#3109: Baze Malbus

BAZE MALBUS

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.

#1120: Baze Malbus & Imperial Stormtrooper

BAZE MALBUS & IMPERIAL STORMTROOPER

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE (HASBRO)

bazetrooper1

Who wants more Rogue One stuff?  I sure hope the answer is you guys, ‘cause otherwise I’m writing for the wrong audience.  As noted yesterday, in the just over a month since Rogue Friday, a few new products have been slowly hitting, offering us a few new characters from the upcoming movie.  Slowly but surely, we’re getting all of the members of the lead team of Rebels.  Today, I’ll be looking at the latest member of the team, Baze Malbus, alongside an Imperial Stormtrooper.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Baze and the Stormtrooper are part of the second Battle-Packs assortment of the Star Wars: Rogue One line.  There are only two two-packs this time around, and this is the only Rogue One set in this assortment (the other is from Rebels).

BAZE MALBUS

bazetrooper2I don’t really know much about Baze.  His bio on the back of the box reads: “Hardened by the harsh reality of his Imperial-occupied home world, pragmatic soldier Baze Malbus is a crack shot with his heavy repeater cannon who uses his natural bravado during the occupation of Jedha to face off against the Galactic Empire’s deadly, white-armor encased loyalists, the Imperial Stormtroopers.” He also looks a little like a Ghostbuster.  Which I guess is cool, depending on how you feel about Ghostbusters.  The figure stands a little under 4 inches tall and has the same 5 points of articulation as most of the other figures in this line.  His sculpt is all-new, and matches up pretty well with the other figures from the line so far.  It does a decent job of capturing Baze’s look, at least from what we’ve seen so far.  The head sculpt presents a decent likeness of actor Jiang Wen.  It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close, and it’s very easy to tell who this is supposed to be. Base is ever so slightly preposed, with his arms at a slight bend and his legs sort of mid-strut.  In the case of the legs, this is mostly to offer Baze a bit more balance to offset the big thing attached to his back.  It’s a smart move on Hasbro’s part and makes Baze here a lot easier to stand than he might otherwise be.  I do sort of wish that if they were going to prepose the arm anyway, that they’d just go ahead and sculpt him to hold his weapon two-handed, but he looks alright holding it one-handed, I suppose.  Paint is perhaps the weakest part of Baze.  As with so many Hasbro figures, it’s not that it’s *bad*, but it’s just sort of bland, and also notably thick on the face and hair.  A little subtlety would go a long way, and might make him a little more interesting to look at.  Baze includes his repeater cannon/backpack, which is all one piece, and plugs into his back.  The piece can be removed and swapped with a big missile launcher thing (because Hasbro), which at the very least fits stylistically.

IMPERIAL STORMTROOPER

bazetrooper3Okay, do you remember when I looked at the basic Rogue One Stormtrooper?  Remember how awesome that guy was?  Yeah he was pretty cool.  Well, the good news is, if you like that guy, you’ll like this one, because he’s the same figure with an extra pauldron piece.  The extra piece is actually pretty cool, and thanks to its removable nature, you can use him as either an all-new figure, or just another trooper.  The paintwork is a bit improved this time around.  A few of the details missing from the standard figure have made their way onto this guy, for those that care about that sort of thing.  Also, it’s worth noting that this figure’s white is ever so slightly more yellow in hue than the single-carded figure (due to the single-carded figures being produced in China and the two-packs in Vietnam, thereby using slightly different materials).  He still includes the standard blaster from the single figure, but loses the “exploding” chest piece, which, given the added pauldron, seems forgivable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

No particularly exciting story here, I’m afraid.  I found this pair at my new local TRU about two weeks back (at the same time that I got Dr. Strange and Enchantress).  Baze is a pretty fun little addition to the Rogue One team, and I’m certainly happy to have him.  He’s got a fairly unique design.  I loved the basic Stormtrooper from this line, so getting a variation on that so quickly is definitely a plus in my book.  The more Troopers, the better!

bazetrooper5