#1894: Princess Leia – Bespin Escape

PRINCESS LEIA — BESPIN ESCAPE

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Princess Leia Organa was one of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest leaders, fearless on the battlefield and dedicated to ending the tyranny of the Empire. With her quick-thinking and inspired leadership, Leia ranks among the the galaxy’s great heroes.”

For a number of reasons, December has a tendency to put me in a rather Star Wars-y sort of mood.  Be it the fact that three of the last four films have hit this month, or how I tend to make watching the Original Trilogy an annual occurrence, or perhaps just the fact that I have a tendency to get a lot of Star Wars stuff around the holiday season, whatever the case, I’m certainly in a Star Wars-y mood today.  So, in a vaguely holiday spirit, I’m taking a look at this Leia figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Princess Leia — Bespin Escape is a Target-exclusive entry in The Black Series.  She first started showing up intermittently in the early fall, but seems to have been arriving in full force in the last couple of weeks.  This version of Leia is an oft-overlooked variant from the climax of Empire, during her, Lando, and Chewie’s chase to re-claim the frozen Han Solo.  It’s really just a dressing down of her main Hoth gear that she wears for the majority of the film.  It’s the similarity between those two that generally causes this one to be overlooked.  Nevertheless, its presence during a fairly important section of the film makes it a reasonable choice for a figure, especially an exclusive one.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Her scaling matches perfectly with the ANH figure, which is a nice bit of internal consistency that we don’t always see in this line.  Her sculpt is totally new, but hasn’t remained unique to her, thanks to the almost concurrent release of the proper Hoth Leia.  Regardless of origin and uniqueness, it’s a strong sculpt.  The head sculpt has the strongest Carrie Fisher likeness we’ve seen to date for this line (or any of the smaller ones, for that matter), and they’ve even nicely translated her hair braids.  I imagine this head will be seeing a re-use at some point for a Bespin Gown variant, or at least I sure hope it will.  Mine has an unfortunate error on her left ear, with a small chunk missing out of the lobe, but it’s fortunately not super noticeable.  The jumpsuit’s sculpt is nice and crisply detailed, and looks appropriately like a garment she’s been running around in for a substantial amount of time.  The paintwork on Leia is largely pretty basic; the jumpsuit’s just molded white plastic, and they’ve let the sculpt do all the lifting.  This is one of those times I don’t mind the lack of accenting, as accenting on white can go very badly very quickly.  She does get the printed face; she’s the first Leia to get this treatment, and it works very well for her.  I especially like how they handled the hairline, which is a frequent slip-up on such figures.  Leia is somewhat sparsely packed, with just a stolen Stormtrooper blaster alongside her.  It’s scene-accurate, of course, but something else would have maybe added some extra excitement.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Leia sort of just started showing up, without too much fanfare.  I wasn’t initially sure I was going to grab her, what with the Hoth Leia on the horizon.  However, I was at Target looking for something else, which I was unable to find, and when I came across Leia.  Determined not to let the trip be a waste and impressed by how the figure looked in person, I was swayed into getting her.  She’s a decent enough figure, but I will curious to see how she performs once the Hoth Leia is more readily available.  She’s really the sort of figure that is really aimed at the more hardcore collector.  Which, of course, is me.  So, hey, how about that.

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#1890: Imperial Assault Tank Driver

IMPERIAL ASSAULT TANK DRIVER

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION (HASBRO)

The re-launch of The Vintage Collection after its six year hiatus was rather soft, with its first assortment being almost entirely re-releases from the Walmart-exclusive Black Series releases.  Only Snoke was new, but, honestly, who really cared that much.  Fortunately, the second assortment has flipped the script, with three new figures and only one re-issue.  I’ll be looking at one of new releases, and perhaps the most popular figure in the assortment today.  Without further ado, here’s the Imperial Assault Tank Driver!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Assault Tank Driver is one of the four figures in the second series of the re-launched Vintage Collection line, and is officially numbered VC126.  He’s based on the driver seen during the Jedha sequence of Rogue One.  It was one of the earliest figures we knew was coming from this line, as it was showcased alongside the line’s first vehicle, the Assault Tank.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 26 points of articulation.  From a sculpting standpoint, the Driver has a lot in common with the Walmart-exclusive Scarif Stormtrooper from the 2016 Rogue One assortment.  Given the similarities of the two designs, as well as the fact that the larger-scale figures did the same thing, it’s neither surprising, nor is it a bad choice.  The sculpt was a pretty strong one the first time around, and it remains so now (in general, those Rogue One sculpts were the best to come out of that iteration of The Black Series).  In order differentiate him a bit from his shore-dwelling brethren, the Tank Drive gets a new headsculpt and belt piece, patterned after his unique armor set.  The helmet is particularly sharp, and ends up being a notable improvement over the somewhat softer Scarif Trooper helmet.  We kind of saw this same thing occur with the main 3 3/4″ line’s versions of these two, so my guess is that the Driver’s helmet just better lends itself to a small-scale sculpt.  The Tank Driver’s paintwork is some of the best we’ve seen from Hasbro, especially at this scale.  They’ve used their printing technique to handle the weathering on the figure’s armor, which gives him a nice, worn appearance, matching the somewhat rundown nature of Jedha as we see it in the film.  It’s similar to, but distinctly different from, how things were handled with the Scarif Trooper, and it really gives the figure a lifelike quality.  The Tank Driver is packed with a standard Stormtrooper blaster. It’s molded in a solid grey, which was the slightest bit of a letdown when compared to the more detailed blaster we got with the Scarif Trooper.  But, if they’re gonna cut paint apps, I’d prefer they cut slightly less essential ones like these.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

He’s been somewhat hard to find, but I actually didn’t have any real trouble with this guy.  He was amongst the first case of them I found, about two months ago.  The Tank Driver is a strong design, and I’ve loved him the two prior times I’ve bought him in figure form.  This guy continues that trend, being another very solid offering in the more articulated Star Wars range.  I hope that going forward, this figure represents the trend of figures to come.

#1885: Zuckuss

ZUCKUSS

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Zuckuss answers Darth Vader’s call for bounty hunters to help locate the Millennium Falcon and her crew.”

I’ve established a loose ranking of Empire Strikes Back’s bounty hunters throughout my various Black Series–wait a minute…this isn’t a Black Series review.  That was my Zuckuss review from two weeks ago…this one’s very different.  For one thing, he’s about 2 inches shorter, and for another, he’s 20 years older.  But he’s still Zuckuss, and he’s still getting reviewed.  So there.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zuckuss was released in Power of the Force II‘s 1998 assortment.  Like with the Black Series releases, he followed his partner in crime 4-LOM, who was released the prior year.  The figure stands 3 1/2 inches tall (befitting Zuckuss’ slightly smaller stature) and has 6 points of articulation.  The articulation is ever so slightly hampered by the nature of the character’s design and its implementation on the figure, which sees Zuckuss’ robes recreated through a thick rubber piece, similarly to the line’s take on Obi-Wan.  This time, however, the robes cannot be removed, due to the figure’s somewhat oddly shaped head.  It’s a shame, really, since there’s a fully detailed body under there, which is a lot of fun.  Oh well.  The sculpt that you actually can see is still a solid offering, to be fair.  The aliens were always where PotF2 shined, and Zuckuss is no exception.  The detail work is nice and crisp, and he’s a fairly spot-on recreation of Zuckuss’ on-screen appearance.  Zuckuss’ paintwork is actually some of the best we got from this line, by virtue of not being as cut and dry as most samples.  The robes in particular really benefit from that dry-brushed weathering that’s been placed all along them, giving them a more real-world-feel than most of his compatriots.  Also, quite impressively, the painted detailing extends under his robe, meaning if you find a way to remove it, he’ll still look all finished and proper.  Zuckuss is packed with his blaster pistol, which is a fairly standard inclusion.  And, as a 1998 figure, he was also packed with a Freeze Frame Action Slide, which shows off Zuckuss and his fellow bounty hunters on the bridge of the Executor.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Completing my Black Series pairing of Zuckuss and 4-LOM got me interested in the characters, and their prior figures.  I’ve been steadily piecing together a PotF2 collection, and, as luck would have it, my friends at All Time Toys just got in a fairly substantial collection from someone.  I never had Zuckuss growing up, but he looked cool enough that I just really felt compelled to buy him.  He’s an example of how good this line could be when Kenner really pulled their A-game.  Definitely one of my favorite figures from this line.

So, as I mentioned above, I got Zuckuss here from my friends at All Time Toys.  They’ve got a solid backlog of Power of the Force figures, as well as Star Wars figures from all eras, old and new.  Check out their website and eBay store to see for yourself!

#1881: GNK Power Droid

GNK POWER DROID

STAR WARS: ELITE SERIES (DISNEY)

“GNK power droids understand commands and generate power for mobile operations,  They are often called “Gonk” droids in imitation of their simple vocalizations.”

While the premiere Star Wars line these days is undoubtedly Hasbro’s The Black Series, my nomination for the line that is consistently the most unexpected and surprising line is Disney’s in-house Elite Series, a line of 7-inch die cast metal figures.  For the most part, the line’s scale makes it incompatible with The Black Series, but every so often, you get those designs where scale’s less of an issue.  Such is the case with today’s focus, the GNK Power Droid, better known as the “Gonk.”

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Gonk is part of the newest assortment of Elite Series figures, which started hitting right around the same time as the three Disney Store-exclusive Black Series figures.  This assortment is all about the droids, featuring a number of the lesser droids from throughout the franchise (and an R2 variant for good measure).  The Gonk is based on his appearance in A New Hope, which is really the go-to, so it works.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and has 2…ish points of articulation.  There are technically joints at the top of each leg but, admittedly, there’s not much mobility to be had there.  The Gonk is primarily constructed from die cat metal, which makes up the main body and the feet.  This makes the Gonk one of the densest figures in the line, and certainly the densest figure I own.  It’s really just a brick of metal when you get right down to it.  Disney has once again stepped up their game on the sculpt front, with the Gonk being one of the most detailed sculpts to date in the line.  It’s a very good match for the Gonk’s design from the movie, and areas like the leg covers in particular are really sharply defined.  Even the paint work is more defined than what we’ve seen before.  Prior Elite Series figures have been more on the clean side, but the Gonk actually gets some sizable wear and tear detailing, helping him achieve that proper worn-in appearance that the Gonk just wouldn’t look right without.  The Gonk is packed with one accessory: a display stand.  It’s the same stand that’s been packed with all of the prior figures, and he doesn’t really need it to keep standing, but it’s always nice to have it, I guess.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Gonk is rather a sentimental character to me, due largely to its presence as a playable character in Lego Star Wars, where it was my brother’s favorite character.  When we unlocked the “Super Gonk” feature, he would run all around the levels shouting “Super Gonk!” Ever since then, whenever either of us sees the Gonk anywhere, we always shout “Super Gonk!” to the other.  So, when I spotted this guy at the Disney Store while grabbing the Black Series Zuckuss, there was no way I was turning him down.  As of right now, the odds of a Black Series Gonk are somewhat slim, and this one definitely makes for a good stand-in.

#1875: Zuckuss

ZUCKUSS

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“A Gand bounty hunter, Zuckuss heeded the Empire’s call for mercenaries to locate the Millennium Falcon and bring her fugitive crew to justice, receiving his orders on the bridge of Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer.”

I’ve established a loose ranking of Empire Strikes Back’s bounty hunters throughout my various Black Series reviews of them, and if you’ve been following those, you’ll know that my top three slots (IG-88, Bossk, and 4-LOM) have already been covered.  So, where does that leave today’s entry, Zuckus?  I’d probably stick him in the number 4 slot, though it’s largely due to his pairing with 4-LOM.  It just feels odd to break those two up.  And, it would seem that Hasbro agrees, since they always release them in close proximity to each other.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zuckuss is a Disney Store-exclusive Star Wars: The Black Series offering, who started showing up within the last month.  He is one of three exclusives for the line that all hit at the same time, and he’s another displaced TRU-exclusive, though there was evidently enough time to at least remove the sticker from him.  The figure is 5 1/2 inches tall (Zuckuss was the shortest of the Bounty Hunters) and he has 26 points of articulation.  Zuckuss is a brand-new sculpt, and he falls back a bit more on the earlier Black Series tendency for mixed media affairs.  He’s got an underlying sculpt, with a cloth robe over top, and an overlay piece holding it all together.  It’s all *technically* removable, but it’s gonna be a pain to get it off and back on, and he underlying body isn’t really designed to be seen, so I elected to leave mine in place.  while some of the earlier mixed-media offerings from this line were a bit iffy in execution, I think it works out a lot better with this figure.  The cloth sections are definitely better tailored on this figure than prior figures, and the additional overlay piece helps to keep everything more properly shaped.  As far as visible sculpted pieces, the head and hands definitely show some very strong work; the texturing on the gloves is quite realistic, and the head matches nicely not only with his on-screen appearance, but also pairs well with the prior 4-LOM figure.  The bulk of the paintwork on Zuckuss is on the head, which has a dark wash to help bring out its details.  After so many figures without any such detailing, it’s nice to see Hasbro returning to it.  Zuckuss’s only accessory is his distinctive blaster, which fits nicely in his hand.  It’s a little bit on the smaller side, but given all of the other work that’s been put into this figure, it’s acceptable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since picking up 4-LOM, I’ve been anxiously awaiting Zuckuss’s release.  After a particularly bad day at work, Super Awesome Fiancee was looking to cheer me up, so she took me to the closest Disney Store, where I had no trouble finding him.  He’s a fun figure, and he brings us one step closer to a complete line-up of the Executor Bounty Hunters!

#1873: Tobias Beckett

TOBIAS BECKETT

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Beckett is a survivor, always quietly working out angles to come out ahead. He’s assembled a team of specialized scoundrels to carry out risky but profitable heists.”

In a lot of ways, Solo doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.  Fortunately for fans of the movie, The Black Series is one place it does get its proper due…or at least is going to in the very near future.  We’ve already gotten the young versions of Han, Chewbacca, and Lando, as well as Qi’ra and the Range Trooper.  Following those up, is Han’s mentor, Mal Reynolds knowledge and generally Woody Harrelson-esque dude, Tobias Beckett!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tobias Beckett is figure 68 in Hasbro’s The Black Series line-up.  He shipped in the early fall assortment of the line, alongside Bespin Han and the Rebel Fleet Trooper.  Beckett is seen here in his standard heist gear, which he wears from the train heist onward.  While I was definitely a fan of his Imperial disguise look, this is his main appearance, and is definitely the best choice for this figure.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  Beckett’s sculpt is unique to this figure.  It’s a pretty decent offering, though I think when compared to the really strong offerings we’ve gotten so far from the Solo stuff, he’s maybe a little more rudimentary.  It’s mostly how the articulation is worked into it; the mid-torso joint in particular is a little jarring, as are the hips.  In addition, the double holsters are rather restricting to the hip movement, making the awkward joints seem even more unnecessary.  On the plus side, his long coat hides a lot of this, and is one of my favorite parts of the sculpt.  His likeness is a decent match for Harrelson.  The hair, which is a separate piece, is a little bulky, but it’s still a respectable handling of his somewhat scraggly hair from the movie, especially at this scale.  The paintwork on Becket is pretty decent, but again, seems like a very slight step down from the other Solo figures.  He’s got a printed face, but it seems a little blurrier than other figures.  It’s still pretty solid, though, and his general color scheme matches up well with his on-screen appearance.  Beckett is packed with his pair of revolver-style blasters, which can either be held or stowed in his holsters.  They’re some of the best detailed weapons from this line, continuing the upward trend of the weapons in this line.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Beckett was a little bit illusive, mostly due to a general lingering of the preceding assortment at retail.  But, I was fortunate enough to find him at a somewhat less-travelled Walmart, so ah-ha!  I liked Beckett a lot, so I’m glad to finally have him in figure form.  He’s the weakest of the Solo figures so far, but seeing as the Solo figures have been consistently my favorite Black Series figures of late, that doesn’t really hinder him. I look forward to getting the rest of his crew!

#1871: Rebel Fleet Trooper

REBEL FLEET TROOPER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Aboard the Rebel Blockade Runner, Rebel freedom fighters begin their defense against an Imperial invasion.”

The Rebel Fleet Troopers are our first glimpse at the heroes of Star Wars.  They are also our first glimpse at what happens to anyone who’s not a main character, as they are quickly dispatched in an uncharacteristic bit of spot-on marksmanship from the Stormtroopers.  The greatest indignity of all, however, would come from Kenner, who didn’t grace those poor Fleet Troopers with a single figure during the run of the original Star Wars line.  Fortunately, Power of the Force II would sort of make up for that, though with perhaps one of the line’s most infamous figures.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Rebel Fleet Trooper was released as part of Power of The Force II‘s 1997 line-up, alongside the Hoth-themed variant of the Rebel Trooper, amongst others.  He is, of course, based on the dome-helmeted Troopers from A New Hope‘s opening sequence, though perhaps a bit more loosely based than some of this line’s offerings.  The Trooper was one of the line’s biggest offerings (in more than one way), clocking in at over 4 inches tall.  And he’s not just tall, he’s built.  And when I say “built” I mean like a truck.  If the actual Fleet Troopers in the movie had been anywhere near as big as this guy, maybe they wouldn’t have gone down so quickly.  This guy’s sculpt definitely represents Power of the Force at the peak of its ’90s macho man insanity.  It’s actually a little surprising to see when compared to the rest of the figures from this same year, who had started dialing these things down.  At this point, it’s almost caricature.  Like someone, somewhere along the line was trying to win a bet or something, and seeing how far they could get with this.  Whatever the case may be, he’s perhaps the goofiest sculpt in the line, and that’s saying something.  As far as paint goes, the Fleet Trooper is fairly standard for the line.  Somewhat surprisingly, it’s actually a somewhat subdued color scheme compared to the movie, but the application’s clean and he’s close enough to work.  The Fleet Trooper is packed with two blasters: the standard-issue Rebel blaster, as well as a re-pack of Han’s, because this guy wanted to feel more like a main character.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Fleet Trooper was amongst the figures my cousin Patrick and I had shared custody of at my grandparents’ house back in the day.  That one got lost along the way, so this one’s a replacement I picked up during one of Lost in Time’s sidewalk sales at the beginning of the summer.  He is super, super goofy, and a prime example of PotF2‘s “worst”, but man oh man do I love this guy.

#1857: ASP-7

ASP-7

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“From the newly-created footage in Star Wars: A New Hope – Special Edition.”

Those words are proudly splashed across the front of this figure’s packaging.  Remember when that actually would have excited people?  Remember before Lucas kept changing and changing them, and just generally ruining everything?  Pepperidge Farm remembers.  And me; I also remember, which I guess is more relevant for this site, isn’t it?

The ASP-7 was one of the many additional CGI characters added to the original trilogy during Lucas’ first CG-laden Special Edition fever dream, and is, admittedly, one of the less offensive additions.  He just hangs in the background and carry’s some metal bars around.  At least he doesn’t dance in front of the camera…or shoot first…or sound like Temuera Morrison.  Point is, things could have been way worse for old ASPy here.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The ASP-7 was released in the 1997 assortment of Power of the Force II, right on top of that whole “Special Edition” thing.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has…articulation.  An exact count’s a little tricky, because it’s hard to tell what’s actually a proper joint, and what’s an un-articulated joining of the plastic.  The general gist is that this guy’s just not terribly mobile.  His sculpt was an all-new offering, and has remained unique to him.  It is simultaneously a product of its time and completely different than the rest of the line it hails from.  He’s honestly far more screen-accurate than a good chunk of the Power of the Force figures, but at the same time, that’s not saying a lot.  As a mid-90s CG model, the ASP-7’s movie counterpart was pretty devoid of detailing, and was quite rudimentary.  This figure follows suit, so while he may not have the wonky proportions of a lot of his compatriots, he also lacks a lot of the fun detail work that really allows most of the line to shine two decades later.  The paintwork on the ASP-7 is decent enough.  Like the sculpt, it matches very closely to the on-screen appearance.  Those rather generic filler gradients of the animation model come through perfectly clear here.  On the plus side, this is undoubtedly an area where it looks better on the toy than in the movie, because this styling of paintwork is fairly common place, especially in toys of this era, so he ends up looking alright.  He’s packed with a single accessory: a pile of bars, just like the ones he’s seen carrying in the movie.  I don’t think you can come up with a better accessory than that, can you?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The ASP-7 is the penultimate figure in the selection of them I grabbed over the summer during one of Lost in Time’s sidewalk sales.  He was grabbed first and foremost because he was a figure I didn’t already have, but also because, hey, kinda nifty robot, right?  I know the actual review segment here was kind of rough on him.  He’s not the finest offering this line had, not by a long shot.  But, as with so many of the figures in this line, I still can’t help but kind of love this little guy, warts and all.

#1855: Gamorrean Guard

GAMORREAN GUARD

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Burly, pig-like brutes who favoured axes and other primitive weapons, Gamorreans were often used as muscle by Hutt and other underworld kingpins. Jabba the Hutt employed a gang of intimidating Gamorreans to guard his palace on Tatooine.”

One of the things that makes it so easy to get really, really invested in Star Wars is all of the interestingly designed and individually maintained creatures that serve as little more than set-dressing, especially for the Original Trilogy, where each of them had to be crafted through intense prosthesis or advanced puppetry.  Sometimes, it was even a combination of the two, as was the case for today’s focus, the Gamorrean Guard.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Gamorrean Guard is kind of the Star Wars: The Black Series counterpart to the Archangel I reviewed last week.  He’s the first figure in a sub-set of deluxe offerings for the line.  He’s already been followed by Molloch from Solo (who I’m all but positive will be available at a Target near you for many, many years to come) and will be followed up again by General Grievous some time next year.  The Guard is a Target-exclusive, but it doesn’t look like the others in the line will be.  Time will tell.  The Guard is, of course, based on its appearance from Return of the Jedi.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation, which includes a posable jaw.  I appreciate that Hasbro is continuing to work that feature into the more inhuman figures.  The Guard is actually surprisingly mobile, given his design; Hasbro’s put a lot of effort into giving him the most sensible and efficient articulation possible.  His unique design also warrants a unique sculpt, and, like all of the more out-there aliens we’ve gotten from this line, it’s quite a good sculpt.  Hasbro’s clearly had some fun with this one, and there’s just a ton of detailing worked it, from the slight texturing of the skin to the un-even patch-work stitching of his leather vest.  Elements such as the armored plates on the shoulders, the straps on his torso, and his helmet are separate parts, giving the sculpt a nice sense of depth, and allowing for each of those parts to have all of its proper detailing.  The loin cloth is made from faux-fur, which is a fairly traditional way of handling this part of the design in toy form.  I’m always a little skeptical about the mixed media offerings on Black Series figures, but Hasbro definitely made the right choice here; the fur just wouldn’t have looked right any other way.  The Guard’s paintwork is fairly standard faire for the line at this point, which is to say it’s nicely rendered, and suitably subtle.  It’s not going to knock anyone’s socks off, but it certainly gets the job done.  The Gamorrean Guard is packed with two axes and a staff, as seen wielded by different Guards throughout the Palace sequences of the film, thereby allowing for a bit of army building, if that’s your prerogative.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Guard had, initially anyway, proved rather illusive for a good number of collectors.  He showed up on Target’s site several months back, and people were able to place pre-orders, but those took their sweet time getting out there, and the figures took even longer to make it to store shelves.  I found one a couple of months ago, but I opted to spend the money on something else at the time, and when I made it back, he was long gone.  Fortunately, I lucked into a fresh case of them a couple of weeks ago, while I was out and about with Super Awesome Fiancee.  I like this figure overall.  The Guard was never a particular favorite of mine, but he does translate well to the Black Series style.  I’m cautiously approaching the rest of this “deluxe” line, though.  The Guard feels a little light for the heightened price, and Moloch even more-so.  I worry that Hasbro’s going to price themselves out of this line before they get a chance to really explore the style.

#1854: Captain Rex

CLONE CAPTAIN REX

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Clone Captain Rex served the Republic during the Clone Wars, often taking orders from Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano.  He viewed military service as an honor, and he always completed his mission.”

When The Black Series launched, I was sticking to a pretty firm “no prequels” rule.  Even before breaking that rule so many times over, I had a small few exceptions.  Amongst them was the focus of today’s review, Clone Captain Rex.  Introduced during the second Clone Wars cartoon, Rex has become one of the biggest break-out characters of the entire prequel era, and is, for me, one of that whole shebang’s most redeeming aspects.  And now I have yet another Rex figure.  Noice.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain Rex was initially released as an exclusive to HasCon last year, before seeing a proper release as figure 59 in the main Black Series line-up, hitting stores in the same early 2018 assortment as Island Journey Rey and DJ.  This Rex, like his smaller Black Series counterpart, is based on his design from the end of the Clone Wars show, as they approached the Revenge of the Sith aesthetic.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  All of the prior Black Series Clone Trooper releases I’ve looked at have drawn from the same pool of parts.  This figure, on the other hand, uses an entirely unique sculpt.  As much as I like that old sculpt, I definitely appreciate the changed-up design here, which has sharper detailing, slightly more balanced proportions, and a much more-improved range of motion on the joints.  The articulation is definitely my favorite aspect of the new sculpt, especially the shoulders, which actually slot into the shoulder socket, rather than just pushing upward.  Like Wolffe, Rex features a removable helmet, which is reasonable enough, though I can’t say that Rex’s animated design has translated all that well to the realistic styling.  Fortunately, the helmet is very nicely sculpted and stays on tightly once in place, so you never have to take it off if you don’t want to.  Rex’s paint work is one of the best Black Series offerings I’ve gotten.  All of the base work is cleanly applied, he’s got some pretty solid weathering on the armored sections (though it gets a little heavy on his helmet and the belt), and he even has all of the tally marks, like his smaller version, no doubt tracking his kill count.  It’s a fun little touch, and I’m glad it was included here.  Rex is packed with his twin blaster pistols, which are the same ones we saw with Wolffe, and are a very sensible choice for Rex, since he was usually seen carrying them.  Like with Wolffe, to have Rex properly dual-wield them, you will need to free his left hand’s trigger finger from the other three, though.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, as noted, I’m a pretty big fan of Rex.  I couldn’t get the exclusive, so I was definitely down for the mass release…or I would have been if I had been able to find him anywhere.  But, try and try as I may, I had no luck with that.  Fortunately, Hasbro’s been working to get out re-freshes of some of the harder to find figures, so I was able to get in on a preorder for one of those.  It took its sweet time to get here, but he was certainly worth the wait.  By far, Rex is the strongest of the Clone Commanders we’ve gotten, and I’m really happy that I was able to get a hold of one.