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.

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Star Wars Black: Bastila Shan (3 3/4” Scale) by Hasbro

A little while ago Hasbro released Knights of the Old Republic character Bastila Shan in their Vintage Collection. This made yours truly very sad because this figure was very poorly distributed and it was only available for exorbitant scalper prices. The evil scalpers didn’t care one jot nor piffle that I loved KotR with all my heart and desperately wanted some figures because the only way I can express my love for something is to buy little plastic versions of it. The same was pretty much true for all the Knights figures Hasbro released and so I was forced to go without. Fast forward to now and Hasbro has managed to scratch out a few of the bastard points they earned from me by re-releasing Bastila as part of that most dubious of endeavors… the Star Wars Black 3 3/4” line. A line where just about any good figure appearing in it has been repacked or bumped from another line. And that brings us to today’s feature!

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As mentioned, the original release of Bastila came on a snazzy looking, albeit completely nonsensical and ret-conned, vintage-style card. This re-release comes on the crappy and thoughtless Star Wars Black card. Don’t worry, I’m not even going to complain about the packaging this time. Hasbro could have dropped her into a used sardine tin and I still would have happily purchased this figure. Now, the last thing I want to do is piss all over this gesture of good will, but it would have been even better had Hasbro released the rest of those expensive and hard to get Knights figures in this line. Even if they dropped one into each wave it would have been a great way to get characters like Revan, Malak and HK-47 into the hands of desparate collectors like me. Oh well…

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And there she is! It’s funny how instantly iconic Bastila’s costume has become for me, but then I did spent well over 100 hours on just the first KotoR alone, so at one point all these character designs must have been burned into my retinas. And rightly so, because Bastila is a great character, and certainly among my favorites in the Expanded Universe that I guess doesn’t exist anymore? Huh. Now I’m kind of depressed. Anyway, Hasbro did a wonderful job sculpting the Old Republic equivalent of her Jedi garb. I like this rather sleek and less bulky look, not only because Bastila was easy on the eyes, but because it seems like it would be easier to fight with as opposed to draping yourself in layers of window treatments. I like the scrollwork sculpted into the brown leather portions of the outfit and there’s some particularly nice detail work on the pouches of her belt. The strips of skirt are made of soft plastic and they don’t inhibit the leg articulation too badly.

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The portrait here is decent enough. It’s not that amazing a likeness of the in-game model, but considering Hasbro’s track record on the 3 3/4” ladies, I’ll take what I can get. The paint looks fine under normal viewing, but as is often the case with figures in this scale it breaks down a bit the closer you get. Yeah, the skin tone is a little bit waxy, but in the pictures that’s mostly enhanced by my studio lights. I do really like the one wisp of hair that’s drawn across her forehead just below her hairline. It’s a characteristic that was in the game model and a nice bit of attention to detail to include it on the figure.

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Despite the mold being more than a few years old, the articulation here is decent for modern Hasbro standards. You get ball joints in the neck, shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles. There are swivels in the wrists and in the waist. Unfortunately, the hips use the tired old T-crotch, which Hasbro just will not give up on.

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Bastila comes with both a lit and unlit version of her double-bladed lightsaber. The unlit hilt is pegged so that it can attach to her belt, which is always a welcome feature. The lit one features yellow blades and she can hold it pretty well in her left hand while her right hand is sculpted to be doing some kind of Force hocus-pocus Battle Meditation mumbo-jumbo.

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I absolutely love this figure and I’m thrilled to finally be able to get it at a decent price. In fact, I was able to pick her up from the Interwebs for only $10, which is about a fifth of what she was going for in some of the scalper channels. Hasbro has been putting the bro back in Hasbro lately by using current lines to re-release hard to get figures. They did it in the Infinite Series with Omega Red and I hope they keep it up. The only thing that makes me sad about owning this figure is that it reminds me I’m missing all the other Knights of the Old Republic figures. And that Hasbro never made a 3 3/4” scale Ebon Hawk, but that’s a rant for another day.