#2419: AT-AT Driver

AT-AT DRIVER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Drivers of the dreaded AT-AT walkers, specially trained “ground pilots”, played a vital role during the Empire’s assault on Hoth.”

Didn’t I *just* review an AT-AT Driver?  Oh, wait, that review ran like a month ago, didn’t it?  Well, in my defense, it’s only been like a week and a half from my time, so, there’s that.  Well, with it being the 40th Anniversary of Empire and all, I guess there’s no better time to double down on AT-AT Driver reviews, now is there?  Great, let’s look at another AT-AT driver then, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This AT-AT Driver was actually the second to be released in the Power of the Force line.  The first was included with the AT-AT proper in 1997.  There was, however, only one of them included, despite there being two drivers per AT-AT, and it wasn’t exactly economical to get a second AT-AT just for the driver.  So, this guy got slotted for a standard release…in theory.  In practice, not so much, as the AT-AT Driver became one of the four PotF2 figures who didn’t make it to retail in 1998, and instead had to be offered exclusively through the Star Wars Collector’s Club, which made him a little tricky to get a hold of, until the excess stock was unloaded to Toys R Us, and they were suddenly available for a lot less than retail.  Quite a turbulent release path for a figure that’s not really much new.  Okay, that’s not quite true.  The figure was actually all-new, believe it or not, sharing no pieces with the pack-in figure from the AT-AT.  They had very similar sculpts, of course, but they were just different enough to be different.  The sculpt is pretty typical for this period of the line, being a fair bit bulkier than he should be, and a little lighter on the sculpted details than later figures would be.  All that said, it’s still a pretty nice sculpt, and not anywhere near as ridiculous as the basic Stormtrooper was.  In contrast to the pack-in, this guy has a little bit of pre-posing to him.  It’s rather minor, but there’s a slight shift in his step.  I kinda dig it; it makes him look a little more like a real person.  The paint work on this guy is pretty straight forward.  It’s rather on the basic side, although the head and the console on his chest both get a fair bit of smaller detail work that looks pretty sharp.  The AT-AT Driver included a blaster and a Freeze Frame slide.  Mine just has the blaster, I’m afraid.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In my quest to complete my PotF collection, the Fan Club figures tend to be the ones I don’t run into quite as frequently, for obvious reasons.  I did end up getting this guy loose, however, which worked well enough for me. Obviously, he’s not as impressive as, say, the Black Series figure, but he’s got his own fun little flair to him, and I can definitely dig it.

I got this guy from my friends at All Time Toys.  They’ve got a decent back stock of Power of the Force, and other cool toys both old and new, so please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2386: AT-AT Driver

AT-AT DRIVER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“The Empire’s Combat Drivers are trained to handle everything in the Imperial ground arsenal, but AT-AT pilots see themselves as elite, controlling their massive four-footed assault vehicles in combat against Rebel targets.”

Okay, let’s round out this week of Black Series reviews with one more from the backlog.  I’m looking at another member of the Imperial forces, but this time he’s of the more usual faceless nature for these guys.  The Empire Strikes Back‘s Battle of Hoth introduced a lot of new designs, but perhaps its most lasting and impactful was the AT-AT, a weird robot camel contraption which serves as the backbone of the Imperial forces during their run on the Rebel base.  It being Star Wars, the AT-ATs of course got their own dedicated, uniquely designed drivers, one of which I’ll be looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The AT-AT Driver is figure 31 in the Black Series line-up, and hit shelves in the rather sizable late-2016 assortment that also included Princess Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Snowtrooper, Revan, and Sabine.  Initial shipments of this figure erroneously named him the “AT-AT Pilot”, which was apparently a major oversight, and needed a correction, so here we are with this corrected thing.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation. The articulation is okay overall, but the shoulder’s are reduced to little more than cut joints by the design of the shoulder plates, which don’t move out of the way of the joints the way they should.  Despite some surface-level similarities between the two designs, the AT-AT Driver shares no parts with the TIE Pilot, though they do still share quite a similar construction.  The sculpt does a respectable job of replicating the design as we see it on the screen, and the best work is definitely on the helmet, which is a pretty pitch-perfect recreation of the actual thing.  The detailing on this guy’s not quite as crisp as on some figures from the line, but it’s not the worst we’ve seen either.  The paintwork on this guy isn’t super exciting to look at, but there is a fair bit going on there.  The helmet and the chest piece get the most intricate work, and everything is crisp and clean.  Along with changing the name on the box, there was also a running change with the figure inside.  Early shipments had this figure with a flatter sheen on his armored parts, instead of the shinier finish of most of the run.  Mine is a later run figure through and through.  The Driver is packed with a standard E-11 blaster rifle, which we’ve seen dozens of times before.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Much like yesterday’s figure, this one’s been sitting on a shelf, unopened, for over a year.  Likewise, he was also purchased from Cosmic Comix, during one of their sales.  I’m not sure exactly why I picked him up, but I recall I was choosing between this or the Snowtrooper.  I’ve always liked this design a little more, so here we are.  He’s a nice enough figure.  Not super thrilling, or anything, but a solid recreation of a solid design.