Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Wampa Pen - Useless Deluxe Packs

Is there truly such a thing as a "useless toy"? I mean, in general, all toys are. But I will argue: yes, yes, there are useless Deluxe Packs. Namely, Anakin Skywalker and the Republic Attack Shuttle. Why? Well, you'll have to read on to find out.

A repaint should never be a prepaint. Confused? Okay, good. I love confusing my readers. What does that mean? Well, we’ll get there.

A prepaint is an interesting term that I first heard about the Deena Shan in Imperial Disguise figure. The sculpt was intended to come out first as the Juno Eclipse figure from the Force Unleashed line, but that was delayed so this one came out first. They are the same mold, even the same headsculpt. I have also heard the term applied to the Mace Windu Battalion Airborne Trooper before the mold came out in the first wave of the 30th Anniversary Collection, but I’m not sure if that’s accurately applied.

Is it accurately applied here? I don’t know. And that’s what this article is about. The item I want to discuss is the Anakin Skywalker and Republic Attack Shuttle. The original release was Obi-Wan Kenobi, in his Season 1-3.5 armor with a new headsculpt and the body painted in Republic red. The Obi-Wan Kenobi release was canceled alongside a Boba Fett and Speeder Bike pack, but only this sculpt was brought back to life.

This item was touted as the Republic Attack Shuttle for those who couldn’t afford or fit the bigger one. Most BMF-style (Big Millenium Falcon, of course) vehicles had a corresponding item: the AT-TE had a Battle Pack of Clone Troopers, the Turbo Tank had a Deluxe two-pack of clones with cannons and the Shuttle was supposed to have this. (Yes, it was definitely less applicable but we ate it up anyway.)

Let me just start out with a complaint that I feel applies to both of the packs: Why are they packed with Jedi??? The last two accompaniment packs at least had army building potential, regardless of whether or not you actually wanted to army build them. Putting a Jedi with anything instantly cuts down the need to buy more than one. Because, by raise of hands, who doesn’t have at least one S3 Anakin who wanted one? There were two, one was a terribly overpacked Shadows of the Dark Side release and a Season 3.5-4 Anakin with a new sculpt has been forced on the pegs just a few days ago. If we were to want more than one, we can’t do that. If the point was, “we’ll include Anakin so that it’s obviously 501st colors!”, that’s pretty dumb, honestly. How many 501st pilots are there; heck, how many just straight up BLUE pilots are there? (Answer: many.) Instantly more army buildable and more recognizable with the 501st Legion.

But the 501st colors are my next complaint. Hasbro, how many vehicles actually have the ability to be painted into different clone squad colors? Many: Y-Wings, Republic Gunships, IFT-X, newly created mini-rigs, etc. Yes, I am saying that this had every right to be painted as a 501st ship. But, let’s look at the examples. The Y-Wings first release was in its familiar yellow pattern, regardless that it was in Anakin and not the Clone Trooper colors. Gunships have been red for the longest time, minus one or two stray releases. BUT, how many Gunships are available? At least two have been available in the few years the Clone Wars line has existed in generic Republic red. Before receiving 501st and 41st Elite colors, the IFT-X came out in Republic red. So why is the first release of this mini-rig a Legion specific blue? I know that people love the Legion, but that cuts my display options down. Do only collectors care? Sure. A kid will just play with this however the heck he wants and I won’t argue that’s wrong. But, can’t we get a bone? I wanted this ship to be used with anybody I wanted, but it just screams 501st and it will stand out in most displays as “different.” Is that splitting hairs? Maybe, but I feel like this is too weird a release. There’s no problem with basic red, is there? :/

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