Tuesday, May 14, 2013

IG-88: A real cloning scandal.

IG-88 was part of the small group of Star Wars action figures that I owned as a child. I didn't know who he was until my teenage years, but I could tell he was up to no good. He just looked like a bad guy, with those spindly arms and beady eyes. Unfortunately, IG was one of the many victims of my dog, Rascal, and he ended up with chew marks covering most of his body. I held on to him for a few more years, but he was eventually given away or tossed out. I really can't remember which one. Well, a few months ago, I picked up a Boba Fett/IG-88 two pack, and it sorta rekindled an urge to recollect the Star Wars figures of my youth.Thanks to my trade with Eric of Toyriffic, I was again in possession of an honest to goodness, vintage IG-88. As I looked him over though, something seemed amiss. He looked so familiar, I just couldn't figure out why. That's when I pulled out my newer IG-88 and compared the two:

Yeah, tell me which one is the original. Kenner didn't just use a similar mold for the POTF2 IG-88, they used the exact same mold. The only real difference between the two is the newer version has a swiveling waist. The vintage one also has sharper detail on its body parts, so I'm assuming the mold was getting worn out by the time 1996 rolled in.  Or, maybe the newer version is supposed to look worn and dirty. IG-88 would have been around for a while by this point, and I'm sure he would have started showing some wear and tear.

I know Kenner is famous for re-using molds (see: the entire Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves toyline), but it surprises me that they would use the same mold 15 years later. It's especially surprising when you realize all of the other characters in the POTF 2 line used new sculpts. I'm curious as to why IG-88 was the only sculpt that was reused. The original was already rather detailed compared to most figures in the vintage line, so maybe they figured he was already good enough. It also begs the question, why not reissue the vintage lines and sell those? I'm sure they would have flown off the shelves in no time.

In the end, I think the vintage IG-88 is a better figure. The sharpness of the detail and the metallic silver coloring just make for a more attractive figure. He looks like he's ready to scour the galaxy for that scoundrel Han Solo, while the newer version looks like he's ready for the scrap heap.
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