EV-9D9 - The 'armless Torture Droid

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EV-9D9 - The 'armless Torture Droid

Post by General Kahn on Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:32 pm

EV-9D9 - The 'armless Torture Droid

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Yak Face may very well demand the highest price of the Power Of The Force figures, but he is by no means the hardest to find, that is probably R2-D2 with pop-up Saber, but another figure that is slowly becoming harder to find, at least intact is EV-9D9. The female torture droid is plagued with possibly the biggest design flaw of the entire Star Wars line. Finding this figure with a missing arm is fast becoming easier than finding an intact one. Theoretically EV-9D9 probably shouldn't have got past the prototype stage as this flaw should have flagged up during the stress testing stage, I guess, it either slipped through unnoticed or did flag up but was pushed through anyway given how close the inevitable end of the line was.
I figured that just about every collector on Earth is aware of this problem, but maybe not everyone understands why this problem occurs so I thought I would write a brief synopsis of the reasons behind this problem.

First of all we need to take a quick look inside your average figure as the vast majority follow the exact same interior design. In this case I'm going to use this European No COO Leia figure that has come apart over time, funnily enough a common occurrence with this specific figure also, this how ever is the result of poor sonic weld which only really exist towards the bottom of the figure and over time, with the tight interior, movement of the arms eventually breaks it open.

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Now if you look at the pictures above, you can see the basic design of the limbs, there is the limb its self then there is the rod that enters the torso part and then there is the disc which stops it falling out, you will also notice ridges down the side of the rod, these fit into grooves inside the body as shown below:

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It's the ridges and these grooves that give the figure that case fresh 'snap' when the limbs are moved for the first time. It's also this that is intended to keep the limbs stiff. In the case of this Leia, it's this action that ultimately prizes the torso apart. Now EV-9D9 has a very different design to this and the standard figure which can be seen on this broken arm below:

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To give you a better idea of the difference I've drawn this diagram:

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As you can see the rod that goes into the torso is two size including a much thinner section which is the bit that always breaks. It would also appear that the EV-9D9 figure doesn't have the 'snap' ridges, probably a good thing other wise these figures would break a hell of a lot sooner. It's this thin section which produces the first major problem simply because it's thin and therefore much more susceptible to breaking, but this is not the main reason for this breakage, unfortunately Ev-9D9 really had everything working against her.
The next major problem came from the two torso parts. Now typically on all other figures, both the front and the back torso part have a perfect semi-circle opening for the arm to fit, so when the torso is welded together you have a circular rod turning within a circular hole. This is not entirely the case with EV-9D9, the large part of the circular rod is housed within a perfect circle like the standard figure, however the thin part of the rod, is not. The front part of the torso has a U shaped opening where as the back part of the torso is flat, now although this should theoretically allow for the circular rod to turn inside, it didn't quite give it the right amount of room and flat edge kind of acted more like a cutting tool against the thin section of the rod every time the arm was moved. The pictures below show this tight space, and you can kind of see how a perfect circle didn't really fit very well.

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There was however one final nail in the coffin though that really sealed the deal on this arm problem. The interior cavity of the figure was simply too tight, very similar to the Leia problem, except the weld on EV-9D9 is strong, which doesn't allow for any give, so here is what happens:

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Basically, if you move the arm (Point C) then it moves, however Point A remains largely static because of the tight fitting of the torso parts which means that Point B twists. Now add the cutting edge of the back torso flat edge and the fact that all this is happening to the thinnest point and there you have it a recipe for disaster!

So, the next time you get your hands on an intact EV-9D9.... for God Sake don't move the arms at all!

gkhan
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Re: EV-9D9 - The 'armless Torture Droid

Post by Commander Clint on Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:07 pm

Fantastic article Alex, and very well explained. yay

As a customizer, I've see the inside of lots figures.  But I'm guessing there are lots of collectors that haven't.  They should know how there toys are held together now. cheers
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Re: EV-9D9 - The 'armless Torture Droid

Post by ourchickenshack on Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:37 am

That was a great read and very informative Alex cheers

All your good looks ...

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and Brains Too !!
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Re: EV-9D9 - The 'armless Torture Droid

Post by cantina_patron on Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:06 am

Very well explained and illustrated article Alex. Thank you for sharing it with us. clapping
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Re: EV-9D9 - The 'armless Torture Droid

Post by Kamshaft on Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:50 pm

I've never cut one open. Cool.
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Re: EV-9D9 - The 'armless Torture Droid

Post by chris.75 on Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:24 pm

Excellent write up Alex, I have never given it much thought before now.
But now that I know, I will definitely not be moving the arms on my EV-9D9 ever again affraid

I take it that the head and legs are of a different design, so do not suffer from this issue?
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Re: EV-9D9 - The 'armless Torture Droid

Post by emperorburns on Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:45 pm

An excellent detailed write up as usual alex Smile should be worth pointing out there are repro ev9d9 arms available out there.no idea if they stick out like a sore thumb or not as ive never had one.but thought it was worth mentioning while were on the subject of ev9d9

Daren
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Re: EV-9D9 - The 'armless Torture Droid

Post by hellhippie on Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:26 pm

that's a great write up . ill keep mine intact thanks Razz
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Re: EV-9D9 - The 'armless Torture Droid

Post by General Kahn on Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:59 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:ill keep mine intact thanks

Good call! Keep those arms static! Very Happy

The two armless figures in the original picture belong to two of my friends, one has no arm at all, the other has it's original arm, just broken. The figure with both arms intact is from my collection and amazingly it is actually from my childhood collection and survived two kids and 10 years stuffed in a bin bag in the attic, I guess the lack of playability with the figure meant me and my brother didn't give it much attention. Very Happy

@chris.75

By this point in production the vast majority of figure were designed with the socket head, where the head is hollow and fit onto a ball rod which is part of the torso. This design however wouldn't have allowed for the moving jaw on EV-9D9 so they used the old style like was used on the SW line, the same as can be seen on the Princess Leia here. I have never seen inside an EV-9D9  but I don't believe the head has a thinner section, I assume it will be the same as Leia so it's unlikely to break, however it does quite often become quite wobbly, mine is quite wobbly.
The legs however have a completely different design. Now this is something else that some people may not know, which I just assumed everyone knew until recently. Me and my brother found this out as kids, but while talking to some collecting friends recently I found out they had know idea at all.
8D8's legs can be removed quite easily, they just pop off and are attached by a socket in the leg which pops on to a rod on the torso as can be seen here:

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Now 8D8 and EV-9D9 where designed in the same way as 2 up sculpts, which basically means they where designed twice the size of a normal figures, the two also have very similar leg designs so it's likely that EV-9D9 has the same style of leg as 8D8, however I have no intention of trying to pop those legs off, it does look as though this is the case if you look at the joint closely. Also if you look at the crouch area from the back like in the photo below, you can see that there is very little space on both figures to incorporate the usual style of joint like on the Princess Leia figure. EV-9D9 actually has an even smaller area so it's almost certain that the design would be the same as 8D8.

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Re: EV-9D9 - The 'armless Torture Droid

Post by Commander Clint on Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:43 pm

With the ridges on the inside of the body cavity, as well as being too tight, maybe the sonic welding fused the arm flange "A" to the torso? What a Face
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Re: EV-9D9 - The 'armless Torture Droid

Post by Suber2016 on Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:02 am

Wow! that´s pretty interesting. Now guys, please help me. Here in Mexico, specifically in my city, there's a guy who is selling me a EV-9D9 (complete) and a A-wing pilot (without pistol) in the equivalent of 200 USDlls (for both figures). Is that a good price for those two pieces??? I don`t trust ebay at all, cause everybody applies prices without a standar. So, if you can help me I`ll appreciate a lot.
Cheers.
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