Star Wars: Imperial Probe Droid Sixth Scale Figure from Sideshow Collectibles Review
This feature showcases a cool looking droid that was first seen on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back – the Imperial Probe Droid! This sixth scale figure was first released by Sideshow Collectibles in 2014 and has continued to be reissued over the last few years for the original price of $249.99 US.
I think it’s really cool the demand is there by many collectors to keep this thing being made. It’s understandable because it IS a really cool piece and I’ve wanted one for quite a while. The reason I didn’t snag one earlier is because I wanted to see if I could track down the first release which came with something exclusive: a snow covered piece for the stand.
Long story short: I did! Not only did I snag one, I got it for $200 Canadian, not US! That made me a really happy camper. Sometimes it pays to be on certain FB groups. This is one of those “what’s old for some is new for me” type of features and because Sideshow is still cranking them out (as of the time of writing, you can pre-order one from the newest batch), it may help people decide whether to snag one or not.
The unfortunate part of my purchase of a previously owned item was the condition of the box. As you’ll see in the pictures below, this thing has definitely seen better days. There are rips and creases everywhere. The packaging, for many, is crucial for resale or collectibility. While I agree to an extent, I find the base piece to be what I was after more than the packaging, so the condition of the box doesn’t bother me too much because I store my boxes away and I didn’t buy this as an investment or to flip it.
You’ll also notice, just like all the other sixth scale Star Wars figures, the packaging has the same style as the others. The box houses two huge Styrofoam pieces to keep all the fragile (and I do mean fragile) pieces safe.
When you take this droid out of the box and set it up, it’s about 17″. That means you Detolf displayers (like myself), will need to take out a shelf to be able to fit it in. You lose a lot of room to display other figures if you want to put the Probe Droid in there.
You’ll see the figure is attached to the base by a translucent rod. The one that comes with the figure is solid black but the seller I bought this from threw it away and replaced it with the one seen. I think it’s a better fit, personally, and would have went looking for one myself. I wonder why Sideshow wouldn’t have included one like this in the first place.
Starting with the main body of the droid, you can see that the figure is a metallic black (in my colour blind, awful eyes) with touches of weathering all over it. The silver used really looks like this thing has seen some action and the unscathed look really adds character to the figure. The figure features two small guns on the top and the bottom. Be careful with these because twisting the top one into place and inserting the bottom one can break the delicate pieces if too much force is used.
Speaking of delicate, man, oh, man…the five different arms are some of the most delicate pieces I have yet to encounter with sixth scale collectibles. Each of these arms have two pistons. If you’re not careful, you’ll snap them. I think one was previously broken and glued back together because I went to re-position one of the arms and it snapped off without any pressure used, causing me to glue it back in place. The pistons also need to be lubed up on mine to help relieve some of the pressure.
I showed some movement in the video embedded below, but after doing the video and shooting pictures for this feature, I’m rarely going to touch them out of fear of breakage. I’ll find some solid poses every year or so to keep things fresh, though. It is the major downside to this piece.
The ends of each arm are articulated and can open and close. The place where each arm is inserted into the body of the droid allow the arms to rotate. There is another articulation joint that allows you to move each arm up and down and the base of each arm. That gives you many different posing options.
The unique communication “voice” of the droid comes to life in this figure thanks to a little speaker and sound chip that’s embedded inside the body. If you press the button beside the two cylinder pieces you see below, you’ll hear the noise the Probe Droid made in the movie. You’ll hear it in the video at the end of this feature.
Getting to the top portion of the figure, the head is a real work of art. The plastic colour and weathering effect is exactly the same as the body so it blends in well, with no noticeable differences.
To me, this looks pretty damn screen accurate based on the shots I’ve taken a look at. I may not be as nit-picky as others, but I’m assuming to create something this intricate, Sideshow had to really go by original models and/or sculpts of the design used in the film in order to place the plethora of eyes around the head. There are so many here of various sizes. I think it’s really cool that the ones that are grouped in threes are able to move around and rotate. Check out the video at the end to check them out in action.
At the top of the head, there are two antennae that can be raised up and down. These are VERY delicate pieces, so don’t be rough with them at all.
The top of the dome gives you access to where you place the batteries for the light-up effect. To make the one eye light up, you have to press the bottom button, seen below. When I first got this thing, it didn’t have the instructions, I couldn’t actually guess what buttons activated the lights or the sound. They’re blended in that well to the sculpt of this thing. Great design choices by Sideshow here!
As you can see, the eye lights up bright blue or red. It stands out in the dark, of course, but even in a well lit area like my photo box, it’s very bright.
As mentioned, the exclusive piece for this first edition of the figure is the Hoth snow and rock covering. It’s made of a soft plastic and fits snug over the base. You don’t have to use it, of course, but it’s such a cool looking piece and well worth me tracking down this edition for. I think it’s wise that Sideshow kept this piece exclusive to the first release to have those that took the plunge the first time around to have something special. It also gave collectors like me something to search out.
The Imperial Probe Droid looks damn cool no matter which way you pose the various legs or which way you turn the head/body. I have to mention that you can twist the head independently of the body, which helps when deciding how to pose the figure.
I’m not the best with eliminating things out using photo programs (“Photoshopping” things out), but I try! For those who are really good, I’m sure you’ll take many pictures of this thing floating through the air. I got one good one at least!
Even if I paid full price for this figure, I think it’s worth the money. Well, close to it anyway. With the droid being hollow, it doesn’t feel as “high end” as it should, but it’s hollow inside to allow the sound effect chip and the light up feature for the eye. As well, to have this thing float on the pole, it does have to be light.
Like I said here and in the video below, if you get one of these, be VERY careful with assembling it (use the instructions, people), and use caution when moving any parts of the arms. I’d love to see a Hoth Chewie be made now!
Enjoy the video!