MON CALAMARI REBEL PILOT
When it comes to sci-fi and fantasy properties my favorite character is usually the villain. The reason for this is simple, I love monsters, aliens and anything weird looking. The heroes are meant to be relatable so more often than not they are human. Even on distant planets such as Tatooine and Eternia it’s up to a blonde haired pretty boy to save the day. It’s not that I don’t like those characters but lets be honest, Skeletor and Darth Vader make for much more interesting action figures than Luke Skywalker or He-Man. When it comes to picking my favorite hero of an ensemble cast you can bet on me picking the weirdo. As a kid I much preferred Buzz-Off the bee man or Stratos the bird man over the boring muscle man in a loin cloth that was He-Man. When it came to Star Wars my favorite character/toy from the original 3 movies was Walrus Man. Followed closely by aliens like Greedo, Hammer-Head, and Jabba the Hutt, and bounty hunters like Boba Fett and IG-88, and I loved the Storm Troopers in all of their various outfits. Notice that those are all bad guys. As far as the main forces of the rebel alliance goes, I always liked Chewbacca.
It wasn’t until Return of the Jedi that I suddenly had a new favorite good guy, Admiral Ackbar. He was even weirder looking than Chewie and at least he could speak english, making him a little more fun to play with. I loved Ackbar with his googly eyes and fishy face. He was the reason that I had a fish tank full of black moors years later.
One of the things that I found most appealing about Ackbar was that he was in a position of authority. This wasn’t just some goofy ass mer-man running around with webbed feet on the battle field as cannon fodder, this dude was an Admiral who commanded his own ship during the battle of Endor in what was the trilogy’s climax. Ackbar is the man.
But this figure is not of the heroic Mon Calamari leader , this figure is of a nameless Mon Calamari B-Wing pilot. He’s no less heroic I’m sure but this guy didn’t even make the actual cut of the film. This figure is based on a scene that was cut out of Return of the Jedi. That’s right, George Lucas has exhausted every millimeter of celluloid to mine action figures from so he is now giving us his scraps off the cutting room floor. Not that I mind really, it’s a pretty cool figure. Lucas doesn’t actually get very much money from me these days. I haven’t collected Star Wars figures since Attack of the Clones came out so it’s been about a decade. I’ve picked up the odd one here and there when I feel that there’s a must-have figure released of a character that I don’t already have. For example I picked up Savage Opress a while back and am always on the hunt for a reasonably priced Darth Talon.
My reason for picking up this toy recently is not because he seemed like a must-have figure. You see over the past few months, since I started this blog, my passion for buying up old action figures that I once owned has increased. Surprisingly many of the old 80s figures that I’ve wanted to reacquire are easier to find MOC (mint on card) than loose and played with. I now have vintage Joes, Voltrons, and Robotechs on their original blister cards showing up in the mail regularly. It seems a shame to open these toys that have remained sealed for nearly 30 years so I’ve devoted a part of my man-cave to tacking up these MOC figures. I actually quite like the way it looks and now find myself wanting more MOC figures from different toy lines to add some variety to the wall. Most modern day Star Wars figures come in really crappy generic packaging with no character art. However they have recently started releasing these vintage styled packaging figures, a few characters from each film. When I came across them in Toys R Us I thought I should just buy one of these guys for the MOC wall rather than pay big bucks for some vintage figure on ebay. Unfortunately most of my choices that day sucked. It came down to this guy and Darth Maul. I know Darth Maul seems like the obvious choice (he’s one of my favorite characters) but that particular figure had a hood on that sat really funny in the package. I’m sure it would’ve been fine once opened but since the point of this purchase was to keep the figure MOC I went with the Mon Calamari Rebel Pilot instead.
I may eventually replace him on the wall with a more recognizable character, someone that appeared in the film at least. And that will be a good day because then I can pop this guy open and play with him for a minute or two before chucking him in the Star Wars bin. He looks like he’d be fun to play with. I can’t tell you too much about the figure itself since he remains in his package but the sculpt is nice and the color scheme too. They could’ve cheaped out and slapped an Ackbar head on a B-Wing pilots body but they didn’t, this is a brand new sculpt which give the character some personality. If I had owned this nameless fish face as a kid he would’ve been one of my favorites and he and Admiral Ackbar probably would’ve rescued Princess Leia from the clutches of the evil empire many a time. 6 out of 10.