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Pit Droids

SWI: The Phantom Menace
by yo go re

Though US fans generally have an easier time being toy collectors than their counterparts in the rest of the world, there are a few times when we undeniably get screwed. Nemesis Prime was insanely hard to get in the US, but showed up for half price on the shelves of Australia's Toy World store. Or how about Collector Edition Batman, which wasn't even offered in North America? At least these little guys have finally seen an official mass-market release.

Pit droids help repair and maintain podracers with zealous efficiency. Small yet incredibly strong, pit droids often dash onto the racetrack before the vehicles have stopped, risking their mechanical lives in their eagerness to get to work.

Awww, pit droids! Most adorable of the new droids introduced in Episode I. And not in a terrible, saccharine way, either: these little workers were certifiably cute, but still performed their programed function. It's like they they were designed to be lovably stupid. I mean, come on: their official designation is the DUM-series. How can you not love that?

does Hasbro hate us? These particular pit droids were originally Ep.1 pack-ins for the Asian market. Remember those insipid Commtech chips we were all stuck with back in '99? Well apparently some places were smart enough to refuse the damn things, and they got free droids in return. Each figure came with either a battle droid or a pit droid, and that mold is the one that's been doubled up for this Saga Legends release.

The design is nice. The figures are just over 3" tall, counting the antennae, that is not brown and have as much of the movie detail as can be crammed into their thin bodies. Their hips and shoulders are swivels, allowing the spindly limbs to flail wildly up and down, but their saucer-shaped heads are on a balljoint, for maximum poseability. And personality. Without any elbows or knees, the arms and legs are pre-posed, but that doesn't mean they're static or boring. The right arm is bent and the knees are flexed (which makes it a little tough to stand these guys), so you can just imagine them skittering around all crazy-like.

There were three different paint apps on the bonus Pit Droids, and they've all been re-created here. Big Al says droids can't look up The first release was white with black details, the second release was red with silver trim, and the third was tan with orange trim. They all use the same bodies, which was a bit disappointing - the original pack-ins had both a "standing" and "sitting" version, and two different accessories. The original plan was for a two-pack featuring one of each, but Hasbro couldn't find the molds in time, so instead we got two standing. To really drive fans nuts, though, they eventually released a two-pack of the seated droids, with the other accessory.

up yours, Skywalker! All this talk of accessories and we haven't even mentioned what you'll get in this set! It's a silver... suitcase... thing. Yeah. The ones included with the 1999 droids had some pretty nice paint apps, while these are solid silver. The thing is a hexagonal tube, with ribbed sides and two large handles. There's a square opening on opposite sides, and the whole thing splits in half. Weird, right? Star Wars fans may not recognize this thing, but they'll probably recognize the name: apparently this is a power converter.

It's fun to get two Pit Droids at once, get up, sleepyhead! even if they're two of the same. Yes, a mixed pack would have been better, but then Hasbro wouldn't have been able to sell six different variations of this set. Convenient, huh? And while the power converter is a cool accessory, it would have been even better if they'd dug out the "collapsed pit droid" accessory that came with some horrible Jar Jar Binks in 2001 and hasn't been seen since: how excellent would it have been to get a standing droid, a sitting droid, and a folded-up droid all on one card?


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