How much blue milk can the AT-ACT hold?*
*And other fun facts you may not know about the amazing new Star Wars vehicle
1. The AT-ACT was designed by legendary Star Wars designer Mark Boudreaux, Senior Principal Designer in Hasbro’s Boys Design Group, in conjunction with Anna Chase, Associate Project Engineer, and a very talented design and engineering team in our Hasbro Far East offices. Mark is known for, among other things, his work creating the original Millenium Falcon, the original Mini Rigs series of off-screen vehicles, and the breathtaking 2008 “big” Millenium Falcon among many, many great Star Wars toys.
True to form, Mark packed the AT-ACT with tons of play features and took the time to sit down and play with his creation. Here are the some of the coolest features….
2. This AT-ACT actually walks
There are two ways to control the vehicle – with the buttons on the back, or controlled with the Star Wars Studio Effects App (available from iTunes or the Google Play store). If you use the physical buttons on the back of the body, you can “buffer” up to 100 walk cycles, allowing the AT-ACT to walk for a long, long time.
3. Walking at scale speed created deeper immersion in play
Key to the fantasy of the AT-ACT is the speed with which it walks. Chris Whipple, Associate Product Engineer in Hasbro’s Animatronics team, wanted to ensure that the walk was in-scale relative to the action figures for the most immersive play experience. To get that right, Chris watched the AT-AT scenes from Empire Strikes back hundreds of times, and grabbed endless screen shots to measure the walk and model the cycle. The gait is deliberate and slow, giving the impression that the AT-ACT is heavy and lumbering, and that makes it more menacing in play. To complete the immersion, Steve Unruh, Senior Electrical Engineer, went the extra mile to make sure that the sounds were accurately synched up to the walk cycle. Chris and Steve’s attention to detail paid off.
4. Star Wars Studio FX™ App
Produced by Steve Caterson, Senior Producer in Hasbro’s Boys Design group, the Star Wars Studio Effects App also gives you the ability to program the AT-ACT, selecting and setting a scripted sequence of walk cycles, head turns, and firing sequences that you play on command. A special Director option in the app allows you to record a sequence of actions, and then add special effects to the video (like an X-Wing attacking the AT-ACT).
5. The “C” in the “AT-ACT” stands for cargo
The Imperial designation officially categorizes this as the All-Terrain Armored Cargo Transport, and the removable middle container is what makes this bad boy different from previous AT-ATs. Mark wanted to make sure to feature this heavily in play, so not only can it accommodate figures by opening the sides, allowing figures to stand along the edges, but the container itself can be used a defensive base on the ground.
6. It has a zip line!
With the cargo base on the ground, you can attach a zip line to move Stormtroopers from the vehicle to the base, or winch the figures back up into the AT-ACT. These types of play features, while not screen accurate, add a critical interaction with the action figures.
7. Three exclusive figures
The set features three exclusive figures, including an Imperial AT-ACT Driver, whose sculpt conveys a hybrid of armor and cloth – suitable to the tropical conditions under which the AT-ACT crews operate. In addition, the set includes an exclusive imperial Astromech Droid, C2-B5, and Jyn Erso with “Sand-blasted” deco, a variation exclusive to the AT-ACT.
8. It fires Nerf Elite darts
Hidden inside the AT-ACT head is a mini-magazine that holds four darts (included). After activating the controls, either via button or app, a door on the front opens, signaling missile launch and adding a mechanical intrigue to the sequence. The door automatically closes back up after launch, striking a perfect balance between play and fan-pleasing aesthetics.
9. Front-facing LEDS lights add to the action
Longtime fans will notice that the head of the AT-ACT differs from the iconic AT-AT seen in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. One of the big differences is the absence of chin guns, but there are new cheek guns similar to the AT-AT’s. Mark wanted to give the impression of firepower, so he added red LED lights.
10. Are you thirsty?
The AT-ACT cargo container featured in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story can hold a colossal 166,000 Imperial gallons of blue milk, if the Empire ever needed such a delivery (say, for the Death Star commissary?). Aunt Beru would approve.