In the year 2015 I never expected that a Phantom Menace Battle Droid toy could be in contention for my action figure of the year, but here we are. This guy arrived a couple days ago and it has taken every ounce of self control in my mind not to order more. Thankfully, my inclination to hold off because of the possibility of repaints paid off. Just the other day Bandai announced a ton of new Battle Droid and Clone Trooper variants. Now I can just get one of each color to satisfy my army building needs. Not that I need to army build at this scale or price range; I only have so much space and money.
For a little guy there is just so much going on with him. He’s insanely articulated but the build quality does not suffer at all, even though the extremities are extremely thin.
The Battle Droid comes packaged in the same window box used with previous releases. He has two accessories: a blaster rifle and an optional extended antennae for his backpack. The blaster is fine but doesn’t really have anywhere to tab into so you need to rely on the grip of his tiny robot hands. His grip isn’t too bad but you do need to mess around with it a bit to get the gun snugly in there. The big thing is that you are dealing with tiny arms that need to be gripped with two hands to pose, so it’s very easy to knock that gripped gun out. It can be frustrating, but the end result is worth the extra effort.
While fiddling around with the arms it is worth noting that they can come off at the bicep swivel. I believe this is intentional because they plug right back in. The important thing to note, though, is to carefully move the joints around the bicep cut. I can see that joint wearing out in time if it is unintentionally pulled out too much. Also make sure to pull up the shoulder flaps before moving his arms up. That is another way of popping that bicep swivel by mistake.
You can store the blaster on the left side of it’s backpack. There is a little tab that swings down and the gun clips in using the trigger area.
The shoulders, arms, and head have incredible range, and this is really what makes the figure as amazing as it is. There is free reign to do whatever you want with the top half of its body. The neck is double jointed so that it can swivel at both the shoulders and at the head. The head is connected to the neck via a ball joint so you can position his silly pelican head in any pose you please. For such a simpleminded skinny robot his articulation lets it get extremely expressive.
As a little bonus, they actually made it so you can fold up the figure into its “transport” or “offline” mode. The included instructions label how to do so, but basically you fold in his legs in and over the struts on its midsection and then tuck the head in. I can’t wait ti eventually have all the color variants and line them all up in that pose. And then, of course, consider the fact that I own hundreds of dollars worth of Battle Droids. I’ll also buy an appropriately scaled S.T.A.P. for my droids to ride. Yes, I’m a masochist.
To be honest, I’d rather army build battle droids and clones than Stormtroopers. The prequels are always going to be my jam being they were basically my first introduction to Star Wars movies.
I understand it’s easy to dismiss the character since it’s fun to hate on the prequels, but if you are serious about having a great toy I would not overlook this droid. For a fodder villain, Figuarts really gave it the royal treatment with articulation that I can’t ever see being beat. I love my Darth Maul but the Battle Droid is a better toy all around. This figure really does bring me back to about a decade ago when I was building my 3 3/4″ Battle Droid army … I had a lot of them. They were awesome. These new droids are on a whole other level. Don’t miss out on them!
Depending on where you go, the Battle Droid will cost between $35 – $45. I had mine on preorder from HLJ (who appear to be out of stock now), so I was able to get the lower end of that price range. The nice thing about the small packages these figures are boxed in is that they don’t cost a lot to ship. Amazon has them in currently and the prices are fairly reasonable. Also, don’t forget that more are on the way in a variety of colors, so this isn’t your only shot at this mold.