STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
“Echo was a soldier in the Grand Army of the Republic, known for his strict adherence to orders and rules — hence, his nickname, which was sarcastically gifted by his clone brothers”
After a lengthy period of virtually no Black Series stuff to review at all, I’m suddenly finding myself with a bit of a surplus of them, which is certainly far from the worst thing. So, how about a whole week of them? I’m picking back up with yet another addition to the titular team of last year’s The Bad Batch. While all four of the initial members were covered last year, over the course of their Clone Wars arc and their own show, they picked up a few auxiliary members as well. The Batch’s first mission concerns locating Echo, a member of the Domino Squad who was presumed dead during the events of “The Citadel.” The Clone Wars Season 7 revealed that Echo had survived, but in a heavily wounded state, which left him with extensive cybernetic replacements, and more than a little bit of trauma. After being rescued, Echo joined up with Clone Force 99, and served as a full-fledged member for their own show. He got a pretty kick-ass new design in the process, and that’s always fun for toys. Let’s check out how that went.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Echo is figure 11 in the Bad Batch sub-set of Black Series‘ Phase IV incarnation. He’s one of two Bad Batch figures in this specific assortment, and the whole bunch of them are technically the second assortment of the year, and are just starting to trickle out to retail now. The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation. His articulation is largely the same as the other Batch members, minus the wrist joint on the right arm for obvious reasons. Additionally, the hip joints are a bit more restricted here, due to the rubber kama, though I did find them a bit more mobile than I’d expected at first glance. As far as construction goes, Echo has a bit of re-use, with the legs being the same as the updated clone body, albeit with a new set of knee pads. Beyond that, Echo is an all-new sculpt. He’s closer to Tech in terms of how he adapts the show design, removing it a little bit more from the animation design, in order to keep it closer the the main line’s more realistic style. He still retains all of the major design elements, just a little more realistic, which works out pretty well. I really dig all of the texturing and small detail work, as well as the fact that they’ve actually kept him a little more svelte than the rest of the team, as he was always depicted post-rescue. Like the rest of the team, Echo gets a removable helmet, though it’s a bit more of an accomplishment this time than the other team members. On the show, Echo’s built-in headgear actually interfaces with his helmet, in a way that’s such a cheat that they never actually show him taking off the helmet on screen from any angle other than straight ahead (i.e. the angle that doesn’t actually show how the parts interface). I was honestly expecting either just an alternate head, or some sort of a tweaked design for either the helmet or the head. Hasbro actually did a pretty solid job of making it work, in almost exactly the way it should work, as seen on screen. Echo’s paint work is pretty much on par with the rest of the team. The paint on the face is convincingly lifelike, and there’s some respectable wear and tear on the upper armor. Echo is packed with his helmet, back pack, a blaster pistol, and a grapple attachment for his right arm. The pistol can be stowed on his left side, which is appropriate, but he’s unfortunately still without a trigger finger on the left hand, so he can’t quite hold it right. The grapple is a fun piece overall, but there’s no actual line connecting the two pieces. It still works as a cool power arm looking thing, though.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
With the core Batch completed earlier this year, I was definitely very excited to get to the add-ons. Echo is a character I liked from his first appearance way back in Clone Wars, and I loved seeing his character arc evolve through Bad Batch. His updated design is one of my favorites from the team, and I think it made the jump to toy really, really well.
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.