#2039: Speeder Bike (w/ Scout Trooper)

SPEEDER BIKE (w/ SCOUT TROOPER)

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

Just over a month ago, and then also two weeks before that, I took a look at the first and second releases of the Imperial Speeder Bike from Kenner’s Power of the Force II line.  At this point, it can’t be too much of a surprise that I’m following those up with the final piece of the trio.  I’ve looked and both Luke and Leia with their stolen rides, but why not look at the proper rider of the ride, the Biker Scout?

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

As I noted in the Luke review, the speeder bikes in these sets were all identical, meaning this one is exactly the same as the one I looked at alongside Leia back in March.  I liked it then, I liked it the second time, and I still like it now.  It’s hard to go wrong on this one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This was our first Biker Scout since the vintage line, and, unlike that one, this one was designed specifically with riding the bike in mind.  To facilitate this, the figure’s articulation scheme is changed up a bit.  Rather than the standard 6 points, he’s got 7, which includes movement at the knees, as well as a a hinge-style neck, allowing for him to look up and down.  It’s the same articulation spread used for the Swoop Trooper, but I think it actually works a little bit better for this guy, since the configuration of the bike means he’s more likely to need to look upwards.  Despite the extra articulation, he still ends up being rather pre-posed, even moreso than the other two Speeder Bike figures.  He’s got a defined squat, and really deeply bent arms.  It’s the arms that I think are the worst bit of it, because they don’t quite work as well with the bike as you might hope.  It’s a shame they couldn’t also spring for elbow joints to match the knees.  Despite its awkward stance, the costume details on this guy are at least accurate, if perhaps a bit on the soft side.  His paintwork is limited to black detailing on a (very yellowed) white plastic, and it’s rather on the sloppy side.  Like, even for this line, it’s really quite sloppy.  While Luke and Leia both got accessories in addition to the bike, the Biker Scout was not so lucky.  No comically enlarged comically small Biker Scout blaster I’m afraid.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Luke was the one I got as a kid, and Leia was the most recent addition.  Where does this guy fit into it all?  Well, not that far ahead of Leia, actually.  I picked him up in the Farpoint 2018 Dealer’s Room, from one of the vendors I frequent.  I’d long wanted one, and this one was a case of right price at the right time.  Ultimately, he’s really the weakest of the three variants, though.  The main figure’s just not as strong as a proper figure as the other two, nor is he a particularly endearing Biker Scout variant.  It’s kind of a shame this was his only Power of the Force release, but there’s always the Power of the Jedi single-card.

#0860: Star Wars Mashers

LUKE SKYWALKER, HAN SOLO, DARTH VADER, STORM TROOPER, & SCOUT TROOPER

STAR WARS HERO MASHERS

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For a guy who’s not a huge fan of Hero Mashers, I sure do seem to be picking up a lot of these guys, don’t I? Yeah, I don’t really have an excuse. I’m a bit of a push over when it comes to certain things. But, hey, it means you guys get to keep reading about these figures. Isn’t that a plus? No? Well, sorry…

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This five-pack of figures was released not long after the onslaught of Star Wars-merch in September. It initially appeared to be a TRU-exclusive set, but has recently begun to show up at other retailers. All of the included figures are based on Return of the Jedi.

LUKE SKYWALKER

ROTJMashers2Luke makes his second appearance in the Mashers style here, based on his Jedi look from….Jedi. Specifically, he’s based on his look from towards the end of the film, after he’s ditched the vest and unbuttoned one side of his chest-flap-thingy. The figure stands 6 inches in height and he’s got 18 points of articulation. He’s got the same reduced shoulder movement that all the more recent Mashers have gotten, but I’ve really stopped noticing at this point. The figure shares his head with the Bespin version of Luke from the two-pack. That’s nice from a consistency standpoint (even if Hamill does look different in the two films…) and the actual sculpt does a pretty nice job of tweaking Hamill’s likeness to fit the style. The rest of the sculpt is unique to this figure, and it’s a pretty sharp sculpt. This particular design definitely transfers well to the Mashers aesthetic. Like every Mashers figure, Luke can be disassembled at the neck, elbows, hips, and knees, and his parts are interchangeable with the rest of the line (if you’re into that sort of thing…). Luke’s paintwork is generally pretty simple; it’s limited to the face and chest, with some slight finish variance on the glove and boots. There’s an odd spot of silver on one side of my figure’s collar, but aside from that, the application is pretty clean. Luke is packed with his green lightsaber from the movie, which is so far unique to this set.

HAN SOLO

ROTJMashers3After getting his styling jacketed look in the two-packs, this Han returns him to his classic vested look (albeit the slightly less classic variant of it from Jedi). Han’s sculpt is mostly the same as that of the two-pack figure, with only a new torso piece. The re-use isn’t too terrible, but it does mean Han’s got pockets on each arm, which isn’t accurate. The overall sculpt isn’t bad, but Han doesn’t seem to have translated as well to the Mashers style as Luke. The head in particular just seems far too generic for Harrison Ford. Also, this figure’s hips seem particularly wideset. An additional note: Han’s hands are separate pieces from the forearms. They aren’t designed to be removable, but they might pop off if you aren’t paying attention. Han’s paint is a bit more complex than Luke’s, and it’s handled pretty well. There are a few fuzzy lines, but nothing really terrible. Han is packed with his signature blaster. It’s got a blaster bolt permanently attached, which looks a little odd in a basic pose, but does add some nice flare in an action set-up.

DARTH VADER

ROTJMashers4I’ve actually reviewed a lot of this guy before. Vader, unlike the others in this set, goes for a very scene specific look. Namely, the scene where he’s getting electrocuted by the Emperor. That seems a little morbid for a kid-aimed toyline, but okay! The torso, upper arms, legs, cape, and skirt are all exactly the same as the single-release Vader. Same sculpt, same paint, same everything. What’s new are the head and lower arms, which take the previously used pieces, add a bit of “electricity” detailing to them, and cast them in a cool translucent blue. Of course, to be truly accurate to the scene, he should be missing his right hand, but I guess that would be too morbid for the kid’s toy. Vader is packed with the same extra as his single-packed counterpart, a lightsaber, as well as two electricity effect pieces.

STORMTROOPER

ROTJMashers6And now for the set’s one straight re-pack, the Imperial Stormtrooper! Yes, this guy’s the same exact figure as the single-packed version. But come on, it’s a Stormtrooper! You can’t have too many of these guys, right? The design definitely fits the style very well, and he’s helped by the totally armored look. He’s easily got the sharpest detailing of the figures included here, which definitely helps the overall look. The one major nit with the sculpt is more an articulation issue than anything; since his elbows only swing forward and back, he can’t actually hold a blaster two-handed. Also, like Han, the hands are separate pieces, glued in place. The Stormtrooper’s paint is generally pretty decent, though the black is a little sloppy in a few spots, and there are a few bits of slop. It’s all relatively minor, though. He’s packed with a standard trooper blaster, which, like Han’s, has a blaster bolt permanently affixed. Consistency!

SCOUT TROOPER

ROTJMashers5Last, and very much not least, it’s the Scout Trooper! By far my favorite Trooper design from the OT, and also the one totally new figure included in this set. The Scout Trooper’s design is already pretty chunky and blocky, so it translates very nicely to the Mashers style, and doesn’t look quite as cartoony as some of the other figures. The general quality of the sculpt is pretty great. Some of the details are a bit on the soft side, especially on the torso, but he’s no worse than other Masher figures. The one thing that knocks this figure down a peg is his paint. It’s not terrible or anything, but there’s definitely a fair bit of bleed over, and the edges of the white paint are all pretty fuzzy. From a slight distance, he looks fine, but up close he’s a bit off. The Scout Trooper includes a small blaster, which has the affixed blast, just like the other two. Three for three!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

“Ethan, if you aren’t a huge fan of Mashers, then why did you buy this big set of figures?” The answer is simple, hypothetical reader: Scout Trooper. I have an unhealthy addiction to Scout Trooper action figures. It was just my luck that this guy had to be part of a big boxed set. Due to the slightly high price tag of the set, I actually passed on it several times. However, last month, I was at Target, and they had this set for half-price. For $25, I figured it was worth it. I don’t regret this purchase in the slightest. The Scout Trooper is definitely my favorite, but the basic Stormtrooper and Luke are pretty awesome too. Han’s not really my preferred version and I can take or leave Vader, but the overall set is actually pretty fun.

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#0844: Elite Speeder Bike

ELITE SPEEDER BIKE (w/ FIRST ORDER STORM TROOPER)

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

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Geez, it’s February, and I’m still making my way through the stuff I bought over the holidays. It’s in part due to the fact that a sizeable chunk of stuff from that time was all Star Wars-related, and I try my best not to review too much similar stuff at once. Anyway, Star Wars has always valued vehicles of many differing sizes and functions. Some of my personal favorites are the speeder bikes introduced in Return of the Jedi. While they haven’t seen an official First Order update in the movies just yet, Hasbro took their own stab at creating an updated look, dubbed the Elite Speeder Bike.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

FOSpeeder2The included figure doesn’t get a name more specific than “First Order Stormtrooper,” but this guy is definitely different from a standard Trooper. He’s not Biker Scout different, but he’s still different. This trooper stands just shy of 4 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation. Yes, you read that right, he has a whole 9(!) points of articulation, thanks to his fully articulated knees. Seems even Hasbro knew that this guy needed to be able to properly sit. Sculpturally, this figure looks to use a slightly modified version of the basic body used for the Stormtrooper Commando included with the Assault Walker, with a new set of legs, of course. It’s just a basic Stormtrooper design, and it’s as good a translation as all the other releases. The paint is the main difference; he’s done up in all black, which is mostly just molded plastic, with one tiny bit of silver and then the red stipes on his upper torso, which call back to the TIE Fighter’s detailing. It’s a cool, unique look, even if it’s not very technically complicated. The Trooper includes a small blaster pistol, which can be stowed on the figure’s right thigh.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

FOSpeeder3The updated speeder bike is the real meat of this set. It’s a basic Class I vehicle, which means it’s among the smallest vehicle selection (in fact, it’s the smallest vehicle currently available). The bike is just shy of 8 inches in length and stands a little over an inch tall. It has posable foot pedals, handlebars and tail flaps, as well as an opening engine compartment. The bike uses the Movie Heroes version of the speeder bike as a starting point, which is as good as any, I suppose. It has a new set of handles, new fins on the back, and a new front half. The general design of the bike has been tweaked to make it a bit more flat and wing-like. The overall design isn’t bad, but I’m not sure I like it as much as the original speeder, and I’m also not sure it necessarily fits with the other First Order vehicles, though it’s hard to say. It’s certainly not a bad design. The color scheme of the bike has been done to match with the TIE Fighter (and, in turn, the included Stormtrooper). The paint application is nice and sharp, and the color scheme adds a lot of fun to the design. The bike has not extras other than the included Trooper. A flight stand would have been much appreciated, especially since the bike still has the spot in the back where said stand would attach.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up this set from a Walgreens near where my family vacations over the holidays. I had seen the set a few times, and, after a bit of pestering from Super Awesome Girlfriend and my brother, I decided to finally pick it up. It’s hard to say that this set offers the same amount of value as the equally-priced Assault Walker, but it’s still pretty fun, and the included Trooper is definitely one of the cooler ones!

#0564: Return of the Jedi Digital Release Commemorative Set

BOBA FETT, BIKER SCOUT, WICKET W WARRICK, & LUKE SKYWALKER

STAR WARS: DIGITAL RELEASE COMMEMORATIVE COLLECTION JediDigital1 Happy Star Wars Day everyb—oh, wait, sorry, I already did that last week. Well, hey, why not have this Star Wars-themed review anyway, just because? So, the Star Wars movies have finally been released digitally! Provided you don’t count the DVDs, Blu Rays, and Laserdiscs as “digital.” I guess you could say that they’ve finally been released in a fully digital format, or something like that. Of course, it’s still the same re-cuts of the original trilogy that they’ve been pushing for a while, so it’s not like there’s much new to celebrate. But Hasbro wanted to celebrate, so dammit they’re gonna celebrate. Being a toy company, they celebrated with the release of TOYS! Shocking, I know.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four were released as part of the Return of the Jedi-themed boxed set, which was one of the six sets that make up the Star Wars: Digital Release Commemorative Collection. Try saying that name five times fast.

BOBA FETT

JediDigital2Everyone’s most favoritest bounty hunter, Boba Fett! Making figures of this dude is like printing money (it ruins the economy?), so it’s no surprise that Hasbro managed to find him a spot in one of the sets. Boba stands roughly 3 ¾ inches in height and features … 5 points of articulation. Yeah, this is one of Hasbro’s articulation-lite sets. Structurally, Fett is the same as the single release Boba from last year’s Star Wars Rebels Saga Legends and his two-pack release in the Mission Series. It’s not a bad sculpt; the proportions are all pretty good and there’s plenty of texturing and detailing. It would kind of be nice if his right arm was either fully pre-posed so that he could hold his blaster properly or not pre-posed at all; as it stands, he looks like he’s been caught mid-arm lift or something. That aside, the sculpt is generally pretty strong, and one can hardly blame the re-use here. Fett has what is probably the most complex paintjob of the set, and it’s all petty cleanly applied, which is good. It’s worth noting that he’s actually features his color scheme from Empire, not from Jedi. I guess they wanted him to fit with the other bounty hunters from the Empire set. Fett includes a blaster which can be held in either hand, albeit rather awkwardly.

BIKER SCOUT

JediDigital3The Biker Scouts were one of two additions to the Star Wars universe brought on by Jedi’s Endor battle. I’ll get to the other shortly. Height and articulation is pretty much identical to that of Boba Fett, so it’s consistent, I guess. The sculpt is a re-use of the Mission Series two-pack version of the character. It’s actually a pretty strong sculpt. The proportions are all about what they should be, and, best of all, he doesn’t have the weird arm pose thing that Boba’s got going on. Really, this figure feels really similar to the vintage Biker Scout. He’s got a greater level of detail and texture work, but they do give off a the same kind of vibe. The paintwork is fairly straightforward on this guy. He’s molded in all white, with black and a little bit of grey paint. Most of It’s pretty clean, although there are a few spots of bleed over. The Biker Scout includes a small pistol, which he can hold in either hand, or stow in his leg holster, should you so choose.

WICKET W WARRICK JediDigital5

Here’s the other addition from the Endor battle. Yes, Ewoks, those divisive little so-and-sos. Wicket was kind of the central Ewok, being the one that rescues Leia and all, so he earned his spot in this set. It’s worth noting that he’s given the last name “Warrick,” after his actor Warwick Davis, who played him in the movie. That’s a nice touch. Wicket is about 2 inches tall, with only 4 points of articulation instead of the 5 the others have. Wicket’s sculpt was previously used as part of the same Mission Series two-pack as the Biker Scout at which we just looked. It’s a pretty great sculpt. There’s a lot of texture, and it’s a pretty straight re-creation of the movie character. The head covering is a separate piece, which, although it’s not removable, does help to add some depth to the sculpt. Wicket has a paintjob to match the sculpt. It’s not as detailed as some of the larger Star Wars figures, but there’s still some decent work, and everything is clean and well applied. Wicket is armed with a spear which is taller than he is. Talk about compensating.

LUKE SKYWALKER

JediDigital4Last up, there’s this other guy. He’s sort of important to the movie, I guess. It’s not like he’s the main hero or anything. *ahem* Anyway, Luke is about 3 ¾ inches tall and he has those magical 5 points of articulation. Luke is based on his look from the end of Jedi, which, to be fair, is only slightly different from his look in the rest of Jedi. This whole sculpt has been seen before as part of the Star Wars Rebels Saga Legends line. Right up front, this is probably the strongest sculpt in the set. It has some great proportions, great texturing, and great detailing. The pose they’ve chosen is just far enough away from standing straight up and down that it’s still interesting, but not so much that he looks weird. In addition, he’s the only figure in the set with any sort of likeness work on the head. It’s not a perfect match, but there’s definitely some Mark Hamill in that sculpt. He goes lighter on the paint, being mostly molded in black, but the work on the face is cleaner than a lot of Hasbro faces, and the other painted areas manage to not suck, which is always good. Luke includes his lightsaber from the film, and just about the only downside of the figure is that he can’t hold his saber in both hands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

These four were bought for me by my always incredibly supportive Super Awesome Girlfriend. We stopped at a Toys R Us while I was down visiting her a few weeks ago, and I saw this set. I found a few other things I wanted, so I wasn’t sure I would get this one. Super Awesome Girlfriend was having none of that, and insisted on buying it for me. This is a set made up completely of re-issues, however, since I didn’t have any of the originals, that doesn’t bug me too much. Luke and Wicket are the strongest figures in the set and the Biker Scout is a pretty great figure too. Boba isn’t as good as the others, but he’s not terrible, and he’s Boba Fett, so… you have to like him, I guess. You could do a lot worse with $20 than get this set.

#0322: Biker Scout

BIKER SCOUT

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

BikerScoutSmall1

To make matters of confusion worse in regards to the two separate scales for Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series, I’ve opted to go through with reviewing the lone figure that I own in both scales. The key difference here is that this time around, it’s an Original Trilogy character. But, wait, wasn’t I sticking to the larger scale for OT characters? Quiet you! Today’s figure is the Star Wars equivalent of George of the Jungle, the Biker Scout. Watch out for that tree!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BikerScoutSmallWilsonThe Biker Scout was released as figure #07 in the first assortment of the 3 ¾ inch scale Star Wars: The Black Series. Like the Clone Sergeant and the Clone Pilot before him, this isn’t any particular character, but rather one of the basic Scout Troopers, seen in Return of the Jedi. The Biker Scout is roughly 3 ¾ inches tall and has 25 points of articulation. At first glance, I thought this figure might just be a straight rerelease of the Saga Legends version of this design, but it looks like Hasbro’s given this one a pretty thorough re-work. The articulation isn’t quite there just yet, but Hasbro’s definitely making some serious strides. The Biker Scout’s sculpt appears to be all-new [EDIT: A little bit of looking around shows that this figure is the same sculpt as the Biker Scout included with the 2012 Toys R Us exclusive Speeder Bike. Since I don’t have that set, this sculpt is still new to me]. There are quite a few similarities to previous versions, but that’s to be expected. On its own, it’s not a bad sculpt, and does a pretty decent job capturing the various elements of the design. The only real negative of the figure is the helmet. The Goggles seem to be too small in relation to the helmet, and the helmet itself seems too small in relation to the rest of the body, which makes the figure look like a bit of a pin-head. The paint work on the Biker Scout is mostly straight forward, but there are a few issues. There are a few areas with some small scrapes and smudges, as well as a decent bit of bleed over on the elbow and knee pads. Also, the shoulder and ankle joints have been molded in black plastic, which makes them stand out unnecessarily. Had they been molded in white plastic, this could have been avoided. Lastly, the pouches on his mid-section, while cleanly painted, have been painted a solid tan, which seems like just a bit too much of a contrast from the surrounding areas. The Biker Scout is armed with a small blaster pistol.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Biker Scout was gotten at the same time as the Clone Pilot and the Clone Sergeant. As I mentioned in my review of his larger scaled counterpart, the Biker Scout is my favorite Trooper design from Star Wars. That being said, I think this figure would have been better served had I gotten it before the 6-inch version. It’s not a bad figure on its own, but it pales in comparison to the truly impressive Biker Scout from the larger line. The point is, this is a good figure. It’s probably the best version of the Biker Scout in the 3 ¾ inch scale. If you prefer that scale, than this is the figure for you!

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#0285: Biker Scout & Speeder Bike

BIKER SCOUT & SPEEDER BIKE

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

BikerScout1

We interrupt the regularly scheduled “Birthday Stuff” reviews for a quick little venture into a galaxy far, far away. You might notice that there are two reviews today. Yeah, they’re both by me, I just screwed up the scheduling. See, I originally intended to publish the Green Ranger review today, just like I did, but I decided I wanted to take a break from the birthday things to review something I was very excited about. Sadly, the day got away from me, so I didn’t get a chance to stop the Green Ranger from auto posting. My bad! Anyway, that means there will be two reviews today, just cuz.

The subject of this review comes from Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series, their very popular 6-inch scaled line of Star Wars figures. So far, they’ve put out three series of figures with another three planned. In addition to that, they’ve also started offering a line of Deluxe figures and vehicles, starting with Jabba the Hutt and today’s focus, the Biker Scout and Speeder bike!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BikerScout2The Biker Scout stands about 6 inches tall and features 31 points of articulation. He’s based on the basic scout design from the final battle on the forest moon of Endor in Return of the Jedi. The Biker Scout features an all new sculpt. No re-use from any of the previous figures, and not even any upscaling of pieces from the 3 ¾ inch Biker Scouts. The sculpt is probably the most accurate take on the design over the years. All of the proportions look just right, especially on the helmet, which is a really key area of the design. Do be mindful if you pick one up in person: the helmet is made of softer plastic and it gets pressed up against the packaging in such a way that might warp it a bit. The arms might be just a tad too long, mostly due to the elbow joints, and the hands might be slightly too small, but it doesn’t look too bad with the right pose. The uniform features some pretty great texture work to differentiate the armor from the cloth parts of the costume, which gives the figure a nice bit of dimension. The paint work on the Biker Scout is pretty good, by Hasbro standards at least. The basic paint work is pretty clean, though the visor is a bit fuzzy on the edges. He has a wash over a few of the white areas. It brings out some of the details well, but it might be better if it were just a little bit more subtle. The Scout includes a blaster pistol, which is nice, but mine broke putting it in his hand, so be careful.

BikerScoutWilson BikerScout3

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

BikerScout4The Speeder Bike is effectively the title half of this set, even if the Biker Scout may have gotten more of the tooling put towards him. The bike is about 10 inches long, and about 2 inches tall at its tallest, with articulated back flaps and a rotating gun on the underside. The sculpt is really quite intricate, with lots of really cool details hidden in the various nooks of the sculpt. It looks to be really accurate to the movie, which is cool, and I’m glad to see a speeder bike that is mucked up by an exploding feature. The paint work is pretty good overall, but it is a bit varied. The metal under-workings have some really nice dry-brushed silver details, which is pretty cool, but the silver details on the main body are a bit more solid, which makes them look a bit too placed. Otherwise, the paint is nice, with no slop or bleed over. The Speeder Bike includes a clear(ish) stand that plugs in via ball joint, allowing the bike to be posed in mid-flight.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I found this set at my local Target yesterday. I actually found it completely by accident, since I wasn’t expecting it to be released just yet. I was there looking for a couple of other things, and came across this bad boy, which was very exciting! The Biker Scout is my favorite Trooper design from Star Wars, so I’ve been patiently awaiting his release since the beginning of the Black Series. I am thrilled to finally have this set, and it’s hands down my favorite item from the line!

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