#1945: Val (Mimiban)

VAL (MIMIBAN)

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (HASBRO)

Conspicuously absent from the early product for Solo were figures of Tobias Beckett’s distinctive crew of smugglers from the beginning of the film.  Though their roles weren’t huge, both Thandie Newton and Jon Favreau delivered really strong performances.  Newton in particular was praised by the film’s writer as being “too good for her role”, and famously wore a dress bearing images of action figures of all of the Star Wars-verse’s black characters (I believe from her own personal collection, though I may be misremembering that) to the film’s red carpet premiere.  I hope she gets the chance to add her own figure to that selection!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Val (Mimiban) is part of the fourth series of the Solo line, which happens to be most actually Solo-themed assortment, and likely will prove the most difficult assortment to find in the long run.  What’s interesting about this Val is that, though she’s wearing the same outfit as her 6-inch counterpart, they’re listed as being from two different locals.  This one is billed as being from Mimiban, which isn’t quite accurate, since she was wearing an Imperial disguise while there.  I mean, she does *technically* wear this gear right as they’re leaving Mimiban, but it seems odd to list this one as specifically her “Mimiban” appearance, especially if there’s any chance at releasing versions of Beckett’s crew in their Imperial get-ups (please?).  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and she has 7 points of articulation.  Like a good number of the Solo figures, she has wrist joints included, which certainly make themselves handy.  She also has a much easier time keeping standing than her partner Tobias, which I’m certainly counting as a plus.  Her sculpt is a decent enough offering.  I’d rank it above Beckett in terms of detailing and accuracy, though I can’t say the likeness is one of their best.  Black Series Val was spot-on, but this one seems a little off.  Still, she’s certainly passable.  Val’s paintwork is, like the sculpt, definitely serviceable.  There are some slightly un-even spots, but for the scale, she’s really not bad.  The figure is packed only with a single blaster, just like her larger counterpart.  However, at the lower price and smaller scale, this is less of an issue.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Val at the same time as I grabbed Beckett, largely due to that whole thing with Walmart clearancing them out.  Admittedly, she’s a better figure than he is, but she had the misfortune of being added to my collection just a few days after I got the much more technically impressive Black Series release, which did sort of steal this one’s thunder.

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#1908: Val

VAL — VANDOR 1

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“A no-nonsense and occasionally prickly woman who is a crack shot with a blaster rifle, Val may be the most even-headed and capable member of Tobias Beckett’s ragtag crew of scoundrels.”

One week into my Post Christmas reviews, I’m going to be kicking off a theme week.  There was one large subset of gifts this year, and that subset was Star Wars: The Black Series.  So, for the first of my slew of Black Series reviews is going to be based on last year’s Solo.  I looked at Tobias Beckett back at the beginning of December, and now I’ll be moving onto his crew of bandits.  First up, the Zoe to his Mal, Val!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Val was released in the latest assortment of Black Series figures.  She’s figure 71, thereby making her the first figure in the line-up numerically.  Val is dubbed as being her “Vandor 1” appearance, which is the location of the ill-fated train heist that starts out the movie.  She’s got this look and the Imperial disguise, and this one’s the more character specific, as well as being the one that matches up with the prior Beckett figure.  Val stands 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Val’s sculpt is a unique offering, which is to be expected, seeing this is her only figure, with no prior variants or anything.  It’s a pretty solid offering.  The head’s likeness to Thandie Newton is very close, certainly closer than I’d expected based on early production shots.  The body does a good job of matching her proportions and appearance in the movie.  Unlike Beckett, who had some weird articulation worked awkwardly into the sculpt, Val’s is actually pretty cleanly worked in.  The movement on the arms is somewhat restricted by the tube thingies, but that’s not really the fault of the figure, so much as it is the character’s sort of odd design aesthetic.  That being said, the amount of movement they *do* have actually did surprise me somewhat.  Val’s paintwork is pretty standard for the line at this point.  She’s got the printed face, which continues to impress, and the application on her costume is clean and pretty eye-catching.  The use of clear plastic for the tubes and her goggles adds some nice dimension.  Val is packed with her blaster, which is a unique piece.  It’s a decent enough piece, though I’m a little saddened that she doesn’t have anywhere to keep it when not using it.  It also seems a little on the light side, especially given the slightly smaller stature of the figure. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Val was a combined gift given to me by my parents and my Super Awesome Fiancee.  There was sort of a bit of concern about her and her assortment-mates showing up in time for Christmas morning, but they were there waiting for me, so it worked out for me.  Val is a more minor character in Solo, but one I enjoyed nonetheless, and I’m pretty happy with her turn as a Black Series release, even if she is a little light on the accessory front.