#3118: Ahsoka Tano

AHSOKA TANO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“A Clone Wars veteran and now wandering Jedi, Ahsoka Tano forges her own path in the galaxy, righting injustices that she discovers”

Shifting the Black Series focus a bit for today, I’m moving from The Bad Batch forward in the timeline to the post-OT world of The Mandalorian.  While the first season was largely populated by characters original to the show, the second season saw a number of returning faces from elsewhere in the franchise.  Continuing her role as the connective tissue of the Star Wars TV shows is Ahsoka Tano, who serves as Din and Grogu’s first contact in the wider Jedi world.  She’s subsequently re-appeared in The Book of Boba Fett, and is slated for her own series next year.  She’s no stranger to toys, of course, but she’s just recently gotten a whole swath of live action-inspired figures, including a Black Series release, which I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ahsoka Tano is figure 19 in the Mandalorian sub-set of Black Series‘ Phase IV incarnation, the first of the three Mando figures in the second assortment of 2022.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  Ahsoka’s articulation scheme is actually a pretty impressive set-up, all things considered.  The legs, specifically at the hips and knees, have been designed to allow for a very wide range of motion, while also still maintaining the cohesion of the sculpt.  It’s a careful balance, but one that works out very well here.  There are some restrictions in a few spots, of course, notably on the neck, due to the head tails, but given the overall nature of the design, it’s commendable that they got it working as well as they did.  Ahsoka’s sculpt is an all-new one, and it’s a strong one at that.  The likeness on the face is a solid recreation of Rosario Dawson in the role, and the body sculpt is realistically proportioned and has some really sharp texturing and detailing.  Ahsoka’s paint work is generally pretty basic for the line.  The printing on the face makes her suitably lifelike, and they’ve done a nice job with the markings on her face and head tails.  The body gets all the basics.  Nothing really crazy; just some blues and greys.  The application is cleanly handled for the most part, though there are a few spots on my figure where some of the masks were clearly a bit misaligned.  In particular, her right wrist bracer’s greys are off by just a bit, making the whole thing look oddly shaped.  Ahsoka is packed with her two lightsabers.  The blades are removable, and the hilts can be hung from her belt.  It’s definitely on the lighter side, but it’s also about what’s expected from this line.  I can’t really think of anything else she could really get, apart from maybe a soft goods cloak.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I enjoyed Ahsoka’s reappearance on The Mandalorian, and I really dug Rosario Dawson in the role, so, despite her only being minorly different from the other Black Series Ahsoka I have (on the outside, at least), I was still interested in seeing what Hasbro could do with the updated design.  She works really well.  I dig the new articulation set-up a lot, and I think this design works pretty well for the format.  Of the two Black Series Ahsokas I have, this one’s definitely my favorite.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3117: Omega – Kamino

OMEGA — KAMINO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Born and confined to the cloning facility on Kamino, young Omega serves as assistant to Chief Medical Scientist Nala Se. Offered an opportunity to escape, Omega joins the Bad Batch on their adventure”

Let’s just keep this Black Series week going, continuing off of yesterday’s specifically Bad Batch focus, with another member of that particular team.  I noted yesterday that the team got two additional members after their initial appearance.  The first was Echo, the clone they rescued during their mission in The Clone Wars.  For their own show, they took fellow “defective” clone Omega under their wing.  In light of losing one of their members to Order 66, Omega winds up stepping into a far more integral role for the team as a whole, and is in many ways the focal point of the show.  Season 2 looks to only be building on that more, so, you know, pretty important.  Certainly important enough to justify an action figure, and that’s what I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Omega is figure 10 in the Bad Batch sub-set of Black Series‘ Phase IV incarnation, placing her before Echo chronologically, though they’re side by side in terms of actual release.  She’s the other of the two Bad Batch figures in the set, which makes sense.  The figure stands 4 1/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  Quite an impressive selection of articulation for a figure as small as she is, and the range is all pretty solid too.  Omega is sporting an all-new sculpt, specifically based on her design from the earliest episodes of the show, when they’ve just fled Kamino.  It’s a good starting point for her, but also allows some room for additional designs later down the line.  Omaga is notable for being our first time getting a kid in this line…well, a human one, anyway.  Obviously, with their experience on smaller scale lines, Hasbro handles a smaller figure just fine, and it does a nice job of paving the way for young Anakin and Boba, should the demand be there.  The sculpt is pretty solid; she definite sticks close to the animation model, more like Hunter did.  It works a bit better here, since she’s already supposed to be a bit further removed from the others in terms of design anyway.  It captures the spirit of the character pretty well, and the details are all nice and sharp.  The paint work on Omega is nicely handled.  It’s a bit brighter and bolder than other figures in the line, which is a nice change of pace.  Omega is packed with her Zygerrian energy bow, rebreather mask, and Ruby, the pet lizard that the Batch transports.  The bow is only in its fully extended version, with no option to collapse, likely due to the logistics of making something like that work.  All of the accessories are rather on the simple side, but at least they help her to feel like a pretty decent value, even with the smaller stature of the core figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

You can’t really have the rest of the Batch without Omega.  I was quite a fan of Omega’s inclusion in the show, and I’d been hoping to see her turn up sooner than later.  I’m glad that she and Echo showed up together to fully round out the team in one swoop.  Obviously, there’s some room for more variants with more stuff, but this figure’s a good start, and rounds out the line-up very nicely.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3116: Echo

ECHO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Echo was a soldier in the Grand Army of the Republic, known for his strict adherence to orders and rules — hence, his nickname, which was sarcastically gifted by his clone brothers”

After a lengthy period of virtually no Black Series stuff to review at all, I’m suddenly finding myself with a bit of a surplus of them, which is certainly far from the worst thing.  So, how about a whole week of them?  I’m picking back up with yet another addition to the titular team of last year’s The Bad Batch.  While all four of the initial members were covered last year, over the course of their Clone Wars arc and their own show, they picked up a few auxiliary members as well.  The Batch’s first mission concerns locating Echo, a member of the Domino Squad who was presumed dead during the events of “The Citadel.”  The Clone Wars Season 7 revealed that Echo had survived, but in a heavily wounded state, which left him with extensive cybernetic replacements, and more than a little bit of trauma.  After being rescued, Echo joined up with Clone Force 99, and served as a full-fledged member for their own show.  He got a pretty kick-ass new design in the process, and that’s always fun for toys.  Let’s check out how that went.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Echo is figure 11 in the Bad Batch sub-set of Black Series‘ Phase IV incarnation.  He’s one of two Bad Batch figures in this specific assortment, and the whole bunch of them are technically the second assortment of the year, and are just starting to trickle out to retail now.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  His articulation is largely the same as the other Batch members, minus the wrist joint on the right arm for obvious reasons.  Additionally, the hip joints are a bit more restricted here, due to the rubber kama, though I did find them a bit more mobile than I’d expected at first glance.  As far as construction goes, Echo has a bit of re-use, with the legs being the same as the updated clone body, albeit with a new set of knee pads.  Beyond that, Echo is an all-new sculpt.  He’s closer to Tech in terms of how he adapts the show design, removing it a little bit more from the animation design, in order to keep it closer the the main line’s more realistic style.  He still retains all of the major design elements, just a little more realistic, which works out pretty well.  I really dig all of the texturing and small detail work, as well as the fact that they’ve actually kept him a little more svelte than the rest of the team, as he was always depicted post-rescue.  Like the rest of the team, Echo gets a removable helmet, though it’s a bit more of an accomplishment this time than the other team members.  On the show, Echo’s built-in headgear actually interfaces with his helmet, in a way that’s such a cheat that they never actually show him taking off the helmet on screen from any angle other than straight ahead (i.e. the angle that doesn’t actually show how the parts interface).  I was honestly expecting either just an alternate head, or some sort of a tweaked design for either the helmet or the head.  Hasbro actually did a pretty solid job of making it work, in almost exactly the way it should work, as seen on screen.  Echo’s paint work is pretty much on par with the rest of the team.  The paint on the face is convincingly lifelike, and there’s some respectable wear and tear on the upper armor.  Echo is packed with his helmet, back pack, a blaster pistol, and a grapple attachment for his right arm.  The pistol can be stowed on his left side, which is appropriate, but he’s unfortunately still without a trigger finger on the left hand, so he can’t quite hold it right.  The grapple is a fun piece overall, but there’s no actual line connecting the two pieces.  It still works as a cool power arm looking thing, though.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

With the core Batch completed earlier this year, I was definitely very excited to get to the add-ons.  Echo is a character I liked from his first appearance way back in Clone Wars, and I loved seeing his character arc evolve through Bad Batch.  His updated design is one of my favorites from the team, and I think it made the jump to toy really, really well.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3114: Boba Fett – Throne Room

BOBA FETT — THRONE ROOM

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“One of the most fearsome and capable bounty hunters in the galaxy, Boba Fett seemingly met his demise in the Sarlacc pit. A survivor, Fett lived to fight another day”

I last discussed Boba Fett just over a year ago.  I mean, on the site.  I’ve discussed him elsewhere more recently than that.  I mean, I think.  I don’t have a photographic memory of when I’m talking Boba Fett, or anything like that.  Hang on, I’m getting kind of lost in my own intro.  Let’s re-center.  Right, so when I was last discussing Boba Fett here on the site, I talked about how The Mandalorian had finally given the character something to do after thirty years of him just sort of sitting around.  Did this please his fans?  To be short: not really.  But it’s okay, he had his own show on the horizon!  That had to make them happy, right?  Cuz, you know, he gets to be a bad-ass, like the movies implied he was but never actually showed?  And, like, he gets, like character growth and stuff?  No, they don’t like that.  Too much focus on Boba Fett.  So, the show takes a breather from Boba, focuses on others.  That makes it better, right?  Still going with no, apparently.  Well, I guess we should all just pack it in at this point.  Hey, at least I got this new toy.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Boba Fett (Throne Room) is a Deluxe-sized Black Series offering, as part of Phase IV of the line.  He, like all of the deluxes, is a solo release, but he’s also meant to tie in with the handful of other Book of Boba Fett offerings, which started hitting in the last month or so.  There are a number of potential Fett variants spinning out of his reappearance on The Mandalorian and follow up in Book.  This particular figure is based on his “Throne Room” look, from the post-credits-scene of Mando Season 2, after he’s regained his armor and had it repainted, but before he goes through the bacta treatments in his own show.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  Boba’s articulation scheme models itself on the improved style we saw with the last Deluxe Fett, although obviously slightly tweaked to be more practical with the new design.  Given that the new design is rather bulky, I was surprised by how much range some of the joints on this figure got, but I certainly won’t knock it.  We’re a far cry away from the Rogue One days, that’s for sure.  Boba is a mix of old and new pieces, as well as having a number of pieces that are designed for being shared.  The helmet and gauntlets are reused from the RotJ release from last year, while the head and parts of the legs are shared with the robed version of Boba from the main assortment that ties in with this guy’s release.  The rest is all-new, though, it’s worth noting that everything about this figure is getting at least one re-use, for the pre-repaint version of the armor from “The Tragedy.”  Whatever the source of the parts, they certainly work well.  Everything meshes well together, and it replicates his show design quite nicely, while also maintaining functionality as a figure.  The helmet may be the same as the Jedi version, but this time around it’s designed to be removable, and has even been modified to have an extra piece on the interior to make it sit a little better on this figure’s head.  The underlying head has a passable likeness of Morrison, albeit the heavily scarred version from The Mandalorian.  Honestly, the scarring helps to hide any weaknesses of the likeness a little bit, so it works in their favor a bit.  While I’d had issues with the prior helmet coming out of the package a little misshapen, this one was just fine right out the box, likely due to it not being packaged on his head.  Boba’s color work is fairly decent; it’s more basic, since it’s his much more cleaned up appearance, but it makes him far more bold and striking.  The work on the face is a bit more subtle, which is nice, and it adds to the overall lifelike quality of the figure.  Boba is packed with his jetpack (with removable rocket), a rifle, and a small blaster pistol.  It feels kind of light, given his deluxe status, but I guess that’s going more towards the overall depth of construction more than it is quantity of accessories.  Plus, there’s that whole business of Hasbro knowing with absolute certainty that people will always by Boba, even at a higher price point.  Can’t really fault them for playing the game, I suppose.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really liked the last version of Fett.  It was a very fun release, and a great starting point for future versions of the character.  I also really enjoyed his updated appearance in The Mandalorian, and that was the main thing I wanted to see following the OT update.  This figure turned out really nicely.  He’s got a hefty price tag, but ultimately, he still feels worth it.  He’s just a lot of fun, and that’s what a good Boba Fett needs to be.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3112: N.E.S.T. Bumblebee

N.E.S.T. BUMBLEBEE

TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)

“Re-imagined as a N.E.S.T. Jeep, Bumblebee and the Autobots team up with N.E.S.T. to protect the Allspark from the Decepticons.”

So, I guess I’ll just review a Transformers figure, like, once a month now, right?  That seems to be the way I’m headed.  Well, okay, that seems to be a thing I’ve done twice now.  I suppose I shouldn’t cling to it too early; might be a bit hasty for such things.  Well, anyway, I’m doing a Transformers review today.  It seems the thing to do, largely because I’ve got a new Transformer, and not a ton of other new things in need of review, I suppose.  But, it’s okay, because it’s at least a pretty cool one.  Despite it being neither a Soundwave nor an Ultra Magnus, it *is* a Jeep, so it still checks off at least one of the boxes for me in terms of being a Transformer that I need.  So, without further ado, here’s N.E.S.T. Bumblebee!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

N.E.S.T. Bumblebee is a Fan Channel-exclusive Deluxe Class Transformers: Studio Series release.  He’s figure 77 in the line-up, which places him between Voyager Class Thrust and Deluxe Class Sideswipe, though he was released rather far removed from both of them.  Though marketed as a Bumblebee movie release, this figure isn’t actually based on anything in the movie, and is instead more closely tied in with the Universal Studios ride, which features N.E.S.T. as a prominent part.  Of course, he’s still not specifically based on anything directly from the ride, but we’re getting closer at least.   In his robot mode, Bee stands a little under 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  N.E.S.T. Bee is re-using the sculpt from Offroad Bee wholesale.  I like that sculpt a lot, so, you know, I’m okay with it.  The first use of the mold did have a slight issue with loose hips; for this release, they’re a little bit tighter, but not by much.  It’s a bit of a downer, but still not enough to ruin the figure for me.  He maintains his solid construction in robot mode, which is a definite plus.  The change-up for this release is the color scheme, which trades out the yellow of the original release for more of a gun metal grey.  It’s not classically Bumblebee, but it’s a nice color for the mold, and he also trades out the clear and blue parts for a drab green, further removing him from the prior release.  Like the previous version, this one is packed with his blaster attachment for his arm.  He also gets the small Sam Witwicky figurine from the Revenge of the Fallen Bee release.  It’s not really to scale, and doesn’t really interact with the figure at all, but, well, it’s there, so, there it is.

As with the last release, this Bee’s alt-mode is a fully-licensed Jeep.  The transformation scheme is still pretty decent, without all that fiddly-ness of some of the other Studio releases.  The end result still holds together pretty well, and apart from those somewhat obvious arms, it’s a very convincing Jeep recreation.  In this mode, another change-up to the color scheme, namely the addition of a N.E.S.T. insignia to the hood of the car, which is a fun little touch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really love the last Jeep Bumblebee.  It’s quite possibly my favorite Studio Series release.  I just really love that mold, and I like picking up molds I love.  This one doesn’t really have any reason to exist, but, honestly, I don’t care.  It was a fun toy the first time around, and it’s still fun now, just in a different set of colors.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

Flashback Friday Addendum #0018: Captain Cassian Andor

CAPTAIN CASSIAN ANDOR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

Oh man, is this another Flashback Friday Figure Addendum?  It sure is!  At this point, they’re almost becoming a recurring feature again.  I mean, three in less than a year?  That’s pretty crazy right there.

My last one of these was because of Rogue One, and so is this one.  I picked up the Jyn re-do, and I’ve decided to follow that up by also picking up the Cassian re-do.  Where Jyn was a re-issue of a single release figure, and therefore had a pretty one-for-one addendum, Hasbro decided not to re-issue the single Cassian, and instead did his three-pack release.  So, I’ve done a slight edit to the text of the original review, just to help it stay more focused:

“An accomplished 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 and complete his missions with minimal resources.”

There was one major piece of Rogue One merchandise I haven’t yet gotten around to reviewing.  It was sitting there in the store, staring at me, waiting, watching, and….uh, waiting.  Sorry, didn’t have a third “w” word, there.  Anyway, I finally have said piece of merchandise, so, without further ado, here’s this set with Cassian, Jyn, and a Deathtrooper!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This three pack was a Target-exclusive, and started hitting shelves about a month after the main Rogue One product launch.  Of the three figures included, only Cassian is a truly unique figure.  The Deathtrooper has some minor tweaks as well, but Jyn is exactly the same as both her standard and SDCC-exclusive releases.

Despite his placement in a big exclusive set, the Cassian seen here is the standard version of the character, seen most frequently throughout the movie.  It was oddly scarce in the initial product launch, but by the end of all the Rogue One product, it did end up fairly well represented.  It’s definitely the selling point of this release.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  His head is shared with the Eadu version, which admittedly wasn’t the best Cassian sculpt we got, but it looks a little bit better here than it did on that figure.  The rest of the figure is a unique sculpt, and it’s a definite improvement over the Eadu look.  The details are generally a lot sharper, especially on the jacket, and the overall aesthetics just seem to flow a bit better.  He’s still a little bulky for Luna, but not as bad as the Eadu figure.  The movement is a lot better as well, thanks to the slightly less restrictive design.  Just like the sculpt, the paint on this Cassian is a marked improvement on the last figure.  The face is still a bit off, especially the beard, but it’s definitely a step up.  The eyebrows are less caterpillar-like, and the scruff is a little more reserved, so that’s a plus.  The rest of the body is pretty solid overall.  There’s a little bit of fuzz in a few spots (like the tops of his boots), but generally it’s pretty sharp.  Like his oh-so-awesome small-scale counterpart, this Cassian is packed with his modular blaster rifle, which maintains the oh-so-awesome-ness.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I passed on this set when it was new, because paying the cost of three figures and only getting one I actually wanted seemed a bit much.  Just after the new year, however, Target got around to marking the set down, to about the cost of a standard Black Series figure. That brought into a reasonable range for me, so I finally got it.  I’m glad I finally got this Cassian; he’s definitely my go-to figure of the character.  I’m also not unhappy about the Deathtrooper variant, though I can’t say it’s the sort of figure I would have paid full retail for.  Ultimately, I think bundling Cassian into this three-pack was a mistake, and I think the fact that the set ended up on such deep clearance speaks to that.  I get Hasbro’s desire to get as many Jyns as possible out there, but this exclusive really would have worked much better as a two-pack with Cassian and the Trooper.  Three times was just one time too many for the standard Jyn to get a straight re-release.

I reviewed the original release alarmingly late in the game, at least as far as my Black Series reviews tended to go.  All of the first batch of Rogue One stuff I got up within the first month or so, but this one wasn’t reviewed until about a year and a half after its release.  Its all because I was waiting for clearance, as I touched on in the original review.  I really wanted that Cassian, but couldn’t justify the whole three-pack for him.  I was fairly kind to this figure’s sculpt the first time around, and I stand by that.  A few years removed, the articulation’s not quite as good as it could be, but it’s honestly not as bad as some of the others from the era either.  The actual sculpted details are all still very crisp, and they did a solid job of capturing the design.  Once more, this figure’s change-up is the face paint.  All of the Cassian releases suffered from some pretty awful paint.  The two Black Series figures had it so bad that the actual sculpt took a fair bit of the blame.  With a much improved coat of paint, the sculpt is definitely a lot better than I originally thought.  It’s still not spot on, but it lands much closer, and I really do like it a lot more now.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3109: Baze Malbus

BAZE MALBUS

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Baze Malbus has a bravado that provides a marked contrast to the spiritual centeredness of his best friend and moral compass, Chirrut Îmwe.”

Hey, look at that, we’re back to Star Wars.   It was bound to happen eventually, I suppose.  Back in February, I took my first look at Hasbro’s re-visit of Rogue One in Black Series format.  I’ve already looked at the main line’s one new figure, Bodhi, and a pair of the re-issues that hit alongside him.  Today, I’m following that up with another re-issue.  But it’s okay, because it’s one I didn’t get the first time around.  So, it’s like it’s all-new, right?  Sure!  Alright, here’s Baze Malbus.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Baze Malbus is figure 5 in the Rogue One set of Black Series Phase IV.  He reissues the #37 figure from Phase III of the line, which hit alongside Chirrut during the latter part of the original Rogue One run.  The figure stands a hair shy of 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  As I discussed in Chirrut’s review, the Rogue One era figures, especially the later ones, don’t represent the line at its best in terms of articulation schemes.  Hasbro was definitely still learning how to adapt the schemes to differing designs, so there are a good number of figures where the joints just aren’t optimized for the sculpts they’re attached to.  Baze is definitely one of those cases.  The shaping of the hair reduces the neck motion to little more than a swivel, the structuring of the chest armor makes the mid-torso joint mostly immobile, the hips are unable to get much motion at all to the sides, and the ankles can only go forward the slightest bit, making keeping the rather back-heavy figure standing something of a challenge.  The arms do at least get some okay movement, giving him the ability to at the very least hold his weapon half-way decently.  It may not seem like much, but it’s actually rather significant for this era of figure.  Baze’s sculpt was unique when he was first released, and has thus far only been used for this particular release since.  Issues with the articulation aside, it’s not a bad one.  The joints aren’t quite as clunky looking as they were on Chirrut, and the general level of detailing is pretty sharp.  The head sports a pretty strong likeness of Jiang Wen in the role, and is probably the nicest of the original Rogue One era sculpts.  The outfit is a good mix of clean and smooth armor with very broken in cloth pieces.  The boots are slightly on the softer side, but other than that, everything looks alright.  Baze’s paint work marks the primary change-up for this release.  The face gets the printing, and the head in general just gets a bit more detailing.  Some of the other colors on the palette have also been tweaked a bit, and he’s just generally a little bolder and more well defined than the prior release.  It makes an incredible difference, especially on the face, elevating the sculpt a whole lot in the process.  Baze is packed with his heavy repeater cannon, its ammo belt and canister, and a small taser which can be stowed on the back of his belt.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted in my review of Chirrut, the assortment that included these two was never particularly plentiful, so I only saw Baze and Chirrut once at retail each, and not even at the same time.  I’ve had a few more chances to get one or the other in the following years, but with it looking like the team wasn’t going to be finished, and not being able to even get the two of them at the same time, I didn’t have much drive to actually grab either of them.  With the team actually set to be completed, it’s easier to justify them both.  While Baze still exhibits some of the articulation troubles I had with Chirrut, he’s overall a stronger figure, and one that benefits far more from the improvements of this release.  And, hey, now I’ve got the full team.  How about that?

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3107: Migs Mayfeld – Morak

MIGS MAYFELD — MORAK

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“A hot-headed ex-Imperial sharpshooter, Migs Mayfeld was once the leader of a gang of criminals. Mayfeld’s old ties help The Mandalorian on his mission to rescue Grogu from Moff Gideon”

We’ve been seeing some lulls as of late in some of Hasbro’s major lines.  Not all at the same time, of course; they’ve been kind of rotating a bit.  Hasbro’s still having some noted issues with proper distribution, and all that, resulting in some lines being few and far between on their releases.  I looked at one Black Series figure over a month ago, which was actually one that had been sitting in my “to review” pile for several months.  Before that, my last three Black Series reviews have all been reissues of one form or another.  How about something new for a change?  Well, newish.  Migs Mayfeld was first introduced in The Mandalorian‘s first season, as point man for the group performing the heist in “The Prisoner.”  He was portrayed by stand-up comic Bill Burr, noted for his (likely comedically exaggerated) dislike of the franchise, and was, at least in his first appearance, really just playing himself…IN SPACE.  The character returned during the show’s second season, in the episode “The Believer,” which gave the character a surprisingly effective emotional journey, and gave Burr a chance to deliver an incredibly nuanced performance, far outside of his usual range.  This second appearance rather resonated with viewers, making it the natural choice for the character’s first figure treatment, which I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Migs Mayfeld (Morak) is figure 15 in the Mandalorian sub-set of Black Series‘ Phase IV incarnation.  He’s one of three Mando-themed figures in this particular assortment…not that I’ve actually had the chance to see the whole assortment, or anything, of course.  Just Mayfeld.  Mayfeld is based on his disguised appearance from “The Believer,” after he and Mando steal Transport Driver armor to infiltrate the Imperial base on Morak.  It’s what he’s wearing during what’s really the character’s most definitive scene, and it also means that he can double as a Transport Driver, should you want such a thing.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Since Mayfeld is disguised as an Imperial, it makes sense for the figure to re-use some Imperial tooling.  While the Transport Driver isn’t strictly speaking one we’ve gotten before, it’s show design was heavily built from the Mudtrooper design we saw in Solo.  Subsequently, a good portion of this figure is making use of the Mudtrooper Han parts.  It’s a solid sculpt, and not one that really got out there, so it’s a fairly sensible re-use.  Apart from the collar of the undershirt not being the same, and there being some lingering holes in the back meant for the hoses from the Mudtrooper mask, it’s a close enough sculpt to work.  He gets a new skirt piece, with his slightly tweaked belt and holster, as well as a new head and removable helmet.  The helmet is on in the package, so you can’t actually see the Burr sculpt at all until its opened.  You almost have to wonder is Burr requested that, since it’s out of the ordinary for how such figures are usually packaged.  The helmet is supposed to be the same one that the Tank Pilots were sporting, and it matches up pretty well, while still being removable.  Under the helmet is the proper Mayfeld sculpt.  It’s a pretty solid one, if perhaps a touch too large for the body.  The likeness to Burr is fairly strong, and it’s great that he’s got an expression that really breaks from the usual emotionless appearances we tend to see on these.  Mayfeld’s paint work is generally decent, with one notable thing that I hesitate to really call an “issue;” it’s more of a discrepancy.  The armor on his right arm is red, as it was on the Han figure, denoting a higher rank.  However, Mayfeld’s armor in the episode is without this extra coloring; it’s Mando who gets the extra detail on his armor.  So, this one gets extra paint that he shouldn’t technically have, which is the opposite direction that such issues tend to go with paint.  At this point, I wonder if Hasbro might intend to just give the inevitable disguised Mando the green arm, just so that you can swap them both for the proper set-up.  That said, VC made the same mistake on Mayfeld, and Mando was still sporting the red as well, so perhaps Mayfeld is just cursed to be given a promotion.  Worse things have happened.  Mayfeld is packed with the previously mentioned removable helmet, as well as a small blaster pistol, which is a pretty key accessory for him.  It’s kinda light, but it also covers the basics, so I’m not too bummed about it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Mayfeld was a character that I had no issues with in his first appearance, but not one I was particularly intrigued by, or eager to see more of.  That said, his reappearance in “The Believer” was genuinely one of my favorite parts of the second season.  So, the announcement that he was getting a figure based specifically on that episode was cool by me.  Plus, it’s a Bill Burr figure, which is kinda cool in and of itself.  The figure turned out pretty well overall.  The issue with the coloring on the arm is honestly pretty forgivable, and I think he otherwise handles things well.  Now, the wait for the inevitable Mando to go with him begins.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3103: Winter Soldier – Flashback

WINTER SOLDIER — FLASHBACK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Though Bucky Barnes has fought to become himself again, in his darkest nightmares his greatest fear comes to life…that he is still the Winter Soldier!”

Oh man, is this two whole Marvel Legends reviews?  In a row?  Don’t get too used to it, guys.  But hey, it’s some Legends.  And I do love reviewing me some Legends.  Some of my earliest Marvel Legends reviews here on the site were of the tie-in product for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  It’s still one of my favorite MCU films, and, despite plenty of retrospective MCU coverage in Legends since, we’ve not actually gotten any additional TWS figures since that initial run.  Kinda crazy, really.  8 years later, we’ve got one more, though this one comes under the guise of technically being a tie-in to last year’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.  Hey, I’m hardly going to complain about weird loopholes if they mean I get more TWS figures.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Winter Soldier (Flashback) is a one-off Fan Channel-exclusive Marvel Legends release.  He’s loosely tied in with the Sam and Steve Caps two-pack, as they both are using the same code-name, and are clearly meant to at least somewhat compliment each other.  Winter Soldier started hitting retail in roughly the last month or so.  Officially, this figure is based on the flashback dream Bucky has in the first episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, but unofficially, he’s definitely meant to be Winter Soldier from the highway fight in TWS, since that’s the most distinctive use of this particular look.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  From the neck down, this figure is re-using the mold from the original Mandroid Series Winter Soldier.  It’s a pretty sensible re-use.  Slightly old-style articulation scheme aside, it’s a really good sculpt, which does a respectable job of capturing the character’s outfit as seen in the movie.  The detailing is all nice and crisp, and he just really looks the part.  He’s also not nearly as undersized as the Caps of the same era, which really works in his favor.  He gets two all-new head sculpts, replacing the original two, which were working from pre-production designs.  These one’s give us the proper half-mask and fully unmasked looks.  They’re both pretty solid sculpts, and certainly improvements to the original release.  Of the two, the masked look is the stronger sculpt, I feel.  The half-mask looks really cool, and the sculpting is really sharp.  The unmasked head is okay, though the likeness isn’t quite there; I think his chin is a bit too large for Sebastian Stan.  Adding to the updated head sculpts is an updated paint scheme.  The jacket is properly darkened, matching the final film, rather than the concept art that the original was based on.  The heads both have the printing on the face, and the metallic arm is now much cleaner, closer to the way things look in the movie.  While the prior Winter Soldier’s only accessory was a big, goofy red thing that was supposedly a gun-type-thing.  This time around he’s got actual guns…well, closer to actual guns, anyway.  There’s an assault rifle type thing, and two pistols, which sort of have some Beretta 93r elements…if you squint.  He’s also got a knife, which is key for that cool knife flip trick from the movie.  The guns aren’t real, but they at least look the part more so than the original, and I’m honestly going to have him wielding the knife all the time, anyway.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really loved the old Winter Soldier at the time of its release, but he was always slightly hindered by some of the odd factors that went along with him.  I also always really wished he had the half mask, which is by far his coolest look in the movie.  I’d been hoping for some sort of an update, what with all of the Marvel Studios stuff Hasbro’s been doing.  It’s been quite a wait for this one, and there are still some minor nits, but I really love how this figure turned out, and he’s pretty much exactly what I’ve been hoping for since 2014.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3099: In Space Pink Ranger

IN SPACE PINK RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Okay, let’s wrap up this Power Rangers focus in the best possible fashion, by circling back around to Power Rangers In Space, aka my favorite Power Rangers incarnation.  Following up on yesterday’s discussion of Turbo, as well as Tuesday’s discussion of change-overs for the Rangers, I guess I could talk about how exactly the In Space came to be.  After the replacement of half of the Rangers in MMPR‘s later run, and the later replacement of Kimberly and Aisha in their roles of Pink and Yellow respectively, the remaining cast transferred over to Zeo, and then again to Turbo, minus Rocky, whose actor left due to a pay dispute.  The rest of the MMPR/Zeo cast left at Turbo‘s mid-point, and were replaced with four newcomers.  They would continue on to In Space, keeping the roles until that show wrapped, and brought to an end the “Zordon Era” of the show.  Of particular note was Patrica Ja Lee’s Cassie Chan, the Pink Ranger of Turbo and In Space, and almost the replacement Pink Ranger for Lost Galaxy, until contract negotiations fell through.  Alas, I suppose it just means she went out on a high note, and we’re looking at that particular high note today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The In Space Pink Ranger is another part of Series 10 of Hasbro’s Lightning Collection line.  Cassie marks the sixth and final member of the In Space line-up to be added to the line, making her the second figure in this assortment to round out her respective team, as well as the second of two In Space-branded figures in this line-up, since Phantom was moved over to In Space.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 30 points of articulation.  Unsurprisingly, In Space Pink shares her construction with In Space Yellow.  As with their male counterparts, its a total parts share, without even a new helmet sculpt.  It’s true to the show designs, of course, and the sculpt for Yellow was pretty strong on its own, and it’s still strong here.  The color work on this release changes up, of course.  The base layout remains the same, but with pink in place of yellow, as well as the adjustment to the shaping on the edge of her visor.  As with the recent Pink Ranger two-pack, there’s a mismatch between the shades of pink of the torso and the limbs.  It’s not ideal, but it’s also not the end of the world, I suppose.  The figure has two sets of hands, her Astro Blaster, her Satellite Stunner, an effects piece for the Stunner, and an unmasked head for Cassie.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been chipping away at the In Space Rangers, and it’s been getting more exciting the closer I’ve gotten.  Getting Cassie is rather similar to getting Tanya in her Zeo gear, in that she herself isn’t the most thrilling of the characters or designs, but she’s a solid by the numbers figure, and she finishes out her team on a high-note.  Since I was a kid, I’ve wanted all of the In Space Rangers in one cohesive style, but I’ve never gotten the chance until now.  I’m really happy about this one.  I really love this particular set.  A lot.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.