“Fiery” Figrin D’an
On July 16, 2022, Pawtucket (Rhode Island) based Hasbro released Figrin D’an, a 6-inch scale action figure of the bandleader and kloo horn player who “fronts” Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes, aka “the Cantina Band” seen in 1977’s Star Wars, as part of the Summer 2022 wave in its ongoing Star Wars The Black Series (TBS) product line of Star Wars figures, vehicles, lightsabers, and other collectibles.
FIGRIN D’AN: Figrin D’an was the rocking frontman for the all-Bith band “The Modal Nodes.” His deft playing of the Kloo Horn for the band earned him the nickname “Fiery” Figrin. – Character description blurb on Star Wars The Black Series: Figrin D’an action figure
Released 45 years after the character appeared – along with the other five or six members of the Modal Nodes – in the famous cantina sequence in writer-director George Lucas’s original Star Wars film, Star Wars The Black Series Figrin D’an is the first 6-inch action figure based on the alien version of Big Band era clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman.
This seven-piece ensemble of Bith musicians was a common sight at the Mos Eisley Cantina, playing swinging instrumentals for the watering hole’s staggering patrons. The Modal Nodes’ leader, “Fiery” Figrin D’an, played the Kloo horn, though some patrons preferred his work on the Gasan string drum. Other members of the Modal Nodes were Nalan Cheel (Bandfill), Doikk Na’ts (Dorenian Beshniquel), Tedn Dahai (Fanfar), Tech M’or (Ommni box), Ickabel G’ont (Double Jocimer) and Sun’il Ei’de (drums).
What’s in the Package?
STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE: Fans and collectors can imagine scenes from the Star Wars Galaxy with this premium Figrin D’an toy, inspired by the Star Wars: A New Hope movie. – Hasbro promotional blurb, Amazon product page
Star Wars The Black Series: Figrin D’an is a 6-inch replica of the alien character designed in 1976 for Star Wars by Ron Cobb, Rick Baker, John Mollo, and Stuart Freeborn. The “look” of the non-human Bith band drew from the wellspring of classic 1950s sci-fi movies such as Destination Moon and the 1960s TV series Lost in Space (a show for which Star Wars composer John Williams had written the main theme).
Figrin D’an has a bulbous, hairless head and black, lidless, and glassy eyes. He is also reed-thin and dressed in a beatnik-like black, long-sleeve tunic and grey pants, with black spacer’s boots that match his black top.
MOVIE-BASED CHARACTER-INSPIRED ACCESSORIES: This Star Wars The Black Series action figure comes with 3 entertainment-inspired accessories that make a great addition to any Star Wars collection. – Hasbro promotional blurb
The figure also comes with three woodwind-like instruments, including Figrin D’an’s trademark kloo horn (the Star Wars equivalent of our terrestrial clarinet), as well as two larger instruments.
As is the case with Hasbro’s “basic” Star Wars The Black Series figures of the 6-inch scale, Figrin D’an comes in a multicolored box (orange and grey-black for Star Wars: A New Hope)
I have been collecting Star Wars action figures for 44 years; aside from reading (and thus collecting books) and listening to music, this has been the longest-lived pastime I’ve enjoyed, as well as the most expensive. I’ve bought action figures from almost every official Star Wars movie or TV show, but mostly from the nine-film Skywalker Saga that is the core of the popular space-fantasy franchise.
In all that time, though, until I purchased Star Wars The Black Series: Figrin D’an, I did not have any action of the cantina band members in my collection. Kenner never made any action figures based on the Modal Nodes, either in its original 1978-1985 collection or in its pre-merger with Hasbro Power of the Force days back in the mid-1990s.
As I wrote not long ago in Musings & Thoughts for Monday, October 3, 2022, or: First Monday in October:
[S]ince I never acquired any figures of the seven-member (and all-Bith) cantina band seen in Star Wars (1977), Star Wars The Black Series Figrin D’an proved to be impossible to resist since the only other collectible I had with any representation of the Modal Nodes (besides the movie and the original soundtrack album) was Kenner’s 1979 Creature Cantina Action Playset, which came with a cardboard backdrop that bore an illustration of the band playing on stage while alien patrons looked on.
My mom and I tried to store that playset in a cardboard box in the attic at our home in East Wind Lake Village, but rodents got into the box and chewed up many cardboard items, including the Sandcrawler backdrop for my Land of the Jawas action playset Result, I ended up not just without an intact Creature Cantina Action Playset (which was one of the hardest sets to find back then), but I also ended without any Star Wars figure-related representation of Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes, (aka the “Cantina Band”).
PREMIUM ARTICULATION AND DETAILING: Star Wars fans and collectors can display this fully articulated figure featuring poseable head, arms, and legs, as well as premium deco, in their collection. – Hasbro promotional blurb
As I’ve commented in previous reviews of Star Wars The Black Series collectible figures and vehicles, Figrin D’an is a good example of how far toymaking articulation has progressed since Kenner, the original U.S. licensee for most Star Wars-related toys and games, released the first 12 “micro-action figures” in early 1978. Computers, advanced manufacturing tools and techniques, and Hasbro designers’ attention to detail give these figures, especially the larger 6-inch figures I buy every so often, a more “movie-authentic” look.
Star Wars The Black Series figures are made to be far more poseable and authentic looking than their original 3.75-inch Kenner forerunners from the late 1970s and early 1980s. Most of those figures, including those based on human or humanoid characters usually possess only five points of articulation (POAs) (usually placed in the head/neck, shoulders, and hips), though there were quite a few figures – Chewbacca, Imperial Stormtrooper, TIE Fighter Pilot, AT-AT Driver, and character-named Ewok action figures – whose heads you could not turn because there wasn’t a swivel-style POA in the neck area.
To correct the stiffness of the poses that were possible with only five POAs in the Kenner figures, later collections in the Hasbro-owned subsidiary – which was fully absorbed into Hasbro in 1999 – had multiple POAs that allowed fans and collectors of all ages to pose their figures in more life-like and natural-looking stances.
This can be a double-edged sword in most human-based or humanoid alien character action figures. Yes, the more points of articulation you can give them, the more possibilities for cool-looking poses exist. However, this has the unhappy side effect of giving the character a more toy-like look.
Figrin D’an has 24 points of articulation, which allow collectors to pose the figure in various ways that look lifelike – assuming that they can find clever ways to support the figure through mechanical means (such as using display foot pegs or bits of fishing line attached to tacks on a shelf). He also comes with three musical instruments, all of which are based on terrestrial woodwind instruments such as the clarinet and the bassoon.
This figure was first announced in May as part of Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Day celebration, and it hit stores in the summer. It is, as far as I know, the first Star Wars figure produced of Figrin D’an; it’s certainly the first one I add to my Star Wars collection.
I enjoyed writing this review of the latest addition to my Star Wars The Black Series collection, and I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading it. And with that, Dear Reader, I must wrap this review up so I can post it and figure out what to scrounge up for lunch. Until next time, I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things, and remember: the Force will be with you, always.
 Also known – since 1979 in print media and 1981 in that year’s theatrical re-release – as Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope, or Star Wars: A New Hope.
 Hasbro will also release in 2023, through Hasbro Pulse, a multi-figure set with all the members of the Modal Nodes (and their instruments) in the 3.75-inch scale Star Wars: The Vintage Collection. I briefly considered registering a pre-order, but at $89.99 it’s too pricey for me. Besides, where would I display it?
 I’ve also been collecting home media releases of movies – including the Star Wars films – since late 1983, when I started buying VHS videocassettes. I think I’ve spent more on movies and TV shows than on Star Wars stuff. I’ve slowed down on purchases of Star Wars action figures, while on average, I buy at least two movies a month.