#3219: NED-B



Star Wars sure does have a lot of really cool droids.  And, with each successive addition to the franchise, we get a few more really cool droids.  Hey, if they sell, you gotta make more of them, right?  Kenobi had two such droids.  Lola was the one that got the early lead-in promotion for the show, but the one that really seemed to stick out in the show proper was the non-verbal NED-B, a big, lumbering droid that works with the Rebellion in its early days.  So, let’s have a look at a figure of NED-B.


NED-B is the final figure in the six figure line-up for the Kenobi tie-in series of Hasbro’s Star Wars: Retro Collection.  He’s unique in this series as the only character who’s making his figure debut here, though he’ll be getting a Black Series release early next year.  The figure is the tallest of the figures in this assortment, standing 4 1/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  The sculpt is totally new to this release.  Of all the figures in the assortment, this guy feels the least like a proper vintage figure.  There’s just something about the exact sculpting and styling that winds up feeling just a little bit too advanced for the original run.  It’s not bad, and it’s not so drastic that he feels out of place with the rest of the line-up, but it’s notable.  If anything, he feels maybe a bit more on par with something more of the ’90s era, almost like he’s just a bit more of a progression than the other figures.  He certainly captures the spirit of the character, though, and the detailing is all pretty solid.  He’s obviously dialed back a bit from what we see on the screen, but enough of him remains to sell which character it’s supposed to be.  The paint work on this figure is similar to the sculpting in that it’s not bad, but it’s also a bit more advanced than it *should* be for the line.  It certainly does look nice, though, and I appreciate the bright colors on him, especially in comparison the the generally drab colors of the other five figures.  I also kind of dig that they’ve painted sections that wouldn’t really be painted on the vintage versions, as it just ends up making him feel a little bit more finished than he might otherwise.  NED is packed with his hammer, which is a pretty solid extra for him, given its key role in a few of his scenes.


NED is far and away the figure I wanted the most from this series.  I just really dug his design on the show, and I wanted him in figure form.  He’s interesting, because he at once feels like he’s a natural for this style, and also just a bit too removed for a clean translation.  He’s a bit like Grogu from the first assortment, where he may not quite land the vintage feel, but he’s still a really fun version of the character, so I can’t ultimately complain.  And, like that figure, NED here just makes for a good toy.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3186: IG-86 Assassin Droid



“An IG-86 Assassin Droid lies deactivated in a Trandoshan trader’s cargo hold until a buyer can be found for the dangerous droid. But he is accidentally reactivated by a clumsy astromech droid, and the lives of everyone on board the ship are in peril.”

In addition to fleshing out the prequel-era characters, The Clone Wars also placed a focus on more directly tying the two trilogies together.  We got handful of younger OT characters featured, as well as a few lineages, and predecessors to things seen in the OT.  Amongst those predecessors, a recurring feature were the IG-86s, precursors to IG-88 and other Assassin Droids of the same model.  They never really step beyond bit player, but they help to more fully fill-in the world around the characters, and they always make for a good toy.


The IG-86 Assassin Droid was released in 2008 as part of the first year of Hasbro’s Clone Wars tie-in line, where he was figure #18.  The figure saw a few multipack releases as well during the line, with minimal deco changes, as well as one more widely changed version in the form of Ziro’s assassin droid, added to the line as figure #37 in the following year (that’s the one pictured next to Wilson over on the right).  All of the releases used the same mold.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  The IG-86 mold was one of the most posable molds in the whole line, with universals on the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.  He’s also got posable hands as well, making for far better gripping of the weapons.  The point is, there’s just a lot you can do with this guy, and it’s a lot of fun.  The sculpt is one of the best from the line.  It’s a great recreation of the animation model, with a nice merging of function and form.  Figures like the most recent Vintage Collection IG-11 are totally still banking on how this figure worked.  For the first release, IG-86 got a tarnished and dirty finish, a stark contrast to the usually more clean Clone Wars offerings.  It was a really impressive set-up especially for the time, and captured the whole “deactivated” thing quite well.  Ziro’s assassin droid trades in the grime for a unique set of markings, as well as a less metallic finish than the original release.  It’s suitably different, but cool for its own set of reasons.  Both versions of the Assassin droid, included two droid-style blasters, as well as a backpack for storing both of them.


The standard IG-86 was one of my earliest purchases from the line, shortly after he hit retail.  I’ve always had a soft spot for IG-88, and I liked seeing the elements in animated form.  The sculpt, form, and function all just really work, making him one of the line’s very best.  I like him so much that I wound up snagging Ziro’s assassin from a collection that came into All Time, just so I could get another chance to mess with it.  They’re both really fun, and I love the two different decos.  Seriously top-notch.

#2496: EV-9D9



“EV-9D9 is ideally suited to its job as cyborg taskmaster in Jabba the Hutt’s palace. It was one of many droids in service to the crimelord.”

Hey, remember how I was reviewing Star Wars stuff all week?  Well, get settled in with that, because we’re just gonna keep that rolling one day further.  Of course, it’s no fancy Black Series offering today.  Nope, we’re instead going back to my old mainstay, Power of the Force.  I mean, hey, at least it’s somebody who hasn’t gotten any Black Series love, just to keep things different and interesting.  And it’s someone with a speaking role, even!  Let’s look at EV-9D9, shall we?


EV-9D9 was added to the Power of the Force line-up in 1997.  He was one of a handful of Jabba’s Palace denizens added to the line-up that year, so he was quite at home (although he wouldn’t get an 8D8 to boss around until the next year).  This marked his second time getting a figure, following the vintage release, as well as his final time in figure form.  Poor EV, getting no modern day figure love.  That feels downright criminal.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  The design doesn’t quite as easily lend itself to a waist swivel, so he doesn’t get that.  Sadly, he also lacks the moving mouth of the original release, which is definitely a sad omission.  On the plus side, the figure’s nice and stable when it comes to standing, so he won’t be faceplanting nearly as often as some of the figures from this line.  He also avoids the pre-posing of earlier entries, making him a nice basic figure.  The sculpt is quite nice, doing a respectable job of capturing the design of the prop from the film, while also being sharp and clean on the details. It’s just a really nifty little sculpt.  The paint work is also pretty decent for this era of figure.  All of the important details are there, and there’s even some pretty nice accenting on the bronze sections of his body.  EV-9D9’s only got one accessory, but it’s a pretty good one: it’s the podium he stands behind when administering R2 and 3PO’s jobs. Pretty central to the character, and rather sizable to boot,  so it’s a winner in my book.


EV is another of the large batch of figures I picked up in late 2018 when I really started trying to fill in my collection for the line.  It’s definitely a figure I didn’t think much of when I grabbed it, but he’s a pretty solid figure, especially given the lack of further coverage of the character.

Thanks to my friends at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy.  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.

#2468: C-3PO with Removable Limbs



A short stay on Bespin’s Cloud City left protocol droid C-3PO dismantled and dependent on his Rebel companions.”

There’s a bit of difficulty in Star Wars lines to offer decent variants of a handful of the characters, specifically the ones whose designs don’t really change throughout the movies.  For instance?  C-3PO.  He’s got the exact same design in all three of the original films, so any OT-based line definitely has a little trouble differentiating.  Fortunately, there’s at least one solid gimme for a 3PO variant: removable limbs.  Yep, if you want to really want a good Empire variant of 3PO, all you gotta do is make those limbs removable for his encounter with the Stormtroopers in Cloud City.  The vintage line started things off, and Power of the Force II followed suit, with the figure I’m taking a look at today.


C-3PO with Removable Limbs was added to the Power of the Force line in 1998, and was the line’s third variant of 3PO, following the initial release and the Purchase of the Droids variant.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation…or at least he should, though the waist joint on mine definitely isn’t moving.  Stylistically, the sculpt on this guy is really similar to the revamped 3PO sculpt from the Purchase set.  Much like the various nearly identical Farmboy Lukes produced later in the line, the two sculpts aren’t really the same, but are virtually indistinguishable for the most part.  The main difference between the two, aside from the whole “removable limbs” thing, is the lack of restraining bolt on the upper torso.  Also, there’s the removable limbs.  Those are a difference, too, I suppose.  They come off pretty easily, though the way they attach does ever so slightly impact the posability a little bit.  You can still get full range out of them, but they might need to be popped out and repositioned for some poses.  Like the “Purchase” figure, this 3PO’s color scheme starts out with the vac metalizing again, but this one takes the grime even further than that figure did, making for what is probably the dirtiest of the PotF 3POs.  I’m not entirely sure why the Empire version would be the dirtiest, but I guess it could be worse.  3PO is packed with a cargo bag, perfect for placing him in and allowing him to be carried on Chewbacca’s back.


I didn’t have this 3PO figure as a kid, but I remember seeing him on the back of the packaging, and always kind of wanting him to do the whole “carried on Chewy’s back” set-up.  I never did get it as a kid, but it was definitely on my short list when I started filling in the holes in my collection.  He’s pretty darn nifty.

Thanks to my friends at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy.  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.

#2433: 2-1B Medical Droid



Height: 1.5 Meters
Status: Industrial Automaton Surgical Droid
Classification: GeenTech 2-1B Series
Affiliation: Rebel Alliance
Weapon of Choice: Medical Diagnostic Computer”

Droids make up one hell of a subset of the Star Wars universe, and much like the Stormtroopers, they have lots of specialized models.  Also like the Stormtroopers, they’re a really easy thing for toy companies to make bank on, especially when it’s a droid that got some decent screen time.  Today’s focus, 2-1B, showed up in Empire two separate times, patching Luke up first after his run-in with the Wampa, and again after losing his hand to Vader’s lightsaber.  That’s not a bad spread of appearances, now is it?


2-1B was added to Kenner’s Power of the Force II line in 1997.  He’s the second figure of 2-1B, following up on the vintage release.  This sculpt would remain in service through The Vintage Collection in 2011, so clearly Hasbro thought it was a fairly worthwhile effort.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  As with many of the droids released in this line, the poseability’s a little bit restricted on this guy.  That said, he can pretty easily move his head and arms, which is just about all you need from him.  The actual sculpt is quite a nice one.  It’s pretty faithful to the film design, which is quite good for a PotF figure.  I really dig the texture work that went into him, and I especially dig the transparent torso with the visible mechanics within it.  Very fun.  His paint work is also pretty solid.  There’s not a ton going on with it, but all of the appropriate colors are there, and the application’s all pretty clean.  2-1B is packed with his handheld Medical Diagnostic Computer, for all your handheld Medical Diagnostic Computing needs.


Like so many of my Power of the Force figures, this guy was a more recent addition to my collection, added during a PotF buying-spree in the fall of 2018.  As far as this line’s droids go, he’s honestly one of the best, and has the benefit of slotting in pretty alright with the more recent stuff as well.  He’s also one of the cooler, more unique droid designs, and one with some decent screen time, making him one of the best in general.

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.

#1934: 8D8



“Originally designed to work in smelting factories, 8D8 worked under EV-9D9 in Jabba the Hutt’s droid operations center.”

There are a lot of droids in Star Wars, of all sorts of differing models and styles.  When in doubt about what to do for a Star Wars line, they can always bring out the driods.  During Power of the Force II, one of the running sub-goals of the line was re-creating the line-up of the original vintage toyline.  That was a large contributing factor to today’s figure, 8D8, finding his way into the line.


8D8 was released in the 1998 assortment of Power of the Force II.  He’s the second figure of 8D8, and also the final figure of 8D8.  Why no updates since then?  Well, I’m gonna get to that.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Movement-wise, this guy’s not ideal.  He lacks the at the time standard waist joint, which is sort of odd, since the design clearly would have allowed for it.  The design of the hips compared to the arms means that the movement on both the shoulders and the hips is quite restricted.  Guess it all hinges on that sweet neck movement?  Yay?  The sculpt was unique to this figure, and though it comes from later in the run, it’s still kind of plagued by pre-posing.  He’s like, mid-stride, or something.  Whatever the case, he has a lot of trouble standing, and the pre-posing means that his already limited articulation is even further limited if you want to keep him standing.  On the plus side, the actual sculpt is a solid recreation of 8D8 as seen in the movie, and there’s plenty of sharp and clean detail work going on.  The paintwork is also pretty decent.  He’s mostly just molded in an off-white sort of color, but he’s got some silver accenting and his red detailing from the film.  Like the sculpt, it matches up pretty well with what we see on the screen.  8D8 has an “action feature” of light-up eyes.  Nothing super fancy, just a basic light-piping feature, but I guess it gives him a little extra pop.  8D8 is packed with the droid branding device we see him using in the movie, which is one of the better extras from the line.  Also, as a 1998 release, he included a Freeze Frame slide, showing him in the actual movie.


8D8 is from a recent run on Power of the Force I did, in my ever-expanding mission to get a complete collection of the line.  I got him from my friends at All Time Toys, for essentially nothing, since I was grabbing so many others.  Ultimately, I can’t say he’s a particularly great figure, and I think it’s really just a design that doesn’t so much lend itself to toy-form, which is probably why it hasn’t shown up again.

#1054: FA-4




So, I gave Star Trek its due, why not the other “Star” franchise?  Regular readers of the site will no doubt be aware of my less than stellar opinion of the three Star Wars prequels.  That said, regular readers will also be very likely to know that I don’t hate everything that came out of those movies.  Generally, it’s the stuff at the forefront of the screen that I don’t so much care for.  That stuff in the background?  Usually pretty cool.  Case in point: FA-4, the subject of today’s review.  Most people have no clue who this guy is.  Heck, I had no clue who this was, at least prior to purchasing this figure.  As it turns out, he’s the pilot of Count Dooku’s ship at the end of Attack of the Clones.  Far from a pivotal role, but literally everyone in Star Wars gets an action figure at some point.


fa43FA-4 was part of the final “Droid Factory” series of the Star Wars: Legacy line.  Due to the move to The Black Series in 2013, the series was put on indefinite hold, until Amazon decided to pick it up as an exclusive item.  FA-4 was originally intended to be one of the Build-A-Droids, but was made into a single release figure instead when a few assortments were combined to form this last series.  The figure stands about 3 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation, which is pretty good for the design.  The sculpt on this figure looks to be unique.  It’s quite nice, though it appears some liberties have been taken to make the design just a touch sturdier.  While I personally find it enhances the design, sticklers for screen accuracy might be a little letdown.  While FA-4 was a pretty basic design, the sculpt still manages to work in some cool small details, especially around there areas of the joints.  FA-4’s paintwork is quite nicely handled.  He’s molded in a basic gunmetal grey, with bronze accents, which look really sharp.  Despite his duller palette, I think he still manages to stand out.  FA-4’s only accessory is TC-70’s torso piece.  I’m not really planning on finishing him, so it doesn’t do a whole lot for me, but I can’t really think of much else FA-4 could have included.


FA-4 was purchased for me by my Super Awesome Girlfriend, back in July.  He has the distinction of being the last figure that I purchased from All Time Toys prior to the Ellicott City Main Street flood, which has closed down them and several other businesses for at least the next few months.  With that in mind, this figure has quite a bit of weight to bear.  Fortunately, I think he delivers.  He’s a really fun, unique figure, who’s been made all the more special for me.

#0335: Pit Droids




So, umm… run down on the Star Wars stuff I mentioned before. Prequels bad. Originals good. Toys for both. There, up to speed?

Amazingly enough, I actually don’t hate The Phantom Menace as much as the other two. It’s still not great, but I can find things to enjoy about it. The lack of a certain Hayden Christiansen really helps. Anyway, the wonders of CGI meant that we got to see some pretty decent designs that wouldn’t have otherwise been brought to life. One such design was that of the Pit Droids, the little droids that worked in Watto’s shop and on the Pod Race track (incidentally, two of my least favorite places/sequences in the movie, but not at the fault of the Pit Droids). Today, I’ll be looking at a pair of those droids.


PitDriodsWilsonThe Pit Droids were released in the Fan’s Choice assortment of the 2007 series of the Star Wars 30th Anniversary Collection. The figures are about 2 ½ inches in height and the each feature 5 points of articulation. Both Pit Droids in the set make use of the same sculpt, so I’ll just be examining it once. They are a total re-use of the Bonus Pit Droids that were released in place of the comm-tech cards included with Phantom Menace figures in countries that weren’t carrying the comm-tech reader. The figures never saw a domestic release, so it was nice for Hasbro to get them out to those that missed out. It’s a pretty decent sculpt, and seems to accurately translate the Droid design to the toy form. They seem to be a little on the large side based on the scale in the movie, but it isn’t too far off. The Pit Droids were available in three different color schemes. I got the orange/white scheme, which is the one I preferred and coincidentally the one I found. The paintwork is pretty decent. It’s cleanly applied and there aren’t any noticeable instances of bleed over or slop. Like the different color schemes, there were also different accessories offered with the figures. This particular set included a silver power converter, as well as metal coin with a Phantom Menace related design on it, denoting these figures as Fan’s Choice.


I like the Pit Droids, but given their absence from The Phantom Menace toyline, by the time they were actually released I was mostly out of collecting prequel figures. My ability to resist figures severely lowers when the figures are on sale, so when my local comicbook store, Cosmic Comix, marked all of their Star Wars figures down to $3.99, I was kinda roped in. It’s a nice little set, and if you like the Pit Droids, you’ll like these.