Star Wars Black: Imperial Shadow Squadron (Target Exclusive) by Hasbro

Well, it didn’t take long to for Hasbro to repaint the Star Wars Black 6-inch Speeder Bike and Biker Scout. I just got around to looking at that set last week and now this new set landed on my doorstep. This new box is a Target Exclusive and contains black repaints of the Biker Scout and Bike along with a repainted Sandtrooper. Why? Because they’re SHADOW SQUADRON! I’m not usually up for these sort of repaints, but I happened to be online when this set dropped onto the website (it didn’t take too long to sell out) and I had a Target Giftcard with some monies left on it, so I figured why the hell not? Let’s check it out…

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It may be a special exclusive, but the box is still mostly black and featureless. It’s pretty similar to what we got with the Speeder Bike set only elongated to include the extra figure and weapons. The back drop is illustrated with a still from A New Hope where the Falcon was sitting in The Death Star’s hanger bay. Yup, these Shadow Troops are so damn stealthy we couldn’t even see them in the movie. Why did they have a Speeder Bike sitting on the deck there? Because… shut up! Anyway, the box is still collector friendly and I may just save this package to keep the figures in there because I’m not sure how well they will fit into my regular 6-inch Black display.

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Let’s start with the Shadow Scout and Speeder Bike. I just looked at the original versions of these things last week and so I’ll try to be brief. It’s obviously the same figure with a new coat of paint and the new deco consists of black armor with dark gray used for the bodysuit and the abdominal area. You also get some gray and silver paint hits to pick out the details in the sculpt and an Imperial insignia neatly printed on the left of his chest armor. The black alternates between a straight matte finish and some areas with bit more gloss. I really dig how the ankle holster and straps are painted to stand out from the boots. I’m really impressed with the way the deco on this guy came out.

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I’ll defer on a rundown of the articulation and just point you toward my review of the regular figure for that. The joints aren’t at all mushy and he is lots of fun to pose. And yes, he still comes with his little pistol and I did manage to avoid snapping the trigger guard this time.

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If the Shadow Scout impressed me, the new deco on the Speeder Bike absolutely wowed the hell out of me. I mean… damn. The paint finish on this thing is absolutely fantastic. Once again you get a couple different styles of black, both matte and glossy and the combination makes this piece really shine. Toss in some gray plastic and some silver paint hits and you’ve got a piece that pops like crazy. The Bike also comes decked out with Imperial insignia stamped on each side of the back and a smaller one dead center between the handlebars. If Hot Black Desiato, the lead singer of Disaster Area, owned a Speeder Bike, you could be damn sure this would be it! And yes, I like to think that Hitchhikers exists in the same universe as Star Wars.

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The handlebars are a bit warped on mine, but if I display it with the Shadow Scout riding it, it’s impossible to tell. It also comes with the same tringular stand. Yes, the stand still feels all soft and cheap as hell, but damn if it doesn’t work great and add some options to the display.

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Lastly, you get the Shadow Stormtrooper Commander looking equally dapper in his black and dark gray deco. This is actually a repaint of the Sandtrooper, rather than the straight Stormtrooper (yes, there are differences in those two sculpts) and he also comes with the pauldron. Once again the deco here just looks phenomenal. The deco still consists of a mix of matte black and slightly glossier black with the bodysuit in dark gray and some grey and silver paint hints to pick out the details in the helmet.. The pauldron looks exceptionally sharp with a matte black surface surrounded by a glossy border. I guess my only complaint here is that he didn’t get an Imperial insignia stamp. I think one would have looked good on his chest armor and that way my OCD wouldn’t be acting up over the fact that the Scout has one and the Stormy doesn’t.

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I think it would have been cool if Hasbro had included the holster for the E-11 blaster on this guy. No chance to add a functional holster to a figure should ever be ignored and doing so would have given us a cool hybrid Stormy that was unique for something other than his deco.

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The Shadow Stormy comes with his E-11 Blaster and you also get the rifle that came with the original Sandtrooper and the one that came with the original Stormy. The E-11 comes in the Shadow Stormy’s hand, but the rifles are mounted between the figures in a community pot, so I guess they’re up for grabs. I seem to remember in the Battlefront games the Biker Scouts were also snipers, so I’ll likely give him one of the rifles.

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This set retails for $50, which is pretty damn good considering the Speeder Bike and Biker Scout alone went for $40. Between free shipping, a 5% Redcard discount, and some scraps left on a Target gift card, I netted this set for $30. I thought when I got it I would feel like a sucker for buying the ubiquitous “cool” black repaints, but once I got these toys open and out of the box I knew I did the right thing. By every right, this set should have been nothing more than a quick and dirty repaint cash grab, but I have to give it to Hasbro, they did a really nice job on it. Sure, they exist because they’re black and black Imperial armor look bad ass, but it genuinely feels like care was put into the re-deco and a lot more that was put into some of the regular stand alone figures… I’m looking at you Prequel Obi-Wan!

 

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