SCOUT TROOPER & THE CHILD (w/ SPEEDER BIKE)
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
“Scout troopers were lightly armored compared with other Stormtroopers, which allowed them to move more quickly and easily in a range of environments. They were also trained for more independence and adaptability than most Imperial troops. The Empire used scout troopers for a range of missions, including reconnaissance and infiltration.”
Back in August of 2014, The Black Series dipped its toes into the water of vehicles for a larger scale toyline with the first release of the deluxe Biker Scout and Speeder Bike set. While it certainly wasn’t a failure, it also wasn’t quite the smash success Hasbro had been hoping for on vehicles for the line, so it did mean a bit of stagnation on that front. However, as the line has really grown into its own, the prospect of vehicles, especially on the smaller side isn’t quite as crazy, especially when those vehicles get a reappearance on The Mandalorian. The Scout Troopers and their associated rides first showed back up in the first season finale, and much like the Stormtroopers, they were part of the remnant set-up, with appearances slightly worse for wear. Since it’s been a little bit since the Speeder Bike set came out, Hasbro opted to refresh it with a Mandalorian-themed re-deco, which I’ll be looking at today.
THE TOYS THEMSELVES
This set is an Amazon-exclusive Star Wars: The Black Series offering, which went up for order in the fall, and shipped out just before the end of last year. It’s clearly based around the last episode of the first season, given the specific accessories included with the set-up.
The core Scout Trooper has been included with all three Black Series releases of the vehicle, as well as getting two stand-alone uses of just the figure mold as well. The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation. Structurally, he’s the same mold as all of the previous Black Series Scout Troopers. That’s hardly an issue for me, because it was a standout sculpt from early in the line, and it’s aged far better than most of its contemporaries. It looks perfectly at home with the more recent releases, and the only slight drawback is the range of motion on some of the joints. Even so, he’s able to get onto the bike with no troubles, which is clearly the most important thing. The main change-up to the figure is, of course, the paint. It’s nothing super major, just a generally dirtier appearance on the figure, signifying the “remnant” nature of this guy. It’s not a bad look overall, but also not so drastically different that he looks super out of place with the prior release. Like the original release, this guy includes his very small blaster pistol, and also adds in the target that the two scouts use for practice at the beginning of the episode, as well as the messenger bag carrying Grogu. Technically, Grogu’s listed as his own figure, and even has a point of movement on his neck, but he’s still more accessory than anything else.
The Speeder Bike mold was on its second use for 2020 here, following a re-issue in the Heroes of Endor set. It’s the same one that was used back in 2014, of course, which is fine by me. It’s 10 inches long and abut 2 1/2 inches tall at its tallest. It’s got the same moving flaps on the back as before, as well as the rotating canon on the underside. The paint gets a more drastic overhaul here, since the bikes in the show are white, rather than the traditional brown. It’s a different look to be sure, and they do a nice job of handling the dirt and scoring on the edges of it, matching up pretty well with the show appearance. Instead of the old three tiered stand, this time the bike gets the new hovering base, as seen on the Cosmic Ghost Rider. While it’s got a bit cleaner aesthetic appearance, I don’t find the functionality to work quite as well.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I already had the prior release, and was very happy with it, so I didn’t *need* this one…but it’s a Biker Scout, and I really like Biker Scouts. Plus, there was enough difference for me to justify it to myself, anyway. So, I placed the pre-order when Amazon put them up, and then he just arrived. Honestly, it was pretty low investment for me, I mean, apart from paying for it, I guess. It’s a cool set, and adds enough value to what was already there to make it worthwhile in my mind.