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  1. #1

    Hasbro Star Wars Fighter Pods

    "SirSteve"
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  2. #2
    I went looking for any thread about Fighter Pods, no such luck. Doesn't surprise me. Anyway, I found a 12-pack on clearance yesterday at Target for $3.28, "As Is" packaging so they covered the UPC, but there wasn't anything wrong with it that I could detect. $3 down from either $13 or $16, I figured I'd give them 1 shot.

    This was the CW Jedi Starfighter set, it displayed 10 figures, the Jedi Starfighter, 2 black pod shells with secret rare figures within, and 4 more empty pod shells. The figures were:
    Luke ROTJ holding saber
    Unmasked Vader ROTJ holding helmet
    Emperor ROTJ posed to shoot lightning
    3-leg R2-D2
    Snowtrooper
    CW Anakin
    Ep 2 Padme in post-arena garb
    Oddball in phase 1
    Cmdr Cody
    Capt Rex (phase 1)

    and secret rare figures:
    Kneeling Stormtrooper
    TIE Pilot

    Really? The rare figures are army-builders?!? I'd love to see the thinking behind that. And how likely is it that they randomized those out in the other iterations of this set? I doubt that likely.

    The Jedi Starfighter is nothing to write home about, it's thin and hollow, has its cockpit removed so it can hold a fighter pod shell instead, and the fighter pod acts as a central wheel - rolls nicely but so what. The only colors are gray plastic and yellow paint. Firing the pod from it produces no excitement I can detect, it simply drops down and that's it. The pod only fits in one orientation, which could be confusing for little kids.

    The figures themselves are a bit more rubbery than I expected, and very small. They have decent paint, although there's more slop than photos had previously suggested - Luke's chin and neck are all painted black, it's weird. The sculpting doesn't really seem terribly exciting, they're chibi but they lack personality, they're in poses but aside from the Emperor the poses aren't dynamic or interesting, they're just kind of random. The scales are pretty off, Padme and R2 are the same height as Vader and Luke. The recognizability is down to their outfits most of the time, Luke's face and hair doesn't look a darned thing like him.

    I have to stress again the lack of personality, it's the personality that got me with Playskool/Galactic Heroes, and that's the magic which is missing from these, so they're just small, and I don't see any point at all to them. They aren't fun to play with, they don't display well together, they don't interact well with the vehicle.

    The pod shells are essentially round with a peg on the "south" pole and a fatter peg with a hole in it for the "north" pole; the halves are mated, one side being female and the other male, they screw together in a quarter-twist that locks, some pods lock nicer than others, and some are too tight to open easily which suggests a problem again for kids. The pods are sculpted up so much that even the clear pods obscure who resides within. The figures are so much smaller than the pods that they just rattle around inside, and 11 out of 12 of the figures I got easily doubled-up in the pods (the set comes with 6 pods and 12 figures, the only reason Luke didn't fit was his lightsaber is far from his body, if I didn't mind bending it he'd be within as well).

    The pods are designed to be stackable, with the south peg being a tight fit for the north peghole. The north peghole is the same diameter as the hole in the bottom of each figure, the intention being to mount the figure onto the pod. The marketing suggests a spinning-top play pattern out of this, but the light weight of the figure and pod made them virtually useless to spin free as a top.

    So that's it, I can't think of anything else to say about them because I can't think of how they're in any way a toy. They're not fun to play with on their own, the pods aren't usable as a spinning top, the interaction with the vehicle doesn't add anything of value, the sculpting is ok but lacks personality and charm, the paint doesn't impress as much as the price suggests it needs to, and they're not exciting. They're basically tiny things meant to be looked at briefly, and they're not terribly good at being that either.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
    They're basically tiny things meant to be looked at briefly, and they're not terribly good at being that either.
    We got some a while back to hide in Easter eggs on Easter morning. My 7 year old had been wanting to buy some for a while, and I found the big pack with the AT-AT and snow speeder on sale at Target or something. The kids were really excited to find them in the eggs and lined them all up. They lost interest in them that same day and I still occasionally will find one here or there around the house. Honestly I think it is my cats that have carried them around the house. For my kids (three boys: 7, 3, and 1), these had less staying power than the Mighty Beanz. They maintained interest in the beanz long enough to buy a few extra packs and even the Darth Vader and Millennium Falcon collector cases. My boys don't show any interest in buying any more Pods at all. I guess I was surprised how little they seemed to care about them.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsokol View Post
    We got some a while back to hide in Easter eggs on Easter morning. My 7 year old had been wanting to buy some for a while, and I found the big pack with the AT-AT and snow speeder on sale at Target or something. The kids were really excited to find them in the eggs and lined them all up. They lost interest in them that same day and I still occasionally will find one here or there around the house. Honestly I think it is my cats that have carried them around the house. For my kids (three boys: 7, 3, and 1), these had less staying power than the Mighty Beanz. They maintained interest in the beanz long enough to buy a few extra packs and even the Darth Vader and Millennium Falcon collector cases. My boys don't show any interest in buying any more Pods at all. I guess I was surprised how little they seemed to care about them.
    Ouch, that's a bad sign because I think they're right in the target audience age zone (3 and 7, not 1), and it's exactly what I thought it'd be. I do like the idea of your cats carrying them around though.

    I wonder how much of the Mighty Beanz's appeal over Fighter Pods is merely being a thing that moves in an unusual way.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  5. #5
    I think that may be part of it. I also think that they prefer the beanz because they make noise. As strange as it sounds, they like to get 3 or 4 of them in their hands and shake them to make a nice annoying rattling sound. Tons of fun...

  6. #6
    I got one Fighter Pod figurine back at the beginning of the year when TRU was giving away a free single-figure mystery pack when you purchased like $10 worth of Star Wars toys. I was hoping for Bossk, but instead got the Clonetrooper... blah. The little pack came with a pod and I really cannot conceive of any way that this would have been a fun toy for me when I was a young kid.

    The little figures are so tiny that I doubt I would get any satisfaction at all from collecting them. I think a good percentage of action figure accessories are larger than these figures. Heck, if my Star Wars action figures collected their own Star Wars action figures, then they probably wouldn't be much smaller than these things.

    Just to beat this dead horse a little further, I have the Vedain and Kithaba mini-figures from the old Action Fleet Skiff toy, and the Fighter Pod Clonetrooper barely reaches their shoulders and that's only because of the fin on his helmet. You know it's bad if they make your Action Fleet mini-figs look tall.

    Overall, I look at the Fighter Pods stuff in the toy aisle and I can only think, "Why is Hasbro wasting their resources on this crap?"

    I still wouldn't mind getting a Bossk though, I guess.

  7. #7
    Hey BigB: If I recall, we actually ended up with 2 Bossks in the packs we bought. If/when I am able to find one, I would be more than happy to send him your way. I am sure you would get more enjoyment out of him than they have. I'll let you know if I have any luck locating one.
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  8. #8
    Weird, they look alright in pictures, but in person they're such a "meh". I didn't realize they were smaller than ActionFleet figures, that's really dinky for how expensive these are.

    Oh, I saw more of the Jedi Starfighter set I got at Target, not on clearance anymore, and they all had different figures so I guess I was wrong about one part.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsokol View Post
    Hey BigB: If I recall, we actually ended up with 2 Bossks in the packs we bought. If/when I am able to find one, I would be more than happy to send him your way. I am sure you would get more enjoyment out of him than they have. I'll let you know if I have any luck locating one.
    If you can find it, that'd be cool. My Bossk figure needs it for his collection. Just let me know what you want for it.

  10. #10
    I couldn't find one yesterday, but there are still a plenty of places where he could be hiding. I'll PM you when I find him.

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