Star Wars Black (Rogue One): Sergeant Jyn Erso (Eadu) by Hasbro

Most of my backlog of stuff right now is Marvel related, which means I’m finally getting caught up on the other lines I collect. That also means I’m hitting the bottom of the piles and finding the stuff that I’ve been pushing off to the side for a number of weeks. Today, I decided to finally open up the Exclusive version of Jyn Erso in her Eadu outfit.

This figure is part of a series of Deluxe Exclusives from Kmart and as such it comes in a larger box to accommodate the base, but otherwise it’s the same branded Black Series packaging. There’s some terrible monochrome character art on the front that doesn’t look much like Felicity Jones to me, but I’m convinced that Hasbro is doing that so the figure’s portraits look better by comparison. Anyway, this presentation is very similar to the Exclusive Kylo Ren and Rey that Kmart had for The Force Awakens, hell it may even just be a repainted base. I don’t know, as I passed on those. In fact, the only reason I picked this one up was because it was so damn cheap, but I’ll come back to that at the end.

Eadu Jyn uses a lot of Jedha Jyn, but there’s also a fair bit of brand new sculpting here too. From the waist down, she’s the same, and I’m going to assume the torso is the same too, but it’s buried under her new rain parka, so it doesn’t matter. The arms have newly sculpted sleeves to match the parka and she has a breather mask that hangs around her neck and connects to a tank behind her left hip. The new sculpting for the outfit looks great, and seeing as how we got this version of Jyn in the 3 3/4-inch line, it’s cool to finally have it in the 6-inch line as well.

There’s some pretty good paint wash on the parka to give it a grungy, well-worn look and even a few holes here and there. We also get some silver paint on some of her gear. The sculpt and paint on the bodies are generally pretty solid on these figures and this version of Jyn is no different.

The head sculpt is very similar to the Jedha Jyn, but it’s definitely new, or at least reworked. Here she has her ears exposed through her hair. The quality of the sculpt is about the same, with very soft features and I think the likeness is only there if you know what you’re looking at, and even then that might be a reach. As usual, the paint is extremely basic giving Jyn that wonderful dead-inside look to her eyes and uneven paint on her lips. Hasbro has obviously shrugged off any credibility for making this a true “Collector’s” line when it comes to the paintwork on the heads.

She does come with a removable helmet, which is definitely a welcome feature. It fits really well and looks good on the figure. The paint on the helmet is a little rougher than the rest of the figure, but it kind of works because it makes it look worn and chipped. Jyn can also wear her breather mask, with the head strap designed to fit around the helmet. I sometimes question whether these 6-inch figures really use the scale to their advantage, and here’s probably one of the few good examples of that. The breather mask just looks and works a lot better here than it did on the 3 3/4-inch figure. Then again, that was a 5-POA figure and not something premium like the Vintage Collection. Maybe it’s not a fair comparison here.

As for other accessories, Jyn includes the same pistol that came with the Jedha version and she still has a functional holster to store it in. She also comes with an E-11 Blaster. You can never have too many of those! And finally, she has a little cylindrical device and I have absolutely no idea what the hell it’s supposed to be. It’s almost bizarre how prominently featured this thing is in the box. If I were to make a guess, it looks like it’s supposed to be a rope coiled tightly around something. I seem to recall there was a zip-line scene that was cut from the film. Maybe this has to do with it.

I saved articulation for last, because it happens to be the thing that comes damn close to breaking this figure for me. The points are all identical to Jedha Jyn, so that’s not the issue, but the legs are so loose and gummy on this figure, it makes her really hard to pose and stand up. I don’t know if it’s shoddy plastic, or because she was packaged in an action pose on the base, but this is the worst I’ve seen in a 6-inch Hasbro figure in a long time. It literally feels like the kind of cheap Chinese knock-off you might get loose off of Ebay for a couple of dollars.

Oh yeah, and how could I forget the base. It’s a decent sculpt and it has peg holes for her to stand on. This sort of thing isn’t a big draw for me, but I can imagine that some collectors will enjoy it and she does look pretty good posed on it.

There are no Kmarts in my area any longer, and even when there were, I rarely ventured into them as they tended to be like the Beirut version of Walmart. No offense to Beirut. The only reason I wound up with this figure was because Amazon was blowing them out at $11 a pop and I said, “well shit… why not?” If it weren’t for the wobbly legs, Jyn would be a decent figure, but I think she’s also an easy pass. Meanwhile, the Black Series continues to be such a roller coaster for me. There are still figures that I pick up that delight me and justify why I collect this line, and then there’s figures like this one, which are just so damn average that they make me wonder why do I still bother.

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Star Wars Black (Rebels): Sabine Wren by Hasbro

For me, one of the high points of the Black Series 6-inch line has been the Rebels figures. Kanan Jarrus and Ahsoka Tano are among my favorite figures the line has produced so far. Needless to say I was excited when Sabine was announced. I’ve actually had this figure for quite a while now and the fact that it took this long for me to get around to reviewing her just shows that I wanted to make sure I had the time to give her the proper attention she deserves.

There’s not much new or noteworthy about the packaging, although this is one instance where I actually really like the monochrome character art. I think they did a lovely job with Sabine’s portrait. I should also take this time to admit that I’ve been a bad Rebels fan. I went into Season 3 with good intentions, but I quickly fell out of watching it. Rebels is a show I like to binge watch, so I’ll likely just hold off until it gets a release on Blu-Ray. I will say that it’s hard for me to come up with a show that has matured as well as Rebels has. It started out on shaky ground and gradually grew into its own. Sabine has been a great character and one that really demanded an action figure from the very beginning. I’ve already reviewed two versions of her in the 3 3/4-inch line, so let’s check her out in the 6-inch scale.

Putting a Mandalorian in the show could have gone horribly wrong, but Rebels makes the character work and that goes double for Sabine’s character design. Rather than just put her in Femme Fett armor, she has a distinctive look, made even more unique by her personal artistic touches to her armor. All of that is wonderfully recreated in this figure. The personalized paint on her chest and shoulder armor looks fantastic and served up with a pretty realistic looking weathering, which sets it apart from the more brightly colored markings on the 3 3/4-inch figure. I can’t say the same for the speckling on her boots and gauntlets, which looks really overdone here, but it’s not something that ruins the figure for me, so I can get over it. Suffice it to say, sometimes less is more.

Of course, this version of Sabine has also been given a realistic make over, shying away from the super stylized look of the series. So far, Hasbro has had great success with this conversion, both with Kanan and Ahsoka and they’ve pulled it off here once again. Added detail, like the stitching and slight rumpling in her clothes help add to the realism of the sculpt, and Sabine even sports two functional holsters, one on each hip.

The head sculpt is decent, but it isn’t quite the slam dunk we got with Kanan or Ahsoka. It’s very soft, which admittedly works for Sabine, but it’s also let down by the paint. Imagine that? A Black Series figure let down by paint! In this case, my Sabine has a bad case of the wonky lizard eyes. I’ve actually been hunting for a better one, and while I’ve come across a surprising number of Sabines on the pegs, I’ve yet to find one that’s much of an improvement and I’ve even seen at least one which was a lot worse. I think they could have also done a better job with the gradient colors in her hair, but then I remember that I’m really overestimating the efforts of Hasbro’s painters in this line.

Sabine also comes with a helmet, which fits over her head. It’s a snug fit, but I’m actually very pleased that they were able to pull this off without making the helmet look too big or the head look too small. I’d be a little concerned about rubbing paint off the face if I take it off and on too many times, but that’s part of the reason why I’d like to bag another Sabine one of these days. The range finder is articulated and it’s stout enough so as not to warp too badly.

The articulation here holds no surprises. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hips. The legs have double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles feature both hinges and lateral rockers. The torso has a ball joint under the chest and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. I would have liked a swivel in the waist, but I’m guessing that might have been nixed because of the gun belt.

Sabine comes with her paint sprayer, which is a simple, but very welcome accessory. Ironically, there aren’t any paint apps on it, but it does have some sculpted detail, including the buttons and the nozzle.

And you also get her twin blasters, which fit into the holsters as well as both of her hands.  Like the paint sprayer, these are really simple accessories with no additional paint apps, but they get the job done.

While there is certainly room for improvement regarding the wonky eye paint, Sabine turned out to be another fantastic figure from the Rebels series. And that’s a good thing, because let’s face it, the only other options we have are the 5-POA 3 3/4-inch figures. They’re decent in their own way, but they’re nowhere near as fun as having a fully articulated figure like this one. Next up for this little sub-line should be Hera Syndulla, and I am most definitely looking forward to that release! My only fear is that they’ll abandon these releases before completing the crew, and that would be a shame because once assembled these are going to make for one hell of a great display.

Star Wars Black (Rogue One): Director Krennic by Hasbro

I’m really pressed for time today (and that may be the case for the rest of the week), so I decided to dig into my stack of unopened 6-inch Black Series figures and find one that I could do justice to in fairly a brief amount of time. I ended up with Director Krennic! Did I mention I’m pressed for time? So, let’s go!

Now, to be clear, picking Krennic for a quick-and-dirty review isn’t meant as any slight against the character. Truth be told I was captivated by this guy from his very first scenery-chewing appearance. Part of my love for Krennic has to do with the way his character was written, but a lot of credit has to go to Ben Mendelsohn, who was absolutely fantastic in the role. As great as it is, Star Wars has not been a saga I look to for deep and complex villains, but Krennic actually felt more like a fleshed out character as opposed to just a foreboding guy in a suit. GO AHEAD, FIGHT ME!! In fact, of all the characters in Rogue One, I’d say that I enjoyed Krennic and Bodhi Rook the most, because they felt the most like real people to me.

Hot damn, do I love the Imperial uniforms! Krennic dons his very smart looking, and rather uncommonly seen, white Imperial officer’s tunic and jodhpur-style trousers. It’s a fairly simple sculpt, but it looks absolutely fantastic. The insignia on his chest is sharp and there are some subtle rumples on the tunic to replicate the look of cloth. But if we’re talking great looking plastic cloth, kudos has to go to this cape.

At first, I’ll confess to being a little disappointed that Krennic didn’t come with a cloth cape, but the sculptors did a really fine job on this plastic one. Between the wrinkles and the tailored seams, I’d be hard pressed to tell that it wasn’t actually made of cloth if all I had to go on was some pictures. It’s also very easy to take off the figure, as it just rests on his shoulders.

As for the portrait, it’s pretty damn great. Wow, did I just say that about a 6-inch Black figure? I did! Of course, it’s still a fairly soft sculpt with some very basic paint, but the likeness is undoubtedly there.

Removing the cape allows for a better look at the functional holster on his belt, which holds his rather unique looking gun. Both of his hands are sculpted to hold it fairly well.

The articulation here is pretty standard stuff for the Black Series. You get rotating hinges in his shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hips. He’s got double hinges in his knees, and his ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in his waist and both a hinge and ball joint in his neck. I really wish we could get some bicep swivels on these figures, although in the case of Krennic here, I guess he doesn’t need to be super-pose-able.

And there we have Krennic, a great character and a great figure! I love this guy so much that I picked up three extra Death Troopers (before I even had Krennic), just so that I could set him up on the shelf behind him. The only sad thing is that Krennic is probably the last of the 6-inch Black Series figures from Rogue One I have to look at. It still kills me that we didn’t get Bodhi or Saw, but then I’m still trying to hunt those down in the 3 3/4-inch versions. In the wake of Krennic’s release, we’ve already seen images of the up and coming 6-inch Black Admiral Thrawn. I’m hoping that these releases have broken the seal and we’re going to start getting some more Imperial Officers, because I’ll army build the hell out of some of them once Hasbro starts releasing them.

Star Wars Black: R5-D4 (Gamestop Exclusive) by Hasbro

Once again, I must disappoint all you Convertorobot fans, as it is Thursday and I have no new Transformers to look at. Maybe next week. We’ll see. In the meantime, let’s check out a robot that does not turn into anything!

I was mighty peeved to find out that the infamous droid with the bad motivator was coming to the 6-inch Black Series as a Gamestop Exclusive. There’s only one of these stores in my area and going in that place subjects me to a vortex of screaming kids, punks trying to sell games for drug money, and pushy salespeople trying to get me to opt in to some membership card or magazine. I hate the place. Besides, they’re closing stores left and right, so maybe giving them an Exclusive isn’t the best idea, Hasbro. Next you’ll be giving exclusives to other sinking retail ships like K-mart… oh, riiiight. Well, it turns out my anger was all for naught, because I was able to pre-order this guy on their website pretty easily and he showed up on my doorstep yesterday.

Hasbro is doing over-sized vintage cardbacks for the 40th Anniversary. A lot of these have been re-issues of “The Original Twelve” and I think these look terrific and I really dig how they will stand for easy display. So far, I’ve managed to keep myself from buying a set to keep carded, but that resolve may buckle if retailers start doing sales on these.. R5, however, is currently only available in this packaging, so I had no choice this time. Oh yeah… and thanks Gamestop for putting your obnoxious sticker on the card. It probably comes off, but it’s a shitty thing to do to an item that is being sold in collectible packaging. Good thing I bought this droid to open.

The back of the card is pretty damn cool too. It shows the twelve figures that are getting this carded treatment. All are re-issues, with the exception of the Sand Person, Jawa, Death Squad Commander, and I suppose Darth Vader, since he’s supposed to at least have a new head sculpt. There’s also a shot of the Early Bird-inspired display set that Vader comes with. Yup, I pre-ordered that thing. I have no willpower. And speaking of no willpower, as you can probably guess, these carded figures are not collector friendly and as good as it looks, I’m about to tear this one open.

Here he is, and as expected from the neck down he’s a straight repaint of R2-D2, and that’s not a bad thing, because this is a pretty damn good Astromech body. All of the familiar panel lines are sculpted in, and I really dig the hoses on his feet. Besides the red accents, R5’s deco also includes some light weathering, whereas I had to do my own on R2 with a mechanical pencil. I think they distressed him just the right amount. It doesn’t look heavy handed at all.

The head is also a very good sculpt and escapes the big fault of the R2 figure by not having those eyesore seams running up the sides. R5’s head still has seams, but they’re very well hidden. The antenna is made of bendy plastic, but it doesn’t seem like it will be prone to warping. You get a little bit of weathering on the head, but maybe here it could have used a smidgen more. The paint on the eyes is sharp and clean and the hologram sticker strip that runs around his neck looks nice, although I already had to stick the end of it back on, so I’m not sure how long that sticker is going to last.

As with R2, the third leg still retracts by turning the head. I wasn’t a big fan of this feature when I first saw it, but I’ve cooled on it a bit. It just seemed rather gimmicky for a collector line, but then the Black Series’ collector line credentials have been pretty shaky. I should also note that R5 doesn’t share any of the opening panels in his head that R2 had. It seems like they could have given us a swap-out panel with a bad motivator, but nope!

The two vertical side panels, on his front, however, do still open and he does have his little arms that swing out. It probably would have been easy for Hasbro to just glue these shut and not worry about them, so I’m pretty happy to see they survived.

In every way, R5-D4 is a great little figure. in fact, the only issues here for me are price and availability. At $22, you’re paying an awful lot for very little. R2 came with a bunch of extras and R5 comes with squat. It makes me wonder if he was made an exclusive release just to justify the price tag. Why not R5 and a couple of Jawas in a window box for $50? That would have been a nice deal. Plus, making him exclusive to Gamestop is just bewildering to me. I’ve never even seen Star Wars figures in a Gamestop outside of maybe Funko Pop! Vinyls. Luckily, I didn’t have to actually go in a Gamestop to get him. I pre-ordered mine when it first went up on the website and it became “Unavailable” not long after that. Disappointing collectors by making a deal with a dying game retailer? Not cool, Hasbro. The better way to go would have been to put him in a window box for wide distribution and let the vintage carded packaging be your exclusive. Ah, but what do I know?

Star Wars Black (Rogue One): Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus by Hasbro

Rogue One hits Blu-Ray today, and I’ve already been down to Wally-Mart to mingle with some scary people and pick up my copy. Even after seeing this flick four times in the theater, I was still anxious to get it on home release and see it again. It seemed only appropriate that I also spend today opening up Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus from the Star Wars Black 6-inch series. Let’s check them out!

This was a weird pair of releases in that Hasbro just seemed to tuck them into a mostly recycled wave. Now, like Marvel Legends, I tend to buy my Black Series figures by the case, because there’s always one or two that are hard to find. I really didn’t want to do that here, because it meant getting doubles of figures I didn’t want. Luckily there were a few online retailers that offered them up as a pair for just a couple of bucks over the usual retail and I was able to get them with no fuss and no muss. I’m still more than a little miffed that we didn’t get a Bodhi Rook or Saw Gerrera in the 6-inch line to finish out the Rogue One team, but I am really happy we got this pair. For a movie that a lot of people complain has no heart, Rogue One managed to pack a lot of soul into these two characters.  Let’s start with Chirrut…

I really like Chirrut’s costume and I’m really thankful that they didn’t just give him some boring brown Jedi-inspired robes. What we got is a great look for a “space monk” and it fits in perfectly with the Star Wars Universe. Hasbro took the opportunity to give us some soft goods robes, but as usual mixed it up with sculpted plastic as well. I think the effect here is overall pretty good, but I get a big disconnect between the plastic on top and the robe on the bottom. It looks more like he’s wearing a skirt, whereas the actual costume extended up to his shoulder. On the other hand, the cloth doesn’t impede the range of motion in the legs, which is a welcome treat. The articulation here is pretty standards stuff for the line and he’s loads of fun to pose and play with.

The robes that hang off his back are molded as part of the cross strap, and I don’t think they really look like part of the overall garment, but I know what they were going for here, so I can at least see it for what it’s supposed to be. I do like the two cloth straps that hang off of him. These can be positioned to give him some sense of momentum when posing him in action scenes. It may sound like I’m nitpicking the costume here a lot, but let’s face it, this wasn’t a terribly easy costume to do in this scale. Hasbro made some compromises and in the end I think it looks good and doesn’t interfere with the fun of playing with the figure, so I’ll call it a win. But is there really anything here that they couldn’t have done in a Vintage Collection style 3 3/4-inch figure? Nah.

The head sculpt is passable, but it’s exceptionally soft. I think it’s a decent likeness, which I can easily recognize in the context of the costume, but probably wouldn’t as just a head. As is often the case with this line. a competent paint job would probably go a long way. There’s a big disconnect between the sculpted eyebrows and what’s painted there. This feels more like passable 3 3/4-inch scale work than it does 6-inch scale work, but if that’s not something I was willing to accept at this point, I wouldn’t still be buying this line.

Chirrut comes with two accessories: His staff and a rifle. I was initially tempted to say that the staff feels too small for him, but after looking at some pictures of him in the film, as well as the upcoming Hot Toys release, I think it’s pretty close.  There’s also a fairly good amount of sculpting and paint work for what is essentially just a big stick. The wood is textured and there’s a grip and a reinforced tip.

The rifle is a strange piece indeed. When deployed it reminds me a bit of Chewie’s bowcaster. It feels a little cheap and flimsy, but in fairness it’s a very thin weapon and it has several points of articulation, from the rotation in the center to the two hinged arms. Toss in some paint apps, and I’d say Hasbro did the best they could with this weapon in this scale. I do wish it had a shoulder strap on it so Chirrut could wear it across his back. I’ll probably just tie a piece of string to it. Moving on to Baze…

Baze, the heavy gunner of the team is an all around nice piece of work. His overalls are sculpted with plenty of rumples, stitching, and pockets. It’s a little soft, but overall pretty good. The armor pieces feature some nice weathering and appear to be additional pieces laid onto the buck, which make them a lot more convincing. The belt and pouches are also separate pieces attached to the buck and there’s some great detail in the chest piece. Articulation is just as good as Chirrut as far as the actual points go, but Baze’s chunky buck makes his range of motion a little more limited, particularly in the upper legs.

From the back, Baze has a rather large slot for his backpack. It’s unsightly, yes, but I’d rather have it there with the option of being able to take off the pack, than have the pack permanently attached. I suppose they could have gone with actual working straps, but that seems to be asking a lot from this line. Still, the 5-POA, 3 3/4-inch Rey figure from The Force Awakens had a backpack with actual straps and all. Just saying…

The head sculpt here is actually pretty damn good and with some better paint it probably could have been phenomenal. Either way, I would have no troubles recognizing this likeness with or without the context of the body.

The backpack, which is the laser gun equivalent of an ammo drum tabs right in and features some great paint and sculpted details as well as a sculpted sash that hangs off the back. I haven’t looked into the tech behind this thing, but I’d like to think that it’s just a giant generator needed to power his repeater blaster. The cable tabs into the bottom of the drum and the other end goes into the blaster where an ammo magazine would be if it were a conventional rifle.

The cable has a good amount of flex in it, but it does sometimes impede the poses I’d like him to do. Add to that the fact that the drum on his back makes him pretty back-heavy and very prone to toppling backwards. I don’t want to beat up on Baze that badly, because he’s a great looking figure and still pretty fun, but he’s at his best when he’s just standing there beside his buddy Chirrut with his rifle at the ready.

While I have some nitpicks here and there, I think Chirrut and Baze turned out to be pretty good figures, especially when considered within my tempered expectations of the 6-inch Black Series. They each have their strong points and when taken as a pair they compliment each other beautifully. They also make for a fantastic display with the other members of the Rogue One team. Yes, I’m still upset over the Bohdi-shaped hole in my display. I thought Rook was a great character, and came the closest to having something resembling a fully fleshed out arc. It was great to see him going from reluctant spy to full-blown self-sacrificing hero.

Star Wars Black Series (Knights of the Old Republic): Darth Revan by Hasbro

Ah, Knights of the Old Republic! It was a pivotal experience in my long history of gaming. I don’t think I can properly quantify how many hours I put into it and I loved every second of every play-through. In fact, I remember my knee-jerk reaction to playing Mass Effect for the first time was that it was just KotoR with all the Star Wars elements boiled away. Back in 2003, I would have spent all my disposable income on KotoR toys. If only Hasbro had pushed the marketing of this game like they did with Shadows of the Empire. I wanted a dedicated line. I wanted figures of all the characters, I wanted the Ebon Hawk scaled for the figures. I wanted an electronic HK-47 that I could carry around and complain about people to. And I got nothing… NOTHING!!! Well… almost nothing.

If i recall correctly, we owe this 6-inch Black Series release to a fan poll Now, in fairness we did get a few 3 3/4-inch figures from KotoR scattered about over the years and we even got Revan in the 30th Anniversary Collection line. But that was like five years too late and at a time when I was clearing out most of my Star Wars collection because one day I woke up and gazed in horror at all the Prequel crap that I bought. When I think about it, I should be a lot more excited to have this figure in hand than I am, but I’ll swing back to the reasons for that at the end.

Revan’s design always felt just a little too derivative of Vader to me. Granted, the mask was necessary due to complications of his true identity, but the black cape and robes struck me as a wee bit lazy. We need a new villain, just put a mask and black robes on him. So, why do I give Kylo Ren a pass? Because imitating Vader was the whole motivation of that character. Now, with all that having been said, I still think Revan is a cool looking character and this figure does a nice job with the design. The sculpted gold pieces of his armor and that giant ring in the center of his gut contrast nicely with the use of the soft goods. And in the end, I think it’s the mix of sculpted plastic cloth and real cloth that represents this figures greatest strengths and weaknesses.

For starters, the cape looks fantastic. It’s very thin and light material that rests naturally on the figure and works well with the tattered and frayed edges. The use of cloth on the inner robes looks fine too, and I have no problem with the use of the sculpted plastic cloth over it. Maybe the red sash would have looked good as cloth, but I won’t quibble over it. Also, the sculpted cloth on the sleeves is a no brainer. Nope, from the neck down, I’ve got only love for this guy and the decisions Hasbro made when making him.

Above the neck, however, is a different story. My main gripe is with the decision to use a sculpted plastic hood and having it molded as part of the shoulders. It looks fine, but it really hurts the figure’s pose-ability. Yes, his head will turn in there, but it looks odd when turned too far to the left or right because the hood is blocking so much of his face. I think a cloth hood would have looked great on him and it could have been pulled out of the way to accommodate the head turning. But if Hasbro was dead set on going plastic, they should have made the hood a separate piece that could turn with the head. Apart from that, I think the helmet looks great. The mix of red and silver paint really makes the figure pop and the weathering, well it’s a little heavy handed, but it’s not bad. The rest of the articulation is standard stuff for the Black Series, at least on paper, but in practice, Revan just isn’t as fun to play with as he could have been.

Darth Revan comes with his two lightsabers, and I’ve got to be honest, as much as I played this game, I didn’t even remember him having two until I went back and looked at some of the art from the game. The designs on these hilts are really cool, particularly the one with the purple blade. And yes, both blades can be removed easily by simply un-pegging them. Sadly, there’s nowhere on his person that you can hang the hilts.

Even with my issues over the hood, I like this figure a lot and I’m happy to have him, even if probably doesn’t sound like it from this review. The problem is that getting Revan is dredging up all the same disappointment I had long ago when we didn’t get a dedicated KotoR line. Don’t get me wrong, with entire forests of printed Star Wars canon being wiped away with the stroke of a Mickey Mouse pen, I’m happy to see that KotoR is being acknowledged and therefore is presumably still canon. But the proper way to do this would have been an entire wave. Six figures… Revan, Malak, Bastila, Mission, HK-47, and whoever the hell you want for the last slot. I’d take T3-M4, just because I dig that design, but I suppose you could throw Carth or Zaalbar in there instead. I mean, if Hasbro can stack their waves of Legends with Comic Book designs, surely they could spit out a wave of KotoR figures. Now would have been the perfect time too, because Hasbro is drumming up support for The Last Jedi and needs peg fillers. Man, just thinking about that assortment of figures is killing me.

Star Wars Black: Princess Leia (A New Hope) by Hasbro

One of the things that’s had me most excited about the 6-inch Black Series was getting all of the original 12 vintage figures in this new format. Well, Hasbro showed off the remaining releases at Toy Fair last week and collectors who are willing to double dip will even be able to get them on vintage style cardbacks. They look great, but I don’t have the money or space to buy all these figures again just so I can tear them open or hang them on the wall. As it is, I already have totes full of the carded Vintage Collection 3 3/4-inch figures that I hardly ever see. Anywho, with the original version of Princess Leia now in my collection, my 6-inch heroes from A New Hope are complete and all I’m waiting on is the Jawa, Death Squad Commander, and Tusken Raider to complete the Twelve… pretty cool!

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This figure has had its share of controversy as many Princess Leia figures have had to suffer ever since the day Power of the Force 2 unleashed the dreaded “Monkey-Face Leia” on our collections. It’s safe to say that some of the early shots of this one didn’t look so good. I made a decision that, once in hand, if I thought this this one sucked really bad, I wasn’t going to review it out of respect to the late Carrie Fisher. The fact that you’re reading this means that wasn’t the case. Now, I’m not going to tell you she’s fantastic, but… well, let’s just go ahead and dive in.

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For starters, there’s very little sculpted detail visible on this figure, and that’s because of her softgoods outfit. Gown? Is that the right word? Maybe? I’m going to call it a gown. From the neck down all you can really see are her hands and boots, and the belt which cinches the gown to the figure. And yes, the belt and gown are both removable and she has a fully painted white outfit and boots underneath. The gown is easily my favorite part of this figure. I’m glad they didn’t go for a complete sculpt here. The fabric fits the figure very well, the stitching is pretty good with just a few stray threads here and there, and there are some areas, like the neck collar, where it’s actually quite impressive. The material is very thin and it’s slit a bit up the sides to not interfere with articulation too badly.

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They also included the hood, which is another check I’ll add to this figure’s plus column. It doesn’t fit flush with her back when it’s down, but that’s to be expected with the lack of weight that an outfit in this scale exhibits. Overall, I think it looks better down than Obi-Wan’s hood does.

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And then there’s the portrait. So, I was expecting the worst and I don’t think that’s what I got. No, it’s not very good either. At some point I’m sure there was some Carrie Fisher in there, but I think most of it got lost in the transition from prototype to final product. And the fact that it got the bare bones minimum effort when it came to the paint doesn’t help either. My guess is this will be another Black Series figure that someone paints up really nice and shows that it could have worked in the right hands, but clearly those hands aren’t working in Hasbro’s factories. I’d say that this portrait might have been acceptable on a 3 3/4-inch figure, but not so much in a 6-inch “collector’s line.” I seem to say that a lot when reviewing these figures. On a more positive note, I think the hair sculpt is pretty good.

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The underlying articulation is right in line with what we’ve seen from many 6-inch Black Series figures. I couldn’t quite get her to hunch down to R2’s level to feed him the Death Star Plans, but I was able to fake it by getting her down on one knee.

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Leia comes with two accessories and they’re both guns! And why not? Princess Leia is an ass kicker. The first thing we see her do is take out a Stormtrooper with this first weapon. Yes, it’s her “Defender” sporting blaster, which she carried on the Tantive IV right before getting captured. This design is one of my favorite weapons in the film.

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Hasbro also threw in an E-11 Stormtrooper blaster, which she used later on during the escape from The Death Star. We’ve seen plenty of these guns released in the Black Series, but I’m always happy to get another! Now, before wrapping up there’s just one more thing to look at, and that’s scale. Consistency of scale has been a challenge with this line, and Princess Leia is one of the biggest (literally) examples of that.

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Here are all the 6-inch Black Series Leias together. Back when I looked at Leia in the Boushh disguise I was notably irked about how badly they flubbed the scale on that figure. She’s a giant compared to the original Slave Leia release. Here we can see that they reined things in a bit and scaled this figure almost perfectly with her bikini-clad counterpart. Sure it just makes Boushh Leia look all the more freakishly tall, but at least they didn’t compound the error by doing it again. Which likeness do you think is the best? Granted, none of them are ideal, but I think I’d go with Slave Leia followed by this one.

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It’s never a ringing endorsement to have to say a figure could have been worse, but that’s what I’m thinking here. The truth is, given my ever deflating expectations for the 6-inch Black Series, I found this version of Princess Leia to be perfectly passable, and yes that’s intended as a left-handed compliment. From the neck down, I’m extremely happy with the way she turned out and I think this is some of the best use of softgoods that the line has seen to date. And while the portrait is far from being on point, I don’t think it’s all that much worse than some of the other likenesses we’ve had here. Indeed, comparing it to some of the larger and far more expensive Princess Leia releases in the past sort of puts things in a better perspective. Word is that the re-issue in the vintage-style packaging got a face lift, both in paint and sculpt, and the prospect of that might tempt me to try my luck with another.

Star Wars Black: Obi-Wan Kenobi (A New Hope) by Hasbro

Sorry, folks. No DC Friday this week. I’ve still got a whole case of 6-inch Star Wars Black figures to go through and I need to start chipping away at them before more arrive. So today I’m opening a figure that I am pretty excited about finally getting. It’s Obi-Wan Kenobi from Episode IV: A New Hope!

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Obi-Wan got something of a pre-release back at last year’s SDCC with some snazzy packaging and exclusive extra bits. The regular retail packaging offers no surprises, it’s just the same old stuff. It’s collector friendly and the side panel features the figure’s name and number. I have only saved the boxes for a handful of these figures and alas, Obi-Wan’s box is destined for the bin. You’ll note that the figure comes packaged with his cloak on, but I’m going to start with it off.

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Sculpted robes often pose problems in terms of a figure’s overlook and articulation, but here I think Hasbro did a reasonably nice job on both counts. There’s a good amount of detail in the outfit itself including lots of folds and wrinkles. There’s also a very subtle texturing to drive home the appearance of cloth. The belt sculpted belt features the pouch on his right hip and a hook to hang his lightsaber hilt. Unfortunately, the blade doesn’t seem to want to come out of my lightsaber hilt, so that hook isn’t doing me a lot of good.

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Loose sleeves like these are particularly tricky for sculptors because they should look considerably different whether the character has his arms at his sides or raised in an action pose. Here, Hasbro went for a compromise by putting the wrists right in the middle. They look fine with the arms down, but rather unnatural with the arms up. I guess I’m OK with this, as I doubt I’ll be displaying him in an action pose. I do really like how the wrists are set fairly deep into the sleeve, as it makes the plastic garment more convincing.

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I think the portrait here is passable in general and maybe better than average for this line. It really varies wildly based on the angle, distance and lighting. And yes, that’s a left-handed compliment. I would have liked the detail to be a little sharper and the paint is the same sub-par stuff we’ve been seeing for the bulk of these releases. I’d argue that the likeness is certainly there, but is this really much better than they could do in a 3 3/4-inch figure? I don’t think so. In the case of this figure, let’s just say the closer in you get, the less it works, but I guess I’m fairly satisfied.

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As for articulation, there’s certainly a good amount of it here. By Episode IV, Obi-Wan’s days of somersaulting ridiculously all over the place were over (thank God!), so I’m not requiring a whole lot from this figure. His arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinges in the knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in the waist and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck. Below the belt, the plastic robes are slit up the sides so as not to completely hinder the leg movement.

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The softgoods cloak fits the figure very well and it looks great on him with the exception of the hood, which doesn’t fit close to the back when its down. That’s understandable, as at this scale there’s no weight to the fabric to let gravity do its job. If I futz with it enough, I can get it to look acceptable. I may look into using a small pin to keep it under control. It does, however,  look pretty great with the hood up over his head. You can also pull it further down over his head to hide his face for when he needs to scare off Tusken Raiders. The stitching is neat and I can’t imagine that I’ll be displaying the figure without this on most of the time. This is exactly the sort of thing that was sorely missing from the Jedi Knight Luke figure a few waves back.

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I’ve already mentioned the lightsaber accessory and how my blade doesn’t want to detach. Otherwise, this is a pretty great little piece and the sculpt and paintwork on the hilt are both exceptionally good. In fact, I’d say this is arguably the best looking lightsaber hilt this line has produced.

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In the end, Obi-Wan turned out to be a pretty solid figure. He represents the usual ups and downs that characterize most of these 6-inch Black Series releases. The sculpt is overall pretty good, the cloth robe is a great, albeit in this case essential, addition, and if Hasbro could just invest a little more in the paint quality on these figures, they could really raise the bar a couple of notches.

Star Wars Black: AT-AT Driver by Hasbro

I’m pressed for time today, but I also wanted to dig into the newest wave of Star Wars 6-inch Black Series figures, so I’m going with the one figure in this assortment that I have the least to say about: The AT-AT Driver! Of course, that shouldn’t be mistaken for a general lack of affection for this guy.

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Somewhere along the way, I fell into the misconception that AT-AT Drivers were just repainted TIE Pilots. It’s an easy mistake to make, although with how long I’ve been collecting Star Wars figures, you’d think I would have known better. Indeed, playing around with this figure really made me appreciate how different the two designs are and in some cases, they are oddly different. For example, the AT-AT Driver has the leg harness that we see on most of the Rebel Pilot flight suits. Why does the AT-AT Driver have those, but the TIE Pilot doesn’t? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? These aren’t questions I can answer here, so let’s just check out the damn figure.

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Wow, he’s fantastic! Well, except for one glaring problem he’s fantastic, but I’ll get to that in a bit. I’ve always been partial to this design, although to be honest the pair that I had as a kid rarely left my Kenner AT-AT’s head. And the pair of modern 3 3/4-inchers that I now own rarely ever leave Hasbro’s Super AT-AT’s head. Well, here’s one that I’ll be able to display on his own, because obviously there ain’t no 6-inch Super AT-AT to put him in and let’s be honest, it’s never coming. Although, a properly scaled cockpit would be cool!

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The sculpt here is excellent. You get all kinds of rumples, stitching, pockets, and texturing in the underlying jumpsuit. The boots are nice and chunky, the gauntlets look great, and the shoulder armor is cast in soft and pliable plastic so as not to impede the articulation. I would have liked more of a matte finish for the suit, but Hasbro went for bare plastic, which has a glossy sheen to it.

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I really dig the attention to detail on the control box. The sculpt is so sharp and the paint is neat and carefully applied. Same goes for the box on his back. The hoses run from the box to the cylinders on the back of the helmet and are flexible enough to allow the head to move unhindered.

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Besides the control box on the chest, it’s always been the helmet on these guys that I loved the most, and Hasbro went all out recreating it for this figure and he’d be just about perfect if it wasn’t for that majorly droopy Imperial Insignia on the right side of his helmet. Dammit, Hasbro! You were so close here and you blew it on an easy one! To be fair, that emblem droop doesn’t bother me nearly as much as I thought it would, but it’s still going to make me hunt down another one of these.

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The articulation is as good as we get with the regular troopers. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hips. The knees are double hinged, there are swivel cuts in the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint buried in the chest and another under the helmet. And while this guy is probably used to just sitting down and driving his AT-AT you can get some nice poses out of him. Toss in the E-11 Blaster that he comes with and he’s ready for action. It would have been cool to get an homage to the rifle that came with the vintage figure too, but oh well!

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Don’t let my brevity today fool you into thinking I don’t totally dig this figure, because I sure do. Is it really any better than Hasbro has done in the 3 3/4-inch scale? Probably not. But, Hasbro hit all the right points on this guy, save for one damn sloppy emblem placement, and I’m very happy to have him joining my 6-inch scaled Imperial Forces. Even though he’s got nothing to drive, he’s an important figure that I can finally check off my Black Series want list. Now to go hunt down a better one…

Star Wars Black (Rogue One): Scarif Stormtrooper by Hasbro

After a weekend of avoiding all of humanity for fear of spoilers, I finally got to see Rogue One yesterday morning and that evening, I got all the gushing out of my system with a bonus feature. But even a day after seeing the movie, all I wanted to do was play with more Rogue One toys. Lucky for me a couple of Scarif Stormtroopers showed up at my door just a few days before and were waiting to be opened.

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Damn these trooper exclusives! First it was the TRU getting the Hovertank Pilot and now it’s Walmart getting the Scarif Stormtrooper. Why make a troop builder an exclusive and the Squad Leader a wide release? It made a whole lot more sense when they made the Snowtrooper Sergeant from The Force Awakens an exclusive and the regular a wide release. In this case, however, I was lucky enough to pick up a couple of these from Wally World’s Website and didn’t have to pay scalpers on the wretched hive of scum and villainy known as Ebay. Anyway, I was hoping to get the Squad Leader by now so I could look at the two together, but as luck would have it I’m still hunting him. I’ve got nothing to say about the box, other than these figures are not numbered because they are exclusives.

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Damn, I love the look of these guys! But, I’ll confess I didn’t even realize that this armor shares so much with the Hovertank Pilot until toy blogger extraordinaire, Carnitas Fever, pointed out in the comments. Yeah, I’m pretty terrible at noticing details like that, which is probably why Hasbro can get away with selling me so many repaints. Nonetheless, the torso, arms, legs is the same mold used for the pilots with some variations in paint. It’s movie accurate, and it doesn’t make me enjoy these any less, but it’s still worth pointing out. Not to mention the fact that this was an excellent sculpt to begin with. You still get some nice ribbed textures in the bodysuit, beautiful contours in the chest armor, and some sharp details in the leg armor.

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In terms of sculpting, the biggest differences come in the belt, which is not only completely different, but also features some hip plates, as well as a magazine pouch slung low and off toward the right hip. These are all cool additions that look great, but they do inhibit the hip articulation a bit, which is unfortunate.

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Of course, these troopers also get a completely different helmet. The extra armor on this helmet’s forehead (blast shield?) is similar, but the down-swept cheek plates are a lot more prominent on this guy. The visor and mouth piece are very reminiscent of the Imperial Scout Troopers. I’m not sure how all these differences specializes them to patrol the beaches, but it’s definitely a cool look and let’s be honest, that’s what’s important.

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Like the Hovertank Pilot, the armor here is weathered but much more, and that’s another thing I love about these guys. They look like they’ve been in the thick of battle. There’s mud and grime present and the armor itself is yellowed. It’s a great contrast to the pristine white armor of the regular Stormtroopers. You also get red and yellow paintwork on the right upper arm, almost like an armband, and a white stripe on the left shoulders. I’m guessing these are regimental markings. If I had a copy of the Visual Dictionary, I probably wouldn’t have to guess.

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Because the body is essentially the same as the Hovertank Pilot, the articulation here is identical. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, with swivels in the thighs and double hinges in the knees. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist and a ball joint just under the chest. His neck has both a ball joint and a hinge.

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The Scarif Troopers come with their trusty E-11 Blasters. They’re very nice sculpts and they even feature some silver dry brushing to make it look like the finish is worn. My only complaint here is that he doesn’t have a holster or any way to clip it onto his belt or leg.

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I found so much to love in Rogue One, but among my favorite things was getting to see the Imperial Forces in action once again. In fact, I love how the film handled it. They didn’t replace my beloved Stormtroopers, but rather just augmented their forces with some brand new types of soldiers for me to buy action figures of. The Scarif armor is definitely my favorite of all the new Troop armor on display in this flick and after drooling over the design for a while, it was great to finally see them in action on the big screen.