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Mr. JabbaJohnL
05-10-2011, 10:45 PM
As revealed in the Sandtroopers.com forums, there's a new Tauntaun (http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll111/gorkoracing4/tauntaun.jpg) coming. Based on Luke's steed, it appears to have ball-jointed "shoulders" and ankles, standard articulation at the head and legs, and a removable harness. Hopefully it will come with a Hoth Luke that can actually ride it!

El Chuxter
05-10-2011, 11:00 PM
Nice! Looks like they skipped the silly action feature this time around, so a re-release as Han's tauntaun would be a possibility.

DarkJedi5
05-10-2011, 11:29 PM
This is terrific! I really feel like the creatures are part of what make Star Wars so special and have been getting the long end of the shaft for years now (with the exception of the recent Dewback). My only gripe is the mouth being sculpted so wide open like it's trying to catch snowflakes on its tongue as it runs. Otherwise, the added articulation makes this a great piece. I'm gonna have to get a couple of these!

JediTricks
05-11-2011, 01:38 AM
Nice find. Very cool. Looks like they intend to reuse it as Han's because the left horn (the broken one) is shot on a different mold than the rest of this test shot.

JEDIpartner
05-11-2011, 10:10 AM
It looks beautiful!! I can't wait!!!

Maradona
05-11-2011, 11:37 AM
I'm glad this has finally been redone, but it would have been more in line with what Hasbro released last year, given that they were in a decidedly and thankfully Hoth-centric mood.

Jedi_nav
05-12-2011, 10:22 AM
They should include in the box a different left horn so you can buy two of them and make one Lukes and the other one Han's. Just a thought.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
05-12-2011, 12:32 PM
They should include in the box a different left horn so you can buy two of them and make one Lukes and the other one Han's. Just a thought.
The fact that the left horn is cast in a different plastic than the rest of the head means this is a possibility, though I bet they'll just re-release it with the full horn at some later time instead (as you'd need to buy two to have the complete set anyway).

JEDIpartner
10-26-2011, 03:38 PM
Okie dokie!!

I picked up these babies the other day. I was fortunate in that, while I can never find figures at retail, I can usually find ships and things. Well, I scored both Luke Skywalker's Tauntaun (in Vintage packaging) and The Search for Luke Skywalker with Han's tauntaun. These are VERY nice beasties and I didn't mind paying a little more for the Vintage packaging 'cos I was able to just get it. Be careful with the saddles; the right stirrup on Han's mount snapped off of the first one that I got. CHEAP!!! The paint schemes differ on them and Luke's has the appropriate broken horn. I wish that the Luke was out now to go with the tauntaun, but I guess I will have to wait. The Han figure sits atop his ride quite well. I'm just sad that it's the hood down version of Han. What's up with that bright orange fur on his collar???

A detail I noted on both tauntauns was an ovular punch out on the belly. I wonder if this was intended for an "open belly" feature that was abandoned at some point in the development of the toy.

morpheus282
10-31-2011, 09:26 AM
I really have to wonder about Hasbro's logic here. They release two tauntauns at the same time, one is some pretty nice looking yet completely solid vintage packaging, and the other in a window box allowing you to see nearly every detail of the critter along with two figures which would each retail for ~$9. Then they price them both at $25. I'd almost bet on Luke's tauntaun hitting the clearance shelves well before Christmas.

Does anyone know if the rebel trooper in the battle pack can ride the tauntaun, or does he have the standard swivel hips?

JEDIpartner
10-31-2011, 09:54 AM
The trooper is a straight repack of the trooper from the Target Hoth UBP from last year (?) and also from the Rebel 3-pack that was out a few months ago.

Additionally, I don't see it going to clearance as easily as you say. It's been sold out at every location I've visited since I picked mine up.

morpheus282
10-31-2011, 10:35 AM
Maybe I'm wrong about the clearance aisle, but having both on the shelf at once still doesn't make much sense to me from a marketing perspective. Then again, most of the commercials I've seen these days don't make sense. All I know is that I haven't had to go looking for either item, the only Target I went to had plenty of both.

Too bad the trooper can't ride the tauntaun, that would have made this the best (non-ultimate) battlepack ever to hit the shelf.

JEDIpartner
11-01-2011, 10:30 AM
I agree. I guess they figured that they wanted to do as little work as possible. Honestly, I foresee a new Han with his hood up coming down the pike and also a new tauntaun with an "open belly" feature in the future. I previously posted that there is an oval-shaped plug on the belly of both beasts that seem to indicate that one was intended or abandoned.

DarkJedi5
11-01-2011, 12:46 PM
I previously posted that there is an oval-shaped plug on the belly of both beasts that seem to indicate that one was intended or abandoned.

Yeah, that one kind of baffled me. I mean, the body is a completely new sculpt so it's not like they're filling in a hole from the other mold. I also wondered if it might have to do with attaching the limbs but I just don't think that is the case. It looks like a feature that was abandoned and might be incorporated into a later rerelease? I'd be a little disappointed if that is the case since I bought two of the battle packs and one of the vintage boxed ones but it's kind of a key tauntaun feature so I'd probably get a fourth.

Also pretty bummed that the trooper in the Search for Luke battle pack is a rerelease without ball jointed hips. I was totally looking forward to mounting up a few Hoth troopers but at this point only Han can ride, which seems to really limit play-ability.

morpheus282
11-01-2011, 01:40 PM
While trying to determine if the trooper could also ride the tauntaun, I found a video on YouTube of a guy reviewing the battle pack. While it did nothing to answer my questions about the trooper, he had used an xacto blade to pry off the plug on the critter's belly. The cavity looked like it might be related to a possible forthcoming/scrapped split-belly feature but there wasn't room for an ewok to fit in there.

Here's the video in case anyone is interested but doesn't want to destroy the tauntaun. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLh-tp6abeM

JEDIpartner
11-01-2011, 02:56 PM
Here's the video in case anyone is interested but doesn't want to destroy the tauntaun. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLh-tp6abeM

Thanks for that!!

morpheus282
11-01-2011, 03:05 PM
Thanks for that!!

One is glad to be of service. :joyous:

JEDIpartner
11-01-2011, 03:25 PM
I kept the tauntaun guts from the one that came out in that TRU battlepack from a few years back (they were repurposed Acklay guts) and I think I might need to open him up and stick them in there. I'm almost positive that it can be done without completely destroying the beast.

Bel-Cam Jos
01-14-2012, 01:53 PM
I found one in the 30% off toy section at Target the other day. Haven't opened it up yet (well, I did in the store just to make sure it was all there). Might not, actually. :(

JediTricks
03-24-2012, 03:10 PM
I just picked up both the Battle Pack and the Vintage box versions for $7.48 a piece at Target, they were the only ones there though. I haven't opened the Vintage one yet, opting for the more interesting BP set first.

I'm glad to have the Hoth Trooper variant, it's a good figure, although the cloth skirt is on sideways and it's going to be more difficult than most to move it around because of the separate holster attached to the leg.

Han is a lesson in frustrating Hasbro, the skirt is too short but that's not my complaint, it's that they used the hood-down head despite Han NEVER riding the Tauntaun with the hood down, and that helmet they included with Han has never fit thanks to the outfit design. I could even forgive the blue coloring of the coat in this set if they had included a blue hood-up head as well, but I only own a brown hood-up head (is there a blue version at all? I don't know, I think maybe with a BP but I don't own one) and no other Han will be able to ride this Tauntaun thanks to the wide body with no give at the midsection. Very frustrating! (They also included the ANH blaster with his ESB holster again, that's getting really annoying.) The only other thing I'd call out with Han is that the paint doesn't have any snow or weathering, which I think for a battle pack is the wrong way to go since it's making a comment on a specific scene.

The Tauntaun itself is pretty good, at first it didn't feel light-years better than the '90s version, partly due to the slightly-preposed feet (the left leg and foot are in a different stride from the right, which makes it difficult to pose just standing until you use the hip joints' second range of motion). But the sculpt has more accuracy, the size is better, the weight feels better, and once you get working with the ankle and hip joints there is more range of pose at your command. The arm joints are wrong though, this is the one area they blew it, the joints are set like a T-rex near the front of the chest, while in the movie the shoulders are actually up near the back by the neck, which makes the arms way too long. Also, the head joint isn't well thought out, it can rear way back but cannot dip below horizontal to look down at all, and without a joint at the base of the neck, you're pretty much stuck with what you got - left, right, up, but no down. The snow lizard's missing joints at the elbows and multiple knees, as well as the tail and the aforementioned base of the neck, it makes me wonder why they went so far with a new design and didn't take it all the way. It does however have good range of motion with hips that can splay outwards on a huge joint, as well as ball-hinged ankles and shoulders and head. The sculpt has thicker legs than the old one with more definition, there's also a dewclaw I didn't remember from the movie - turns out it's on the stop-motion model although not quite as pronounced as Hasbro's take. Paint includes all the claws, the eyes, the tongue, the barely-noticeable bit, all the nostrils, the main body going from light to dark (although the head doesn't get that treatment, a little frustrating), and a lot of nice work on the saddle as well as the sculpted harness elements; the only paint I feel is missing is a snowy cover. As you guys are probably already aware, there's a non-removable panel at the stomach which hints at a gutted Tauntaun premise that ultimately seems to have been cut from the final version, so Han's tauntaun is a lesson in "what could have been". On its own however, the set looks right once you get Han's feet into the stirrups and get the Tauntaun standing in a pose of your choice.

The original pricepoint seems to make more sense once you already own it, but I do think that alternate Han head, and the inclusion of Han's scanner and maybe some electrobinoculars would have gotten me to part with that $25 when it first came out instead of passing altogether and getting lucky at clearance.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
03-24-2012, 07:46 PM
Han is a lesson in frustrating Hasbro, the skirt is too short but that's not my complaint, it's that they used the hood-down head despite Han NEVER riding the Tauntaun with the hood down, and that helmet they included with Han has never fit thanks to the outfit design. I could even forgive the blue coloring of the coat in this set if they had included a blue hood-up head as well, but I only own a brown hood-up head (is there a blue version at all? I don't know, I think maybe with a BP but I don't own one) and no other Han will be able to ride this Tauntaun thanks to the wide body with no give at the midsection. Very frustrating! (They also included the ANH blaster with his ESB holster again, that's getting really annoying.) The only other thing I'd call out with Han is that the paint doesn't have any snow or weathering, which I think for a battle pack is the wrong way to go since it's making a comment on a specific scene.
Han actually mounts the Tauntaun with his hood down, in the "Then I'll see you in hell!" exchange that this pack is supposed to recreate. There are hood-up and hood-down versions of both brown and blue, so you could technically replace this one's head with a hood-up sculpt if you want, though none of the colors really match up completely. The blue hood-up version came with R-3PO in the first round of Walmart exclusive Droid Factory packs (the C-3PX series) back in 2008, though the 2009 Hoth Recon Patrol Battle Pack version was molded in brown and dusted with blue paint, which is the best of both worlds, in my opinion.

JediTricks
03-25-2012, 03:14 PM
"Then I'll see you in hell" scene, yes, you're right, we see him get up on the Tauntaun in very close-up view, although he's not wearing his helmet in that scene (the cloth helmet is tucked into his belt near the back, and the goggles I don't see at all in the film at that point). It's a pretty odd thing to call to. Anyway, there are no good color matches for this figure, and doing a boil-n-pop on the waist is going to prove difficult due to the cloth skirt.


I opened up Vintage Luke's Tauntaun yesterday, it's an oddity, just too much box for the product you get -- maybe if they had included some figure accessories at least (binocs, scanner) it might not feel like so much nothing. The sculpt is identical aside from the broken left horn, but the paint is different. There's more overtones on the Vint version, and no fade front to back like the BP version has. There's also more browns at the hands and knees, the head has some extra coloring, the mouth has painted gums and teeth but oddly the bit sculpted inside the mouth is unpainted, and the saddle is painted in different colors especially at the sleeping-bag-like gear at the back. The arms, legs, tail, feet, and head being the same pose does make it a little difficult to feel unique, and the paint work isn't so different that it warrants such a high pricetag, but I think this Tauntaun's biggest problem is that there's no Luke that can ride it. The box is fun, but without an extra gimmick, there's too many panels showing off nothing, the only call-outs are the removable reins and harness, I haven't removed the harness yet because I always have trouble with small plastic straps like that, I did remove the reins from the mouth but I wouldn't recommend it as they're connected via TINY ball joints that look sure to fail at the drop of a hat.

Even if Target had offered this at the intended $15 instead of $25, I think I would have passed on it, there's just not enough product in the box and not enough gimmick (the belly-slit gimmick should be on Han's tauntaun, but ANY tauntaun would have been better than nothing). The BP was worth the $25 because it's a new Tauntaun and it's 2 special figures, where the Vintage offers just a new Tauntaun and not significantly different at that. But at $7.48 each, I'm glad I have both. :D

JediTricks
04-19-2012, 08:29 PM
Rats! 3 weeks later, the right ankle joint is now not tight enough to stand anywhere but on its ratchet points, which caused it to fall over and take a 4-footer. Luckily Hasbro knows how to make products stay together, so I just had to find a new pose where the ankle would hold more firmly (it's a tricky one, the joint is still tight enough to look like it'll hold, but under its full weight it goes just mushy enough to lose the pose after a second). This is one of the drawbacks of using friction points inside these joints, they hold ok at their specific indentations but after some time under the weight of the figure they lose it outside of those indents.

Annoyingly, the Tauntaun AND Han are both really fiddly finding the perfect pose with their legs, the stirrups don't like any pose Han takes too well, and the Tauntaun doesn't look like he's standing still at almost any angle.

Here's a photo I took 10 seconds before the Tauntaun fell off the mantle:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/834/img0031raw.jpg/
(pardon the harsh flash bringing out maximum contrasts between the body paint and arms, it's not really this severe, I was just playing around with my new camera and didn't set the shot up at all.)