IMPERIAL PROBE DROID
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
“Tenacious hunters, probe droids are armed with powerful blasters.”
Oh my, could it be? Could it actually be something new on the site? Yeah, I’m as surprised as all of you. I was fully expecting the delving into the back catalog to go on a little bit longer…it actually might still, but at the very least, I’ve two new items for today and tomorrow to keep everyone feeling at least a little bit up to date (or as up to date as a review written a month ago can be…I built up quite a buffer you guys). So, what’s the new thing? Well, technically something old. 2020 marks the 40th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, and so Hasbro’s kind of re-orienting their various Star Wars lines this year in order to tie in with that a bit. Some of the vintage-style-cardback figures have slipped out early, but the first real release of the 40th stuff is the next entry in the Black Series deluxe line-up, the Imperial Probe Droid. As the first thing the audience sees in Empire, I suppose it’s a pretty fitting way of launching things, so let’s get right into it!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Imperial Probe Droid is figure D3 in the Black Series line-up, putting him right after the (no longer Best Buy-exclusive) Heavy Infantry Mandalorian. It marks the Probe Droid’s fourth time in figure form, coming fairly closely to the third, which was released with the Last Jedi stuff in 2017. On its base, the Droid stands, or floats rather, 8 1/4 inches tall and it has 23 points of articulation. The smaller Probot was quite well articulated for the line he came from, and this guy does even better, with joints at pretty much all the spots that there are joints on the actual thing. You’d be surprised how rare an occurrence that is. In terms of the sculpt, this figure feels very much like an upscaling of the Last Jedi figure, which I suppose makes sense, because it effectively is. They are adapting the same source material after all. It’s even more sharply detailed this time, as you would expect for something with this much more canvas to work with. In general, it’s just a very technically impressive sculpt, and the only way you’re really going to get better is with something on the much more high-end side of things. And even then, that goes into the question of more details just being more attainable at a larger scale. While the smaller Probot was light on the paint front, this one is actually pretty involved. There’s a lot of really nifty little detail work, with all sorts of wear and tear worked in on the body’s main chunk. It makes him look like a real working robot, and it really sells that signature used styling of the Star Wars universe. The Probe Droid is a bit hard to accessorize, since it’s not like it uses a lot of stuff. This guy gets a base to allow for a simulation of its usual hovering. It’s the one area where I don’t feel this is quite as across the board an improvement on that smaller release, as they’ve opted to go with a more environment based stand, rather than the all clear like the prior figure. It doesn’t look bad, and the snowy grounds of Hoth are the only time we see the bot in the movie, but it’s a little bit less versatile than I’d like, since I’m not really one for diorama set-ups.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Probe Droid is my first new toy purchase in roughly a month…or at least was when I wrote this review back in April. I don’t know what antics future Ethan’s gotten up to in the mean time, but I’m sure we’ll all find out together. While I wasn’t quite as excited as some when the figure was shown off (I was pretty darn happy with that smaller-scale one), I’ve kind of given in on owning most things Black Series these days. Whatever the case, All Time got them in stock, and I, as previously noted, hadn’t gotten anything new, so, yeah, sign me up for that. I’m glad I picked him up, because he’s the best Probe Droid out there, and a cool centerpiece to the Empire collection I’m going on only further build during this coming year.
As noted above, the Probe Droid was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys. If you’re looking for Black Series, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.