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Galactic Friend ET

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
by yo go re

Wow, I guess it's true that eventually every character who appeared in Star Wars will get an action figure - even if it's from another company.

The Children of the Green Planet were one of the many species in the galaxy to refrain from wearing clothes. During the last days of the Old Republic they funded an extragalactic expedition project, but whether or not this expedition was ever successful or even went past the planning stage is unknown. Senator Grebleips represented the species on the Galactic Senate.

The name "Children of the Green Planet" comes from their homeworld of Brodo Asogi. Also known as Vomestra, Od-Di-Pa 5, Tum Lux O-Ty and Alata Zerka, the world's name translated as "green planet" in various languages. So we're guessing that the planet may have had a distinctive color. Unless they're calling it the Green Planet because of its innovative recycling program, which somehow manages to produce more energy than it consumes.

We're pretty sure this figure isn't meant to be Senator Grebleips - the packaging just calls him "Galactic Friend" - but it's hard to tell, because just like your racist grandfather, all these brown faces look alike to us. Apparently the design was based on Carl Sandburg, Albert Einstein and Ernest Hemingway, and you can kind of see that, but for the most part he just looks like a fleshy peanut.

In the package, the figure is draped in a fine ceremonial robe... or maybe it's just a blanket that's thrown around his shoulders. It's molded from PVC, and the texture actually looks like like cloth rather than clay - that's really hard to do! From the credits on the bottom of the packaging, we'd guess that's the work of Anthony Minichino. There are two pegs under the flap to hold the thing closed, and allowing you to remove it when you want. We'd recommend against using them, however, because the actual peg part (made from ABS) can detach from the PVC. And really, you don't need to worry about them anyway, because the whole thing can slide up over his head. It's a lot easier than getting the coat off the Flasher Gremlin, that's for sure.

The body, sculpted by Adrienne Smith, is a ghastly abomination in the eyes of God. It looks like a pile of delicious, freshly carved Arby's roast beef stood up and began to walk around (attention Arby's: we're available to provide fine product endorsements like this - let's talk compensation!). There are definite anatomical parallels between this little guy and a human body, but the proportions have been completely redone. His hips are wider than his shoulders, he's got a little pot belly, and the entire length of his legs is less than the length of his feet. Meanwhile, his noodle-thin arms would reach the ground if he didn't hold them at an angle, and his skin hangs in loose puddles around his hips. The figure stands less than 5" tall.

The articulation is all you could hope for. There are balljoints at both the top and bottom of the neck, swivel/hinge joints at the shoulders and elbows, balljointed hips and swivel wrists. What else could they possibly give him? A waist? He doesn't have one, so there's nowhere to put the joint. The paint is mainly just brown, browner and off-brown, but it's still done pretty well, with appropriate shadows and highlights. His big blue eyes are top-notch, but watch out for splotches around the nose - that was the only issue noticed when comparing figures at the store. The tip of his right index finger is red-orange. Apparently the Children of the Green Planet have glowing chests and fingers, and that's what this is meant to represent. It doesn't quite work, though; it looks too solid, like he dipped his finger in paint.

Another feature of this species is that they have extending necks. Rather than duplicating that ability by having the neck pull up out of the torso, the figure has an extra terrestrial interchangeable neck - remember how we said there were balljoints at both ends of the neck? That's why. Pop the head and neck off, swap in the new neck, and there you go. The neck is (wisely) covered by an explanatory sticker in the packaging, because otherwise everyone would think it was... well, nevermind what they'd think it was, they just wouldn't think it was a neck. It's only about ¼" longer than his "normal" neck, but that's enough. The set also includes a bag of nameless orange, brown and yellow candies - maybe they're pieces of a Dawkin's Peanut Butter Disk. It's a shame we couldn't get some kind of label on the bag. Otherwise, the inclusion of candy really takes us back to some of NECA's earliest toys.

Senator Grebleips and the Children of the Green Planet only appeared briefly in The Phantom Menace, and yet here we are, looking at a toy of a member of his species. A whole series of toys, in fact! There are two in this first assortment, and two more coming later in the year. If you're a fan of this nameless Child of the Green Planet, though, you'll really like this toy. This is the iconic version, too, so if you're only getting one, this is the one to get.

-- 05/19/12

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