The Blaster In Question #0024: Captain Cassian Andor Deluxe Blaster

CAPTAIN CASSIAN ANDOR DELUXE BLASTER

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

Everything looks better in blue.  Ok, maybe not everything, but a lot of things do, and that goes for Nerf blasters.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at yet another Star Wars blaster.  This time it is the Target exclusive Captain Cassian Andor Deluxe Blaster.  Well, sort of exclusive.  I’ll explain later.  Let’s get into the review

THE BLASTER ITSELF

The Captain Cassian Andor Deluxe Quite A Mouthful Blaster was released in 2016 as a tie-in product for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  This specific blaster is the Target exclusive blue recolor of the Jyn Erso Blaster from the same line.  Plus, this one’s got a bunch of accessories that Jin’s blaster doesn’t.  It’s built on the classic magazine-fed flywheel system we’ve seen on the Stryfe and other blasters.  Holding down the rev trigger spins up the flywheels and pulling the main trigger pushes a single dart into the wheels, sending it flying.  The big difference between the CCADB and the Stryfe is the inclusion of lights and sounds which activate on the trigger pull, regardless of the rev trigger being pressed.  I was actually pretty impressed with the lights on this blaster.  Every time the trigger is pulled, a series of green LEDs in the barrel light up in rapid succession giving the illusion of a laser blast traveling down the barrel.  Accompanied by the sound effects, it really does make just pulling the trigger quite satisfying.  It’s also worth noting that holding down the rev trigger turns on the blue LED in the chamber as part of the blaster’s Glowstrike feature.  The included magazine holds 12 darts and, unlike most standard N-Strike Elite magazines, is completely transparent orange on both sides.  The outer shell of the base blaster is completely new work though shared with the Jyn Erso blaster, and looks a good bit like the blaster in the film which, if anyone cares, was made with an AR-15 as the base of the prop.  Like with the Poe Dameron blaster, the use of real-world firearms parts makes holding the blaster fairly comfortable, though there is some noticeable down-scaling from the real thing, making it a little cramped in the grip.  All the included accessories with the CCADB are recolored attachments from various other blasters.  The stock comes from the N-Strike Raider CS-35, the scope comes from the Modulus Long Range Upgrade Kit, the barrel extension/suppressor comes from the N-Strike/Elite Specter REV-5, and the bumps along the sides of the magazine indicate it comes from the Modulus Flip-Clip Upgrade Kit.  In addition to the grip being a hair small, some sections of the blaster feel a little flimsier than I’m used to from Nerf.  It’s not a lot, but the grey panels on the sides of the grip and the battery tray cover do flex a good bit if you have a firm grasp on the blaster.  This CCADB is not a heavy hitter in terms of performance.  The power of the flywheels is rather limited, either by design or because the batteries also have to power the lights, sounds, and Glowstrike feature when firing.  This is an indoor blaster, no question.  It does fire reliably but shots arc more severely than most other blasters and don’t land with as much force, making it ideal for busting into your sibling’s room and emptying the mag without fear of getting in as much trouble.  The CCADB comes packaged with 12 Glowstrike Star Wars darts, a 12 round magazine, a scope, a stock, a barrel extension, and 4 AA batteries already installed.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This blaster is largely what convinced me that the addition of lights and sounds to the Star Wars Nerf lineup wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.  While the Death Trooper blaster is fine, the effects on this blaster are pretty top notch and, having seen this year’s offerings, set the standard for effects for “deluxe” blasters to follow.

 

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#1303: Captain Cassian Andor

CAPTAIN CASSIAN ANDOR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“An accomplished Alliance Intelligence officer, Captain Cassian Andor commands respect from his Rebel troops with this ability to keep a cool head under fire and complete his missions with minimal resources.”

Poor Cassian seems to keep drawing the short straw on the action figures. Jyn’s main looks were covered as widely-released single-packed figures.  We got a single-packed version of Cassian in both main scales, but they were both sporting his Eadu attire, which he only wears for short periods of the film. For whatever reason, Cassian’s main brown-jacketed look has been primarily limited to larger multi-packs.  The only version of that design to be released on his own is today’s focus figure, who was still a rather difficult to find exclusive.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cassian is the second of the four figures in the Walmart-exclusive Rogue One assortment of the small-scale Star Wars: The Black Series line.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Like Jyn, Cassian’s articulation is a significant step up from what we saw with the Force Awakens figures, making for a much more playable figure.  He sports an all-new sculpt, which is definitely one of Hasbro’s finest, especially at this scale.  Prior Cassian’s have really struggled to capture Diego Luna’s likeness, but I think this one just about nailed it.  It’s really not wildly different from the previous sculpts, but there are subtleties that just make all the difference.  The body does feel a little on the bulky side for Cassian (I think the two-pack/U-Wing figure may have gotten the build down better), but the detail work is definitely top notch, with the jacket in particular really impressing me. I also appreciate that the joints don’t stick out like sore thumbs on this guy.  Bad integration of the joints was a really issue on the Force Awakens figures, and I’m really happy to see them moving past it.  Cassian’s paint is largely pretty good, barring a few small issues.  It’s definitely cleaner than the two-pack version, and the eyes/eyebrows in particular are very clean and well-placed.  That can be really tricky, and was something that marred both my Poe and Han figures from the prior assortments.  My one really complaint with this guy is the beard.  It still isn’t quite right for Cassian; they keep giving him a full goatee, when it should really be a lot less pronounced on the sides.  Still, that’s quite minor, and it looks better here than on prior figures.  In a similar fashion to Jyn, Cassian includes his modular blaster, which can be broken down into three parts.  Of course, this is more key for Cassian, since we actually see his full blaster in action in the movie.  The stock is a little loose and prone to falling off, but I’m otherwise quite impressed with how well they executed this blaster’s design. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had wanted this version of Cassian as soon as it was shown, but I was unfortunately unable to find him anywhere at retail at the time of his release.  That’s really the main reason I ended up grabbing the TRU-exclusive one, since I didn’t want to be without this particular look for Cassian.  I was thrilled to actually find this guy at retail last week, and at half-price too!  Jyn was a fantastic figure, and Cassian manages to top her.  This is a truly impressive figure, and hands down the very best version of Cassian out there.  He rivals the larger K-2 figure for the spot of my favorite figure to come out of the Rogue One merch.

#1214: Cassian Andor & Imperial Stormtrooper

CASSIAN ANDOR & IMPERIAL STORMTROOPER

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE (HASBRO)

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Hey look!  More Star Wars stuff!  Yeah!  ….Sorry, sometimes I run out of things to say, so that’s the best intro you’re gonna get out of me.  Let’s just get to the figures already!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Cassian and the Stormtrooper are a Toys R Us-exclusive two-pack, which started hitting in early January of this year.  Really, the only exclusive part of the set is pairing; both featured figures have (more or less) been released elsewhere, with Cassian being included with the U-Wing and the Trooper being a standard Series 1 release.

CASSIAN ANDOR

cassiantrooper3This guy’s really the main reason I grabbed this set, since I never picked up the U-Wing.  Thus, my only small-scale Cassian was the Eadu version I looked at back in December, which wasn’t my favorite.  This figure stands a little under 4 inches tall and has the standard 5 points of articulation.  Where I felt the last Cassian was sporting one of the line’s weakest sculpts, I think this may be one of the better ones.  The build is appropriately scrawny, and more in line with Diego Luna’s build than the other Cassian figures have been.  The details on the clothing are also really crisp and sharp, which is especially good given the scale.  The face still isn’t a spot-on Luna likeness, but it’s probably the best one of the bunch, certainly better than the Black Series sculpt.  A slightly better paint job might due its share to fix the resemblance, I suppose.  Speaking of the paint, it’s not terrible.  In fact, going by reports online the cleanness of the application on this figure is much better than that of the U-Wing cassiantrooper5figure, which gives this particular version a leg up.  There are still some parts, the beard in particular, that could stand to be a little more consistent, but at this scale and given the rest of the line, this is pretty good.  Cassian includes his small blaster pistol (sadly, it’s solid silver plastic, a bit of a step-down from the Series 2 figures).  There’s also yet another grapple contraption and a big missile launcher, which I’m lumping in with Cassian, but could honestly go with either included figure.

IMPERIAL STORMTROOPER

cassiantrooper4Remember my review of the Rogue One Series 1 Stormtrooper?  Yeah, this is pretty much the exact same figure.  Not that I’m complaining, of course.  I loved the figure the first time around, and as a troop builder, it’s the sort of figure that I don’t mind having multiples of on the shelf.  There are some slight changes in the paint; he ends up somewhere between the single version and the one packed with Baze.  He’s got the black details on the abdomen that the single release was missing, but still lacks the details on the back of the helmet.  The figure sports the same accessory compliment as the single release: the blaster and the chest-piece.  The pauldron is white this time instead of orange, which is a nice change for variety’s sake, though it’s not like I’ll actually be displaying him with that piece in place.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Big shock, I got this here Toys R Us-exclusive from a Toys R Us, back in early January.  I’d been patiently waiting for its release, since I wanted a brown-jacket Cassian, and didn’t really want the U-Wing (especially after seeing how small a role it played in the final film).  There’s not really anything new here, but its certainly still a fun little set, especially if you haven’t been following the line super closely.

#1148: Cassian Andor

CASSIAN ANDOR (EADU)

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE

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Perhaps the most glaring omission from the first 3 3/4 inch series of Hasbro’s Rogue One line was Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor.  He got a 6-inch figure, and he was included in the big U-Wing set, but there was no basic single release for him.  It’s not a huge surprise that he’s one of the main figures in the second assortment, albeit sporting a different look than the U-Wing figure (though it’s actually the exact same look as the 6-inch figure).  So, was he worth the extra wait?  Let’s find out.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

As noted above, Cassian Andor was released in Series 2 of Hasbro’s Star Wars: Rogue One line.  Like his larger counterpart, he’s based on his Eadu look, which is a look rather reminiscent of the Hoth looks from Empire Strikes Back.  It’s not a look we’ve seen him in very much in the trailers and such, but I suppose it’s just as valid as any, and it’s not like Cassian’s more prevalent brown-jacketed look isn’t getting it’s own share of figures in the coming months.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has the usual 5 points of articulation.  Cassian is sporting a brand new sculpt, and while it’s decent enough, I think it’s one of the weaker sculpts from the Rogue One line.  It’s possible that it’s because I saw this design on the Black Series figure first and that’s coloring my opinion, since this one is a bit simpler in terms of details.  On its own, the sculpt is a passable translation of the design from the movie (from what I’ve seen, anyway).  The proportions are decently balanced, and he does actually look like he’s wearing all of the appropriate layers (always a concern with the Hoth-style looks).  The lower portion of the coat is a separate piece, glued in place.  While I certainly don’t mind, I do kind of wish Hasbro could stick to either this style or the “cutting everything like a normal set of legs” style; the jumping back and forth makes the figures less cohesive. The hat isn’t removable like the larger figure’s was (though it is still a separate piece, just glued to the head), which isn’t a surprise at this scale, but it robs him of that extra look the other figure had.  The likeness on the face still doesn’t look much like Luna to me; it’s looking like he’s the Oscar Isaac of this particular film in that respect.  The overall stance of the figure is a little stiffer than I’d like, but it’s not awful.  The paintwork on Cassian, like the sculpt, is certainly passable, but a little bit disappointing.  A lot of the issues are on the face, specifically the beard, which is really, really inconsistent.  For some reason, there’s this whole strip on the underside of his chin that’s just clean, unpainted flesh.  It looks weird.  Aside from that, the rest of the paint is okay, but a little on the drab side.  Like so many others from this line, he really feels like he’d benefit from any sort of accent work.  Cassian was packed with a small blaster and a zipline contraption.  The zipline is a slightly different model than the one included with Sabine (though it works the same way), but it’s still a pretty cool accessory.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Remember how I got yesterday’s Rey figure?  Yeah, same story for Cassian.  Truth be told, this isn’t the Cassian I’ve been holding out for (that would be the jacketed one from the U-Wing, who’s set to be re-released in a two-pack sometime in the near future), but since I didn’t have the character at all in this scale, I felt sort of obligated.  I know, I have no restraint.  Ultimately, he’s not the most exciting figure, but I guess he’s not the worst thing ever.

cassian3752

1089: Cassian Andor – Eadu

CASSIAN ANDOR – EADU

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

cassianeadu1

One Rogue One character conspicuously missing from my 3 3/4-inch reviews was Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor, who looks to be one of the film’s central characters.  Currently, the only way to get a smaller scale Captain Andor is to buy the big U-Wing vehicle, which seemed like a touch much to me on top of all the other figures I bought.  Fortunately, there should be a number of different Cassians hitting shelves in the next month or so, so I shouldn’t be without one for long.  In the mean time, I can tide myself over with his larger scale figure, which I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

cassianeadu2Cassian Andor is part of the first assortment of Rogue One-themed Star Wars: The Black Series figures, and is #23, which makes him the second figure in the set chronologically.  As noted in his name, this figure is based on his look while on Eadu.  Judging by the number of layers this guy is wearing, it seems Eadu might be on par with Hoth in terms of extreme temperatures (though, as Jyn’s Eadu figure shows, maybe not *quite* as extreme as Hoth).  This is, admittedly, not a look we’ve seen much of Cassian wearing in the trailers (where he’s more often seen in the brown leather jacket-ed look that will be part of the Target-exclusive three-pack next month), but he was wearing the jacket in the very first cast shot we saw from Rogue One last year,  which gives it a bit of credence.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  Sculpturally, he’s about what you’d expect from a Black Series figure.  The details aren’t anything amazing, but they’re decent, and there’s certainly some nice work on the various parts of his clothing, especially on the gloves.  The head sculpt is alright, though I’m not seeing a whole lot of Luna in it.  Like last year’s Poe figure, this may be more of a paint issue than a sculpt one.  I do have to say, they did quite a nice job sculpting the stubble on his face.  It makes the grey paint on the lower half of his face look a bit less silly.  The figure’s mobility is a bit hampered by the sculpt, but that’s mostly to due with the design.  I imagine the exclusive figure will be a bit more posable.  The paint on Cassian is okay overall, with the best work being on the body.  Even the head’s not awful, just not quite right for the character.  It’s mostly to do with the solid black goatee, I think.  It makes him look like a totally different person.  For the most part, the paint is rather basic, with lots of solid patches of color.  I can’t help but feel that this is a figure that would have been greatly helped by some accent work, just to make him a bit more interesting. Cassian includes a helmet and goggles to complete his cold weather look, as well as a blaster pistol and a slightly larger blaster rifle.  The helmet is okay, but kind of on the bulky side.  The two blasters are cool, though I think the larger one could stand a little paint.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was actually rather surprised to discover at TRU’s midnight opening that there was no small-scale Cassian available on his own.  This solidified my decision to pick up the full set of both scales, since I wanted K-2 in the smaller scale, but didn’t want to have K-2 without Cassian, meaning I needed to pick up this figure.  It’s like Hasbro planned it that way or something.  I’ve seen a lot of people calling Cassian the weakest of this particular bunch.  I don’t know that I can refute those claims.  He’s kind of on the average side, and easily gets lost compared to some of the other stellar figures in this set.  That being said, he’s still a solidly put together figure, and even if you aren’t interested in him as Cassian, he makes for a good Hoth attire Rebel soldier.

cassianeadu3