#1570: Bodhi Rook

BODHI ROOK

STAR WARS: ELITE SERIES (DISNEY)

“A former Imperial Pilot, Bodhi has strong piloting and technical skills that he will put to use for the Rebellion.  Ever practical, but highly anxious, Bodhi must gather his courage to bring the battle to the Empire.”

More than Cassian, if there’s a Rogue One character who drew the short straw in terms of merchandising, it’s Bodhi Rook.  He was the last of the team to get released in the 3 3/4 inch line (in a rather under-shipped assortment to boot), his Pop! Vinyl figure was an SDCC exclusive, and as of this day, 14 months after his film’s release, there’s been no talk of him getting a Black Series figure.  Seems rather unlucky if you ask me.  What he did get, however, was a die cast figure from Disney, which I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bodhi was another of the eight figures in the one and only Rogue One themed series of Star Wars: Elite Series.  He was the first Bodhi figure released and remained so for quite a while.  The figure stands just under 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 18 points of articulation.  Height’s kind of more important on this guy than the others, since he had no Black Series counterpart, and I was admittedly hoping to fit him in with them.  While he’s definitely a little on the tall side, I think an argument could be made that he should look alright, provided you put him in the back, hanging out with K-2.  Bodhi is sporting the same style of construction as the other Elite Series figures I’ve looked at, meaning his head, hands, and feet are plastic, and his main body is metal.  He’s also got a plastic vest and backpack.  Like Jyn and Cassian, the vest piece on Bodhi is made from a harder plastic, and doesn’t fit him as well as I’d like.  I’d also like if it were a bit easier to remove the back pack.  I attempted to take it off of mine, but was worried I’d damage the figure.  Beyond those extras, the sculpt of the figure is decent enough.  It’s nothing amazing or anything, but I think it’s respectable, and a little better than Cassian.  They captured the ill-fitting jumpsuit pretty well, and the extra length on the sleeves even hides the hands a bit, thus averting the dreaded inflated glove syndrome.  The head has a respectable likeness of Riz Ahmed; probably better than Hasbro’s version, truth be told.  The goggles are removable this time around, which I do certainly prefer, especially since they stay in place so well.  The paint on this guy is passable.  The colors are probably more accurate here than they were on the Hasbro figure, but I will admit that the duller colors don’t exactly excite me.  I do appreciate the accent work that was put in on his various gear, and the washes and the like certainly help keep him from looking too bland.  His face is a little messy, especially around the beard, but it’s not awful.  I’m not quite sure what’s going on with his lips, but I don’t think the color was particularly well chosen, given his skin color.  It looks worse in the photos than in real life, but it’s still more noticeable than it should be.  While the goggles are removable this time around, they are still totally opaque, which seems like a bit of a missed opportunity.  They look fine, but it does somewhat ruin the realism of the figure to see those stark white goggles on his head.  In addition to the previously mentioned goggles and backpack, Bodhi is also packed with the standard display stand.  No weapons this time around, but that’s not terrible, since he never really uses them.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If you’ve read my Jyn and Cassian reviews from the last two days, you can probably guess where this guy came from.  Yep, he’s another clearance purchase.  He was actually the figure that got me to notice the deep discount pricing.  Since there’s no Black Series release in the foreseeable future, and I do really like the character, I thought I might grab this version.  Upon seeing how far down he’d been marked, I decided to get the other two as well.  Bodhi’s not a fantastic figure or anything, and I’m certainly still holding out hope for Hasbro to finally get around to him, but in the mean time, this one will hold me over.

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#1569: Captain Cassian Andor

CAPTAIN CASSIAN ANDOR

STAR WARS: ELITE SERIES (DISNEY)

“An Alliance Intelligence Officer with combat field experience, Captain Cassian Andor commands respect from his rebel troops with his ability to keep a cool head under fire.”

Behold!  The one toyline where Cassian *didn’t* get the short straw!  Yes, despite Hasbro holding the standard brown jacketed Cassian look hostage for all manner of deluxe offerings, Disney was kind enough to put their standard Cassian right up there, alongside all of their other Rogue One stuff.  And I’ll be looking at that figure today.  Let’s get on with it!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Like yesterday’s Jyn Erso, Cassian was offered as one of the eight Rogue One figures, part of Disney’s Star Wars: Elite Series.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 18 points of articulation.  His construction is the same as other figures from this line: plastic head, hands, feet, and jacket, with die cast metal for the rest of him.  As with Jyn, his jacket is a harder plastic, which is a bit restricting and sits rather awkwardly.  In general, this figure’s a lot closer to the first Poe when it comes to possibility and construction.  The sculpt on areas such as the pelvis and his shoulders are rather rudimentary, and he’s got the weird inflated glove thing going on with his left hand.  Even the details seem a lot softer on this guy.  Just comparing him to the Jyn figure from yesterday, he feels like a slight step down.  It’s not terrible, though.  The likeness on the head sculpt is actually pretty respectable, and I’d say that Disney delivered a better portrait of Luna than any of Hasbro’s attempts.  They did also try for Luna’s more slight build, which was another thing Hasbro missed on most of their figures.  If the articulation had been worked in better, I think this Cassian’s sculpt might have topped Hasbro’s output.  Paint on Cassian is about what you’d expect from this line.  It’s rather thickly applied,and mostly limited to solid colors, which doesn’t do a whole lot to offset his generally soft sculpt.  On the plus side, his head is once again the strongest bit of work, as Disney was able to do a much better job with Cassian’s facial hair than Hasbro.  That’s much better stubble than we saw before.  Cassian is packed with his small blaster pistol and a display stand.  Since Jyn got her fully assembled rifle configuration, it’s a shame the same wasn’t done for Cassian, especially since his was the one we actually saw in use in the film.  Alas, I’ll just have to be happy with the Hasbro equivalent.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with Jyn, I had passed on Cassian initially, but was swayed into buying him for a deeply discounted price.  Amusingly, when I bought him, I didn’t yet have the Hasbro Black Series version of this look, but, well, you can see from the comparison picture that this changed.  This figure’s the weakest of the three I’ve looked at in this round, but I don’t think he’s awful.  It just seems like Cassian proved a difficult character to pull off well in plastic form.  This one’s just another case of a figure that’s good despite its flaws.

#1568: Sgt Jyn Erso

SGT JYN ERSO

STAR WARS: ELITE SERIES (DISNEY)

“A highly skilled soldier in the Rebel Alliance, Jyn Erso is an impetuous, defiant warrior eager to bring the battle to the Empire.  Jyn has little patience for debate within Alliance high command, enough so that she takes matters into her own hands.”

More Elite Series?  Isn’t there supposed to be a several month waiting period in between these reviews?  That’s certainly how it’s been in the past.  Well, sorry hypothetical reader, I’m changing things up on you!  And I’m doing another impromptu week of Star Wars reviews!  So, how about that?  For today (and the next two days after, in fact), I’ll be returning to last year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  I certainly covered a lot of product from this movie, but there’s still plenty I never got around to, which includes today’s focus, which is another figure of main character Jyn Erso.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jyn was one of the eight Rogue One-themed Star Wars: Elite Series figures put out during the 2016 “Rogue Friday” event.  There weren’t any staggered releases, I guess since it wasn’t a saga movie.  Jyn here is seen in the same attire the smaller Black Series figure had, which is what she was wearing during the film’s big climactic final battle.  It’s essentially the same look used on most of Hasbro’s offerings, but it lacks the green jacket.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 16 points of articulation.  She’s of course largely constructed from die cast metal, keeping with the same plastic-to-metal ratio as the last several figures I’ve looked at.  Metal for the main body and plastic for the head, hands, feet, and vest.  While the jacket piece on Poe was a nice softer plastic, Jyn’s vest is made from pretty much the same plastic as the rest of the plastic pieces, so it’s very stiff and a bit restricting, as well as sitting a little oddly on her frame.  Her articulation is a bit restricted overall, which is a setback, but as a figure that predates Poe, I’m not that upset.  Jyn’s sculpt is reasonable enough.  Some parts of it are a little rudimentary, especially around the waist.  Her hands look like hands, though, which is always a plus in this line, and I find her head to be pretty much equivalent to the Hasbro versions in terms of quality.  I’m not getting a really strong Felicity Jones likeness from it, but the same could be said of at least half of Hasbro’s offerings.  Jyn’s paint is generally pretty decent.  The colors are nice, and, while she’s not quite as good as Poe, her paint is certainly less thick than earlier offerings.  Jyn is packed with her standard blaster pistol.  Like the smaller Black Series release, she also has the extended blaster configuration not seen in the movie, though this time around it’s an entirely separate blaster, rather than being clip-on pieces.  Also included is her baton, which, unlike the Hasbro version, is actually extended here, and the same display stand that’s included with all of the Elite Series figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

With all of Hasbro’s various offerings, I really thought I had all of the Jyns I would ever need (and perhaps even a few more than that).  And wasn’t I just saying in yesterday’s Poe review how I only tend to buy Elite Series figures of characters I really, really like?  So really, why Jyn?  Simple: she was cheap.  After grabbing the Poe figure, I happened past a large pile of the Rogue One figures.  I didn’t think much about them, but I spotted they’d been marked down to $2.99.  At that price, I bought one of each because I’m a sucker fro a cheap action figure.  Jyn’s actually not bad.  I can’t say I’d have paid full price for her, but she’s better than I was expecting.

#1567: Poe Dameron

POE DAMERON

STAR WARS: ELITE SERIES (DISNEY)

“It takes defiant courage to stare down the threat of the First Order, and while Captain Poe Dameron is eager to fight, he worries that some of the Resistance leadership don’t have what it takes.”

Disney’s die-cast Star Wars: Elite Series is one of those lines that has a tendency to slip under my radar.  It’s not that it’s a bad line or anything, it’s more that it’s a line that’s exclusively available at Disney Stores, and those aren’t the sort of thing I tend to visit with much regularity.  As it stands, my collection of figures from this line is mostly confined to just my very favorite characters, which includes today’s focus, Poe Dameron!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Poe is part of Disney’s Last Jedi-themed assortment of Star Wars: The Elite Series.  He wasn’t in the initial assortment of figures, but was instead one of the seven figures released solo after the fact.  Poe hit stores on November 7th of last year.  Like most of his other figures from the movie, this Poe is based on his jacketed look from TLJ.  As his most prominent look by far, it makes sense, especially since his pilot look was already covered for TFA.  Poe stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 18 points of articulation.  As with prior Elite Series figures, the vast majority of this guy is made from die cast metal.  His head, hands, feet, and jacket are plastic, but that’s it.  I was impressed to discover that Disney’s made some improvements to how they construct these figures since the last Poe.  This one isn’t nearly as stiff and restricted as the last one when it comes to posablity.  In addition, the overall quality of the sculpt seems to have improved.  The details are much sharper, especially on the plastic parts, but on the metal parts as well.  He’s still slightly less detailed than the average Hasbro figure, but he’s certainly a step-up from the last figure.  It’s the little things, like his hands actually looking like hands, or the assembly screws on his back actually having mostly inconspicuous caps on them.  Then there’s the head.  I’m not 100% sure if the head sculpt on this figure is new or not.  Given how different it looks, I initially assumed it was all-new, but after comparing the two side by side, I’m starting to think this might just be a better pressing of the mold, coupled with some much, much better paint.  Regardless, it’s the best likeness of Oscar Isaac we’ve seen so far, out pacing even the recent Black Series offering, which I thought was pretty good in its own right.  Poe’s paint work also marks a definite step up for this line.  It’s a lot less thickly applied here than on prior figures, and there’s far less slop.  He’s also got some very clean work on his face, and I was certainly happy to get a Poe figure in a larger scale that doesn’t try to slather on a bunch of grayish paint in the hopes of replicating scruff.  Poe includes his blaster pistol and a display stand (same as the other figures).  It’s sad he couldn’t came with something else, especially since the last Poe had the helmet, but I suppose it’s not terrible.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m always looking for an excuse to buy a new Poe figure, and the Elite Series Poe from TFA was actually one of his better figures, so I was definitely on board for picking up this guy.  The only trouble was actually finding him, since none of the stores near me got him when he was first released.  A few weeks ago, I was killing some time at the local mall, and remembered I hadn’t yet found this guy, so I swung by the Disney Store there, and they had finally gotten him in.  Upon purchasing him, I realized he’s actually the first figure from this line I’ve paid full price for.  Of course, he’s by far the nicest figure I’ve gotten from this line as well, so I don’t feel that bad in that regard.  Now I’m tempted to check out some of the other TLJ figures, since Poe seems like such a step up.

#1296: First Order Stormtrooper

FIRST ORDER STORMTROOPER

STAR WARS: ELITE SERIES (DISNEY)

“Equipped with sleek armor and powerful weapons, the Stormtroopers enforce the will of the First Order.

Wow, that’s the same bio used on the Hasbro Black Series figures.  I guess Disney’s really strict about what goes in those bios.  I mean, I guess it’s a decent enough write-up for the Stormtroopers.  It’s not like there’s a whole lot to them, right?  So, hey, it’s been a while since I reviewed a basic Stormtrooper (First Order or otherwise).  How about one of those?  This time, the figure’s metal.  Oooooooooh!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The First Order Stormtrooper was released as part of the very first series of Disney’s Star Wars: Elite Series, which hit way back on the first Force Friday event.  The figure stands about 7 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  He’s very similar in construction to the previously reviewed Poe figure (metal for the torso,arms, and legs, and plastic for the hands, feet and head), though he does feel a bit lighter weight.  That’s probably due to the slightly more svelte design.  He’s still rather restricted in terms of movement (he’s yet another FO Trooper that can’t actually hold his blaster two-handed), but he’s on par with the other two figures I’ve gotten.  It could certainly be worse.  While there was a definite upturn in the level of detail displayed on the K-2 figure, the Trooper, as an older release, is still rather on the soft side.  Given the sleeker nature of the Stormtroopers, it’s not too bad, but he does miss out on the fun underlying jumpsuit details that we saw on the Black Series version of this design.  On the plus side, he lacks the weird hand thing that plagued the Poe figure, and just seems to have better proportions in general. He also doesn’t face any issues of facial likeness, which seems to alleviate a major issue the Disney figures seem to face.  Like both prior Elite Series figures I’ve looked at, the Stormtrooper is assembled using screws along the back of the figure.  10 of them to be exact.  While K-2 added covers so as to prevent them from ruining the aesthetics, the Stormtrooper takes after Poe, which means his assembly screws are left totally uncovered.  It’s definitely distracting, but at least it’s confined to the back of the figure.  The paint on the Stormtrooper is decent enough; it’s not like there’s a lot of really complex work or anything going on, so there’s less that can be screwed up.  There’s still some slight slop here and there, but for the most part he looks pretty clean.  The figure is packed with two blasters (one large and one small) and a display stand, which is the same as the ones included with Poe and K-2.  The smaller blaster is designed to be stowed on the right thigh, but I ended up having to do a little work on my figure to get the two pieces to fit together, due to a slight malformation of the gun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure was given to me by my friend Rio, who is an exchange student visiting from Japan.  Rio has been staying with one of Super Awesome Girlfriend’s friends, and has become a fixture of our group of friends over the last several months.  She also really likes to give gifts, so she’s made a point of getting something for each of us over the course of a few trips she’s made to various attractions.  When she traveled to Disney World, she got something for Super Awesome Girlfriend, but not for me.  I wasn’t expecting anything, so I was far from upset, but Rio wanted to get me something.  On her trip to NYC over spring break, she tracked down the Disney Store and, with a little guidance from Super Awesome Girlfriend, picked this guy out for me.  He’s actually pretty cool, and you can never have too many Stormtroopers, right?  Anyway, Rio is heading back home to Japan today, so I thought I’d give this figure a review as a send off and a testament to how great it’s been to have her around these last few months.  Good luck, Rio!

#1197: K-2SO

K-2SO

STAR WARS: ELITE SERIES

k2diecast1

By now, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to pull up the site at see K-2’s name at the top of the page.  He was by far my favorite part of Rogue One, and one of my favorite parts of the Star Wars universe in general.  I’m steadily working my way to owning every possible action figure version of this guy.  I’ve already gotten the obligatory 3 3/4 inch and Black Series figures, plus the Lego Constraction figure, and even the Pop! figure.  The line I almost always overlook is the Disney’s in-house line of die-cast figures, available exclusively at the Disney Store, but, as with Poe, I did track down the die-cast K-2 figure, which I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

k2diecast2K-2 was part of the assortment of Rogue One-related Star Wars: Elite Series released back on Rogue Friday.  The figure stands about 7 1/2 inches tall and has 19 points of articulation.  If you read my Poe review, you’ll probably remember that he was in a 7-inch scale.  Now, if you reference my Black Series K-2 review, you’ll note that I gave that figure’s height at 7 1/2 inches.  No, I didn’t mess either measurement up; these two figures are the exact same size, which means this guy’s actually 1/12 scale, and thus not actually in scale with the rest of the Elite Series figures.  In Disney’s defense, in order to be in proper scale with the rest of the Elite Series, K-2 would have to be almost 9 inches tall; the materials cost alone would mean he’d have to be in his own unique price point.  At this size, he’s still about a half inch taller than Poe, meaning he won’t look horribly out of place.  The flip side of all this is that this figure is perfectly scaled with The Black Series, so if you aren’t happy with your Black Series K-2 or are unable to find that particular figure, you have a second option.  In terms of construction, K-2 is mostly metal, with plastic being used only for his head and hands.  Like Poe, this means he’s a little more restricted in terms of motion than, say his, Black Series counterpart.  However, unlike Poe, where the there were some issues with looking a little too soft due to the metal parts, K-2 seems to do alright on the details.  If anything, he’s the one figure that it makes total sense to do in die-cast, being a droid and all, and his more geometric stylings lend themselves far more to this style of figure.  Another improvement over Poe: all those pesky screws on the back now have covers.  You can still see where they are, but they stick out a whole lot less.  In terms of accuracy to the source material, I think this figure’s actually a little closer to the movie design than the Black Series figure.  The head’s certainly superior on this figure at least.  The rest you can sort of chalk cup to differences of materials.  About the only real negative is the way the neck articulation has been implemented; rather than sticking with the movie design, there’s now a trench running just above the neck, allowing you to place his head straight up, which is just the most unnatural looking thing.  In terms of paint, this K-2 gets the proper gunmetal grey finish that his other figures have lacked, and also gets the proper grey detailing on the shoulder joints.  Aside from that, though, he’s a bit of a step down from the Black Series figure, loosing out on a lot of that figure’s really cool weathering, and also getting an inaccurate Imperial logo on both shoulders.  K-2’s only accessory is a display stand, which is the same as Poe’s.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

K-2 was picked up for me by my Super Awesome Girlfriend while we were out at the mall.  I caught sight of him through the window of the Disney Store on the way to another store and made a note to go back for him, but she snuck off later and grabbed him for me.  I’m a little disappointed that he’s not truly in scale with the Elite Series not because scale matters all that much to me, but more because him being the same size as the Black Series figure now leaves me eternally wondering which one I prefer.  If you want posablity and playability, go with the Black Series, but if you just want a cool looking K-2 for the shelf (and something you can possibly fend off home invaders with), you could do a lot worse than this guy.

k2diecast3

#1072: Poe Dameron

POE DAMERON

STAR WARS: ELITE SERIES (DISNEY)

poedamdiecast1

Man, it’s hard to believe it’s been over a year since The Force Awakens product started hitting shelves.  This Friday, we’ll be seeing another midnight release, this time around for the products from Rogue One.  With Force Awakens, there was a lot of product being released in a relatively short span of time, so it was a little difficult to keep track of it all.  The main characters were available in a variety of scales, from a few different manufacturers.  Of course, I’ve looked at Hasbro’s 3 3/4-inch and 6-inch lines, but the Disney Store also got in on the action, offering a line of die cast figures (die cast is just all the rage right now).  The line more or less slipped under my radar.  I knew it existed, but wasn’t quite aware of the depth of the line until rather recently, which is why I’m only just now reviewing my first figure from the line, Poe Dameron.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

poedamdiecast3Poe is from the second round of the Disney Store-exclusive Star Wars: Elite Series.  He was released to coincide with the movie’s release back in December, and was the last of the film’s three leads to make it into the line (Poe’s absence from the first series of so many of the lines is a bit odd, especially given how popular the character proved to be.  Perhaps Disney under-estimated his appeal).  The figure stands about 7 inches tall (placing him roughly in scale with most of NECA’s output, as a reference), and he has 16 points of articulation.  He’s also reeeallly heavy, thanks to all that metal.  His torso, pelvis, arms, and legs are all metal, with plastic being used for the head, hands, feet, poedamdiecast4belt/tubes, and a few of his joints.  Poe’s certainly constructed from a lot more metal than a lot of die cast items, which is actually pretty cool.  It results in the figure being a little less posable than I might like, but the sheer heft of this guy is pretty nifty, and you can still manage some decent poses.  As far as the sculpt goes, Poe’s overall not bad, but not without a few issues.  On a whole, the details seem a little soft.  I’m not sure if it’s the sculpt or the paint, but he’s got a certain animated feel too him.  I’m also not really a fan pf the left hand, which looks a little like it was replaced by an inflated latex glove, due to the weird, puffy absence of a palm.  Possibly the most notable issue is more a construction thing than anything.  In poedamdiecast2order to be properly assembled, Poe needs to have 9 visible screws on his back, apparently.  That seems a little excessive to me, but I could be wrong.  At the very least, they aren’t visible from the front.  Moving past those issues, I think Poe’s actually got a pretty decent sculpt.  In particular, the head, I feel, is a better Oscar Isaac than we’ve seen elsewhere.  It’s still not perfect (it would appear he’s the Harrison Ford of the new trio in that respect), but it looks pretty good.  Poe’s paint is alright, though it’s kind of basic in terms of color, and a little sloppy in more than a few areas.  It’s also quite thick.  Plus, I’ve already noticed one or two chips on mine, which is slightly frightening.  I’ll be interested to see how it holds up in the long run.  Poe included his small blaster, his helmet, and a display stand.  The blaster and the stand are both pretty cool, but the helmet is a slight letdown, due to the opaque nature of the visor, and the fact that Poe actually can’t wear it. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Poe from the Disney Store that was in the same mall as the Apple Store where I was buying my new computer.  I actually wasn’t aware that they had made a Poe in this line, so he was a nice surprise find.  He’s not a perfect figure but I think he might be my favorite Poe straight out of the box (my amalgamation of the two Black Series Poes is still my favorite overall, though).  Poe is still my favorite part of TFA, so it was really cool to find a new Poe to buy.

poedamdiecast5