After months of Star Wars drought a flood new Hasbro product is sweeping the country! Among the new product is Hasbro’s latest mega-vehicle, the AT-AT. I’ll be honest, I’ve had mixed feelings about the vehicles at the $100+ price point. While I love the Millennium Falcon, I only got the AT-TE because it was heavily marked down and skipped the Clone Turbo Tank entirely. How does the AT-AT stack up to the others? Based on first impressions; it is an incredible toy and worth the retail price. After the jump let’s look at the good (well great) and the bad of Hasbro’s latest huge vehicle.
The Good: For starters, I’m blown away by the size of that AT-AT. I had seen the reviews; I saw the display at San Diego Comic-con; I saw the box on the shelf…but none of that prepared me for opening the box and pulling the head out. Only once I held the AT-AT did I really understand how impressively large it is. Sometimes, bigger is better…and this is one of those times.
Another aspect of the toy that’s really well done are the electronics and lights. Sure, the voices aren’t movie accurate; but the additional phrases and dialogue make the toy more fun. And if it can be fun and look great, all the better, right?
And speaking of fun, the playset-esque features of the toy are well executed. The “Luke grappling up and under the belly” of the AT-AT is toy perfection and vastly improved over the previous method of doing so. And the trooper repelling platforms? A great example of Hasbro thinking off-screen to add some fun! Incorporation of these playset elements in an action vehicle is a smart move as it makes the vehicle more that just a vehicle.
My final ‘Good’ is the improved control of the head using a pop-up handle on the body of the AT-AT. While the range of motion of the head is a little less than in the original version of the toy, I think this is an overall improvement. When you’re not playing with the AT-AT and making it nod in agreement with everything you say; you can lock the head in position. A forward looking, level position. Gone are the days of the AT-AT sulking; just looking down at the ground in front of its’ feet. With the new mechanism the AT-AT is looking out and proud.
The Bad: There’s two things about the new AT-AT that I’m not crazy about. Up first; the included Speederbike. It’s been awhile since I’ve purchased any speederbikes, but when did they turn bendy? While the front part of the vehicle really isn’t hurt by the plastic choice; the controls are. I also seem unable to get the speederbike to stand upright; either it falls forward and rests on the its front, or it flops over to the side. I like the idea behind an AT-AT deployed Speederbike; but it isn’t executed great. Maybe I have one of my old ‘exploding’ speederbikes in the closet and I can toss a white coat of paint on it.
The other area for improvement are the stickers. And, in fairness, I have to share the blame on this one. While I still can’t apply stickers to toys properly (they’re never straight) – these stickers were tough to get off the label sheet. I was afraid I was going to tear them when trying to remove them. If you do pick up an AT-AT, be sure to break out the tweezers; it should make the application of the decals easier. Particularly when you have to reach up into the rear of the AT-AT and apply labels to viewscreens.
Wrap Up: Hasbro hit a home-run on this one. If you’re a fan of Empire Strikes Back (and everyone reading this blog should be) this is an essential toy. I was initially a little wary of the price point; but ultimately I’m glad I didn’t play the clearance game this time. If you’re not convinced and you want to see some pictures of the AT-AT; here’s the yakface.com gallery, chock full of images.