Saturday, 15 February 2014

Star Wars Action Figures and Articulation

Whose Line is it Anyway?

New 5POA Jedi Kanan figure from the upcoming Rebels line
Star Wars Rebels: Kanan Jarras
5POA. If you’re a fan of Star Wars action figures at present, or most current licensed toy lines for that matter, that term is likely to evoke some strong emotions one way or another. With the reveal of the 5POA Kanan figure from the upcoming Star Wars Rebels line (above), I think I’ve finally hit a moment of clarity with regards to my own stance on the articulation debate.

As a rule I try not to let the excessive negativity of online forums get to me, and sometimes find myself taking a contrarian position just to counter that aggressiveness – I can’t help it, I have a natural aversion to sharing a viewpoint with some of the more… dedicated forumers out there. It was this attitude, along with genuine curiosity and an appreciation for the fact that Hasbro were making action figures affordable again that I picked up my first Saga Legends figure, the Super Battle Droid. Despite some initial reservations this purchase was swiftly followed with Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Shock Trooper from Saga Legends, and the Darth Vader/Seeker Droid and 212th Clone Trooper/Battle Droid sets from the Mission Series. I’ve now essentially got a small selection of vintage style Revenge of the Sith action figures, but as cool as they all look together… I’m not really sure what to do with them.

Saga Legends Darth Vader, Shock Trooper and Anakin Skywalker
A small selection of Saga Legends
I enjoy taking photos of my toys when I can find the time, but I’ve struggled to get much mileage from the Saga Legends in that regard. Don’t get me wrong, I love Rather Childish (RIP?) as much as the next toy collecting Star Wars nerd, but there are two factors stopping me from ripping him off as much as I’d like: firstly, my photography skills are nowhere near as developed as his, and secondly the vintage figures have a certain charm that the Saga Legends toys emulate, but don’t quite match… And that’s probably as close as we’re going to get to an empirical value for nostalgia. As pilot figures I think they look great, and I would love to pick up a Class II (accurately scaled) Jedi Starfighter with which to display either Anakin or Kenobi when I have the funds. Beyond that though, I’ve really run out of interest, and that’s only confirmed that this isn’t the action figure line for me.

And the thing is, it’s really not. I called it when the Saga Legends were first announced, and after giving them a fair go I’m happy enough to say that these figures aren’t for me. They’re for my nephew, his friends, and any other kids discovering Star Wars for the first time, and I am not gonna fault Hasbro for that – after all, it was an affordable kids toy line that got us all hooked in the first place, whether it was vintage or POTF2. That’s why I’m OK with the new Rebels figures being 5POA, because it means staying affordable, and might even lead to a new group of collectors eventually joining the party - something that’s definitely required if the line is ever to reclaim the heights it once scaled.

Promo pic of Ezra from the upcoming Rebels TV show
Star Wars Rebels: Ezra Bridger & The Ghost
The Saga Legends toy line isn’t for us, and the Rebels cartoon (a Disney channel exclusive, no less) isn’t for us either. If we enjoy it, that’s a different matter; but it’s not for us, and amidst all the pitchfork wielding about how the new Rebels characters have been designed purely for kid appeal, or that the latest figures aren't the greatest quality, that’s something entirely worth remembering.

I'll get off my soapbox now... 

Thoughts prompted and images snatched from the always awesome FLYGUY.


  1. Wise words, nicely put. I appreciate the simplicity of the new 5POA wave, especially if it means I'm not spending £9 ($15) on a non-essential item I'm meant to be buying for the fun of collecting/playing (in my case, collecting, to be fair), and that's without going into the ridiculous distribution patterns in the UK.

    As for the Rebels designs; I'm on the fence so far. I'll probably be swayed when I see them in action on-screen, but Kanan's such a blatant "kid-centric Kyle Katarn" that I can't get excited just yet :/

    1. Thanks. I definitely think the same about the price point, and the $1 = £1 is a real killer for collecting most things Hasbro puts out over here. For that sake alone I'm glad that there is a 'budget' line, even if it doesn't quite fit my needs. As for the distribution, I've not had it too bad where I am (Northampton), but unfortunately there does seem to be a local scalper that always clears the local TRU out of anything decent.

      I'm waiting on the Rebels show as well. I get the feeling Filoni has less control over the series this time round, and unfortunately I remember Disney adventure cartoons being a bit bland back in the day. Will definitely watch it with an open mind and see where it goes though, the adaptation of McQuarrie's art and designs looks stunning!

  2. It's great that Hasbro seems to be on an initiative to make toys for kids again, but I'm not a fan on 5POA. I'm reminded of the 90's Star Wars line. I had such a hard time keeping those figures standing upright that I eventually just got rid of them all.

    1. It is great they're making toys kid friendly again, but it depends on the line - Transformers that don't transform is a waste of everybody's time, for example. I think because there's the history of 5POA with Star Wars the economising is a bit smoother as well. Also the sculpts are less dynamic than POTF2, so they stand a lot easier!

      As an aside, this wasn't what I was promising next with my TF focus - that's still being worked on...


You may like...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...