Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Star Wars Legacy Collection: Imperial Scanning Crew Review

Once in a while, there's a figure that I haven't really expected would come out but does. This is one of those "I've got to have this!" figures for two reasons: 1. I don't have this figure and the sculpt looks decent enough; and 2. I can use this figure as a kit-bash custom for my AT-ST vehicle! The Imperial Scanning Crew has been released twice: Once as a Kenner "exclusive" found and sold only with the "Star Wars Power of the Force: Millennium Falcon Carry Case" and once as a stand-alone figure from Hasbro's "The Original Trilogy Collection". The main differences in Hasbro's ISC consist of (the good) the superior sculpt and articulation, (the bad) few accessories (and especially poor choice of one particular accessory).

Flavor Text:

"Imperial Scanning Crew BD32

An Imperial scanning crew checks the Millennium Falcon to make sure no one is on board. The two-man crew brings the scanner onto the ship and quickly discovers the vessel is not as empty as it first appeared to be."

The Good:

  • The Imperial Scanning Crew (ISC) has 22 points of articulation: ball-jointed head, ball-jointed/swivel shoulders, ball-jointed/swivel elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist, swivel hips, ball-jointed/swivel knees, and ball-jointed/swivel ankles.

  • The facial sculpt of the ISC is top-notch. His face is distinct enough and yet at the same time forgettable enough, just like those cannon-fodder Stormtroopers. However, the only thing that [slightly] bothers me about his face is... well, he looks very upset and arrogant for an ISC. His facial expression fits better with an Imperial Officer of some sort. Despite the shortcoming, I do like the nice change of eye color (the ISC's eyes are blue) and his funky sideburns.

  • Accessory-wise: remember the news that the ISC might not come with the scanner? Well, he DOES come with one! It doesn't stop there, because he's also got an BlasTech E-11 Imperial blaster pistol, and 1x BAD (Build-A-Droid) right "leg" of R3-A2.

The Bad:

  • One of the major downsides is that his little cap isn't removable like Captain Needa's. It is rather sculpted as part of the ISC's head. I'm extremely disappointed with this because I so badly wanted to use the ISC as an alternative AT-ST driver for the "Walmart-Exclusive" AT-ST vehicle (the AT-ST driver's helmet fits on the ISC's head surprisingly well).

  • This is really nitpicking, but the ISC's hands seem a bit too big. You know what they say about people with hands bigger than their face...?

  • The BlasTech E-11 Imperial blaster pistol doesn't fit snugly in its holster. If it doesn't fit, then what is the point of having one in the first place?

  • Dammit Hasbro! I wish they would stop "rubber-banding" the blaster to the figure's hand (especially the hand that can't even hold the weapon in the first place). I'm on to you, Hasbro. As I've mentioned in my previous review, this "rubber-banding" warps the shape of the plastic permanently. The blaster that came with the ISC kind of looked like it could use a little Viagra.

The Ugly:

  • Remember the scanner accessory? Although Hasbro relented and included the scanner, it's just terrible. The photo of the accessory depicted on the back of the card looks nothing like what I got. Also, I don't recall ever seeing the contents of the scanner, but I'm pretty sure it didn't look like the accessory that comes with the ISC. What further cheapens this accessory is the fact that Hasbro has even gone even further by adding two "wheelies" to help the ISC with his duties. Why couldn't Hasbro given us a repainted version of the scanner within the container found in Star Wars Power of the Force: Millennium Falcon Carry Case with Imperial Scanning Crew Figure?

Additional Notes:

  • At first glance, it looked like and certainly felt like the ISC couldn't move his arms all the way up due to the "deceptive" sculpt. However, my frustrations got the best of me which led me to force his arms all the way up, which he complied with some resistance. I promise, you won't break your figure. Or I'm extremely lucky.

I purchased the Imperial Scanning Crew online via BriansToys* for approximately $11.00 (price doesn't include S&H, which they charge separately for some reason). At this time, I recommend shopping around through eBay and other fine online retailers like BigBadToyStore for these. I've seen some sellers on eBay price them at $6.99 to $14.95 (not including S&H). Or else, the old-fashioned way of visiting your nearest Walmart or Toysrus is another way to go (if you have the patience and long for the adventure), which may sell them for $7.00 a piece.

*From my past experiences with BriansToys, they usually charge ridiculously high prices for regular Star Wars figures. However, almost always they deliver the figures in C-8 or better condition.


What really hurt this figure is the lousy scanner accessory.
Note to Hasbro, it's better
not to include something that isn't "movie accurate" (or even recognizable) rather than include it and cheapen the overall [collector] value as a whole. However, the Legacy Collection's Imperial Scanning Crew is another solid entrance in "figures that need updating for quite some time" category. I really hope Hasbro releases a newly sculpted AT-ST driver using the same body as the ISC. Although $11.00 is asking for a bit much, this is one figure you can't ignore.