Star Wars: Droid “Special Action Figure” Set by Hasbro

I’ve still been on a bit of a Star Wars kick lately, which mostly amounts to me finally getting around to opening some of the figures in my receivings stack and getting them featured here on FFZ. A couple of years back Hasbro released some neat tributes to the old Kenner three-packs with modern figures in the old style Kenner packaging. Yup, it was pretty much an extension of the Vintage Collection. At one point Amazon was selling these sets for six bucks and I said, “why not? I like droids!” and I tacked it on to one of my orders.

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Despite growing up during the heyday of the Kenner Star Wars Toy Age, I have no recollection of the original three-packs. I’ve seen them on collector sites and from time to time at Toy Shows, but I don’t think I ever saw these as a kid. Maybe I just wasn’t interested in them because I already had the figures. Anyway, the package consists of a vintage style Kenner card that sort of morphs into a window box at the bottom to display the three figures. It’s a great reproduction of the original package and deliciously nostalgic, but at the same time kind of bland because there’s very little artwork on the front. Nonetheless, it’s still plenty cool.

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The back shows all three of these recreated sets that Hasbro produced. I can’t vouch for the “Villain Set” but I’ve seen lots of photos of Kenner’s original “Droid Set” and the “Android Set.” Wait, Android Set? It’s got Chewie, R2, and 3PO, how does that constitute an Android Set??? Oh, never mind. The set we’re looking at today contains R5-D4, Death Star Droid, and Power Droid, and that makes it a nice tight set focused on the Jawa droid sale on Tatooine. Sadly, the packaging is not collector friendly as the bubble is still glued to the backing, so you’re going to have to do some damage to get these droids free.

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I’ll just take these figures in order going from left to right and that starts us off with R5-D4. The body of this mold has been around the block a couple times, starting out life as Vintage Collection R2-D2, and even this R5 is a straight repack of an earlier release, complete with the glued down front access door. Not that I’m complaining because I think this figure happens to be pretty great.

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He features the usual removable third leg, which is how I think the Astromechs should always be done in this scale. Hasbro, I love ya, but cool it with the third leg that’s tied to the head rotation. Oh wait, there’s still a head turning gimmick… D’oh! In this case the head is tied to a second antenna that comes out of his head. It’s a pretty crappy gimmick because you have to have R5 turning his head all the way over his shoulder to get it to stick up. Always with the head turning gimmicks, Hasbro, enough is enough, eh? Actually, I take that back. Give me an R5 figure that actually blows his top. That would be cool.

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The only discernable difference between this R5 and the previous release in my collection (other than the missing antenna) is the paint. This new release is much cleaner, particularly on the head and it doesn’t have the extra silver paint slop around the eyes. I’m not usually a fan of Hasbro’s attempts to dirty things up with paint, but in this case I actually like the weathered one better. Either way, this R5 is still a great figure and I’m glad to get another one.

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Next up, we’ve got Death Star Droid, also known as RA-7. For some crazy reason I was obsessed with the original Kenner Death Star Droid as a kid. I used to pair him up with R5 and they used to be the Imperial versions of R2 and 3PO and show up in all my stupid adventures. Old habits are hard to kick, and since then I’ve always tried to get whatever figures Hasbro made of this guy. After my Great Star Wars Purge, I only have two RA-7’s left, I thought this one would be another repaint of them, but not so! It’s a completely different figure.

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Yeah! Gotta love that funky purple RA-7. He’s from the Marvel Comic Pack with everybody’s favorite comic, The Jawas of Doom! But that’s a feature for another time. The biggest giveaway is this new figure’s enormous head, which I’m not all that keen on. I don’t know if it’s really more screen accurate or not, but it looks kind of ridiculous next to the other two Death Star droids with the more sensibly sized noggins.

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The other big giveaway is all the extra articulation. My other RA-7’s only have the five basic points plus swivels in their waists. This guy has ball jointed elbows, hinged knees, and a ball joint in the torso. Honestly, the added elbow articulation doesn’t really do much to enhance the figure, but at least with the knees he can sit down and take a load off. I’m pretty sure he was sitting down in the Sandcrawler, so that’s a big win to anyone looking to recreate that scene. Oh, and then there’s this…

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Yeah, he just pulls apart, which leads me to believe this figure is just a bunch of repainted Build-A-Droid parts. The new grey paintjob is pretty good and it makes him stand out among his two brothers. While he’s not quite the same without that bitchin’ chrome finish from the original Kenner figure, I still like this figure a whole lot. That’s OK, he’s still cool enough. And now I have a Death Star droid that can get blasted into a million pieces.

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And last up is the Power Droid. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Oh, crap… not another one of these stupid boxes on legs. Yeah, I have a couple of these Gonk Droids, so I wasn’t expecting much either. But it turns out this one is the only completely new figure in the set, or at least I’ve never seen him before. He’s a nice surprise because he looks pretty screen accurate and he doesn’t have any kind of stupid walking gimmick like previous releases. In fact, his legs just have regular hinges at the tops and at the ankles. I really dig the paint wash on him too. And then there’s this little surprise…

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Yeah, I already spoiled it in the earlier pictures, but it sure surprised the heck out of me. You can lift off the top and reveal his smooth and creamy caramel droid center. Actually he’s just full of droid parts. There’s some extra paint hits in there, but that’s a bout it. Ok, so after all the fuss, he really is just a box on feet and there’s not a lot else to say about this guy. But I still love him, dammit!

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I’m pretty sure these sets were originally Target Exclusives. That’s the only store I ever recall seeing them in and boy were they clogging the pegs for a long time. I remember scoffing at the original MSRP that put them at about $25 and they hung around the clearance endcaps for a while too. Yeah, for three figures, twenty-five bucks really isn’t that bad, and I wasn’t buying Star Wars at the time anyway, so it’s not like I was the intended audience for something like this. Somewhere along the way Amazon must have nabbed a ton of these because they still have them on sale. They’re not six bucks anymore, but they’re only ten, and at two-fitty a figure, that’s still a nice deal. Now I just wish I had forked up the money for that Original Trilogy Collection Sandcrawler so I can fill it up with all these nifty droids.

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Star Wars Black: Han Solo by Hasbro

Well, it sure took me a while, but today I’m finally wrapping up my look at Wave 2 of Hasbro’s Star Wars Black 6-inch series. In this case, I’m starting and ending with my two favorite figures in the wave. As amazing as Boba Fett is, I think Han here is an equally fantastic figure. But enough with the introductions… boring conversation anyway… let’s dive right in! swb6solo1 Yup, Han comes in the same black window box we’ve been seeing since Wave 1. With a collection of seven of these figures (don’t forget I skipped Maul!) I’m still keeping these in their collector friendly boxes on one of my bookshelves. As the collection grows, I may eventually have to deep six the packaging in favor of a tote or possibly give them their own shelf, but for now the boxes work great to display the figure as well as give me someplace to store the extra bits. And in the case of Han, there are indeed a fair number of extra bits. swb6solo2 swb6solo3 Han comes wearing his Stormtrooper belt, but we’re starting out with just the regular base figure. Obviously, this is “A New Hope” Han, which straightaway makes me a happy camper. I’m looking forward to completing an “The Original 12” in this line and Han brings me one step closer to that. But besides that, I really think Hasbro needs to be focusing on the most iconic characters from the Original Trilogy and once again Han fits that bill perfectly. He comes sculpted in his original smugglers outfit, complete with rumpled shirt, soft plastic vest, and high boots. You also get a choice of belts to change him from Cantina dwelling Han to Death Star escape Han, but we’ll get to those in a moment. First, let’s talk likeness… swb6solo4 Harrison Ford must be a tough actor to sculpt correctly because companies have been trying it for decades and few ever seem to get it quite right. Hasbro has had their wins and opps in the 3 ¾” scale, but even companies like Sideshow and Hot Toys have had their issues getting it just right on far more expensive figures. I can still remember having to pass on Hot Toys’ Indiana Jones, a figure I desperately wanted. In the end I couldn’t justify spending the money because the likeness just wasn’t where it needed to be for a figure in that price range. With all that having been said, I think the portrait on Black’s Han Solo is pretty solid for the scale and price range. A lot depends on which way you’re looking at him. It’s like all of the key features are in place, but at some angles it doesn’t always add up to Ford’s likeness. It’s not bad, though, and I’m pretty content with it. swb6solo8 swb6solo5 In terms of articulation, Han comes equipped with all the poseability I need in my outer space action hero. You get ball joints in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hips. The knees are double-hinged and the ankles are both hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in the chest that is really far down and close to his waist, and yet still provides a good degree of movement for the torso. Lastly, the neck is ball jointed and includes an extra hinge. swb6solo9 swb6solo11 And that brings us to the accessories. With two belts, two weapons, and an extra pair of hands, you get almost all you need to create Han at various points along “A New Hope.” Let’s start with his smuggler’s belt. Y’all know by now that I have a fetish for working holsters with my figures and this belt is a thing of beauty. It’s a bit tough to get on, as you need to point Han’s toe pretty sharply and work the thigh strap up his leg. The belt itself fastens with a peg in the back and there’s an extra strap that secures his pistol in place with another peg. It looks absolutely fantastic on the figure. My only concern is that the soft plastic is rather thin at some points and I worry a bit about it’s durability over time. Han is a repack in Wave 3 and I may wind up getting a case assortment just to have a spare Han in case the belt malfunctions. swb6solo7 swb6solo10

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Along with the belt Han comes with his trusty and iconic DL-44 Heavy Blaster. It’s a great looking piece and it fits perfectly in his right hand as well as in the holster. There’s not a lot else to say about it, other than I couldn’t stop taking pictures of him with it out and ready for action!

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swb6solo13 swb6solo16swb6solo17 swb6solo15Next up is the Stormtrooper belt, which comes with a functional holster for the E-11 Blaster. This belt is a lot simpler than his smuggler’s rig, but certainly no less welcome. It fastens with a simple peg and the Blaster fits perfectly into the holster on the back. The Blaster itself is just one sculpted piece, which is odd since the 3 3/4″ Star Wars Black Stormtrooper got one with an articulated stock. Still, I’d rather have one solid good looking piece than a wobbly one with soft moving parts, so I’m cool with that. The only thing left to mention are the extra hands, which are sculpted with Han’s fingerless gloves. I won’t scoff at extra hands, but I doubt I’ll ever even bother to put them on the figure.

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swbhsologrp Ultimately Han Solo here is exactly what I hoped this line would be, and he nudges out Boba Fett as my favorite SWB figure released so far. The figure definitely benefits from the scale change and you get a lot of cool gear and even the ability to create your own subtle variant. Han and Boba make for some nice bookends for what was a pretty solid wave for Star Wars Black. If Hasbro can keep populating waves with figures like Boba Fett, Han, and Greedo, they’ll get no complaints from me. Had Hasbro gone with “A New Hope” Leia over Slave Leia, this assortment would have been a perfect home run for me, but even that Leia was decent enough, and a triple play is nothing to sneeze at. And now that I’m current on the 6-inch Black series, next week I can start swinging back to the 3 ¾” Black figures that I have yet to open.

Star Wars Black: Greedo by Hasbro

I’m moving my way through Wave 2 of 6-inch Star Wars Black and our next stop is Greedo. I was a little surprised to see this character turn up so soon, but I’m all but guaranteed to buy any of the Original Trilogy characters that Hasbro deems worthy of this format. I was already pretty excited to get him, and the fact that he came in the same wave as “A New Hope” Han Solo definitely bumped up my interest even more. It also made me wish I had a 6-inch scale Cantina booth. Anyway, I was tempted to look at both Han and Greedo in the same feature, but I’ll have plenty to say about Han when he gets his turn, and as it turns out once I got Greedo out of the package, I thought was deserving of his own feature too.

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Speaking of packaging… here it is again: The Star Wars Black window box. I still love it, but I’ve got nothing new to say, so instead let me just take a moment to wax nostalgic about this guy. Greedo action figures and I go way back. I got my first one as part of the Kenner’s cardboard Creature Cantina set and I’m pretty sure I got a single carded version of him one Christmas because my parents bought a whole set of the figures that were at the store. Once “Empire Strikes Back” came out and bounty hunters were all the rage, I used my two Greedos as twin bounty hunters piling on in the search for Han. Later, I would use him as one of Jabba’s crooked accountants who embezzled money and was seeking asylum with the Rebel Alliance. I was a weird kid. I’m sure I’ve owned just about every subsequent version of him after that, including three or four of the POFT2 Greedos because there seemed to almost always be one of those thrown into every lot of Star Wars figures I ever bought off of Ebay. Hell, I bet if I dug through enough totes, I could still find one of those carded.

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And so, behold 6-inch Greedo. The first thing that strikes me about this figure is that Hasbro didn’t half-ass him. The sculpt is quite striking and detailed, whether you’re talking about the rumpling in his outfit, the lines of stitching in his vest, or the intricate little bumps on his Rodian head. The vest is made of soft plastic and is removable. He also sports a separate gun belt with a low slung functional holster on his right hip. The pastel colors of Greedo’s outfit appear to be pretty accurate, although the Cantina was so poorly lit it’s hard to tell for sure. I’ll give Hasbro the benefit of the doubt here. Everything here is just beautifully done, but if I had to find something to pick at, I’d say that Greedo’s vest could have used some weathering.

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The portrait is absolutely brilliant. The Rodians are among my favorite Star Wars aliens and this 6-inch scale really does him Greedo justice. Are the eyes the right color? Again, it’s hard to tell because of the Cantina lighting, but they look fine to me. The familiar contours of the Rodian face are superbly represented here and it’s all the tiny little bumps and bristles that really makes this guy stand out for me. This is a head sculpt that really benefits from the up-scaling of the line.

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Greedo’s articulation features all the goodies I’ve come to expect from this line. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders and feature hinges and swivels in both the elbows and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, and double hinges in the knees. The ankles feature ball joints as well as lateral rockers. The torso has a ball joint just above the waist and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged. There’s plenty of useful articulation here making Greedo a damn fun figure to fiddle about with.

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You get one accessory with Greedo and as you might have guessed it’s the pistol that he used to not shoot first. It’s a little snub nosed gun with a metallic finish. He can hold it comfortably in his right hand and naturally it fits in the holster.

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Even after opening a wave and a half, it still feels weird (in a good way!) to have these figures in this scale. That’s especially true for Greedo because, despite the fact that he actually had lines in the movie, we’re coming close to dabbling in back bench character selection. Not that I mind, because like I said… I freaking love Greedo and I freaking love this figure. Plus, every slot that’s filled by a minor Original Trilogy character over a major Prequel character makes my heart swell with happiness.