#3211: Iron Man Mark 47 & Happy Hogan

IRON MAN MARK 47 & HAPPY HOGAN

MARVEL MINIMATES

Tying the movie more closely into the universe that spawned it, Spider-Man: Homecoming leans a fair bit on Iron Man and one notable member of his supporting cast.  Not only does Peter work directly with Tony Stark on a number of occasions, but long-term Iron Man supporting cast member Harold “Happy” Hogan also gets his largest roles in the MCU as part of its Spider-Man trilogy.  As a Happy Hogan fan since way back when nobody knew who Happy Hogan was, I’m all about that.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Iron Man Mark 47 and Happy Hogan were the TRU-exclusive set for the Spider-Man: Homecoming tie-in assortment of Marvel Minimates.  Due to weird licensing, the Spidey and non-Spidey characters supposedly couldn’t actually cross over in the tie-ins, so these two are isolated off on their own.  It’s not the worst thing, though, since, you know, the two of them do kind of tie together…even if Happy and Tony don’t actually interact while Tony’s in Iron Man mode.  Still, it’s really not that weird.  I’m making it weird.  I’ll stop.

IRON MAN MARK 47

Iron Man’s no stranger to Minimates, especially not when it comes to the MCU.  This was his 72nd Minimate overall and his 31st MCU-based released.  This one’s based on his briefly used suit from Homecoming, which was itself inspired, at least in terms of coloring, by the Ultimate version of the character from the comics.  The figure is based on the standard post-c3 base body, and as such is about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He features an add-on for his chest plate, as well as unique pieces for his upper arms and hands.  All of the non-standard pieces were new to this figure, which is mostly surprising because this armor was really just a quick recolor of the Mark 46 in the movie, and the Mark 46 minimates all just used the Mark 42 tooling again.  These parts are a lot less clunky, though, and generally follow the sleeker design of the armor, so I generally appreciate them.  Additionally, this figure has the interesting change of not getting a helmet piece, and instead just using the standard head.  I’m not entirely sure why that was the way they went, but it’s not a terrible look.  The paint work on this guy is pretty decent.  The metallic red is super slick, and all of the line-work is nice and sharp.  The figure is packed with a flight stand and a clear display stand.

HAPPY HOGAN

Believe it or not, this isn’t the first Happy Hogan Minimate.  Heck, it’s not even the first one I’ve reviewed on the site.  In fact, with this release, I’ll have a review of every Happy Hogan figure there is.  That’s commitment.  Or crazy.  Or there’s only three of them, and it’s ultimately nothing.  Happy has add-on pieces for his hair, jacket, and tie.  The hair piece is re-used I’m pretty sure, but it’s a solid match for Favreau’s hair style in the movie.  The jacket and tie are the World of the Psychic Venkman jacket and Spirit tie combo that they rocked for a while there, which is a pretty good set-up.  The paint work includes an improved likeness from the IM2 release, as well as actual detailing for the belt, which is pretty nifty.  Happy is packed with a clear display stand, which isn’t a lot, but it’s something.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had to get kind of picky with what I was buying when these were first released, so I had to skip them, on the basis that I didn’t really need another Iron Man variant, and I already had one Happy Hogan.  But, then TRU was going under, and things were marked down, and I didn’t have this specific Happy Hogan, so, you know, I went for it.  Mark 47 is an improvement on the over designed nature of MCU Iron Men at the time, and I do really like that.  Happy is an improvement on the prior version, and I can definitely dig it.

#3201: Homemade Suit Spider-Man & Vulture

HOMEMADE SUIT SPIDER-MAN & VULTURE

MARVEL MINIMATES

Through all of the iterations of cinematic Spider-Man, we’ve gotten a respectable coverage of his rogue’s gallery.  To the credit of, pretty much all of them, really, they do a good job of avoiding doubling down on anyone of them too much.  For the MCU’s first outing with the character, they chose to highlight one of the character’s oldest foes, and in fact his oldest foe to be adapted into live action, the Vulture.  I’m taking a look at the Vulture, as well as a variant of Spidey from the movie today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Homemade Suit Spider-Man and Vulture were one of the shared sets between specialty Series 73 and the TRU-exclusive Homecoming tie-in series of Marvel Minimates.

HOMEMADE SUIT SPIDER-MAN

Despite not being all snazzy, and not being the main focus of all of the marketing, Peter Parker’s homemade Spidey suit (seen very briefly in Civil War before getting its full focus in Homecoming) becomes his primary suit during the film’s final act, making it the natural pairing to go with the film’s main villain.  The figure is based on the standard post-C3 base body, so he’s about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He makes use of three add-on pieces, for the hood and the two gloves. The hood is re-used from TRU Series 21’s Spider-Gwen, and is a decent enough match for what he’s got in the movie.  It’s also easily removed if you don’t want the hood pulled up look.  The gloves appear to have been new pieces.  They’re pretty cool looking fingerless gloves.  It’s hard to go wrong with fingerless gloves.  The pant work on this Spidey is pretty decent.  The base work is nice and clean, and the line work hits all of the important notes. The figure is packed with a webline and a clear display stand.  Same as it ever was.

VULTURE

Michael Keaton’s Vulture is the best part of Homecoming, which is an awesome thing to say, considering that it’s generally just a really solid movie.  But Keaton really stands out.  His figure makes use of 7 add-on pieces, for his helmet, jacket, wings, gauntlets, and leg gear.  All of the add-ons were all-new to this release.  They’re generally pretty decent.  Perhaps a little bit on the rudimentary side in terms of detailing, and the wings might be more fun if they were separately articulated.  But, the look is definitely covered, and he at least looks unique.  His paint work is reasonable enough.  Like the sculpt, he’s a little soft in terms of the detailing, but the face under the helmet’s at least got a pretty solid likeness of Keaton.  In order to facilitate seeing the face, he’s got an alternate hair piece, as well as both a flight stand and a standard display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was in a trickier financial spot in 2017, so I didn’t get much in the way of new stuff, especially in terms of Minimates.  So, instead of buying these new, I wound up getting them a year later, during TRU’s going out of business clear out.  Homemade Spidey is a respectable variant, and he’s decently rendered for the style.  Vulture’s not the line at its greatest, and perhaps suffers a bit from over sculpting, but he’s also not bad.  Just sort of average.

#3196: Spider-Man & Shocker

SPIDER-MAN & SHOCKER

MARVEL MINIMATES

After making his MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man was granted a solo-outing in short fashion with 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming.  As a Spider-Man movie, it was, predictably, pretty well covered on the merchandising front.  That included an assortment of Marvel Minimates which had, up to that point, not missed an MCU showing (they lost that run when Far From Home was the first MCU film they skipped two years later).  Today, I’m looking at one of those sets in the form of Spider-Man and Shocker!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Spider-Man and Shocker were one of the two shared sets between specialty Series 73 and the TRU-exclusive Homecoming tie-in series of Marvel Minimates.  Seeing as it was the set that included the standard version of Spidey, it made a lot of sense for it to be a heavier packed one, so that tracked.

SPIDER-MAN

The first of the four Spidey variants for the movie tie-ins was the standard Stark-tech Spidey suit.  It’s a solid updating of the classic Spidey costume, with just a little bit of MCU-flair, and I’ve always found it to be a strong design.  The figure is built on the standard post-C3 Minimates body, so he’s about 2 1/4 inches tall and he’s got 14 points of articulation.  While most standard Spider-Men are just vanilla ‘mates, this one gets two add-ons for each of his wrist-mounted web shooters.  They were new pieces, which are fairly nicely handled.  The paint work is where this figure really shines….well mostly.  The entire figure is painted, which gives him a nice consistent finish.  The line work is nice and sharp, and captures all of the important details of the costume, adapting them quite nicely into ‘mate form.  The one notable downside on the paint is the upper arms, which get all of the proper line-work, but don’t have any blue detailing on the inner side of the arm.  It just abruptly changes color at the elbow, which looks super weird.  Kind of glaring, given the quality of the rest of the detailing.  Spider-Man is packed with a webline and a clear display stand, which is pretty standard fare for a Minimate Spider-Man.

SHOCKER

Though not the primary antagonist of the film, Herman Schultz’s Shocker makes his live-action debut as one of the Vulture’s crew in Homecoming.  He also got his second, and more than likely final given the shape of things at the moment, Minimate out of it, after a 9 year gap between releases.  Shocker gets three add-on pieces on the main base body.  He’s got a jacket piece with a sculpted hoodie hood beneath it, re-used from the Big Bang Theory Leonard, as well as a gauntlet piece, re-used from Crossbones.  Given that the gauntlet used by Herman in the movie is actually re-purposed tech, presumably from the same source as Crossbones, it’s a sensible choice of re-use.  Finishing up on the sculpted add-ons, he also gets the basic torso cap piece to extend the hoodie a bit.  The paint work on Shocker is generally pretty solid.  The likeness on the face is an okay match for Bokeem Woodbine, but perhaps not as strong as others from the same time period.  I do really like the quilting pattern on the arms, though; it’s very Shocker-y.  Shocker is packed with a clear display stand.  Not thrilling, but it’s at least something.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

2017 was not a year for me to be buying excessively, so I wound up passing on all of the Homecoming ‘mates at the time of their release.  Instead, I wound up getting this particular set during TRU’s shut down, when they were clearing everything out.  I was pretty glad to get the second chance on them.  Spidey’s largely pretty good, apart from the weirdness with the arms.  Shocker’s a little blander than Spidey, but he’s better than average.

#2331: Captain Phasma – Quicksilver Baton

CAPTAIN PHASMA — QUICKSILVER BATON

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Captain Phasma and a squad of elite First Order troopers capture Resistance heroes Finn and Rose, who have infiltrated Snoke’s flagship, the Supremacy. Before Phasma can eliminate them, a series of unforeseen events leads to a dramatic battle between Phasma and Finn.”

Poor Captain Phasma.  She had everybody on her side in the hype for the new movies and then it all just sort of fell by the wayside.  She’s not that bad a character, but I guess it’s hard to live up to those lofty fan expectations.  Lessened fan interest in the character, coupled with keeping more or less the same design from one film to the next meant that Phasma’s toy presence for The Last Jedi was seriously reduced.  She got one Black Series offering, offering a more scene specific look, which I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Quicksilver Baton Captain Phasma was originally intended as a Toys R Us-exclusive Black Series offering, set for release in mid-2018.  Guess what happened in mid-2018.  Yeah, there was a distinct lack of TRU to give the exclusive to (in the US at least; Canadian TRUs still carried this figure as their exclusive), so like the Zuckuss figure, Phasma was salvaged by Disney Stores for her US release.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and she has 24 points of articulation.  Given how her design didn’t actually change between the films, it not a huge surprise that this figure is largely a re-use of the previous figure.  She gets a new head, and swaps out the plastic cape for a cloth one.  I also got a slightly better range of motion out of the hips and shoulders on this figure, but that might be a figure to figure sort of thing.  The new head is designed to replicate the damage Phasma takes to her helmet at the end of her battle with Finn, so we get to see just a little bit of Gwedolyn Christie’s eye peering through.  It’s a pretty cool effect, as is the sculpted damage.  I also really like that they sculpted her head and helmet as separate pieces, further adding to the effect.  The cloth cape doesn’t quite have the same impressive appearance of the sculpted one, but it does make the figure a bit less of a statue.  Phasma’s paint remains similar to the last release, but she of course gets the added detailing on the eye (which is printed), as well as the scorch damage on her helmet and torso.  In addition to the gold blaster rifle included with the last figure, this one also includes the Quicksilver baton in both long and short forms.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I looked at this figure when it was new, but given the choice between Phasma and Zuckuss, there was really no contest, given the scene-specific nature of this particular figure.  I was evidently far from the only fan to make such a choice, and Phasma ended up getting clearanced, at which point she was cheap enough to get me interested.  She’s a nice figure, and honestly a better figure than the standard.  It’s a shame they didn’t do more with the character, but at least we got her from her best sequence.

#2008: Carrion & Scarlet Spider

CARRION & SCARLET SPIDER

MARVEL MINIMATES

Something new and something old.  Not an uncommon theme when it comes to Minimates, especially Marvel, where there’s a definite need to refresh some looks every so often, so as to both make them available for a newer audience and update some things to fit in a little better with more recent releases.  And hey, if a new character comes along for the ride, that’s not so bad either, is it?  So, with that in mind, let’s look at Carrion (the new) and Scarlet Spider (the old).

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Carrion and Scarlet Spider were part of the second to last TRU assortment of Marvel Minimates, Series 24.  The assortment was a sort of a mixed bag, with each set being a somewhat contained theme.

CARRION

He’s not the most well-known of Spider-Man’s foes, but Malcolm McBride, the second incarnation of Carrion, is a sensible choice for a Minimate, especially given his pack-mate.  The original Carrion (who had more or less the same appearance as this figure) was a defective clone of Miles Warren, better known as the Jackal, the mastermind behind the infamous “Clone Saga.”  Malcolm was also a prominent player in “Maximum Carnage,” meaning this figure fits right in with the Maximum Carnage-themed Series 76, so he’s just all around a pretty sensible choice.  Carrion is built using seven sculpted add-on pieces for his hood, pouch, loincloth, and two pieces each for the wraps on his arms.  The upper and lower arm wraps are re-used from Heihachi and and Jack Skellington, respectively, and the pouch is Kim Bauer’s purse from 24, because Carrion is super down for taking fashion advice from the similarly accessorized Green Goblin.  The hood and loincloth both appear to be new pieces, and they work well enough, though the hood is a little restricting to the head movement.  Carrion’s paintwork is clean and sharp, though perhaps not the most eye-catching look.  Pale yellow and purple isn’t a particularly appealing palette, but it’s accurate to the character’s comic appearance, so one can hardly fault DST for that.  The linework is actually quite nice on this figure, and does a solid job of capturing that early ’90s style of illustration.  For accessories, Carrion is somewhat on the light side, with only a flight stand and a basic display stand.

SCARLET SPIDER

Carrion’s great and all, but the main reason for most people to buy this set is Ben Reilly, aka the Scarlet Spider.  He wasn’t a stranger to Minimates, with his Spider-Man costume cropping up first back in Series 10.  A proper Scarlet Spider followed in 2007, as an FYE exclusive of all things.  A decade later, he finally got an update.  Despite his predecessor making use of no add-ons, this Ben Reilly has six of them, for his hood, belt, webshooters, and ankle pouches.  All of the pieces are re-used from elsewhere, and they for the most part do their job pretty much perfectly.  The only slightly off parts are the ankle pouches, which are actually knife sheaths with nothing in them.  There exist non-sheath ankle straps, so why these parts were used is anyone’s guess.  Ultimately, though, they sell the look well enough, so I can’t complain too much about their use.  Scarlet Spider’s paintwork is actually quite impressive.  In the comics, he was frequently shaded in a very dynamic fashion, and that’s the look this particular figure tries to capture, at least on the figure’s mask.  It’s a cool looking effect, and the sort of thing that really only works on a Minimate.  Scarlet Spider is packed with an alternate head and hair for an unmasked Ben Reilly (the first proper Ben Reilly head we’ve ever gotten), a webline, and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After a bit of a hiatus from Minimates, I picked this set up last year, at the very beginning of Toys R Us’s shut-down process.  It was actually a set I was looking for, which I was only able to find once TRU started pushing things out from their warehouses.  Carrion wasn’t really going to be at the top of anyone’s list, but it’s always nice to get a new character, and DST did a respectable job of translating him to ‘mate form.  Scarlet Spider was in desperate need of an update, and this figure really delivered well on that.  He takes every aspect of the old figure and makes it better, and results in a generally far more enjoyable figure.

#1793: Lucas

LUCAS

STRANGER THINGS (MCFARLANE)

Things have died down ever so slightly for Stranger Things in the hiatus between seasons 2 and 3.  I mean, I guess that’s pretty normal for such a show, but man was the merchandizing crazy during the Season 2 launch.  Anyway, while we all wait for Season 3’s arrival, there are still a number of figures out there just ripe for reviewing, including today’s offering, Lucas Sinclair!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Lucas, alongside Dustin, makes up one half of the second series of McFarlane’s Stranger Things line.  Admittedly, it seems a little odd to me that Lucas and Dustin jumped ahead of Mike and Will for the Series 2 line-up.  Mike and Will are both far more plot-important, and I do slightly worry with McFarlane’s track record that they may not get made.  Time will tell, I suppose.  In the mean time, let’s focus on the positive:  Lucas figure!  Lucas is sporting his Season 1 appearance, camo-headband and all,  meaning he matches up with the rest of the figures so far.  This figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  Lucas’ articulation style is essentially the same as Series 1’s Hopper, but he doesn’t quite suffer from the wonky-looking integration of articulation that Hopper did; it’s much more naturally placed for Lucas.  Lucas’s sculpt is definitely a strong one, perhaps the strongest of three figures I have from the line so far.  While the likeness on the face isn’t quite as spot-on as I felt Hopper’s was, there’s still definitely a lot of Caleb McLaughlin in there, and I think it’s enough to help clearly identify him.  The work on his clothing is definitely very strong, from the corduroy texturing on the pants, to the sharp detailing on the seems of his jacket, as well as the rather natural way the clothes have been sculpted to hang.  Lucas’ paintwork is definitely the best I’ve see so far from the line.  It’s clean, accurate to the source, and downright eye-catching, which is certainly a nice change of pace after the last two.  Lucas is quite nicely accessorized, including his backpack, a flashlight, his slingshot, a radio (with an extra hand for holding it), and a display stand.  The backpack is definitely the coolest of the bunch; I really dig the weathering on it.  On the opposite end is the slingshot, which is hard for him to hold, unpainted, and nondescript enough that I didn’t know what it was at first.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After picking up Eleven and Hopper back in February, I was definitely interested in getting more of these figures, but other lines took precedence, so I kind of fell behind.  Lucas was grabbed during TRU’s liquidation process, because why not?  And then, like so many of the figures bought during the summer, he just sat unopened for a good few months.  He’s actually been on the review schedule three times, and I just kept having to bump him because he hadn’t even been opened yet.  I’m actually a little annoyed with myself about that, because he’s a pretty solid figure, and I wish I’d figured that out a bit sooner.  Guess I’ll need to be tracking down Dustin now.

#1733: Negative Zone Spider-Man & Jack O’lantern

Before their demise last month, Toys R Us played a tremendous role in getting the Minimates brand into the hands of many new fans, as well as helping to introduce new licenses and bolstering the ranks of existing ones.  As with all things Minimates, by far the most successful of these ventures was with the Marvel license.  In the decade that they supported the line (well, the second time around, anyway), they put out 47 series and 6 boxed sets, with over 200 unique Minimates released therein.  That’s pretty darn impressive.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Negative Zone Spider-Man and Jack O’Lantern, comes from Series 25 of the main comics line of Marvel Minimates, which would prove to be the final TRU-exclusive assortment.

NEGATIVE ZONE SPIDER-MAN

Amongst the many zany properties of the Negative Zone is apparently the ability to create killer costume variants.  In addition to doing it for Spider-Man, it’s also done it for the Fantastic Four.  It’s a wonder Marvel hasn’t stuck a few more popular heroes through there to get some additional variants!  Negative Zone Spider-Man’s a variant that’s cropped up in other lines, but not yet been seen in Minimates, which is honestly a little bit surprising given how many Spider-Men we’ve gotten over the years (this one marks the 83rd, for those keeping count). Negative Zone Spider-Man is another vanilla ‘mate, so no add-on pieces here.  I much prefer this method of handling Spider-Men, so I’m happy this was the way they went. The important costume details are done via paint, which is applied very cleanly and is sharply defined, capturing his negative look from the comics very well.  It all makes for a very striking looking design, that’s also quite sleek.  As an added bonus, the head is almost a dead match for Agent Venom’s mask, should you wish to swap out the slip mask from the TTA set or turn your animated version into a comics one. For accessories, Negative Zone Spidey includes a webline (done in smokey translucent grey instead of the usual solid color; guess Spidey’s web-fluid was affected too), a Negative Zone effects base (a clever re-use of Invisible Woman’s forcefield piece), and the usual clear display stand.

JACK O’LANTERN

Jack O’Lantern’s a name that’s been held by four Marvel Super Villains.  None of them have ever really risen beyond second-string villain, but he’s got an intriguing design, so he’s gotten a few toys.  This marks his first Minimate, though.  This particular figure’s design is one that could equally work as original Jack O’Lantern Jason Macendale, or his immediate replacement Steven Mark Levens, and it could even work as Daniel Berkhart from before he re-designed his costume to become Mad Jack.  Point is, you’ve got options. Jack O’Lantern makes use of a unique pumpkin-shaped head in place of the usual cylinder.  At first glance I thought it might be re-used, either from Samhain or Pumpkin King Jack, but it’s a new piece.  He also has add-ons for the flame effect, and his flared boots and gloves.  It makes for a nice summation of Jack’s classic design, and the flames in particular work a lot better here than they have on the various Ghost Riders we’ve gotten over the years. Like Negative Zone Spidey, Jack’s paintwork is sharply handled, cleanly applied, and very bold and striking.  Traditionally, Jack’s color scheme is variations of green, rather than the green and black combo seen here.  However, differences in shading mean this general look has shown up on occasion, and it certainly looks very eye-catching. Jack O’Lantern is packed with a spare pumpkin-bomb-wielding hand, as well as his flying disk, a corresponding flight stand, and a standard clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up this set during TRU’s lengthy liquidation sales.  It was nearer the beginning, so they were essentially full price, but given how scarce Series 25 proved, I’m glad I got them when I did.  Negative Zone Spider-Man is far from an essential design, but as far as one-off variants go, he’s a pretty strong one, and quite a bit of fun.  Jack O’Lantern’s a fun lesser villain, and his Minimate lives up to all that fun, and even elevates him, crafting one of the best Spider-Foe ‘mates available.

#1725: Imperial Speeder (w/ AT-DP Pilot)

IMPERIAL SPEEDER (W/ AT-DP PILOT)

STAR WARS: REBELS

“AT-DP Pilots are elite ground vehicle pilots for the Empire. Equipped with unique armor, they are formidable opponents for all of the Empire’s enemies.”

While everyone else seems to have gotten in on the speeder bike game, our first taste of speeder bikes were property of the Empire.  They also had the absolute coolest variants of the Stormtroopers driving them, which was always a plus for me.  Rebels, which is set before the original trilogy, doesn’t make use of the Scout Troopers, but they do have their own unique pilots, which are pretty cool in their own right.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The Imperial Speeder was released as an initially Toys R Us-exclusive item alongside the main Rogue One product launch.  It was a more informal exclusive, though, since it bore no actual denotation of the status (and, of course, now it’s not an exclusive at all).  Unlike the last two sets I looked at, it just had the one release, likely due to it being a pretty simple re-skin of Ezra’s Speeder from yesterday.  The only difference between the two sculpturally is the addition of a cannon on the left side of this one.  It’s a little obtrusive, but I guess it mixes things up a little better.  The paint work is the main changing point here, as it’s done up in a much milder palette than the last, which is certainly much more pleasant.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Included with the speeder is the AT-DP Pilot.  No, the speeder isn’t actually called the AT-DP, he’s technically the pilot of another vehicle, who’s been repurposed.  His sculpt’s been re-purposed as well, being a reissue of the Saga Legends figure from back in 2014.  But I missed the first one, so I appreciate the re-release.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  The sculpt is probably one of the finest to come out of the Rebels subset of figures, being a pretty awesome translation of his on-screen design.  The detail work is crisp, and there’s actually a ton of smaller detail work, even for him being one of the animated designs.  His paintwork is a pretty straightforward recreation of the first figure’s paint, which was itself a good recreation of the colorscheme from the show.  It’s pretty clean overall, though it gets a little fuzzy at some of the edges.  However, since it’s all shades of grey, it’s not all that off looking.  The AT-DP Pilot is packed with a standard Stormtrooper blaster, should you want him to be doing something other than driving.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, unlike the last two sets, this is actually an item I fully intended to buy when it was new.  However, I never actually saw it at retail, and then I sort of forgot it.  Fortunately, it showed up in pretty high numbers at my nearest Toys R Us during the liquidation process.  I gotta say, it’s a pretty simple set, and not really anything new, but I really dig it.

#1724: Ezra Bridger’s Speeder

EZRA BRIDGER’S SPEEDER

STAR WARS: REBELS (HASBRO)

“Once a lone street urchin stealing to survive on Lothal, Ezra Bridger has been taken in by the crew of the Ghost and is now a determined freedom fighter who plays a critical role in the rebellion against the Empire. With the help of his master, Kanan, Ezra is well on his way to becoming a Jedi – he uses the Force to fight the Imperial opposition that threatens to destroy the galaxy.”

If there’s a competitor to Kanan Jarrus for the “main character” slot in Rebels, it’s his apprentice Ezra Bridger, who is essentially Aladdin in space.  Cool?  But, instead of a magic carpet, he’s got a speeder bike.  So, that’s different, I guess.  Let’s just review this toy already.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

Ah, yes, who can forget the eternally memorable, unmistakably distinctive…speeder owned by Ezra Bridger.  Okay, so I still haven’t actually gotten past more than the first season of Rebels, and I only watched it the once, so I don’t recall off-hand if this is actually in it.  I want to say it is.  But I doubt it’s a prominent fixture regardless.  Anyway, this set was part of the smaller scale vehicle releases that hit on the first Force Friday, alongside the Force Awakens products.  It was then re-released alongside the Rogue One product, which means it pretty much never, ever left store shelves.  The vehicle is about 6 inches long and stands about 2 inches tall.  It’s more of a basic seated bike than the ones from Return of the Jedi, which is fortunate given the reduced articulation of the figures.  It’s a pretty decent sculpt, slightly softer on the details like prior vehicles, but it’s not terrible.  It’s certainly sharper detailing than we saw on the Y-Wing yesterday, so that’s a plus.  The paintwork on the bike is certainly unique. Green and orange is quite a unique combo.  A hideous combo, but certainly a unique one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Obviously, it would be odd to release Ezra Bridger’s Speeder without an Ezra figure, so here it is.  Of course, as sensible as it may be in this particular case, he ends up in the same boat as the Kanan figure, since at this point we had a ton of Ezra figures already (and, like Kanan, there was a single-packed Ezra, released at the same exact product launch as this one).  That said, this is actually the first figure of him I’ve gotten, so it’s not a total waste.  The figure stands 3 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  The sculpt is largely the same as the first Rebels Ezra, but with the legs tweaked to add some pouches.  The sculpt does a respectable job of capturing the show design, and I think it’s a slightly better sculpt than the Kanan figure.  His paintwork is pretty clean, and pretty bright as well (this signifies that my figure is the later release; the earlier ones were rather washed out).  Ezra is packed with his lightsaber, which, unlike Kanan’s has a removable blade, which is pretty cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Kanan and the Y-Wing, Ezra and his speeder were picked up in the TRU liquidation sales.  I hadn’t really planned on getting it, but I didn’t yet have an Ezra figure, and this was the easiest way to get him.  While it’s hardly the most thrilling set, I can appreciate it for what it is.

#1723: Y-Wing Scout Bomber

Y-WING SCOUT BOMBER (W/ KANAN JARRUS)

STAR WARS: REBELS (HASBRO)

“Discover exciting stories of good versus evil in a galaxy of starships and vehicles. Armed with proton bombs and laser cannons, this prototype Y-wing Scout Bomber uses its rotating engines to provide enhanced maneuverability during flight.”

For the next entry in my week of Star Wars vehicles, I’ll be starting off a trend that’s going to finish out the week: Star Wars: Rebels.  Rebels had its own devoted line of figures back when it first started out, but it was sort of swallowed up by the recent movie toylines (which is how I acquired my rather modest collection of figures).  The main crew has each cropped up at least twice, with a few of them popping up a little bit more than that.  Kanan Jarrus is probably the most common, and he’s part of today’s review, alongside a variation of the Y-Wing.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The Y-Wing Scout Bomber was released as one of the mid-sized weapons in the Force Awakens toyline, and was re-released unchanged for the Rogue One line as well.  It’s a much smaller variant of the traditional Y-Wing from the original trilogy, with its roots in The Clone Wars.  The vehicle is actually an almost entirely re-used sculpt, from back in the Clone Wars days, but tweaked a bit to fit Chopper in place of a more standard astromech droid.  The ship is about 7 inches long by 4 1/2 inches wide, and stands about 3 1/2 inches tall.  The thrusters on the back are both posable pieces, as is the turret for the astromech droid.  Overall, it’s a very squat and compact ship, which isn’t perhaps as impressive as a more standard piece, but for the price point, it’s about what you’d expect.  The paint work on this piece shifts it more from a Clone Wars design to something closer to the Original Trilogy, adding in some white and yellow.  The details are a little sloppy in some spots, but nothing too terrible.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Included with the Bomber is the aforementioned figure of Kanan Jarrus.  Kanan is sort of the show’s lead, I guess, so his prominence in the toy form makes a little bit of sense.  What makes less sense is how many times they released him the exact same get-up.  This was the fifth time this figure was released, more or less.  This one has a slightly tweaked head with the head set, but that’s the only difference.  Most egregiously, there was a standard Kanan in the launch wave of the Force Awakens product, so he was hitting twice on that same day.  The fact that he was picked over the less oft-released Chopper, whom the ship kind of needs to look complete, is rather frustrating.  It’s not like anyone who needed a Kanan was missing him.  But I digress.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  He’s using most of the same sculpt used several times before, but with the new head.  It’s Kanan’s basic garb, which works decently enough.  The sculpt is softer than later releases, in part due to his animated nature, but also due to him just being a slightly older sculpt.  He’s still a pretty respectable looking figure.  Kanan’s packed with his lightsaber, which is a pretty cool piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kanan and the bomber is a set I saw very many times, but never picked up.  However, in Toys R Us’s last days, they had a bunch of these various vehicles for rather cheap, and I got sucked in.  Honestly, it’s not much to write home about, but it’s a decent enough toy, especially for the much lowered price.