#1881: GNK Power Droid

GNK POWER DROID

STAR WARS: ELITE SERIES (DISNEY)

“GNK power droids understand commands and generate power for mobile operations,  They are often called “Gonk” droids in imitation of their simple vocalizations.”

While the premiere Star Wars line these days is undoubtedly Hasbro’s The Black Series, my nomination for the line that is consistently the most unexpected and surprising line is Disney’s in-house Elite Series, a line of 7-inch die cast metal figures.  For the most part, the line’s scale makes it incompatible with The Black Series, but every so often, you get those designs where scale’s less of an issue.  Such is the case with today’s focus, the GNK Power Droid, better known as the “Gonk.”

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Gonk is part of the newest assortment of Elite Series figures, which started hitting right around the same time as the three Disney Store-exclusive Black Series figures.  This assortment is all about the droids, featuring a number of the lesser droids from throughout the franchise (and an R2 variant for good measure).  The Gonk is based on his appearance in A New Hope, which is really the go-to, so it works.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and has 2…ish points of articulation.  There are technically joints at the top of each leg but, admittedly, there’s not much mobility to be had there.  The Gonk is primarily constructed from die cat metal, which makes up the main body and the feet.  This makes the Gonk one of the densest figures in the line, and certainly the densest figure I own.  It’s really just a brick of metal when you get right down to it.  Disney has once again stepped up their game on the sculpt front, with the Gonk being one of the most detailed sculpts to date in the line.  It’s a very good match for the Gonk’s design from the movie, and areas like the leg covers in particular are really sharply defined.  Even the paint work is more defined than what we’ve seen before.  Prior Elite Series figures have been more on the clean side, but the Gonk actually gets some sizable wear and tear detailing, helping him achieve that proper worn-in appearance that the Gonk just wouldn’t look right without.  The Gonk is packed with one accessory: a display stand.  It’s the same stand that’s been packed with all of the prior figures, and he doesn’t really need it to keep standing, but it’s always nice to have it, I guess.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Gonk is rather a sentimental character to me, due largely to its presence as a playable character in Lego Star Wars, where it was my brother’s favorite character.  When we unlocked the “Super Gonk” feature, he would run all around the levels shouting “Super Gonk!” Ever since then, whenever either of us sees the Gonk anywhere, we always shout “Super Gonk!” to the other.  So, when I spotted this guy at the Disney Store while grabbing the Black Series Zuckuss, there was no way I was turning him down.  As of right now, the odds of a Black Series Gonk are somewhat slim, and this one definitely makes for a good stand-in.

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#1875: Zuckuss

ZUCKUSS

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“A Gand bounty hunter, Zuckuss heeded the Empire’s call for mercenaries to locate the Millennium Falcon and bring her fugitive crew to justice, receiving his orders on the bridge of Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer.”

I’ve established a loose ranking of Empire Strikes Back’s bounty hunters throughout my various Black Series reviews of them, and if you’ve been following those, you’ll know that my top three slots (IG-88, Bossk, and 4-LOM) have already been covered.  So, where does that leave today’s entry, Zuckus?  I’d probably stick him in the number 4 slot, though it’s largely due to his pairing with 4-LOM.  It just feels odd to break those two up.  And, it would seem that Hasbro agrees, since they always release them in close proximity to each other.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zuckuss is a Disney Store-exclusive Star Wars: The Black Series offering, who started showing up within the last month.  He is one of three exclusives for the line that all hit at the same time, and he’s another displaced TRU-exclusive, though there was evidently enough time to at least remove the sticker from him.  The figure is 5 1/2 inches tall (Zuckuss was the shortest of the Bounty Hunters) and he has 26 points of articulation.  Zuckuss is a brand-new sculpt, and he falls back a bit more on the earlier Black Series tendency for mixed media affairs.  He’s got an underlying sculpt, with a cloth robe over top, and an overlay piece holding it all together.  It’s all *technically* removable, but it’s gonna be a pain to get it off and back on, and he underlying body isn’t really designed to be seen, so I elected to leave mine in place.  while some of the earlier mixed-media offerings from this line were a bit iffy in execution, I think it works out a lot better with this figure.  The cloth sections are definitely better tailored on this figure than prior figures, and the additional overlay piece helps to keep everything more properly shaped.  As far as visible sculpted pieces, the head and hands definitely show some very strong work; the texturing on the gloves is quite realistic, and the head matches nicely not only with his on-screen appearance, but also pairs well with the prior 4-LOM figure.  The bulk of the paintwork on Zuckuss is on the head, which has a dark wash to help bring out its details.  After so many figures without any such detailing, it’s nice to see Hasbro returning to it.  Zuckuss’s only accessory is his distinctive blaster, which fits nicely in his hand.  It’s a little bit on the smaller side, but given all of the other work that’s been put into this figure, it’s acceptable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since picking up 4-LOM, I’ve been anxiously awaiting Zuckuss’s release.  After a particularly bad day at work, Super Awesome Fiancee was looking to cheer me up, so she took me to the closest Disney Store, where I had no trouble finding him.  He’s a fun figure, and he brings us one step closer to a complete line-up of the Executor Bounty Hunters!