STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
“The Empire’s Combat Drivers are trained to handle everything in the Imperial ground arsenal, but AT-AT pilots see themselves as elite, controlling their massive four-footed assault vehicles in combat against Rebel targets.”
Okay, let’s round out this week of Black Series reviews with one more from the backlog. I’m looking at another member of the Imperial forces, but this time he’s of the more usual faceless nature for these guys. The Empire Strikes Back‘s Battle of Hoth introduced a lot of new designs, but perhaps its most lasting and impactful was the AT-AT, a weird robot camel contraption which serves as the backbone of the Imperial forces during their run on the Rebel base. It being Star Wars, the AT-ATs of course got their own dedicated, uniquely designed drivers, one of which I’ll be looking at today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The AT-AT Driver is figure 31 in the Black Series line-up, and hit shelves in the rather sizable late-2016 assortment that also included Princess Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Snowtrooper, Revan, and Sabine. Initial shipments of this figure erroneously named him the “AT-AT Pilot”, which was apparently a major oversight, and needed a correction, so here we are with this corrected thing. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation. The articulation is okay overall, but the shoulder’s are reduced to little more than cut joints by the design of the shoulder plates, which don’t move out of the way of the joints the way they should. Despite some surface-level similarities between the two designs, the AT-AT Driver shares no parts with the TIE Pilot, though they do still share quite a similar construction. The sculpt does a respectable job of replicating the design as we see it on the screen, and the best work is definitely on the helmet, which is a pretty pitch-perfect recreation of the actual thing. The detailing on this guy’s not quite as crisp as on some figures from the line, but it’s not the worst we’ve seen either. The paintwork on this guy isn’t super exciting to look at, but there is a fair bit going on there. The helmet and the chest piece get the most intricate work, and everything is crisp and clean. Along with changing the name on the box, there was also a running change with the figure inside. Early shipments had this figure with a flatter sheen on his armored parts, instead of the shinier finish of most of the run. Mine is a later run figure through and through. The Driver is packed with a standard E-11 blaster rifle, which we’ve seen dozens of times before.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Much like yesterday’s figure, this one’s been sitting on a shelf, unopened, for over a year. Likewise, he was also purchased from Cosmic Comix, during one of their sales. I’m not sure exactly why I picked him up, but I recall I was choosing between this or the Snowtrooper. I’ve always liked this design a little more, so here we are. He’s a nice enough figure. Not super thrilling, or anything, but a solid recreation of a solid design.