STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
“A Kel Dor from Dorin, Plo Koon was among the wisest members of the Jedi Order, respected for his level-headed analysis of events and unflappable calm.”
One of the consistently agreed upon not terrible things of the prequel trilogy, even back when they were new and fans were rabid about hating them, were the background Jedi characters. Sure, they didn’t get to do much, and they weren’t all the best, but there were some really cool concepts and designs there. The creators of Clone Wars, who were charged with actually injecting some likability into the prequel concepts and characters agreed, and those background guys got some serious love. Chief among them was today’s focus, Plo Koon, who got quite a few prominent appearances during the run of the series, and has subsequently become quite a fan favorite. And now he’s got a Black Series figure!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Plo Koon is figure 109 in the Black Series line-up. He joins the previously reviewed Anakin and Battle Droid in what is the final assortment of the red-boxed Black Series incarnation, which is *kind of* Attack of the Clones-themed. I say “kind of” because, well, this guy is the figure that sort of breaks the rule, for reasons I’ll get into as I go through the review. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. This assortment is heavy on the re-used parts, and Plo is no exception. He gets a new head, neck, and hands, but is otherwise a re-use of the Mace Windu figure from early 2019. I didn’t get that figure personally, so I hadn’t yet gotten to mess with it. It’s a strong sculpt, and is a good early sign of the improved articulation that came into The Black Series in the last year. The new head and hands are really nice pieces, which do a fantastic job of capturing how the character looks in the films. The head in particular is a really wonderful piece of work with so much detailing and depth to the sculpt. Ultimately, the details on Plo’s robes aren’t quite a perfect match to what he’s wearing in the films, since Plo was sporting a few less layers than Mace, but it’s not terribly far off from a sculpt perspective, and it’s at least a pretty nice starting point. Also, the average consumer is less likely to notice the re-use/inaccuracies anyway, since the cloth cloak that the figure comes wearing isn’t really designed for removal, being sewn shut at the top. Of course, if you’re a bit adventurous, you can remove it by popping off Plo’s head and taking it off that way, which I’d call a plus, because I don’t really think it’s one of Hasbro’s better cloth pieces. The downside of taking it off is that it reveals something that I’ll touch on in the paint section. Here we are in the paint section. So, the head and hands look great, and Hasbro’s done some awesome work there. Kudos and all that. The problem with the paint/coloring? The upper robes. Plo has been seen a number of times without this cloak, and he’s pretty much always seen with a very dark brown set of robes. That’s what he’s got in AotC, RotS, and Clone Wars. This figure goes down the path set by the Power of the Jedi and Sideshow figures, depicting Plo in a lighter set of robes, which are presumably the ones under his long robe in Phantom Menace. It’s not awful, but it doesn’t seem to read the right way for the character, and only further emphasizes the inaccuracies of the sculpt. It also doesn’t match up with the otherwise AotC-theming of the rest of the assortment. Definitely an odd choice. Plo is packed with his lightsaber, which seems a sensible choice. It’s a pretty solid recreation of his blade from the movies.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I really like Plo Koon as a character, and have dug him ever since getting the old Saga figure. I was definitely on board with him getting a Black Series release, and I was happy to see him shown off. Getting him in-hand was something of an experience, because I was really excited, then rather let-down, and then built back up to enjoying him again. He’s ultimately a good figure, but certainly a flawed one. I wish that Hasbro would have at least given him the proper coloring, if they couldn’t actually afford the new sculpting needed. As it stands, he’s fun, but in the back of my mind I’m sort of waiting to see another release.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review. If you’re looking for Black Series, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.