#2690: Grand Admiral Thrawn

GRAND ADMIRAL THRAWN

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES ARCHIVE (HASBRO)

“Thrawn was a male Chiss, known for his brilliant strategic mind and ruthlessness, he was determined to ‘pull the Rebels apart piece by piece’ for the Empire.”

Late last year, I did my first review centered on Grand Admiral Thrawn, a rather notable character in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and one of the first elements from the old EU to be officially canonized by Disney following their take-over of the franchise.  Thrawn’s inclusion in Rebels netted him a couple of new figures, a feature in Star Wars: The Black Series included.  Thrawn was originally an SDCC release, and then got a standard release alongside the first chunk of Last Jedi items in late 2017.  Both of them proved rather scarce even at the time, and in light of the rest of the Rebels figures getting re-released over the fall, Thrawn was in dire need of some sort of reissue.  Thankfully, Hasbro’s Archive series is here to the rescue on that one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Grand Admiral Thrawn is part of the four figure line-up that makes the third series of The Black Series Archive.  Thrawn, like the rest of the Rebels figures, is designed to be a real world approximation of his animation model.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Structurally, this figure is, of course, identical to his original two releases.  Additionally, his articulation scheme follows the set-up of the other Imperial Officers we’ve gotten in the line.  Interestingly, however, he’s got no parts in common with any of those figures.  Presumably, it’s in order to make Thrawn a little taller than the other Officers.  Whatever the case, it’s a good sculpt, and matches the other officers well, while still adding a bit more variety to the Officer’s line-up.  Compared to some of the more recent figures in the line, his articulation is a little bit restrictive (the vast improvements really started to hit just after this guy was released), but it’s certainly enough for the sorts of poses you’ll be putting Thrawn into.  Thrawn’s head sculpt is a solid translation of his animated design into a more real world appearance.  Like with Hera, the more alien elements do seem to aid a bit in the transition, so he doesn’t wind up looking quite as wonky as Kanan or Ezra.  Thrawn’s paint work is generally pretty cleanly handled.  It’s mostly pretty basic work, but the application’s pretty sharp.  The one notable change-up for this release is the transition to the printing technique on the face.  It’s not as drastic a change on Thrawn as it is on other figures, but it’s a touch more lifelike and generally looks quite nice.  Thrawn’s only accessory is a small blaster, which he can hold, or stow in his holster.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I missed out on Thrawn the first time around.  I don’t believe I ever actually saw him in person, and, admittedly, I wasn’t really looking, since I hadn’t really had any exposure to the character at the time.  I’ve subsequently read a bit of Timothy Zahn’s work with the character and watched through Rebels, which left me really wanting to have him in figure form.  Thankfully, the Archive release hit just at the right time for me, allowing me to finally put this updated version of the character on the shelf.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure 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.

#2584: Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios

GARAZEB “ZEB” ORRELIOS

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Meet the muscle of the Ghost team. Garazeb ‘Zeb’ Orrelios was a cunning Lasat Honor Guard who adopted the cause of rebellion against the Empire!”

Since 2016, Hasbro has been slowly but surely working their way through the main cast of Rebels in the Black Series line-up.  They started off with the most surefire sales, and then slowly worked through, giving us five of the original six-man team (plus a matching Ahsoka for good measure).  For the final member of the team, Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios, there was a bit of an issue of scaling, given his larger than average size.  Fortunately, Hasbro’s just recently implemented a larger deluxe price point, which is really perfect for such a character, allowing for that core team to finally be completed!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zeb is another piece of Hasbro’s latest relaunch of their Black Series line-up.  He’s his own single release, of course, but is designed to accent the other six Rebels figures, which have all gotten a reissue in the new style packaging, and released at the Deluxe style price point.  There’s some humor to the fact that Hasbro finally got around to actually getting out some standard release numbered Deluxe figures, just in time to completely ditch their numbering all together.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  Though he may have a stockier build than his comrades, Zeb’s articulation continues the Black Series trend of improved mobility.  Pretty much all of the joints have a clear range of motion, and the arms are particularly good, in both the shoulders (which are unimpeded by the shoulder gaurds) and the elbows (which attain a more than 90 degree bend, kind of essential for properly holding his weapon).  Zeb’s sporting a totally unique sculpt, sporting his Season 1/2 appearance, so he matches up with the rest of the Ghost crew so far.  I do have to wonder if, now that the main crew is complete in one cohesive style, we might see later season looks as well, which would grant Hasbro the opportunity to do some more re-use on these parts.  Of all of the humanoid Ghost crew members, Zeb is the one whose look has been the least changed to translate him into The Black Series style. This largely due to his being a Lasat, and therefore having a far more alien appearance.*  Some of his proportions have been subdued a bit, and he gets some deeper detailing on his face and in the texturing of his clothing.  It works well, and he fits in nicely with the rest of the crew.  His head’s definitely capturing the grumpier side of Zeb, which is generally a good choice for the character, though I can’t help but wish we had maybe gotten a softer Zeb as well.  Zeb’s paintwork is pretty solid overall.  The base application is all very clean, and they’ve done a great job of capturing the patterns on his skin.  He also gets the printing on his eyes, which obviously doesn’t look as real here as on the human characters, but does still inject a little more life into the figure.  Zeb is packed with his  Lasan Honor Guard AB-75 Bo-Rifle, which is quite an impressive piece of work.  It’s packaged in its staff configuration, complete with two energy effects pieces.  It also has the ability to reconfigure into the rifle set-up, and does so pretty well at that.  Rifle mode also allows it to be stored on Zeb’s back, as seen on the show.  It’s a really awesome piece, and it’s great that they actually got it to work as it’s supposed to.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ever since getting into this whole Black Series Rebels crew thing, I’ve been curious to see how Zeb would be handled.  With the introduction of the deluxe price point, his inclusion seemed inevitable, and here he is.  I’m pretty psyched to finally have the complete team, and it helps that Zeb is just such an impressive package.  The engineering on this figure is really great, and he’s just a ton of fun to play with.

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

*Fun Fact: the Lasat, and Zeb in particular, are based on Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept for Chewbacca.  Just one of many McQuarrie designs to find its way into Rebels.

Flashback Friday Figure Addendum #0015: Kanan Jarrus

KANAN JARRUS

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.

#2551: Hera Syndulla

HERA SYNDULLA

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“The captain and heart of the Ghost crew, Hera Syndulla was a gifted pilot and leader. The Twi’lek could bring out the best in her team, making them believe in themselves.”

Star Wars: Rebels hit at a rough spot for merchandising on Star Wars.  The 3D re-release of Phantom Menace and its ensuing tie-ins practically killed Star Wars at retail in its entirety, necessitating a major re-work and as major scaling back.  Rebels was treated to a line of basic figures at the smaller scale, just as The Black Series was launching at the 6-inch scale.  Black Series was very OT focused at itself, so the Ghost crew had to make due with slowly being added to the line one-by-one.  Of course, having them mixed in with a bunch of other product launches didn’t exactly make them the easiest figures to get ahold of.  I myself missed my first shot at Hera, who originally dropped during the Last Jedi launch.  Fortunately for me (and the many other fans who missed out on her initial release), Hasbro’s decided to just go ahead and reissue the whole crew in one shot.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hera Syndulla is part of Hasbro’s latest relaunch of Star Wars: The Black Series figures.  Gone is the red packaging and the line-wide numbering, replaced by mural-building subgroups of figures.  The seven figure Rebels subgroup’s packaging can be lined up for a full cast shot.  Hera’s fifth in that line-up, but there seems to not be any correlation between placement and release, as she and Kanan are in the second “batch” to show up at retail, at least around here.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Hera was fortunate to hit right as Hasbro was really getting a handle on articulating these figures, so she winds up with a pretty solid range of motion.  The elbows get more than 90 degrees, and I dig the ball jointed waist.  The only part I’m not super crazy about is the neck, but even that’s not terrible.  Hera’s sculpt is by far my favorite of the humanoid Rebels characters in this line (Chopper still takes the top overall, though), as they really found their footing on that line between cartoon and reality, and made a sculpt that really captures the main essence of her show design, while also managing to look properly at home with the figures from the live-action films.  I also really love how much detail work they’ve managed to inject into her costume.  The paint work on the figure is mostly pretty basic, but seems to stick pretty close to how Hera’s supposed to look.  It’s worth noting that this figure adds the face-printing, which the initial release just narrowly missed.  It’s not quite as essential for her, but it still adds a nice touch to the overall look of the figure, and certainly looks more lifelike.  Hera’s only accessory is a rather small, but also rather well-detailed blaster pistol, which can be held, or stashed in her ankle holster.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw Hera’s original release one time, and just didn’t have the money for it at the time.  Given how scarce she wound up being, I definitely regretted that, especially as the rest of the crew started to show up.  As soon as this re-issue was confirmed, I was totally on board.  She’s a really solid figure in-hand, and honestly my favorite of this little subset.  I’m very glad to finally have one.

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.

#2383: Ahsoka Tano

AHSOKA TANO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

Anakin Skywalker’s apprentice Ahsoka Tano left the Jedi Order before it was destroyed during Order 66. She would reemerge years later as Fulcrum, a leader in the fledgling rebellion against the Empire.”

Continuing down this road of looking back on older Black Series figures, let’s jump around a bit.  Recently, we’ve gotten an *almost* complete selection of the main characters from Rebelsthereby showcasing the line’s ability to adapt animated characters into a more realistic style.  One of the two earliest examples of this translation was today’s figure, Ahsoka Tano, one of the most prolific animation-only characters in the cannon (who will, incidentally, finally be getting a live-action counterpart in the second season of The Mandalorian), and certainly a solid choice for trying such a prospect out.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ahsoka was figure 20 in the Black Series line-up, hitting in the gap between The Force Awakens and Rogue One, in an assortment with the previously reviewed Kanan and Farmboy Luke.  The whole assortment was relatively difficult to get at first, but while the other two eventually showed up in greater numbers, Ahsoka was always the most in-demand of the three.  There are a number of designs to choose from for Ahsoka, but this figure opted to adapt her adult appearance from Rebels, which given the pairing with Kanan, made quite a bit of sense.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 29 points of articulation.  Given what period of the line she hails from, Ahsoka’s articulation is actually pretty alright.  Not only does she have more points than the average release from this period, but they generally have a better than average range.  The ball-jointed torso in particular adds a lot of posing variety.  In terms of translation from animation to the “real world” style of The Black Series, Ahsoka was definitely more successful than her assortment-mate Kanan.  I don’t know if it’s just that she’s got a more easily translated design, but it a much smoother transition, and she looks more like a real person, albeit an alien one.  Honestly, the alien thing probably helped more than anything.  Like Kanan, she does a nice job of giving the various parts of her outfit distinct textures, which sells the realism bit even a little more.  Ahsoka’s skirt is a mixed media piece, with the actual skirt being a simple cloth piece, and the more fanciful details being a rubber overlay.  More recently, that cloth part has been removed from figures, and Ahsoka kinda makes me miss it, because it works well here.  Ahsoka’s paintwork may predate the move to the new style faces, but you’d be a little hard-pressed to notice.  It’s again largely due to that whole alien thing, but also she’s just got a really sharp paint scheme, definitely the best of this particular era of figures.  It looks really solid.  Ahsoka is packed with two distinct lightsabers, like she wielded in the show.  They are the unique pale blue they should be, and can be hung from her waist piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t get Ahsoka when she was new for a few reasons.  Firstly, I was still desperately trying to cling to my “no prequels” rule.  Secondly, I only saw her one time at retail.  Thirdly, I was moving at the time, and one extra figure was hard to justify.  And lastly, I hadn’t yet seen any of Rebels, so my only real knowledge of Ahsoka was from Clone Wars, and I honestly wasn’t that big a fan of the character.  After getting more into Rebels and rewatching Clone Wars, I came to appreciate her a bit more, so I was finally willing to add Ahsoka to my collection…just in time for her to jump way up on the after market.  Fortunately, one got traded into All Time right before the shut down, and they pretty much just gave it to me.  She’s a surprisingly good figure, and I’m glad I was able to finally get one.

#2132: Chopper (C1-10P)

CHOPPER (C1-10P)

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Chopper is the resident droid of the Ghost, assisting the crew in everything from ship maintenance to combat, even though he doesn’t always want to. After many years of repairs and patch jobs, Chopper has a beat-up, worn look that sometimes matches his cranky personality.”

No Star Wars story is really complete without a stubborn droid or two.  And while most of the main-series uses R2 and 3PO for that role, there are occasionally times where they’re not available, due to continuity stuff.  Rebels was one of those times (well, apart from a cameo appearance early on), so we got an all-new droid, C1-10P, better known as Chopper.  Chopper takes the usual stubborn droid traits and amps them up to 11, which has made him quite the fan-favorite.  With that in mind, the only thing that’s truly surprising about him getting a Black Series figure is how long it took for him to finally make it into the line-up.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Chopper is figure 84 in the Black Series line-up, part of the most recent assortment of figures, where he shares the Rebels spotlight with the Ezra figure from yesterday and the astromech spotlight with BT-1.  The figure stands roughly 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation, which is pretty darn impressive by astromech standards.  As a droid, Chopper is the member of the Ghost crew who required the least changes to make him workable in a more realistic line, so he actually stays pretty close to the show’s design for him.  Many of the recent Star Wars offerings have made use of Ralph McQuarrie’s design work for the original film, and Rebels had that in spades.  Chopper himself makes use of a lot of elements from McQuarrie’s R2 design, being more squat and utilitarian than the final R2 design.  This makes Chopper more divergent from the other on-screen astromechs, which honestly isn’t that out of place given his characterization.  The figure follows the lead of the main Black Series R2 and his various attachments.  However, unlike R2, who had lots of clip-on parts, most of Chopper’s parts are internal and can fold out.  By far the most impressive example of this is the arms on the head, which are completely articulated and fold back into the head totally flat.  It’s actually so convincing that I myself almost missed them when opening my figure.  There’s another arm at the front, which is pretty cool too, if slightly more simplistic in its implementation.  Chopper’s paintwork is true to this design on the show, so he’s plenty colorful, and all of the small details are there. Of course, Chopper’s hardly a brand-new model, so the figure is sporting a fair bit of muck and grime, which is handled via the same technique they’ve been using on the faces recently.  In addition to everything packed into the main figure, Chopper’s got a few add-on parts as well.  His third leg can be swapped out for a rocket booster, which also includes a rocket blast effect piece to keep him elevated.  He’s also got an extra left leg, which is paired with his right, so as to allow him to match, as seen in “The Forgotten Droid.”

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I was already picking Ezra, it wasn’t too hard to convince myself to pick up Chopper too.  Honestly, he’s probably the strongest figure in this line-up.  The fold up arms are fun, and his animation-true design is a very clean look.  It’s a nice change-up from the more formulaic figures of the line.  He’s just a lot of fun, and I’m happy to have added him to the collection.

Chopper was purchased from All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Star Wars, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2131: Ezra Bridger

EZRA BRIDGER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Growing up, Ezra learned to trust no one and to rely on his street smarts – and subconcious Force abilities – to survive. This all changes with his introduction to the crew of the Ghost, a small band of rebels fighting back against the Empire. Ezra comes to believe in their cause, and sees that he can help change the galaxy for the better.”

Cartoons have been a part of the Star Wars universe since the mid-point of the much maligned Holiday Special, and they’ve been a part of the toyline since Droids and Ewoks, but it wasn’t until 2003’s The Clone Wars that we really faced the dilemma of how to handle animation-based figures in terms of integrating them with the rest of the line.  Clone Wars set the precedent of “why not both?” and that’s pretty much been the standard since.  The cast of Star Wars: Rebels were initially  only released in their animation accurate forms, but Hasbro has subsequently worked them into The Black Series one by one.  The latest is the character that’s ostensibly the main character of the show, Ezra Bridger.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ezra Bridger is figure 86 in the Black Series line-up and is part of the latest assortment of figures.  He’s packed alongside fellow Ghost crew-member Chopper, plus Obi-Wan, and Aphra and her companion droids.   The figure stands 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Ezra’s based on his Season 1/2 appearance, though like the prior animation figures, it’s a real-world take on his design.  I find that his translation to a real-world look was slightly more successful than Kanan, though I’d say it’s partially due to Ezra being younger, and therefore being slightly more excusable with an ever so slightly cartoony appearance.  I feel like his eyes could stand to be just a touch lower on the head, but beyond that, he’s fairly realistic, and his sculpt handles things nicely.  His articulation is fairly well integrated and for the most part has a solid range, but it’s worth noting that his hips are rather on the restricted side, due to the belt straps and their placement.  It’s not awful, and it’s not like we haven’t seen issues like this before in the line, but it’s a shame there’s not an easy fix for it.  Ezra’s paintwork is all pretty decent.  It’s mostly just base color work, but it gets it all down correctly and none of the sculpted details have been overlooked.  He also uses the printed face technique, which works pretty well for this particular figure.  Ezra is packed with his unique lightsaber, as well as his stolen Imperial Cadet helmet, which sits surprisingly well on his head.  Not a ton of extras, but its one more than the usual single lightsaber we get with Jedi characters, so I’m certainly not going to knock it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ezra is a good example of my herd mentality when it comes to collecting.  On his own, I’m not certain I would have bought him, but he came out alongside the Obi-Wan figure I knew I wanted and the Doctor Aphra figures I was picking up for Super Awesome Fiancee, and I figured that, since I already have most of the Rebels crew anyway, I might as well grab him, too.  Honestly, he’s a pretty solid figure, and I’m glad I picked him up.

I grabbed Ezra from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Star Wars, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2035: Imperial Jumptrooper

IMPERIAL JUMPTROOPER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“An elite squadron within the Imperial ranks, jump troopers (also known as rocket troopers) were outfitted with jetpacks and utilized in tight spaces.  They were trained to act in unison, often swarming and overwhelming their targets.”

Since the standard Imperial Stormtroopers first graced the screen back in 1977, we’ve been getting a steady stream of variants on the concept, be they Sandtroopers, Snowtroopers, Scout Troopers, etc.  There have been a few recurring concepts among the non-movie variants.  A popular one is the Jumptrooper, which has found its way into comics, video games, and, most recently, Star Wars: Rebels.  And now, it’s gotten a new figure, courtesy of Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Jumptrooper is a GameStop-exclusive offering from the Black Series line, released in the last couple of months.  The Jumptrooper is based on his Rebels appearance, specifically the commanding officer of the squad, as denoted by the colored shoulderpad.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  The Jumptrooper re-uses a lot of parts from the standard Stormtrooper figure, which is pretty sensible, given that the designs are pretty similar.  It’s also a pretty solid sculpt in its own right, and certainly a nice starting point.  He has a new helmet, backpack, and shoulder pads, which match well with the pre-existing parts, and also match up well with his design from the show (albeit modified for a more real-world appearance).  Most importantly, though, they set him nicely apart from the standard trooper.  I really dig the changes they’ve made, because he’s just a super sleek looking figure.  The colorwork on the Jumptrooper is subtle, but pretty impressive.  The glossier finish of the armor looks nicer than the matte finish of the original, as do the additional accenting details that the original lacked on the belt and boots.  Throw in a little extra splash of color, and you’ve got a figure that pops nicely on the shelf.  The Jumptrooper is packed with a standard E-11 Stormtrooper blaster and a brand-new style of display stand.  The stand’s not quite as conventional as I’d hoped for, but it can make for some decent running poses once you get it properly seated.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As soon as the Jumptrooper was unveiled, I knew I wanted one.  Something about the design just immediately jumped out at me (heh), so when I found out he was a GameStop exclusive, it was Super Awesome Fiancee to the rescue!  She was kind enough to pre-order this guy through her work for me, thereby making his acquisition fairly painless.  I’m very happy with the final figure.  He’s definitely one of my favorite troopers.

#1725: Imperial Speeder (w/ AT-DP Pilot)

IMPERIAL SPEEDER (W/ AT-DP PILOT)

STAR WARS: REBELS

“AT-DP Pilots are elite ground vehicle pilots for the Empire. Equipped with unique armor, they are formidable opponents for all of the Empire’s enemies.”

While everyone else seems to have gotten in on the speeder bike game, our first taste of speeder bikes were property of the Empire.  They also had the absolute coolest variants of the Stormtroopers driving them, which was always a plus for me.  Rebels, which is set before the original trilogy, doesn’t make use of the Scout Troopers, but they do have their own unique pilots, which are pretty cool in their own right.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The Imperial Speeder was released as an initially Toys R Us-exclusive item alongside the main Rogue One product launch.  It was a more informal exclusive, though, since it bore no actual denotation of the status (and, of course, now it’s not an exclusive at all).  Unlike the last two sets I looked at, it just had the one release, likely due to it being a pretty simple re-skin of Ezra’s Speeder from yesterday.  The only difference between the two sculpturally is the addition of a cannon on the left side of this one.  It’s a little obtrusive, but I guess it mixes things up a little better.  The paint work is the main changing point here, as it’s done up in a much milder palette than the last, which is certainly much more pleasant.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Included with the speeder is the AT-DP Pilot.  No, the speeder isn’t actually called the AT-DP, he’s technically the pilot of another vehicle, who’s been repurposed.  His sculpt’s been re-purposed as well, being a reissue of the Saga Legends figure from back in 2014.  But I missed the first one, so I appreciate the re-release.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  The sculpt is probably one of the finest to come out of the Rebels subset of figures, being a pretty awesome translation of his on-screen design.  The detail work is crisp, and there’s actually a ton of smaller detail work, even for him being one of the animated designs.  His paintwork is a pretty straightforward recreation of the first figure’s paint, which was itself a good recreation of the colorscheme from the show.  It’s pretty clean overall, though it gets a little fuzzy at some of the edges.  However, since it’s all shades of grey, it’s not all that off looking.  The AT-DP Pilot is packed with a standard Stormtrooper blaster, should you want him to be doing something other than driving.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, unlike the last two sets, this is actually an item I fully intended to buy when it was new.  However, I never actually saw it at retail, and then I sort of forgot it.  Fortunately, it showed up in pretty high numbers at my nearest Toys R Us during the liquidation process.  I gotta say, it’s a pretty simple set, and not really anything new, but I really dig it.

#1724: Ezra Bridger’s Speeder

EZRA BRIDGER’S SPEEDER

STAR WARS: REBELS (HASBRO)

“Once a lone street urchin stealing to survive on Lothal, Ezra Bridger has been taken in by the crew of the Ghost and is now a determined freedom fighter who plays a critical role in the rebellion against the Empire. With the help of his master, Kanan, Ezra is well on his way to becoming a Jedi – he uses the Force to fight the Imperial opposition that threatens to destroy the galaxy.”

If there’s a competitor to Kanan Jarrus for the “main character” slot in Rebels, it’s his apprentice Ezra Bridger, who is essentially Aladdin in space.  Cool?  But, instead of a magic carpet, he’s got a speeder bike.  So, that’s different, I guess.  Let’s just review this toy already.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

Ah, yes, who can forget the eternally memorable, unmistakably distinctive…speeder owned by Ezra Bridger.  Okay, so I still haven’t actually gotten past more than the first season of Rebels, and I only watched it the once, so I don’t recall off-hand if this is actually in it.  I want to say it is.  But I doubt it’s a prominent fixture regardless.  Anyway, this set was part of the smaller scale vehicle releases that hit on the first Force Friday, alongside the Force Awakens products.  It was then re-released alongside the Rogue One product, which means it pretty much never, ever left store shelves.  The vehicle is about 6 inches long and stands about 2 inches tall.  It’s more of a basic seated bike than the ones from Return of the Jedi, which is fortunate given the reduced articulation of the figures.  It’s a pretty decent sculpt, slightly softer on the details like prior vehicles, but it’s not terrible.  It’s certainly sharper detailing than we saw on the Y-Wing yesterday, so that’s a plus.  The paintwork on the bike is certainly unique. Green and orange is quite a unique combo.  A hideous combo, but certainly a unique one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Obviously, it would be odd to release Ezra Bridger’s Speeder without an Ezra figure, so here it is.  Of course, as sensible as it may be in this particular case, he ends up in the same boat as the Kanan figure, since at this point we had a ton of Ezra figures already (and, like Kanan, there was a single-packed Ezra, released at the same exact product launch as this one).  That said, this is actually the first figure of him I’ve gotten, so it’s not a total waste.  The figure stands 3 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  The sculpt is largely the same as the first Rebels Ezra, but with the legs tweaked to add some pouches.  The sculpt does a respectable job of capturing the show design, and I think it’s a slightly better sculpt than the Kanan figure.  His paintwork is pretty clean, and pretty bright as well (this signifies that my figure is the later release; the earlier ones were rather washed out).  Ezra is packed with his lightsaber, which, unlike Kanan’s has a removable blade, which is pretty cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Kanan and the Y-Wing, Ezra and his speeder were picked up in the TRU liquidation sales.  I hadn’t really planned on getting it, but I didn’t yet have an Ezra figure, and this was the easiest way to get him.  While it’s hardly the most thrilling set, I can appreciate it for what it is.