Star Wars Black (Solo): Moloch by Hasbro

Solo may have had disappointing returns at the Box Office, but I enjoyed the hell out of it, and Hasbro is still supporting it with their 6-inch Black Series. Not only are we getting a second wave of figures hitting soon, and not long around the film’s home release, but Target is offering a Deluxe Exclusive of Moloch, the Grindalid Enforcer of the White Worms!

Like Target’s other Black Series Exclusive, Moloch comes in a larger, bulkier version of the standard Black Series box. As this is an exclusive, there’s no number on the side, but you do get a little bio blurb on the back and the package is totally collector friendly. The wider box allows this larger figure to be viewed through the window beside his accessories and I think he displays great in the package. I may actually keep this box!

And he’s not too shabby out of the box either! I thought this Moloch had a cool design in the film and Hasbro has translated it to action figure form quite nicely. He has sculpted plastic robes with a an additional layer cast in a sleeveless soft plastic with the sleeves sculpted onto the arms. It gives the figure’s outfit a lot of depth and the robes themselves feature some texturing as well as sculpted stitch lines. You can even see his sleeves protruding from the shorter sleeves of the robe. He’s also wearing sculpted gloves with reinforced leather-like patches on the backs of his hands.

Moloch looks like a humanoid, but looks can be deceiving. He’s apparently the same species as Lady Proxima, and that means that he’s really just a big worm with arms. If you peek under the robes, you won’t see legs, but just a big, bloated worm body and I really dig that. The stubby worm legs actually run all the way up his body. Here’s a case where I really wish Hasbro had gone for softgoods for this Moloch’s robes. It would have allowed me to get a much better look at the worm body under there, but I suppose you could argue that the costume wouldn’t have looked as good. Either way, being a worm means that there aren’t a lot of points of articulation on this fellow. The arms have the usual rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, but apart from a ball joint in the waist, that’s all you get.

The figure comes unmasked in the package, but I started out with his face all closed up. The covered worm body protrudes out of the robes and hunches over to have the “head” encased in a giant ring and mask with breathing apparatus. There’s some particularly nice attention to detail here in the sculpt. The surface of the mask looks pitted and old in some areas, there’s further detailing on the flat “nose” piece, and the segmented tubes that come out the sides are a nice touch. The bulk of the mask is not removable, but the face plate can be taken off to get a look at Moloch’s real mug inside.

And it turns out he’s a blue-eyed slug. Hasbro did a fantastic job with the sculpting and paint on the worm head. He’s got some cool wrinkling around his eyes and a pair of slits for nostrils. The skin tone has some different shades and there’s a slightly glossy finish, which makes the plastic look like honest-to-god alien worm skin. Obviously, the removable mask isn’t a surprise, since the figure comes packaged with it off, but this feature still delighted me to no end and goes a long way to make this figure feel like it’s worth the Deluxe price tag.

In addition to the removable mask, Moloch comes with two more accessories. The first is this staff. I’m not sure if this is meant to be a weapon, like a mace, or just some kind of badge of office, and I’m not even sure what the disgusting mass is supposed to be at the end. He may just run around threatening to touch people with it. Either way, he can hold it well in his left hand.

The second accessory is his blaster pistol, which can be worn on the holster on his belt. I’ve been a big fan of the blaster designs in some of the new Star Wars movies in general, but definitely in Rogue One and Solo in particular, and this little gun is a good example of why. It’s not what I would consider a conventional Star Wars design, but it has that same sense of a realistic looking firearm modified with sci-fi bits. I also really dig that they actually painted the wood grips.

Unlike the other Deluxe Target Exclusive in this line, Moloch was really easy for me to find. My Target had three of him on the shelf and he’s still been there the last few times I’ve been through the toy aisle. Granted, he’s not an army builder and maybe not as iconic a character as that Green Space Pig, but he is in excellent figure and I’m very glad I picked him up. The extra $10 he runs is somewhat justified by the larger size of the figure, although I can’t help but think that if this was a Marvel Legends he would have been the same price as a regular figure. I think the biggest missed opportunity is not giving him a Corellian Hound. I would have happily ponied up a little extra to get one of them!

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Star Wars Black (Solo): Qi’ra by Hasbro

How about that Solo: A Star Wars Story, eh? Who could have thought that such a fun and simple little space adventure could elicit so much controversy? And I’m not even talking about people picking it apart. From the “this was an unnecessary prequel” mantra to “let’s form a boycott campaign against this movie because we didn’t like another movie” all I have to say is “Holy shit, people!” Let’s all just relax and have a look at a Star Wars figure.

If you need any indicator of how much I enjoyed Solo, the fact that I’ve purchased and actually opened the entire wave of figures should do the trick. I have a short stack of figures from The Last Jedi that I just can’t bring myself to open, so it feels good to be a little excited about some SWB releases again. Qi’ra wasn’t one of my favorite things about the film, but as a character, she was perfectly serviceable. To be honest I’m just not a big fan of  Emilia Clarke, so I may be a little biased here. Oh, and she’s Figure #66. I don’t usually pay attention to the numbers in this line, but really, Hasbro? You couldn’t have thought of a more appropriate character for the 66 slot?

Qi’ra wore a few outfits throughout the movie, but Hasbro is dubbing this her Corellia outfit and it was a curious look to go with, since I seem to recall her only wearing it in the beginning. Indeed, while doing some research it was hard to find that many pictures of her wearing it. Either way, her sculpted digs include black boots, pants, and skirt, as well as a red top and a jacket. The skirt is a bit weird, as it’s longer in the front than in the back, it has tabs coming off the sides that don’t seem to have a function, and there’s some dirt or mud splashed up against the bottom front edge. She also has a brace of what looks like some kind of ammo or blaster charges across the front of her belt. The bit of additional mud splash on her boots is a nice touch.

The red and black top is smooth and doesn’t have a whole lot of sculpted detail. It does, however have a front flap that’s partially pulled down. What is it with these flappy shirts in this movie? Both Lando and Han had similarly designed tops, all of which remind me a bit of the Starfleet uniforms that debuted in Star Trek II. The jacket is gray with a textured collar that extends down the front and looks like it’s supposed to be some kind of wool or fur. The sculpted sleeves are also rumpled quite a bit and looking like they’ve been partially pushed up to reveal the various devices on her wrists. All in all, Hasbro did a nice job on the outfit.

I’m a bit torn on the portrait. If I were judging it strictly on likeness, I wouldn’t give it the highest marks. There are some similarities here and there, particularly in her lips. It’s not the worst likeness this line has turned out, but it’s certainly not the best either. Still, it’s certainly better than Funko did with the likeness of Clarke from their 6-inch Game of Thrones line. The face here is very pretty and the paint on her lips and printing on her eyes are both on point. The somewhat distinctive haircut is recreated especially well. All in all, I’d say not bad, just not great.

Qi’ra comes with only one accessory and that’s her blaster. It’s a very small, double-barreled pistol with a gray body and silver barrels. Oddly enough it’s even designed to come apart. It’s a nice little gun and while it’s meant for her right hand with the trigger finger, she can actually hold it in either one. I just wish there was somewhere on her to store it.

As for poseability, we have some pretty standard female SWB articulation on display here, which means rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have ball joints at the hips, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There are swivels in the thighs, a ball joint at the waist, and her neck is both hinged and ball jointed. The skirt is slit up the sides so it doesn’t impede her hip movement all that much, and the range of motion on her elbows is surprisingly good.

Qi’ra was actually the hardest figure in this assortment for me to find. I happened upon the Range Trooper before any of the others, and I even saw one more on the pegs since then. Meanwhile the pegs are always chock full of Lando and Han, almost to the point where they’re outnumbering DJ from The Last Jedi. Can’t imagine why that figure isn’t selling! As for Qi’ra, I only found her once and she hasn’t turned up again since, so I’m glad I bought her when I did. I’m also glad that Hasbro is following through with another wave of 6-inch Black Series Solo figures. I’ll be keeping my eye out for those!

Star Wars Black (Solo): Lando Calrissian by Hasbro

As promised, I’m back for a Solo double feature. This morning I checked out the Alden Ehrenreich version of young Han Solo and this afternoon I’m looking at the Donald Glover version of young Lando Calrissian. I’ve already proferred my general feelings about the movie in the previous review (I liked it!) so let’s just dive right in and talk about Lando…

There were a few times in the movie where I had to remind myself that Ehrenreich was Han Solo, but that was never the case for Glover as Lando. I don’t think I’ve seen a re-cast this effective since Karl Urban stepped into the role of Dr. McCoy in the 2009 Star Trek film. His mannerisms were a little more fleshed out, but they still felt right and I have to say Glover’s was the standout performance for me in this flick. So how did his action figure turn out?

Pretty damn good! For starters, Hasbro did a fine job recreating young Lando’s flashy duds. He comes out of the package wearing a scupted plastic black cape, which clips around his neck, rests on his shoulders, and hangs down just a bit past his waist. The interior of the cape is painted blue, which hints a bit at the cape he wore in Empire. Yes, apparently Lando has a bit of a cape fetish and the movie took a few opportunities to point it out and have fun with it. The trousers are unremarkable, and he has a serviceable pair of glossy black boots. He also has a gun belt with a silver buckle and an open holster for his gun.

The flashiest thing about the outfit is the bright yellow high-collared shirt, which features a sculpted chest-flap that’s partially folded down to reveal the black interior. I suspected this shirt might be a reuse of Han’s, because both have a similar flap designs, but they appear to each be unique. There’s also a black bar on the left side of Lando’s chest, which I thought was a flap for a pocket, but it just seems to be there for ornamental purposes. Contrasting this yellow shirt is his long black scarf with a diagonal white pattern. This is the kind of outfit that I would see at The Gap when I was a teenager, but wouldn’t have the chops to wear it to school.

I’m a tad mixed on the head sculpt. It’s certainly not bad, but I think it leans a bit more toward caricature than a straight on likeness. It might be because of the expression in the brow. Also, I didn’t notice it in the film, but the dent in Lando’s coif is channeling a little Moss from The IT Crowd. Like the Han figure, Lando features the halftone printing for the facial features, and it looks good around the eyes, but I think the beard and mustache could have been a bit sharper.

Lando comes with a rather unique blaster and holster. The holster is open with three bands to secure it. The top two bands are open on one end and the bottom is a loop to stick the barrel through. It can be a bit tricky to get it seated right without the barrel looking like it’s bent and sometimes when I remove the blaster from the holster, the barrel will stay in, because…

The muzzle is detachable. We’ve seen a few modular weapons in Rogue One and even in Solo, Han’s DL-44 Blaster gets broken down from a larger gun before Beckett tosses it to him. I’m just not sure if this particular blaster was meant to come apart, or if Hasbro just designed the accessory that way. And if its meant to come apart, what does the longer barrel do for it? Is it a silencer? Does it make it more accurate? Honestly, I can’t even remember seeing this gun in the film, but I assume it’s the one he was using while escaping a certain mining facility. Whatever the case, I like this gun a lot. The sculpted detail is excellent and the silver paint job makes it look very snappy.

I’ll note here that Lando’s articulation here is identical to what we saw with Han Solo and since I just reviewed that figure this morning, I’ll take the lazy way out and refer you back to that review. The cloak does impede shoulder articulation, although the right side is billowed out a bit so he can draw and raise his blaster with the cape on.

No doubt about it, young Lando is a worthy addition to my SWB Collection. It’s a great representation of Lando from the film and I’m really glad I picked him up. The only thing I’ll really nitpick is, I wish he came with some Sabacc cards. They could have sculpted a hand of cards as a single accessory, or even included an extra hand with the cards as part of the hand sculpt. Oh well. Before seeing the movie, I was pretty sure I was going to be happy with just getting Han, Lando, and the Range Trooper, but now that I”ve seen it I’m going to go ahead and pick up Q’ira to finish out this assortment. I’m also happy to see that Hasbro has shown off pictures of a second Solo-themed wave and I’ll be all over that like stink on a Wookie.

Star Wars Black (Solo): Han Solo by Hasbro

Solo, the latest Star Wars Story hit theaters last week and I have to say that while I was pretty apprehensive about this one going in, I ended up enjoying it very much. There were a few things here and there that I felt were a little off, but overall the movie generated enough goodwill to allow me to overlook those things. Yeah, there was one cameo that I think was a terrible idea and left a bad taste in my mouth, but I won’t go into anything spoilery just yet. But ultimately, Solo (in conjunction with Rogue One) gave me a well-needed shot of assurance, that if the proper episode-whataver saga movies don’t right themselves, I’ll have these Star Wars Story films to fall back on for my Star Wars fix. In the meantime, I’m doubling up on Star Wars Black reviews today, with a look at Han Solo right now, and Lando Calrissian later on tonight.

And here we have my first Han Solo figure based on someone else playing the character. Let me confess, I didn’t know who Alden Ehrenreich was before he was cast in this film, and I was pretty dubious about how this was going to play out. My main concern was that I’d go through the movie and my brain wouldn’t allow this person to click as Han Solo. Thankfully, that fear wasn’t entirely realized and I think Ehrenreich did a pretty damn good job. Let’s face it, he had some huge space boots to fill, and if I was an actor, that kind of pressure would have killed me. In most scenes I think he sold it entirely, while there were a few (very few) times where I had to remind myself in the back of my head that this was indeed supposed to be Han Solo. But this film was a fun and gripping adventure and I was willing to go along for the ride, and I would not at all be opposed to seeing Ehrenreich take on the role again.

And I’m happy to report that Hasbro did a fantastic job on this figure! Young Han wore a number of outfits throughout the movie, from Imperal uniforms, to disguises, to a big furry jacket, but this figure is based on the one he settled on for most of it and clearly this is supposed to be iconic young Han Solo. The outfit has plenty of nods to the Han Solo that we all know and love. Indeed from the waist down, the similarities are striking. He has the familiar blue trousers with the red striping running up the tops, the high boots, and even his iconic gun belt with the large silver belt buckle, low slung holster with leg strap.

From the waist up, the costume mixes things up a bit. He still wears a jacket, like he did in Empire Strikes Back, but this one is a deep brown with black shoulder patches and a badge or some kind of ID shingle on his left side of his chest. Besides the usual sculpted rumples and wrinkles, Hasbro did some nice work with the sculpted seams and stitching, as well as a pleated effect on the flaps. The coloring on the jacket is also particularly nice, with a glossy finish making it look like well worn leather. Of course, the jacket is the usual soft plastic vest with sleeves sculpted on the arms, and it works quite well here. Under the jacket, Han wears a black t-shirt, with a sculpted flap on the front, somewhat similar to the one Luke wore in Return of the Jedi. 

It’s no secret that Hasbro hasn’t always been on point with their likenesses in the Black Series. Most would argue that the sculpts are there, but the basic paint the portraits get is where things go pear-shaped. Whatever the case, Hasbro did a bang-up job on this one. I think the likeness to Ehrenreich is pretty solid, and I particularly like the way they sculpted his coif. The facial detail uses the halftone printing that we’ve seen with many of the recent MCU figures in Hasbro’s own Marvel Legends line and the improvement is certainly there. It’s not perfect, but it’s come a long way from what Hasbro was doing for this line in the past. And don’t think it’s lost on me, the fact that this Han Solo figure features a much better likeness of Solo as played by Ehrenreich than any of the previous figures based on Harrison Ford.

As expected, Han features a functional holster on his gun belt and he comes with his trusty DL-44 Blaster, although I guess it’s a little too early to refer to it as his trusty weapon in this film since it was newly acquired. Nonetheless, the sculpt on this Broom-handled Space-Mauser is excellent and Hasbro spared a lick of brown paint for the handle.

While the movie may have had a few surprises about Han, the figure’s articulation comes out right where I expected. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinged knees, swivels in the thighs and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso features a ball joint under the chest, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

I haven’t always been terribly kind to the 6-inch Black Series, and it’s track record of hits and misses has really made me lose some of my enthusiasm for this line. Hell, almost all my SWB figures from The Last Jedi still sit unopened, but that could be blamed more on the film than the figures. But would I really be interested in buying a figure of Han Solo not played by Harrison Ford? Apparently, yes. Because, after seeing Solo the film, and getting this figure in hand, I’ve been pulled back in. Indeed, I was a little surprised at how excited I was to grab this figure off the peg, along with Lando and toss them into my cart. Both the movie and the figure turned out great, and I’m ready for more. So, come back later on tonight, and I’ll have a look at Lando Calrissian!

Star Wars Black (Solo): Range Trooper by Hasbro

It’s been something like two months since I last visited with the Star Wars 6-inch Black Series. I have a lot of the figures from The Last Jedi still waiting to be opened, but my third viewing of that flick really left me cold and not really in a mood to celebrate it with figures. Maybe one day when I’m really hurting for something to review, I’ll revisit those. In the meantime, the trailers have got me really excited to see Solo and I’ve started to pick up some of the Black Series figures that have preceded its coming. Let’s start off with the Range Trooper!

I confess, I tore this guy open in the car, so I had to go with Hasbro’s official packaged shot. And it’s worth noting that the figure in their promo shot is colored a bit differently than the actual figure we got, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Just who are the Range Troopers and what function do they serve in the Empire? Well, after a bit of speculation, we finally got to see a glimpse of these guys in action in the trailer, and it seems like they’ll be guarding an Imperial train on a planet called Vandor! It’s not a whole lot to go on, but it is significant as it explains a bit about the rather distinctive gear these guys are wearing. This is going to be one of those reviews where I’ll be sharing my thoughts on not only the figure itself, but the character design as well. So, let’s get started.

Straightaway, let me say that I really love this design and the figure carries it off brilliantly. I called him distinctive, and he is that, but he’s also a hodge-podge of ideas taken from a number of other Imperial troopers, and I don’t mean that as a bad thing. It’s only natural that Imperial armor should have a certain flavor to it, so it’s nice to see some of that connective tissue on display here. Pretty much all we know about Vandor right now is that it looks to have a rather cold and inhospitable climate, and I suppose we can assume that’s characteristic of the entire planet because… STAR WARS! Whatever the case, the Range Trooper is all bundled up, even more so than the Imperial Snowtroopers.

And this guy definitely has a Snowtrooper vibe about him. The chest armor is very similar to the Snowy, as is his backpack, albeit it’s a lot more recessed. The Range Trooper also has a similar kama, although it appears to be part of a larger and bulkier jacket that’s worn under the chest armor. The sculpting on the jacket is particularly well done and I like the look of the fringe that lines the edges. He also has a pair of rather large pouches flanking either side of his belt buckle. As I mentioned earlier, the promo shots make him look mostly white all over, but in hand the production figure has a couple of different colors going on. The helmet, the chest armor and the backpack are all pretty white, but the jacket has more of a yellow tinge to it and the boots and leg armor are gray. There’s also some pretty nice weathering, which consists of some scrapes and scratches on the armor.

The head sculpt definitely reminds me of some of the new helmet designs we saw in Rogue One, particularly the Scarif Troopers and the Hover Tank Pilot. And I guess that more or less fits the timeline, although Solo takes place a decade or so earlier. Like his chest armor, the helmet shows off some pretty nice weathering and I really dig the gold paint the used for the visor. Another thing I really dig is the furry collar he’s got on. It’s more of a yellowish white to match the coat, which presume it’s supposed to be part of. It looks very distinctive and I think this is some of the better use of softgoods I’ve seen in this line in a while.

And that brings us to the boots, and this guy has quite a pair of clodhoppers. These babies are heavily reinforced with a framework and even what looks like some kind of pressurized control tanks in the back. Having seen the trailer, we now know that one of the purposes these serve are to magnetize to the body of the train their guarding, so the troops can stay attached as it rotates on the track. I would presume these same boots could be used by Space Troopers who need to go out and walk on the hull of a spaceship. Whatever the case, these are some cool boots!

The articulation looks good on paper, but in practice, there’s a lot holding it back, at least from the waist down. The hips are ball jointed and there are what I believe to be rotating hinges in the knees and the ankles. But between the bulky boots, the sculpted plastic kama, and those big pouches, his legs just don’t have a lot of range of motion. He also has a pair of those thigh loops that we often see on the pilot figures. Above the waist he fares better, with rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, all of which are relatively unhindered.

The Range Trooper comes with one weapon and it’s basically a variant of the E-11 Blaster.  It’s a much sturdier sculpt than we’ve seen in the past and not so prone to warping. On the downside, it doesn’t have any of the silver paint apps. Still, it’s a pretty cool gun. Unfortunately, there’s no holster or anything for him to put it when he’s not shooting.

In the end, the Range Trooper is a damn cool looking figure. I love the design and I think Hasbro did a great job with this figure. Yeah, the articulation is lacking a decent range of movement in some areas, but with how bundled up these fellas are, I don’t know how nimble they would be anyway. You’ve just got to love this time, when you’re getting Star Wars figures from a movie you haven’t seen yet, and it’s still all about speculation. You work up ideas about what the characters are going to be like, and whether they’re going to be major players or just bit parts. From the looks of the trailer, we will most definitely get to see the Range Troopers in action, and I hope they make a good account of themselves, because I want to pick up a few more of these guys.