Vintage Collection

VCMP

Imperial Officers

Info and Stats
Year:  
2023
MSRP:  
$54.99
Availability:  
Hasbro Pulse
Definitive Status:  
Definitive
 
This is the only version of this item you will need.
Grade:  
9/10 Bantha Skulls
 
* Bantha Skull is compensated for any purchases made through these Ebay links.
* Bantha Skull is compensated for any purchases made through these Ebay links.
Review by: Bret
Review date: 11/06/2023

This.  This is the thing I wanted - almost.  It is the merger of two things that are among my favorite in TVC so far.  With VC270 Admiral Piett, we finally got the modern Imperial Officer buck that we’ve wanted for, like, forever.  And leveraging the potential of army builder 4 pack “expression”, Hasbro put these two great things together.  It’s like that old Reese’s Peanut Butter commercial.  (By the way, you’re an idiot if you’ve been pronouncing it “Ree Cee’s” like the Kelce brothers do.)  Of course, nothing is perfect, because I hate peanut butter in my desserts/candy.  The only thing worse is coconut.  But at least peanut butter is edible, unless you have an allergy in which case it could kill you until you die from it.  Coconut, however, is the exact same thing as putting soap onto your food.  Mmmm.  Whoever first came up with the idea to put small shavings of a bar of Ivory on chocolate should be beaten senseless. I don’t even know where I was going with this.  I’m so angry.  I can’t believe I spent $400 on Sunday Ticket so I can watch the unwatchable Giants humiliate themselves week after week. 

Right.  Anyway…

Admiral Piett was a top figure.  It wasn’t inherently exciting because it was just an old guy in a plain uniform that didn’t do a whole lot, despite having just very good (not excellent) articulation.  But it fulfilled a wish held by many long time collectors.  The POTF2 Piett was beyond long in the tooth, and it was an embarrassment that we had to continue to include it in our displays.  Not only was he now upgraded to modern standards, but it unlocked a larger world for TVC; a world in which our imperial officers actually resembled their on screen counterparts, could be painted with consistent colors to avoid the “gray rainbow” effect (about which I ranted back in 2018), and can actually sit!  By the way, Chris recently ranted on our Livestream with MAKMCSWF about the absence of chairs in 3.75, and I think Ed Mercer would agree.

Aside from the hat that some collectors complained was too thick, there wasn’t much wrong with the officer base figure.  So Hasbro went ahead and started pumping out a few officers in the main line, including VC284 Moff Jerjerrod and the upcoming VC296 Grand Admiral Thrown (review coming soon) and VC304 Director Krennic.  But although 4 officers in a matter of 34 numbered TVC figures may be a lot, there’s no way the larger community beyond a lot of the old schoolers would want the line to be 50% officers like it was for Mandalorians and ARC troopers for a while.  So in order to keep striking while the iron was hot without grinding the basic line to a halt, Hasbro wisely opted to make use of the army builder 4-pack. 

Now here’s the part where the peanut butter (not my favorite, if you recall) comes in.  The set is great on paper, but the controversy begins when Hasbro includes named characters into a troop builder pack.  Yes, officially the figures aren’t named anywhere on the package, but they can’t fool us!  In this set, we get two “named” officers, and two generic officers.  One of the named is Piett.  Yes, Piett again.  But I’ll happily allow it, because Hasbro used this opportunity to grant us one of our top collector-driven wishes:  a rank variant.  While VC270 was name-pilled as “Admiral” Piett, we all know that it’s really a captain’s insignia.  The wardrobe malfunction had Piett wear the wrong rank throughout the entirety of ROTJ, however, the correct 6-over-6 badge appeared for the last half of ESB, after Piett’s battlefield promotion. 

The other “named” figure in the set is Admiral Conan Motti.  Like Piett, it’s been forever since we had the character updated.  The 2000 POTF2 Commtech figure was neat for its day, and it was reissued in the Briefing Room set in 2006 for The Saga Collection.  The figure had a rare hinged left elbow, so that Motti could be posed tugging at his collar while being Force Choked by Lord Vader who used his sorcerer’s ways to frighten him.  This TVC figure, while superior in every other possible way, is simply unable to replicate that vital pose.  In fact, it exposes the general articulation weakness in the sculpt, in that the knees and elbows do not flex past 90 degrees, something that most modern figures can accomplish, allowing for much more realistic an varied poses.  Typically not a huge deal for the standard officer, but Motti can’t do his iconic thing, and that’s a disappointment.  Otherwise the face sculpt is a major leap forward from the previous figure, although I don’t know if I’d call it a dead ringer for Richard Le Parmentier.

The other two figures are generic officers.  One is from the ISB, including a bright white uniform and black hat.  The other is a captain in a standard grey outfit (like VC270 Piett).  These are welcome additions to the background of a display, but the choice to include 2 named characters together with 2 generics seems odd.  What I would have preferred to see - and I don’t know how marketable this would be - would be a set of generic officers (including at least one wearing black), and a set of named officers.  Or perhaps Hasbro could knock out the Briefing Room scene with a larger pack (like the Modal Nodes), and then just pump out a bunch of generics in different uniforms with different head sculpts.  There are a bunch of ways to go, but I wouldn’t claim to understand the logistics and economics of doing these things, so here we are.

The set includes 3 hats (Motti doesn’t have one), as well as 4 officer pistols, and 2 E-11 blasters.  Interestingly, the blasters include some silver details that normally would be considered a “premium” touch. 

Perhaps most noticeable with this set, if it was apparent from the mainline officers that you may or may not have picked up yet, Hasbro has figured out how to make some subtle changes to the uniform.  The rank badges are physically different (including the blue/red/yellow pips being painted appropriately), but so are the silver code cylinders.  I have no idea how they managed this.  In the past, Hasbro had attempted a “modular” approach, with the rank badge being a separate piece (this was only realized on a small number of figures) to accommodate changes, and the cylinders being simply painted on, not sculpted.  And not only that, but some versions of the officers have a holster to accommodate the pistol.  The upcoming Thrawn figure has additional changes, which I’ll get into when I do the review.

All this is to say that the set is fantastic overall, but with one unfortunate flaw (Motti can’t grab his collar) and one controversy (named/generics together in one pack).  Those negatives, while noteworthy, are not enough to hamper my excitement for the set - although I will give it a 9/10 instead of a perfect 10.  The officer buck is great, and it’s just a joy to finally be checking off this important need in TVC.  (I picked up 2 sets.)  Hopefully Hasbro gives us a couple additional in the basic line soon, but considers using this format to pump out a bunch more.

* Bantha Skull is compensated for any purchases made through these Ebay links.
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