View Full Version : Which Type Of Action Feature Is Most OK By You?

11-18-2002, 01:45 PM
Action features started appearing in our figures since 1999 when the Deluxe Figures Hasbro offered for Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Darth Maul, featured lightsaber moves you could activate with a button on their back.

In favor of the features, the button was unobtrusive and the sculpts offered some cool though pre-posed sculpts of the main combatants.

To be sure though, the figures' articulation and balance to stand on their own saw sacrafice.

In 2002, action features hit as the standard for all Collection 1 figures.

Kit Fisto had the least visible snap-back lightsaber swing, while R2D2 had real lights and sounds.

The Force could be accessed through magnets, while many figures had quick-draw features, spring loaded weapons, and Anakin even had a lightsaber that extended out of a hilt molded to his arm.

The Destroyer Droid blew apart and could be reassembled with battle damage, while Count Dooku had lightsaber moves and Yoda could levitate himself in battle.

Now it appears that Mace Windu will be offered with an action feature knob that plugs into his back, and might be larger than his entire torso.

These action features are so diverse, that they are almost uncomparable to each other. Some work, others do not.

Please think of your favorite figures with these kinds of added features, and vote for the style which is the most OK by you. Then let's discuss it as we look towards the 2003 action figure line.

11-18-2002, 01:57 PM
I voted for Droid in a Bag, although I never really thought of it as an action feature. To me, it's just another way to create an figure of a character at a particular moment in the story. The other features, to me, detract from the overall likeness of the character. While it might be interesting to have a figure drop kick an accessory, it's really only fun the first time then the novelty is gone. Even when my kids play with some of these things, the same is true. Cool for a few minutes, then easily forgotten about. Overall, action features just aren't worth Hasbro's time.

11-18-2002, 02:01 PM
I don't really mind any of them. I think most of them work well, and don't ruin the sculpts. The kick action on Anakin is a tad lame though. They should have just gave him saber swinging action. I'm not going to vote right now though.

I would have voted the quick draw feature, on Zam or especially Padme: Pilot. Pilot Padme's quick draw doesn't ruin her sculpt or articulation. Unfortunatly Tycho chose the absolute worst figure to represent the quick draw catagory. :)


Jar Jar Binks

11-18-2002, 02:08 PM
There have been so many "weird" changes to figures that it is really hard to recall them all. I remember when Obi-Wan, Vader, and Luke came out with buttons that you pushed for "light-up" sabers. This made these figures bulky and rather ugly. The Fireballs and "Force Sticks" shooting out of figures are cool and add some "play-value" to children -- but I believe Collectors dont like these -- they take away from some of the articulation. Small buttons that allow the figures to swing the sabers and such are acceptable, as long as they do NOT effect these figures fitting inside certain vehicles. Lights and sound effects within R2-D2 are GREAT -- as are "blow apart" droids. In 2003 -- I would like to see figures have better articulation, cloth capes, and NO weird apendages sticking out of figures!

11-18-2002, 02:34 PM
I voted "I can't stand the features" as that was the best answer that fit my thinking. However, it's quite extreme for me as I think Hasbro did a very good job trying to hide the levers, thumbrollers, etc that make these features "act"

The reason I don't like action features or could just do without them is that I don't use them. I put my figures in dioramas and there they stay unless I put them in different scenes.

I do think that "button" on the back of bespin luke really detracts from the coolness of the figure BUT I really like the threepio light up eyes and r2d2 sounds and lights, so I guess those kind are ok :)

11-18-2002, 03:04 PM
I was wondering why the rocket-firing R5-D4 wasn't on this list, or are we all trying to forget him? I would have definitely voted for that as the best!

No, seriously, I voted for the Chewbacca Droid, becase it is a feature that add's to the authenticity of the figure without taking anything away from it's overall looks, or posability. But honestly. . . these toys are geared towards kids who actaully play with them, so as cheesy as a action-feature may seem. . . the kids probobly love it. Cool poll, though.

11-18-2002, 03:11 PM
Even though the Cannon isn't really an action feature as much as it is a cool accessory (as is the Threepio in a bag), I voted for the cannon. I am SO not looking forward to seeing Mace Windu with the throat lozenge on a stick feature that's coming out next year.

More articulation, fewer action features and action poses!!!

11-18-2002, 03:12 PM
Bobafett07728 -- We ALL just ALMOST had forgotten R5-D4 -- but NOOOOOOO -- you had to go there and pull him out ofthe trash!!

The C-3P0 with the light up eyes was GREAT -- but could have been ALOT better if he would have come with all the parts to build him.

Stillakidd -- Im with you -- The figures that I do open -- usually just sit there. I have no need for the wheels and buttons.

11-18-2002, 03:15 PM
Definately the clonetrooper.

Jango's missle is hard to fire.

11-18-2002, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by JEDIpartnr
Even though the Cannon isn't really an action feature as much as it is a cool accessory (as is the Threepio in a bag), I voted for the cannon. I am SO not looking forward to seeing Mace Windu with the throat lozenge on a stick feature that's coming out next year.

More articulation, fewer action features and action poses!!!

I thought this Mace was in the Deleted Scene of ATOC.

"This party is over -- I have a real bad cold and my cough drop just got shoved through my back!"

11-18-2002, 03:55 PM
Most of the figures are different even from each other in some respect, to fit in totally definitive categories.

QUICK DRAW FIGURES: supposedly include...

Padme Arena Conflict - who's arm is permanently up in firing pose

Zam Wessel - who's very same arm is detachable for battle damage

Han Solo - who's pose is also exagerrated

Padme N-1 Pilot - who's very articulate and flexible for posing.

I'd say that Padme Pilot and Zam Wessel are pretty good figures.


R2-D2 and C-3PO as Chewbacca's pack-in fit this category by themselves, however, Threepio isn't really the figure, Chewie is and 3PO's more of an accessory.

These are great figures, and R2D2 continues to remain one of the most popular E2 action figures.


The Clone Captain and Gunship Pilot figures seem to fit this category perfectly - they have completely separate firing accessories that any figure can use.

Jango Fett Kamino Escape also has a firing backpack, however, most figures cannot wear this accessory and he is also a "disguise figure" like Zam Wessel who can change faces, while Fett dons a Mandalorian battle helmet (and also boasts a grapling hook).

Even Anakin Peasant Disguise has a separate accessory that other Jedi with Force magnets could easily use to open the storage chest and grab the blaster.

Most of these figures are pretty good - well, the Clones and their progenerator...


I didn't really put the Super Battle Droid in this category, because it also has a firing weapon more common to other figures. However, C-3PO may be assembled just as the Super Droid (in general terms) but Threepio doesn't blast apart (just wait, I'm sure they're dreaming up a Bespin version of him that does!)

More relevant though, the Super Droid does fire a weapon.


Jango Fett Final Battle fits this category with an awesome flamethrower feature. He also sports a removeable head, fitting in the battle damage category that Anakin Hanger Duel and Zam Wessel also join.

However, his firing weapon works rather well, and similar to Jango Kamino Escape's rocket firing feature, and the Super Battle Droid's cannon arm.

The firing feature is pretty well hidden, and makes a neat, and working effect for play or dioramas.


Kit Fisto works very differently from Mace Arena Rescue as well as Count Dooku.

You twist Kit Fisto, who's in a permanent pose, and he springs back when you release him. It's hard to watch the transition since by the time your hand is out of the way, he's back in his stand-alone pose in less than 1 second.

Mace Windu has a button to activate his feature. It is small, but still additional to the sculpt, not to mention it limits the articulation in his right arm.

Count Dooku's feature is hidden by moving his legs to make him twist and slash. It is by far the best way to go about adding this kind of feature and is easy to hold him and watch him make his moves. The feature does not interfere with Dooku standing, or his articulation and poseability. (I only wish his head wasn't molded looking up, as if other characters were taller than him. They are not! -but maybe that's to look at levitating Yoda. I don't know...)

Dooku's pretty much a great figure, and the feature I play with the most out of any of these. I VOTED FOR THE LIGHTSABER SLASHING EFFECTS LIKE DOOKU, but it is certain that I did not appreciate Mace or especially Kit Fisto's feature in this category - so for me it depends on how it's done.


Anakin is the only figure to do this so far. He's a good figure, and I don't mind the feature, nor does it limit poseability too much. I think future figures that kick will be limited, however some we might see could / should include:

Phantom Menace Obi-Wan Kenobi - scissors kick (but with Jedi robe on!)

Jedi Luke Skywalker (from the Death Star 2 or when he kicks blasters out of skiff guard hands - removeable vest would solve this...)

Bespin Luke Skywalker - when he kicks Vader off the freezing platform.

Rain Battle Obi-Wan, when he kicks Jango in flight, and off the landing platform.

Back-spin Kick Darth Maul could be cool, if they figure out how to do it. I think Maul should always wait a while - we've seen too many of them for sure! But at least this one would be authentic for the kids who just get into Star Wars around the time of Episode 3 when perhaps even Jango Fett figures might be scarce (imagine that!)

Even Endor Battle Leia could kick a Death Star Trooper when she shoots the AT-ST Driver up on the walker. She needs more of a stomping action, though.

Anyway, these are my takes on the action features.

We don't need them, but at least they can offer us something authentic in the case of resculpts. If they are done right, especially lightsaber moves that work like Count Dooku's do, then I'm definitely cool with them. It seems by default though, they require resculpts of the same characters so as to not limit their articulation. Given the final choice, I wouldn't allow articulation to suffer. But I had to vote for Dooku, because he's fine the way he is and fun to play with.

11-18-2002, 03:58 PM
I'll always prefer accessories (as Chewbacca's electronic droid-in-a-bag or the Clone Trooper's gun) to action features for the common reason: many features limit the articulation or poseability of a figure and many get in the way of the sculpt. Removable helmets, gun holsters, lightsaber hilts with removable blades and additional weapons are cool.

The force-fx features are ok but they result in huge hands (in order to conceal the magnets). What if they carved the lightsaber hilt out of a magnet and instead added a smaller metal piece within the hand? OR they could make the figure's hand out of dyed metal!!!

Hey! That's not a bad idea! :D

11-18-2002, 06:15 PM
I voted "NONE OF THE ABOVE" because I really dislike these features, they usually detract from the figure's appearance either with an unsightly lever or an ugly action pose, and they often have a lower-quality assembly for the figure - loose or gappy joints, fused waists, floppy or limited limbs, etc.. I never seem to feel that an action gimmick adds anything good to a figure, and I rarely feel that it doesn't detract from the overall figure. It's funny but when Hasbro started adding action gimmicks en masse, the actual "fun" of the figures quickly disappeared.

How can Dlx Ep 1 duelers be the first when we have R5-D4, the Power F/X electronic figures, and the walking Gonk droid?

Padme Arena's arm can be in 2 positions, factory-up or down at her side (the internal gears can slip the tooth without breakage to allow the arm to stay down)

11-18-2002, 06:50 PM
That's good to know. I will have to try and work with one of my Padme Arena figures. I've never successfully gotten her arm to stay down, but it's good to know it's possible.

You're all right: I forgot about the F/X Figures, R5, and the Gonk.

11-18-2002, 07:12 PM
On Padme Arena, it's basically just turning her waist so she drops her arm, then turning the waist back to normal while holding the arm down. Reversing this is easy, just twist the waist and release, the arm will pop up. The waist is ratcheted too, so you can get her to face sideways (though all of this looks kinda funky because she's so preposed).

Most of the geared quick-draw figures have this ability to some degree, even floppy-armed Jango Pilot, it's just a matter of experimenting with the slip-abilities of the various elements of the gimmick.

11-18-2002, 07:24 PM
My vote went for no action features! Runners up would be the electronic R2 and the Chewie w/ droid, as others have said.

I think the best action feature fig so far has been (at tie) the Geo w/ massiff and the Tusken w/ massiff. Other then the extra fig, I think action features are a complete waste of time and what could be a good sculpt.

11-18-2002, 07:34 PM
No action features or weird poses for me, please. Thank you,

11-18-2002, 08:00 PM
Come to think of it, I don't think the electronics are an "action feature" anyway, they're not action-based. If electronic lights and/or sounds are action gimmicks, why not light-piped eyes; and if we go there, why not chrome details?

The dlx Probe Droid had an action gimmick, so did the dlx Snowtrooper and the speederbikes and vehicles, but where do we draw the line at calling something an figure action-feature?

11-18-2002, 09:27 PM
I like some of the features, but when they have the restriction of "all collection 1 figures must have an action gimmick" then they open the door for a lot of lame gimmicks. The TA Anakin's kick is pretty useless. A 2-degree difference in the crotch angle doesn't really impress me. I've seen more movment in airplane seat backs. The quick draw action in nice, but I wish that Padme had a button like Zam and Han. I like some of the saber slashing figs, but not Dooku, Kit or Mace. Luke and Vader were much better. I also like the firing arm missles for Jango and deluxe Mace. It's an imaginitive way to comply with the saftey standards. I voted for Chewie. A good figure with an accurate prop with an action feature. I also consider the Clonetrooper, Teemto, deluxe Yoda, and deluxe C-3PO in this category. I think the lager accesories add much more play value than most of the gimmicks they've come up with.

11-18-2002, 09:45 PM
I draw the line with any figure that has a peg growing out of their back. These gimmicks are trash. I would have voted for Chewy, but it wouldn't let me vote. I wouldn't call the POTF2 deluxes gimmicks, because they work and look true to the charactor. I really wish Hasbro would get back to basics and make a figure just standing there, that would be refreshing. You know a figure without a leg bent and a arm that can't relax. I must say if we continue getting figures lke Ephant Mon, the future looks bright for the line. Just no more swinging, kicking, flipping, shouting, eye closing, mouth breathing and so on........ other than that the line is great. Thats just MO

11-18-2002, 10:53 PM
My vote's for "Chewbaccas electronic droid-in-a-bag."

As an "action feature" and I guess in this case the action is that he's ... carrying something ... it didn't detract from the figure too much. As a matter of fact, I thought this was a pretty great figure. I love the articulation! I wish every figure that could ... would have that kind of articulation. (Though, I think the little web bag is a pain and it's tough keeping C-3PO and his head from falling out.)

With that said ... I don't much care for any of the other features. In general, as some have said ... even the kids tend to get bored with them after a while. But, I understand that the idea of "a little something extra" probably helps to sway a child who's trying to decide between the disturbingly ugly Frodo figure and the figure of an old man with a laser sword. (I happened to chose the second one ... but that's only because I'm still amazed that Christopher Lee has an action figure.)

If the "action feature" happens to be a cool accessory, then at worst you can ditch the accessory. Other than that, I'm not really into effects that limit the pose-ability and play-ability of the toy. I guess ultimately, I don't care if they make the "action clutter" figures as long as they throw out a great, simple, well sculpted and more articulated figure for the rest of us every now and then.

11-19-2002, 12:03 AM
I'm sickened by all of these gimmicks. :)

11-19-2002, 12:30 AM
Sometimes I think Hasbro really does not care at all about the consumer of their products. If you review any of the above figures you have on your poll, I think if you can stand back and really make an impartial critique of the figures and really none of them are great because of action features.

The Chewbacca is great because he is to scale and has lots of articulation. He looks incredible compared to many previous versions. I pretty much hate all of the rest because I don't think a lot of thought goes into engineering a figure to get the most play out of it.

I really think what happens here is that the sculptors get bored of doing the same thing and just try something different without really doing their homework on what people really want. Lets face it, these are not really for very little kids. Little kids prefer very basic figures.... look at little people figures... they love them and could care less about action features. So, really who are you making these figures for then?

I really think what most people want (The people who shell out most of the money and support the line) is attention to detail, articulation, and pack in weapons and accessories that make sense to pack in. I have not seen one figure that was engineered in a way to have action, but not detract from the aesthetic look of the figure. If you wanted something to have action with the old figures, I remember using something called an imagination... It does not cost much, just a little brain power.


Obehave Kenobi
11-19-2002, 12:42 AM
I voted for Chewie. I don't like most of the action features because they generally take away from the look of the figure. I'd like to see them move away from gimmicks and focus on articulation and quality control (which is horrible, by the way). The "action" should be provided by the kids and "older kids" playing with them.

11-19-2002, 02:43 AM
I like what MasterDomain said. I'm not being sarcastic at all. I think it was really well thought out, and articulated.

Good point!

11-19-2002, 02:54 AM
I am glad to see that my vote is winning as far as the actual action features go. I voted for Dooku, because I like the way his feature works without a button. I guess I didn't really want to vote for the rest of the slashing ones--don't like Mace--Vader is okay because he still looks good when you're not playing with him, and his button is under his cape. I hate Obi-Wan pilot--which is sad, because I thought I would love him when I was waiting for him and shopping for him.
I don't think the electronics count as action features, but I do love R2's sounds and lights. I think every astromech from now on should be electronic--just think if they actually used state of the art technology and the hardware were small enough to add other features at the same time as the electronics.
I don't think the pack-in projectile weapons count either. Maybe we need another poll that compares the features that have to do with the articulation of other figures.
I agree with some of the others about poseability--because of gimmicks, we don't have an Anakin, Obi-Wan or Zam that will fit in their speeders.
Overall, I like action features, but I wish Hasbro would be more selective about them.

Mandalorian Candidat
11-19-2002, 09:27 AM
I ended up voting for the clone cannon mainly because I think it's one of the superior figures to come out of Hasbro/Kenner. Usually we don't get something like the spring-loaded cannon outside of a deluxe figure, playset, or vehicle. That being said, I'll throw in the SBD since it also has a similar feature and is another great figure, IMO.

As for actual figure action features I would take the quick draw feature. It's worked well on my figures and doesn't really bother me.

Some of the other features like Dooku's swivel hips annoy me slightly, but my 7-year-old son loves them. He likes all the extra features that Hasbro has been throwing into this line.

I look at it this way: almost every line has had some quirky extra thrown in that gives it some "personality." We've had the Super Buff line that kicked off everything in 1995, the POTF FFs, the CommTech chips from EP1, the lame-o Force Files from POTJ (don't even get me started on how poorly most of that line was designed), and now these funky action features. It's just another thing that makes this line unique. After all how cranky would collectors get if Hasbro kept churning out the same old stuff time after time?

11-19-2002, 10:27 AM
I voted for elctronic c-3po (chewie) since it's a feature added to an accessory and not the figure itself
second would be clonetrooper cannon for same reason as above

11-19-2002, 05:18 PM
After reading what MasterDomain said, I want to change my vote.
No more action features!

11-19-2002, 06:46 PM
I might have voted "most OK" for the spring-loaded cannon except with both the Clone and the Hoth dlx figs the cannon is extra big and the projectile sticks out of the barrel a little, both of which kill the authentic look of the accessories.

11-19-2002, 06:59 PM
Well it let me vote today, so Chewy got my vote. Are the gimmicks spelling the end of the SW line? Maybe, but while us collectors continue to complain but buy the figures anyway, Hasbro probably could care less. As long as the stores are selling them and they are making $$ Hasbros not going to change anything.

11-19-2002, 07:22 PM
Tell that to the thousands of figures that Wal*mart and TRU just sent back. ;)

11-19-2002, 07:29 PM
Well besides those, Hasbro has sold the crap out of the line. With all those figures being sent back or what ever they have planned with them, you would think Hasbro would get rid of the gimmicks. One thing though, many of the ones sent back, didn't have gimmicks, so who knows???

11-19-2002, 07:30 PM
I wonder if they can be melted down, bleached out and used again???


11-19-2002, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by JediTricks
Tell that to the thousands of figures that Wal*mart and TRU just sent back. ;)
Tell that to the press release of Star Wars being the hottest toy line of the summer. ;) :p


Jar Jar Binks

11-19-2002, 08:37 PM
While I was visiting my mom in Aliso Viejo, California, I went by her Super-Kmart.

They had thousands of figures in a giant bin, their racks full, and in electronics and at the front of the store, at a special Star Wars display - there were more figures selling side-by-side with the videos / DVD's.

1) They might sell a lot of figures if they constantly restock their spaces in electronics and at the storefront.

2) They will NEVER sell all those figures, and if they do sell a lot of them, a lot of kids will have multiples they get as gifts from parents, friends, or relatives who just "know to get them Star Wars, and not what they have or don't have already."

3) They have every figure available since April 23, including Palpatine, Endor Soldier (goatee), Teemto Pegulies, Lott Dodd, Padme Pilot, Jango Pilot. Only Clone Pilots and Ephont Mons were not there.

Quantities of everything was about appropriately equal - which is a good thing - I mean there were not too many Outlander Anakins or Zam Wessels.

The sales report of the #1 toy item in this and that toy review magazine is probably based on merchant orders. K-Mart, Walmart, TRU, etc. spent a lot on Star Wars toys to have them in stock.

This can easily make SW the #1 toy (and #2 toy, apparently both)

If customers are buying them out of the retailers, that's a whole nother thing. I make large purchases, so I can't judge by myself. However, if there are no new figures, like Clone Pilots, I don't buy anything.

We'll have to wait and see what hits the discount bins after Thanksgiving and then after Christmas.

All in all, SW is being sold at very fair prices, which might make it more attractive to parents this time around.

11-20-2002, 08:40 PM
Originally posted by JarJarBinks
Tell that to the press release of Star Wars being the hottest toy line of the summer.I still think that might be based on how much the stores ordered and not how much was sold or sent back.

11-20-2002, 08:46 PM
It's possible. But even before the send back, stores were selling the figures at a brisk pace. I think the send back was more of a way to please the fans, by getting some new figures out on the pegs. I know it worked around here. I saw tons of new figures come into Wal-Mart and TRU, and a week later the hooks were almost bare. I wish Mattel would do the same for the excessive numbers of basic He-Man and Skeletor figures on the pegs. And also learn how to pack a case, so people can find the new figures. But that is a rant for a different section. ;) :D


Jar Jar Binks

11-20-2002, 08:53 PM
And they might be re-packaging THOSE Zams, not some new and improved Zam, with the speeders.

Same thing with Anakin or Obi-Wan (or both if 2 figures are to come with that speeder).

If they took back Taun We's, we may unfortunately have to purchase her with some future Clone incarnation (which sucks because we'd want to have tons of the Clone by himself).

11-20-2002, 08:58 PM
I have a feeling that they will retool Zam and Obi-Wan to fit in the speeders better. Guess I should have not bought them the first time. But maybe they will remove the smash and bash action that was on the first version. I know a few collectors complained about the sticky painted rubber. :)

I think if they ever re-issue Taun We, that we'll get a completely new sculpt. Especially after we see the piece of art that is Lama Su. The current one is a bit on the short side. It's a damn nice figure though, don't get me wrong. A tad taller would have been nice though. A silk skirt would have been a nice touch also. :)


Jar Jar Binks

Jedi Master Silas
11-20-2002, 09:49 PM
I dont like the extra gadgets and features much at all.....I hate them on the 12 figures. I would like to see the 3 3/4 inch line with better articulation and less of these crappy poses and extra features.

11-21-2002, 02:40 PM
Um, who takes these things out of the box?

11-21-2002, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by gibbyhayes
Um, who takes these things out of the box?

Ummm ... Joe does Gibby.

11-21-2002, 09:32 PM
Hey, wouldn't the extendable lightsabers on the vintage figures be the first Star Wars action features?

11-22-2002, 02:26 PM
I voted for none of the above because gimmicks and features must DIE DIE DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously i'm dead against all of the quickfire, saber slashing, hurling, accessory dropping, head spinning, force non attract and uncle tom cobbley and all.

Articulation is where hasbro should be spending their development budget.

And i heartily disagree that C-3PO from the Chewbacca accessories is a gimmick or feature. It's not part of the figure so it's not a gimmick or feature. It's simply a nice accessory that actually isn't that good in practice but it's not a part of the figure at all. Neither is the clonetrooper cannon. If the gimmick or feature forms a part of the figure like Mace Windu deluxe has a stupid extra half an arm to accomodate his stupid jellyfish flinging thing, then that hurts the figure. If he hadn't had the stupid gimmick they could have given him knees and made him more versatile. Or ball jointed shoulders so his arms weren't permanently in a traffic directing pose.......

I'll stop here before I catalog all the faults in all the figures who have gimmick features.

Suffice to say I hate hate hate hate hate all gimmicks that are part of the figure and deprive a figure of proper articulation chances.