November 27, 2014 – On this Thanksgiving Day, I should be grateful for Hasbro’s release of the AT-DP (All Terrain Defense Pod). And if you love the phenomenally successful Star Wars Rebels, you are probably thankful for this first-ever sculpt of the AT-DP, the two-legged “chicken walker” vehicle, which Rebels fans will instantly recognize.
But I have mixed feelings about this rendition of the AT-DP. While the concept on screen and the box cover art are beautiful to look at, Hasbro’s execution might leave you a little unsatisfied.
● Standing 12 inches high (14 1/2 inches with the cockpit hatch in the open position), the AT-DP is visually beautiful and well-sculpted with lots of details to admire. The hatch door (exterior and interior) is intricately designed.
● The AT-DP hatch cover is somewhat similar to that of the vintage AT-ST Scout Walker: Both have dual-hinged openings – the smaller round opening for a figure’s head or torso to stick out of, and the larger rectangular opening for full access to the twin-seat cockpit
● Beneath the cockpit is a single nose cannon with a spring-loaded firing missile, and the turret can be slightly swiveled up and down and side to side
● The entire head or cockpit also swivels about 45 degrees, side to side
● The long legs are hinged at the hips or top, allowing some degree of walking
● At $24.99, the AT-DP is not the best value and is somewhat overpriced. Unlike the other two Rebels vehicles released so far (Inquisitor’s TIE Advanced Prototype and Target’s Phantom Attack Shuttle) which each came packaged with an action figure, the AT-DP has no figures or accessories
● The vehicle is surprisingly lightweight and feels insubstantial, even fragile. If you are of a certain age and remember the 1980’s Wendy’s commercials (“Where’s the beef?”), you might scratch your head and wonder how such a light and simple vehicle could be worth the $24.99
● The legs have only one point of articulation at the top (hip area), limiting the ability to walk and pose the vehicle. In addition, the snap-on legs tend to fall off whenever the AT-DP topples over
● When compared to the much more substantial vintage AT-ST Scout Walker, which had a rear button causing the legs to march up and down, a locking mechanism, and a larger cockpit, the AT-DP feels like a cost-cutting step backward.
Despite its weaknesses, the AT-DP may still appeal to longtime Star Wars vehicle collectors. This rendition is, after all, an homage to the early concept drawings of Ralph McQuarrie. While I would give the AT-DP only three out of five stars, both older and newer collectors will find something(s) to like about the vehicle.