Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One Of The First Star Wars Episode I Toys, The STAP And Battle Droid Helped Raise Enthusiasm For The Film!

The Good: Springloaded feature still work fairly well, True to film's design for the toy/figure, Decent playability, Good coloring
The Bad: Yellowing stand, Figure is only really for the vehicle.
The Basics: The STAP and Battle Droid toy from the Power Of The Force line holds up remarkably well as a vehicle toy, even now!

With how merchandised it is, it is utterly unsurprising to me that the Star Wars toy line is the most successful movie-related toy line in history. Given how very many recasts of figures there are and how many utterly obscure characters are made into action figures, it is pretty obvious that it would be the biggest (and, frankly, more often than not, best) movie-related toyline. But what even I sometimes forget is how effectively Hasbro and Kenner used the toyline to generate hype for the films. With The Phantom Menace, well before the title of the film was released, Kenner was generating enthusiasm through the Power Of The Force toy line. The first figure from that line generate Episode I enthusiasm that still holds up is the small vehicle preview figure in the big box: the STAP and Battle Droid!

The STAP was first seen in near the beginning of The Phantom Menace (click here for my review of the film!) when Obi-Wan and Qui-Gonn land on Naboo. The flying weapons platform holds a single Battle Droid and is chasing the Jedi over the surface when they deflect a laser bolt back at it to destroy it.

The STAP vehicle comes in a large display box with a stand and exclusive Battle Droid figure and has held up remarkably well over the years!


The STAP is an open vehicle with a single stand and control handles to hold the Battle Droid driver. This is a flying jetski-like levitating vehicle which features two laser missiles that launch from the top. The STAP is a brown vehicle that is light, has two handles and pedals which allow the Battle Droid to stand on the back and pilot the vehicle through any play environment one may conceive.

The STAP features a rotating platform for the pedals, along with rotating handles the Battle Droid holds to pilot the vehicle. Pressing the platform up launches the two missiles when they are in their cannons. The vehicle comes fully assembled and does not have any decals to apply. The vehicle, which is 5" tall, 2 3/16" wide and 2 7/8" front to back is essentially a flying ax blade with a jetski control panel on top of it with cannons at the front. This comes with a Battle Droid pilot who is designed to stand such that the holes in its feet plug into the pegs on the pedals and hands which are able to hold onto the handlebars perfectly.

The detailing on the STAP is very good. Primarily colored dark brown, the STAP features "wear lines" which make it look like the elements have left streaks on the vehicle and discolored it, most notably on the engines on the main platform. This makes it fit in well with other Star Wars toys, even now.


In the case of the STAP, there are only two real accessories (outside the 2 3" brown laser missiles which shoots out of the front cannons), the exclusive Battle Droid figure and the stand. This Battle Droid is the familiar CG robot in plastic form, complete with wear marks around every major joint. The white and gray droid is not as weathered as some of the Episode I Battle Droids from the initial Kenner release, but this is not a clean-off-the-line model, either. What makes this Battle Droid distinctive is the wide stance. This figure’s stance is pretty much designed exclusively for the STAP platform and its foot pegs. Thus, when it is not on the STAP, it looks unnaturally bowlegged and takes some real finessing to get it to stand up. Off the STAP, the Battle Droid looks entirely goofy.

The other accessory is STAP’s stand. This translucent plastic stand allows the STAP to slide into the slot at the top and appear as if the STAP is levitating about two inches off the surface the STAP is on. Unfortunately, over the last thirteen years, this clear stand has discolored some and has a somewhat yellowed appearance now.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and the STAP is fairly good in that regard. The Speeder launches both missiles simultaneously by pushing the navigation platform up. When the missiles are pushed in and the platform is tilted up, the missiles fire about a foot. This is down from almost two feet when the toy was new, but considering how much wear and tear my STAP has had, it is not at all surprising that it would have diminished missile-launching capabilities. There are no additional features of this toy.


The STAP is part of the Power Of The Force collection, a series of Star Wars toys that was exceptionally common, even for the STAP preview vehicle toy. The market was easily saturated with this toy and as a result these have not appreciated in value in the last decade, making it a poor investment toy. As well, virtually identical versions of the toy have been subsequently released in different packages, further deflating this toy’s value.


The STAP may not be a great investment toy, but it is a Star Wars toy that still looks good with the newer figures, at least when the Battle Droid has mounted the flying weapons platform. With launching missiles always being cool, this might not have the best range, but it still holds up!

For other Star Wars vehicle toys, please visit my reviews of:
Power Of The Force Dewback And Sandtrooper
Saga Legends AT-AT Imperial Walker
30th Anniversary Collection AT-AP


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

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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