STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
Oh boy, it’s a FiQ Flashback Friday Figure Addendum! Man, it sure has been a long time since I’ve done one of these, hasn’t it? Well, don’t get too attached; it’s not likely to become a regular feature again or anything like that. As I discussed in my review of Hera earlier today, Hasbro’s doing a set of reissues on their Rebels figures from The Black Series. I snagged Hera, because I missed the prior release, and I’ve skipped Ezra and Chopper, since they’re indistinguishable from the original releases. I did, however, snag the Kanan re-issue, despite purchasing and reviewing the original release.
So, when The Black Series was launched, the focus was most prominently on the Original Trilogy characters (with one or two Prequel characters here and there, but definitely secondary). As the line has continued, it’s become a bit more inclusive, adding The Force Awakens, of course, but also some Clone Wars and Rebels characters (and in the most recent series, even a proper EU character). Today, I’ll be looking at one of those Rebels figures, namely Kanan Jarrus!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Kanan was released in the sixth series of the third round of Star Wars: The Black Series (i.e. the sixth series of Force Awakens Black Series). He’s figure #19 in the line, which I believe makes him the first Rebels figure numerically. The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation. This figure takes Kanan’s animated design and sort of real-world-izes it. It’s a good plan on Hasbro’s part; with the smaller scale figures, you’re guaranteed to get a larger quantity of them, so the stylized look won’t stand out as much, but for the larger figures, where animated releases will be far more spaced out, it’s far better to have them fit with the rest of the established line. This way Kanan can get right to mowing through Stormtroopers without waiting for a proper Rebels Trooper release. Overall, I think Kanan’s sculpt does a reasonable job of taking Kanan’s animated design and translating into how he might look in a live action film. It’s not perfect, and I do really think Hasbro would have been smart to base Kanan on his voice actor Freddie Prinze, Jr in terms of likeness and build. While it certainly looks like Kanan, he still ends up being a little more cartoony than a real person; his eyes (and head in general, really) are rather large, and his torso and arms seem very scrawny. They’re certainly not as exaggerated as his animated counterpart, but when compared to some of the other figures from the line, he does look ever so slightly famished. On the plus side, the texture work on the figure’s clothes is pretty outstanding, even better than a few of the other Black Series figures. I like that each article of clothing has its own texture. As far as the paint work goes, Kanan matches up with most of the more recent Black Series releases. He’s a notable improvement over some of the prior figures, and most of the work is pretty sharp. He could probably stand to have a little more accent work in a few spots, but what’s there works. There is this weird clump scratched paint on his neck thing, almost like he was scratched before the paint had completely dried, but that’s the only real nit. Kanan is packed with sidearm blaster, as well as his lightsaber, the hilt of which is designed got separate into two pieces that clip onto his belt, just like on the show. It’s not the world’s largest accessory complement, but it’s better than several other figures in the line.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
So, Kanan was released prior to me getting into Rebels, which means I saw him a number of times and passed him up, since I didn’t know the character (yes, I know I bought all of the Rogue One and Force Awakens stuff before seeing the movies and “knowing the characters.” You’re very smart. Now shut up). By the time I got into the show and actually wanted this guy, he had pretty much disappeared from shelves. Fortunately for me, there are still some cases of series 6 making their way out there, and one such case had hit the Target where I found the second series of Rogue One figures, allowing me to grab this guy at the same time. Karan has his flaws, but so did a lot of figures in this particular series, and at least his don’t prevent him from being a fun action figure.
That review was from December of 2016, and actually isn’t that bad. Hey, my writing actually holds up; good for me, right? In my original review, I was overall pretty positive on this figure. I did remark that the Kanan seemed a little bit on the scrawny side in terms of build, and that I wasn’t all that big on the way the head looked. I definitely was hoping for more of a Freddie Prinze Jr likeness on that head. All of the Rebels figures barring Ezra predated the addition of the face-printing to the line, but Kanan in particular hit during one of Black Series‘ low points on the paint front. A major appeal of this latest release of the figure is updating Kanan to this new style. While the figure is effectively identical to the original release from the neck down, the face is an incredible change-up for the figure. Simply put, he just looks better. Like, so much better. Better enough for me to feel totally okay with dropping the price of a standard figure so that I could get this update. I liked Kanan’s original figure well enough, but this update makes me like him way more, and he feels much more at home with the rest of the line as its evolved.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review. If you’re looking for Black Series, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.