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The Vintage Collection

Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) - TVC - Basic (VC70)

Name: Ponda Baba(Walrus Man)
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC70
Source: A New Hiope
Availability: October 2011
License: Hasbro

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Celebrate the legendary Star Wars saga that changed the universe forever! This collection brings to life the incredible story of good versus evil that captured our imagination and took us to a galaxy far, far away. Iconic Star Wars heroes and villains are captured with incredible detail and premium features to commemorate each epic tale in the Star Wars saga. May the Force be with you!

Updates to some of the earliest neo-classic Star Wars action figures are still happening. What would a Star Wars basic action figure line be without new and improved versions of the figures we grew up with in the 70s and 80s? Some updates are taking a lot longer than expected, but at least they’re still coming, and that’s pretty much what we can say of Ponda Baba (Walrus Man). He’s a cantina patron who speaks (or grumbles unintelligible dialogue, at least), and this character has a history as one of the first 21 Kenner Star Wars action figures ever created. The wait was long, but it was well worth it because we now have an unbelievably definitive version of Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) with a few new and excellently executed surprise features that we didn’t expect Hasbro to do for us. With an interchangeable right arm and interchangeable hands, which pay homage to unused footage no less, Ponda Baba is everything you would ever want in an action figure. Super-articulated and 99.9% perfectly decorated, this is one fantastic action figure that will not have the ability to age throughout the years. Collectors: Consider yourself fortunate if you’re still alive and well with the free will to collect because Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) defines action figure perfection. A great deal of time went into the planning of Ponda Baba (Walrus Man). Trust us that you’re going to be happy too. The figure is slender, well-proportioned (and looks better than the actor in the suit, quite honestly), and expertly engineered. Interestingly, we’ve found that Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) gives the appearance of a very tall stature. We compared him to Bom Vimdin (Cantina Patron) (VC53), yet their heights barely differ. We then noticed that Ponda Baba has longer legs, giving the figure an illusion of “height.”

Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) comes loaded with things that will make you smile. The action figure is sensory overload at times. There is so much to enjoy, but we’re probably more eager to have a “hit it out of the park” update to one of the original “21 backs.” And it’s the small things getting us giddy. For example, Hasbro has genuinely perfected the way action figures wear jackets. They’re now incorporated to be non-removable yet appear like a separate piece. Hasbro perfectly constructed the Han Solo (Bespin Outfit) (VC50) action figure. Hasbro has taken the same approach here. The head sculpt is terrific. We’re slightly disappointed by the paint application of his tusks as they appear somewhat sloppy, but Hasbro painted the rest of the figure so well that you probably won’t care. In an unprecedented move (not that they couldn’t do this before, but just that they chose not to do it), Hasbro has developed a removable ball-jointed right arm. This gimmick is to replicate the lost arm in the film. Once you remove the arm attachment with the ball-jointed shoulder and elbow parts, you can replace it with another ball-jointed shoulder attachment (with a swivel elbow joint). They eliminated the ball joint so you can easily remove the elbow to show “blood” from the lightsaber battle damage. The results are fantastic, and we’re very impressed with how the parts are seamless. But perhaps the neatest interchangeable body parts on Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) are the “flipper hands,” which come from cutting room floor footage from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. (These “hands” were later used in The Star Wars Holiday Special, too, so consider us doubly lucky because we have another figure from that Star Wars source, too.) Hasbro took the time to sculpt individual finger-like appendages to hold the included bar glass. The drinking glass fits in the “flipper” hand like a glove. It’s amazing.

If you want Ponda Baba to look more humanoid, you can permanently attach the hands with your fingers because you’ll need them when he waves the blaster at Luke Skywalker. Ponda Baba also comes with a signature (unique) blaster that fits wonderfully in the functioning holster. Hasbro loaded this figure with accessories (and interchangeable body parts), and we’d like to thank them for setting a precedent here to include various attachments like these for future action figures. These kinds of “accessories” are very much desired by collectors, and Hasbro has done a brilliant job with the execution of these parts, so of course, we’d like nothing more than to see what else they can do. Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) has a beautiful center of gravity and extraordinary mobility for different poses. The figure stands unassisted and has the most perfect body shape. And the figure blends in flawlessly with the rest of the action figures. But we still think that the best part of this figure is that it comes packaged in revised “vintage” packaging. The 1979 Walrus Man action figure’s artwork was essentially a drawing of the character. This time, Hasbro updated the character photo and included a beautiful picture of the Aqualish in the cantina. The updated packaging looks phenomenal. It’s awesome that Hasbro is taking time to respectfully improve some faults of the packaging and the figures from the vintage Kenner era. The approach here was wise and welcomed. Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) ranks as one of the top 10 figures from The Vintage Collection for us so far. And to be quite frank with you, the figure deserves it. Get at least two; this way, you can have both versions from A New Hope and a new character from The Star Wars Holiday Special. Oh man, is it a great time to be a collector?

Collector Notes

Ponda Baba (Walrus Man)

Status: Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 22 points (14 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel left wrist (1), swivel right wrist (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)

Accessory Count: 6

Accessory Details: blaster pistol, bar glass, interchangeable left "flipper" hand, interchangeable right "flipper" hand, interchangeable "battle damaged" ball-jointed left upper arm, detachable "battle damaged" left forearm

Date Stamp: 2011

Packaging Details:

Version 1: Star Wars

Name: Ponda Baba (Walrus Man)

Year: 2011

Assortment Number: 32242/97568

UPC: 653569610205

Retail: $8.99 USD

Details: Initial release

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.

Ponda Baba (Walrus Man)

The Vintage Collection Wave 9

Rebel Soldier (Echo Base Battle Gear) (VC68)

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Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) (VC70)

Added: October 12, 2011
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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