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.

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Star Wars Rebels: Sabine Wren, The Fifth Brother, and Kanan Jarrus in Stormtrooper Disguise by Hasbro

When I looked at the first wave of Rogue One 3 3/4-inch figures, I excluded the ones that were not part of that movie. Well, today I’m going to swing back and take a look at Sabine and Kanan from that wave as well as The Fifth Brother from a previous The Force Awakens wave. This is going to run surprisingly long, so I’m just going to jump right in!

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God, look how gorgeous and colorful these packages are! What? Only two? Yeah… sometime last week I was drunk and impatient (imagine that!) and I opened Kanan without shooting the package first. But as the great Meatloaf once sang, two out of three ain’t bad, so at least I can showcase Sabine and The Fifth Brother carded. The configuration of the cards and bubble are almost identical between TFA and Rogue One. The artwork features Kylo Ren in the older TFA wave and a Death Trooper in the newer Rogue One wave. Both cards have some kick ass character art and every time I see these figures on the pegs, I’m tempted to get doubles to hang on my wall. Fortunately, I’ve resisted so far. Let’s start with the older release and work our way up.

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As a character, I can’t say I’m a big fan of The Fifth Brother in the TV series, but I’ve been going all in on the Rebels figures, so I had to buy him. Besides, I do like the designs of the Imperial Inquisitors and this figure does a good job of bringing that design and animated style to action figure form. His uniform hits a lot of the same points as the original Inquisitor’s, but it’s still a complete re-design. I really dig the shoulder armor with the Imperial insignia, along with the carved deco on his abdomen. The paint here is excellent. It’s sharp, clean, and the silver really makes the figure pop. If I had to nitpick something here, it’s that the head sculpt is a little on the soft side, but it still works for me.

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The Fifth Brother is a fairly bulky figure too, at least compared to most of the other Rebels characters. It’s possible he’s a little undersized, as he’s only a bit taller than the original Inquisitor. But then I’m used to seeing him beside The Seventh Sister, who is notably shorter, so who knows… this scale could be correct. Either way, he’s a great looking figure and I’m glad I bought him.

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I expected the light saber to be a straight repack from the original Inquisitor’s, but I was pleased to find that it’s an entirely new sculpt and has some very nice paint work on the hilt too!

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Since this guy was released back in The Force Awakens series, he includes one of three build-a-weapon pieces. As a stand alone accessory it looks like some kind of claw gun thing. Yup, that’s what a claw gun thing looks like. It’s designed to combine with the pieces that came with Tasu Leech and Admiral Ackbar. I’ll get around to looking at Tasu eventually. I plan on blitzing a bunch of The Force Awakens figures I still haven’t featured here. Akbar, on the other hand, is crazy hard to find and rather expensive now, so I don’t know that I’ll ever get the chance to add him to my collection. Moving on to Kanan…

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This could have been an easy kit-bash of the older Kanan figure’s head on an older Rebels Stormtrooper’s body, but Hasbro went the extra mile and gave us an entirely new sculpt! He’s notably taller than the Stormtrooper Officer that came packed with Hera a while back. The pauldron is also smaller and there are a few minor differences in the armor details.

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The new head sculpt is excellent. I’ve seen a lot of comments about how much better it is than the regular Kanan figure. I think it’s more a matter of taste. I actually like them both well enough. The removable helmet fits over the head really well and thankfully, you can’t see his pony tail sticking out the back, although that would be pretty funny if it did. Also, you can pop the head off and remove the pauldron if you want Kanan disguised as just a regular Stormtrooper. And no, you cannot swap heads with the original Kanan figure.

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Kanan comes with both his lightsaber and an E11 Blaster.

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Oh yeah, he also comes with this abomination. It’s a gun that shoots a giant blue wheel. Yeah, I got nothing. I was no fan of the build-a-weapon nonsense, but I think some of those were actually better than these gimmicky weapons. Moving on, I’ve saved the best for last…

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A new and updated version of Sabine Wren, this figure is absolutely amazing on so many levels. For starters, it represents her most recent look on the show with the brand new stylized armor and a removable helmet. The sculpt and coloring on this figure are both so sharp that she almost feels like she belongs to a whole different series of figures. Even the tiniest painted flourishes on her armor are all so crisp and clear and you get a beautiful gradient to her hair color in the back. Just gorgeous!

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The helmet is a little over-sized, but that can’t really be helped in a figure in this scale. I’d rather they go a little bigger on the helmet than give her a pin head. Besides, I’ll likely be displaying this figure with the helmet off most of the time, because the portrait is fantastic. Her left arm is even pre-posed so she can hold the helmet tucked into her elbow. Sabine also features her twin pistols and working holsters for them.

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Even Sabine’s gimmicky accessory isn’t that bad. It’s basically a zip-line that she can wear on her right. It’s a tad big for her, but it works a lot better with larger figures like Kanan. If I had this accessory when I was a kid, I’d be playing with it all the time! In fact, my GI Joe and Star Wars figures would all be fighting over it.

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Obviously, I’m a big fan of the Rebels 3 3/4-inch figures. I think the 5-POA style works perfectly with the stylized sculpts and collecting these brings me back to the tail end of Kenner Star Wars when we were getting Droids and Ewoks figures. I’d still argue that Hasbro is missing a huge opportunity by not giving the series a committed line of its own and really pumping out the characters, but at least we’re still getting some figures trickling in from the series. I’d say these three are definitely among the best Rebels figures we’ve had and I hope Hasbro continues to slip a few in every couple of waves. In the meantime, I’m still hunting for the Third Sister Vs Darth Maul two-pack, not to mention a few of the older figures.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Rebels: Garazeb Orrelios and C1-10P Chopper by Hasbro

If you’ve followed my adventures in the toy aisles over the last year then you probably know how frustrating it was for me to collect Hasbro’s 3 3/4″ Rebels line. Just getting the crew of the Ghost was like pulling wookie teeth and even I eventually gave up on the chance of ever finding Chopper outside of the $30-40 he was going for in the Interweb’s various scalper dens of scum and villainy. Nonetheless, Hasbro has finally started to make a mends with me and this line by releasing the annoying little Astromech Droid in a new two-pack. Yeah, it meant having to buy Zeb again, but considering the alternatives, I’m not going to complain. Well, maybe a little.

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They may be Rebels figures, but there’s a new Star Wars flick hitting theaters in a little more than a month and that means everything has to be branded accordingly with Kylo Ren’s filthy mug and his garage-kit lightsaber. These new two-packs seem to run the gamot of series from Original Trilogy to Rebels to Force Awakens. It doesn’t matter, throw some friggin Ewoks in there too. Just get figures on the pegs and people will buy them! I cannot understand why Hasbro is being so stand offish with Rebels and the 3 3/4″ line (let alone the new movie). It’s probably the biggest chance they have to sell toys in forever and even what little they have out is tough to find. Anyway, the package is a little window box and it’s totally collector friendly. It’s also absolutely gorgeous right down to the amazing artwork of Zeb and Chopper. They really do hide the characters’ names, though, all the way on the bottom left hand corner. You also get a big missile launcher that appears to be exclusive to this set, because Hasbro just can’t resist an opportunity to toss in a big missile launcher. Let’s start with Zeb…

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…and yup, as suspected it is just a repack of the regular Zeb figure, which was packed with a Stormtrooper under the original assortment of Rebels figures. I liked this figure a lot back then and I still like him now. It’s a really great sculpt that follows the rather simplified animated style of the series and yet there’s still a fair amount of detail on him. The paint is also really tight, at least when compared to some of Hasbro’s other efforts in this scale lately. The colors really pop on this figure, the graffiti on his shoulder looks great, and I particularly love the green paint they used for his eyes.

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Zeb comes with two accessories. You get the same gun he came with in his original release and you get the previously mentioned missile launcher. The launcher is a nice looking BFG, but it’s not really designed for a figure with only five points of articulation. I’ll probably give it to a figure who can actually handle it properly.

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And then we have Chopper and he is definitely the hardest I ever worked to get a figure of a character that I do not like. I hoped he would grow on me as the show went on, but that hasn’t been the case. Thankfully, his antics aren’t enough to spoil what has become a great little series. Anyway, I have major mixed feelings about his little figure. On the one hand, there’s some nice detail going on in the front. The recessed parts look really good and the paint is fairly solid.

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On the other hand, there’s really nothing at all going on with his backside. It also feels like there were some missed opportunities with him. When you see how little plastic is involved with this guy, Hasbro could at least have included some peg-in arms or a middle wheel or something to beef him up. As it is all he has are just three points of articulation (head and “shoulders”) and nothing else. It’s crazy how happy I am to finally have this guy in my collection, but not having a complete set of the Ghost crew was really ticking me off.

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This set retails for around $15 and despite Chopper’s insane prices on the secondary market, this one seems to be pretty easy to find and even the online prices haven’t been inflated. As a matter of fact, at the time I’m posting this, the set is actually available on Amazon for eleven bucks! It’s a great opportunity for collectors like me who never found the angry little Astromech droid and while I should be complaining about having to buy another Zeb to get him, I’m not. In fact, getting this set has given me a push to try to track down the remaining figures in the line that I’m still missing. But, what does the future hold for the Rebels 3 3/4″ line? Who knows. Right now the only new figure that’s been shown has been the new Inquisitor, although unless they plan on releasing that figure in a two-pack like this one, it seems like at least a handful of other figures should follow.