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Star Wars Hoth Wave
AT-AT Driver, Veers

Matt's back tonight with a review of the Hoth wave of Star Wars figures.  Take it away, Matt!

The Saga 2 line looks to be pretty promising. So far there have been 2 waves released in wide circulation with three new sculpts in each one. Itís been hit and miss but at this rater weíre sure to have some seriously winner waves. Wave 1 centered on the Pit of Carkoon/ Jabbaís Palace. Wave 2 focuses on the Battle of Hoth bringing back some older releases like Darth Vader the 500th and VOTC R2. There are three new sculpts just like the previous wave though one of them might just be the most desired to be made figure thus far in SagaÖA newly sculpted and nearly super articulated AT-AT Driver. Thereís also a resculpt of Veers. The other new sculpt is Major DerlinÖbut who cares about rebels? The two figures Iíll be reviewing today are certainly the most popular ones in this new wave. Already the AT-AT Driver is getting harder to find. 






Packaging - ***
The packaging is good in my opinion. Like all boxes, Iíll eventually start to get sick of it. One thing thatís a major plus for me is that the holos are not blindly boxed. By now if you by every figure then you should already have more then one complete set of holos if you even care. The only thing that bothers me about these new packages is the inclusion of some lame fact files with character stats that vary to suit the character. It seems sort of unnecessary. The Hoth backgrounds for both of these particular figures make sense. Shots of the packaging were not included in this review because I didnít get the packaging in the nicest shape. 

Sculpting - AT-AT Driver ***1/2, Veers **1/2
The AT-AT Driver is the one weíve been waiting for. Like Leia of the previous wave, heís the real gem here. He features a nice realistic look of cloth to him despite having no cloth at all. He also fits in nicely with your other resculpted troopers. All the small detail work thatís necessary is there. There is one difference in him from all previous incarnationsÖthe hanging straps. Iím not sure the purpose of them but they look nice. They arenít as soft as I like though and they hinder the hip swivels a bit. Still, he looks pretty decent overall. Another tiny fault I have here is that he might be just a bit small. He seems short in comparison to others. Still, here Hasbro has taken a solid sculpt like the POTF2 AT-AT Driver and drastically improved on it. 

General M. Veers doesnít fare as well. Sure he features a nicely sculpted started and proper imperial uniform but my problem lies in the head sculpt. He could be Julian Glover just has much as he could be Joaquin Phoenix. While good for customizing, it just doesnít seem to me that they nailed this head sculpt. The hat is sculpted on. The rest of the body looks fairly nice though. I think he might be a tad too large in the waist but that might be getting picky. Part of the reason I wasnít so attracted to the sculpt was because of the paint. 

Paint - AT-AT Driver ***, Veers **1/4th
Again, the Driver scores higher then Veers here. He features a nice white paint job with surprisingly little slop. There is however bleed due to the type of paint that was used on the figure and in places there are some brown and gray splotches. Itís not supposed to be weathered I donít think. He has a pretty clean paint job and most of the limbs are molded in the color they should be. All the insignias are in place. Not too many surprises here. 

As the resident reviewer here always says, bad paint can ruin a figure. It doesnít ruin Veers but it comes close. He has a very plastic and unnatural shine to his face and his hair lacks any detail. Itís just straight slopped brown. Thereís also a large chunk of paint on his nose on mine. So there is a decent amount of slop on the head but the body also has some problems. The body has the glossy tones of some POTF2 figures. Maybe Veers isnít so bad itís just that Iím getting used to better paint jobs from better companies and this just doesnít cut it. The sculpt mixed with paint makes me want a new head for Veers. 

Articulation - AT-AT Driver ***1/2, Veers ***
This is not a bad category for either of the two figures. Again, as in every other category the AT-AT Driver is the clear winner but the nature of the figure lends itself to more opportunities. He features a surprisingly unrestricted ball jointed neck which is a major plus. He also features ball jointed shoulders with a pretty wide range of motion. He has swivels on the elbows and at the gloves but thatís ok. Only on VOTC Boba Fett has a cloth figure gotten ball jointed elbows. He lacks a waist joint due to the hanging straps. He has swivel hips which are partially hindered though he should be able to sit still. He also has some great ball jointed knees which are unrestricted by the straps. Pretty decent articulation overall and I canít see them improving on this too much more for a figure that doesnít need it. 

Veers has a ball jointed neck, swivel shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips and cuts at the top of the boots. Thatís a fair amount and adds the not all that useful boot-cuts to what articulation the last officer figure, Tarkin, had. The only problem I suppose is that his arms canít go flat at his sides. They are out too wide at the shoulders and elbows. Still, they look fine behind his back. 

Accessories - AT-AT Driver **1/2, Veers ***1/2
I canít deny Veers a good score this timeÖhe earned it. The AT-AT Driver has no surprises. He comes with a blaster and base. There isnít much too more I can think of him having. He also has of course a holo. 

Veers has some nice surprises this time around. Rather then have armor sculpted on Veers has a removable chest plate and helmet. The helmet fits snugly right over his hat. The armor clips onto him just fine where he has indentations on his sides. Both of them are well sculpted and painted and give you options for a little diversity in your imperial armies. He also has the required blaster and base and holo. 

Holos - **1/2
The holos continue to fail to hold my interest. I know Iíll have a complete set soon but then what? It seems like a failed marketing strategy. Iíd rather bulk up on figures and army build etc. especially with AT-AT Drivers then get less thanks to paying a couple dollars more for a pack in. They arenít badly sculpted and they donít look bad but they donít justify price increase. They also canít last. I canít think of many more possibilities here then the 12 that have been made and if they continue through the whole line then collectors will just start throwing them away after having too many duplicates. The particular two that came with these, Boba Fett and Count Dooku, are two of the better ones I have but still not worth the idea. 

Fun Factor - ***1/2
Theyíre star wars figures and imperials. Kids and collectors should have fun with these. They also present customizing opportunities. 

Quality - ***
Pick the best paint apps. Especially on Veers. I didnít really have a choice. Other then that they seem sturdy.

Value -  **1/2
These are at least a dollar more then they should be. Itís not a terrible deal but I donít like to be paying more for the same type of thing I was paying for two years ago. Still, you wonít find them for less then $5.55 I think. Thatís not too bad. 

Overall - AT-AT Driver ***1/2, Veers ***
These turned out to be pretty solid. The AT-AT Driver is army builder gold and I like him a lot. He leaps and bounds over previous versions and gives me hope for other redone troopers later in the line like the Death Star Gunner. Heís a must have for certain. 

Veers is also worth picking up and in the end he isnít so bad. He barely scores ***. He has some issues with the head but other then that heís pretty cool. It will be interesting to see what Hasbro will do with this line. It looks to be a promising non-movie year as well with collectors getting what they want. 

SCORE RECAP:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt - AT-AT Driver ***1/2, Veers **1/2
Paint - AT-AT Driver ***, Veers **1/4th
Articulation - AT-AT Driver ***1/2, Veers ***
Accessories - AT-AT Driver **1/2, Veers ***1/2
Holos - **1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Quality - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - AT-AT Driver ***1/2, Veers ***

Where to buy
Make sure you check out Andrew's Toyz for all your Star Wars needs!


Figure from the collection of Matt.

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