STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
“Baze Malbus has a bravado that provides a marked contrast to the spiritual centeredness of his best friend and moral compass, Chirrut Îmwe.”
Hey, look at that, we’re back to Star Wars. It was bound to happen eventually, I suppose. Back in February, I took my first look at Hasbro’s re-visit of Rogue One in Black Series format. I’ve already looked at the main line’s one new figure, Bodhi, and a pair of the re-issues that hit alongside him. Today, I’m following that up with another re-issue. But it’s okay, because it’s one I didn’t get the first time around. So, it’s like it’s all-new, right? Sure! Alright, here’s Baze Malbus.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Baze Malbus is figure 5 in the Rogue One set of Black Series Phase IV. He reissues the #37 figure from Phase III of the line, which hit alongside Chirrut during the latter part of the original Rogue One run. The figure stands a hair shy of 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation. As I discussed in Chirrut’s review, the Rogue One era figures, especially the later ones, don’t represent the line at its best in terms of articulation schemes. Hasbro was definitely still learning how to adapt the schemes to differing designs, so there are a good number of figures where the joints just aren’t optimized for the sculpts they’re attached to. Baze is definitely one of those cases. The shaping of the hair reduces the neck motion to little more than a swivel, the structuring of the chest armor makes the mid-torso joint mostly immobile, the hips are unable to get much motion at all to the sides, and the ankles can only go forward the slightest bit, making keeping the rather back-heavy figure standing something of a challenge. The arms do at least get some okay movement, giving him the ability to at the very least hold his weapon half-way decently. It may not seem like much, but it’s actually rather significant for this era of figure. Baze’s sculpt was unique when he was first released, and has thus far only been used for this particular release since. Issues with the articulation aside, it’s not a bad one. The joints aren’t quite as clunky looking as they were on Chirrut, and the general level of detailing is pretty sharp. The head sports a pretty strong likeness of Jiang Wen in the role, and is probably the nicest of the original Rogue One era sculpts. The outfit is a good mix of clean and smooth armor with very broken in cloth pieces. The boots are slightly on the softer side, but other than that, everything looks alright. Baze’s paint work marks the primary change-up for this release. The face gets the printing, and the head in general just gets a bit more detailing. Some of the other colors on the palette have also been tweaked a bit, and he’s just generally a little bolder and more well defined than the prior release. It makes an incredible difference, especially on the face, elevating the sculpt a whole lot in the process. Baze is packed with his heavy repeater cannon, its ammo belt and canister, and a small taser which can be stowed on the back of his belt.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As I noted in my review of Chirrut, the assortment that included these two was never particularly plentiful, so I only saw Baze and Chirrut once at retail each, and not even at the same time. I’ve had a few more chances to get one or the other in the following years, but with it looking like the team wasn’t going to be finished, and not being able to even get the two of them at the same time, I didn’t have much drive to actually grab either of them. With the team actually set to be completed, it’s easier to justify them both. While Baze still exhibits some of the articulation troubles I had with Chirrut, he’s overall a stronger figure, and one that benefits far more from the improvements of this release. And, hey, now I’ve got the full team. How about that?
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review. If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.