Monday, June 3, 2013

Generic Imperial Support Staff (Near) Perfection: The Vintage Collection Imperial Navy Commander!

The Good: Appropriate (and well-made) accessory, Generally good sculpt and coloring, Incredible articulation
The Bad: Low collectible value
The Basics: The Imperial Navy Commander Vintage action figure fleshes out one’s Star Wars Imperial character set in an appropriately unremarkable way.

Back in the autumn of last year, I opted not to pick up the Star Wars Saga Legends Death Star Trooper action figure. I was not terribly excited by it and – given that my wife was buying at the time – I was much more excited at the idea of getting the very similar 2-pack of the Endor AT-ST Crew (reviewed here!). So, it was more that I was worn down on the concept and I was eager to keep reviewing the Star Wars action figures (I’m out, can you believe it?!) that drew me to pick up the Star Wars Vintage Collection Imperial Navy Commander action figure today. This figure easily replaces the Power Of The Force Death Star Trooper figure (reviewed here!) that was so forgettable I forgot I had one until I was going through a box when I moved and found it!

The Imperial Navy Commander appeared in the background of A New Hope (reviewed here!), on the Death Star. These obviously human Imperial officers manned consoles like the Death Star Guns and Docking Bay controls and

The 4" Imperial Navy Commander figure is an exceptionally basic and thoroughly generic Imperial officer. In fact, it is so unremarkable in its way that it lacks rank insignias, which most Imperial officers have on their chest. This is not a flaw with the figure; the character lacked the insignias as well!


The Imperial Navy Commander is an essentially faceless Imperial trooper working for the Galactic Empire. The Imperial Navy Commander stands 4" tall to the top of his helmeted head.
He is cast wearing his black uniform, which is monotonoally black, though it is cast with glossy and matte black pieces. The figure is made entirely of hard plastic, save the belting/skirt (the bottom portion of the shirt that hangs below the belt), and is one of the least-detailed Star Wars figures in the Vintage line.

This toy is a decent sculpt, especially for a figure that is supposed to be a generic minion of the Empire. Cast with realistic proportions, he has incredible flexibility, but very minimal detailing. Outside the removable helmet, the figure is only lightly detailed for things like the belt, hair on the character’s head, and the blaster holster on the figure’s right hip. This is a very simply dressed Imperial officer. As far as molding details go, that Hasbro included seams on the character’s uniform and the tiny pen-like object poking out of his shirt pocket is worth noting. This figure’s hands are molded both so they may hold the figure’s gun and look like they are pointing (or poking Death Star Controls).

The Imperial Navy Commander is very basically colored. This is a figure without any coloring for badges and the entire figure is monochromatic with the black uniform, black boots and gloves and peach flesh tones for the face. The most detailed this figure gets on the coloring details are the silver highlights on the belt buckle and adjacent supply pouches. The character’s eyes are simply tiny black dots and the helmet lacks the silver accents near the strap that are clearly evident on the picture on the figure’s card. As well, the lips have no shading or coloring, making this a very basic figure on the coloring front, which encourages one to keep the helmet on the figure!


The Imperial Navy Commander comes with a single accessory; it is a basic Imperial Blaster, which is a 7/8” pistol that may be unique to this action figure. Featuring a more conical barrel and a scope that is accented with silver highlights, this blaster is almost more detailed than the figure! This is detailed to be in perfect proportion to the new figure line and as a result, they are thinner and smaller than the original Power Of The Force figures. The blaster fits perfectly within the holster on the figure’s right side.

The Imperial Navy Commander figure comes with a removable helmet. The helmet features exceptionally detailed (in sculpt, if not coloring) chin bands and detailing with tiny indentations in them that seem unique to this style of Imperial officer.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and the Imperial Navy Commander is pretty exceptional in that regard. The figure is incredibly articulated and very well-balanced. The Imperial Navy Commander figure has great balance, arguably because the amazing articulation provides so many posing options that it is easy to find the figure’s equilibrium. Like virtually every other Star Wars figure, it has the standard holes in the feet that allow this figure to be posed in more outlandish poses on the playsets and toys that have the matching foot pegs!

The Vintage Collection Imperial Navy Commander figure is high on articulation. This figure has fourteen points of articulation, most of which are ball and socket joints. This figure is articulated at the ankles, knees, shoulders, elbows, forearms (at the end of their gloves, as opposed to their wrists), groin socket, neck and waist. This provides the consumer with incredible options for play and display of these simple-uniformed officers!


The Imperial Navy Commander is part of the Vintage Collection four-inch series and is one of the least inspired Star Wars figures in the line, though it is well-made and replaces prior versions of the figure. Still, it is a pegwarmer and many places that recently got the cases that re-released Darth Malgus (reviewed here!) have this one still sitting on the shelf.

This is Vintage Collection figure VC95.


The Imperial Navy Commander is an utterly uninspiring subject for an action figure, but the Vintage Collection does him right, save the lack of proper coloring detail on the underside of the helmet!

For other Vintage Collection figures from A New Hope, please check out my reviews of:
VC14 Sandtrooper
VC41 Stormtrooper
VC53 Bom Vimdin
VC57 Dr. Evazan (Cantina Patron)
VC65 TIE Fighter Pilot
VC112 Sandtrooper


For other toy reviews, please check out my Toy Review Index Page!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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