#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.

Advertisements

#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.

#1852: General Veers

GENERAL VEERS

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“A cool and efficient leader, General Veers led the Imperial assault on Hoth, marching his AT-AT walkers across the planet’s frozen plains and destroying the massive generators powering the Rebel base’s protective energy field.”

Star Wars fans love elevating those seemingly minor characters to unexpected heights, and General Maximillian Veers is just another example of that.  The guy’s in two scenes in Empire but he’s perhaps one of the most popular ranking Imperial Officers within the fanbase, and has a fully fleshed out backstory and all sorts of other media appearances.  And now, he’s even got a Black Series figure, which I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

General Veers is the latest Walgreens-exclusive Black Series release.  Samples have been showing up since early in the summer, but the proper release seems to have just started hitting in the last couple of weeks.  If the precedent set by the other Walgreens-exclusive Black Series offerings is anything to go by, he shouldn’t be tricky to track down.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 26 points of articulation.  Veers, rather unsurprisingly, shares quite a few parts with the Tarkin figure.  Hey, same uniform, and same basic build, so it’s definitely a sensible idea (and also goes along with the Walgreens offerings being heavy on the re-used parts).  The torso’s been slightly tweaked, to ensure he has his proper denotations of rank, and he’s got a new head and some gloved hands.  The head features a pretty solid likeness of actor Julian Glover.  It’s not quite as remarkable as the Peter Cushing likeness, but still very, very close.  The paintwork on Veers is up to the new standard with these figures.  The face is using the printed technique, which works well here, and the rest of the standard paint is fairly sharp as well.  Despite his rather brief appearance, Veers is notable for having two distinct appearances in the film.  This figure’s accessories, a standard uniform cap, and a helmet and chest plate, allow for both of those designs to be achieved with this figure.  I definitely prefer the armored look, which adds a nice unique flair to Veers, but I definitely appreciate the extra parts.  He also includes a small blaster pistol, should you want to make him even more battle-ready.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was pleasantly surprised to find this guy at one of my nearest Walgreens.  Veers has always been a favorite of mine (hey, I fall into that “character-elevating Star Wars fans” category; I won’t deny it), and I was definitely looking forward to this figure.  He did not disappoint.  The dual looks really add a lot to him, and he’s just a very fun offering.

#1770: Han Solo – Exogorth Escape

HAN SOLO — EXOGORTH ESCAPE

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon, was one of the great leaders of the Rebel Alliance. In the wake of the of the battle of Hoth, Solo fled with the rest of the RebelForces and evaded the pursuit of Imperial TIE Fighters as he expertly maneuvered the Falcon towards the perceived safety of a crater in the Hoth asteroid belt. Infamous for his bold plans that seemed to always defy the odds, Solo soon discovered that the unstable crater upon which he had landed the Falcon – and its crew made up of co-pilot Chewbacca, Princess Leia Organa, and C-3PO – was in fact the cavernous mouth of a giant space slug known as an Exogorth. In the belly of the beast, Solo and crew discovered an inhospitable environment of noxious fumes and parasitic, swooping Mynocks – bat-like creatures who ate through power cables and drained the energy from even the most impressive ships. With the life of his comrades and beloved Millennium Falcon threatened, Solo was called again to emergency action, and steered the Falcon to safety, barely escaping into space through the rapidly collapsing jaws of the ravenous Exogorth.”

Remember the Solo Han Solo Black Series figure that I liked so much?  And remember how I said at the end of that review when I said I’d be sincerely disappointed if there wasn’t a Bespin Han of a similar quality released within the next year?  Well, looks like I don’t have to be sincerely disappointed!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Exogorth Escape Han Solo was released as a SDCC 2018-exclusive offering for Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series.  Like Thrawn, Jyn, and the First Order Stormtrooper before him, he serves as a sort of a preview for a mass-retail released figure, specifically Bespin Han Solo, who is hitting stores in the latest round of Black Series figures.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Han’s articulation scheme follows the trend established by the Solo versions of Han and Lando, which is to say he’s got some really great range on a lot of those joints, especially the neck joints.  I definitely appreciate this new style for the line, and it’s nice to have a Han can be more expressive than the rather stiff Smuggler version.  The sculpt for this Han is all-new, and overall one of the line’s strongest offerings.  The head sculpt is the main selling point, based largely on its improved Harrison Ford likeness.  While we got a pretty good older Ford likeness from the TFA version, the younger Han has always been a tough mark.  This figure has one of the best takes we’ve seen to date.  It’s still not 100% there.  The hair seems a little off, and the face goes a little bit more for caricature, but the overall appearance is very, very close.  The body is a fairly balanced sculpt, proportion-wise.  The shoulder’s could probably stand to be a little broader, but that’s a decidedly a minor issue.  The detail work, especially on his jacket, is clean and sharp, and there’s some solid texture work all throughout.  I’m also quite happy that they’ve changed up how they do the non-dominant hands, so that it’s a more sensible grip, rather than the weird claw grip we got with the last two Han releases.  Han’s sculpt is aided by some absolutely top-notch paint work.  He uses the printed face technique, which really further sells the likeness on the head.  The SDCC release gets a little extra shading on the face than the regular release, but it’s definitely a minor change.  The body paint is more basic, but he does get some nice weathering on his belt and holster.  Aside from the minor paint difference on the face, the main thing that separates this release from the regular retail offering is his accessory complement.  Both figures include Han’s blaster, which is mostly accurate to the Empire model of the blaster, apart from lacking silver paint on the barrel.  In an effort to make this figure live more appropriately up to his “Exogorth Escape” subtitle, this Han also includes one of the Mynock creatures that had affixed itself to the hull of the Falcon, as well as his breathing apparatus he wears while walking around the Exogorth’s innards, a hydrospanner, and an extra left hand.  The Mynock is a fun piece, and I really like the slightly transparent wings.  I do sort of wish it had a flight stand of some sort, though.  The rebreather fits nicely over Han’s face, though I would be careful about taking it off; those seams on the strap don’t look too durable.  The hydrospanner is a nice scene-specific piece, which looks good in his off-hand.  The left hand might actually be my favorite accessory in the whole set; there’s just so much Harrison Ford in how the hand is posed.  I can practically hear him telling off Threepio!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was unable to attend SDCC this year (or any year, really; living on the other side of the country has that affect on you), so I didn’t have the opportunity to pick this set up in-person.  Honestly, I wasn’t even sure I was going to get it, since the base figure’s getting a standard release and everything.  But, Super Awesome Fiancee wanted the Doctor Aphra set, so I had to log onto Hasbro Toy Shop anyway, and this guy was just sitting there in-stock.  I’m glad I splurged for the deluxe version.  Bespin Han is hands down my favorite look for the character, and I truly love the extras they’ve packed in with him.  By far, the very best version of Han in this line.  Or any line, really.

#1752: Chewbacca

CHEWBACCA

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“A mighty Wookiee nearly two centuries old, Chewbacca has fallen upon hard times during this age of the expanding Empire.”

Let’s keep this extraneous Star Wars love going, I suppose…wait, that doesn’t sound quite right.  Never mind.

I broke my rule about the clones, but I also had this other rule with the Black Series, where I was going to avoid minor variations of the same characters.  Now, technically Vader was the first one I broke the rule for, but that was a slightly special case.  I stayed true with Chewbacca and didn’t buy the Force Awakens variant.  Well, Solo broke me, what can I say.  Was he worth it?  Let’s find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Chewbacca was released right around the same time as the rest of the Solo product launch, but the comparatively soft roll-out of the Solo product compared to prior movies meant that he just started showing up in some places very recently.  He’s not part of the main line-up, but is instead a Target exclusive.  Chewbacca stands 8 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation. Unsurprisingly, given his generally consistent look over the course of the film’s, this Chewbacca figure shares a lot of parts with the original Black Series release, namely everything but the head, upper torso, and bandolier. I was rather critical of the sculpt back when it was new, and I still stand by those critiques.  There are just some issues that are inherent to the process of adapting a design like Chewbacca’s into a highly articulated plastic figure.  There are going to have to be some compromises, and they do have negative impact on this sculpt.  With all that said, I think this figure does a lot to salvage the sculpt.  The new head is really strong.  While it’s been reworked to allow for the goggles to sit better on his face, he actually still looks pretty good without the goggles in-place.  In fact, he makes a for a decent approximation of Chewbacca’s messier hair style from Empire and Jedi, which I’m definitely okay with.  The new torso’s really just a slight change, mostly done to help the new double-strapped bandolier sit better on his shoulders.  But it definitely helps, and as a result, this Chewbacca’s bandolier sits a lot flusher to the body than the first one’s did.  It’s a minor change, but one that does a lot to help the figure.  Minor changes to the sculpt aside, I think the biggest thing that helps this new release is the paintwork.  The first Chewbacca was released during the line’s worst period paint-wise.  While his paint wasn’t *bad*, it was definitely very basic, and lacking in any form of subtlety, which hit that figure pretty hard.  By contrast, this figure’s hitting while the line is at a very high point, and he definitely shows it.  The transitions between shades on the fur are less jarring, and work has been done to keep these changes from being right on the joints.  In addition, he’s far less glossy overall, which only helps in making him look a lot less goofy.  In Solo, Chewbacca hasn’t yet gotten his distinctive bowcaster, so he’s instead carrying a different heavy blaster rifle entirely.  This one’s patterned on the M-60 machine gun (thanks Tim!), which is certainly a fun one.  The piece is very well sculpted and an accurate recreation of the design from the movie.  And, not only does it avoid the usual lack of paint issue, but it’s even got moving parts!  A very impressive piece.  In addition, Chewbacca also includes his goggles from the train heist, which go on and off pretty easily.  Not as impressive as the gun, but fun nonetheless.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw Chewbacca fairly early on, back in May, but decided to pass on him at that time.  Of course, then I didn’t see him for a couple of months, so when I came across him again (after having seen and quite enjoyed the movie), I didn’t feel like I could pass him up.  I’m glad I opted to get him the second time around, as he’s a pretty sizable improvement on the last one, and definitely my favorite Chewbacca to date.

#1751: Clone Commander Wolffe

CLONE COMMANDER WOLFFE

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Clone Commander Wolffe (clone designation CC-3636) served in the Clne Wars as commander of the tight-knit unit known as the Wolfpack. A seasoned and battered combatant, Wolffe has witnessed some of the worst the war has to offer. Despite tragedy, he fights on bravely, proudly brandishing his battle scars and instilling loyalty among his men.”

I swore to myself I wasn’t going to do this.  I swore I wasn’t going to get roped into all these 6-inch clone troopers.  I stood there, Commander Cody in my hand and said “no.”  I broke the rule for Commander Gree, but come on, he’s Gree.  I can’t not buy Gree.  Except now, I’ve got this thing, where every time the subject of another Clone Commander comes up, there’s this little voice in the back of my head that says “he’d look pretty cool standing next to that Gree figure you have.”  Guess I’m just admitting defeat on this one.  Well, here’s Clone Commander Wolffe.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Clone Commander Wolffe is an exclusive item from Hasbro’s The Black Series, who sort of stretches the whole “exclusive” label, being available at GameStop, Barnes & Noble, EB Games, and Disney Parks locations.  Feels a bit like they decided his exclusive status by throwing darts at the wall there.  At least this way, he should be pretty easy to track down.  Wolffe had quite a few designs over the course of Clone Wars, beginning his journey as just a uniformed officer, before eventually armoring up.  This figure represents him from nearer the end of the show, after the clones had switched over to their Phase II armor like we saw in RotS.  It’s Wolffe’s most unique look, and it also means he matches the other Clone Commanders we’ve gotten so far.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  As with Gree, Wolffe shares a lot of his pieces with the Clone Sergeant I reviewed a ways back.  It’s certainly a serviceable body, but just the tiniest bit frustrating, since an improved version was introduced with Captain Rex.  This one is beginning to show it’s age, especially when it comes to posablility; those shoulders are quite restricted.  In addition, it means he’s still using the exact same hands as the other Clones, which are configured for holding a rifle two-handed.  As such, he lacks a proper trigger finger on his left hand, preventing him from holding both of his pistols correctly.  It’s a quick modification to separate the index finger, of course, but it’s still the sort of thing Hasbro probably wants to invest in going forward.  Wolffe gets a new head, and left shoulder pad, as well as borrowing the belt from Rex.  The head gives us a look at Wolffe’s scarred unmasked face, which is a pretty fun sculpt, though I’m not sure I’m seeing much Temuera Morrison in the sculpt.  Still, that scar over his eye is quite impressive.  He gets helmet to go over the head, of course; Wolffe’s helmet is a more unique one, with a different visor set up, as well as the common rangefinder addition.  It goes pretty well over the head, and you probably wouldn’t guess it was removable if you didn’t already know.  The belt piece is a simple variation on the basic clone belt, but with two holsters and a cloth kama attached to it.  I do wish the kama were just a touch longer, but that’s a fairly minor complaint.  Wolffe’s paintwork is pretty decent.  All of his character-specific armor detailing has been gotten down, especially on the helmet.  He’s got a few bits of weathering, though they aren’t quite as convincing as some of the other troopers.  His head gets the face printing, which helps him look more lifelike.  In addition to the removable helmet, Wolffe also gets the previously mentioned blaster pistols.  It’s a shame he couldn’t also get one of the rifles, but the helmet and two guns are enough to keep him from feeling too light.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Having missed out on Rex, I was as bit more committed to getting this guy.  Fortunately for me, Super Awesome Fiancee works at GameStop, so I was able to enlist her help in getting one.  He’s not Rex or Gree, but Wolffe is still a pretty darn cool looking guy, and minor flaws aside, he translated well into this Black Series release.

#1731: 4-LOM

4-LOM

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“A rusty droid with insectile features, 4-LOM was originally a protocol droid, but logic glitches allowed him to escape his programming and become a bounty hunter. That proved a perfect occupation for the cold, calculating mechanical.”

Aw yeah, are you guys ready for a review featuring the absolute bestest, coolest Bounty Hunter in the whole Star Wars universe?  Okay, okay, you guys got me.  I’m not reviewing the “bestest, coolest bounty hunter in the whole Star Wars universe” today.  I already reviewed IG-88, back when his Black Series figure was released in 2015.  Guess I’ll just have to settle for the second bestest bounty hunter!  Oh, wait, darn it, I forgot, I already reviewed Bossk back in 2014.  Well, as luck would have it, the number three slot’s still gone un-reviewed.  Let’s look at 4-LOM!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

4-LOM is figure 67 in the Star Wars: The Black Series line.  He shipped to stores in the revision case that also gave us Solo‘s Qi’ra.  4-LOM is the fourth of the ESB bounty hunters we’ve gotten in this line, following Boba Fett, Bossk, and IG-88.  It’s interesting that 4-LOM hit before his partner Zuckuss, who’s usually the frontman of the two, but I’m hardly going to complain.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  As a protocol droid, it’s not a huge surprise the 4-LOM shares some pieces with the Black Series C-3PO, though perhaps not as many as you might expect.  It’s really just limited to the legs. This is for the best for a number of reasons.  First of all, though they are similar, 3PO and 4-LOM aren’t identical, so this allows 4-LOM to be more screen accurate.  Secondly, this gave Hasbro a chance to go back and fix the biggest problem with the 3PO figure: lack of elbow joints!  That’s right, 4-LOM can move his elbows!  How about that?  It’s not a whole lot of range, of course, but it’s certainly better than nothing, and it was definitely a pleasant surprise when I cracked this guy open.  4-LOM’s new pieces match well with the 3PO legs, and he once again shows just how great Hasbro is with the robot and alien sculpts for this line.  The detail work is superb, especially on the head, and I really appreciate how well they’ve captured the slightly different construction of his upper body when compared to 3PO. After some rather basic paint jobs in this line, Hasbro finally seems to be learning (for now, anyway), and 4-LOM definitely benefits from this.  The coolest bit is definitely the head, which was cast in translucent green plastic, allowing the eyes to have a slightly see-through appearance.  The brown wash on the figure’s body also does a nice job of accenting the smaller details of the sculpt, and keeps him from looking too clean in this grimy, broken-in universe.  4-LOM includes a larger blaster, which appears to be the same one that was used for the Sandtrooper, way back in Series 1.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I have yet to see 4-LOM once at regular retail.  I’ve seen his case-mate Qi’ra quite a few times, but never the LOMster.  I had almost given up hope on finding him, when my friends at Cosmic Comix randomly got in a few cases of Black Series figures, 4-LOM included.  I’m quite happy to have found this guy, and he’s definitely a favorite of mine.  I look forward to the release of Zuckuss and Dengar to round out the set!

#1704: Grand Moff Tarkin

GRAND MOFF TARKIN

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“An ambitious, ruthless proponent of military power, Wilhuff Tarkin became a favorite of Emperor Palpatine and rose rapidly through the Imperial ranks.”

Before the introduction of Emperor Palpatine in Empire, the original man behind the man that was Darth Vader was Wilhuff Tarkin, Grand Moff of the Empire, and really the central antagonist of A New Hope.  Yes, his name is really Wilhuff.  At least it’s better than Sheev, right?  Tarkin hasn’t always been the most prevalent figure when it comes to action figures, but he was fortunate enough to be one of the recent additions to The Black Series.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Grand Moff Tarkin is figure #63 in the Star Wars: The Black Series line.  He hit alongside the Solo product back in April, and has proved to be the most difficult to find of the set.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  As an Imperial officer, it’s not a huge surprise to find that Tarkin makes use of some of Krenic’s parts, namely the arms and legs.  He gets a unique torso and skirt piece, to denote his slightly differing rank and his lack of a sidearm.  The torso does a good job of capturing Peter Cushing’s more narrow-shouldered build.  He’s also got a new head, of course, which is definitely one of Hasbro’s best offerings from this line.  The likeness of Cushing is spot-on, right down to the slight little sneer he had in all of Tarkin’s scenes.  There are tons of subtle little details, which really help to make this sculpt incredibly lifelike, even more so than a lot of others in this line.  Tarkin makes use of the new face printing technique, just like the rest of his assortment.  Like with the sculpt, I think Tarkin is one of the best iterations of this technique we’ve seen in the line.  Between the sculpt and the paint, there’s a lifelike quality to Tarkin that just about rivals a Hot Toys offering.  The rest of the paint is more basic, but it’s still very clean, which is always a plus.  Tarkin is only packed with one accessory, but boy is it a good one.  He includes the Imperial Interrogation Droid (or, as he’s known to Robot Chicken fans, Dr. Ball, M.D.!).  It’s a pretty sizable piece, and almost counts as a figure in its own right.  It also highlights how lightly packed the Jawa from this same assortment was, but let’s just focus on the awesome that is this figure and his amazing accessory.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Tarkin’s been a high-ranking want from this line for a good while, so I was super pumped when he was shown off last year.  The figure was also my main want when all of the Solo product was hitting, though it took me a little bit to finally track him down.  I ended up getting him at the same time as Lando and the Jawa.  He’s absolutely my favorite figure from this line, and he’s going to be very hard to top going forward.  This is a figure that no Star Wars fan should miss out on!

#1703: Jawa

JAWA

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“Jawas comb the deserts of Tatooine in search of discarded scrap and wayward mechanicals. Using their cobbled-together weaponry, they can incapacity droids and drag them to their treaded fortress-homes, immense sand-scarred vehicles known as sandcrawlers.”

Though rather simple in execution (they’re literally just children in brown robes), the Jawas are a distinctive part of the the first Star Wars film.  They’re also pretty plot-relevant, moving R2 and 3PO to Owen Lars’ farm, and thereby getting Luke involved in the whole story.  And then they get barbecued.  What a day.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Jawa is figure 61 from Star Wars: The Black Series.  He hit alongside the first assortment of Solo figures, and is a re-pack of the 40th Anniversary Jawa from last year.  That one saw a much more limited release, so seeing it again here is much appreciated.  Unlike most Jawa figures, which come paired with another Jawa or droid, this one returns to the release method of the original vintage figure, being sold all on his lonesome.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  I’m happy to report that, unlike the earlier Yoda figure, the Jawa was not short-changed on the leg articulation.  Of course, the plastic skirt piece kind of removes most of the mobility on those leg joints, but lets not go down that road.  The Jawa’s sculpt is unique, and definitely very strong.  The robes are all plastic, which I think was the appropriate call after the spotty cloth work on figures like Luke and Leia.  The detail work on said robe is exquisite, with tons of texturing all throughout, to really capture the heavy coarseness of the fabric. The head and hood are done as two separate pieces, which is a smart move.  It allows for the head to be fully detailed, or at least as fully detailed as the completely covered head can be.  The two straps running across the figure’s chest are a separate, but non-removable piece.  I was expecting there to be a buckle somewhere on there, because there usually is on pieces, but no luck.  So, if for whatever reason you were hoping to remove that, it’s going require a little finagling.  There’s an Ion Cannon attached to one of the straps via a somewhat lengthy cord.  It can’t be removed either, but it can be holstered on one of the belts.  The paintwork on the Jawa is decent.  Mostly it’s pretty basic, but I do appreciate the slight weathering on the bottom of the robes.  The Jawa includes a second Ion Cannon, this time not connected to the straps.  For versatility, I guess.  Given the smaller stature of the figure, I would have liked maybe a smaller droid or something to be included, or just more accessories in general, but I think this figure’s being slightly held back by the 40th Ann release having less space for such things in the blister, and Hasbro not wanting to add extras here and thus detract from that figure’s value.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When the 40th Anniversary figures were hitting last year, I wasn’t in the financial state to be going toy-hunting, so I never found this guy.  When the re-release was announced, I was definitely happy.  I didn’t have luck finding him initially, but ultimately found him on the same Target trip that got me Lando.  The Jawas have long been a favorite of mine, so I’m very pleased to have this figure.

#1702: Qi’ra – Corellia

QI’RA — CORELLIA

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

At 18 years of age, young Qi’ra is already enmeshed in a life of crime, working for a gang on Corellia.”

Well, I’ve already burned through the “confusing Emilia Clarke for her other roles” bit for the first Qi’ra figure I reviewed, so I’m out of obvious intro material.  Darn.  Here’s this action figure, I guess.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Qi’ra is figure 66 in Star Wars: The Black Series.  She was part of the second round of post-Solo releases, packed alongside the bounty hunter 4-Lom.  As of right now, she’s by far the easier of the two to find of retail, and I kind of feel like that’ll stick.  Like her smaller figure, Qi’ra is based on her look from the film’s prologue.  It’s not her main look from the movie, nor is it a look that really interacts well with the other figures, but it’s a decent enough look nonetheless, and probably the one that has the easiest translation into toy form.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Her articulation is a little more restricted than Han and Lando, but compared to your average Black Series release before them, Qi’ra is still pretty darn mobile.  Qi’ra gets an all-new sculpt, and it’s a pretty decent one.  Very similar to the smaller one, which makes sense, what with them being the same design and all.  I think the smaller one might actually have the slightly better Clarke likeness, but this one’s certainly not bad, and it’s definitely well-detailed.  Her paintwork is pretty good overall, but it does suffer a bit more than other recent offerings.  The biggest issue is definitely they eyes.  She’s using the printed face technique, but something seems off about this particular release, especially around the eyes.  It’s like the printing got misaligned.  Hopefully this is something that’s more or less confined to my figure.  Qi’ra is packed with her unique blaster pistol, just like her smaller counterpart.  It’s not much, but it’s pretty cool, especially since it even opens for re-loading.  That was an unexpected touch!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Qi’ra was a purchase of convenience, really.  I found her at Target, and I needed to spend another $20 for one of their get $25 off $100 deals, so home with me she came.  And she was essentially free at that!  After the tremendous Han and Lando (and even Rey, for that matter), Qi’ra’s a slight step down in quality.  That said, she’s still a pretty decent offering overall, and definitely a fun figure.  Now, here’s hoping we can get her in her heist outfit, because that one was the coolest.