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Best of 2020: S.H. Figuarts IG-11

The Mandalorian is the gift that started out giving and doesn’t seem to let up, bringing a nonstop deluge of cool moments and character appearances that will make anybody who festooned their living room carpet with vintage Star Wars figures to have endless battles as giddy as a drunken sailor at a rum…store.

Nothing from the first season was quite so cool as to FINALLY see an IG unit live up to the badass murderbot potential that anybody with working peepers could tell IG-88 was capable of. Sure, technically all he did was stand  sort of in the backgeround on the deck of Super Star Destroyer. But that’s just what was on screen. It’s what he did elsewhere, in the mind… that’s what is important. The adult kids running the Mandalorian realized that and delivered on something I’ve wanted to see for years.

While IG-11 is obviously a different unit than the one immortalized in Empire Strikes Back and action figure history, as things go, it is close enough.

Hasbro put out their own version of IG-11, which was a reworking of their initial IG-88, which itself was lacking in many areas. It didn’t quite feel like the toy I wanted out of one of my favorite Star Wars Droids.

Then Bandai Japan came along with their S.H. Figuarts offering and absolutely plowed the Hasbro one over with its size, sculpt and poseability. I have gone on and on (I tend to do that) about how the lack of outward mobility in the Hasbro IG’s hips pretty much killed my enthusiasm for that figure (T-hips belong in the distant past), the Figuarts figure featured a marked improvement. Maybe not perfect, but some motion is better than none, and it feels like he can breathe.

There were so many great figures in 2020, perhaps to counterbalance the weird horror novel we’re all stuck in. Several of the GI Joe Classified figures almost made the list, but my love of Star Wars predates my love of GI Joe, and when it came down to it, this was the only choice I could make.