#2643: Han Solo – Endor

HAN SOLO — ENDOR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Han Solo volunteered to lead the mission to destroy teh new Death Star’s shield generator. He and his strike team landed on the forest moon of Endor, where they encountered Scout Troopers and Ewoks.”

While Luke and Leia got drastically re-designed looks for Return of the Jedi, Han wound up with an appearance that was generally pretty re-tread-y of his first movie attire.  It doesn’t make for thrillingly different figures, and that’s probably why when we do get Jedi-inspired Hans, they’re almost always from the Endor segment, which does at least throw a trench coat over his main look, just to mix things up a bit, I suppose.  That’s the look that finally got him in on the RotJ bandwagon for The Black Series, and that’s the figure I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han Solo (Endor) is another piece of the second assortment of the relaunched Star Wars: The Black Series.  He joins the similarly themed Luke and Leia figures from the same set, and is figure #5 in the RotJ sub-set.  Like the last two, he was also available in the “Heroes of Endor” boxed set earlier last year.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Structurally, a lot of this figure is shared with the Bespin Han figure from 2018.  I was overall pretty fond of that figure and his sculpt, so you’d think the re-use wouldn’t bug me…but it kinda does.  Mostly, it’s because they keep some of the stuff I didn’t like about it, and don’t really fix the handful of issues that were present.  The head proper is very similar to the last piece, but to my eyes it looks like the jaw’s a touch more prominent on this one.  I don’t know if that’s intentional or just mold variation, but it doesn’t really help the issues of the prior figure looking kind of narrow-shouldered for Han.  Nor does the new hair sculpt, which is just generally a bit poofier than the prior piece, again making the head look larger compared to the shoulders.  Additionally, the jacket piece has been swapped for a vest, which doesn’t have the same high-sitting collar as the jacket, which makes the neck look longer and thinner, which just makes the head look larger and thereby makes the shoulders look again smaller by comparison.  He also gets a new set of arms, which wind up looking rather on the scrawny side themselves; given how thin they are, but yet how baggy the sleeves are, Han must really not have any muscle mass to speak of under those sleeves.  The whole thing is topped off with the trench coat, which is a cloth piece to match Luke and Leia’s ponchos.  Trouble is, the coat just exacerbates the issues with the body, honestly, because it’s clearly tailored for a figure *slightly* bigger than this one.  This results in it dragging at his feet and hanging down over his hands, making it look not unlike Han is a small child who has stolen his father’s coat.  It’s not a very imposing or impressive look, and ultimately just adds to his gooniness.  It honestly looks a bit better when placed on the Bespin Han, if I’m honest. Of course, even then, the jacket is also missing the pockets on either side, and the pattern generally seems a bit too dark for what Han wears in the movie, so it’s always a bit of a compromise.  Even Han’s paintwork ends up a little rougher than previous entries, with some rather sloppy application on the shirt and belt, even going down to the strap for the holster.  The face also feels like it has a bit too much color going into it, making it look like Han is a bit flushed.  Han’s only accessory is his usual blaster pistol.  It’s the same piece as the Empire version, but this time with the proper color scheme.  It’s too bad they couldn’t also give him a few of the detonators or something, just to make the package a little more exciting.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Han’s Endor look has never been one of my favorites.  Even in the films, after the coolness of the Bespin look, this one seemed like a bit of a step down, at least to me.  It doesn’t help that it always seems to have rotten luck with figures.  This figure is, unfortunately, not an exception, either.  There’s no real smoking gun as to why this figure doesn’t work compared to the other two; it’s just a lot of small stuff that ultimately adds up to a figure that’s just not so great.  It’s a shame, because this one feels like one that could have really shined, but it’s instead the weakest in its respective series.  Oh well.  At least it’s another Han Solo for people to buy.

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.

#2642: Princess Leia Organa – Endor

PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA — ENDOR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Princess Leia Organa rendezvoused with the Rebel fleet and helped organize a plan to destroy the Empire’s new Death Star: they would head to Endor and knock out the space station’s shield generator.”

Princess Leia’s sure gotten a lot of toy coverage courtesy of Hasbro’s The Black Series, so it’s kind of amusing to think there was actually a pretty sizable gap between her earliest releases.  It mostly had to do with Hasbro’s rather poor choice of costume for the line’s first Leia, the somewhat ill-advised Slave Outfit Leia from Series 2 of the line. It wasn’t the greatest figure, and it wasn’t really an essential look, so fans held off, and that in turn scared retailers off of the character for a bit.  Fortunately, things have more or less re-oriented, and we’re more or less getting her at a yearly pace these days.  Leia’s got four prominent looks in Return of the Jedi, which looks like it will be getting most of the 2021 love.  We’ve already gotten her two looks from Jabba’s Palace, so now we’re doing a somewhat linear progression forward, and getting an Endor appearance to match her brother’s figure from yesterday!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Princess Leia Organa (Endor) is part of the second assortment of the relaunched Black Series.  She’s #3 in the RotJ line-up, and like Luke, she was also available earlier last year as part of the “Heroes of Endor” boxed set.  Leia is likewise in her combat gear from the Endor mission, which actually makes her a more prominent variant for the character than for Luke, since she hangs onto this gear through the film’s climax.  The figure stands a little over 5 inches tall and she’s got 30 points of articulation.  In terms of movement, she more or less has the same movement scheme as the Hoth and Bespin Leias, which is to say she’s got a pretty darn solid movement scheme, which both poses well and hides the articulation decently while doing it.  The sculpt’s an all-new one, and a pretty darn good one at that.  In terms of build and size, it matches with all of the post-40th ANH Leias. The head sculpt is a rather respectable likeness of Carrie Fisher.  I don’t think it’s quite as spot on as the Bespin Leia, which is still my favorite to date, but it’s certainly not a bad one.  And, unlike Luke, there’s actually not too much compromising with the hair in order to let the helmet fit, which is nice to see.  The poncho is cloth, much like Lukes, but actually has a slightly different pattern, like it does in the film.  There’s a fully detailed version of her Rebel command uniform beneath the poncho piece, allowing for this figure to pull double duty as Leia late in the film.  I can definitely appreciate Hasbro’s willingness to not milk us for yet another version of the figure, since that’s tended to be how they’ve handled things in the past.  Ultimately, the scaling of various pieces looks a bit better with the poncho in place, but having the option is still nice. The helmet piece looks to be the same one used for Luke, which is sensible.  It works fine for this figure too, although I do prefer this one without the helmet.  The paint work on Leia is all pretty solid.  There’s the face printing again, of course, as well as a slightly more involved paint scheme under the poncho than we saw with Luke.  Leia’s only real accessory is a blaster pistol, which does feel a touch light.  But, with the sort of double nature of this figure thanks to the helmet and poncho being removable, it doesn’t feel quite as bad as it could have.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hoth Leia is really my default version of the character, but the Endor attire is a pretty close second.  It does add something of a commanding presence to the character, which I can really get behind.  I was hoping for both her and Luke in this style, so getting them both in one fell swoop works out even better than I’d hoped, really.  This figure ends up being the best of the three Endor variants, if I’m honest, and that’s probably for the best, because it’s also the one that feels the most one and done from this set.

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.

#2641: Luke Skywalker – Endor

LUKE SKYWALKER — ENDOR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Utilizing stolen schematics, the Rebel Alliance formulated a plan to destroy the new Death Star. Luke Skywalker joined his friends for this mission to Endor.”

Last year was the 40th anniversary of Empire Strikes Back, which translated to a lot of toy coverage for that particular movie.  Though it’s not an anniversary year, this year looks to be shifting to its follow-up film, Return of the Jedi.  Right out of the gate, we’re getting proper coverage for the film’s versions of the three main characters.  No stranger to Jedi-based figures in The Black Series, Luke has gotten yet another one, which I’m going to be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke Skywalker (Endor) is part of the second assortment of the relaunched Star Wars: The Black Series, officially slated for an early 2021 release, but it hit some places a little earlier.  Luke is part of the RotJ-sub-set of the line, and is figure #4 in that set.  The same figure was also previously available as part of the “Heroes of Endor” set that Hasbro released as an online “con” exclusive mid last year.  As the name denotes, he’s based on the attire Luke wears during the mission to the forest moon of Endor.  In Luke’s case, it means he’s wearing a poncho and helmet atop his standard Jedi attire from the movie.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  For the most part, he’s made out of pieces re-used from the first Jedi Luke figure.  From the neck down, he’s the same as that figure, although, like last year’s Jabba’s Palace variant, he’s only got the standard flap attached to the front of the chest, and it’s glued in place.  Like that figure, he also ditches the belt piece from the first figure.  In an effort to fully differentiate the various releases, this one gets a new head, helmet, belt, and a cloth poncho.  The head’s not a bad piece.  It’s our third attempt at a Jedi Luke in this scale, and aside from the hair being a little bit matted down in order to fit the helmet (which is admittedly pretty minor and not too far off of his on-screen appearance), and the face in particular seems pretty good for a Hamill likeness of this era.  The helmet piece is just a touch rounder than it was in the film, but it’s not terribly far off, and the detailing is pretty sharp.  It fits nicely over the head sculpt and stays pretty securely in place.  The poncho piece is a cloth piece, and that’s honestly the best way to handle it.  The tailoring is pretty decent, and the belt helps to keep everything in place and looking pretty good.  The paint work on this guy is largely pretty basic.  It’s just molded plastic for most of the underlying body, but he gets the printing for his face.  It’s slightly misaligned on my figure, but isn’t terribly far off, and honestly looks okay from most angles.  The helmet also gets some extra detail work, with some scarring and weathering in place.  In addition to the removable helmet and poncho, Luke also gets his lightsaber.  It’s a shame didn’t also throw in his standard belt to allow for a full final duel Luke set-up, but the belt for the poncho still works in a pinch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I quite like the Endor Luke set-up, and I’ve been hoping to get him since early on in this line.  I’m actually a little bit surprised that it took quite this long to finally get him, but he’s a nice way of getting another Jedi Luke figure out there.  The Endor parts are all nicely put together, and the underlying figure’s not bad either.  Of course, I’m kind of expecting to see another variant on Jedi Luke sooner than later for…reasons.  Until then, this one will do well for all those people suddenly looking for a Jedi Luke for…reasons.

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.

#2632: IG-11

IG-11

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“One of a series of dangerous assassin droids largely outlawed in the galaxy, IG-11 is a hired gun programmed to follow Bounty Hunters Guild protocols to the letter.  This distinctive collection features premium deco applications inspired by the end credit images from The Mandalorian, plus a collectible Imperial Credit accessory”

Usually, around the holidays, I’m out of town for the week surrounding Christmas, meaning that, pretty much since I began the site, I’ve been jumping into my Post-Christmas reviews as the new year begins.  2020 was having none of that, so I was still at home this year, allowing me to just turn these reviews right around.  Don’t you guys feel so lucky?  For the first few years I was running the site, I kicked off these sets of reviews with an Alien Queen, but in recent years, that’s shifted to Star Wars, something that will stick this year, as I kick things off with a variant of IG-11!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

IG-11 is part of the “Credit Collection” sub-set of Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series.  These guys hit right around the launch of The Mandalorian‘s second season, and were effectively this year’s equivalent to the Carbonized figures from last year.  Theset was split up as exclusives amongst a few different retailers, with IG-11 being available through GameStop.  Structurally, this figure is the same as last year’s standard IG-11.  That means he too stands about 7 inches tall and has 21 points of articulation.  It also means that he too is based on the IG-88 figure, and is therefore a little bit inaccurate for IG-11.  That said, it’s not like anyone was really expecting a new mold for this release.  He’s designed to be a quick repaint, and that’s exactly what he is.  At least the IG-88 mold is still a pretty fun toy mold.  The differences on this guy come down to two things, the first being the paint.  He, and the rest of the figures in this set, are based on the illustrations seen in the show’s closing credits, which showcase some of the early art for the show.  IG-11 is illustrated in these images with a much warmer, and more colorful palette than is seen in the show, and that’s replicated well here.  I really dig how they’ve captured the sort of graininess of the illustrations, as well as the really divergently bright colors used.  These two definitely won’t get mistaken for each other.  The second change to the figure are the accessories.  He gets the same two blasters as the prior release, but also gains one of the credit pieces that the bio talks about.  It’s a pretty basic piece, and obviously not meant to go with the actual figure, but it’s a cool little extra nevertheless.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve got all of the standard color versions of the figures chosen for “The Credit Collection”, so I wasn’t in a rush to pick any of them up, especially given their exclusive status.  I did kind of want the IG-11, because I just really like the IGs.  I wasn’t going to buy it from Gamestop for myself, though.  It’s okay, because I didn’t!  Max and I were discussing the figures when they were shown off, and I said I’d hold off, so he went ahead and ordered an extra IG for me for Christmas.  I’m glad to have this guy.  He’s not my primary version or anything, but he’s a fun alternate deco, and goes well with my other IG-related stuff.

#2626: Imperial Stormtrooper

IMPERIAL STORMTROOPER — THE MANDALORIAN

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Stormtroopers are elite shock troops fanatically loyal to the Empire and impossible to sway from the Imperial cause.”

Given their prominence in the original trilogy, it’s no surprise that we got figure coverage of the Imperial Stormtroopers fairly early into Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series.  However, there’s really no denying that the quality of the figures has improved leaps and bounds over the last few years.  Many of the central characters have gotten some more recent figures in alternate looks to help update them a bit, but a character such as the Stormtrooper, who has the same basic look in all three of the original movies, doesn’t exactly make a variant release very easy t justify.  Fortunately, their reappearance in The Mandalorian gave Hasbro a pretty good excuse to give them the re-do treatment, which I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Imperial Stormtrooper is, much like yesterday’s Mando, part of the first wave of the relaunched Black Series.  He too is from The Mandalorian sub-set of figures, where he’s figure #02.  He’s officially based on the trooper design from the show (and Rogue One, since they use the same armor), but he works as a pretty basic OT-era Stormtrooper just in general.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  The original Stormtrooper was the most posable figure in the line at the time of his release, but that was at the sacrifice of appearance, as a good number of those joints really jumped out off of the figure.  This one takes a page out of the recent Clone Trooper page and does a total overhaul on the movement scheme.  The joints are granted a much larger range of motion, while also being a bit more cleverly hidden, though use of actual armor plates that are separate pieces, rather than just sculpting them right onto the body.  This results in there being much more depth to the sculpt, which helps the give it a more realistic quality.  The helmet gets a re-work, so that now, instead of being a solid piece, it’s an actual helmet sitting on a head.  The head’s the same as the Clone Trooper, but at least this way we know there’s some consistency in sizing and design, and we won’t be faced with the same issues the original body had when the repurposed it for Luke and Han.  The helmet also seems to be just a touch more screen accurate than the original.  In general, the armor on this guy is a little closer to the movies and a little bit sharper in terms of detailing.  It’s just an overall slicker appearance.  The Stormtrooper’s paint work is pretty decent.  Fairly minimal, since the separate construction of the body and the armor allows for them to each be molded in the proper colors, but the accents look nice and sharp.  The Stormtrooper is packed with a single blaster rifle.  It’s a new piece, and certainly a nice one, though it’s kind of a shame that we’re down to just one accessory on these guys.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I quite liked the original Black Series Stormtrooper when he was released, but after a few years of the line improving, I was definitely eager to see what Hasbro could do with an improved one.  I was on board for this guy as soon as he was shown off.  As with the rest of this first wave, he’s been pretty scarce, even more so given he’s an army builder, but I was able to at least get my hands on one, and I do really quite like him.  I look forward to seeing what other trooper variants they build 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.

 

#2625: The Mandalorian – Beskar

THE MANDALORIAN — BESKAR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“The Mandalorian is battle-worn and tight-lipped, a formidable bounty hunter in an increasingly dangerous galaxy!”

The Mandalorian just wrapped its second season last Friday, so I guess what better time to actually start reviewing Mando product again then right now.  It couldn’t be more time relevant, could it?  Last year, we got our first figure of the show’s main character, based upon his appearance in the show’s debut episode.  Though we didn’t know when he was released, that look wound up being rather short-lived, replaced just three episodes in by a shiny, new, all Beskar set of armor, which has subsequently remained his primary appearance.  Thanks to the same secrecy that kept The Child a total surprise, the Beskar armored Mando was likewise not shown to licensors until he appeared in the show, leaving something of a delay in getting him made in figure form.  Fortunately, he’s finally making his way to collectors, right as the second season comes to a close.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Beskar Mando is part of the first assortment of the latest re-launch of Star Wars: The Black Series.  Rather than one overarching numbering scheme, they’re now breaking them down into smaller sub-sets.  Mando is, unsurprisingly, part of the Mandalorian sub-set, where he’s figure #01.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Structurally, this guy’s very similar to the prior Mando, which makes sense, them being the same guy and all.  His articulation works exactly the same, which is fine by me given how mobile that figure ended up being.  He shares a handful of parts with that previous release, specifically the helmet, hands, lower legs, and cape.  These parts actually remain constant in the show, so it’s sensible to re-use.  It does come with its own slight drawbacks, notably with the helmet and cape. The helmet is just slightly off from the show’s design in terms of shaping.  It’s minor, but there was a part of me hoping they might fix it for this release.  It’s not the end of the world, though, and I guess they’re at least consistent this way.  The cape isn’t a problem on its own, but is sort of a problem when you factor in the included jetpack.  In the show, he pushes the cape up and out of the way when wearing the jetpack, but with the cape here being plastic, you have to choose between one or the other when displaying him.  This isn’t screen accurate, so it’s a touch frustrating.  Either a cloth cape, or a newly sculpted cape piece would have fixed this.  As is, he’ll require a little bit of modification.  Mando gets a new torso, arms, and upper legs featuring his newer armor pieces.  They’re certainly a cleaner design, though they match up with the prior figure in terms of actual styling of details.  In order to match up with the inclusion of the jetpack, thereby making this a post-Chaper 8 Mando, his right pauldron includes Mando’s Mudhorn signet, which is certainly a very nice touch.  The Mando’s paint work is all pretty clean.  It matches with the depiction of the armor from the show, and is just generally pretty slick.  Mando is packed with the aforementioned jetpack, plus the same rifle and pistol that were included with the last version of the character.  Not a bad set-up.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been patiently awaiting this armor set-up since it debuted on the show, and was curious exactly when it would show in the line.  Once it was announced, it was once again a patient wait until I could actually get my hands on one, because he’s been far and away the most demanded figure out of the newest Black Series line-up.  The end result isn’t perfect.  The helmet doesn’t bug me so much, but I was a bit let down by the cape.  I’m sure we’ll be seeing yet another version of this guy in the near future, of course, what with him being the main character and all.  This one’s still really good, though.

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.

#2613: Mandalorian Super Commando

MANDALORIAN SUPER COMMANDO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Darth Maul’s Mandalorians modified their armor to reflect allegiance to the Dark Lord. These super commandos wore red and black, and some even fashioned horns atop their helmet.”

The Mandalorian side of the Star Wars universe has been getting a good deal of focus these days, thanks to a show of the same name being kind of a big deal and all.  While this is certainly the most prominent focus the culture has gotten, their background has been in place for a while.  It was originally a strictly EU thing, but made its first foray into more main stream culture via The Clone Wars, whose saga of Mandalore’s fall mad up the back bone of the show’s second half, and playing a large part in the show’s multi-part finale.  Said finale serves as the inspiration for the first fully-Clone Wars-inspired assortment of Hasbro’s Black Series, with the Mandos themselves making up half of the set, one from each side of the Mando Civil War.  Today, I’m looking at one of the Mandos on Darth Maul’s side of the conflict.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Mandalorian Super Commando is figure #05 in the Clone Wars subset of the latest relaunch of Star Wars: The Black Series.  He’s the highest numbered of his four figure assortment, which is, as of right now a Walmart-exclusive set.  However, the marketing on this particular set has been very vague about the actual exclusivity of this set, and all signs point to it just being an early exclusivity deal, much like Ectotron and Gigawatt were.  Time will tell, of course.  This guy is based on one of Maul’s Super Commandos, specifically the most ornate of the bunch.  It’s armor that was initially seen on Maul-faithful leader Gar Saxon earlier in the show’s run, prior to being adopted by a few of the other Mandos in the show’s final season.  It’s a cool design to be sure, combining all of the cool elements of Maul and the Mandos into one.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  The Super Commando is built on the Jango Fett body, which is…I mean, I guess it’s not the worst, but it’s not the best either.  It comes from a period when the line wasn’t at its best articulation wise, so it’s a bit stiffer than more recent offerings.  On top of that, Jango was a little chunkier than how the Mandos have been portrayed elsewhere.  Now, obviously some of the difference comes from the move from animation to realistic, but it still makes the guy seem just a touch schlubier than he should.  Overall, though, it’s still not a bad sculpt, and the detailing on the armor is pretty darn sharp.  The Super Commando gets a new head, wearing the horned helmet mentioned in the bio.  By far, it’s the best piece of the figure, and is a really clean, really sharp recreation of the design from the show.  He also gets a new belt and upper legs with new holster pieces, which are now separate parts without the straps.  This does at least aid in the posability of the figure at the hips.  Lastly, there are new shoulder pads on the upper arms, with some spikes to match the helmet.  It helps to make the figure sufficiently different from Jango, so he does at least feel a little bit new.  The Super Commando also gets a brand new paint scheme to match the new parts.  It’s pretty solid, although if I have one complaint, it’s that the grey used for the body suit seems a little lighter than it should be.  Other than that, it’s a pretty striking design.  The Super Commando is packed with the same rocket pack that came with Jango, as well as a pair of the standard Mandalorian pistols, borrowed from Sabine.  It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to be workable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While watching the last few seasons of Clone Wars, I was really hoping to get some more figures from the show’s later seasons.  When this assortment was shown off, I was super excited…until the whole “Walmart” bit got mentioned, which thoroughly killed my buzz.  Fortunately, Max was able to help me out on this guy here at the very least.  He’s definitely cool.  Not without his flaws, but cool.  Hopefully the rest of the assortment ends up showing back up in a more easily acquired fashion so that I can get the rest of them.

#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.