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The Vintage Collection

Battle Droid - TVC - Basic (VC78)

Name: Battle Droid
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC78
Source: The Phantom Menace
Availability: January 2012/January 2021
License: Hasbro

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This analysis will likely be controversial, so buckle yourselves in tightly. We wonder why Hasbro feels it's necessary to develop an all-new sculpt for a staple Star Wars character when they already have an excellent version of it out on the market and in constant rotation in the line. We don't mind new takes on characters, but it's counterproductive when the new version is a retrogressed take. We are not implying that Hasbro shouldn't improve upon their previous efforts, but do they have to expend their tooling budgets on an entirely new sculpt of a Battle Droid AGAIN when we don't have other critical characters? Where are the background aliens? Where are the major players in the many Star Wars battles on-screen for only a few moments? Why waste precious resources when the new version's final product isn't a significant enough upgrade, or perhaps a step or two backward? The Vintage Collection Battle Droid action figure shocked us when we took it out of the package. We didn't realize until the moment we had it in our hands that Hasbro designed all-new tooling for this figure. Many collectors were under the impression that the Battle Droid figure from the 2009 SW [SOTDS] Episode I: The Phantom Menace Blu-ray Release Commemorative Figure & Mini-Poster Collection multipack was to be repacked for The Vintage Collection line. The older Batte Droid tooling is more accurate when it comes to stature and height. The Episode I-specific Battle Droid is exclusively from the Blu-ray Commemorative Collection. The figure is a bit scarce on the aftermarket today, but it's is your only option to secure what we consider a screen-accurate version of the character in your collection. We appreciate the efforts that went into the Battle Droid's new tooling, but the action figure is less functional now and smaller, which affects the character's aesthetics. Now, Hasbro decided to re-release the Battle Droid with several changes, including a completely different paint job, and sadly, a new plastic that is too rubbery.

We aren't trying to claim that The Vintage Collection Battle Droid (original release or re-release) is a total waste of time. It isn't. The details are closer than ever to screen-accuracy, but more significant issues prevent this figure from reaching definitive status for us. Regardless of how excellent the new details are, we still will caution you from considering this the end all Battle Droid action figure. If you have already army-built the Episode II [maroon] Battle Droid, your efforts now appear to be all for naught because you won't have a comparable Episode I version in multitudes. Hasbro decided to go with a whole new scale for the Battle Droid, and ultimately, it's disappointing. While we can see eye to eye that the previous Battle Droid tooling, which originated from 2009's and 2010's Legacy Collection Geonosis Arena Showdown sets,) appears a tad too large, overall it works well when compared to other action figures. What makes this worse is that Hasbro has made one or two errors with the new Battle Droid that seemingly renders this new effort pointless. For a moment, pretend The Vintage Collection Battle Droid is a realistic version of 2008's The Clone Wars [Blue] Battle Droid (No. 7) figure (but with more articulation). That is the best way we can describe it. It's not a perfect action figure. For example, there is no place to stow the E5 blaster rifle on the backpack. Previous versions have this option. Because the ball-socket joints in the hips and shoulders are smaller, you don't get the full range of movement in the limbs or the flexibility we did with the Geonosis Arena Showdown Battle Droids. Also, the ball-socket head has less rotation due to the reduced scale of the head. The neck post is also shorter, also inhibiting its full range of movement. We agree that the previous Battle Droid had neck extensions that were much too long, but the collector could alter it to attain the ideal height. Regardless, this figure still has merit. And this figure is bittersweet. And we taste the bittersweetness once again thanks to its re-release. The Clone Wars version and this figure are nearly identical in height and comparable in other measurements. They, interestingly, almost have the same paint job application as well.

It feels like the re-release is an all-new character because the paint operations are completely different than they were in 2012. The 2021 version may have better deco. We're not sure. The photoreceptors aren't as dark now. As you know, Hasbro sculpted the photoreceptors on the Battle Droid into the tooling for the first time. You can feel them. We appreciate that Hasbro thought outside of the box for this detail. In another disappointing movie, Hasbro has decided to incorporate two holes on the figure's back to accommodate the antenna attachment (smaller hole) and the backpack (larger hole). However, should you choose to display the figure with the antenna attachment, you'll see a big gaping hole for the backpack, and it hurts the aesthetic of the action figure. It's borderline infuriating. Obviously, if you display the Battle Droid with the backpack, it's large enough to hide the antenna attachment hole. It feels like this is an amateur mistake. All figures can use tweaking, it seems, including the 2009 and 2010 Battle Droid figures, but we still think the previous version is better. The Battle Droid is nicely painted, but if you decide to purchase the 2012 version, the head sculpt and backpack were unpainted and didn't match the rest of the droid's body. Thankfully, the re-release corrects this detail and looks fabulous. On display, the Battle Droid looks good. But it isn't as functional now, thanks to the soft plastic Hasbro used for the re-release. So whether the new The Vintage Collection Battle Droid meets your expectations or not is up to you. Whether we see it as a good figure or not is still a conundrum for us. We don't know if we'll ever be able to answer that question. As much as we attempt to appreciate what Hasbro brought forth here, we keep going back to prefer the previous version of the Battle Droid. With all of the incredible action figures Hasbro produces, it confounds us why some don't meet expectations. Hasbro will need to take another stab at the Battle Droid action figure to make it definitive, but it seems that window has passed us. If they're re-releasing this version, it means they're okay with it. Still, we hope that Hasbro brings back a wider range of motion for this character. They need it!

Editor's Note: Hasbro re-released The Vintage Collection Battle Droid (VC78) figure in January 2021 with a significant number of changes. Updates include: (1) all-new paint operations/deco, (2) portrait/head sculpt and back pack finally received weathered final wash, (3) figure was cast in a softer plastic, (4) refreshed 2021 packaging with different graphics, (5) new placement of accessoris inside of bubble

Review Status Update: The original publication date of this review is January 10, 2012. It was subsequently updated with a new Photo Gallery and revised General Analysis and republished on January 23, 2021 after Hasbro reissued the figure.

Collector Notes

Battle Droid

Status: Battle Droid is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 13 points (13 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), sliding neck post (1), hinge-jointed neck (1), ball-socket left shoulder (1), ball-socket right shoulder (1), hinge-jointed left elbow (1), hinge-jointed right elbow (1), ball-socket left hip (1), ball-socket right hip (1), hinge-jointed left knee (1), hinge-jointed right knee (1), hinge-jointed left ankle (1), hinge-jointed right ankle (1)

Accessory Count: 3

Accessory Details: E-5 blaster rifle (droid blaster), removable backpack, removable antenna

Date Stamp: 2011

Packaging Details:

Card Back: The Phantom Menace

Name: Battle Droid

Year: 2021

Assortment Number: F1886/E7763

UPC: 5010993813322

Retail: $12.99 USD

Card Back: The Phantom Menace

Name: Battle Droid

Year: 2012

Assortment Number: 30787/37499

UPC: 653569723936

Retail: $9.99 USD

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









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Added: January 10, 2012
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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