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Review of Imperial Probe Droid - Star Wars action figure

Sideshow Collectibles
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid action figure by Sideshow

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Introduction

Ask a Star Wars fan what their favorite film from the franchise is (so far!), and you'll get one overwhelming answer - Empire Strikes Back. While you'll occasionally get a different response, you can rack that up to the responder's own peculiar deviance. Everyone loves ESB.

Sideshow is making sure they take advantage of that, with a Snowtrooper and E-Web Blaster already produced, and a Hoth Han and Hoth Luke coming (along with their appropriate Taun Tauns) soon. It's a regular winter wonderland!

To go along with all that frosty goodness is the Imperial Probe Droid, or Probot. This guy likes to float over the snow acting all menacing like, snooping for the rebel force.

This sixth scale figure will run you about $250, and is currently shipping. There was no exclusive, only the regular release.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid action figure by Sideshow

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Packaging - ***
The box is pretty straight forward stuff, and the droid is packed safely inside some very sturdy eggshell trays.  You do assemble it, but the instructions make it clear as to what goes where. Some of the pieces are small though, and you'll want to use some care when snapping them together.

The box did have more wear and tear than usual, with a lot of rub marks on the black surface. Not sure if they've made any adjustments to the coating or if mine just got extra abuse this time.

Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid action figure by Sideshow

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Sculpting - ****
Obviously, this is a sixth scale figure, but because he's floating in the air over his snowy base, he comes in at a whopping 16" tall. He'll hover impressively over the other figures on the shelf.

There's a ton of small detail work on the surface of the droid, both top and bottom. It has a realistic metallic look, with sharp edges and clean lines.

I love the use of the smoky plastic for the various eyes, and the highly reflective material looks great.

Some people will be shocked by the light weight nature of this guy, and I don't blame them. The box is quite large, and when you pick it up you'll think it's empty. Because the top and bottom halves are both hollow - to house the electronics - and the little legs are just that, he is truly a feather weight.  I completely understand the basic human calculation that heavy = expensive, light = cheap, but I have to say that in this specific case, light is the way to go.  This figure must remain suspended on the black rod over the snowy base, and any substantial weight could cause issues over time. I'd prefer lightweight and no issues to heavy and drooping.

Speaking of the base, it's actually two parts, with a heavier black centerpiece that helps hold the lighter weight snow 'cap' down. The black rod is a sturdy metal, and fits tightly in both pieces of the base.

Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid action figure by Sideshow

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Paint - ***1/2
Obviously, the overall look is basic black, but there are some very nicely done small details covering the Droid 'body'.

Along with these details, there's the weathering and wear added to the exterior. In a few areas it was a bit too much, but overall it created the appropriate effect. This is a well used Droid, who's been in the field for awhile.

Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid action figure by Sideshow

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Articulation - ***1/2
There's plenty of nicely engineered articulation here.

The head rotates of course, and the smaller triple sets of 'eyes' move independently. The antennae (made from metal) move up and down as well, giving the head appearance some variety.

There's a blaster on the lower body that can move and rotate, and each of the five legs rotate where they attach to the body. Then can also flex at the three obvious joints, with the pistons moving in and out to accommodate a good range of motion. The pistons can slip free of the plastic sleeve if you over extend the arm, but it's very easy to slip them right back in.

The claws all work as well, moving in and out to grip. Overall, you can get quite a few poses, and the love for this line is apparent in the attention that went into engineering the best possible joint system within the confines of the sculpt.

Accessories - Bupkis
While the base could be considered an extra, you can't really display him without it. I won't be weighting this category very heavily in the Overall, but your mileage might vary.

Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid action figure by Sideshow

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Sound Feature - ***
The battery compartment for the sound feature is a little tricky to get to, and the instructions explain how to get it open to reach the small plastic tab protecting the battery.  Getting the two lower halves apart seemed too risky to me though, and you can easily reach the plastic tab with some needle nose pliers.

The sound button is on the side, with the speaker facing down from the underside. It's loud and fairly clear, considering it plays a chunk of garbled communications from the film. I was bummed there is only one sound, and I would have preferred the button to be located on the underside, where it's less obvious, but overall the feature works well.

Light Feature - ****
Again, it can be tricky getting to the plastic tab. You can turn the top lid and remove it, but I found it was just as easy to reach inside with my finger and slip the tab out.

The button for the light feature is on top, but blends in a bit better than the one for the sound feature. Press it once and you get a very bright blue/white LED, press it a second time and it switches to a dimmer amber (I think - cut me some slack, I'm color blind). I've included photos of each.

The feature works well, and the batteries lasted throughout the photo shoot without any dimming.

Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid action figure by Sideshow

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Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid action figure by Sideshow

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
This guy is a ton of fun to pose and manipulate. You'll be able to find all kinds of cool looks for the display, and once we get the Hoth Han and Luke, he'll add that special something-something to the ESB display.

Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid action figure by Sideshow

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Value - **
This is a very cool sixth scale mechanical beast, but is it worth $250? That's a lot of cash, rivaling the better Hot Toys Iron Man figures.

There's some cool engineering here, as well as a lot of small parts that all required independent casting and assembly. The high quality lens on all the 'eyes' adds some value as well, but I'm still feeling that we're about $50 too much. If you can snag this guy closer to $200, or even $220, you can add another half star here, bringing it up to an average value.

Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid action figure by Sideshow

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Things to Watch Out For -
Handling - there are lots of tiny pieces glued here and there, and fat fingers and a little pressure can result in serious disappointment. In particular, take care when attaching piece "C". It's a small triangular extra with two pegs that fits on the underside. The fit is tight, and you can't put pressure on the top of the piece - it will break. I used the blade of a knife to put pressure on the section that actually snaps into the body, making it a bit safer, but you still need to take care!

Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid action figure by Sideshow

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Overall - ***1/2
I'm really digging this Probot, especially with the display potential with the other sixth scale Hoth line up. The sculpt and articulation are great, the paint work largely supports the sculpt, and the well designed articulation allows for plenty of posing potential.

His big problem is the same one so many figures have right now - it's hard to justify the price point. There's lots of small, individually cast parts here. And there's also a ton of manual assembly, always a cost driver. But $250 is going to be a tough call for a lot of collectors for a B list character.

I'm glad I picked him up though, because he really is a display differentiator. I may not be thrilled with the price I paid, but I am thrilled that the market is strong enough to make getting something like this possible.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - Bupkis
Sound Feature - ***
Light Feature - ****
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has him at $250.

- has it in stock for $250.

- has him for $250.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered a ton of Sideshow Star Wars figures, including:

- the recent Greivous and Vader.

- others include Yoda, who they did more than once, Padawan Obi-Wan, and the E-Web Blaster and the matching Snowtrooper.

- Sideshow also released the oustanding Bossk as well. And IG-88 was just before that. The Battle Droid and STAP is cool as well, along with the double pack of Droids.

- other reviews include the Tusken Raider, the Bepin Luke (from Hot Toys), Sideshow's Boba Fett, the big Dewback and Trooper, Figrin D'an. the Sargeant Clone Trooper, Yoda, the Gammorean Guard, Admiral Thrawn and his command chair, Lando Calrissian, he Shock Trooper, the first Darth Vader, the Utapau Trooper, the Imperial Stormtrooper, Captain Antilles, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Obi-Wan in Clone Armor, Aayla Secura, Tatooine Luke, Han Solo,
Commander Praji, Palpatine/Sidous, ANH Obi-Wan, Ilum Padme, Leia and Bespin Luke, the Holo-chess set, Sideshow's Asajj, a terrific figure, Yavin Luke, the Endor Troops, Jabba the Hutt and his throne, Bib Fortuna, Jedi Luke, Darth Maul, Obi-Wan, Bespin Han Solo, regular Anakin Skywalker and Kit Fisto.

- I also have guest reviews of the SDCC Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu, Emperor Palpatine and his throne, and Qui-Gon Jinn.

- and if you're a fan of Vader, check out Sideshow's Premium Format statue, or Medicom's sixth scale version

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Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid action figure by Sideshow

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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