STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (KENNER)
Everybody’s got their own personal favorite bounty hunter from the Star Wars verse. Well, okay, maybe not everybody. That seems a little presumptuous. Some people don’t like Star Wars. I know, I know, that’s a hard pill to swallow, guys, but lets be real. Now, for the Star Wars fans out there, we can at least all take solace in knowing that we all agree that the best bounty hunter, bar none is IG-88. We all agree on that, right? Right? Come on guys, Star Wars fans are always a really agreeable bunch, right? Anyone? Anyone?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
IG-88 was released in the first assortment of Kenner’s The Empire Strikes Back line, debuting alongside the movie in 1980. There were two notable variations of IG-88, most easily identified by the finish of the plastic. Early IGs were a more metallic silver, while later in the run he was shifted over to a duller grey. The one up top is the silver, but there’s a comparison shot of the two at the end of the review. No matter the variation you have, the figure stands about 4 inches tall (he was a tall boy) and he has 5 points of articulation. The two versions of the figure actually had slightly different molds, although they were more or less the same sculpt, just with some minor manufacturing tweaks. The initial sculpt is actually really strong, quite possibly the best sculpt to come out of the vintage line. While he fits right in with the rest of the figures stylistically, he’s incredibly sharply detailed, and sports pretty much all of the elements he should for a proper screen accurate IG. The sculpt was so good, that Kenner actually ended up re-using it with just one tweak when it came time for the PotF IG-88, but that’s a discussion for a later review. For the later run IGs, the sculpt is slightly downgraded. It’s still one of the best of the vintage line, mind you, and all of the important elements remain, but some of the smaller details are lost and the overall crispness of the sculpt is also gone. There’s also one piece completely mission on the right leg, and protrusions from the head are generally cut shorter. If you don’t compare the two, you wouldn’t really know what you were missing. For the paint work, IG-88 was kind of light, with molded plastic making up most of it. The bandolier is painted black on both figures, and the lights on the head are red on the silver figure and orange on the grey. The application on the silver is a little more precise, lending to more of that sharpness like we saw with the sculpt. Both versions of IG-88 were packed with two blaster rifles, one short, one long, molded in a dark blue, which is probably the thing that most gives away this figure as vintage.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve always had a soft spot for IG-88. Since he wasn’t in the original movie (and therefore one of the figures I inherited from my Dad’s childhood collection), he wound up being one of the earlier vintage figures I tracked down for myself, picked up from an antique school sometime during my high school years. That was the grey version, and was just on his own without the accessories. I picked up a complete silver when it was traded into All Time a couple of months ago. Silver is the superior release, but grey has his own charm. I appreciate them both for what they are: two more pieces for my awesome IG-88 collection!