Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Building A Better Veers, The Vintage Collection AT-AT Commander Lives Up!

The Good: Amazing coloring detail, Good accessories, Wonderful articulation, Fits AT-AT!
The Bad: Fair to poor balance.
The Basics: Fixing the problems of the Saga Collection General Veers, the Vintage Collection AT-AT Commander is robbed of perfection by poor balance.

It amuses and troubles me when Hasbro screws up a Star Wars figure. Recently, I acquired and reviewed the Saga Collection General Veers action figure (reviewed here!) and was seriously irked when it could not fit into the cockpit of the new AT-AT toy with its helmet on. That was probably the only reason I even considered picking up the newer, Vintage Collection AT-AT Commander. After all, for play or display, too many AT-AT Commanders is too many chefs in the kitchen! But now that I have cracked this figure open, I am quite glad that I did. The new AT-AT Commander not only fits in the AT-AT cockpit, but it has good accessories, coloring details and everything other than balance.

For those unfamiliar with the AT-AT Commander, the main one seen in The Empire Strikes Back (reviewed here!) is General Veers. These Imperial Officers guide the AT-AT drivers during the Battle of Hoth and lead the Empire to victory over the Rebels there.

The 4" Vintage Collection AT-AT Commander was completely recast from the General Veers figure and it is fairly clear that this is not intended to necessarily be Veers.


The Vintage Collection AT-AT Commander figure stands 4" tall with his helmet on. The figure is a clearly human officer in the very generic Imperial officer's uniform. This is a very easy sculpt to do as the AT-AT Commander is wearing the loose pants, high boots, and wide-wristed shirt of an Imperial Officer. What distinguishes this officer from others is the breastplate, which matches the belt buckle on this version of the AT-AT Commander better than the last version. The armor plate features such sculpted details as the rank insignias and what appears to be a control panel just below the sternum. This sculpt features a human head which is distinct, but not recognizable as any specific character, with a severe nose and parted hair which is molded expertly.

As for the coloring detail, the AT-AT Commander is colored fairly blandly, but the only place this is not appropriate is on his face, which is the only place that should have realistic coloring and shading. Unfortunately, this is a monotonal head sculpt, though the hair has highlights and the eyes are expertly colored with brown dots with tiny black pupils! The rest of the figure is an easy coloring cheat; the AT-AT Commander wears black gloves and this is a clean version of the officer's uniform. It has appropriate detailing for the rank insignias and metal tools molded onto the chest. Even the back of the breastplate features additional coloring detail, which is nice, but this is a very simply colored figure!


The AT-AT Commander is an Imperial Officer and features a helmet with goggles and a blaster pistol. The AT-AT Commander's helmet is a 5/8" tall soft plastic cap which fits perfectly onto the figure's head. It is gray, the exact same tone as the breastplate, and is molded with such attention to detail that it appears to have quilted padding on the inside! Rather coolly, this version of the AT-AT Commander features separate goggles. The small band features translucent lenses and fits snugly over the AT-AT Commander's face. The neat thing about these is that they enhance the figure without obscuring the sculpted details of the character.

The AT-AT Commander also comes with a blaster pistol that is the pretty standard Imperial blaster pistol. It is a 1 1/8" long plastic gun with a single scope and what appears to be a power cell on the side. This is a monotonal black weapon and it fits in either of the AT-AT Commander's hands and also slides nicely into the holster on the figure's right thigh. It looks good in any of those positions because the gun is in the correct proportions to the rest of the figure.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and AT-AT Commander is good for that, save some pretty serious balance issues. This AT-AT Commander figure has pretty lousy balance, tipping over frequently despite having great articulation. Fortunately, the holes in the bottom of his feet allow him to stand tall on any number of playsets in outlandish poses or attach to pegs on vehicles, most notably the cockpit in the Saga Collection AT-AT which was released concurrent to this figure!

This AT-AT Commander makes up for the poor balance with superior articulation, despite having a long shirt which acts almost like a skirt. Usually, this would inhibit articulation at the groin socket, but this skirt is flexible enough to not make that a problem! He has hinged ball and socket joints at the ankles, knees, elbows and shoulders, as well as a ball and socket joint which allows a great range of motion for the head (more so with the helmet off). The wrists, groin socket and waist each have simple swivel joints. This is the best-articulated AT-AT Commander yet!


The AT-AT Commander is part of the Vintage Collection line that was released in 2010 and he is one of the pegwarmers of the collection. AT-AT Commander is Vintage Collection figure VC05 and redeems its overproduction by simply being the best of this type. Now that fans are not able to redeem the UPC from AT-AT Commander for the Mail-Away Boba Fett, his price is plummeting and he is easily available on the primary market, an no one seems to want to bother with putting him into the secondary market above common cost. This is one of the pegwarmers of the series and its value is greater to those who take it out to have it command their out-of-box AT-ATs.


Surprising me more than most of the newer figures, the AT-AT Commander may be a terrible investment for those looking to cash in on Star Wars figures, but it's a strong buy (despite the balance issues) for those looking for a good AT-AT Commander to accompany the new AT-AT toy!

For other Vintage Collection figures, please check out my reviews of:
VCP03 Boba Fett
VC01 Dengar
VC10 4-LOM
VC11 (Twin Pod) Cloud Car Pilot
VC22 Admiral Ackbar
VC37 Super Battle Droid
VC41 Commander Gree
VC46 AT-RT Driver
VC48 Weequay Skiff Master
VC49 Fi-Ek Sirch


For other Star Wars toy reviews, please check out my index page by clicking here!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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