The Good: Very cool design, Well-detailed, Great playability, Collectible value!
The Bad: Not all of the missile launchers are functional.
The Basics: The Star Wars toy line has another real winner with the Hailfire Droid, one of the serious weapons in the Separatist Forces.
One of the most intriguing elements of the Star Wars franchise going from a model-based movie series to a virtual (computer-generated effects) series comes in the merchandising. It is one thing to create giant wheeled droids that blow up immense amounts of materials and personnel digitally, but it is entirely another matter to make it as a practical vehicle. And yet, that is exactly what was done by Hasbro when they made the Hailfire Droid into a practical toy for their Attack Of The Clones toy line. I might not have reviewed a lot of the vehicles for the Star Wars toys - so far only Darth Maul's Sith Speeder and Dash Rendar's Outrider - have made it to my new blog - but the vehicles offer some great play opportunities for fans.
That said, the Hailfire Droid is a giant war droid toy and it offers the villains of the Separatist Alliance a chance to shoot down the Jedi and Clone Armies from a safe distance. This is a surprisingly obscure droid and slightly out of scale (it ought to have been about twice the size to be properly in scale), but the toy looks good enough to buy it right up. For those unfamiliar with it, the Hailfire Droid appears in the latter portion of Attack Of The Clones (click here for my review!) when the battle between the Republic and Separatists is being waged on Geonosis. This massive droid was seen launching tons of missiles into the sky and blowing apart Republic Forces!
The Hailfire Droid is a giant, autonomous droid with massive wheels and a whopping thirty-two missiles in a pair of overhead launcher/missile storage units. The droid has a central head design with large wheels for mobility and is unlike anything else in the Star Wars universe. The Hailfire Droid is a copper-colored robot which has a somewhat insectoid central portion. This droid has very smooth lines and looks both very clean and very fast.
The Hailfire Droid features double missile launchers and a laser gun on the underside of the ship. The vehicle comes unassembled with the wheels and turrets disconnected. Because of the way the wheels sections connect to the central carapace, there is only one possible way they will fit on, so it is pretty much idiot proof for assembly. The vehicle, which is 9" long, 11" wide and 8" tall when assembled, is made to appear clean and unhindered by battle damage or weather-wear. This may not hold a pilot or any other figures, but it sure can mow them down with its weaponry!
The detailing on the Hailfire Droid is very good. Primarily colored copper, the Hailfire Droid features baffle plates and vents that make the droid look armored and assembled. Fortunately, there are no decals for this droid.
Assembly of the Hailfire Droid is simply a matter of popping the wheels and weapons onto the carapace section and the droid snaps together with ease.
There are no real accessories for this droid, just thirty-two missiles which may be launched from the cannons!
This vehicle compliments the four inch toy line and was very much designed for play. Despite it not being quite in scale, the Hailfire Droid is an appropriately formidable opponent for the 3 1/2" figures. This droid comes with thirty-two missiles which go in two arsenals above the droid's head. These cannons may launch up to sixteen missiles at a time and they respond with a very light touch, making this an incredible weapon toy. The only way this could truly be improved would be by making all thirty-two missiles fire-able. Still, this is a pretty impressive toy.
As well, the wheels really turn, so this has a good, realistic sense of movement to the droid.
Hailfire Droid is part of the Attack Of The Clones collection, a series of Star Wars toys that was fairly common at the time, though the Hailfire Droid was vastly underproduced. The result is that this has become a huge investment piece and has skyrocketed in value. For those lucky enough to find on, they are likely to pay a premium. Fortunately, it has been repackaged in more common packaging at least twice, so only those looking for the original packaging need to get this particular version.
The Hailfire Droid is an exceptional toy that is close enough to perfect that all toy enthusiasts will want one for their Star Wars toy collection!
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© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.