#3117: Omega – Kamino

OMEGA — KAMINO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Born and confined to the cloning facility on Kamino, young Omega serves as assistant to Chief Medical Scientist Nala Se. Offered an opportunity to escape, Omega joins the Bad Batch on their adventure”

Let’s just keep this Black Series week going, continuing off of yesterday’s specifically Bad Batch focus, with another member of that particular team.  I noted yesterday that the team got two additional members after their initial appearance.  The first was Echo, the clone they rescued during their mission in The Clone Wars.  For their own show, they took fellow “defective” clone Omega under their wing.  In light of losing one of their members to Order 66, Omega winds up stepping into a far more integral role for the team as a whole, and is in many ways the focal point of the show.  Season 2 looks to only be building on that more, so, you know, pretty important.  Certainly important enough to justify an action figure, and that’s what I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Omega is figure 10 in the Bad Batch sub-set of Black Series‘ Phase IV incarnation, placing her before Echo chronologically, though they’re side by side in terms of actual release.  She’s the other of the two Bad Batch figures in the set, which makes sense.  The figure stands 4 1/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  Quite an impressive selection of articulation for a figure as small as she is, and the range is all pretty solid too.  Omega is sporting an all-new sculpt, specifically based on her design from the earliest episodes of the show, when they’ve just fled Kamino.  It’s a good starting point for her, but also allows some room for additional designs later down the line.  Omaga is notable for being our first time getting a kid in this line…well, a human one, anyway.  Obviously, with their experience on smaller scale lines, Hasbro handles a smaller figure just fine, and it does a nice job of paving the way for young Anakin and Boba, should the demand be there.  The sculpt is pretty solid; she definite sticks close to the animation model, more like Hunter did.  It works a bit better here, since she’s already supposed to be a bit further removed from the others in terms of design anyway.  It captures the spirit of the character pretty well, and the details are all nice and sharp.  The paint work on Omega is nicely handled.  It’s a bit brighter and bolder than other figures in the line, which is a nice change of pace.  Omega is packed with her Zygerrian energy bow, rebreather mask, and Ruby, the pet lizard that the Batch transports.  The bow is only in its fully extended version, with no option to collapse, likely due to the logistics of making something like that work.  All of the accessories are rather on the simple side, but at least they help her to feel like a pretty decent value, even with the smaller stature of the core figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

You can’t really have the rest of the Batch without Omega.  I was quite a fan of Omega’s inclusion in the show, and I’d been hoping to see her turn up sooner than later.  I’m glad that she and Echo showed up together to fully round out the team in one swoop.  Obviously, there’s some room for more variants with more stuff, but this figure’s a good start, and rounds out the line-up very nicely.

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.

#3116: Echo

ECHO

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.

#3033: Wrecker

WRECKER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Wrecker has brute strength that makes him capable of lifting a clone gunship without any help. His muscle and size are matched only by his temper… and an equally pronounced sense of humor.”

Hey, how about this weekly Bad Batch thing I’ve got going?  Pretty cool, right?  Boy, you guys are gonna be real disappointed when I don’t actually do it next week because I don’t actually have anything more Bad Batch to look at yet.  Sorry, did I let the wind out of your sails a bit?  I don’t mean to be a downer.  Would it make you feel better if I actually got to actually reviewing this toy, instead of all this weird meta crap that I keep falling into?  Okay, I’ll get away from the weird meta crap that I keep falling into.  Away from the weird meta crap, we’re going to be talking about Wrecker, who fulfills the Batch’s archetype role of “the big guy,” by being, well, big.  Good for him.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wrecker is figure 5 in the Bad Batch-sub-line of Hasbro’s Black Series Phase IV.  He’s a deluxe-sized figure, and is the last of the original core members of the titular team, though they will be joined by both Echo and Omega later this year.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  In terms of movement, Wrecker is pretty similar to how Zeb worked out, meaning he’s got quite a good range of motion on most of the joints, notably the shoulders and elbows.  Given how restricted he *could* be given the nature of the design, I’m quite impressed by how well Hasbro has managed to make this work.  Wrecker gets an all-new sculpt, which is unsurprising, given how much larger he is compared to the rest of his teammates.  Like Tech, I find that Wrecker’s sculpt does a better job of hybridizing his design from the show with the real world stylings of The Black Series.  There are certainly some more animated elements on the armor design, but there’s also a good balance to how things work.  His armor is well defined, with sharp lines, as well as a little bit of sculpted damage.  As with Tech, a number of the pieces are separate overlays from the main body, which gives him a little more depth.  Wrecker, like the rest of the Batch, includes a removable helmet.  It sits quite snuggly on the underlying head, and is generally quite well scaled to the rest of the body, and does a great job of capturing the design from the show.  The underlying head has enough of that generic Morisson likeness to pass him off as a clone, but keeps his as unique as the others.  It’s a pretty strong sculpt, with a lot of character.  I love the slight smirk, and the scarring turned out quite well.  It’s probably my favorite of the unmasked Batch heads thus far.  Wrecker’s paint work is pretty decently handled.  The base work is all pretty strong, as well as being consistent with the other team members.  There’s some slight wear to the detailing of the armor, as well as some additional scraping and scuffing details.  The unmasked head gets the printing on the face, which works well with the sculpt.  In general, just a solid offering on the paint front.  Wrecker is packed with his blaster (shared with Hunter), knife, and back pack.  It covers the basics for a battle-ready Wrecker, but I wouldn’t have minded seeing his small doll, or even a set of alternate hands in fists.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been waiting on this guy to complete my team for a little bit, since I actually got Tech a bit before I got around to reviewing him.  This guy definitely feels a lot like Zeb in terms of quality, and that’s a good thing.  Tech’s still my personal favorite, but Wrecker’s a strong figure in his own right.  After a slightly softer start with Hunter and Crosshair, I feel like the team filled out well, and I’m very excited for Echo and Omega to wrap things up!

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.

#3028: Tech

TECH

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Tech is the computer and weapons specialist, the most talkative of the group.  His genetically enhanced brain can puzzle through technical issues at speeds even faster than some droids.”

Remember all the way back in April, when I took a look at the first two members of the titular team of clones from The Bad Batch?  Well, hey, like 10 months later, I finally have another one of them to talk about!  Shway!  In my review of the team’s second member, Crosshair, I discussed how the team members all really fall back on classic action movie team archetypes.  Hunter is the fearless leader, Crosshair is the cold marksman, and today’s focus, Tech, is the resident smart guy.  Go smart guy, go!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tech is figure 04 in the Bad Batch sub-line of Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series‘s Phase IV incarnation.  He’s the third member of the actual team in this set, and the second to last of the initial line-up for the crew.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  While the other two members of the team shared a good number of parts with each other, Tech’s more removed, more Scout Trooper-inspired design means that he actually gets an entirely new sculpt.  Thus far, it’s my favorite of the three team sculpts I’ve looked at.  While Hunter and Crosshair stuck a little closer to the actual animation design, Tech does a better job of sort of hybridizing things, meaning he retains all of his distinctive elements from the show, while still really fitting right in with the rest of the standard-release figures.  The only part I’m not crazy about is how they’ve worked the knee joints into the sculpt; I feel like they’re too low on the leg when he’s posed.  Beyond that, it’s all really strong.  There’s a ton of detail work going into his costume elements, and whole bunch of depth to the sculpt.  A number of the armored pieces are separate overlays, adding to this depth quite nicely.  As with the others, Tech features a removable helmet.  It follows the show design quite well, and even includes a posable visor, which is fun.  Under the helmet, there’s a head that looks remarkably like Phil Collins, if I’m honest.  He’s not sporting his signature glasses from the show, but that’s honestly one of those in-show cheats, since he wouldn’t be able to have them under the helmet anyway.  Tech’s paint work is a pretty decent set-up, improving on the other two a bit.  There’s just a lot more going on with the layout of the color work here, and it gives him a lot more to work with.  The underlying head gets the printed technique, which looks good on the sculpt.  Tech is packed with a small blaster, three different tools, and a back pack.  The blaster’s standard issue, and doesn’t actually have a spot for storage, but I’d rather have it than not.  The tools can all be stashed on his belt, where they stay nice and secure.  The back pack is a little loose when plugged into the back, but otherwise it’s a cool piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Of the core Bad Batch team, Tech was definitely the one I was looking forward to the most.  I just really like his design, and I was looking forward to seeing it in toy form.  It was a long wait to get him, but I’m really happy with the end result.  Definitely my favorite of the team so far, and just generally one of the best Black Series figures of the more recent offerings.

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.

#2754: Elite Squad Trooper

ELITE SQUAD TROOPER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“After the formation of the Galactic Empire, a small group of highly skilled enlisted recruits is tasked with neutralizing anti-Imperial insurgents throughout the galaxy.”

I see a Trooper and I want to paint it black! No colors anymore, I want them to turn black!

It’s a pretty well-established thing that you can make anything in Star Wars better by, as The Who said, painting it black.  Well, it mostly applies to troopers, I guess, but there’s a lot of those, so that’s a high percentage of Star Wars things.  While mostly an excuse to sell some more toys, the concept of painting a trooper black has also found its way into the Star Wars ‘verse proper, with all sorts of different rationales behind it.  In the case of the Clone Troopers, the latest excuse for them being all dark and monochromatic comes in the form of the Elite Squad Troopers, who will be playing some sort of role in the upcoming Bad Batch show, though specifically what, we don’t know quite yet.  It does mean we’ve got the toy, though, which is good an excuse as any to trot out the Clone Trooper molds in swanky all-black.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Elite Squad Trooper is figure 03 in the Bad Batch sub-set of Black Series, and is the third and final of the three Bad Batch-related figure in the most recent assortment of the line.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  This guy is completely built out of re-used parts, though, in contrast to how things may look at first glance, they’re not all from the new Kamino Trooper mold.  He uses that figure’s upper half, combined with the legs of the previous Clone Trooper body.  It’s…different?  I’m admittedly not sure why exactly they’ve made the change here.  The range of motion was certainly better on the newer legs; the old ones are rather restricted in the ankles and hips.  The only thing I can think of is that there were concerns of long-term durability with the construction of the new knee pads.  I suppose there’s also potentially some aesthetic benefits to the older legs, but I’m not entirely sure it’s worth the trade-off, if I’m honest.  I mean, it’s still generally better than just using the whole older Clone Trooper body; at least this one can more properly hold his weapons.  In another instance of looks being deceiving, the paint work isn’t just a straight all-black set-up.  In addition to the green visor, it’s also worth noting that the armor proper isn’t straight black, but rather more of a slate color, while the body suit is a straight black.  It’s a subtle, but well done contrast, which also keeps him from being too visually bland.  This guy’s packed with one single accessory, the DC-15A blaster.  It’s a shame he just gets the one, since prior clones have gotten both the 15A and 15S versions.  I’m guessing this might be a show-accuracy sort of thing, but it still makes the figure feel a little light, especially since he’s all repaint.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

An all-black repaint of any new trooper mold is effectively a given, so I was sort of expecting this one to crop up at some point, though I wasn’t expecting it quite this quickly.  The mixed mold is a little weird, especially this soon after establishing the new body, and I wish they weren’t cutting accessories, but I will admit this figure is really slick looking.  Sometimes, I’m just very easy to please, and this is one of those times.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure 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.

#2753: Crosshair

CROSSHAIR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“The Bad Batch, technically known as Clone Force 99, is the result of Kaminoan experiments to create specialist clone commandos. Crosshair is the team sniper who displays superior accuracy.”

The Bad Batch is, admittedly, a team primarily built out of action movie team archetypes.  Hunter’s the team’s leader guy, specializing in…uhh…leading?  So, he’s got that role covered.  But where would the team be without some sort of of dark loner guy who keeps to himself and snipes from afar?  Fear not, they’ve got Crosshair for this role.  He’s dark!  He’s a loner!  He snipes!  What more could you want?  Hopefully it’s action figures, because that’s what we’ve got here.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Crosshair is the second figure in the Bad Batch-sub-line of Star Wars: The Black Series‘s Phase IV run.  He’s another figure in the fourth assortment of the line, and the second of the three Bad Batch figures included therein.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Crosshair’s articulation scheme is the same as Hunter’s, largely because he’s built from a bunch of the same parts.  It’s sensible, since they do have a lot of the same elements in the show, and, unsurprisingly, have the same build.  He does get a new head, helmet, shoulder pads, upper torso, and bandolier/belt overlay pieces in order to set him apart, as well as ditching Hunter’s more character-specific under-arm knife (though there’s still a hole in his forearm where the sheath plugged in on Hunter).  Hunter’s sculpt was pretty decent, but I like Crosshair’s even more; I think it’s partially just that his design translates to toy form a little bit better, but it also feels like they had just a little more fun putting him together.  His new upper torso gets its own slightly tweaked wear and tear, and his un-helmeted head has that slightly Clint Eastwood-ian look that goes well with the character.  His hair’s been slightly changed up in the transition to a more real-world set up, presumably because his animation style hair just looked a bit too silly on a real face.  The helmet again sits nicely atop the head, but unlike with Hunter, I do find myself actively preferring the helmeted appearance on this one.  His helmet’s even got a moving range-finder, which is definitely cool.  Crosshair’s paint work is pretty much on par with Hunter’s.  It’s not bad from a basic stand point (although he’s missing his little painted crosshair over his helmet’s visor, which is a shame), but it does lack in the way of weathering or any major accenting.  It would definitely help these sculpts to stand out a little bit more.  As it stands, he still looks okay, but it’s not much to write home about.  Crosshair’s accessory selection is pretty solid, as he gets his own back pack, his sniper rifle, and a small blaster pistol.  Unlike Hunter, he’s actually got storage for all of his weaponry, with the rifle breaking into two pieces for stowage on his back, and the blaster fitting into the holster on his belt.  Definitely a nice set-up.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hunter’s kind of the blandest member of the Batch, so while he was pretty cool, he lacks a lot of that flair that the others have.  Crosshair is our first real taste of that more individualized set-up, and I think it does the figure a lot of favors.  From a purely technical standpoint, both figures are well executed, but Crosshair’s definitely a little more fun, and certainly my favorite of the two.  I look forward to seeing the show, and I certainly look forward to getting the rest of the Batch.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure 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.

#2752: Hunter

HUNTER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“The Bad Batch, technically known as Clone Force 99, is the result of Kaminoan experiments to create specialist clone commandos. Hunter, their leader, is a strong and stoic soldier.”

The Bad Batch, an elite squat of slightly defective clones, made their first appearance in what was originally one of a handful of unfinished episodes of The Clone Wars following its <second> cancellation.  When Disney+ renewed the show for one last season, the Batch’s introductory episode was expanded into the full planned arc, and the characters were well received enough to gain a further follow-up, this time in the form of their own dedicated series, which will be premiering next week for May 4th.  In an effort to tie-in, Hasbro’s doing the whole squad in Black Series form.  I’m starting things off, appropriately, with the team’s leader, Dutch Hunter!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hunter is the first figure in the Bad Batch-based sub-set of Black Series Phase IV, and is part of the fourth Black Series assortment since the re-work.  He’s the first of the three Bad Batch figures in this particular round.  The figure stands just over 6 inches all and he has 27 points of articulation.  Hunter’s articulation scheme is very much the same as that of the recently re-vamped Clone Trooper figure, which is rather fitting, and also a solid basis for articulation, since that figure moved pretty well.  His sculpt is largely a new piece (though a fair bit of it is shared with his assortment-mate Crosshair), but he does share his feet with the standard Clone trooper.  Otherwise, it’s new, and it’s pretty strong.  I did notice that his armor design does stay a little closer to the animation styling that other Clone Wars clones, but with no real-word-equivalent armor design for him, I guess that’s kind of a little more expected.  There are at least some extra smaller details added throughout the armor, in order to make it a little more lived-in, so he’s got some scratches and such worked in.  The design is a little stubborn in figure form in a few spots, especially on the shoulders, I found.  That said, I do think it’s generally a nice piece, and I was impressed by how the removable helmet worked out in particular.  Given Hunter’s longer hair, I was expecting it to be a much tighter fit, and for the helmet to end up making him look a lot more bobble-headed than it does.  I think I do still slightly prefer him un-helmeted, but both ways work out alright.  Hunter’s paint work isn’t bad, but it’s a bit of a mix, really.  The underlying face has the printing technique, which looks good, and the customized look on his helmet is impressive, but it does feel like he’d be a little more impressive with some additional accenting to bring out the sculpted details.  As it is, it still looks okay, but it could be better.  Hunter is packed with his customized larger blaster, as well as one of the standard smaller blasters, a knife, and a back pack.  It’s a shame that there’s no storage for either blaster, but it’s a minor complaint.  Getting extras is always cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Bad Batch are a cool enough concept, and certainly one that seemed to be begging for toys.  I’m glad they finally got something, and Hunter’s a good starting point for the line.  He pretty much gives a slight taste of all of the elements we’ll see with the others from the squad.  The paint detailing could maybe stepped up a notch, but otherwise he’s a pretty solid offering, and on par with the new Troopers they’ve been putting out recently.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure 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.