is to replicate the loss of his arm in the film. Once the arm attachment with the ball-jointed shoulder and ball-jointed elbow is removed, you can replace it with another ball-jointed shoulder attachment (with a swivel elbow joint). The ball-joint has been eliminated so that the elbow can be easily removed to show “blood” from the lightsaber battle-damage. The results are fantastic and we’re very impressed how the parts are seamless. But perhaps the neatest interchangeable body parts on Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) are the “flipper hands” which come from a blooper in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. (These “hands” were later used in The Star Wars Holiday Special too, so consider us doubly lucky because we have another figure from that Star Wars source too.) Hasbro actually took the time to sculpt individual finger like appendages to hold the included bar glass. The drinking glass fits in the “flipper” hand like a glove. It’s amazing.

Should you decide that you want Ponda Baba to look a little bit more humanoid, you can always attach the hands with fingers because you’re going to need them when he waves his blaster at Luke Skywalker. Ponda Baba also comes with his signature (and very unique) blaster that fits wonderfully in his functioning holster. He’s loaded with accessories (and interchangeable body parts) and we’d like to think that Hasbro has no set a precedent to include various attachments like this for future figures. These kinds of “accessories” are very much desired by collectors and Hasbro has done a brilliant job with the execution of these parts, so of course we’d like nothing more than to see what else they can do. Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) has a wonderful center of gravity and has awesome mobility for different types of poses. He stands unassisted and just has the most perfect body shape. And he blends in flawlessly with the rest of the basic figure line. But we still think that the best part of this figure is that he comes packaged in revised “vintage” packaging. The 1979 Walrus Man action figure’s artwork was essentially a drawing of the character. This time around, Hasbro has updated the card back artwork and included a beautiful picture of him. The updated card back looks phenomenal. It’s pretty awesome that Hasbro is taking time to respectfully improve some faults of the packaging as well as the figures from the vintage era. This was a wise and welcomed decision by Hasbro obviously. Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) will absolutely rank as one of the top 10 figures from The Vintage Collection rest assured. And to be quite frank with you, he deserves it. Get at least two, this way you can have a version from A New Hope and another from The Star Wars Holiday Special. Oh man is it a great time to be a collector!

Collector Notes

Ponda Baba (Walrus Man)

Status: Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 14 points

Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel hands, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles

Accessory Count: 6

Accessory Details: blaster pistol, drinking glass, 2 interchangeable "flipper" hands, interchangeable ball-jointed arm with detachable forearm section

Date Stamp: 2011

Assortment Number: 32242/97568

UPC: 653569610205

Retail: $8.99 USD

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

Ponda Baba (Walrus Man)

The Vintage Collection Wave 9
Rebel Soldier (Echo Base Battle Gear) (VC68)
Bastila Shan (VC69)
Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) (VC70)

Added: October 12, 2011
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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