#1918: Havok

HAVOK

MARVEL UNIVERSE (HASBRO)

“Separated from his brother Scott — who would eventually grow into the mutant Cyclops — and cut off from his own powers by Mr. Sinister, Alex Summers grew up ignorant of his mutant heritage. As a result, he wasn’t trained in the use of his powers until late in life. He has since overcome that obstacle and turned into a powerful hero in his own right, leading a team of mutant adventurers into deep space against the insane despot Vulcan.”

For the seventeenth, and I do believe final, entry in this year’s roundup of post-Christmas reviews, I’m touching on one of the little quirks of my collecting habits: owning every figure of certain characters.  There are just some characters that really resonate with me, and are minor enough that owning all of their figures is actually a totally attainable thing*.  One of those characters is my favorite member of the X-Men, Alex Summers, also known as Havok!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Havok was released in Wave 8 of Hasbro’s Marvel Universe line, which was the third assortment of the line’s second year.  He was numbered 018, following the relaunched numbering stucture of 2010, and was also one of the five Fan’s Choice figures released in the line that year.  There were two different versions of Havok to be had.  The regular release was his then-current costume, while the variant release, which I’m looking at here, was his classic gear.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and has 22 points of articulation.  Havok made use of the body originally used for Black-Costumed Spidey, one of Hasbro’s favorite bodies from this line.  It was one of the better bodies from the line’s debut year, but it was still a little wonky.  It feels a bit like the antithesis of the body Moon Knight was on; this figure seems to have gained the segment of torso length that was missing from the former.  Also, the very skinny nature of this figure’s legs had a tendency to give him some stability issues.  A later variant of this body added swivel joints to his thighs to aid somewhat, but no such luck this early into the line.  Havok sports a brand new head sculpt, which is definitely the highlight of the figure.  Early MU sculpts weren’t the most detailed, but Havok’s actually looks pretty decent, and I certainly applaud their choice not to go with a screaming look, while still giving him that proper Alex Summers pout.  His distinctive headgear is actually a separate piece, and it’s not held in place by anything more than some rather shallow pegs, meaning it’s a little on the floppy side.  I found that a small touch of super glue was needed to keep the figure from being too frustrating.  I’m not entirely sure why it wasn’t just glued down in the first place, but there you have it.  Havok’s paintwork is rather on the simple side, but the application is all pretty clean, and his design looks just as striking as it should.  Havok was packed with an energy effect piece (borrowed from the prior year’s classic Iron Man), as well as a display stand with his name and number on it. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure is the last Havok figure I didn’t own, and he’s kind of been my white whale for a little while.  I mean, not in a crazy, ranting and raving, risk my life to get him sort of a way, but more a “always be the one that got away” sort of a way.  I grabbed the standard Havok when he was new, and I knew this guy was supposed to be showing up in revision cases, but I never once saw him.  Then the line was done, and he was going for some crazy high prices for a while, and I just sort of gave up and accepted my little Havok collection as incomplete.  Of course, my parents, who got me into this whole Havok-collecting thing in the first place, weren’t going to stand for any of that nonsense, and so this guy was among my presents this past Christmas.  Is he the greatest Havok figure ever? Nah, but I do sure like him a lot, and I’m happy to have the whole group together!

*To date, I’ve attained this with three characters of note.  Havok, of course, as this review indicates, as well as Wonder Man and Elongated Man.

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#1917: Doctor Who Series 6 set

ELEVENTH DOCTOR W/ COWBOY HAT, CORRODED CYBERMAN, & SILENCE

DOCTOR WHO (CHARACTER OPTIONS)

Hey, remember yesterday when I reviewed some Doctor Who figures?  Wanna see me do it again?  I sure hope you do, because…uhh, well, that’s what I’m doing.  But these Who figures come from way later in the franchise, because timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly something or other.  Yeah, that’s it.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The three figures featured in today’s review make up the Series 6 boxed set, which are all based on the second series of Matt Smith’s run as the character.  There’s a variant of Eleven, a variant of a Cyberman, and a variant of a Silence.  It’s just variants all around!

ELEVENTH DOCTOR

Hey!  It’s another Eleventh Doctor.  But this one’s different!  He’s got a new hat!  No, really, that’s the big difference.  They took the basic Eleven from the 11 Doctors set, slapped a Cowboy hat on him, and called it a day.  If you want to know my opinions on the sculpt, go read that review, because, yeah, just the new head on this one.  The hat’s decent enough; it’s molded in place, since that’s really the only way to handle it with Smith’s big mop of hair.  The paint is actually a fair bit different, and not really in a good way.  There was a lot of subtle work going on with the prior figure that I really liked, but this one ends up stripping it down to just the basics.  The shirt, for instance, is straight white, despite the fact that I don’t believe Eleven ever just wore straight white.  Oh well.  He’s packed with his standard sonic screwdriver, which is the only accessory in this set.

CORRODED CYBERMAN

Hey!  It’s another Cyberman!  But this one’s different!  He’s got a new corrosion!  …Yeah, umm, so they kind of did it again.  This figure is built from the same base parts as the Cyberman from the Doomsday set I looked at back during the site’s first year.  There’s a tweaked torso simulating the damage, and then a really mucked up paint job, giving him that extra corroded feel.  I’ve always liked the Cyberman sculpt, and I certainly like seeing it here with some slightly different accent work.

SILENCE

Hey!  It’s another Silence!  But this one’s…actually not really that different from the last one.  Yeah, it’s one of these reviews.  This Silence is virtually identical to the prior Silence figure I reviewed.  The difference between the two is the head, which on this figure is sporting a sort of a screaming expression, I guess.  The Silence would do this from time to time.  I don’t really find it to be as versatile as the basic figure’s expression, but I guess it works well enough.  Beyond that, he’s the same figure, just minus the electricity effects, which is kind of a shame.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like yesterday’s set, this trio came from my Super Awesome Fiancee’s parents.  It’s not the most exciting bunch of figures.  Eleven’s non-standard, but not distinct enough to really feel worth it.  The Cyberman and Silence are nice enough figures, and technically army builders, so they aren’t a waste, but they do feel a little redundant if you already have the single releases.  Ultimately, it’s a set that probably should have been split up and packed with more exciting figures, because as it stands, it lacks any real hook.

#1916: The Fourth Doctor & Dalek

THE FOURTH DOCTOR & DALEK

DOCTOR WHO (CHARACTER OPTIONS)

So, I was all prepped to kick this review off by remarking how freakishly long it had been since I’d reviewed anything Doctor Who…and then I realized I totally reviewed a figure of the Tenth Doctor back in August.  I mean, that’s still five months and all, but hardly a cause for exclamation, really.  An area of the franchise I’ve only just touched on is Classic Who.  My introduction to the show was with Eccleston, and a lot of the merchandise was driven by the Tennant and Smith eras, but there’s still a healthy helping of merch for the older doctors as well, especially for Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor, seen by many as the definitive take on the character (not by me, but that’s a whole other thing).  I’ll be looking at variant of Four today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pairing was one of 11 “Doctor and Dalek” two-packs released in 2013 as exclusives to the UK-branch of Toys R Us, before being distributed through specialty shops in the US.  This pair of figures is based on “Genesis of the Daleks,” one of the most popular serials from the Fourth Doctor’s tenure.

THE FOURTH DOCTOR

This isn’t the first time I’ve looked at the Fourth Doctor, since I also did that mammoth-sized review of the 11 Doctors boxed set, which nearly killed me.  This one seems less death-inducing.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation, keeping consistent with the line as a whole.  The Doctor’s sculpt did surprise me slightly, since it’s not just the same as the prior figure I looked at.  It’s still a repaint (because all of the figures in the “Doctor and Dalek” line-up were), but this Fourth Doctor is actually wearing a rather different outfit from the last one.  It’s the same overall appearance, of course, and the two share a number of pieces between them for consistency’s sake.  The main differences are the jacket, tie, and shoes.  While I like the new shoes, which feature some nifty detailing, the much smoother jacket doesn’t seem quite as cool to me, since the detailing on the jacket was one of my favorite parts of the last figure.  Paint’s another area where the figure slightly changes things up, with a few color swaps here and there.  For the most part, it’s about the same quality as the last one, though the skin tone on this one seems a little less organic than the last one.  The Fourth Doctor’s one accessory is his Sonic Screwdriver.

DALEK

Obviously, a “Doctor and Dalek” set needs a Dalek.  So, here he is.  He’s a pretty straightforward “classic” Dalek.  He’s about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 4 points of articulation, like most Daleks do.  This one is pretty similar in construction to the Dalek Sek figure I looked at way back when, just with slightly different “horns” on his head to show that he’s not from the RTD era like that one was.  It’s a very nice sculpt, filled with lots of in depth details, which really make him look like a scaled down prop from the show.  This Dalek is somewhat less colorful than others have been, with a sort of grayish-blue as his main hue.  It does the sculpt well, though, and ends up being pretty eye-catching.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This pair were a Christmas gift from my Super Awesome Fiancee’s parents, based on some suggestions from Super Awesome Fiancee herself.  I think they may have been part of a bulk buy of some other Who stuff.  I don’t know that this Fourth Doctor really out-paces the 11 Doctors one, but he’s a decent enough offering.  The Dalek, on the other hand, is a lot of fun, and will likely end up nearer the front of my Who shelf.

#1915: Turbo Builder Set

TURBO BUILDER SET (W/ JONESY & RAVEN)

FORTNITE (JAZWARES)

Well, with another week of Post-Christmas reviews under my belt, and a theme thoroughly exhausted, let’s go back to the beginning.  Yep, I started this year’s round of gift reviews off with a Fortnite item, and here I am with another.  I know, I’m as surprised as all of you.  With my last Fortnite review being on the smaller side, I’m jumping over the other end of the spectrum, and taking a look at one of the largest offerings in the line, the Turbo Builder Set, featuring Jonesy and Raven!

THE SET ITSELF

The Turbo Builder Set is the largest offering so far from Jazwares’ Fortnite line.  It’s made up of the two figures, the AC/DC and standard pickaxe harvesting tools, the hunting rifle, revolver, submachine gun, tactical shotgun, and, of course, the main focus, a whopping 81 building plates, evenly divided between wooden planks, sheet metal, and brick and mortar.  There are a lot of building options with the plates, and they are of course completely inter-compatible with the ones included with Rust Lord and Raptor.  They can be a little tricky to assemble and take back apart multiple times, which led to a few broken connectors on mine, but with the sheer quantity offered here, I don’t foresee it being too much of an issue.

JONESY

Jonesy is another character that seems to be leaning heavily on the G.I. Joe end of the spectrum, and also being about as standard issue as you can get.  There are a lot of potential variants of Jonesy, but this one seems to be based on his “Survival” variant, which again looks to be using some pretty standard issue looks.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation.  He’s built in the same fashion as the last two figures I looked at, meaning there are a number of similarities to the 25th Anniversary Joes.  Jonesy has the first parts re-use I’ve seen in the line, with a small handful of parts being shared with the Rust Lord figures.  It’s just the lower arms, lower legs, and pelvis, which appear to be pretty similar elements in game as well.  I was surprised by how few of those parts were actually re-used, given that some of the uniquely sculpted parts are just small tweaks away from being the same.  Hey, I’m not going to knock the attention to detail, though.  Jonesy’s head is further on the cartoony side of things than some of the line’s other offerings, which I’m not huge on, because it’ll make slotting him in with Joes a little harder.  That said, it’s still a decent enough sculpt, and it’s pretty accurate to the game design.  His paintwork is pretty decently handled.  Application is clean, and there don’t appear to be any missing applications.  I was also quite impressed by the tattoo on his right arm; that’s a nice attention to detail.

RAVEN

Definitely the most unique of the figures I’ve looked at from this line, Raven moves away from the knock-off G.I. Joe bit that the others possess.  Raven’s design is one of the ones that’s a bit more dependent on the game’s animation style to sell it, which makes its translation to toy form a little more difficult.  The end result is okay, but not quite as impressive as I’d hoped.  The biggest letdown is the implementation of his head; in the game, he’s got a hood that obscures is face, so that all you can see are his eyes peering out.  I was expecting something along the lines of a Moon Knight figure, with a featureless black head underneath of a sculpted hood.  Instead, the figure has an empty head with some eyes sculpted on it.  It’s pretty shallow, so it never seems to look quite right, especially when directly lit.  The design of the body also ends up limiting the articulation a bit more than usual, especially in the arms.  Beyond that, there are still some nice details worked throughout, and he’s still a generally enjoyable figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I touched on in my Black Series reviews, there was some slight worry about those figures not arriving in time for Christmas.  Since they were going to be my main gift, Super Awesome Fiancee wanted to make sure I had *something* and since I’d mentioned this set in passing when I got Rust Lord, she tracked one down for me.  Of course the Black Series figures ended up arriving on time, so I guess it just worked out well for me.  Jonesy’s another for my “augmenting my Joes” venture, Raven’s a flawed but entertaining figure, and the building plates are certainly going to make for some fun diorama building.  All in all, another winning piece from this line.  I hope that Jazwares can keep it up!

#1914: Rio Durant

RIO DURANT

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Rio Durant has carried out dangerous operations alongside the scoundrel Tobias Beckett for years. The good-natured Ardennian pilot is up for any challenge, not unlike his young counterpart Han Solo.”

What do Rio Durant and head Mandolorian Pre Vizla have in common?  Well, in addition to both being characters from the prequel era of Star Wars, they’re also both voiced by director Jon Favreau, who will once more be returning to the world of  Star Wars for the TV-bound The Mandalorian.  But, let’s stay focused on the here and now!  It’s time to look at this here Rio Durant action figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Rio is figure 77 in the Black Series line-up, the final of the four Solo figures, and the final figure in general in the latest assortment of Black Series figures.  Rio’s seen here in his basic pilot’s gear, which is really the only prominent look he’s got.  Fortunately, it’s a good one.  The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 41 points of articulation.  All those extra arms sure do help him keep that articulation count high!  Rio’s sculpt is an all-new affair, and it’s a top-notch one, just like the rest of this assortment.  As with L3, the figure really benefits from having waited until all of the final designs were available, thus allowing him to be as screen-accurate as possible.  He’s pretty much a pitch-perfect recreation of the on-screen design, and there’s a lot of very sharp detail work going on here.  Additionally, the articulation has been very nicely implemented, so he’s really, really posable.  They’ve even wisely given his holster an easy to pop-out plug, thereby removing the potential of restricting his hip joint on that leg.  It’s simple, but one of the more inventive things I’ve seen Hasbro implement on these figures.  Rio’s paintwork is clean, bold, and eye-catching.  There’s some slight weathering on his belt and jumpsuit, plus some pretty subtle accent work on his exposed skin, giving him a nice real-world-quality.  Rio is packed with a blaster pistol, a larger blaster rifle, and a removable pair of goggles, making him one of the best accessorized figures in the assortment.  The rifle in particular is one of my favorites from the line, just because of how unique and different it is.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Rio was one of my favorite parts of Solo, and like L3, I was a little bummed that he wasn’t among any of the earlier offerings.  As a whole, this assortment had quite a few figures that were very high on my want list, and Rio still found himself near the top of the list.  A lot of great work went into this guy, and he continues the Solo sub-line’s trend of just being really darn good.  I’m happy to have finally rounded out Beckett’s crew, and even happier that it was with such a great figure.

#1913: Lando Calrissian – Skiff Guard

LANDO CALRISSIAN — SKIFF GUARD

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Once a smooth-talking smuggler, Lando Calrissian changed from a get-rich-quick schemer to a selfless leader in the fight against the Empire. When his old friend Han was held captive in the palace of Jabba the Hutt, Lando joined Princess Leia in a mission to rescue him from certain demise.”

Lando Calrissian may not have joined our heroes until their second outing, but he has maintained a notoriety amongst the fanbase, no doubt due to his suave scoundrel-y nature.  Despite this, he didn’t actually join the Black Series line-up until four years into its run, and with a figure that only saw moderate release at that.  Fortunately, his presence in 2018’s Solo brought him more into the spotlight, with two separate Black Series releases.  The first was based on his Solo appearance, but the follow-up gives us Lando’s Palace Guard disguise from Return of the Jedi‘s opening moments.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Skiff Guard Lando is figure 76 in the Black Series line-up.  He’s the second to last figure in the newest assortment, as well as the final of the OT figures this time around.  The costume is from Jedi, which makes it slightly out of place in a Solo/Empire split assortment, but it’s actually pretty well chosen, given the costume’s cameo appearance as Beckett’s heist disguise in Solo.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  This Lando is head-to-toe a new sculpt.  While prior Skiff Landos have been known to reuse previous heads, that is thankfully not the case here.  While the prior Black Series head wasn’t *bad*, the likeness definitely could have been better, as this one deftly illustrates.  It’s hands down the best Billy Dee Williams likeness we’ve ever gotten from Hasbro.  The rest of the sculpt is pretty strong in its own right, with nice balanced proportions and a ton of detail worked all throughout.  There’s no shortage of texturing on this guy, meaning he’ll fit right in with the other denizens of Jabba’s palace.  The paint work on this figure is in line with the current improved standards of the line.  The base work is all clean, and there’s some pretty substantial accent work, showcasing that Jabba’s palace really isn’t the cleanest place to hang out.  He also uses the face-print tech, which builds on the figure’s already very strong head sculpt to give us a very realistic looking Lando.  Lando is packed with his Skiff Guard helmet, as well as the standard guard armament, the vibro-axe.  He doesn’t include the blaster we usually see with Skiff variants of Lando, but his hand is molded with a trigger finger, should you wish to arm Lando yourself.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The first Lando hit at a time when I wasn’t really able to buy many figures, so the one time I saw him, I had to pass on him.  While the Solo variant was certainly a strong offering, I was really hoping for a proper OT version.  While the Skiff Guard set-up isn’t necessarily my go-to look for Lando, there’s no denying that this is the best version of the character available.  I’m hopeful that Hasbro may give us a slightly udpated Bespin Lando down the line, maybe as part of the Archive line.  Until then, this guy will hold me over just fine.

#1912: Princess Leia Organa – Hoth

PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA — HOTH

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Princess Leia Organa was one of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest leaders, fearless on the battlefield and dedicated to ending the tyranny of the Empire. In the battle on Hoth, Leia helped evacuate rebel forces as Darth Vader and his fleet descended upon the rebel base.”

Empire Strikes Back is a lot of Star Wars fans’ favorite movie of the franchise.  While it’s not my personal favorite, there are certainly a lot of things I can appreciate about it.  The design work on the film is undoubtedly some of the best to come out of the franchise.  In particular, it’s more battle-ready takes on the power trio are really my favorite looks for all three of them, and they were the looks I wanted most when Hasbro launched The Black Series back in 2013.  We got Luke’s Rebel attire pretty quickly, but it’s been quite a wait for Han and Leia.  Han finally found his way into the line over the summer, and we got a teaser for Leia’s main look with the Bespin Escape release in November, but now we’ve finally gotten a proper release for Leia’s Hoth gear.  Is it worth the wait?  Let’s find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hoth Leia is figure 75 in the Black Series line-up, the second of this latest assortment’s OT-based figures.  If you want to get technical, this is actually the second release of this figure, as she was previewed in a con-exclusive two-pack this past fall.  Aside from this figure getting more accessories and not coming packed with a Han Solo, the two appear to be more or less the same.  This figure represents Leia from the first half or so of the film’s run time, prior to the Falcon‘s arrival on Bespin. By far her most prominent appearance from the movie, as well as one of her most remembered just in general.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  As I touched on in my review of the Bespin Escape figure, there is a fair bit of parts re-use between these two figures, given the fact that the two designs are pretty darn close and all.  This figure has a unique head, hands, left forearm, and boots, as well as a new vest piece.  They jibe pretty much perfectly with the prior parts, which makes a lot of sense, since I imagine they were actually designed for this figure first and then re-purposed for the exclusive offering later.  I do prefer this one’s boots, as it makes her a little easier to keep standing.  The new head is a decent piece, certainly one of Hasbro’s nicer offerings.  I think the exclusive figure has the superior Fisher likeness, but this one’s certainly not bad.  The paint on this figure isn’t much removed from the Bespin figure; there’s not a ton going on for most of the body, but I’m still okay with that, since accenting on white can go very bad very quickly.  The majority of the work is on the head, which is once again sporting a printed face.  Like the sculpt, the facial likeness isn’t quite as spot-on as the prior figure, but it’s still very good.  Like yesterday’s Dengar, Hoth Leia stands out in an assortment of rather lightly packed figures.  She gets her DH-17 rebel blaster rifle, which is a standard accessory for this version of the character.  In addition, she also has a welder and a pair of welding goggles, from when she was working on the Falcon.  While I might have liked to also get one of the breathing masks like we got with the SDCC Han, I think these are a solid selection of extras.

 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is a figure I’ve been waiting a good long while for.  She was my #1 wanted Leia from the minute the line was announced, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting her release ever since she was finally shown off last year.  While the wait was long, it was most certainly worth it, especially since it means this version of Leia hit during the line at its strongest, and is therefore unlikely to need a replacement in the near future.  The same can’t be said of poor Empire Luke, who looks more and more out of place with each new figure we get.  There’s a lot to like about this figure, and I imagine she will be the go-to Leia for a good many collectors.  I myself am going to have a tough time choosing between this one and the Bespin Escape variant, because they both have a lot of points in their favor.

#1911: Dengar

DENGAR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Crude and slovenly, Dengar was nonetheless an effective bounty hunter. While some hunters prided themselves on finesse and style, Dengar preferred firepower and destruction.”

Every group has to have their weak link; the unfavorite; the guy on the receiving end of every pot-shot.  Well, in the case of Empire’s distinctive band of bounty hunters, that person is undoubtedly, without question today’s focus: Dengar.  Be it his less put-together appearance, his nature as a schlubby-looking middle-aged guy, or perhaps the fact that he appears to have wrapped himself in toilet paper, Dengar’s a character that doesn’t quite inspire the same cool factor as the rest of the group.  But, like so many weak links before him, he gets to ride along on everyone else’s coat tails, which means he has the same number of figures as all of the others.  And now, following the trend, he’s also got a Black Series figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Dengar is figure 74 in the Black Series line-up, and is the first of the three OT-based figures in this latest assortment.  As I touched on in the intro, he completes our line-up of Executor Bounty Hunters, which is a pretty big deal for a large portion of the fanbase.  Dengar stands 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  His sculpt is unique, of course, and, as much as Dengar is a bit of mess design-wise, the sculpt is certainly a well-put-together mess…if that makes any sense.  The piecemeal nature of his design allows for Hasbro to put a good deal of smaller sculpted details.  The head wrappings and the actual head are separate from each other, which I believe is a first for this Dengar.  It certainly looks nice, and gives his face a slightly less lumpy quality than prior Dengars.  His face actually looks stern and determined, not goofy and schlubby, so he seems a little less out of place with the rest of the group in that regard.  Something that really impressed me about the sculpt was how little it interferes with his range of motion.  I had expected for him to be severely limited, as is usually the case with Dengar figures, but this guy can definitely get in some decent posing.  I mean, he won’t be pulling off any Spider-Man poses, but it’s certainly serviceable.  Dengar’s paintwork is a little cleaner than I’d expected, but upon comparing him to his on-screen counterpart, not too far off from the real thing.  He’s got enough wear and tear to make him believable and augment the sculpt well enough.  As will all the new human characters, he’s got a printed face, which includes the nasty scar running across it.  He lacks the burn scarring that he appears to have in the film, but it’s a relatively minor detail, so I can kind of forgive it.  In an assortment of somewhat lightly packed figures, Dengar is actually pretty darn well accessorized.  He has a larger blaster rifle, a blaster pistol, and a very detailed back pack.  It’s all stuff we see him with in the film’s one scene that features him, so obviously accurate, but that hasn’t stopped prior Dengars from lacking them, so it’s nice that nothing was cut.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I feel maybe I was a little harsh on Dengar up in the intro.  I’ve never had much of an affinity for the character, and I’d easily rank him as my least favorite of the Bounty Hunters from Empire.  With that said, I was still looking forward to this figure quite a bit, thanks to Hasbro’s accelerated efforts to complete the line-up in the last year.  The high of 4-LOM and Zuckuss and how awesome they were did a lot to give me some extra excitement for a character that might not have otherwise been too keen to pick up.  Despite my misgivings about his whole design, Hasbro’s definitely put in the effort to make him a good figure, and the end result is a fun toy that will no doubt please any Dengar fans out there.  Because there has to be someone *somewhere* right?

#1910: L3-37

L3-37

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“A “self-made droid” built from astromech and protocol parts, L3-37 is an enlightened navigator who cares deeply about droid rights.”

If there’s one thing that Star Wars has been consistently good at, it’s making up robots that viewers feel compelled to go out and own.  Since R2 and 3PO first strutted across the screen, there’s been an un-ending stream of new wacky, zany robots, all vying for our attention.  The new movies have followed suit.  Previous Star Wars Story offering K-2SO is definitely a favorite of mine, but last year’s Solo certainly gave us another fun one in Lando’s co-pilot, L3-37.  She was absent from early product shipments, but has finally started showing up in all of her plastic-y glory.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

L3-37 is figure 73 in the ongoing Black Series line-up.  She’s the third of the four Solo-based figures in this latest assortment, and the final piece of our main heist team from the film.  She stands about 6 inches tall and has 21 points of articulation…I think.  Getting an accurate count is a little difficult due to the nature of her design, which has a number of the joints obscured by various wires and plating.  There’s some definite restriction going on with the movement, especially on the elbows, where you’ll be lucky to get even 90 degrees of motion, and even then, the stress on the joint will slowly reset its position over time.  Obviously, this is largely to do with L3’s design, which at a full-scale wouldn’t be contending with nearly as much resistance from those wires.  On the plus side, mobility throughout the rest of the figure is surprisingly good.  I was happy to find that my figure doesn’t have nearly as much trouble standing as I’d expected.  You’ll still need to place her feet carefully to keep her upright, but she does seem to be pretty well balanced.  I would imagine that L3’s late arrival to the toy line is an attempt on Hasbro’s part to keep her as accurate to her final design as possible.  I’m happy to say it was a worthy effort, as her sculpt is pretty much spot-on to L3’s appearance in the film.  I’m not seeing any of the slight proportional changes like we saw on the BS K2 figure, and she certainly doesn’t skimp on the specific details of the model.  The wires may be a little clunky, but apart from making them smaller and potentially much easier to damage, I don’t know that you can do a whole lot about that at this scale.  L3’s paintwork is decent for the line.  Prior droids have had a tendency to be little lacking in painted detail, but L3 not only gets her base colorwork, but also some simulated wear and tear.  In some spots, the damage is a little heavy handed, especially when compared to the movie.  That being said, at this price point and scale, Hasbro has done an admirable job.  The one area where this figure really lacks are the accessories.  L3 is completely without any sort of extras.  I know that options for her are slightly limited, but some extra hands in different poses, or at the very least the communicator she uses during the raid on the refinery would have been appreciated.  As it stands, she’s yet another very light offering in this assortment.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

L3, like the rest of her assortment mates, is a joint gift from my parents and my Super Awesome Fiancee. As I’ve said many times before, and I’ll no doubt say again, I’m a sucker for cool robots, and L3 definitely falls into that category.  I loved the character in the movie, and I’m happy she’s finally made the transition into action figure.  I wish she had some extras to offer, and the articulation in the arms is somewhat limiting, but on a whole, I’m very happy with this figure, and I’m thrilled to round out my crew from the movie.

#1909: Imperial Patrol Trooper

IMPERIAL PATROL TROOPER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“As the Empire reinforces its hold on worlds across the galaxy, local defense forces are being supplemented – and eventually completely replaced – with Imperial Stormtroopers. To cover distances across sprawling settlements and cities, Patrol Stormtroopers police the streets and alleys aboard swift interceptor speeder bikes.”

Hands down my favorite Trooper design in all of Star Wars is Return of the Jedi’s Scout Trooper.  I’m not alone in this, and the designers behind the various movies and cartoons and the like have made a pretty steady go at calling back to that particular design as we’ve trekked on through the franchise.  Oh, wait, wrong “Star” franchise.  As we’ve warred on through the franchise.  There, that’s better.  Anyway, the latest call back to the Scout Trooper is Solo’s Imperial Patrol Trooper, who is essentially the galaxy far, far away’s equivalent of a motorcycle patrol cop.  The design found its way into the Titan Heroes line pretty quickly, but there’s been more of a wait for the two more conventional styles.  I snagged the big trooper boxed set from the smaller line a few months back, and now I’ve got the Black Series release!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Imperial Patrol Trooper is figure 72 in the Black Series line-up, placing him right after Val from yesterday.  He is, unsurprisingly, from the same assortment, and started showing up at retail in the last month or so.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  The articulation on this guy is some of the best we’ve seen in the line, and I’d certainly say it’s the best we’ve seen on any of the troopers.  What’s most impressive about the articulation and its mobility is just how little compromising they’ve done with the integrity of the sculpt.  At first glance, I was really expecting this figure’s posabilty to be another First Order Trooper situation, where he looked quite nice, but struggled with anything but basic poses.  I was pleasantly surprised to say the least.  Like his basic line counterpart, the Patrol Trooper’s sculpt is a very strong offering.  It’s clean, the details are sharply defined, and it matches up very well with the movie design.  The figure really emphasizes how slick this design really looks, just as a whole.  If there’s one slight down tick on this figure, it’s the paintwork.  There are some fuzzy edges on the transitions from white to black, which were giving me some flashbacks to the First Order Trooper.  That being said, those issues are rather minor in the grand scheme of the figure, and it’s hardly the worst we’ve seen in this line.  Just not quite as good as recent offerings.  There are still plenty of touches that really help the figure, such as the very dark, metallic green for the visor.  Like his smaller counterpart, the Patrol Trooper includes a small Biker Scout-esque blaster pistol, as well as a removable police baton on his belt.  Both pieces can be easily held by the figure or safely stowed on his belt, by which I was very impressed.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Of all the upcoming Black Series figures, this one was very near the top of my want list.  I’ve loved this design since the moment I saw it, and I’ve been patiently awaiting his release.  I actually saw him at retail twice before getting him as a Christmas gift (Super Awesome Fiancee played the fact that she was getting him for me very close to the vest), but I managed to hold out.  Yay for me.  While there are some quite minor flaws, I am very, very happy with this figure.  Of course, now I kinda want a Patrol Bike to go with him.  Damn you Hasbro!