HEIGHT: 1.8 Meters
STATUS: Jabba the Hutt's Rancor Handler
AFFILIATION: Loyal to Jabba the Hutt
WEAPON OF CHOICE: Long-handled Vibro-blade
Could there be an action figure more boring than Malakili (Rancor Keeper)? You may be able to come up with a better example, but you likely won’t find a case and point example to what constitutes a peg-warming action figure. Malakili (Rancor Keeper) was the textbook definition of this in 1997, and there was nearly a plague of these figures hanging on pegs for the final quarter in 1997 into the new 1998 year. It shared the same Collection 2 assortment numbers and stock-keeping units, so any other figures under that assortment got blocked from reaching retail. It’s fair to say that Malakili (Rancor Keeper) was guilty by association, and not guilty by itself. There are often figures that can kill the distribution of a toy line. Kenner/Hasbro crafted a fantastic modern update to the 1984 ROTJ Rancor Keeper action figure which was also a peg-warmer in 1984. Unfortunately, many Star Wars collectors didn’t give this action figure a chance, so they couldn’t appreciate the details that we never could see or know existed before this point. Chest hair? Yes! Dirt? of course! A more colorful outfit? Maybe. A collar? You bet! But all of these extra enhancements make an underrated Star Wars character special for collectors and must-have update for your Star Wars collection. Malakili (Rancor Keeper) also brings something less to the table than before too, and we’ll explain.
Malakili (Rancor Keeper) comes with the standard six points of articulation that most other POTF2 figures had. Still, the figure's joints are noticeably looser for one reason or another. Believe it or not, this affects the figure when you pose. When you think you have a pose you want, a slight bump with completely twist his waist, head, or limbs. It’s a little bit frustrating. Other than this setback, Malakili (Rancor Keeper) is nicely executed! You probably will be interested to know that the head covering isn’t removable this time, unlike the vintage Kenner figure. For us, this change is a little bit disappointing. That said, however, we have to admit that at least it now stays in place. On the 1984 ROTJ Rancor Keeper figure, the head covering wouldn’t stay in the same spot too long without getting knocked off or bumped around a bit. So it’s nice to have a little more “security” in this regard. Collectors like having multiple accessories with their figures, and it seems that from this perspective, they might feel a little left out. But Malakili (Rancor Keeper only comes with the long-handled vibro-blade accessory. Kenner/Hasbro tooled and colored it beautifully, and it complements the Malakili (Rancor Keeper) wonderfully. Altogether, this action figure should have performed better at retail better than it did. It’s a shame.
One thing is for sure though; we feel that Malakili (Rancor Keeper) didn’t receive the notoriety in the basic figure line that it should have. It was a tremendous update to the vintage Kenner 1984 figure, and we finally learned the characters real name. Whether or not collectors were interested in this action figure or not, or whether Kenner/Hasbro produced way too many of them, we find it perplexing that more didn’t sell. Didn’t collectors need to update their vintage versus modern comparison display shelves? Didn’t they want the caregiver of the Rancor beast in their collections? Didn’t they want an overweight and partially nude older man in their collections? They apparently did not. Regardless, we feel strongly that Malakili (Rancor Keeper) turned out exceeding our expectations, even if it’s more limited than the vintage Kenner release. Despite being part of a fantastic wave of figures based on Return Of The Jedi, things slowed down at the retail level in 1997 soon after the figures were released. And Malakili (Rancor Keeper) wasn’t the only figure to begin piling on up pegs in all the retail chains. Some of Kenner/Hasbro’s greatest efforts began stockpiling. It was a problem all around the USA, and soon, new figures weren’t arriving at retail with a consistency like they should. Things would soon change, however, as the 1998 updated line changed things up a bit.
Malakili (Rancor Keeper)
Status: Malakili (Rancor Keeper) is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 6 points (6 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1)
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: long-handeled vibro-blade
Date Stamp: 1997
Assortment Number: 696050/69723
Retail: $4.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.