#3229: George Lucas in Stormtrooper Disguise

GEORGE LUCAS IN STORMTROOPER DISGUISE

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

It’s not every film director that gets to have an action figure, but, I suppose it becomes much easier when you’re also the creator of one of the most merchandise-appealing franchises of modern times.  Subsequently, George Lucas, the aforementioned director whom created the aforementioned franchise, has actually had a few action figures over the years.  Thus far, he’s been covered by the smaller-scale, but this time around, he makes the jump to the 6 inch scale, with a figure that’s not a totally crazy exclusive for a change.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

George Lucas in Stormtrooper Disguise is a Fan Channel-exclusive Star Wars: The Black Series offering, released in honor of the 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm.  He’s done up in vintage style packaging, largely for the heck of it, I suppose.  This marks our second time getting George disguised as a Stormtrooper; Vintage Collection did it for a mail-away back in 2006, and now we’re getting it again.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  The prior Stormtrooper George notably made use of a rather outdated base body, despite an updated one being part of the same line, so there was a degree of concern that this figure might wind up on the older Black Series Stormtrooper, but this one does at the very least use the upgraded Rogue One/Mandalorian-style Stormtrooper body.  It’s an impressive sculpt, and one of which Hasbro’s gotten a surprisingly small amount of use.  The sculpt is topped off by a brand-new head sculpt, to do that whole George Lucas thing and all.  Lucas appears to be based on his look circa Revenge of the Sith, which is something of an odd choice, all things considered.  The vintage branding comes with it pictures on the box of Lucas from A New Hope, and given he’s dressed as an OT-based design, you’d expect an earlier era Lucas.  But, no, they went with this one, for whatever reason.  It’s not a bad sculpt, perhaps a little bit idealized, but still certainly George.  The figure’s paint work largely matches the standard Stormtrooper, which is generally nice and clean.  The head gets a more involved paint scheme, of course, which is appropriately lifelike.  They’ve also done a rather nice job capturing the greying in his hair.  George is packed with the standard Stormtrooper blaster, as well as a removable helmet, allowing him to pass off as a basic rank and file trooper.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The previous Lucas figures were kind of tricky to get, but I’ve always kind of wanted one of them.  Sure, George may be a slightly weird dude, but he’s also a rather important fixture in a franchise that I’ve spent a lot of time around, so I’m down for having him in some sort of figure form.  Thankfully, Hasbro saw fit to give us a fourth go at him, this time in a far more easily found manner, and making use of a base that’s a solid figure on its own.  He’s got some fun novelty to be sure, and, if you’re not feeling the George Lucas head, he also works out as a basic Trooper.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3207: Cobb Vanth

COBB VANTH

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“The marshal of Mos Pelgo, a small town on Tatooine, Cobb Vanth has earned the trust of the townsfolk as a capable peacekeeper and leader”

While The Mandalorian’s second season was in production, we knew from an early point that Temuera Morrison was returning in some capacity.  Boba Fett was, of course, the heavy rumor, as his return had been theorized since the show’s announcement, but we didn’t know for absolute certain going into the season.  The creators certainly had a good time with that, because in the first episode, Mando goes to Tatooine looking for more of his people, and encounters someone wearing Boba’s armor…only for that person to take off the helmet and reveal himself not as Boba, but instead as Cobb Vanth, a character introduced in the Aftermath novels from right after Disney acquired the franchise.  Though he may not have been the bounty hunter most fans were looking for, Cobb was none the less a rather popular character in his own right, and even got a follow-up appearance in The Book of Boba Fett.  He *also* got an action figure, and I’m gonna be taking a look at that today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cobb Vanth is the 18th figure in the Mandalorian sub-line of Star Wars: The Black Series‘s Phase IV incarnation.  He’s a deluxe-sized release, presumably on the basis that all of the figures using the new armored Fett pieces have been.  It seems to be more of a complexity of build thing, rather than a pure scale or size thing.  Cobb was *supposed* to be out back nearer the beginning of the year, but apart from a few small quantities dropping, he didn’t really seem to arrive.  Thankfully, as of the last month or so, he does seem to be hitting in a bit more force.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  Cobb is making use of the more modern set-up for articulation in the Black Series line, so it’s got a better range than earlier offerings.  That said, amongst his contemporaries, he’s a little more on the restricted side.  He’s still able to get a lot of solid poses, though, so he’s very workable.  Cobb’s sculpt re-uses a few pieces from the recent Boba figure, which makes sense, since it’s the same armor and all.  This includes his torso armor (which has the wookie braids removed) and his gauntlets.  The rest of the sculpt is all-new, and does a solid job of recreating Cobb’s look in the show.  His likeness isn’t spot-on, but it’s a respectable enough recreation of Timothy Olyphant in the role, certainly close enough to get the idea across.  The rest of his outfit is quite well assembled, with some impressive texturing, especially on the tunic.  He’s got an extra scarf piece, which is sculpted to fit around the armor.  It’s a bit too loose and floaty, but otherwise looks the part.  Cobb’s paint work is generally pretty solid.  The advanced weathering on the armor really captures the feel, and his face, hair, and beard paint is also quite lifelike.  The base color work matches well with his palette from the show, and the insignias on the armor are quite sharply defined, as well as matched well with the RotJ Fett.  Cobb is packed with the helmet and rocket pack to match his armor, as well as a pistol and a rifle for proper armaments.  The helmet is the same as Fett’s, but just not glued to the head.  It doesn’t sit quite as well on Cobb’s head, but I’m not really looking to display him helmeted anyway.  The pack is largely the same as the prior Fett release (albeit with a more broken-in paint job), but gets the adjusted rocket at the top.  Both of the guns are new pieces, and they match well to what he’s seen carrying in the show.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As someone who’s on-record as being skeptical about Boba Fett’s role in the whole Star Wars thing, I had no pre-conceived notions about Fett’s presence in Mandalorian.  The misdirect with Cobb was fine by me, and I quite liked how his character shaped up in the show.  I was very definitely down for him getting a figure.  It’s taken a while for this one to make his way out, and he’s not 100% perfect, but he’s still quite a lot of fun.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3183: Imperial Clone Shock Trooper

IMPERIAL CLONE SHOCK TROOPER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Originally founded during the Clone Wars as security police and bodyguards, the group of clones known as Shock Troopers now operate as elite forces of the Empire.”

The Shock Troopers first showed up very near the end of Revenge of the Sith, as re-decoed Clones whose red coloring served as sort of a precursor to the Imperial Guards.  The similarities were taken a bit further when they were further used in Clone Wars, which established as the Coruscant-based police force, far more directly loyal to Palpatine and his cronies.  Their loyalty gave them more to do during Clone Wars’ direct follow-up, The Bad Batch.  Though effectively replaced within the show by the Elite Squad, they’re still present as the Empire’s initial enforcers.  We got a Shock Trooper on the old style Clone body, but now we’re also getting one on the new body.  Whooooo!  New body!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Imperial Clone Shock Trooper is figure 7 in the Bad Batch sub-line of The Black Series Phase IV.  He started as a Walmart-exclusive, but he’s set to get a slightly wider release later in the year.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  This Shock Trooper is, as noted in the intro, built on the newest of the Clone base bodies.  Like, actually the whole thing.  No weird combo of parts, or anything.  So, I guess there’s that.  It’s a good sculpt, it poses well, and it just makes for a good figure.  This guy in particular is based on one of the officers, meaning he’s got the shoulder pauldron.  It’s a nice piece with a lot of great texture work.  It’s fixed in place on the shoulders which, if I’m honest, seems a bit short-sited, since it means he can’t just be the standard Shock Trooper.  But, I suppose they might have done that on purpose, since this was an exclusive release, and it’s possible they might be saving the standard trooper as a main line release.  Whatever the case, it’s at least not loose and flopping about as such pieces tend to do in these figures.  The paint work on this guy is pretty straight forward, but it does what it needs to and the application is all pretty clean.  It’s a striking color set-up.  The Shock Trooper is packed with both long and short versions of the standard clone rifle, which makes for a decent selection of options.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Much as I like a good Clone variant, I wasn’t exactly looking to rush out to Walmart for specifically this figure.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to, since we got a small stack of them traded into All Time.  Boom, easy way to get one.  He’s fun.  Not breaking ground or anything, but fun.  And sometimes, that’s all you need.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3182: Jet Trooper

JET TROOPER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Star Wars: Battlefront II lets players call in reinforcements from the most skilled soldiers and units in the galaxy, including the aerial specialist Jet troopers.”

First appearing in a very bit appearance in the background of one shot of the fifth season Clone Wars episode “Sabotage,” the 501st Jet Trooper’s rather unique design was set to get a mass release figure as part of Hasbro’s main Clone Wars line in 2013, as part of the wider Star Wars line re-launch that was to go along with the 3D re-release of Attack of the Clones.  When Phantom Menace’s 3D re-release went over worse than Phantom Menace‘s original release, the AotC re-release was scrapped, and the domestic release of the toys to accompany was cancelled.  The nine Clone Wars figures included wound up with only an international release, which was kind of a shame.  The design wound up brushed off for a few other projects, including Battlefront II, which finally got the Jet Trooper another chance at a figure…albeit an exclusive one.  Eh, you win some, you lose some.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Jet Trooper is a Gamestop-exclusive Star Wars: The Black Series release, as part of their larger “Gaming Greats” sub-line.  He’s #6 in the sub-line.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  In what is just a confusing sequence of parts creation and selection at this point, the Jet Trooper is largely *not* built from the updated Clone body we got at the start of Phase IV.  He gets the new head/helmet, but that’s it.  Below the neck, he’s using a variation on the Captain Rex tooling.  It’s not a bad selection of parts, and now it’s been almost completely reverse engineered into a standard Clone body.  The question just remains: why?  Why, after introducing the new body, are we still getting a combination of parts from three distinctly different Clone base bodies, interwoven with each other?  Like, maybe just pick one and stick with it?  Ultimately, it doesn’t impact this guy too badly, since, as I said, the Rex tooling is still pretty solid.  The leg movement is kind of stiff, but otherwise it works okay.  The torso’s been modified to add a port for the jetpack, so that works out well.  The Jet Trooper’s paint scheme is fun, bright, and fairly unique, and the application is nice and clean.  It’s definitely the best thing about the figure, and it really works out well.  The Jet Trooper is packed with his jetpack (borrowed from Jango Fett), and a small blaster pistol.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I quite like this design.  I quite like Clones in general, and this one just really works.  It’s a cool, nifty look, begging for good toy treatment.  It’s a shame that there are so many barriers to entry on the first figure, and I wasn’t thrilled about the Gamestop-exclusiveness on this one.  Fortunately for me, I was able to get one via a convenient trade-in at All Time.  That sure was easy.  He’s a really fun figure of a really fun design, and I’m glad to have added him to the collection.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3165: The Modal Nodes

FIGRIN D’AN & NALAN CHEEL

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Figrin D’an was the rocking frontman for the all-Bith band ‘The Modal Nodes.’ His deft playing of the Kloo Horn for the band earned him the nickname ‘Fiery’ Figrin

Members of the Modal Nodes, like Nalan Cheel on the Bandfill, played their recognizable tunes in the Mos Eisley cantina.”

There are quite a number of distinctive aliens present in the Mos Eisley Cantina in A New Hope, but my favorites are definitely the bunch of Bith up on the stage, the Modal Nodes.  Their catchy tune is key to the ambiance of the sequence, and they just look so snazzy in their matching outfits.  They don’t have a ton of action figure coverage, but they were in Power of the Force, and they’ve just been added to The Black Series, so that’s all that really matters to me.  So, I guess that’s all that matters to the site as well.  There are two members of the band available, with the frontman Figrin D’an in the main line, and Nalan Cheel as a deluxe exclusive.  I’m taking a look at both of them in a combo review today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Figrin D’an and Nalan Cheel are figures 4 and 5 in the A New Hope sub-set of Star Wars: The Black Series.  Figrin is part of the latest standard assortment of the main line (the largely Obi-Wan Kenobi-based assortment), while Nalan is a shared exclusive between Hasbro Pulse and Shop Disney.  Since all of the Nodes look effectively the same, the two are the same core figure, with the accessories marking the difference between the releases.  The core figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  The sculpt appears to be all-new to these two figures.  The articulation scheme is pretty impressive; the lack of the butterfly shoulders can make things a little tricky when posing with some of the instruments, but it’s generally pretty easy to work with.  As far as the quality of the sculpt proper, the head’s definitely the strongest work, capturing the look of the masks from the movie quite well.  The outfit seems to be the closest Hasbro’s gotten to the actual Modal Nodes attire of all the figures they’ve done.  It looks quite sharp, and I really like that.  The paint work on the core figure is well-handled.  Obviously, the outfit is basic, since it’s just flat black and grey.  The accenting on the head and hands is impressive, and really sells the detailing of the sculpt, and gives him a more lifelike quality.  Accessories mark where these two figures differ.  Figrin is the more basic release, so he gets his Kloo Horn, as well as a Dorenian Beshniquel (the slightly longer oboe-looking thing, played by Doikk Na’ts), and a Double Jocimer (the shortest instrument, played by Ickabel G’ont).  All of the instruments are really nicely sculpted and well-scaled, and the paint work is pretty respectable, and the mouth pieces even slot into the mouth, which is pretty cool.  As the deluxe, Nalan gets the larger set-up.  It’s still three instruments, but they’re literally larger, so, you know, that’s how it is.  He’s got his Bandfill (the organ looking thing), drums and matching drum sticks (played by Sun’il Ei’de), an Ommni Box (played by Tech M’or), and three additional sets of hands to match up with the instruments.  It’s again an impressive set-up, and all of these instruments work a little bit better with the core figure, I feel.  I quite like the drums, but I also dig the seated option of the Ommni Box.  I’m also really down for the extra hands, but I also appreciate that he’s still got the hands from Figrin, so that he can still use the extra instruments included with that release.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Cantina Band is one of those very memorable parts of the first movie, and one that I really like.  While I only got the PotF version a few years ago, I really liked him and the gimmick behind him.  When Figrin was announced I knew I was at least grabbing him, and maybe a few duplicates as I got the chance.  I missed out on the pre-orders for Nalan, and honestly wasn’t expecting to find him, but shortly after All Time got their standard assortment with Figrin, a Nalan got traded in, giving me an easy shot at both of them.  I really enjoy the core figure a lot, and all of the instruments are so nicely handled.  I will definitely be trying to snag a few more of the core body for a full band, but in the mean time, I’ve got the miracle of photoshop!

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with these figures to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3164: Sergeant Kreel

SERGEANT KREEL

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Sergeant Kreel, formerly undercover Agent 5241, serves as the leader of an elite group of SCAR troopers, Task Force 99, under the direct command of Darth Vader.”

Hey, remember last year when Hasbro was all like “let’s do some comic-based Black Series figures?” Well, this year they were all like “let’s do that again”, so here we are. When Disney purchased Star Wars and moved the comics line over to Marvel, the first thing they did was launch an on-going book, simply titled Star Wars, set between A New Hope and Empire. The book explored a number of concepts, including giving the Imperial side a squad of elite Stormtroopers, who have since been retconned into being the Imperial answer to The Bad Batch. Leading the squad was Sergeant Kreel, a really souped up Trooper that is the subject of today’s review!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sergeant Kreel is one of the four figures that make up the second round of comics-based Star Wars: The Black Series figures. Like the first round, they all ship on their own, though, so they’re not actually all hitting at once. Kreel is the first of this round to turn up at retail, at least around me. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Kreel is largely built out of the updated Stormtrooper mold, with a new upper torso, new add-ons for the pouches on the arm and leg, a modified belt piece, and the shoulder pauldron from the First Order officer.  The updated Stormtrooper is a really strong mold, so it’s a pretty great starting point for a figure.  While Kreel was at times depicted as larger in build, in Issue #60, which is the one this guy is explicitly based one, he’s more standard trooper size, so this one is consistent, and it’s honestly in line with Hasbro’s trend of going a little more real world with the looks for these comics figures.  The new pieces work well with the old, and with the torso giving him a far sleeker look.  The pouches help to differentiate him a little further, and I like the more utilitarian nature behind them.  The figure’s color scheme is largely just the usual black and white, with a splash of color for the arm display and the pauldron.  The application is all pretty cleanly applied, and he looks pretty sharp.  Kreel is packed with the standard Stormtrooper blaster, as well as a lightsaber, which is re-used from one of the ones included with General Grievous, though with the hilt and blade colors changed up.  Kudos to Hasbro for, you know, actually giving this one an extra accessory in addition to the original release of the mold.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t follow the Marvel run particularly religiously or anything, so I didn’t actually read any of Kreel’s appearances first-hand.  That said, I really liked this guy’s design, and I like a cool trooper variant, so I was on-board for this guy pretty much from the start.  In hand, he’s a lot of fun.  The original mold is still a really good one, and the changes made here just add to it.  He’s just really cool, and that’s kind of the most important thing to a Star Wars toy, right?

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3155: Princess Leia Organa – Yavin 4

PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA — YAVIN 4

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“After escaping Vader, Leia and her rescuers rendezvoused with the Alliance on Yavin 4. She delivered the Death Star Plans, and later gave Han, Chewie, and Luke medals for bravery”

Despite her tendency for plenty of costume changes in later films, in the first Star Wars, Leila’s in the same attire for almost the whole runtime. But, not content to at least show off a little extra flair, she does get one quick change, all the way at the end of the movie, gaining an ever so slightly more regal set-up for the film’s closing scene, set during an awards ceremony on Yavin, following the Death Star’s destruction. It’s very brief, and so brief that it didn’t actually get toy treatment in the vintage run, and had only rarely graced the toy lines since. However, with a Ceremony Luke out there for Black Series, it was only a matter of time before we also got a Leia.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Princess Leia Organa (Yavin 4) is the first figure in the A New Hope sub-set of Hasbro’s Black Series.  She was part of the first assortment of the year, alongside fellow ANH figures Ponda Baba and Doctor Evazan.  This figure is a mainline release of the Hasbro Pulse-exclusive Power of the Force tribute figure from the end of last year.  The only difference between the two is the packaging, with the figure in said packaging being the same.  The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and she has 30 points of articulation. Her sculpt appears to be all-new, although it’s entirely possible that some of the Lowe body is shared with other releases. The upper half is definitely all-new, and it’s a pretty solid offering. The new head sculpt is one of Hasbro’s best takes on Fischer’s likeness, and the mixed media set-up of the rest of the body works better than prior Leias, especially the standard ANH Leia. The paint work is largely limited to the face; it handles things pretty well, and results in a lifelike appearance, which nicely accents the already strong sculpt. Leia’s only accessory across both of her releases is one of the medals she presents during the ceremony. It appears to be the same one included with Luke, so I suppose it can be used with Han, or even the con-exclusive jacketed Luke, since he lacked the medal.  Or, could go absolutely crazy and give it to Leia herself…you know, since she also participated in the whole plot to take down the Death Star as well, and didn’t even fake running away like Han did.  Just saying.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been expecting this figure since we got the Luke release, though she took a bit longer than I’d expected, honestly. While she’s not the most thrilling release, it’s a design I like, and one that fits well in the style. She’s a good company piece for Luke, and perhaps we’ll actually get a proper ceremony Han at some point, just to round out the set. Until then, it’s a throw back to the ’90s with just these two.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3150: Fennec Shand

FENNEC SHAND

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

An assassin and elite mercenary, Fennec Shand has worked for all the top syndicates. Clever, capable, and cunning, she is not to be underestimated and is full of surprises

Though seemingly killed halfway through her debut appearance in The Mandalorian‘s first season, Ming-Na Wen’s charismatic bounty hunter Fennec Shand proved far too good a character for a throwaway role. A cryptic end of the episode teaser hinted at a possible return, and the second season would reveal that Fennec had been saved by none other than Boba Fett. After a few more episodes of The Mandalorian, she returned once more as a main character in The Book of Boba Fett, which was as good a spot as any for her to get some toy coverage.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Fennec Shand is the first figure in the Book of Boba Fett sub-line of Star Wars: The Black Series. She was part of the first assortment of 2022, alongside a bunch of non-Book figures. Thus far, she and the deluxe Boba are the only figures under the branding. The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and she has 30 points of articulation. The articulation is standard for modern era Black Series. Her sculpt is all-new. It’s a pretty solid offering. The head sculpt has a respectable likeness of Ming-Na Wen, as well as matching pretty well with the design for the character. The body sculpt is a nice, clean recreation of her show design, with respectable proportions and sharp detailing. The paint work on Fennec is a good offering. The base work is all fairly cleanly applied, and her face makes alright use of the face printing. It seems a touch offset on all of the copies I’ve seen, but not so bad as to look too wonky. Fennec is packed with her helmet and her sniper rifle, which features a removable strap. The helmet fits well on the head, and she can hold the rifle nicely and securely.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I liked Fennec from her first appearance, and I was very glad when she returned on the show, as well as with her follow-up on Book. Her figure took its time getting here, but I feel she was worth the wait. Not everything is perfect, but she’s very cool, and another great addition to the growing Mando cast.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3120: Death Watch Mandalorian

DEATH WATCH MANDALORIAN

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“An extremist clan that attempted to take over Mandalore during the Clone Wars, the Death Watch Mandalorians are tenacious warriors embracing the ancient traditions of their people”

The first “mainstream” follow-up to Boba and Jango Fett in terms of depictions of the Mandalorians in Star Wars was in The Clone Wars, where the terrorist group the Death Watch appeared as antagonists of the Republic forces, attempting to take Mandalore back to its warrior roots.  The Watch took on a number of different forms over the course of the series, as they took over control of Mandalore, and eventually had their own splintering following Darth Maul’s machinations within the Watch.  Though the Watch are classically seen as antagonistic, The Mandalorian casts a slightly different light on them, placing them in the role of a young Din Djarin’s savior’s during the Clone Wars.  Well, at least one of them, anyway.  Since their appearance in the flashbacks in Season 1, the live action incarnation of the Death Watch has been slowly finding its way into toy form.  Today, I’m taking a look at the Black Series version.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Death Watch Mandalorian is figure 21 in the Mando-sub-set of Phase IV of The Black Series.  He’s both the final Mando themed figure in this assortment, as well as the final overall figure in the assortment.  He’s the fifth army builder to come out of The Mandalorian, as well as the third time we’ve gotten some form of Mando Warrior army builder in Black Series.  He’s based on the Mando that saves Din during his flashback in the Season 1 finale, but all of the other Mandos in that sequence appear to be wearing the same armor, so it works as any of them, really.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  His articulation structure is about what you’d expect for an armored figure in the modern incarnation of the line.  He’s got quite of mobility, and can generally pose pretty nicely.  There’s a little bit of restriction at the shoulders and hips, but other than that, everything’s pretty great.  This figure is sporting an all-new sculpt.  At first glance, he appears to share the head/helmet with Boba, but this one’s actually a single solid piece, with no actual underlying head.  There’s a chin and such sculpted under there, but it’s not fully designed.  I suppose there’s no real need for it to be a separate piece if there’s no chance of ever taking it off.  The rest of the body sculpt is pretty nicely handled.  The armor plates are separate pieces mounted in place, which gives it a nice, properly assembled feel.  The paint work on the Death Watch Mando is a decent set-up.  He’s much cleaner than a lot of Mandos, but that’s accurate to what we see on-screen; guess they had more time for armor upkeep in those days.  It’s a cool color scheme, which is rather unique.  I very much dig all of the blues.  The figure is packed with a larger blaster rifle and a small blaster pistol, which are both pretty fun pieces, as well as a jet-pack, which appears to be an all-new one, different from the others we’ve seen.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I dug the Death Watch look during Clone Wars, and I definitely dug the updated version of the design that showed up in The Mandalorian.  Given it’s short appearance, I wasn’t expecting to see it show up particularly soon, but it’s also not something I thought was entirely unlikely.  I liked the Clone Wars version that came out in 2020, but it was built on an old mold, so I was glad to see the all-new version show up here.  He’s a really solid, really fun figure, showcasing all of the advancements that Hasbro’s worked into this line in the last few years.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3119: The Client

THE CLIENT

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“A mysterious Imperial who keeps a low profile in a safehouse on Nevarro, the Client is the face behind an otherwise faceless bounty, an off-the-record assignment with a high value”

Yesterday, I discussed one of the instances of The Mandalorian bringing back characters from elsewhere within the franchise, but how about all those new characters it introduced?  During the first season, we got quite a few new recurring characters.  Showing up in the first episode and remaining confined to the show’s first year was “The Client,” a mysterious, unnamed former Imperial played by Werner Herzog.  Though certainly not one of the show’s action-oriented characters, he nevertheless added a distinctive quality to all of his scenes, which helped to really sell the show as its own thing early in its run.  And, surprising everyone, now he’s an action figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Client is figure 20 in the Mandalorian sub-set of Black Series‘ Phase IV incarnation.  He’s the second of the three Mando figures in this particular assortment.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is more on the restricted side compared to the rest of the assortment, but it’s kind of sensible, given that he’s by far the least action-y of the bunch.  He’s still got more than enough mobility to pull any of the poses you’d really need from him…well, apart from sitting down, since the jacket doesn’t really allow for that.  The Client’s sculpt is all-new, based on his look in the show.  The real selling point, of course, is the Herzog likeness, which is pretty strong.  Not quite 100% there, but close enough to be recognizable in context.  The body replicates his outfit from the show pretty nicely.  There’s a lot of texturing, and a few separate pieces, which gives him a lot of rather nice depth to his design.  The Client’s paint work is generally pretty decent.  As with most of the Black Series, he’s on the drab side, but appropriately so.  The one thing I’m really not big on is the flesh tone paint on the bald spot, which is rather jarring compared to the molded skin tone on the rest of the head.  I’m sure there’s a production reason for the choice, but it just looks weird as is.  The Client is packed with a tracking fob, a camtono (aka the icecream maker), and two stacks of Beskar.  The camtono is actually a really cool piece, with a removable lid and opening panels on the sides.  Absolutely thrilled to have this prop in this scale.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Client is one of those figures that I didn’t really think I needed before he was announced, and even after his announcement I was kind of 50/50.  But, upon seeing him in person, and seeing the cool accessory selection, I decided to jump on him.  He’s not the most thrilling figure, I suppose, but he’s well done for a non-action-y sort of guy, and when else are we going to get a Werner Herzog action figure, right?

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.