Review by JoshB
One of the most brilliant things about the Animated Clone Wars series is the opportunity to explore the evolution of technology. Whether Lucas meant it or not, there is a certain visual aesthetic that evolves over the course of the series.
Episode 4 featured worn out technology. Everything looked used, dirty, cannibalized. With episode 1, all the technology is new and shiny Chrome ships and bright neon lights. From episode 2 into Episode 3 we begin to see glimpses of this technology being used, getting worn and battle scarred. But It is in the clone wars that the designers have an opportunity to explore the technology of the saga. Already a myriad of new vehicles have been introduced to the series, but we’ve also gotten to see the origin of one of the rebellion’s most classic vehicles – the Y-Wing fighter.
The Y-Wing we grew up with in the 80’s was a skeletal vehicle. It doesn’t have a big part in the movies, and is seen only briefly in the hangar on Yavin and during the death star run. But once Kenner decided to make a vehicle of it, it instantly became a more important part of the mythos.
The original toy was fantastic. I had one as a kid. It was loaded with gimmicks like dropping bombs, a rotating turret, and an electronic buzzing sound. Another cool feature was the ability to place your own astromech droid behind the pilot – something the X-Wing lacked. All that plus lever activated landing gear and an opening cockpit – well, damn that was a great toy. It is no wonder we all have such fond memories of it.
The one from my childhood is long gone, in a dump somewhere I am sure. So when a re-release came out recently I was all over it. It brought back memories. Unfortunately, they took a lot out of the toy. No electronics, no motorized turret, no removable droid. Hasbro had done a new x-wing a few years ago that was in-scale with their 3/34 figures and it was epic – why not do this with the Y-Wing?
Someone must have heard my wish, because at this year’s toy fair Hasbro announced a new Y-Wing…. From the Clone Wars.
This Y-Wing appears to be in-scale with the 3 ¾ figures and represents the ship as it was new, before all the armor had been removed. The rebellion modified the hell out of their ships, and one way was to remove unnecessary plating to increase speed and maneuverability.
This toy is a monster. It is grand in scope. It makes me feel like I am 10 again. It makes me feel small.
The box is big, but not as big as some of the recent offerings. It’s sturdy cardboard, with a die-cut front showing an action scene through the holes. This is part of a gimmick where part of the box becomes a diorama.
Taking the toy out is simple, and there is little assembly. The long engines need to be snapped in, and the missile launchers attached. Included is an instruction sheet, catalog and sticker sheet.
The stickers are old-school. They feel like they are made out of paper, and all they do is add a little texture around the vehicle. There are maybe 30-or so stickers, most of them off-white.
The cockpit holds two figures – one pilot and one gunner. The pilot cockpit opens from the side (like the old one) and features a separately molded steering wheel and detailed interior. The rear seat is covered by a smoky translucent dome with tilting cannons. This too has a molded steering apparatus. Unfortunately, the turret does not rotate, and they don’t tilt that much.
On either side of the cockpit are buttons to launch missiles under the nose. These buttons are sort of flat and easily missed. In fact, what ends up happening is I forget the button is there and when I grab the vehicle I end up launching the missiles.
Behind the cockpit is a place to store an astromech droid (not included). You need to lift the panel up to fit the droid inside. The space seems too deep to fit a clone wars droid, as the head of the droid just barely pops out. Perhaps if you leave the third leg in?
The next major gimmick is the opening bays on the body. Pressing buttons on either side opens the spring-loaded top doors in a slow, fluid motion. The missile launchers on the doors can each hold two missiles which fly off at the press of a button. The cavity left inside is huge, and can store all of the missiles and then some. Extra details like the detailing inside the ship really make a big difference.
The two large engines on the back are removable. The instruction book actually lists this as a play value item, saying it simulates Battle Damage. Once each engine is removed you can see the same engine that is visible on the classic Y-Wing.
Underneath the ship you have three landing gear that need to be lowered manually, as well as two bombs that can be dropped by pressing buttons above.
So what’s not to love?
That diorama I mentioned? Useless. It’s not long enough to fit the 27” long Y-Wing.
Also - it’s about $65.00. And for that we should get a little something more. Maybe lights? Included figures? Weathering detail? Removable panels? Who knows. But this is how these things are these days. Everything costs more, and if we want vehicles of this size, we will have to pay for them.
Personally, I don’t regret this purchase one bit. Now, where to put it?
|Posted 11 November, 2009 - 11:50 by JoshB|