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Final Battle Aang

Avatar: the Last Airbender
by yo go re

It's hard to be the "last" airbender when we end up double-dipping.

With the Fire Nation on the brink of global domination, a young girl and her brother discover a 12-year-old Airbender who reveals himself as the Avatar. It's up to Katara and Sokka to help Aang face his destiny and save the tribe. Will this irresponsible kid accept his destiny in time to save the world?

Until now, all the character-specific bios we've used in these reviews have come from the official Nickelodeon site - that one you just read is what's actually on the back of the packaging. After all, we already reviewed one Aang, so this one would have just duplicated the same text. Also, while that review said there'd been a "final battle" Aang in Series 1, this Series 4 release is actually called Final Battle Aang, but there are definite differences between them.

For one thing, this one doesn't look like a maniac goofnut. There are expressions between stoic and unhinged, you know, and Aang sometimes displays them. Making this one intense works though, because he's in the Avatar State: fully powered up and connected to the infinite lineage that came before him. That'll put some weight on your mind!

The paint is what makes it clear Aang has gone Super Saiyan: instead of being blue, all his tattoos are painted white, as are his eyes. When we've seen other Avatars stating it up, their eyes do the same thing, but none of the other nations have tattoos, so they miss out on the fun. Also missing out on fun? Not using glow-in-the-dark paint to further the illusion here. Before Aang took his shirt off, we all assumed the arrows on his arms would connect to the one on his back, not twist around to dead-end in his armpits. Showing a good attention to detail, DST has remembered to paint the scar in the center of Aang's back that, for a time, kept him from being able to Avatar at all.

Final Battle Aang gets some new molds, because he's stripped to the waist. The legs and arms were also used for the Series 1 figure, but the chest had to be new, because the existing mold was designed to look like cloth around the stomach area, not the rock-hard abs of a 12-year-old. And since he's now barefoot, those had to be redone as well. The figure includes your choice of fists, gripping hands, open hands, or chopping hands; they swap out at the wrist with no trouble, and all the pairs are painted with the arrow tattoos as they should be.

Aang's original glider staff was lost after the Coup of Ba Sing Se, and for a long time he simply had to go without - partially because he was trying to keep a low profile while in the Fire Nation, and partially because it had been 100 years since anybody alive had known how to make new ones. Aang was eventually gifted a new, modern version by an Earth Kingdom mechanist, and this toy comes with that. It's most easily differentiated from his original by the fact that the wings on it are blue, rather than orange, but the wings are a different style as well (more like Da Vinci's flying machine). The set's clear display stand doesn't have a clip to support the glider, like the Series 2 Aang's did; there's a hole in the stick you can plug the display arm into, but it's between the glider and the toy's body. How is that supposed to work? As before, we also get a "collapsed" version, that's basically just a plain brown stick.

What's really exciting, though, is the elemental effect piece. All the benders have come with appropriate effects (sorry, Sokka), so that trend wasn't about to stop now. Of course, since Aang is in the Avatar State, he's easily able to bend all four elements at once, so how do you choose which one to give him? Well, you don't: we get a piece that plugs into his back and represents earth, air, fire, and water all swirling around his body at once. It's cast from clear plastic, then given appropriate apps on three of the tendrils to capture the look of the intended element. It seems like this is supposed to represent the big ball Aang wrapped himself in during the fight with Ozai, and while it's not perfect, it's a nice effort.

Right now, Diamond Select has not announced any further figures in their Avatar line. We already named a bunch of characters we'd love to see made, but let's add all the kids in their Fire Nation clothes to it. That would give them enough main character variations to fill a bunch more series. This line may have room for improvement, but we'd hate to see it end now.

-- 09/25/21

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