Updated: Dec 5, 2018
Review : Mega Action Destroyer Droid Star Wars Power of the Jedi (Kenner) Wave/Series : Mega Action Released : 2000
Price : N/A
So here is an interesting one as this review is for a 6" Star Wars figure, but it is not Black Series.
Wind back the clock 16 years to the year 2000. The Phantom Menace was released the year before and the Star Wars Toy market is saturated with the new toys, still produced by Kenner at this point. Although the majority of the Phantom Menace figures were 3.75", Kenner did try to land a pioneering 6 inch range of figures - badged "Mega Action".
The Mega Action figures consisted of a Darth Maul, Obi Wan Kenobi and Destroyer Droid. Both Obi Wan and Darth Maul came with action features to allow them to battle and both looked quite cartoonish with over exaggerated muscles and fairly fixed stances. But look past these two and the Destroyer Droid was a really nice piece even after 16 years it holds its own in the 1/12 scale.
The Destroyer arrives in the Green Power of the Jedi style packaging, with Episode 1 Obi Wan over Darth Vader helmet serving as the POTJ logo in the lower left corner. The box is considerably taller and deeper than the Black Series of today but if the Destroyer got a release now he would have to be a deluxe or repacked release due to his size.
The box includes a large window at the front through which you can see the full figure, this window wraps round to the left hand side of the box. To the right hand side you get a full picture of the figure on the POTJ green background, and underneath this is an insert of the Destroyer as seen in Episode 1.
The rear of the box is a bit busy, starting with the POTJ and Star Wars logo's and then a short paragraph about the figure and the "Mega Action" functions. There is then an insert containing an image of the Destroyer from the movie and a short bio. Underneath this is an illustration of the "transformer" function that the figure includes as well as a visual check-list of the other figures in the wave - Maul and Obi Wan. Old school fans will smile when they see the cut out Jedi Points Proof of Purchase.
The inside of the box is a shaped backing card onto which is then strapped a clear plastic insert and into which is strapped the droid... Yes, it will take you a while to get him out. To the right of the tray is the visual step-by-step instructions for the transforming function.
Once unpacked the Destroyer stands around 6 inch high. I say around as the height will vary depending on how you pose him. Essentially the figure is built around a flexible circular spine piece. At the top is the head for want of a better word, and off this comes the two weapon arms. These arms are jointed in three places so are really quite pose-able. The head itself will slide back and forth on the spine piece. This is part of the transforming element, but can count as articulation and will help posing.
The lower piece is the circular hub from which comes the three legs. Each legs is joined in two places and can be splayed out as you see fit. To keep the Droid looking like he did in the film you will find leaving the rear leg splayed out further than the front two will keep the droid upright and ready for action. Just above the leg section are two rear flaps which can extend in and out and form the final piece of articulation.
Now the transforming element is a nice touch, and works reasonably well. The instructions are not overly clear, but essentially you slide the head on the spine and then bend the spine - which is flexible - so the head piece starts to slide round to meet the leg area. As the head tucks round it will hook into the lower section to keep the spine bent in a circle. From here you rotate and fold in the legs and do the same to the arms.
The transformed droid looks pretty good once you've figured it all out, although as it clearly states on the box - he won't stand without support in this mode. I do wonder how much transforming that flexible spine will stand up to. It is already quite floppy and the more it bends the more you will lose the ability to keep the droid stood up straight - drunk looking destroyers may be an unwanted side effect of Kenner making this able to transform.
The paint job and sculpt on the Destroyer are pretty good, certainly nothing inferior to what you would expect on a modern day Black Series figure. The bronze areas have a nice sheen to them and some depth. The grey areas are fairly plain, but do have a metallic sheen to them - they may look a little better with a dark wash to bring out the detail.
Now these Droids are 16 years old, so finding them is the hard part. The good news is that they aren't massively expensive yet, so you should be able to pick up a boxed one for less than £30 - perhaps less if you are lucky, or find one loose.
If you didn't know anything about the range and were presented with a loose figure then I suspect you would assume this is a Black Series figure as it scales perfectly and doesn't show its age at all. In fact if Hasbro (who obviously now own Kenner) pulled out the plans and moulds and then released this as a Black Series release then there would be few complaints.
I am so impressed with this figure I am going to rate it as though it was a new figure. It's not 100% perfect as that flexible spine worries me. It does however tick most boxes and regardless of it being 16 years old, it rolls away with a 4 out of 5 score from me.