Star Wars Black Series (The Clone Wars): Cad Bane by Hasbro

I’ve never been a big fan of The Clone Wars. I’ve tried watching it a few times, but it just never clicked. I think a lot of it has to do with the goofy stylized look of the characters and the fact that it builds off the Prequels. Nonetheless, I became familiar with a lot of the new characters through osmosis and toy marketing, and it’s cool to see some of them bleeding over into other Star Wars media.

One of those characters is Cad Bane, although the figure I’m looking at today was released before his live action appearance on The Mandalorian. Cad tickles my fancy, because I’m a fan of Westerns in general and Clint Eastwood and John Wayne films in particular. It’s only natural that a character that marries The Old West and Star Wars would be right up my ally!

And boy did Hasbro do justice to this guy! The figure perfectly captures the essence of the intergalactic high plains drifter, with some excellent layering and wonderful attention to detail in the sculpt. For starters, the form-fitting trench coat is cast in soft plastic and has the sleeves sculpted as part of the arms. It cuts off at the waist in the front, but trails down to his ankles in the back. It’s a great design, as it not only seems practical in the way it gives him easy access to his guns, but it also doesn’t inhibit the figure’s hip movement. The jacket has a little texturing sculpted in, and I really dig the silver corners on the lapels and lower flaps, which look like reinforced steel tips. My only real complaint about the coat is that the arm holes are too large. At certain angles, it can ruin the effect that the arms are supposed to be sleeves.

As for the rest of the figure, Cad has a sculpted vest under his jacket with two rows of what I presume are power cartridges for his pistols, a satchel hanging on a shoulder strap, two low-slung pistol holsters, and some cool electro gauntlets on his forearms, which have assorted controls on them to access his flamethrower and all sorts of other fun gadgets. Finally, he has a pair of jets attached to the sides of his boots for when he has to skedaddle in a hurry, or head someone off at the pass! That’s western talk!!!

One look at the portrait, and there’s no mistaking that Cad is from Duros, with his bright blue skin, large red eyes, and absence of a nose. His squint and snarl are textbook Clint Eastwood, right off the poster for The Outlaw Josey Wales! He also has two breathing tubes attached to his cheeks, which connect to a control box behind his neck. His distinctive mug is topped off with a wide-brimmed hat, which is removable.

Bane comes with his trusty pair of LL-30 blaster pistols. These are great looking little accessories, especially if you like the smooth and simplified design of the older period Star Wars weapons. They fit perfectly in the holsters, and he has gun-toting hands so he can dual wield them. It would have been great to get his carbine too, but I could always find him something.

I tend to limit myself to only buying characters in the Star Wars shows and movies that I enjoy. These days, that’s The Original Trilogy, The Mandalorian, and Rogue One, but every now and then I have to make an exception. In this case, Cad Bane is not only a cool looking character, but Hasbro nailed this figure so well, that I couldn’t resist having him on the shelf. And now that he’s made an appearance in The Mandalorian, I do believe I’ll have him on display with that collection!

Star Wars “30th Anniversary Collection:” V-Wing Starfighter by Hasbro

It feels like a long while since I’ve looked at a 3 3/4-inch Scale Star Wars vehicle, especially if you exclude the whole 5-POAPALOOSA I did for the opening of The Last Jedi. Let’s face it, Hasbro doesn’t do a lot of these anymore and when they do, they’re a far cry from what they were in the glory days. Unless you want to count a certain Sail Barge Experiment that’s going on right now. Anyway… A couple of weekends back, I spent Saturday morning going through one of my Star Wars totes. I was expecting it to be mostly figures, but there were a few surprises buried in there, and one of them was this cool Starfighter that was released as part of the 30th Anniversary Collection, one of the last of Hasbro’s Star Wars lines that I collected with excitement and fervor. I was surprised to find that I never gave it a proper review here, so I set it aside for a day just like today!

The Alpha-3 Nimbus Class “V-Wing” Starfighter made its appearance at the end of Revenge of the Sith, escorting Palpatine’s shuttle to Mustafar. I’ll confess, this last point came up in my research and I didn’t remember actually noticing them when I watched the movie. For a long time, I just assumed this ship was based off an Expanded Universe design from The Clone Wars, or a concept that never actually got used. One bit of credit I’ll always give to the Prequels and Clone Wars era, is they featured some pretty cool ships, many of which were given the royal treatment by Hasbro to become excellent toys. Anyway, I think this ship was released a few times, but I got the 30th Anniversary Collection version. I was never a big fan of the package design, but I think I bought just about everything this line put out. The package indicates the ship being flown by a standard Clone Pilot, and that’s the figure I’ve used for my pictures, but I’ll point out that Hasbro did release an official V-Wing Pilot as part of an exclusive multi-pack and that one wore a black flightsuit. The V-Wing requires a bit of assembly as all of it’s wings have to be attached, as does the front section of the hull. It’s probably more than I’m used to seeing in this size toy, but nothing too complicated.

To say that this is a distinctive design is quite the understatement! I suppose you could argue that there’s a little bit of A-Wing in here, at least in the ship’s main body, but this one is more elongated and has a much sharper taper, like the head of a spear. Also, I’m a big fan of ships that have different configurations for landing and flight, and as we’ll see in a bit, the V-Wing very nearly takes this idea to the extreme. The basic layout follows the usual Rebel/Republic ship formula with a single-pilot cockpit positioned in front of a socket for an Astromech Droid. In this case, the Droid’s head is permanently attached to the ship, so you cannot provide your own. His head will, however, swivel, and if accessorizing is your thing, he’s painted to match the hull of the ship. And speaking of paint, the deco on this ship is absolutely gorgeous. In addition to the red and off-white coloring, you get some yellow markings, scorch marks, and a lot of silver scrapes and weathering. I think you could argue that Hasbro overdid it a bit with the silver scrapes, but in this case, I think too much is better than nothing. Comparing this ship to Hasbro’s super-clean modern offerings is like comparing apples and oranges.

When landed, the V-Wing rests on three landing struts, the rear two are integrated into the collapsed wings, while the front retracts into the primary hull. There are three sets of articulated wings, one set on each side and another set mounted behind the top of the cockpit. All of these have textured heat radiating panels on the interiors. I really dig the armored-up look the V-Wing sports when it’s all closed up and landed.

From the back, you can see the V-Wing’s dual vertically-stacked thrusters, as well as a pair of articulated rudders that flank the engines. The V-Wing is not capable of Hyperspace on its own, but apparently could be adapted to take a Hyperspace Ring like the Jedi Starfighters. When the ship is ready to take off, you just fold in the front landing strut and press in the upper engine to deploy the wings.

And man, does this thing look awesome with the wings deployed! They spring open like scissor blades and really show off the sleek and aggressive design of the hull. They also reveal the banks of missiles that are positioned on each side of the cockpit area.

The missiles are cool in that they actually look like missiles and not the usual simple rods that we see in a lot of Hasbro’s ships. They have pronounced fins and the tips are painted red. Paint applications on missiles! These truly were wondrous times! There are buttons positioned at the top of the wing mounts which will fire these and they shoot pretty damn far!

The cockpit looks nice and snug, but there’s actually plenty of room in the compartment for the Clone Pilot figure, and I imagine most other normal humanoid figures would fit fine as well. The cockpit is hinged at the back and there’s a little slot at the front to help open it. Fun fact: The V-Wings sacrificed life support for maneuverability, hence the importance of the sealed flightsuit. The eye on my Q7-Series Astromech is a tad wonky, but otherwise the paint on him is pretty good, and I really appreciate the fact that his head will swivel.

About the only downside of this beautiful ship is that it doesn’t come with a way to display it with the wings open. There is, however, a useful cluster of pipes sculpted on its undercarriage near the back. I was able to make it work fairly well with a flight stand that Mattel used to sell for their DC figures.

If you’ve been with me for a while, then you may have heard me talk about my Great Star Wars Purge that happened around 2009 or so, where I liquidated a huge portion of my Star Wars collection. I can still remember getting ready to add this one to the selling pile, but relenting at the last moment. It might have been because it was still a relatively new purchase at the time, but now that I’m holding it in my hands again, I think it was probably more about just how unique and special this ship’s design is, and how well Hasbro carried it off. It’s hard to think of too many ships in this class since that have turned out this well. It’s both a fun and great-looking toy, and it’s been rescued from the storage tote and now displayed on my shelf once again!

Star Wars Black: Ahsoka Tano by Hasbro

If you follow me on The Twitters, you may have seen me carrying on like a big baby over the fact that while shopping at a BIG online retailer, I had a BAD experience shopping at that particular TOY STORE vis-a-vis this figure. Of course, I’m not going to mention them by name here (I have too much class for that!) but truth be told I’m still a little bitter over the way they handled it and the fact that I basically got screwed out of something I ordered. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal, but in this case Ahsoka has been rather difficult to find and prices online have been pretty outrageous. Thankfully a friend was able to hook me up without raking me over the coals too badly.


Here’s Ahsoka in her box and there’s really nothing new to to say about the packaging. Yes, the Star Wars Black Series is now becoming home to characters from what remains of the Expanded Universe. I suppose you could put Ahsoka here in the same category as the realistic version of Kanan that I looked at a week or so ago. Either way, the small corner of the EU that has not been dismantled by the Disney buy-out still includes The Clone Wars and Rebels. I’ve never been a big fan of The Clone Wars series, but OH MY GOD, DID YOU SEE THE SEASON TWO FINALE OF REBELS??? In that context, Ahsoka seems like a perfect companion to the Kanan figure and she also justifies me buying some prequel figures in this line a while back.


Yes, this is Ahsoka done with more realism and less of her more familiar stylized look. It’s not the first time we’ve seen her done this way, I think the first time was in the 4-inch Vintage Collection line, and like Kanan, I think this look suits her. I’m presuming that this is meant to be the older version of the character appearing in Rebels as she does look like an adult. Her outfit isn’t the most complex of designs, but I think they’ve managed to capture it pretty well here from her detached sleeves down to her knee-high boots. The skirt is comprised of soft plastic layered over a soft goods skirt, which is a nice touch and it’s designed to have enough give so as not to inhibit the hip articulation too badly.


Something about that skirt makes Ahsoka look like she’s sporting quite a badonk. Note to self: Immediately commit suicide for using the term badonk. I don’t remember her having such a large caboose in the show, but as the late, great Freddie Mercury sang: “Fat bottomed Togruta girls make the rocking galaxy go round!”



The portrait here is quite good in terms of sculpt. I particularly like the shape of her face in profile. Sadly, the paint is another story. The blue stripes on the tendrils are all over the place, which I suppose give them a little bit of an organic feel. Those are natural, right? Do Togrutas paint those? Is that a racist question? I feel like I should be backing out of this line of questioning. The other issues I have with the paint include her facial markings, which are a little off center and the eyes, which aren’t even. None of these issues really ruin the figure for me. Indeed, they’re not as apparent from the naked eye, and as always mileage may vary from figure to figure.



The articulation here is pretty good. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and ankles. The legs have ball joints in the hips and double hinges in the knees. There are swivels in the thighs, a ball joint in the chest, and a hinge and ball joint in the neck. On the downside, Ahsoka is sporting some pretty tiny feet, so getting her to remain upright in some of those action poses will require either a lot of patience or a good stand. I recommend NECA’s stands for use with most of these 6-inch Black figures. Obviously the tendrils inhibit her neck articulation quite a lot. I could get some side to side movement, but very little up and down.





Naturally, Ahsoka comes with her two lightsabers and there’s honestly not a lot to say about them. The clear blades are removable and the hilts can be hooked onto her hips.






Ahsoka is a very solid figure. I like her a lot and I continue to be a big fan of these realistic treatments of the animated characters. The sculpt is excellent, the articulation is solid, it’s only in the paint where she disappoints. Granted, what’s here is no worse than what we’ve been seeing in a lot of releases in the Black Series. And let’s face it, this line has been all over the place in terms of paint and sculpt quality. But, I’m making a point of calling it out here because Ahsoka is so hard to find and a lot of people are going to be tempted to pay a lot of money for her. If you want to buy her on Amazon right now she’s going to cost you between $45 and $60, and that’s a lot of money for what you’re getting.

Star Wars: The Rise of Boba Fett Ultimate Battle Pack (TRU Exclusive) by Hasbro, Part 3

Welcome to the third and final part of my look at the Rise of Boba Fett Ultimate Battle Pack and the entire reason I bought this set: Slave-1. Hasbro has been teasing us with a Super Slave-1 toy for a while now, and here it finally is. Now, I’ve already heard some rumbling complaints from fans who were expecting something a lot bigger. In truth, this Slave-1 is about 20-25 percent bigger than the past Slave-1 releases. It isn’t quite the facelift that the Falcon or the AT-AT got, but it is an extremely nice upgrade. Considering Slave-1 isn’t in the same size class as either of those two toys, I think Hasbro did a fine job in settling on how much bigger to make this ship. After all, proportionally speaking, this Slave-1 upgrade is pretty much right in line with the new Falcon. Yes, there are a few directions that Hasbro went with this ship that I take issue with, but size is not one of them.

The sculpt and paint job on the ship are absolutely fantastic and was obviously designed for life beyond the more simplistic style of The Clone Wars. In short, this ship is every bit as detailed as any regular Star Wars toy, at least that’s the case on the outside. The panel lines are nicely executed, there’s a ton of sculpted detail in the areas where the stablizer wings attach, and the bottom/back part of the ship is just brimming with details, which is a good thing, because this bottom portion of the ship is highly visible when Slave-1 is orientated in flight mode. The paint job is especially good, and while those of you looking for an ESB version will be disappointed, I’m happy to overlook the difference. The hull’s paint job is nicely weathered, making this ship look so much more like an Attack of the Clones Slave-1 and not one based off the Clone Wars series. The interior of the ship is a big step down, though. There are a few sloppily applied stickers on the inside cabin, but precious little else in the way of detail.

This Slave-1’s play features are basically a hybrid of the Vintage/POTF2 version (opening back compartment) and the Attack of the Clones version (opening cockpit) to give us the best of both worlds. Let’s start with the cockpit.

The opening cockpit is one of those play features where Hasbro is taking liberty with the ship’s design to help you get a little more fun out of it, since this panel was never seen to open on the actual ship design. It’s similar to what Hasbro incorporated into the cockpits of the Millenium Falcon toys to allow you to have access to that part of the ship. It wasn’t necessary with the Vintage/POTF2 toy, since you could put a figure into the cockpit seat (or bed?) and then flip it into position. But in the case of this ship (and the Attack of the Clones version) you need to open this hatch to put the figures into the cockpit. This huge portion of the ship swings up and locks into the open position with a very scary click that makes me think I’m hurting something.

This version of Slave-1’s cockpit allows for three figures, one pilot in front and two in the backseats. They are basically standing in the compartments with clips to hold them in place. If you are planning on putting Jango or adult Boba into these seats, you’ll need to use one with a removable jetpack. With the stabilizer’s unlocked, the cockpit will use gravity to orientate itself in the upright position like a gyroscope, so the pilot is always looking straight on in the direction that the ship is flying. The pilot and passenger area isn’t quite accurate to what we’ve seen, but I do like it very much. It’s impressive enough to be able to get three figures into it.

Opening this cockpit hatch also reveals a cargo slot at the base of the ship, which is obviously designed to store a carbonite slab of Han Solo. Unfortunately, the POTF2 slab won’t fit, but the more recent Saga version (yep, that annoying half-melted one) will slide right on in. It is, however, a snug fit, and if you push it in too far, you’re going to need a pen or something to coax it out again. Again, this isn’t at all accurate to what we’ve seen, but it’s still a nice little addition to the ship.

The side panel on Slave-1 lifts up to reveal a compartment inside. There isn’t a lot going on in here, but at least it adds extra room for cargo or passengers or whatever you want. There’s access to the cockpit, but you can’t really get figures in or out of the pilot seat this way. There’s also a peg on the wall, which I’m guessing is to store either Jango or adult Boba’s jetpack, but there’s no official word anywhere as to the function of this peg. I haven’t checked Jango’s backpack yet, but the VOTC version of Boba’s backpack clips on pretty well. There’s also a grid or vent that looks into another part of the ship, which we’ll see in a minute. As I said earlier, the amount of detail in this compartment isn’t stellar, but there are a lot of pegs to stand figures, and a fair amount of room.

Ah, but here we get to what I consider to be the most disappointing (possibly the only disappointing) thing about this vehicle. Despite the fact that the boarding ramp on the back slides down, there is no access into or out of the ship from this point. There’s a fake hatch sculpted on the inside of the compartment, and only part of a fake hatch sculpted on the outside. I think this was a huge mistep on this toy’s design, and in a way can be considered a step back from the Vintage/POTF2 version. Yeah, I can live with it since the ship has so much else going for it, but it really sticks in my craw. It’s like if Hasbro had the gangplank on the new Falcon not really lead into the ship.

Slave-1 features two rotating cannons on the tail boom, both of which fire missiles. It’s also got two bombs that store in sockets on the bottom of the ship and can be ejected by pressing buttons on either side of the ship’s base.

Slave-1 has one last play feature. There’s a hatch that opens above the fake boarding ramp and lowers down to reveal a compartment with a removable cell for holding captured quarry. This is the area that the grid in the main compartment looks into. I’ve heard more than a few fans complain about this gimmick as being silly, but I don’t see a lot wrong with it. At worst, I’d compare it to the little escape shuttle in the updated Millenium Falcon that can be ignored. In fairness, you can remove it entirely and use this compartment to store the carbonite slab instead of putting it in the front of the ship. Now whether or not including this gimmick prevented Slave-1 from having a working boarding hatch under it, is another matter. if that was the case, I highly disapprove.

All in all, I am very happy with this new Slave-1. It is by no means perfect and the fake boarding ramp will always bug me, but many of Hasbro’s greatest Star Wars toys have involved compromises, and this Slave-1 is no different. Still, it’s bigger, it takes play features from all previous versions and incorporates them together nicely, and it even adds a few surprises. Nonetheless, despite Hasbro’s coy and non commital answers at various Q&A sessions, I think we can all agree that there’s a 99 percent chance this ship will be released again with ESB accurate colors, probably with a Boba Fett figure and Han Solo Carbonite slab (painted without the melting effect) thrown in. I’d even wager it’ll happen next year, so if you just can’t justify the price tag for all this stuff, you can probably wait with confidence that you won’t be disappointed.

As for the price tag on this set… two ships five figures and a $109 price tag. Good deal? Well, it’s not a bad deal if you collect the Clone Wars toys. If you factor in that the figures would run around $7-8 each if you bought them all carded, then that’s about $37 right there. The Jedi Starship fits into Hasbro’s boxed vehicle assortment, which are selling for about $25 now, and that brings the total up to $62. If I set aside the fact that I wouldn’t have purchased the figures or the Starfighter on their own, that makes Slave-1’s cost nearly $40, and I don’t think that’s outrageously high. There’s a lot of fun to be had in this box for kids, and one really nice new version of a classic ship for us adult collectors.

Star Wars: The Rise of Boba Fett Ultimate Battle Pack (TRU Exclusive) by Hasbro, Part 2

We’ve looked at the figures from this Ultimate Battle Pack, so now it’s time to check out the first of the two vehicles: The Jedi Starfighter. Obviously, this toy is based off the Clone Wars era starfighter, which I don’t find quite as appealing as the one that superceded it in The Revenge of the Sith. Still, it’s a cool little ship with some nice features. This particular toy is a repack that has been released several times since 2008 as part of Hasbro’s $20-25 medium sized vehicle assortment. The only version of this Jedi Starship that I’ve ever owned was the Obi-Wan Starfighter that came with the Hyperspace Ring. It was the same basic design, but lacked some of this ship’s gimmicks, so this toy is essentially new to me.

My first impression of this starfighter was that it seems to lack the heft of other Star Wars toys in this size class. As I said, I have never owned this exact mold before, so I may be entirely off base here, but it feels like Hasbro may have skimped on the plastic quality a bit when producing this one. It just doesn’t feel as heavy or sturdy as the plastic used in Slave-1 or any of the other ships I own in this size class. The sculpt is very nice, as it features a good number of panel lines and details. There are no stickers to apply, although the Republic emblems are already in place. The paint scheme is ok, a little drab, and the paint lines are kind of sloppy in places. I think my biggest complaint, is that the ship looks a bland with no other paint apps or weathering or stickers. Maybe it’s designed to look a little more clean and cartoony because it’s a Clone Wars toy, I don’t know. But when I compare this ship to my Revenge of the Sith Starfighters, there’s a huge difference.

The rear cockpit opens to reveal a nicely detailed interior, which can seat either Mace or Anakin or most other figures. Just in front of this cockpit is the Astromech droid slot. There’s actually a hinged hatch that opens so that you can put the droid in and close it around his head and shoulders. It’s a nice feature as it keeps the droid locked in place and he won’t come flying out if you’re inclined to have your ship whooshing around the room and doing barrel rolls. The inside of the droid slot compartment is actually nicely detailed and features a cockpit that is clearly intended for a humanoid pilot, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

The starfighter includes three firing missiles/laser cannon. Two are mounted on the top and the third is concealed in a channel under the ship. It can be easily pulled out to fire or to serve as a third landing strut.

This starfighter’s main gimmick is that you can pull it apart to become two separate ships. The back portion resembles a smaller, cruder prototype of the Jedi Starfighter seen in Revenge of the Sith. The front has two spring loaded wings that deploy when the ships are separated. So here’s where I get confused. On first glance it seems like the ship made up of the front portion is meant to be piloted by the Astromech, but then the slot obviously is designed to accomodate a humanoid figure. Of course any figure sitting in there and piloting this smaller ship would be exposed to the vaccuum of space. I’ve seen most of the Clone Wars cartoon, and I’ve never seen one of these ships split apart, so I’m really unclear on what the purpose of it is. If anyone out there knows, feel free to drop me a comment. Either way, it’s a pretty cool gimmick that doesn’t interfere with the overall design of the toy, so I’m fine with it.

As a pack-in ship, this starfighter is a pretty nice item. I wouldn’t have bought it on it’s own, as I’m not overly fond of the design, but now that I have one in my hands, I may actually wind up keeping it. It’s a cool little ship, but there’s nothing about it that makes me all that excited.

Star Wars: The Rise of Boba Fett Ultimate Battle Pack (TRU Exclusive) by Hasbro, Part 1

Never in a million years did I think I’d be dropping a hundred on another Star Wars item so soon after picking up the gargantuan AT-AT last month, much less on what is essentially a Clone Wars set, and yet here we are. In fairness, this isn’t just one toy, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t buy it for basically just one of the toys in the set, and that is of course the new Slave-1. I tried to convince myself to wait for the inevitable Empire Strikes Back themed release, which would likely contain just Slave-1 and a couple of figures, but there was no getting out of it and I crumbled. Didn’t I stop collecting Star Wars stuff a couple of years back? Yeah, I thought that was me, but maybe not.

This Ultimate Battle Pack consists of the brand new Slave-1, Mace Windu’s Jedi Starfighter, and five Clone Wars figures: Boba Fett, Mace Windu, R8-B7, Anakin Skywalker and Mace Windu. So, as I gather it, the content of this set is based on one of the later episodes of season two of The Clone Wars series. I have seen most of the show, but watching it is such an extremely low priority for me that I’m probably five episodes or so behind. It doesn’t matter. Even if I’d seen it, I’m sure I would have little interest in the five figures included in this set. The Jedi Starfighter is decent enough, and I guess as long as I’m now compelled to own one, it’s not a bad thing to have a Mace Windu and R8-B7 to go along with it, but yet another Anakin? Or young Boba and cartoony Bossk? Hells no. They’re bound to be consigned to one of the dreaded hodge-podge totes in the deepest, darkest recesses of my toy closet or perhaps tossed on The Block, also known as Ebay.

Anyway, I’m going to divvy this review up into three parts. First we’ll look at the packaging and the figures. Next we’ll look at the Jedi Starfighter, and we’ll save the main attraction, Slave-1, for last. That way, if you have no interest in the Clone Wars stuff, you can just wait for Part 3 to turn up. Probably tomorrow.

The box for this set is understandably large, as it contains two mostly assembled ships and a handful of figures. But it isn’t as large as the box for the AT-AT. It’s probably as long, but only about half as tall. The packaging includes a front panel illustration of Slave-1 and Mace Windu’s fighter blasting away. There are two windows to display the five figures. The box also proudly proclaims that Slave-1 is over 18″ long, that the figures come with the accoutrement needed for that crappy card battle game, and that this is indeed a Toys R Us exclusive set. The back panel shows actual photos of the toys and some of their action gimmicks. Tear the box open and you find that the Jedi Starfighter is completely assembled and Slave-1 just requires you to attach the stablizer wings. The figures’ stands and cards come in a baggie, along with the instruction sheet, a small sticker sheet, a dice, and the missiles. You could conceivably pack everything back up into the box again, but getting the stablizers off again once they are attached isn’t at all easy, nor is it recommended.

Ok, let’s look at the figures.

Let me start out with the disclaimer/reminder that I am not a big fan of the character designs for the Clone Wars series and so none of these figures are at all aimed at me and my collecting tastes. As for this particular assortment: I’ve got way too many Anakin figures already. I can live with the Mace Windu and R8-B7 since they compliment the Starfighter nicely. I have no interest in owning a young Boba Fett figure, especially since Slave-1 will be going to my fully growed up Fett. And as for Bossk, I’m perfectly happy with my VOTC version. Nonetheless, I’ll try to give each figure his due and be respective of their proper context, and above all not offend anyone who digs these style of figures. Of the five figures, two of them (Anakin and Mace) are repacks, whereas the other three are brand new and exclusive to this set.

The Anakin figure is the least cartoony of the bunch. In fact, I’d dare say he could pass easily for a regular Star Wars figure. I don’t have a lot to say about him, although I will point out that his face is scarred up and he looks pissed. He is nicely articulated, with ball joints in his head, shoulders, elbows and knees, basic joints at the hips and a swivel waist, and he comes with his lightsaber and a stand. Interestingly, he has a socket on his belt to hold a lightsaber hilt, but the light saber he comes with does not have a removable blade and he does not come with a separate hilt to attach there. All in all, I think this is a very good version of Anakin, but chances are most of the people buying this set already have one.

Mace Windu isn’t too bad either. His face is definitely stylized, but not ridiculously so. Mace comes with a Clone Trooper helmet as well as three pieces of removable Clone armor, but the armor on his forearms is part of the sculpt. He also comes with a stand and his purple lightsaber. Like Anakin, his lightsaber is one piece, without a detachable blade. The articulation on this figure is a bit subpar for today’s standards. He’s ok from the waist up, with ball jointed neck, shoulders and elbows. Below the waist, however, he only has standard joints in his hips, but at least this allows him to sit in his starfighter. His waist features one of those annoying spring loaded gimmicks to make him snap back. I’m told there’s a far better Clone Wars-styled Mace figure hanging on the pegs now, so this throwback isn’t likely to excite anyone and if you already collect the Clone Wars, there’s a good chance you own him already anyway.

I really like R8-B7, despite his simplified cartoony sculpt. He actually looks like he could fit in with regular Star Wars figures as a variant design. His legs rotate at the “shoulders” and have hinged “ankles” and his head turns 360 degrees. His third leg is removable so you can have him standing still or rolling. What I really like about him are all the little gimmicks. His front has two doors that open to reveal a retractable claw and a laser gun or welding arm or something. His back also has an opening panel that reveals a grappling hook. He’s also got a sensor-periscope thingy that pops out of his head. Hasbro packed a lot of cool stuff into this simple little droid figure.

Bossk is an extremely nice figure for this style and I’m guessing that if you collect the Clone Wars figures, this guy is going to be a really big deal to own. His sculpt is certainly simplified to maintain the cartoony appearance, but still hits all the points and overall he looks pretty decent with a nice balance between the two styles. The biggest difference is in his forearms, which are much longer, thinner and rubbery, which give him an enhanced lizard-like appearance. Bossk’s articulation sports balljoints in his shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles as well as his torso. His neck rotates, no balljoint there, and he has standard leg joints in his hips. Bossk comes with his blaster rifle and a stand.

I have the least to say about Boba Fett, because he’s basically just a bratty looking kid in desparate need of a haircut. The sculpt is pretty good, as is his articulation. He has balljoints in his neck, shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles. His hips have standard leg joints. His right hand looks like it is sculpted to hold a blaster, but he doesn’t come with any accessories apart from his stand, so maybe it’s sculpted so that he can pick his nose.

The figures each come with their collector card and stand. Yes, even the droid comes with a stand. You can plug the cards into the stands and have them fight each other by rolling the dice and checking numbers against each other.

So yeah, I’m not really the target audience for these figures and I tried not to be too hard on them. I suppose if you are a collector of the Clone Wars figures then the exclusives in this set are pretty cool. True, you are getting saddled with two pretty common figures, one of which is a subpar repack, but then I guess only two out of five isn’t so bad.

Next time… we look at Mace Windu’s Jedi Starfighter.

Star Wars: Pirate Speeder Bike with Cad Bane by Hasbro

As soon as I saw this set, I knew I was going to have to buy it. No, I’m not a big fan of the Clone Wars series (I just can’t get past those goofy, stylized character designs), although I’ve seen most of it. As a result, I’ve never been tempted to buy any of the figures until Cad Bane came along. I love Westerns. I love Clint Eastwood. When you mix those things together with Star Wars to create a Bounty Hunter character, you’ve pretty much got me hooked. Make a figure of him bundle it with a cool Speeder Bike and my money is yours, Hasbro.

The packaging is a sort of hybrid between a window box and a pegged cardback. It shows off the figure and vehicle nicely and it converts to a little backdrop diorama too, which is always a nice touch. I don’t find a lot of appeal in the Clone Wars packaging artwork. It just seems too confused and busy, but then it’s hanging on the pegs next to the vintage style stuff, so it’s hardly a fair comparison. Either way, this packaging is serviceable. Let’s start off with the figure.

Ah, Cad Bane. Even his ridiculous name works for me, although it makes me wonder how long it will be until Lucas just gives up his thinly veiled names completely and introduces a character named Jerk Badguy or Nast E. Douchebag. Either way, Bane’s character design is an obvious homage to the classic American Western icon. He is the Star Wars equivalent of The Man With No Name right down to his wide brimmed hat and dual pistol belt. Maybe there’s more Lee Van Cleef in him than Clint Eastwood, but either way I’m surprised he’s not wearing a poncho. Maybe I can find my Hawkbat figure and make him one. Seriously, the only thing missing here is a tiny little cheroot hanging out of the corner of his mouth. The other thing I like about this figure is that it is sculpted to fit in just fine with the non-cartoony Star Wars figures in my collection. Try doing that with the Clone Wars version of Count Dooku!

Bane is designed to fit perfectly on the Speeder Bike, and yet apart from a slightly wide stance, nothing was sacrificed for it, as he is a great stand alone figure too, with excellent articulation. His hat is removable, as is his shoulder bag. His blasters fit into his belt holsters too. He’s got all sorts of controls and gadgets sculpted onto his arm bracers and he’s even got the jets on his legs that he used to fly around in the show. They did a good job recreating his character, but not making it overly stylized and cartoony. Like I mentioned earlier, this guy will fit in with regular Star Wars figures quite nicely.

The Speeder Bike is really cool. I’m pretty sure this one has been released before, but it is new to me. It has a nice chopper-style front stablizer, seats for two figures, and a clip on the back to hold Cad’s blaster carbine (also included). There are also twin blasters that can flip out of the rear stablizers to give it some firepower. Bane sits on the bike really well, and the pedals have pegs to help keep him seated if you are so inclined to zip him around the room on it.

In addition to the figure and vehicle, you also get a figure stand, a game card and a six-sided dice. These trappings are for the new card battle type game gimmick that Hasbro launched with their 2010 Star Wars figures. The idea is you plug the card into the stand, you face it off against another figure and its card, you roll the dice add up some numbers and see who wins. Sounds fun, right? How did I ever manage to play with figures when I was a kid without this ridiculous convaluted system? I guess video games, Pokemon and Yugioh have robbed kids of all the remnants of imagination so this sort of thing is necessary now. At least the gimmick doesn’t detract from the toys at all, and the stand is still perfectly serviceable.

This set cost $15.99 at Walmart and I think it was a pretty good deal. I’m not sure what the centerpiece of this set is supposed to be, the figure or the bike. I’m guessing it’s the bike since that’s what’s stressed in big letters on the package. I’ll confess, I bought it mainly for the figure, since I haven’t seen him carded alone yet, but the bike was a really nice bonus too.