AT-AT Driver - Mini Busts

Added: January 4th 2010
Category: Mini Busts
Reviewer: Paul Harrison

Name: AT-AT Driver
Type: Mini Busts
Number: Item No. 9059
Edition Size: 2500
Source: The Empire Strikes Back
Availability: April 2009
License: Gentle Giant Ltd.

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Propelling the massive Imperial walkers over uneven terrain requires the skills of seasoned AT-AT drivers. These soldiers work in teams of two, operating the ground craft with deft skill. They also fire the vehicle's powerful laser cannons, carrying orders from a combat coordinator, also stationed on the AT-AT's bridge.

2009 seemed to be the year for AT-AT Driver. Immortalized in collectible form in a few ways from a few different licenses, it received significant time in the spotlight and continues year after year to be a very popular character, thus making the collectibles of it extremely hot. Gentle Giant Ltd.. teased us years ago with a Bust-Ups version of the AT-AT Driver and it was pretty awesome. Possessing more detail than whatever Hasbro could present to us on an action figure, it was a terrible shame that the Bust-Ups were, well, just that, a micro-sized bust of popular Star Wars characters. But in 2009, they turned there focus to The Empire Strikes Back and made multiple announcements that they had intentions of releasing characters from that film and the AT-AT Driver became the first focus. The AT-AT Driver Mini Bust is a very faithful representation of the character we briefly saw in the film and it has become a hot commodity in the after-market due to Gentle Giant's commitment to keep edition sizes lower than in years past. Limited to 2500 pieces, the AT-AT Driver Mini Bust has come and gone and is fetching values of about double its retail price which is fairly uncommon.

The AT-AT Driver Mini Bust is simply but beautifully painted. Rather cleanly painted (for a Gentle Giant Ltd.. product at least), he has no battle-damage markings or signs that he has seen some action. He does however have excellently decorated marks like the Imperial insignias, lines and stripes on his helmet. His chest plate is of exceptional quality. You can see all of the individual buttons and dials that were painted on it and his tubes that hang from it are not perfectly even which add a great deal of realism to this piece. The Mini Bust is solid and weighty and obviously high quality polystone was used. Once in a while, some Mini Busts have a light weight feel to them but this is definitely not the case here. The jumpsuit looks to have the slightest blue hue to it. We are so used to seeing this character in a gray outfit, so it looks a tiny bit off (but only if you have a critical eye - we do). But we can't complain too much because Gentle Giant even gave this pilot separate strap pieces and while they are not too visible on this piece, they are nonetheless there and look absolutely fantastic. One thing we do not care for is his pose. If you recall the TIE Fighter Pilot Mini Bust (his hands were together behind his back), this Mini Bust is the complete opposite (his hands are together in the front). It just looks a little bit silly for an Imperial soldier. We understand Gentle Giant Ltd.. takes artistic license with many of their products. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn't.

This piece half works and half doesn't work (strictly talking about the pose here). But, if you can look beyond this, you will no doubt agree that this is still one amazing interpretation of the AT-AT Driver. It is probably a good time to reassess where you stand as a collector of Gentle Giant Ltd.. products, in order to ensure getting these marvelous collectibles into your home. We may need to soon return to the days of pre-ordering everything just to assure the opportunity to even purchase them! And just like Hasbro, Gentle Giant, Ltd. has been very guilty of releasing everything at once. This is not conducive in this day and age where pocketbooks and wallets are tightened and overall income in general is majorly limited. And while we want to get them all for our collections, it is nearly impossible to keep up, especially when the product comes in way too fast and all at once. But when a great product like the AT-AT Driver Mini Bust gets lost in that flux of product, collectors may altogether miss out on these great collectibles! But, if you are fortunate enough to locate this great Mini Bust, it will be a wonderful addition to your collection. It is a bust that is loaded with detail, yet simple and articulate in demeanor. You will have a contented heir should you pick this Mini Bust up for your collection. And contented is a feeling that is seldom felt by Star Wars collectors – we always seem to want more and better. This Mini Bust has both!

Collector Notes

AT-AT Driver

Status: This highly-detailed mini bust, based on the original Lucasfilm costumes and props, was sculpted and painted by Gentle Giant Ltd. We hope you enjoy it.

Exclusivity: N/A

Assembly: N/A

Date Stamp: 2009

UPC: 871810001446

Retail: $54.99 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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