Hey, it’s a Saturday bonus feature! Why? Because I’m getting buried in new stuff and I really need to start getting caught up… so let’s talk some Star Wars…
Even after countless attempts I could never really get into The Clone Wars series, so I didn’t expect much from the new series, Rebels. Maybe low expectations were a good thing, because I’ve managed to stick with it through all five episodes and while the show has been hit and miss, I overall think it’s a fun and mostly harmless expansion to the Star Wars Universe. I think the best thing I can say about it is I genuinely like the characters and if you’re trying to get me to watch a show, that right there is more than half the battle. You know what else is half the battle? Actually getting the figures out on the pegs when the show premiers. Unfortunately, Hasbro seemed to miss that memo, but more on that in a minute.
If you aren’t familiar with the Mission Packs, they’re basically two packs of figures that feature the retro style 5-points of articulation. Hasbro has been producing these figures alongside the regular Star Wars lines, but it looks like this will be the only style of 3 3/4” Rebels figures for now, although some of the characters will be available single carded. This pair comes carded on a Stormtrooper style card with an insert showing character art for each of the figures and the new Star Wars Rebels logo up at the top of the card.
The back has a very brief blurb about the characters as well as a picture of most of the crew of The Ghost. Where’s Hera? Maybe she stayed on the ship when that photo was taken. Anyway, you’ll notice the bottom of the card shows other Mission Packs and all of them are characters from the Star Wars films and not Rebels and that’s because even after half a dozen episodes of the show, nobody seems to know when the line will hit the toy aisles. I know some people have found the vehicles at TRU as well as a three-pack including Kanan and Ezra, but I’ve yet to see them anywhere and this pack came from Amazon. And now rumors are percolating that most of the figures won’t be out until next year. Whaaaa? Anyway, enough about toy politics, let’s rip this pair open and check them out, starting with Zeb.
Zeb is a new species of alien from the Star Wars Universe called a Lasat, and I took a liking to his character after just a couple of episodes. If he looks familiar that’s because he’s based off Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept art for Chewbacca. A good deal of the Rebels art design is coming from unused and re-purposed McQuarrie designs and I like that a lot. You want to know something else I like a lot? This figure!
The animated style of the show transfers really well to action figure format and that’s especially the case with Zeb here. The sculpt is really well done, especially the portrait. There isn’t as much sculpted detail in the body, but that’s keeping in line with the animated look. The paint is also quite good. There’s not a lot of slop and the “shark” style logo on his shoulder armor is particularly sharp and clean. My only gripe about the quality is that there’s a good deal of mold flashing on my figure’s left foot. I had to clean that up with a razor.
Zeb comes with his weapon in its rifle mode. The weapon can convert to a few different configurations in the show and yeah it would have been nice to get all three in the pack, but maybe we’ll see those later on down the line.
And then there’s the Stormtrooper. I absolutely love the idea of releasing Mission Packs with one main character and one army builder. I know that Sabine will be coming in a similar pack. If Hasbro released the whole crew like this, I would happily by them to get myself an instant squad of these Stormtroopers. While the helmet is stylized to fit the show, the body looks pretty normal and the retro Kenner vibe that I’m getting off of this figure is palpable. Not palpatine… just palpable. Obviously there’s not a lot of paint on this guy, but what’s here is nice and sharp. In fact, the paint is a lot cleaner than what I saw on my Star Wars Black 3 3/4” Stormtrooper.
Naturally, the Stormtrooper comes with his E-11 blaster!
Articulation is exactly what I said earlier, you get five points on each. The arms rotate at the shoulders, the legs move forward and back at the hips and the heads turn. I can see this for what it is… cost cutting, and yet I have to say I kind of dig the retro feel on these and some of the other Mission Pack Star Wars figures. They may not be as fun to play with, but they do display great when lined up on the shelf and are probably less prone to avalanching than the more articulated figures.
I really dig these figures a lot and I hope Hasbro can get their act together and get more on the pegs soon, because I’m in for the whole crew. It’s too bad that they couldn’t have Street Dated the line for the launch of the cartoon. I also have to say that the way Hasbro is distributing these figures has me all sorts of confused. Some are in Mission Packs, some are bundled with ships, some are single carded. Are they all the same figures? Will a Kanan that I get in a two-pack be the same as a single carded? Will Zeb here be available as a single carded? The whole push behind these figures feels like a convalesced mess. C’mon, Hasbro, you’ve been marketing Star Wars figures for decades now. How did you drop the ball on this launch so badly?
Ok, time for me to go enjoy the rest of the weekend. I’ll be back Monday to keep the Star Wars goodness rolling along with a look at Star Wars Black 6-inch Scale Chewbacca!