RAPID FIRE IMPERIAL AT-ACT (w/ SERGEANT JYN ERSO, AT-ACT DRIVER, & C2-B5)
STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE (HASBRO)
“A larger version of the standard combat AT-AT, the AT-ACT walker features a dedicated cargo bed for the transportation of heavy building materials or combat munitions. It was deployed at major Imperial construction projects, such as shipyards and sprawling research installations.”
Toy Fans can be a bit stubborn and short-sighted sometimes. There’s this innate inability to see that not every product is aimed at them, and that adult collectors only make up a very small fraction of the target audience of any given mass produced line. This means that there’s whole chunks of product not meant for us in the slightest, or at the very least, items that are designed with kids in mind first and adult collectors second. After going pretty hardcore into the adult collector sphere for a while, Hasbro has shifted their Star Wars product into a more toy-etic form, in an effort to maximize sales and appeal to the new generations of collectors being brought in by the franchise’s newest films. The new product has been an overall success for Hasbro, but some of the more hardcore sections of the fanbase have been less than pleased. There’s been a lot of crying foul, particularly when it comes to the various new vehicles, which have proved quite divisive. One of the most divisive was today’s item, the Rapid Fire Imperial AT-ACT.
THE VEHICLE ITSELF
The AT-ACT is part of Hasbro’s Star Wars: Rogue One line. It was released about a month or so after the first big product launch for Rogue One. As with the two X-Wings and the TIE Fighter, there’s a bit of assembly required when you open up the AT-ACT. The the legs, small blaster stalks for the head, and the cargo bed are packed separately from the main base body and head, and they need to be snapped into place (which takes a fair bit of force, let me tell you). Once fully assembled, the AT-ACT stands 16 inches tall and 12 inches deep. That’s far from accurate scaling for the 3 3/4 inch figures, which was a point of contention for some collectors. It should really be twice the size at least, if not even larger, since the AT-ACT was even larger than the AT-AT. To give a frame of reference, there’s a shot in Rogue One of an X-Wing fighter flying through the open cargo hold of one of these things. At best, you can probably get one of the old Action Fleet X-Wings through there. That being said, at the current size the AT-ACT’s large enough to dwarf just about everything else in a collection, all while keeping it to a manageable size for production and storage purposes. Could it have been larger? Perhaps, but for most people it’s not going to make a huge difference, and this is hardly the first time a Star Wars vehicle has been underscaled for a toyline. The sculpt on the AT-ACT does a decent enough job translating the film design into plastic form. The important details are all there, and it matches aesthetically with the vehicles from Force Awakens and the like. There’s a little bit of cheating in a few spots (such as the slightly larger head relative to the rest of the body) which has been done to maximize playability with the basic figures, but the overall appearance is still fairly close to the source material. When it comes to playability, there are two main spots that you can place the figures. Obviously, there’s a spot in the cockpit for the driver. While the film’s design has spots for two drivers, this one’s just got space for the one. This is in part due to the down-scaling, but also due to offering storage space for the four Nerf darts used by the firing feature, which I’ll touch on in a little bit. The other main spot for figures is in the main body’s removable cargo bed. It’s actually a pretty neat bit; the sides fold down on both sides, revealing a nicely detailed interior, as well as a plethora of footpegs to hold figures in place. There are even spots for the troopers to stow their rifles, which is a cool touch. The bed can be removed and deployed as a cool little base or installation, which also reveals the interior of the AT-ACT proper. There are even more details, as well as two panels that flip up to reveal footwells that can be used for standing space or additional storage. Paint is minimal on the AT-ACT, but not entirely absent; there’s some minor work throughout, and it’s all pretty decently applied. There’s also a sheet of decals to pick up some of the slack, and those work pretty well too. The AT-ACT is packed with three figures (which I’ll look at in just a second) as well as a cannon and a zipline, both of which can be plugged into either the main body of the vehicle or the cargo bed. A major selling point of this set was the two included action features. To make use of the features will require four D batteries. Both play features can be accessed using the various buttons on the AT-ACT’s back, which can be a little difficult to use. Fortunately, the AT-ACT is Bluetooth-enabled. You can download the “Star Wars: Studio FX” app to your phone and use it to control the AT-ACT remotely, which is a lot of fun. Onto the actual features! The first feature is the walking ability, which is pretty decent. It’s slow, and this thing definitely needs to be on a flat, uncarpeted surface to work best, but it’s an amusing feature. There are a number of associated sound effects and such, which help to sell the feature. There’s also a head movement capability worked into this, which is a little difficult to really get working, but nice nonetheless. The second feature is the titular “rapid fire” feature, which replicates the AT-ACT’s blaster capabilities through use of Nerf mechanics. There are four included Elite-style Nerf darts to use, and I find the feature to be generally pretty amusing myself. Don’t take my word for it, though. Here’s a word from the FiQ’s resident Nerf expert, Tim. Quoth Tim:
“With such an extensive history of military manufacturing such as G.I. Joe, Nerf, and Furby, it’s not surprising that the Galactic Empire contracted Hasbro to help develop weapons like the ones seen on the AT-ACT. The dart cannon in the walker’s head is optimized for size, using a greatly miniaturized version of the tried-and-true flywheel mechanisms seen in blasters like the Stryfe. The cannon uses a gravity-fed, 4-round magazine and an electronic pusher to feed the darts into the itty bitty flywheels, producing some rather hilariously flaccid results especially after the ominous revving noise that precedes each shot. Also, just as a fun side note, if we can assume the darts are in scale with the pilot figure, the full size projectiles would be almost 4-1/2 feet long.”
SERGEANT JYN ERSO
The first of the three included figures is the film’s leading lady, Sergeant Jyn Erso. As the main character, I suppose it makes sense to pack her in again, and they were undoubtedly trying to avoid the issues caused by leaving Rey out of the Millennium Falcon from TFA. That being said, I don’t believe Jyn ever actually interacts with an AT-ACT in the film, so her inclusion does seem a little bit out there. The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and she has 5 points of articulation. She uses the same sculpt as the Jedha variant of Jyn from Series 2 of the main line. Of course, I never got that figure, so this one’s new to me. It’s a pretty decent sculpt, and I think I like this one more than the Eadu version. The likeness to Felicity Jones is definitely improved. The paintwork also appears to be a step-up from the single-carded released. The basic colors are all the same, but the application is a lot sharper, and she’s also got some extra detailing on the legs, indicating she’s been running around on Scarif’s beaches for a bit (not that it happens in the final film, but hey, let’s go with it). It’s a little on the heavy side, but it looks decent enough. Jyn is packed with her blaster, which is painted silver, rather than molded like the single releases, which looks a lot better.
IMPERIAL AT-ACT DRIVER
The AT-ACT isn’t going to get very far without someone to drive it, right? Well, as luck would have it, the second figure included with the AT-ACT is the Imperial AT-ACT Driver. This is easily the most sensible of the three figures included. The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has the usual 5 points of articulation (though the hips are a bit limited). The larger scale AT-ACT Driver was a total parts re-use, but I don’t think that’s the case here. He’s definitely got some similarities to the basic Shoretrooper, but there are enough subtle differences between the two to illustrate that they aren’t made from the same molds. It’s a little weird that they aren’t the same sculpt, though, because the AT-ACT Driver has some slight inaccuracies to his design that would totally come from sharing parts with the Shoretrooper. Most glaringly, the skirting on his belt; the driver should have the same style of belt as the Hovertank Driver, but instead he’s got the Shoretrooper skirt, just painted the same color as the pants. It’s an odd choice. The other problem with the presence of the skirt is that it impedes the movement on his hips. Normally, I’m not a huge stickler about such things, but given that this figure’s whole purpose is being able to sit in the cockpit of the vehicle he was included with, it’s more than a little annoying. In terms of paint, this guy is fairly decent. Like the larger scale figure, he uses the deco of the AT-ACT Commander, as denoted by the grey on his shoulders. Where the larger figure kept the dark brown and bone white of the Tank Driver, this figure goes for a more straight black and white scheme. It’s not terrible, just different. The figure includes a large blaster rifle, which is the same one included with the two Scarif Troopers.
I can’t say I know much about ol’ C2 here, given its complete lack of presence in the final version of Rogue One. There were a few potential endings floating around, I suppose it’s possible C2 played a role in one of those. Or, perhaps Hasbro just really wanted to put an astromech in this set. It’s Star Wars. It wouldn’t be right if they didn’t get an astromech droid in there somewhere. This figure’s about 2 1/2 inches tall and has 3 points of articulation. C2’s a head-to-toe repaint of the Mission Series R2-D2 (which was re-released for Force Awakens as well). It’s a pretty standard astromech sculpt, so that’s reasonable. It’s a shame it couldn’t have been one of the slightly better articulated R2s, but they’re undoubtedly going for consistency here. Instead of the usual R2 colors, C2 is done up in a more imperial dark grey and silver. Not a bad look, though perhaps not the most exciting color scheme.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I was intrigued by this set when the Rogue One product started hitting, but the initial $300 price tag was just too much for me. Rather quickly after the holidays, Target started marking it down to $150. At that price, I was very much tempted, but my finances at the time didn’t really allow me to drop that much on one item. I mentioned it to my parents, but that was kind of the end of it. It disappeared from shelves, and I convinced myself that I hadn’t really needed it that much. Flash forward to my birthday this year, when I unwrapped this. Apparently, mentioning my interest in it to my parents was *not* the end of it. My mom went out the very next day and bought this, and then they hung onto it for six months. This thing got a lot of flak from the fanbase, and perhaps some of it was deserved, but this is a really, really fun toy. I’m definitely very happy to have it!