#1471: Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader

SCARIF STORMTROOPER SQUAD LEADER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“Specialist stormtroopers stationed at the top-secret Imperial military headquarters on Scarif, Shoretroopers patrol the beaches and bunkers of the planetary facility.”

Though the main Star Wars line has moved onto all of the product from this December’s Last Jedi, I’ve still got a few Rogue One products sitting on my shelf waiting to be reviewed.  There was sort of a mass influx of new figures over the summer, and a lot of them had to wait for their slot in the reviewing schedule.  None more so than the Rogue One stuff, which got put on hold so that I could focus on TLJ.  Now that I’ve got a bit of lull, I can finally get back to some of them.  So, after much delay, here’s this Shoretrooper figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader is the fourth and final figure from the Rogue One assortment of the Walmart-exclusive small-scale Star Wars: The Black Series line.  Of the four, this guy was by far the most difficult to acquire (which is part of why he’s being reviewed four months after the other three), largely due to his status as an army builder.  The name on this guy is a little confusing.  He’s listed as the “Squad Leader,” which is the name generally associated with the more decorated guy from the two-pack with the Moroff.  That name was again used for the more decorated look in the larger Black Series, where the look seen here was listed simply as “Scarif Stormtrooper.”  And when this look showed up in the basic line, it was “Shoretrooper.”  If I had to guess, I’d say Hasbro may have been initially planning to release the guy from the two-pack, but changed their minds after the packaging was underway.  At the end of the day, none of this actually affects the figure, though, so I guess it doesn’t really matter that much.  The figure stands a little under 4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  As with the rest of his assortment, the Shoretrooper’s articulation represents a marked improvement over the Force Awakens offerings from the prior year.  I’d place this guy on par with Cassian in terms of posabilty.  It’s nice that Hasbro put in the effort on these guys, since they’re probably less likely to see new figures going forward.  The sculpt on this guy is totally unique to him; no parts shared with any of his less articulated brethren (though I feel certain we’ll be seeing most of this body again for the Vintage Collection Hovertank Pilot).  It’s definitely solid work, and on par with the larger version of the same design.  The helmet could perhaps be a little sharper, but the detailing on the body is definitely top-notch.  The paint on this guy is definitely solid work.  All of the base work is pretty clean and the colors match what we see on-screen.  Like the larger Shoretroopers, he gets some dirt and grime, to help make his armor look a bit more used.  It’s a nice touch, and really adds a lot to the figure.  The Shoretrooper is packed with a standard E-11 Stormtrooper blaster.  That’s a bit less than the others in this assortment, so he feels a little light, but it’s not terrible.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been looking for this guy pretty much since they hit back in last December.  He and Cassian were definitely my most wanted, but while I was able to find Cassian back in May, this guy eluded me for several more months.  I ended up finding him at the Walmart across the street from the apartment I was moving out of back in August.  Which, of course, was just in time for Walmart to bring the price on these figure back up to their full $12, rather than the $6 they’d been at all summer.  Oh well.  At least I got him.  Is he the most thrilling figure ever?  Perhaps not.  I’ve gotten every other Hasbro Shoretrooper, so he’s not particularly different or new, nor does he blow me away the way Cassian did.  That being said, he’s still a very good figure, and I’m glad I found one.

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#1451: Jedha Revolt

JYN ERSO, SAW GERRERA, EDRIO TWO TUBES, & IMPERIAL HOVERTANK PILOT

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE (HASBRO)

With all of the Last Jedi product floating around, it can be a little difficult to fit in some of my older Star Wars products, especially when it’s stuff that’s only a single movie back.  At least the Power of the Force stuff is noticeably different, right?  Not so much the case with Rogue One, from which I still have a few lingering figures.  Today, I’ll be crossing a few of those off my list and taking a look at the Jedha Revolt boxed-set!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Jedha Revolt set is comprised of Jyn, Saw Gerrara, Edrio Two Tubes, and an Imperial Hovertank Pilot, all of whom came from the film’s first big set piece, Jedha.  This set is part of the Rogue One line, and is very similar to the Takodana Encounter set from The Force Awakens.  The real notable difference here is that there’s three new figures and one repack, instead of one new figure and three repacks.  Those numbers are better.

JYN ERSO

“Pushing behind a checkered past by lending her skills to a greater cause, Jyn Erso is impetuous, defiant, and eager to bring the battle to the empire.  Used to operating alone, she finds higher purpose by taking on a desperate mission for the Rebel Alliance.”

The Jyn in this set is the same one released in Series 2 of the main line.  I didn’t get that one, though, because I knew this set was coming.  That being said, the mold is also the same one used for the Jyn included with the AT-ACT.  It’s not a bad sculpt at all.  The paint’s a little different on this figure.  It’s not an incredible difference, but there’s enough to notice.  I prefer the work on the AT-ACT figure, truth be told, but I guess this one’s passable.  She gets the same blaster pistol, and adds in her scarf she wears on Jedha for good measure.

SAW GERRERA

“A battered veteran of the Clone Wars as well as ongoing rebellion against the Empire, Saw Gerrera leads a band of Rebel extremists.  Saw has lost much in his decades of combat, but occasional flashes of the charismatic ad caring man he once was shine through his calloused exterior.  Gerrera is bunkered on the ancient world of Jedha, coordinating a prolonged insurgency against the Imperial occupation.  Saw’s ailing health has not withered his resolve to fight.”

Saw is definitely a big selling point of this set, since he’s a fairly prominent character and this is literally the only proper figure of him released at this point.  We see Saw here in his garb from later on in the film, during the “present” sequences.  It’s a sensible choice, since his other look is only seen briefly and it’s not the one he’s sporting on Jedha.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation…in theory.  All of the joints are there, but you’re not really going to get much range out of any of them.  Saw’s not super agile or anything, so it’s not a big loss, but it’s still slightly frustrating.  The sculpt is all new to this figure, and it’s a fairly nice piece.  There’s quite a bit of detail work going on, and he certainly has a lot of depth.  The head has a passing resemblance to Forrest Whitaker, which is nice, and the overall design seems to have been translated quite nicely.  Saw’s paintwork is generally pretty decent and clean.  I do have one notable complaint, which has to do with the breathing apparatus.  It’s just molded in a solid off-white sort of color, which looks a little goofy.  It really would have looked better if they’d done it in clear plastic and added a few painted details.  Saw is packed with his walking stick which is almost seen carrying in the movie, as well as a small sidearm which he never uses, but is seen carrying on his hip just the same.  Both pieces are nicely detailed and great additions to the figure.

EDRIO TWO TUBES

“Edrio Two Tubes is a mercenary pilot who flies alongside his eggmate, Benthic.  They share the nickname derived from the breathing apparatus that allows Tognath physiology to process oxygen atmospheres.  Edrio’s notice world of Yar Tonga was conquered by the Empire, forcing him to flee as a refugee.  With a desire to strike back at the Empire, Edrio and Benthic have allied with Saw Gerra’s movement on Jedha.”

And now for the “who the heck is this guy?” portion of the set, it’s Edrio Two Tubes!  Yeah, I don’t know either.  But he looks cool, and that’s really the only necessary element for a successful Star Wars character (see: Boba Fett).  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has the same 5 points of articulation as the rest of the set, albeit in better working order than the ones on Saw.  Edrio gets another all-new sculpt, and it’s certainly top notch.   There’s a lot of really awesome detail work, especially on the jacket.  I dig the similarities between the chest piece and that of the Rebel Pilots.  Definitely a cool touch.  The only real complaint I have is that he’s a little hard to get standing, but once you get him there, he stays up alright.  Edrio’s paint is pretty solid, offering up clean base work, as well as some pretty sweet accent work on his jacket.  He definitely has the best work in the set.  He’s packed with a big ol’ rifle, which he sadly can’t hold particularly well, due to the limitations of his posability.  You can still get a decent “over the shoulder” sort of look, so it’s workable.

IMPERIAL HOVERTANK PILOT

“Imperial combat drivers operate the Empire’s arsenal of armored repulser vehicles, from troop transports to heavily armored hovertanks.  Combat drivers are lightly armored, relying instead on the thick skin of their vehicles to protect them in battle.” 

No set would be complete without some sort of Stormtrooper variant, and this one actually gets one of my favorites.  We got the Hovertank Pilot in the 6-inch line pretty early on, but it’s certainly still cool to get him again in the smaller scale.  The figure is largely built from re-purposed parts from the standard Shoretrooper.  It’s a more than adequate starting point, as that was a pretty solid figure in its own right.  He gets a new head and belt, both of which are incredibly sharp sculpts, which certainly add a lot of polish to the final figure.  The paint on this guy is pretty straightforward, off-white and dark brown.  It’s all cleanly applied, though, and he looks pretty spiffy.  He’s packed with a large blaster rifle, which is the same one we saw with the Shoretrooper, Scarif Squad Leader, and AT-ACT Driver.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was rather excited for this set when it was first shown off, but by the time it actually hit about 6 months later, I had sort of cooled down, and was actually in a bit of a tight spot financially.  Fortunately, it stuck around for a bit, and I was actually able to pick it up from Target for about half of its original value.  I will say, this one definitely has a lot more to offer than the TFA set, since most of the figures are new.  Saw, Edrio, and the Hovertank Pilot are all really solid offerings, and are among some of my favorite figures from the Rogue One line.

The Blaster In Question #0024: Captain Cassian Andor Deluxe Blaster

CAPTAIN CASSIAN ANDOR DELUXE BLASTER

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

Everything looks better in blue.  Ok, maybe not everything, but a lot of things do, and that goes for Nerf blasters.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at yet another Star Wars blaster.  This time it is the Target exclusive Captain Cassian Andor Deluxe Blaster.  Well, sort of exclusive.  I’ll explain later.  Let’s get into the review

THE BLASTER ITSELF

The Captain Cassian Andor Deluxe Quite A Mouthful Blaster was released in 2016 as a tie-in product for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  This specific blaster is the Target exclusive blue recolor of the Jyn Erso Blaster from the same line.  Plus, this one’s got a bunch of accessories that Jin’s blaster doesn’t.  It’s built on the classic magazine-fed flywheel system we’ve seen on the Stryfe and other blasters.  Holding down the rev trigger spins up the flywheels and pulling the main trigger pushes a single dart into the wheels, sending it flying.  The big difference between the CCADB and the Stryfe is the inclusion of lights and sounds which activate on the trigger pull, regardless of the rev trigger being pressed.  I was actually pretty impressed with the lights on this blaster.  Every time the trigger is pulled, a series of green LEDs in the barrel light up in rapid succession giving the illusion of a laser blast traveling down the barrel.  Accompanied by the sound effects, it really does make just pulling the trigger quite satisfying.  It’s also worth noting that holding down the rev trigger turns on the blue LED in the chamber as part of the blaster’s Glowstrike feature.  The included magazine holds 12 darts and, unlike most standard N-Strike Elite magazines, is completely transparent orange on both sides.  The outer shell of the base blaster is completely new work though shared with the Jyn Erso blaster, and looks a good bit like the blaster in the film which, if anyone cares, was made with an AR-15 as the base of the prop.  Like with the Poe Dameron blaster, the use of real-world firearms parts makes holding the blaster fairly comfortable, though there is some noticeable down-scaling from the real thing, making it a little cramped in the grip.  All the included accessories with the CCADB are recolored attachments from various other blasters.  The stock comes from the N-Strike Raider CS-35, the scope comes from the Modulus Long Range Upgrade Kit, the barrel extension/suppressor comes from the N-Strike/Elite Specter REV-5, and the bumps along the sides of the magazine indicate it comes from the Modulus Flip-Clip Upgrade Kit.  In addition to the grip being a hair small, some sections of the blaster feel a little flimsier than I’m used to from Nerf.  It’s not a lot, but the grey panels on the sides of the grip and the battery tray cover do flex a good bit if you have a firm grasp on the blaster.  This CCADB is not a heavy hitter in terms of performance.  The power of the flywheels is rather limited, either by design or because the batteries also have to power the lights, sounds, and Glowstrike feature when firing.  This is an indoor blaster, no question.  It does fire reliably but shots arc more severely than most other blasters and don’t land with as much force, making it ideal for busting into your sibling’s room and emptying the mag without fear of getting in as much trouble.  The CCADB comes packaged with 12 Glowstrike Star Wars darts, a 12 round magazine, a scope, a stock, a barrel extension, and 4 AA batteries already installed.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This blaster is largely what convinced me that the addition of lights and sounds to the Star Wars Nerf lineup wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.  While the Death Trooper blaster is fine, the effects on this blaster are pretty top notch and, having seen this year’s offerings, set the standard for effects for “deluxe” blasters to follow.

 

Guest Review #0046: Jyn Erso

JYN ERSO

FORCES OF DESTINY

Heyo! Welcome to another review by yours truly, Ethan’s Super Awesome Girlfriend! Today I’m going to be reviewing the lovely Jyn Erso from Hasbro’s Forces of Destiny line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

“We have hope! Rebellions are built on hope!” ~Jyn Erso

For those of you who don’t know, Jyn Erso is one of the main leads in the Star Wars film Rogue One. She’s a young woman that’s never really been on the right side of Imperial law, but she always does what she thinks is right.

This figure is about 11 inches tall with 22 points of articulation. One of those points is in the waist which has a slight restriction in movement.  All of the pieces are unique to the figure and her outfit is mostly part of the figure’s sculpt, excluding the vest, scarf, boots, and gun holster.

Her hair tries to emulate the character’s hair style in the movie, and it succeeds for the most part using some sort of gel to keep the bangs together on the sides. I mean really, it’s hard enough getting side bangs like that on a normal person so I can cut the doll some slack. The shirt is all molded onto the torso and arms of the figure and looks to be tucked in at the waist. Her pants are also part of the mold of the legs. Both articles include seams, folds, creases, dips, and various other textures to make them more realistic; the pants even look like they’ve been shoved into her boots and even look asymmetrical in their folding. The material of Jyn’s vest is a lot like Rey’s, except it’s a different color and has different designs on it. Printed on the vest are a couple of pockets, one of them with items poking out, a zipper, and patterned texture to make it look like leather. Jyn’s hooded scarf is made of a gauzy material that isn’t completely seamed and so little bits of string keep coming off. Be careful, the scarf may unravel if you’re not gentle. Her boots and gun holster are made of the same slightly flexible plastic and are about the same color too. On her boots there are various buckles, flaps, seams, and creases as part of the sculpt to give off a leather boot vibe. Most of the noticeable paint is on the torso, arms, and hands and it’s okay. There is some grey from her shirt on both her neck and the bit where the sleeves meet skin. Also there is some brown from her gloves on her fingers.

Her only accessories are her gun and her baton. Apparently, most of Jyn’s action figures either don’t come with her baton or it’s all folded up and she can’t use it, which is a shame because I really like her baton; it’s different from other characters. The baton is fully extended and made of hard plastic; parts of it also have a patterned roughness. The figure’s action feature also includes the baton. If you squeeze her legs together the arm holding the baton moves. Her gun looks like an elongated pistol and it’s two different colors, though I can’t tell if it’s painted that way or not. The grip has patterned roughness and the mold also includes various ridges, indents, and do-dads to give it an authentic look. The gun is pretty cool and fits perfectly in the holster.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This was the third figure that I bought on Force Friday this year (2017) while I was out with Ethan. Originally I was going to wait to buy this figure and the others, but we wanted to get the gift card from target which meant I had to buy 100$ worth of Star Wars merchandise…woooh. Anyways, I really like having this figure because the character was so amazing in Rogue One and I hope to see more of her in the extended universe, like the YouTube series. If not, well, I’m happy she’ll be on my shelf!

#1396: Rapid Fire Imperial AT-ACT

RAPID FIRE IMPERIAL AT-ACT (w/ SERGEANT JYN ERSO, AT-ACT DRIVER, & C2-B5)

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE (HASBRO)

“A larger version of the standard combat AT-AT, the AT-ACT walker features a dedicated cargo bed for the transportation of heavy building materials or combat munitions. It was deployed at major Imperial construction projects, such as shipyards and sprawling research installations.”

Toy Fans can be a bit stubborn and short-sighted sometimes.  There’s this innate inability to see that not every product is aimed at them, and that adult collectors only make up a very small fraction of the target audience of any given mass produced line. This means that there’s whole chunks of product not meant for us in the slightest, or at the very least, items that are designed with kids in mind first and adult collectors second.  After going pretty hardcore into the adult collector sphere for a while, Hasbro has shifted their Star Wars product into a more toy-etic form, in an effort to maximize sales and appeal to the new generations of collectors being brought in by the franchise’s newest films.  The new product has been an overall success for Hasbro, but some of the more hardcore sections of the fanbase have been less than pleased.  There’s been a lot of crying foul, particularly when it comes to the various new vehicles, which have proved quite divisive.  One of the most divisive was today’s item, the Rapid Fire Imperial AT-ACT.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The AT-ACT is part of Hasbro’s Star Wars: Rogue One line.  It was released about a month or so after the first big product launch for Rogue One.  As with the two X-Wings and the TIE Fighter, there’s a bit of assembly required when you open up the AT-ACT.  The the legs, small blaster stalks for the head, and the cargo bed are packed separately from the main base body and head, and they need to be snapped into place (which takes a fair bit of force, let me tell you).  Once fully assembled, the AT-ACT stands 16 inches tall and 12 inches deep.  That’s far from accurate scaling for the 3 3/4 inch figures, which was a point of contention for some collectors.  It should really be twice the size at least, if not even larger, since the AT-ACT was even larger than the AT-AT.  To give a frame of reference, there’s a shot in Rogue One of an X-Wing fighter flying through the open cargo hold of one of these things.  At best, you can probably get one of the old Action Fleet X-Wings through there.  That being said, at the current size the AT-ACT’s large enough to dwarf just about everything else in a collection, all while keeping it to a manageable size for production and storage purposes.  Could it have been larger? Perhaps, but for most people it’s not going to make a huge difference, and this is hardly the first time a Star Wars vehicle has been underscaled for a toyline.  The sculpt on the AT-ACT does a decent enough job translating the film design into plastic form.  The important details are all there, and it matches aesthetically with the vehicles from Force Awakens and the like.  There’s a little bit of cheating in a few spots (such as the slightly larger head relative to the rest of the body) which has been done to maximize playability with the basic figures, but the overall appearance is still fairly close to the source material.  When it comes to playability, there are two main spots that you can place the figures.  Obviously, there’s a spot in the cockpit for the driver.  While the film’s design has spots for two drivers, this one’s just got space for the one.  This is in part due to the down-scaling, but also due to offering storage space for the four Nerf darts used by the firing feature, which I’ll touch on in a little bit.  The other main spot for figures is in the main body’s removable cargo bed.  It’s actually a pretty neat bit; the sides fold down on both sides, revealing a nicely detailed interior, as well as a plethora of footpegs to hold figures in place.  There are even spots for the troopers to stow their rifles, which is a cool touch.  The bed can be removed and deployed as a cool little base or installation, which also reveals the interior of the AT-ACT proper.  There are even more details, as well as two panels that flip up to reveal footwells that can be used for standing space or additional storage.  Paint is minimal on the AT-ACT, but not entirely absent; there’s some minor work throughout, and it’s all pretty decently applied.  There’s also a sheet of decals to pick up some of the slack, and those work pretty well too.  The AT-ACT is packed with three figures (which I’ll look at in just a second) as well as a cannon and a zipline, both of which can be plugged into either the main body of the vehicle or the cargo bed.  A major selling point of this set was the two included action features.  To make use of the features will require four D batteries.  Both play features can be accessed using the various buttons on the AT-ACT’s back, which can be a little difficult to use.  Fortunately, the AT-ACT is Bluetooth-enabled.  You can download the “Star Wars: Studio FX” app to your phone and use it to control the AT-ACT remotely, which is a lot of fun.  Onto the actual features!  The first feature is the walking ability, which is pretty decent.  It’s slow, and this thing definitely needs to be on a flat, uncarpeted surface to work best, but it’s an amusing feature.  There are a number of associated sound effects and such, which help to sell the feature.  There’s also a head movement capability worked into this, which is a little difficult to really get working, but nice nonetheless.  The second feature is the titular “rapid fire” feature, which replicates the AT-ACT’s blaster capabilities through use of Nerf mechanics.  There are four included Elite-style Nerf darts to use, and I find the feature to be generally pretty amusing myself.  Don’t take my word for it, though.  Here’s a word from the FiQ’s resident Nerf expert, Tim. Quoth Tim:

“With such an extensive history of military manufacturing such as G.I. Joe, Nerf, and Furby, it’s not surprising that the Galactic Empire contracted Hasbro to help develop weapons like the ones seen on the AT-ACT.  The dart cannon in the walker’s head is optimized for size, using a greatly miniaturized version of the tried-and-true flywheel mechanisms seen in blasters like the Stryfe.  The cannon uses a gravity-fed, 4-round magazine and an electronic pusher to feed the darts into the itty bitty flywheels, producing some rather hilariously flaccid results especially after the ominous revving noise that precedes each shot.  Also, just as a fun side note, if we can assume the darts are in scale with the pilot figure, the full size projectiles would be almost 4-1/2 feet long.”

SERGEANT JYN ERSO

The first of the three included figures is the film’s leading lady, Sergeant Jyn Erso.  As the main character, I suppose it makes sense to pack her in again, and they were undoubtedly trying to avoid the issues caused by leaving Rey out of the Millennium Falcon from TFA.  That being said, I don’t believe Jyn ever actually interacts with an AT-ACT in the film, so her inclusion does seem a little bit out there.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and she has 5 points of articulation.  She uses the same sculpt as the Jedha variant of Jyn from Series 2 of the main line.  Of course, I never got that figure, so this one’s new to me.  It’s a pretty decent sculpt, and I think I like this one more than the Eadu version.  The likeness to Felicity Jones is definitely improved.  The paintwork also appears to be a step-up from the single-carded released.  The basic colors are all the same, but the application is a lot sharper, and she’s also got some extra detailing on the legs, indicating she’s been running around on Scarif’s beaches for a bit (not that it happens in the final film, but hey, let’s go with it).  It’s a little on the heavy side, but it looks decent enough.  Jyn is packed with her blaster, which is painted silver, rather than molded like the single releases, which looks a lot better.

IMPERIAL AT-ACT DRIVER

The AT-ACT isn’t going to get very far without someone to drive it, right?  Well, as luck would have it, the second figure included with the AT-ACT is the Imperial AT-ACT Driver.  This is easily the most sensible of the three figures included.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has the usual 5 points of articulation (though the hips are a bit limited).  The larger scale AT-ACT Driver was a total parts re-use, but I don’t think that’s the case here.  He’s definitely got some similarities to the basic Shoretrooper, but there are enough subtle differences between the two to illustrate that they aren’t made from the same molds.  It’s a little weird that they aren’t the same sculpt, though, because the AT-ACT Driver has some slight inaccuracies to his design that would totally come from sharing parts with the Shoretrooper.  Most glaringly, the skirting on his belt; the driver should have the same style of belt as the Hovertank Driver, but instead he’s got the Shoretrooper skirt, just painted the same color as the pants.  It’s an odd choice.  The other problem with the presence of the skirt is that it impedes the movement on his hips.  Normally, I’m not a huge stickler about such things, but given that this figure’s whole purpose is being able to sit in the cockpit of the vehicle he was included with, it’s more than a little annoying.  In terms of paint, this guy is fairly decent.  Like the larger scale figure, he uses the deco of the AT-ACT Commander, as denoted by the grey on his shoulders.  Where the larger figure kept the dark brown and bone white of the Tank Driver, this figure goes for a more straight black and white scheme.  It’s not terrible, just different.  The figure includes a large blaster rifle, which is the same one included with the two Scarif Troopers.

C2-B5

I can’t say I know much about ol’ C2 here, given its complete lack of presence in the final version of Rogue One.  There were a few potential endings floating around, I suppose it’s possible C2 played a role in one of those.  Or, perhaps Hasbro just really wanted to put an astromech in this set.  It’s Star Wars.  It wouldn’t be right if they didn’t get an astromech droid in there somewhere.  This figure’s about 2 1/2 inches tall and has 3 points of articulation.  C2’s a head-to-toe repaint of the Mission Series R2-D2 (which was re-released for Force Awakens as well).  It’s a pretty standard astromech sculpt, so that’s reasonable.  It’s a shame it couldn’t have been one of the slightly better articulated R2s, but they’re undoubtedly going for consistency here.  Instead of the usual R2 colors, C2 is done up in a more imperial dark grey and silver.  Not a bad look, though perhaps not the most exciting color scheme.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was intrigued by this set when the Rogue One product started hitting, but the initial $300 price tag was just too much for me.  Rather quickly after the holidays, Target started marking it down to $150.  At that price, I was very much tempted, but my finances at the time didn’t really allow me to drop that much on one item.  I mentioned it to my parents, but that was kind of the end of it.  It disappeared from shelves, and I convinced myself that I hadn’t really needed it that much.  Flash forward to my birthday this year, when I unwrapped this.  Apparently, mentioning my interest in it to my parents was *not* the end of it.  My mom went out the very next day and bought this, and then they hung onto it for six months.  This thing got a lot of flak from the fanbase, and perhaps some of it was deserved, but this is a really, really fun toy.  I’m definitely very happy to have it!

#1382: K-2SO

K-2SO

S.H. FIGUARTS (BANDAI)

Oh hey, look!  It’s another K-2 figure!  It’s been, like, forever since I’ve looked at one of these.  But, of course, there were still other K-2 figures in existence, so it was really just a matter of time before I got another one on the site.  I’ve looked at pretty much all of the lower-end K-2s, so now I’m turning my sights to the higher-end stuff, starting with Bandai Japan’s S.H. Figuarts offering!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

K-2SO was released as part of the Rogue One sub-set of the main S.H. Figuarts line, and he hit shortly after the film’s theatrical release last December.  The figure stands a little under 7 1/2 inches tall (he’s just a smidge smaller than the Black Series and Elite Series figures) and he has 34 points of articulation.  Not only does he have the most articulation of any of the K-2 figures, he’s also got the most mobility by a very large margin.  The sheer range of posability on this guy is just insane.  Things like the shoulder pads are on their own hinged joints, allowing them to be posed out of the way, which helps to maximize the possible range of all the articulation.  I didn’t know I wanted a K-2 that could pull of crazy high kung-fu kicks, but by god did this figure convince me that was a thing I wanted.  Posability is one thing, but how’s the actual sculpt?  As much as I loved the Black Series sculpt, there were some definite inaccuracies present.  This figure fixes all of those issues, and presents the most accurate version of K-2 we’ve seen yet in plastic form.  In addition to the sheer accuracy of the sculpt, the detail work is really clean, and really, really sharp.  Truly amazing work.  Given that he’s made from a less rubbery plastic than the Black Series figure, I was a little worried about this guy’s durability, but so far I’ve had no issues.  Obviously, he’s not going to hold up to seriously rigorous play, but he’s still pretty solid.  The paint on K-2SO is also very top-notch.  The base color is the appropriate gunmetal finish, which looks super sleek.  The small details are really nicely handled as well.  I love how they handled the eyes in particular; the lenses are clear plastic, with details painted beneath.  I do believe this is the first K-2 to implement the eyes in the proper way.  K-2 is a little lighter on extras than most Figuarts offerings, but he does at least include three pairs of hands (in fists, gripping, and open gesture poses), and a clear display stand with a posable arm.  I do like the stand, but I really wish he’d included the blaster pistol he has during the climax.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

K-2 here was given to me as a birthday present from my boi Tim.  He’s apparently run out of Aliens to buy me, so he went with the next best thing.  I didn’t know what to expect from this guy, but I have to say, I’m very impressed.  The Black Series release is still perhaps the best toy of K-2, but this figure is definitely my favorite.

#1343: Imperial Death Trooper

IMPERIAL DEATH TROOPER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“The elite soldiers of Imperial Intelligence, Death Troopers are encased in specialized stormtrooper armor with a dark, ominous gleam and serve as bodyguards and enforcers for Director Krennic.”

Man, for being so elite, these guys didn’t exactly amount to much, did they?  Well, it’a not really their fault, I guess.  At their core, they’re still just Imperial Stormtroopers, aren’t they?  And these guys do manage to hit at least a few of their targets.  Good for them.  Like any good faceless Star Wars troop, they also make for really great toy fodder, so hey, here’s another Imperial Death Trooper figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Imperial Death Trooper is part of the small, four figure assortment of Rogue One-themed small scale Star Wars: The Black Series figures, which were released exclusively at Walmart back at the end of last year.  This is one of the two troop builders in the assortment, which makes it slightly more difficult to find (though not as difficult as the Shoretrooper, let me tell you).  The figure stands just over 4 inches tall and has 26 points of articulation.  As with all of the figures in this assortment, the articulation is a marked improvement over the Force Awakens figures from the prior year, especially on the legs.  That being said, I did find the Death Trooper to be the most difficult to pose of the three I’ve got.  It’s possible that’s due to the character design, though.  The sculpt is all-new to this particular figure, and it’s a pretty great rendition of the unique Death Trooper armor from the movie.  The lankiness of the character is a little more down-played here, which I think is for the best.  There’s an add-on with a pauldron and web gear, denoting that this guy’s a slightly different variation of the Death Trooper than I’ve looked at before.  I believe this makes him a squad leader.  Anyway, the extra gear is pretty cool, and adds something new to this guy.  It’s also easily removable, should you just want a basic Death Trooper, which makes him really great for army building.  The paint on this guy is pretty straight forward; for the most part, he’s just molded in black, but there’s some slight detailing here and there to help break things up a bit.  The application is all pretty clean, and he looks like he does in the movie.  The Death Trooper includes his standard larger blaster, as well as the smaller blaster pistol we saw with the larger Black Series figure as well.  Both are pretty well sculpted pieces, though he does have a little trouble holding the rifle (though it’s nowhere near as bad as the First Order Stormtrooper from Series 2).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted in my reviews of Jyn and Cassian, when I didn’t find any of these guys back in December/January, I had resigned myself to never getting them.  When I found the other two, I still resigned myself to never getting either of the troopers, since the army builders would have no doubt cleaned out all of the supplies long ago.  But, while in Seattle with Super Awesome Girlfriend and her family, I found this guy at one of the nearby Walmarts.  He’s pretty cool, and like the other two, I think he’s the best version of the character out there.  Now, if I could just find the Shoretrooper….

#1303: Captain Cassian Andor

CAPTAIN CASSIAN ANDOR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“An accomplished Alliance Intelligence officer, Captain Cassian Andor commands respect from his Rebel troops with this ability to keep a cool head under fire and complete his missions with minimal resources.”

Poor Cassian seems to keep drawing the short straw on the action figures. Jyn’s main looks were covered as widely-released single-packed figures.  We got a single-packed version of Cassian in both main scales, but they were both sporting his Eadu attire, which he only wears for short periods of the film. For whatever reason, Cassian’s main brown-jacketed look has been primarily limited to larger multi-packs.  The only version of that design to be released on his own is today’s focus figure, who was still a rather difficult to find exclusive.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cassian is the second of the four figures in the Walmart-exclusive Rogue One assortment of the small-scale Star Wars: The Black Series line.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Like Jyn, Cassian’s articulation is a significant step up from what we saw with the Force Awakens figures, making for a much more playable figure.  He sports an all-new sculpt, which is definitely one of Hasbro’s finest, especially at this scale.  Prior Cassian’s have really struggled to capture Diego Luna’s likeness, but I think this one just about nailed it.  It’s really not wildly different from the previous sculpts, but there are subtleties that just make all the difference.  The body does feel a little on the bulky side for Cassian (I think the two-pack/U-Wing figure may have gotten the build down better), but the detail work is definitely top notch, with the jacket in particular really impressing me. I also appreciate that the joints don’t stick out like sore thumbs on this guy.  Bad integration of the joints was a really issue on the Force Awakens figures, and I’m really happy to see them moving past it.  Cassian’s paint is largely pretty good, barring a few small issues.  It’s definitely cleaner than the two-pack version, and the eyes/eyebrows in particular are very clean and well-placed.  That can be really tricky, and was something that marred both my Poe and Han figures from the prior assortments.  My one really complaint with this guy is the beard.  It still isn’t quite right for Cassian; they keep giving him a full goatee, when it should really be a lot less pronounced on the sides.  Still, that’s quite minor, and it looks better here than on prior figures.  In a similar fashion to Jyn, Cassian includes his modular blaster, which can be broken down into three parts.  Of course, this is more key for Cassian, since we actually see his full blaster in action in the movie.  The stock is a little loose and prone to falling off, but I’m otherwise quite impressed with how well they executed this blaster’s design. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had wanted this version of Cassian as soon as it was shown, but I was unfortunately unable to find him anywhere at retail at the time of his release.  That’s really the main reason I ended up grabbing the TRU-exclusive one, since I didn’t want to be without this particular look for Cassian.  I was thrilled to actually find this guy at retail last week, and at half-price too!  Jyn was a fantastic figure, and Cassian manages to top her.  This is a truly impressive figure, and hands down the very best version of Cassian out there.  He rivals the larger K-2 figure for the spot of my favorite figure to come out of the Rogue One merch.

#1302: Sergeant Jyn Erso

SERGEANT JYN ERSO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“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 that she takes matters into her own hands.”

Remember back last year when I reviewed those special smaller-scale Black Series figures based on the characters from The Force Awakens?  Well, Hasbro also did a set of those for Rogue One, albeit a more concise one.  They were a bit more difficult to find, since stores seem to still be swimming in the last few series just prior.  I did manage to finally track down some of them, including that set’s version of the film’s primary protagonist, Jyn Erso!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jyn is one of the four figures from the Rogue One-themed assortment of the smaller-scale Star Wars: The Black Series line.  She hit in late November (well, in theory) and, like all of the small-scale Black Series figures since The Force Awakens, she’s a Walmart exclusive.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and she has 24 points of articulation.  I’m happy to report that they seem to have realized how difficult to pose some of the Force Awakens figures were, and have reworked the articulation scheme for the Rogue One offerings.  While I’m still not totally sold on the hip joints, the overall poseablity really great.  This figure sports an all-new sculpt, and she’s notable for being a Jyn look that we hadn’t yet gotten in plastic form.  Granted, it’s just a slight variation of the main look that we’ve gotten in both the small and larger scales; it’s her main Scarif look, which is her vested look, but without the underlying green jacket that she’s had on the prior vested figures.  All of the Black Series Jyn figures have had rather nice sculpts, and this figure is no exception.  I honestly think it’s the best Felicity Jones likeness of the bunch (this was also true of the Rey figure from this line), and the body sports halfway decent proportions, which is good for this line.  The vest is a removable piece; she looks a bit off with it removed, but it’s nice to have the extra option.  The paint work on Jyn is quite good for the scale; there’s not a ton of super intricate work, but the application is all pretty clean, especially on the face.  There’s some slight slop here and there, but I find it to be lot better than earlier figures in this style.  Jyn is packed with her small blaster pistol, along with two attachments for it to be converted into a sniper rifle configuration.  It’s not something we saw in the film, but it did show up in Battlefront, and it’s a cool concept.  Certainly a better extra than yet another giant missile launcher.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This particular series of figures *mostly* eluded me at retail.  Jyn was the one figure that I actually saw.  In fact, I saw about ten of her right after Christmas, but since she was all alone and there were so many of her, I figured I’d wait.  Of course, then I didn’t see her or any of the other figures anywhere for the next five months, so I figured I’d missed my window.  Last week, I was killing some time while Super Awesome Girlfriend, and I happened upon a whole rack of the smaller Black Series figures, Jyn included.  For half-price no less!  I had resigned myself never to find her, but I’m super happy to have found her.  Genuinely the best version of Jyn on the market, and a marked improvement over the so-so Walmart-exclusive Force Awakens figures.

#1298: Imperial AT-ACT Driver

IMPERIAL AT-ACT DRIVER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“The Empire’s combat drivers are trained to handle everything on the Imperial ground arsenal, from heavily armed AT-ATs to the more utilitarian AT-ACT walkers.”

You can’t have Star Wars figures without a metric ton of generic Trooper figures.  They’ve long been the backbone of the line, so it’s not a huge surprise that the movie makers put effort into introducing a few extra variants every time there’s a new movie.  Rogue One gave us the whole Scarif sub-set of troopers, which are some of my new favorites.  Today’s figure isn’t *technically* a Scarif trooper, but he share’s a lot of design elements, and he only actually shows up during the Scarif sequences of the movie, so I’m grouping him with them.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Imperial AT-ACT Driver is a Target-exclusive entry in the Star Wars: The Black Series line.  He follows the store-exclusive trooper trend, coming out after the TRU-exclusive Hovertank Pilot and the Walmart-exclusive Scarif Trooper.  In the movie, there are actually two drivers seen in the AT-ACT; a basic driver and a commander.  This figure represents the commander.  Of course, thanks to the fairly easily swapped heads on all these troopers, if you swap the head on this guy onto the Hovertank Pilot’s body, you can get both the basic AT-ACT driver and the Tank Commander, if one were so inclined. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s a total parts re-use; he’s got the body of the Hovertank Pilot and the head of the Scarif trooper.  It’s totally warranted re-use, since the movie design was the same.  Plus, the pieces are solid, so I have no issues with having them used again.  This figure’s main differences are, of course, the paint.  The basic colors match up with those of the Hovertank pilot (no doubt intentional, since it makes the previously mentioned head swap much easier), but he also gets the additional grey markings on the shoulders to denote him as a commander.  The markings are nice and sharp, which is good.  There’s also a little bit of weathering on the armored sections, offering a bit of accenting to the sculpt.  I’m glad to see the weathering on troopers is remaining a rather consistent thing.  The AT-ACT Driver includes a standard E-11 Blaster.  In uses the same extra detailing used for the blaster included with the K-Mart-exclusive Jyn, which is another thing that’s nice to see be a recurring feature.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This guy caught me by surprise, since he wasn’t really promoted that much by either Hasbro or Target.  On the same trip where Tim bought me Moon Knight, I also found this guy, but I was still planning to pass, since I was trying to hold off on buying as much.  Of course, this just wouldn’t sit with Super Awesome Girlfriend, who insisted on getting him for me.  This figure doesn’t exactly offer anything new, but I do really like him.  He’s probably my personal favorite of the various Rogue One troopers that have gotten Black Series releases.