#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.

#2583: Clone Trooper – Kamino

CLONE TROOPER — KAMINO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Clone Troopers were grown on the planet Kamino from the genetic template of bounty hunter Jango Fett and made into a highly-efficient military force.”

Ah, yes, the Clone Troopers.  My gateway drug into having prequel stuff in my Black Series collection.  Thanks a lot, clones.  Over there bein’ all awesome and stuff.  Why’d you have to be like that?  Awww, you know I can’t stay mad at you, clones.  You’re just too darn cool! Well, guess I better just buy a whole slew of new ones, right?  Cool.  Cool cool cool.  No doubt, no doubt.  Sure is convenient that there’s, like, a slew of new ones on the horizon, isn’t it?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Kamino Clone Trooper is part of the first assortment of the latest relaunch of Star Wars: The Black Series.  As noted in the Rebels Hera review, these new figures ditch the numbering scheme of the prior lines, and each have a little mural, separated by their source material.  The Kamino Trooper is based on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and is at launch the only figure from that set (though there’s the whole currently Walmart-exclusive Siege of Mandalor sub-set, as well as a Cad Bane that will be added for the next assortment).  This clone is a show-exclusive design, seen on the Kamino security officers in the episodes “Conspiracy” and “Fugitive.”  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  The major selling point on this particular clone is that he’s the first to utilize the all-new Clone Trooper base body that Hasbro’s rolling out with this Black Series re-launch.  Honestly, it’s overdue.  The old clone body was great for its time, but The Black Series has improved its articulation schemes leaps and bounds in the past six years since that base’s introduction, and it was really starting to show its age.  We’d already seen an update with Rex, but that was a more commander-oriented body.  This one’s far more all-purpose.  While it’s technically got less joints, the range on those joints is a lot better, allowing this clone to get far deeper poses.  He actually can hold his rifle correctly (something the prior body struggled with), and he can get into a pretty solid crouch on one knee pose, which is something the other figure couldn’t do at all.  Really just a head to toe improvement on posing.  But, it’s not just the range of motion that’s impressive; the cohesiveness of the sculpt is also still preserved, and in fact improved over the original mold.  The armor is cleanly recreated and looks really slick.  The helmet is certainly the best Phase II helmet we’ve seen from the line as well, and there’s actually a full head up under it, although it’s unpainted and the helmet’s glued in place.  Still, they’re clearly doing some future planning with that piece.  The paint work on this guy is pretty strong.  It’s very grey, of course, but that’s accurate.  There’s a lot of markings on this particular design, and the application is all pretty sharp.  I really love the shoulder pads in particular; they’re really clean, and it’s just a cool design.  The Kamino Trooper is packed with both the DC-15A rifle and DC-15S blaster.  Like the clone, they appear to be new molds, but it’s hard to say quite as definitively.  They certainly work well, and it’s nice that he still gets both options.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I like clones, and as I’ve gotten more into my collecting of this line, I’ve grown to like the clones even more.  It’s been a bit since we’ve gotten any troopers, and doing a rewatch of the show leading up to the finale certainly made me want to see more of them in the line.  So, this guy was probably my most wanted out of the new line-up.  As luck would have it, he was also the first I was able to get my hands on.  He’s really awesome, and I look forward to getting a whole slew of other clones built on this body.

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.

#2573: Mountain Trooper

MOUNTAIN TROOPER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Like all First Order Stormtroopers, specialized units of Batuu Mountain Troopers are trained from birth, growing up with unit designations instead of names and fed a steady diet of First Order propaganda to ensure absolute loyalty.”

There were no shortage of new Trooper variants introduced into Star Wars with the latest trilogy of films, and as such there’s also been no shortage of Trooper variant toys.  I’ve looked at a fair number of them here on the site, be they prominent in the films, or exceedingly minor.  What makes today’s particular Trooper different?  Near as anyone can tell, today’s focus the Mountain Trooper exists nowhere but in the toys, and only in a very exclusive set of them at that.  That’s actually pretty out there for a Star Wars concept, if you can believe it.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Mountain Trooper was originally added to the Black Series line in the Disney Parks-exclusive “The First Order” boxed set with Kylo Ren, Commander Pyre, and a Mouse Droid.  Like DJ R3X, he was given an outside of the parks release this year courtesy of Target’s exclusive “Trading Outpost” sub-line.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  From a design stand point, there’s a lot of similar lineage here as we saw on the Scarif Troopers, as well as a little bit of Biker Scout thrown in, albeit with all of the elements somewhat updated to the slightly tweaked First Order aesthetic.  Ultimately, he ends up feeling like the First Order answer to the Biker Scouts, and I am totally on board with that.  Structurally, the figure uses the legs and hands of the Scarif-based troopers as a starting point.  Everything else is new, but it definitely all has a similar feel about it as the other Scarif figures in terms of how the construction is set-up.  The articulation scheme in particular sticks out as being pretty much the same.  This ultimately makes the figure a touch more restricted than some more recent troopers, especially when it comes to the elbow movement.  It’s really the only flaw with the figure.  Beyond that, the sculpt is a pretty impressive one, with a lot impressive and clean detail work.  The figure’s paint work is pretty solid.  The base colors are nice and strong, and the application is clean.  The figure also takes advantage of the printing technique to give the Trooper some pretty solid looking weathering.  The Mountain Trooper is packed with a single accessory: an all-new blaster rifle, which also sports some impressive weathering.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My love of the Biker Scout and Scarif Trooper designs is no secret, so it’s probably not a terrible surprise that this guy intrigued me as soon as he was shown off. I hadn’t had the opportunity to procure the three pack, for obvious reasons, so when the Trading Outpost figures were announced, I was hopeful to find him.  Life’s been pretty jam-packed and hectic for me recently, so a few weeks ago Christian and Cheyenne forced me to take some time for myself and took me to Target to pick up a few things just for me.  I just so happened to walk back to the toy aisle right as the Outpost figures were going out, and boom, there this guy was.  He’s not anything amazingly special or anything like that, but he’s pretty fun, and I’m glad I was able to get a hold of him.

#2561: Speeder Bike

SPEEDER BIKE (w/ REBEL SPEEDER BIKE PILOT)

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Whipping through the forests of Endor on a Rebel strike mission against the Death Star shield generator, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia battled Imperial scout troopers atop highly maneuverable speeder bikes. Considered ideal reconnaissance vehicles by the Empire and he Rebel Alliance alike, their maneuverability and acceleration is superior to both landspeeders and airspeeders. This particular speeder bike was designed and built based on production sketches found in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Sketchbook.; its creator was renowned Star Wars artist, Joe Johnston.”

Have you ever been so non-started by something that when it came time to do that thing you actually did an entirely different thing for far longer than you’d like to admit before realizing you were actually doing the wrong thing?  Because I have, and it was right here, just moments ago, when I was so “meh” on today’s review subject that I actually started up writing a review for *next* Sunday, and even got so far as uploading that review’s photos before realizing my mistake.  I’m sure that makes you guys feel real great about having to read the following review that my subconscious clearly didn’t want to write.  Well, we’re doing it anyway.

THE TOYS THEMSELVES

The Speeder Bike and Rebel Speeder Bike Pilot were released by Kenner in 1998, as one of three vehicle sets that accompanied the Expanded Universe sub-line of their main Power of the Force line.  While the figures were all based on established characters and designs from Star Wars media other than the movies, the vehicles on the other hand were all focused on replicating un-produced concept work from the films.  This item is, as you may have guessed, the original concept for the Speeder Bikes that would appear on the Endor sequences in Return of the Jedi, and, as the bio above notes, are based on Joe Johnson’s sketch.  In toy form, it’s about 5 inches long, and features a spring-loaded feature that swings the outriggers backward or forward.  The sculpt is definitely on the boxy side, which is true to the original sketch overall, but the process of converting the design into plastic form has made it a good deal clunkier.  This only increases its relative clunkiness when compared to its film-based brethren.  It’s not a bad looking sculpt from a technical standpoint, I suppose.  The detailing is relatively sharply rendered, so that’s good.  In addition to the outrigger action feature, there’s also a missile launcher built in, for a more offensive set-up, I guess.

Included with the Speeder Bike is its own unique pilot, the Rebel Speeder Bike Pilot.  That’s a very unique name, I know.  While the Speeder bikes in the final film were an Imperial vehicle, and subsequently had their own specific Imperial pilots, it seems at some point they were supposed to be the Rebels’ proper.  This guy’s design is rather different from any of the Rebels we actually saw in the film, with his aviator’s cap and goggles.  It’s not that far removed from the WWI/WWII film-inspirations that the movies had, and a similar design element would crop up years later when Marvel introduced Doctor Aphra into the universe.  So, it’s not inherently un-Star Wars.  The figure stands just shy of 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  He feels somewhat on the diminutive side for this line, and I’m not entirely sure why.  I guess he’s just like that.  His sculpt is passable, but compared to the original sketch, it definitely feels like some of the charm of the design was lost in translation.  A lot of that coolness factor just feels gone.  As it stands he’s…fine.  That’s about it.  The paint’s kind of the same deal.  He’s rather drab and not particularly eye-catching.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Expanded Universe sub-set as a whole excites me.  The vehicles from that set as a whole do not.  They’re just kind of bland and not terribly exciting, and they’re certainly not helped by the lack of the 3D back drops.  I never had much attachment to this release, which is why I never really went to the trouble of tracking it down.  I still don’t really have much attachment.  It’s okay.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this set.  They’ve got a decent back stock of Power of the Force, and other cool toys both old and new, so please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2553: Princess Leia Organa – Ewok Celebration Outfit

PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA — EWOK CELEBRATION OUTFIT

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“An accident during a furious speeder bike chase leaves the princess without a way of finding her Rebel companions. Befriended by Endor’s Ewok civilization, Leia is once again united with her friends, but under different circumstances.”

You know what’s just really the best variant of a main character in an action-oriented action figure line?  An outfit that never sees a single moment of action!  Or, at least, that’s what numerous Star Wars toy lines would have me believe.  Sometimes it works out, of course, and we get cool looks that *could* see some action, if you really wanted them to.  Sometimes we get looks that even *do* see action in later EU tales (Luke’s jacketed look from the end of A New Hope springs to mind).  Sometimes, however, you get today’s focus.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Princess Leia in Ewok Celebration Outfit joined Kenner’s Power of the Force II line in 1998.  This wasn’t the first time this look got a figure, or even the first time it was in PotF; a slightly different version was released alongside a re-packed Wickett figure as part of the Princess Leia Collection in 1997.  Like all the other Leia Collection figures, however, that figure used a lot of cloth pieces, making it stand out a bit from the core line’s releases.  This one instead was an all plastic variant.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and she has 6 points of articulation.  Both the neck and the hip joints are greatly restricted by the figure’s design, but on the plus side, the arms and waist are free and clear.  So there’s that, I guess.  These restrictions do not help with the already very non-action feel of the figure.  Also not helping is the figure’s pose, which is…I don’t know exactly what it is.  The legs are close together and sort of prim and proper looking, but there the arms are just slightly elevated…because?  I don’t know.  I got nothing.  The paint work is all very brown.  It’s accurate, but not super thrilling or eye-catching.  At least it’s well applied.  Leia is packed with a small blaster (hinting at her doing something more exciting than standing around, which doesn’t really track with the rest of the figure) and a freeze frame slide.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve never been much for this particular Leia design, as I always have preferred her more practical get-ups, and her Endor tactical set-up is just a much better design to me.  This figure is one of those ones I have seen many times over the years, and I certainly knew I was going to have to get it some day now that I’m doing this whole complete run of the line thing.  I wasn’t really in much of a hurry, and really only snagged it because it was right in front of me.  Thrilling, I know.  Almost as thrilling as the figure itself, right?

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.

#2550: DJ R3X

DJ R3X

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“RX-24, more commonly known as Rex, has given up the pilot’s life and has reimagined himself as DJ R3X.   Behind his DJ table, he spins and plays upbeat music as he watches over the crowd of the cantina.”

Back before Disney owned Star Wars outright, they licensed the property out for Star Tours, a simulator attraction that took riders on a tour of the Galaxy Far Far Away.  When it launched 1987, the ride’s central character was the StarSpeeder 3000’s Paul Reubens-voiced bumbling pilot, RX-24, aka Captain Rex (back before that name was more widely associated with an entirely different character).  Rex was removed from the ride with the Adventure Continues update in 2011, but with the larger Galaxy’s Edge attraction, he’s made his way back, this time repurposed as a DJ.  And wouldn’t you know it, there’s also an action figure.  That’s just how these things roll.  I certainly can’t complain.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

DJ R3X was originally packed alongside C-3PO, R2, and BB-8 in the “Droid Depot” boxed set, one of the Black Series sets originally available exclusively through Disney’s Galaxy Edge attraction.  However, with the parks being shut down for a good portion of this year and people trying to refrain from unnecessary travel, Hasbro’s partnered with Target to split off a few of the single figures from the park sets as part of an exclusive “Trading Outpost” subline of figures, and R3X found himself in that line-up.  He stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation.  For his reappearance in Galaxy’s Edge, R3X’s design was tweaked a bit to match his new speciality.  His eyes now have a set of lenses over the optics, simulating some stylish shades, his mouthpiece looks like a microphone, and his ear pieces have been tweaked to look like headphones.  Minor enough tweaks, each of them, but they give him a nice little flair.  The sculpt on this guy does a pretty solid job of replicating the design of the actual prop from the attraction, and I really dig how all of his limbs and the spinning sections of his torso work.  His neck also has a periscopic action to it, allowing for more emoting, I suppose?  That’s pretty neat.  As a DJ, R3X’s paint scheme has also changed up a bit, to be something slightly more eye-catching and worthy of the party.  Now he’s predominately orange, with a little bit of blue accenting.  It’s a good look, and the figure adds in a bit of weathering to it, which suits that used future look of Star Wars well.  R3X gets no accessories, but I can’t say I can think of anything to give him off the top of my head.  It’s worth noting that he comes in a larger than standard package, so it still feels like a good deal even if it’s just him by himself.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I always really liked R3X as the captain of the StarSpeeder, and he was my favorite thing about the ride the two times I did it.  I was bummed when he was removed from the main ride in 2011, so I was happy to see him find a new profession, and even happier about the figure.  When he was only part of the three pack, I was planning to have my brother snag one for me on his planned trip this year.  That, sadly, got cancelled, but then Max was able to hook me up with the single release of this guy, so it doesn’t feel like a total loss.  This figure’s a ton of fun, and I’d love to see him get retooled into a classic Rex at some point.

#2546: R2-D2

R2-D2

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“While repairing his new droid R2-D2, young Luke Skywalker unwittingly short circuits its recording system, causing a holographic image of the young Princess Leia to appear. She implores the help of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and then disappears as quickly as she emerged.”

When Hasbro took full charge of Power of the Force for the line’s final year, they were busy running the Phantom Menace tie-in line right alongside it, resulting in a much smaller assortment of offerings.  In addition, it was a grouping that felt far more like a “best of” assortment than anything, offering mostly revised versions of the franchise’s core characters, with more scene specific accessories that would eventually become Hasbro’s bread and butter for the smaller scale line.  Among these figures was today’s focus, a variant of R2-D2.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

R2-D2 was released in 1999, as part of the first of the two CommTech assortments that wrapped up Power of the Force‘s run.  It was the fourth, and final, standard-release R2 in the line.  The figure stands 3 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  He’s notable for being the first R2 to add in the “ankle” articulation on the legs, which would become common place for the line going forward.  It was quite handy for posing him, and meant that he could, for the first time, properly use his third leg function, a function that was added back in here after being removed from the two prior variants.  It’s definitely a cool element.  R2’s sculpt was all-new, and is really the best R2 sculpt to come out of the line.  It’s not leaps and bounds above the others or anything, but it does seem a little sharper, and those extra joints certainly don’t hinder it.  His paint work has some nice light weathering on the lower portion, signifying that he’s a New Hope version of the character, an he’s still all sandy.  Also quite notable is the decision to go with a flat silver paint on the dome, instead of a chromed appearance.  The chromed look was cool, but not actually accurate to the films in the slightest.  This change-over was definitely notable, because it marked Lucasfilm’s licensing relenting on some hard-lined rules for the toys that had been in place since the ’70s, and had been the reason for the chrome on all earlier versions of the character.  R2 was packed with a small holographic figurine of Princess Leia, to showcase his message from her in the first film.  It’s a cool little piece, and one of the better extras for an R2.  He also gets the CommTech stand, for those that care about such things.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I’ve discussed before, I only felt the need to own one R2 growing up, and that was the first PotF2 figure.  This one just wasn’t in the cards.  However, I’ve been trying to piece together this crazy full set I’m working on, which means picking up all of the various variants.  I gotta say, this R2’s really good.  I have to go back on my last R2 review and say that this one was really the best in the line.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy.  They’ve got a decent back stock of Power of the Force, and other cool toys both old and new, so please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2523: Kit Fisto

KIT FISTO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

Two days ago, I was discussing the Prequel Trilogy’s background Jedi, and the fact that they were always received pretty well.  Don’t fear, my thesis still stands with today’s offering, but the turn around on cool stuff being done with him was actually way quicker than just about any other Prequel Jedi (barring the main guys, of course).  Yes, Kit Fisto’s propensity for being cool goes back to 2003, when he got a focus episode of the Genndy Tartakovky-helmed 2D Clone Wars cartoon, showing him as an underwater bad-ass.  It kind of stuck with the fanbase a bit, and Kit has subsequently remained a definite fan favorite.  Fitting, then, that he finally gets The Black Series treatment.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kit Fisto is figure 112 in the Black Series line-up.  He is the final figure to grace the red-striped packaging that’s been running since 2015, which is honestly a pretty big deal.  After the handful of false starts with the orange and blue line packaging, I don’t think any of us thought this one would stick around past number 100, but Hasbro managed to prove us wrong.  And we get to go out with a real cool guy, which is really just the best.  This version of Kit is based on his Attack of the Clones appearance, which makes sense, given the rest of the assortment.  It’s also a pretty standard look for the character, so it’s pretty multi-purpose.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Unsurprisingly, you aren’t getting much range of motion out of the neck, due to the tendrils, but he’s otherwise very impressively articulated, mostly due to being another re-use of the TMP Obi-Wan body.  I like the body a lot, so I don’t hate its re-use here.  It’s not totally accurate to Fisto’s garb in the movie, of course, with the lack of his more distinctive collar and the fact that he’s just got Obi-Wan’s belt and boots being the primary issues.  That being said, it’s a much closer match than what we saw on Plo Koon, and ultimately works in a pinch.  He gets a new head and hands to differentiate him a bit further, and those pieces are really great.  The head’s definitely a good match for Kit’s appearance, or at least what it should be, since his AotC head is a little bit unfinished under close inspection.  This seems to go for what that was *supposed* to look like, and that works better in the long-run.  Kit’s paintwork is generally pretty decent.  There’s some rather basic work on the robes, but they seem to be the right colors for the character, and the head and hands gets some really impressive accenting, which helps them to look quite lifelike.  In my mind’s eye, I feel like he should be a touch more green, but that might just be the old Saga figure influencing my opinion.  Kit is packed with his lightsaber, and that’s it.  It’s a nice piece, but unfortunately the hilt isn’t able to be hung from the belt like Obi-Wan, which makes it a touch less impressive.  And, again, he feels a bit light.  A cloak would have been nice to help fill things out a bit more.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been a Kit Fisto fan since Attack of the Clones, when I was determined to get his figure because I thought he was the coolest of the new Jedi introduced.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get him on the first shot, which is what ultimately led to me getting Plo Koon.  Hey, it worked out, because I also love Plo Koon.  I’ve definitely been wanting a Kit Fisto for Black Series, and I’m thrilled to have gotten both him and Plo in one fell swoop.  This guy’s a really strong figure.  I don’t know that he’s quite as solid as the Obi-Wan, but after the slight let-down on Plo, he made me feel a lot better.

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.