#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.

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#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.

#1676: Enfys Nest’s Swoop Bike (w/ Enfys Nest)

ENFYS NEST’S SWOOP BIKE (w/ ENFYS NEST)

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (HASBRO)

“The Cloud-Rider gang led by Enfys Nest terrorizes the skies atop their mean-looking swoop bikes.  Little more than engines with seats, swoops are hard to control but capable of incredible speed.”

Alright, Solo is officially out today!  …I haven’t actually had a chance to see it yet, and probably won’t be able to until after the weekend, but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep right on reviewing the toys!  I’ve taken a look at some of the “heroes” (a loose term, given it’s a heist film) from the movie, but how about looking at one of the film’s villains, the mysterious Enfys Nest, leader of the Cloud-Rider gang (a gang who, fun fact, originated in a comic from 1977; pretty nifty, right?).  Next to nothing is known about Nest, including gender, so this will certainly be an interesting review.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

Though Enfys Nest is very much the title-part of this set, the actual main focus is Enfys’s swoop bike.  Now, this is actually not the first swoop bike I’ve looked at on this site.  The first came from the Shadows of the Empire line in ’96, and it’s been a little while since then.  That one was definitely more on the conservative side as well, which can’t so much be said about this one.  The bike measures 9 inches in length, and is 3 3/4 inches tall and it’s highest point.  There aren’t any moving pieces on the bike, but as a hover bike, that’s not a huge shock.  The all-new sculpt on this bike is pretty impressive.  There’s quite a bit of detail work, especially on the main body.  I was impressed by how small and intricate a lot of the work was, and the fins and such don’t feel too heavy or clunky.  There’s a nice flow to this vehicle.  My only concern is one of construction; it’s a very frail design, and in some spots, especially the front half, it can feel like it’s going to fold in half if you look at it funny.  I’ve had no issues with it as of yet, though.  The paint work on the bike is pretty decent stuff, and it’s certainly a step up from the last swoop I looked at.  While it’s not exactly real-world level detailing, there’s some definite effort that’s been placed into making it look pretty convincing, and it’s not as bland as some vehicles can be.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Obviously Enfys Nest’s Swoop Bike is going to include an Enfys Nest figure, right?  It’d be a little odd if it didn’t, right?  I mean, that’s what I think.  Anyway, Enfys here is so far exclusive to this particular pack.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall measuring to the top of the head (it’s a more even 4 if you count the horns), and it has 7 points of articulation.  Like Qi’ra, Enfys has wrist articulation, presumably to make piloting the bike a bit more manageable.  Enfys is another new sculpt.  I was surprised by how slight of frame he/she is, but after double checking against some shots from the movie, this is actually pretty accurate.  Overall, I like the sculpt, but it’s ever so slightly hindered by being designed to go in the bike. The limbs are all angled out a bit, and the feet are somewhat pigeon-toed.  Just standing around, Enfys looks a little bit awkward.  On the plus side, the armor and such has been translated quite well.  Enfys has a unique look, and that’s been captured here.  The mixed medium on the cape with the sculpted shoulders is an interesting way of handling it, and probably the most sensible, since the figure is meant to be able to sit, and I can’t really see a plastic cape accommodating that.  Enfys’ paintwork is decent enough, though this is certainly a figure that would benefit from a little bit more work in the accenting department; that armor really should be a bit grimier than it ends up here.  Still, it’s far from bad.  Enfys is packed with a staff, which is pretty sensible, since the character is seen carrying it in pretty much all of the promotional stuff we’ve seen.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set was procured at the same time as the Range Trooper, during my third round of Solo purchases.  It was one of the items I was most looking forward to, since I rather like Enfys’s design.  The bike is fine for what it is (I’ve got a lot of speeder bikes, so one more isn’t really going to blow my mind or anything), and the figure’s certainly passable.  I can’t say this is my favorite of the items I’ve gotten for the movie (that would probably be Han’s Land Speeder), but for the price and the scale, I’m happy with it.

#1672: Han Solo’s Land Speeder (w/ Han Solo)

HAN SOLO’S LAND SPEEDER (w/ HAN SOLO)

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (HASBRO)

“Han is cagey about where he scored this overpowered M-68 land speeder, saying little beyond that its previous owner no longer had need of it.  The M-68 is a design from the ancient Core World of Corellia, now a principal starship production facility for the Galactic Empire.”

This week sees the release of the latest entry in the Star Wars franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story.  The film’s been the source of its share of controversy since day 1, with its entire premise being based around re-casting a very prominent pop-culture icon.  The firing of its initial directors a good way into production didn’t help either.  Of course, the replacement director is Ron Howard, and he’s pretty top-notch, so I’m trying to go in with an open mind.  Anyway, I’ve got some of the toys, and I’m kicking things off with the main man himself and one of his vehicles.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

Since he doesn’t yet have the Falcon at the time of this new movie, Han’s got a few different toys.  If Star Wars has taught us anything, it’s that before a main character can get a space ship, they have to have a land speeder of some sort.  Han gets one that’s more of a sports car than the one that we saw Luke driving in the first movie, but that sort of fits his character, right?  Anyway, Han’s Speeder was part of the new Solo product launch, as a mid-sized vehicle (it’s at the same price point as the A-Wing and Canto Bight Police Speeder from The Last Jedi).  There’s less assembly on this guy than on other vehicles, with just the back tail fin needing to be popped into place.  The speeder measures 9 1/2 inches long by 5 inches wide.  It’s got no articulated parts, not even the steering wheel, which was a little disappointing, but not incredibly surprising given other vehicles in this range.  As far as scaling goes, this is definitely the least scaled down of all the modern Star Wars vehicles, and going by what we’ve seen from the film, it looks like it’s not terribly far off from the intended size.  The sculpt is, of course, unique, and does a respectable job translating the design from the film, which looks to be a decent melding of the Prequel and Original Trilogy sensibilities.  I like it a lot.  Paint’s kind of basic, but it gets the job done, and there are at least a few cool dings and scrapes to make it look a bit more “real.”  The speeder has an action feature built into it.  There’s a spring under the driver’s seat, and it pops up when the front of the speeder is depressed, as if in a head on collision.  I’m guessing this is related to something that happens in the film, but time will tell.  The only real downside of this feature is the use of rubber for the front of the speeder, as I’m not quite sure how that will hold up long-term.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Included with the vehicle is your main character, Han Solo, in his new, non-Harrison-Ford-y form.  This figure gives us a slightly different look than the standard jacketed look we’ve been seeing most places.  It looks to match the vehicle, though, which makes sense.  It’s a different look, though, and I quite like it.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has the usual 5 points of articulation.  His sculpt is new, but I’m going to assume the head’s probably shared with the other 3 3/4-inch Han figures from this line.  It’s a decent enough match for the actor, though clearly not at the same level as the larger Black Series figure.  The body’s a pretty decent piece as well.  The vest is separate, and can be removed if you so choose, though he’s definitely not designed with that in mind.  His legs are a little boxy for my taste, but for the most part, his proportions and build do seem pretty realistic.  Han’s paintwork is about par for the course on this line.  Its clean overall, and the important details are all there.  They’ve attempted some dirt detailing on his boots, but it really just looks like paint splatters.  Han is packed with a blaster, which is curiously different from his usual model.  He has no holster for it, but he can hold it well enough.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My first stop looking for Solo product yielded only the Black Series Han, and no small-scale offerings.  My second stop was more successful, but it was on this second stop that I discovered that to get a smaller Han, you’re pretty much locked into at minimum a $30 purchase.  Given the choice between Han and the new Force Link reader and Han and a Speeder, I felt the speeder set was the better value.  Going by what I’ve seen on shelves, I’d say most fans agree with me.  This is a pretty fun set, provided you’re into this style of line.  If you liked the small vehicles from TLJ, you’ll like this one.  If you’re looking for something less toy-etic, this might not be for you.

#1558: Swoop Vehicle

SWOOP VEHICLE (w/ SWOOP TROOPER)

STAR WARS: SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE (KENNER)

“The Empire’s broad reach has included thousands of planets in the galaxy. With such a vast territory to police, the Empire often pays bounty hunters huge sums for the capture or elimination of certain “wanted” individuals. The mercenaries favored by the Empire are expert trackers and assassins, dangerous individuals who are highly intelligent and extremely skilled in both weapons use and air combat. A preferred vehicle of many of these elite bounty hunters is the swoop, a brawny speeder craft most often associated with gangs and outlaws such as the Nova Demons and the Dark Star Hellions; its toughness and incredible speed make it a perfect mount for bounty hunters.”

For the most part, Shadows of the Empire’s focus was placed on our recognizable heroes and villains, filling in a few gaps in their personal stories.  Totally new concepts weren’t a huge piece of it.  Sure, there were the likes of Dash and his ship the Outrider, but they were really just quick concepts thrown together to replace a popular character who couldn’t actually be in the story.  There were a few more original concepts, but mostly off to the side, such as today’s focus, the Swoop speeder!

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

Following in the vein of Return of the Jedi’s Speeder Bikes, here’s the Swoop.  It’s sort of the chopper of the galaxy far, far away, I suppose.  Of the three vehicles offered in Shadows of the Empire packaging, this is certainly the smallest.  It’s about 6 inches long and stands 2 1/2 inches tall.  The cannon on the side swings up and down, but beyond that there’s no other moving pieces.  Not a shock on a vehicle of this nature, though, and its not like the design really allows for them.  It’s a decent enough design for a bike in the Star Wars ‘verse, matching up alright with what we’ve seen in the movies, while also not being a total retread.  The sculpt is fairly well rendered, albeit perhaps not as intricately as some of the actual movie designs.  It lacks some of the smaller details that sold that whole “used future” aspect of the franchise.  Still, it’s a visually intriguing design, and it fits well with the rest of what Kenner was doing at the time.  The paintwork on the bike is pretty solid stuff.  A lot of red and silver, but it looks good, and there’s some pretty cool accent work on the larger sections of the bike.  Smaller details are handled via decals instead of actual paint.  The decals are fine, but they are a bit less advanced than the sort of thing you’d see now, thereby making them rather obvious.  That said, the bike certainly looks better with them than without them.  The bike includes a missile for the cannon, which has a spring-loaded feature.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Included with the Swoop is its own dedicated pilot, simply dubbed the “Swoop Trooper.”  Very original name there.  The package proudly boasts that this figure is exclusive to this particular set, and, unlike a lot of Kenner/Hasbro’s “exclusive” pack-in figures, it actually stuck for this guy.  I’d guess that’s largely due to his obscurity…and reminder, this is a Star Wars figure I’m taking about here.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  The bike pilots all got extra articulation at the knees, which I was always a fan of, though he does end up losing the waist joint.  This figure also has a different neck joint; instead of the usual swivel joint, he’s got a hinge sort of thing, which allows him to look up and down instead.  The same joint had previously been used on the Biker Scout from the main Power of the Force II line, and, while I don’t mind it, it certainly made a bit more sense on that figure than it does on this one.  The Swoop Trooper’s design was, of course, created wholesale for the Shadows of the Empire event.  It’s alright, but, like a lot of the Shadows designs, it doesn’t necessarily fit the classic Star Wars aesthetic, instead falling into more typical ‘90s comics design concepts.  It’s certainly not a bad design, but I can’t say it’s a favorite of mine.  Still, it’s a decent sculpt of a decent design.  I certainly appreciate the presence of some shared armor elements between this guy and some of the other troopers (namely the knee pads from the Biker Scout).  In terms of paint, the Trooper is a bit of a step up from the bike, since there’s a bit more going on.  I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the assortment of browns, as they aren’t a super thrilling combo.  That said, application is all pretty clean, and he looks respectable enough.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Swoop bike was a rather recent addition to my collection.  I missed a lot of the Shadows of the Empire stuff when it was new, so I’ve been piecing it together little by little.  I found this set at Lost in Time during their winter sale.  Since it was like $5, I figured it was worth it to finally grab it.  Not the most thrilling thing to come out of the franchise, but it’s another solid offering from Kenner’s ‘90s Star Wars output.

#1453: Spider Racer (w/ Spider-Man)

SPIDER-RACER (w/ SPIDER-MAN)

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (HASBRO)

Spider-Man: Homecoming hits physical media next week, and I’m definitely looking forward to giving it another watch.  It was an awesome film that felt a little bit crowded out this summer.  The actual film did great in theatres, but a lot of the tie-in stuff was scarce from day one.  I still haven’t seen the Legends figures in any substantial numbers, and while the more basic line’s coverage has been a little better, it still seemed a little small for a Spider-Man movie.  Back in May, I looked at one of the basic line’s takes on Spidey. I ended up picking up one more item from this line, though it’s admittedly not one directly aimed at my particular demographic.  So, without further ado, here’s Spider-Man driving a car!

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The Spider-Racer was a mid-sized offering in Hasbro’s basic Spider-Man: Homecoming toyline.  It was released fairly early on, right around the same time as the first four basic figures.  The racer measures about 8 inches long by 5 1/2 inches wide, and it has working wheels and a pop-out Nerf feature.  The overall construction of the racer is new to this particular item, and it’s fairly well-rendered.  The racer is pretty solidly put together, so it’ll hold up to fair bit of play, which is good, since that’s kind of the whole point behind an item like this.  Design-wise, it’s totally concocted from the minds of Hasbro’s designers, of course, but they’ve at least managed to create a vehicle that’s plausible as a real thing.  It’s got consistency in its design as well, so it doesn’t just look like a bunch of random elements tacked together.  There’s a bit of an old-style Formula 1 race car look to it, mixed in with a little bit of the Tumbler from Batman Begins.  It’s hardly the most original thing ever, but I dig it. Throughout the body, there’s lots of little details that add a bit more character to the racer.  I appreciate that they didn’t just leave large chunks of this thing totally smooth and featureless.  The racer’s a single-seater, which is a little bit of a letdown if you’re like me and you want to put a couple of alternate reality Spideys in it for a cross-dimensional adventure, but seems reasonable enough within the confines of a movie-based-racing-centric-solo-hero-vehicle.  The latter’s probably a little more marketable than the former, so I can’t really blame Hasbro on this one.  Paint on the racer is pretty straightforward.  Lot of red and blue, which are the Spider-Man colors and all, so that makes sense.  It’s obviously on the toyetic side of things; it’s not like anyone will be mistaking this for a real scale model of a car or anything.  The application is all pretty clean, and the colors are fairly eye-catching.  One of the selling points of the Spider-Racer is its Nerf feature.  There’s a small Nerf gun built into the left side of the vehicle.  Press it in and it pops out, and then you can shoot a Nerf dart.  There are two Spidey-themed darts included, but only one can be loaded at a time.  It’s a mildly amusing feature, but not particularly powerful.  Since it’s Nerf, though, I did go ahead and get a few words from the FiQ’s resident Nerf-Expert Tim.  Here’s what he had to say about it:

“So, if there’s one defining thing Peter Parker does, besides the whole spider thing, it’s invent stuff.  And take photos.  And get bullied in school, but the inventing is the main thing. That’s why it’s a little disappointing to see that he chose to equip his car with one of the lamest Nerf mechanisms ever.  When you load the dart in the barrel, you press back on the collar piece around it which primes the blaster to fire.  It’s super compact, probably more so than even the Jolt and that means it can at least fold away neatly into the side panel of the car.  It’s the same setup we’ve seen on the Rogue One vehicles and that one Build-A-Saber lightsaber set and it wasn’t great then either.  Sure, it gets the job done, but it might have been nice to see a more  creative solution, especially given who’s driving.”

THE FIGURE ITSELF

A car’s no good without a driver, and by extension, a Spider-Car’s no good without a Spider-Driver.  Fortunately, this Spider-Car does have a Spider-Driver, in the form of an included Spider-Man Spider-Action Figure. Spider.  The figure is very much on the basic side.  He’s about 5 1/2 inches tall (the same scale as the other basic figures) and has 5 points of articulation.  The articulation is less than the other standard figures, but it’s enough to get him seated in the car and holding the controls, and that’s really all this figure needs to do.  Spidey uses the same head and torso as the standard Homecoming Spider-Man, with new arms and legs.  It’s a fairly decent sculpt. Nothing ground breaking, but the costume is translated pretty well here and the proportions look decent enough.  He’s even got all of the proper texture work!  The paint on Spider-Man, like the Racer, is fairly straightforward.  Basic color work with clean application.  At least he doesn’t have any of the weird flaking paint issues the he Homemade costume had.  This figure doesn’t have any accessories, but he’s really just an accessory himself, so it’s excusable here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: “why’d you buy this, Ethan?” To explain that, I need to give a little history lesson.  Back in the ’70s, Mego was producing their World’s Greatest Super Heroes line.  The Batmobile was a strong seller, so they decided to give all of the big heroes their own themed vehicle.  This included Spider-Man, whose Spider-Car was sort of worked into the comics, albeit in the rather tweaked form of the Spider-Mobile.  The Spider-Mobile’s picked a sort of a cult following over the years (in no part due to some rather brilliant uses by Spider-Man scribe Dan Slott), and I’ve always been a fan of it, as goofy as it is.  So, I saw this on the shelf this summer, in the midst of trying desperately to find Marvel Legends, and it just called to me.  It’s not some amazing piece of unskippable merchandise, but it’s pretty amusing, and will at the very least hold me over until Hasbro releases an official, comics-accurate, Marvel Legends-scaled Spider-Mobile with a Spider-Ham pack-in figure.  Please?

#1422: Resistance A-Wing (w/ Resistance Pilot Tallie)

RESISTANCE A-WING FIGHTER (w/ RESISTANCE PILOT TALLIE)

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

“A longtime reliable fighter model used by the Resistance that dates back to the struggle between Empire and Rebellion, the A-Wing is a nimble, wedge-shaped fighter propelled to incredible speeds by large twin engines.”

I’ve looked at one of The Last Jedi’s new vehicle designs, but like its predecessor The Force Awakens, it’s also borrowing from the Original Trilogy’s sizable bank of pre-existing vehicles.  Today, I’ll be looking at another of those returning vehicles, the A-Wing fighter.  The A-Wing’s actually had a fair bit of play recently; not only is it returning in TLJ, but a prototype version of it was also fairly prominently featured in Star Wars: Rebels.  That translates to not one, but two toy versions in the last year.  I’ll be looking at the most recent version today.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The A-Wing Fighter is one of two smaller-sized vehicles released on the Force Friday launch of The Last Jedi line (the other was the Canto Bight Police Speeder). Like the Ski Speeder, assembly is rather minor for the A-Wing.  The thrusters need to be popped into place, as do the side cannons, but that’s it.  It should be noted, however, that once you put this sucker together, it’s not coming apart.  At all. Moving on: once assembled, the fighter’s about 11 inches long and 7 inches wide.  The ship features an opening hatch and  a small landing leg, which swings down out of the ship’s front.  The A-Wing is sporting a brand-new sculpt, based on it’s updated design from the new film.  The ship isn’t too terribly different from the A-Wings of the past; same basic design elements and everything.  In general, it’s just a little bit longer and thinner than prior A-Wings.  The sculpt is pretty decent overall.  It’s in keeping stylistically with the other vehicles we’ve gotten in the last few years.  The details aren’t the sharpest ever, but they’re decent for the scale and price.  Speaking of scale, the A-Wing is the least down-scaled vehicle I’ve looked at yet from the new movies.  There’s still a tiny bit of tweaking to keep it at least believably in scale with the rest of the vehicles, but it’s hardly noticeable.  What is rather noticeable is the way the cockpit connects to the rest of the body.  It’s not particularly subtle at all, and it’s rather different from how the hatch looks to work on the actual ship. It doesn’t ruin the ship or anything, but it’s rather annoying all the same.  On the plus side of things, the paint wis fairly decent on the A-Wing.  The blues and reds are vibrant, and the edges show off some nice wear and tear, which gives the ship a nice used feel.  I do feel a nice wash would go a long way towards helping to further sell this used look, but what’s there is definitely solid.  The A-Wing has two main play features.  There are two missile launchers, mounted on each side of the ship, which use the standard spring-loaded schtick, as well as the current-standard ForceLink feature.

RESISTANCE PILOT TALLIE

Included with the A-Wing is one of its pilots, a Resistance fighter named Tallie.  That’s all I’ve got on her.  I have no idea if she’s prominent in the film or if she’s just another Goss Toowers in the making, but I do know she’ll be flying this ship at some point in the film.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and she has the standard 5 points of articulation.  Design-wise, she’s rather similar to Paige, which I suppose makes a degree of sense.  I had initially assumed most of her tooling was shared with Paige, but a comparison of the two in-hand shows that, while they do share certain elements to their sculpts, it doesn’t appear that these two figures actually have any parts in common with each other.  Being that the two sculpts are still very similar, I do rather like this one, same as with Paige.  The details are nice and crisp, and have a nice realistic look to them.  Her helmet is permanently attached to her head, which is a shame, since I really dug the two removable helmets on the basic pilots.  On the plus side, they did at least have the good grace to mold her visor as a separate piece, so it can be translucent and thereby avoid another appearance of the infamous banana visors of TFA.  I appreciate that they went to the effort of putting a whole face under there, and the helmet is at least nicely detailed.  Tallie’s paint work is fairly standard stuff.  Mostly just basic color work.  There’s a bit of slop here and there, but nothing terribly noticeable.  The best work’s on the helmet, which even gets some smaller details to keep it interesting.  Tallie is packed with a standard small Resistance blaster, in a very dark brown.  Yay for variety of colors?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I hadn’t initially planned to grab this one on Force Friday.  I tend to skip vehicles at launch, and I was already breaking that rule by getting the Ski Speeder.  Surely I couldn’t also grab another vehicle, right?  And I didn’t.  Well, not at Toys R Us, anyway.  But then we went to Target, and Super Awesome Girlfriend (who had gotten there before me) wandered up with this set in her hand and said it was the last one they had.  That, plus Target’s “Spend $100 and get a $25 gift card” promotion, helped convince me to get this one.  It’s not the most exciting item I picked up on Force Friday, but it’s a decent ship with a decent pack-in figure, and I can’t ask for much more than that.

#1417: Resistance Ski Speeder (w/ Captain Poe Dameron)

RESISTANCE SKI SPEEDER (w/ CAPTAIN POE DAMERON)

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

“An older design predating those of the Rebel Alliance, these low-altitude, high-power ski speeders use a stabilizer strut to keep balance when zipping across alien terrain.”

The Star Wars franchise has a history of introducing fun new vehicles with just about every installment.  The Force Awakens didn’t do this as much, preferring to stick with variations of some old favorites, as a call-back to the older films (I didn’t mind).  The Last Jedi looks to be meeting somewhere in the middle, giving us both old favorites and some new designs.  I’ll be looking at one of the newer creations (though, if the bio’s any indication, that’s not the case “in universe”), the Ski Speeder, which looks to be the standard Resistance transportation following the trailer’s ominous hints at the destruction of their old fleet sometime during The Last Jedi’s runtime.  Hasbro’s offering a small-scale version of the vehicle, packed with ace Resistance pilot, Poe Dameron!

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The Resistance Ski Speeder was one of the launch items for The Last Jedi’s Force Friday II event.  It’s a C-Class-sized vehicle, and is the only one of its size at launch time.  Time will tell if that’ll change later.  In terms of assembly, this vehicle’s a bit easier than the last few vehicles.  Pop on the right wing, the stabilizer strut, and a  blaster cannon and you’re good to go.  When fully assembled, the vehicle measures an impressive 18 inches long and stands about 5 inches tall when sitting and about 8 inches when the strut is fully extended.  In terms of moving parts, there’s the landing gear, which drops out of either wing, as well as a very small rotating gun on the left underside of the cockpit.  There is *not* an opening cockpit hatch; it’s open-topped, which does appear to be accurate to the film.  The Ski Speeder is sporting all-new tooling, based on its film design. Though they may be a new design, the Ski Speeders definitely take influence from earlier ships, most notably the Rebel B-Wing, which it should be noted is one of my favorite OT ships.  I tend to like this design, as impractical as it would be in real life.  From what we’ve seen of the Ski Speeder, this toy does a respectable job of translating it into plastic.  Like a most recent SW vehicles, the Speeder looks to have been scaled down a little bit from its on-screen counterpart.  It doesn’t look to be as expensive as the AT-ACT or even the Resistance X-Wing, which is likely due to the ship’s more feasible size.  The details have also been slightly simplified, so as to better fit the line’s overall aesthetic, but once again, it seems to be a less drastic change than we’ve seen previously.  There’s still quite a bit of detail on this thing.  Paintwork on this vehicle is a step up from recent vehicles.  It’s still not quite up to the level it used to be from Hasbro, but there’s a bit of weathering and such, which keeps it from being too dull.  There’s a few action features built into this ship, though nothing particularly obtrusive.  The most obvious is are the two missiles which can be launched from the central engine.  The stabilizer strut serves as a handle, and there’s a trigger at the top of it.  It’s essentially a big gun.  Shame that they went back to hard plastic missiles; this would have been a perfect place for Hasbro to work in some Nerf.  It would literally just be a Nerf gun.  The second feature is a detaching wing.  When you press the turbine at the top of the engine, the right wing springs off, in a similar fashion to the wings on the TIE Fighter.  I’m guessing at least one of these ships is losing a wing in the movie.  The final feature is the ForceLink feature, which looks to be the same basic concept as with the figures.

CAPTAIN POE DAMERON

Oh, he’s a captain now, is he?  That’s new.  I think.  I mean, I don’t know what his rank was before, if there was one.  I’m assuming this is a promotion.  Good for Poe.  This figure gives us Poe in his casual gear from The Last Jedi.  Since he gave his awesome leather jacket to Finn in the last film, he was in the market for a new one.  Now he’s got this snazzy dark brown jacket, which makes him look not unlike Han from the last film.  Or the Fonz.  I guess cool guys have a consistent look.  I’m not complaining.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  The sculpt is all-new to this guy; nothing re-used from any of the prior Poes.  The proportions are all well-balanced, and the detail work is all quite sharp.  I dig the texture on the jacket.  We’ve gotten yet another stab at an Oscar Isaac likeness on this new head sculpt.  It’s not awful.  It’s closer than earlier attempts, I think.  His cheeks are definitely too pronounced, which makes him look ever so slightly like a young Al Pachino, but his not terribly far off.  Maybe they’ll get it by Episode 9.  One thing I think is probably helping this figure is the paint, which is a step-up from the last few figures.  I did have to pick through a few sets to find the one with the best work, but they did seem a bit sharper in general this time.  There’s still a bit of slop around the wrists, but that’s a minor issue.  Poe’s packed with his blaster pistol (the same one included with several Poe figures), as well a headset, or as a like to call them: “Beats by Rey.”  Yeah, I went there.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s no secret that I’m a pretty big Poe fan. Ever since the first images of this set leaked, I knew it was going to be at the top of my list.  It was actually one of the few items I didn’t find the week prior to Force Friday, which bummed me out initially, but less so in the end, since I wasn’t able to buy anything then anyway.  This set was the very first item I grabbed on Force Friday.  I almost got stepped on to get it, but them’s the risks you take, right?  The ship’s pretty fun and I look forward to seeing it in action.  Honestly, I kind of bought this for the new Poe figure, and he didn’t disappoint.  Now, knowing my luck, he’ll end up released on his own in like a month.  Still, this is one of my favorite items I picked up this time around.

#1396: Rapid Fire Imperial AT-ACT

RAPID FIRE IMPERIAL AT-ACT (w/ SERGEANT JYN ERSO, AT-ACT DRIVER, & C2-B5)

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE (HASBRO)

“A larger version of the standard combat AT-AT, the AT-ACT walker features a dedicated cargo bed for the transportation of heavy building materials or combat munitions. It was deployed at major Imperial construction projects, such as shipyards and sprawling research installations.”

Toy Fans can be a bit stubborn and short-sighted sometimes.  There’s this innate inability to see that not every product is aimed at them, and that adult collectors only make up a very small fraction of the target audience of any given mass produced line. This means that there’s whole chunks of product not meant for us in the slightest, or at the very least, items that are designed with kids in mind first and adult collectors second.  After going pretty hardcore into the adult collector sphere for a while, Hasbro has shifted their Star Wars product into a more toy-etic form, in an effort to maximize sales and appeal to the new generations of collectors being brought in by the franchise’s newest films.  The new product has been an overall success for Hasbro, but some of the more hardcore sections of the fanbase have been less than pleased.  There’s been a lot of crying foul, particularly when it comes to the various new vehicles, which have proved quite divisive.  One of the most divisive was today’s item, the Rapid Fire Imperial AT-ACT.

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The AT-ACT is part of Hasbro’s Star Wars: Rogue One line.  It was released about a month or so after the first big product launch for Rogue One.  As with the two X-Wings and the TIE Fighter, there’s a bit of assembly required when you open up the AT-ACT.  The the legs, small blaster stalks for the head, and the cargo bed are packed separately from the main base body and head, and they need to be snapped into place (which takes a fair bit of force, let me tell you).  Once fully assembled, the AT-ACT stands 16 inches tall and 12 inches deep.  That’s far from accurate scaling for the 3 3/4 inch figures, which was a point of contention for some collectors.  It should really be twice the size at least, if not even larger, since the AT-ACT was even larger than the AT-AT.  To give a frame of reference, there’s a shot in Rogue One of an X-Wing fighter flying through the open cargo hold of one of these things.  At best, you can probably get one of the old Action Fleet X-Wings through there.  That being said, at the current size the AT-ACT’s large enough to dwarf just about everything else in a collection, all while keeping it to a manageable size for production and storage purposes.  Could it have been larger? Perhaps, but for most people it’s not going to make a huge difference, and this is hardly the first time a Star Wars vehicle has been underscaled for a toyline.  The sculpt on the AT-ACT does a decent enough job translating the film design into plastic form.  The important details are all there, and it matches aesthetically with the vehicles from Force Awakens and the like.  There’s a little bit of cheating in a few spots (such as the slightly larger head relative to the rest of the body) which has been done to maximize playability with the basic figures, but the overall appearance is still fairly close to the source material.  When it comes to playability, there are two main spots that you can place the figures.  Obviously, there’s a spot in the cockpit for the driver.  While the film’s design has spots for two drivers, this one’s just got space for the one.  This is in part due to the down-scaling, but also due to offering storage space for the four Nerf darts used by the firing feature, which I’ll touch on in a little bit.  The other main spot for figures is in the main body’s removable cargo bed.  It’s actually a pretty neat bit; the sides fold down on both sides, revealing a nicely detailed interior, as well as a plethora of footpegs to hold figures in place.  There are even spots for the troopers to stow their rifles, which is a cool touch.  The bed can be removed and deployed as a cool little base or installation, which also reveals the interior of the AT-ACT proper.  There are even more details, as well as two panels that flip up to reveal footwells that can be used for standing space or additional storage.  Paint is minimal on the AT-ACT, but not entirely absent; there’s some minor work throughout, and it’s all pretty decently applied.  There’s also a sheet of decals to pick up some of the slack, and those work pretty well too.  The AT-ACT is packed with three figures (which I’ll look at in just a second) as well as a cannon and a zipline, both of which can be plugged into either the main body of the vehicle or the cargo bed.  A major selling point of this set was the two included action features.  To make use of the features will require four D batteries.  Both play features can be accessed using the various buttons on the AT-ACT’s back, which can be a little difficult to use.  Fortunately, the AT-ACT is Bluetooth-enabled.  You can download the “Star Wars: Studio FX” app to your phone and use it to control the AT-ACT remotely, which is a lot of fun.  Onto the actual features!  The first feature is the walking ability, which is pretty decent.  It’s slow, and this thing definitely needs to be on a flat, uncarpeted surface to work best, but it’s an amusing feature.  There are a number of associated sound effects and such, which help to sell the feature.  There’s also a head movement capability worked into this, which is a little difficult to really get working, but nice nonetheless.  The second feature is the titular “rapid fire” feature, which replicates the AT-ACT’s blaster capabilities through use of Nerf mechanics.  There are four included Elite-style Nerf darts to use, and I find the feature to be generally pretty amusing myself.  Don’t take my word for it, though.  Here’s a word from the FiQ’s resident Nerf expert, Tim. Quoth Tim:

“With such an extensive history of military manufacturing such as G.I. Joe, Nerf, and Furby, it’s not surprising that the Galactic Empire contracted Hasbro to help develop weapons like the ones seen on the AT-ACT.  The dart cannon in the walker’s head is optimized for size, using a greatly miniaturized version of the tried-and-true flywheel mechanisms seen in blasters like the Stryfe.  The cannon uses a gravity-fed, 4-round magazine and an electronic pusher to feed the darts into the itty bitty flywheels, producing some rather hilariously flaccid results especially after the ominous revving noise that precedes each shot.  Also, just as a fun side note, if we can assume the darts are in scale with the pilot figure, the full size projectiles would be almost 4-1/2 feet long.”

SERGEANT JYN ERSO

The first of the three included figures is the film’s leading lady, Sergeant Jyn Erso.  As the main character, I suppose it makes sense to pack her in again, and they were undoubtedly trying to avoid the issues caused by leaving Rey out of the Millennium Falcon from TFA.  That being said, I don’t believe Jyn ever actually interacts with an AT-ACT in the film, so her inclusion does seem a little bit out there.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and she has 5 points of articulation.  She uses the same sculpt as the Jedha variant of Jyn from Series 2 of the main line.  Of course, I never got that figure, so this one’s new to me.  It’s a pretty decent sculpt, and I think I like this one more than the Eadu version.  The likeness to Felicity Jones is definitely improved.  The paintwork also appears to be a step-up from the single-carded released.  The basic colors are all the same, but the application is a lot sharper, and she’s also got some extra detailing on the legs, indicating she’s been running around on Scarif’s beaches for a bit (not that it happens in the final film, but hey, let’s go with it).  It’s a little on the heavy side, but it looks decent enough.  Jyn is packed with her blaster, which is painted silver, rather than molded like the single releases, which looks a lot better.

IMPERIAL AT-ACT DRIVER

The AT-ACT isn’t going to get very far without someone to drive it, right?  Well, as luck would have it, the second figure included with the AT-ACT is the Imperial AT-ACT Driver.  This is easily the most sensible of the three figures included.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has the usual 5 points of articulation (though the hips are a bit limited).  The larger scale AT-ACT Driver was a total parts re-use, but I don’t think that’s the case here.  He’s definitely got some similarities to the basic Shoretrooper, but there are enough subtle differences between the two to illustrate that they aren’t made from the same molds.  It’s a little weird that they aren’t the same sculpt, though, because the AT-ACT Driver has some slight inaccuracies to his design that would totally come from sharing parts with the Shoretrooper.  Most glaringly, the skirting on his belt; the driver should have the same style of belt as the Hovertank Driver, but instead he’s got the Shoretrooper skirt, just painted the same color as the pants.  It’s an odd choice.  The other problem with the presence of the skirt is that it impedes the movement on his hips.  Normally, I’m not a huge stickler about such things, but given that this figure’s whole purpose is being able to sit in the cockpit of the vehicle he was included with, it’s more than a little annoying.  In terms of paint, this guy is fairly decent.  Like the larger scale figure, he uses the deco of the AT-ACT Commander, as denoted by the grey on his shoulders.  Where the larger figure kept the dark brown and bone white of the Tank Driver, this figure goes for a more straight black and white scheme.  It’s not terrible, just different.  The figure includes a large blaster rifle, which is the same one included with the two Scarif Troopers.

C2-B5

I can’t say I know much about ol’ C2 here, given its complete lack of presence in the final version of Rogue One.  There were a few potential endings floating around, I suppose it’s possible C2 played a role in one of those.  Or, perhaps Hasbro just really wanted to put an astromech in this set.  It’s Star Wars.  It wouldn’t be right if they didn’t get an astromech droid in there somewhere.  This figure’s about 2 1/2 inches tall and has 3 points of articulation.  C2’s a head-to-toe repaint of the Mission Series R2-D2 (which was re-released for Force Awakens as well).  It’s a pretty standard astromech sculpt, so that’s reasonable.  It’s a shame it couldn’t have been one of the slightly better articulated R2s, but they’re undoubtedly going for consistency here.  Instead of the usual R2 colors, C2 is done up in a more imperial dark grey and silver.  Not a bad look, though perhaps not the most exciting color scheme.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was intrigued by this set when the Rogue One product started hitting, but the initial $300 price tag was just too much for me.  Rather quickly after the holidays, Target started marking it down to $150.  At that price, I was very much tempted, but my finances at the time didn’t really allow me to drop that much on one item.  I mentioned it to my parents, but that was kind of the end of it.  It disappeared from shelves, and I convinced myself that I hadn’t really needed it that much.  Flash forward to my birthday this year, when I unwrapped this.  Apparently, mentioning my interest in it to my parents was *not* the end of it.  My mom went out the very next day and bought this, and then they hung onto it for six months.  This thing got a lot of flak from the fanbase, and perhaps some of it was deserved, but this is a really, really fun toy.  I’m definitely very happy to have it!

The Blaster In Question #0017: Motofury Rapid Rally Set

MOTOFURY RAPID RALLY

NITRO

One of the most prominent trends in Nerf marketing is the considerable groundswell surrounding the release of a new type of ammunition.  It happened with Vortex, it happened with Elite darts, it happened with Accustrike.  This makes the substantial lack of hype for the new Nitro series curious.  Ok, maybe not that curious once you realize that Nitro is doing something completely different from the Nerf dart blaster lines.  That something is cars.  I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really grabbed by the premise of Nitro, but the launchers themselves were similar enough to the dart blasters that I was willing to give it a try, so today I’m looking at the Motofury Rapid Rally set.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

The Motofury Rapid Rally set was released in 2017 as the flagship of the Nerf Nitro line of car launchers.  It uses a flywheel system to fire the foam cars, much like any of the numerous flywheel Nerf blasters, however, it only uses a single wheel as opposed to the pair of wheels seen in blasters.  I guess in a sense, you could say this is the Stryfe of the Nitro line, but the comparisons really stop after the use of flywheel propulsion.  As with all of the Nitro launchers, the underside of the launcher is flat and designed in such a way that prevents a car from being fired if its not on a flat surface.  At least, that’s the idea.  It’s not difficult at all to press in the rev switch on the bottom of the grip with one hand while holding the launcher with the other, although I’m not really sure why you would want to.  It should be pretty obvious that cars handle rolling along the ground much better than being unceremoniously chucked through the air.  Keeping its intended position in mind, the Motofury feels solid in the hand, or rather, on the floor.  This is the only of the Nitro launchers to use a detachable magazine to feed cars into the firing mechanism as well as the only electronic launcher.  It does feel a little weird getting prone on the floor in order to shoulder and aim the launcher as instructed, but there’s nothing stopping you from launching cars from a regular seated position.  Speaking of aiming, the Motofury features a flip up sight for maybe aiming, I guess.  It’s just a single sight with nothing else to align it with so it’s effectively useless, but you do feel a little like a sniper lining up a shot if you bother with the sight at all.  For the most part, launched cars travel pretty straight and at high enough velocity to be fun, but not enough that you’ll hurt anybody or damage anything.  One complaint I have with firing the cars is that there is a considerable delay between when the trigger is pulled and when the car actually exits the launcher.  For someone used to the quick, snappy response of Nerf blasters, this delay can seem like a misfire and pulling the trigger again before the first car has been launched can result in a jam fairly easily.  The MotoFury requires 4 AA batteries to work and comes with 9 cars in 3 styles, and a 9-car magazine.  Now that would be fine and dandy if it were just the launcher, but what makes this a set is the extras that come with it.  Included in the box are 4 red barrels, 4 crates, 4 tire stacks, a high jump ramp, and a long jump ramp.  The random obstacles are pretty plain.  You can set them up and crash cars into them and that’s about it.  The ramps, however, are quite fun as they dramatically affect the trajectory of cars that reach them.  As you can imagine, the long jump ramp makes the cars fly pretty far through the air and the high jump ramp gives them considerable height.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This was an impulse buy for me.  I was at a local TRU with my boy Ethan looking for any of the newest wave of Nerf blasters.  I didn’t find any of them, but there was a sale specifically for Nitro products.  I was curious about the line and the extra 20% off was enough to get me to pick up the Motofury and I’m glad I did.  It’s not a Nerf blaster, but it’s a lot of fun.  I don’t see myself getting any more Nitro after this, so I don’t mind splurging just a little to get the top of the line.