Star Wars Black (Rebels): Ezra and Chopper by Hasbro

No, I’m not back to my regular schedule yet, but I am happy to be back with a second update this week. Progress! And I decided to do two figures today to make up for the fewer updates. While I still have a pretty big backlog of Star Wars figures to open and review, today I’m going with a pair of more recent acquisitions. It’s no secret that I’ve been a huge fan of the 6-inch Black Series Rebels figures and with the release of Ezra and Chopper, we’re getting ever so close to having a full set of The Ghost crew! Let’s take a look!

It’s the same old packaging! It would have been cool if they did a little something fresh for the Rebels figures, but then I don’t keep these boxes anyway, so do I really care? Nah! They are, however, collector friendly, so if you are in a mind to keep being able to take them out and return them to the box, well there’s nothing stopping you. You get the usual black box with red inserts, monochrome character art on the front, and multi-lingual bio on the back. I had to go online for these since the stores in my area have had the same DJ and Solo figures clogging their pegs forever. Let’s go ahead and start with Ezra.

I’m not usually a big fan of what passes for fashion in the Star Wars universe. A lot of the casual attire comes off to me as boring and flat. That’s not the case with Ezra here. He wears what appears to be a flight jumpsuit, with the lower left leg torn away above the knee, revealing a brown pants leg and piece of knee armor. The right lower leg is covered with a piece of white armor. He lacks the usual control box and straps commonly found on the flight suits, but he does have a waist belt with a holster and pouch, each of which secure to his legs with thigh straps. The outfit is rounded out by a pair of green, fingerless gloves, and his familiar vest with short sleeves and logo on the back. I think Hasbro did a fine job recreating all the little details here, both in terms of sculpt and paintwork. The suit has sculpted rumples, stitch lines and pocket, while the texturing on the jacket looks great. The yellow fringe could have been sharper. Or maybe it was applied intentionally rough to give it a weathered look. At least the logo on the back is nice and crisp.

The holster on his right hip is really just a hook with a flat flap for his lightsaber to rest against. It was a little tough to get it looped in there the first few times, but I got it to work eventually.

Of course, these figures are more realistic takes on the very stylized character designs from the show, and I’m always intrigued to see how they are going to turn out. I was a little worried about Ezra since he always struck me as having one of the odder looks in the series. There was something about his nose that looked really bizarre to me. Nonetheless, the portrait that Hasbro came up with here looks really good. The finish on the skin is a bit too waxy, making him look like he’s sweating, but as for the face sculpt, they definitely managed to make him easily recognizable while casting off the stylized look. The hair is sculpted as a separate piece to give it some depth and it falls around the face in a very convincing manner. It also features some nice purple highlights.

Of course, Ezra comes with his trusty lightsaber-blaster combo, which fits comfortably into either of his hands. I was not a big fan of this weapon early on in the series, I thought it was gimmicky, but I’ve grown to dig it quite a bit. This version looks good for what is a pretty small accessory. It even has multiple paint apps. Obviously, the lightsaber blade is removable, but it was really hard to get out the first time I tried. I was afraid to twist it and have the peg twist off of the blade so I just had to keep pulling on it until it finally gave way.

He also comes with his Imperial cadet helmet. It’s a great looking piece, exhibiting that lovely McQuarrie flavor, and fits over the figure’s head perfectly.The black and red paint apps are overall pretty sharp and crisp.

The articulation here is pretty standard stuff for a 6-inch Black Series figure. Ezra’s arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. His legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The torso has a ball joint under the chest, and the neck has both a hinge and a ball joint. Ezra is lots of fun to play around with and I am absolutely delighted with how he turned out. Let’s move on to Chopper!

Chopper would have been an easy figure to cheap-out on since he’s so small, but I’m happy to say that Hasbro went the opposite route and instead poured the love into this grumpy little rust-bucket. Indeed, the most surprising thing for me after getting Chopper out of the box is that he feels so substantial. A lot of that has to do with the crazy depth in some of the sculpted details. Besides the panel lining and bolts, you get some components that have been sculpted separately and inserted into the open compartments. I particularly love the yellow square plate that’s just bolted haphazardly on the front. Granted, there’s a lot more detail on the front of Chopper’s body than the back, but I think that’s more a characteristic of the droid’s design than it is a cop-out on Hasbro’s part. Even the tiny eyes and the radar dish are wonderfully realized. And the sculpt can’t take all the credit, because the paint features some nice rust-weathering, in addition to the orange and yellow bits.

Chopper includes a retractable third leg with the beefy little tire on it. There’s no gimmick connecting it to the head rotation, like we saw in the Black Series Astromechs. The column is just held in there by friction so you can rotate it as well as push it in and pull it out. Naturally the side legs rotate back to put him in an ambulatory position and he looks great doing it.

Chopper comes with a replacement left leg, which was a plot point in one of the episodes. It’s definitely a cool bonus and I haven’t decided which way I’m going to display him yet. I am leaning toward the different one because it gives Chopper even more of a junky asymmetrical look.

Of course, you can’t have Chopper without what I like to call his tantrum arms. These pull out from the sides of his head and are remarkably sturdy and easy to manipulate. He also has a utility arm that can fold out from the horizontal panel just under his head. These three appendages even feature some articulation at about the midpoints.

Chopper’s final surprise is a rocket jet, which can replace his third leg, and has a thrust effect part. And since he can’t stand with this piece in, Hasbro included a larger effect part that serves as a stand for when Chopper is in flight mode. Yup, Hasbro really went all out on this little guy. In many ways I think this figure is executed way better than their original Black Series R2-D2. He’s chunky and fun, and he has so many extras that I would have never expected. I think the best thing I can say about this little fella is that he feels like a decent value even at the regular twenty dollar price tag.

And so Hasbro continues to hit these Black Series Rebel figures out of the park. I’ve loved them all, and I think Ezra and Chopper may even be the best ones yet. Indeed, I think I’d be comfortable saying that I think these are some of the best Black Series figures, period! Surely, they can’t stop now and I’m hoping to see Zeb revealed in the next couple of days. He may be a little tougher to do in this realistic style, but I have faith that Hasbro will be able to pull it off. And hell, I’d also like to see them continue and give us some of the baddies from the series as well. And that’s a wrap for this week. Slowly but surely I’m trying to come back. I should be on track for Marvel Monday and then we’ll see how much time I have for the week’s content after that. Thanks for your patience!

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Star Wars Rebels: Darth Maul, Seventh Sister Inquisitor, and Princess Leia by Hasbro

I’ve got one more set of reviews in me for today and I’ve lost track at what update this is for 5-POA’PALOOSA. I can tell you that I have four cigarette burns on my arm to keep me going. What’s that? No Rebels love yet? OK, let’s remedy that right now. For the life of me, I can’t understand why Hasbro has had so much trouble getting this line off the ground, despite the series spinning a rich tapestry of characters ripe for the action figure treatment. The original line was short lived and difficult to find, to the point where I still can’t find Agent Kallus for under twenty bucks. In the meantime, Hasbro continues to pepper whatever the current line is with s smattering of Rebels releases.

Case in point, both this two-pack and single carded figure were marketed under the Rogue One line, and these aren’t repacks, but rather their first releases. As always, I’m loving the artwork on these packages. Let’s start off with the Versus Two-Pack and The Seventh Sister!

I would not have believed this character design would have lent itself to a 3 3/4-inch figure very well, but Hasbro sure proved me wrong. She’s magnificent and this is an instance where the 5-POA style really suits her. I couldn’t imagine working additional jointing into her super thin arms and legs without compromising the look of the figure, let alone have the figure be stable. It’s crazy that she can even stand by herself, which is a gripe I’m going to have with one of today’s other figures. There’s a decent amount of sculpted detail on her outfit, but it’s the paint that really carries the day. I love the contrast of matte and gloss black used here, plus some silver and white, as well as the Imperial emblems stamped on her shoulders. The head and helmet are about as perfect as I could expect in this scale.

The Seventh Sister also comes with some pretty cool accessories. First off, you get her little probe droid. The head can plug into the circle on her back. Take it out and plug in the legs, and he can hang out on her shoulder or go off scouting. It’s hard to believe that Hasbro was able to make this work at this tiny scale.

She also comes with her mask. It simply goes right over her face and tucks under the helmet to hold it on. This thing looks great and holds in place very well. Once again, a pretty cool feature for a 3 3/4-inch figure!

And finally, she has her lightsaber, which she can hold in either hand. It’s got the same circular ring design to the hilt that we saw with the previous Inquisitor figures. Moving on to Maul!

To know me is to know that I’m no fan of Darth Maul. I thought he was a non-character in The Phantom Menace, and while various aspects of the Star Wars Expanded Universe had tried its best to flush him out and make him interesting, I just can’t give a crap. Needless to say when he turned up in Rebels, I really wasn’t impressed. But, I’m not going to hold any of that against this figure, because it’s pretty damn nice. The pants feature a nice texturing, he’s got sculpted knee pads, gloves, and a shoulder strap. And while all that is well and good, the best thing here is the crisp paintwork for his chest and arms. The black and red pattern is sharp and snappy and looks great. The head sculpt is also a winner, right down to tiny horns on the top of his head.

Maul comes with a hood, which fits right over his head and looks pretty good on him. It shrouds his face pretty well, although a little light in there really brings out how creepy he looks.

He also comes with his double-bladed lightsaber. Pfft. Remember when this thing was the coolest thing ever? It’s only fitting that he show up on Rebels where all the Inquisitors carry them like it’s no big deal.

And we can’t look at a Versus Two-Pack without some goofy big weapon and Mauls is so damn big that I had to bust out a figure stand just so he could hold it without toppling over like a jackass. This thing looks familiar and I’m sure it’s been recycled from another set. And god help me if I don’t love it. Oh, I think it looks stupid on Maul, but I’m sure I can find someone else to put it on. I really dig this Versus pack and while I would have guessed it would have been really popular, it seems to not be selling all that well. The Target in town had dozens of these and it’s been deeply discounted at a lot e-tailers. And speaking of figures that you can pick up for stupid cheap… let’s move on to Princess Leia!

I seem to remember this figure being crazy hard to find at first, but now she’s everywhere. Last I checked you can get her as an Add-On item through Amazon for less than three bucks. If you want to do conversion on that, it means that I would need to trade like seven of these Leias just to get me one Agent Kallus. That’s crazy! I’m not sure why that’s the case because I don’t think she’s a bad figure at all. She’s wearing a very McQuarrie-esque costume, and I think the head sculpt is great. The downside is that she will not stand on her own, which makes no sense to me. If The Seventh Sister can stay vertical, I don’t know why Leia can’t.

Leia comes with two accessories: A standard E-11 Blaster and a zipline accessory, which struck me as being very familiar, but it’s actually not the same one that came with Cassian Andor. Hey, I don’t care what you say, I would have loved to get one of these as a kid. I was always ziplining my figures all over the damn place with string. I think this thing is pretty damn cool.

It’s a shame we have to get by with table scraps thrown into other lines in order to get our Rebels action figure fix, but quite frankly, I’m just glad Hasbro is still releasing them here and there. All three of these figures are no-brainers and I’m happy to have them in my collection, even if nobody else seems to want them. Yes… even Maul! OK, that’s going to do it for me today. I’d like to say I’m going to rest up, but in reality I’m off to do my actual paying job that allows me to buy all this shit! Come on back tomorrow morning, and we’ll start fresh with a whole bunch of more figures!

Star Wars Black (Rebels): Hera Syndulla by Hasbro

I’m not bringing back regular Wednesday content. Honest! I’m not. But I’ve got about a month before things get crazy for me at work again, so I thought I’d take advantage of it and try to get caught up. As a result, I’m doing TWO Star Wars Black Series reviews today: Hera from Rebels this morning and the Stormtrooper Executioner from The Last Jedi later tonight.

Hasbro has been killing it with their realistically styled 6-inch Black Series figures from the Star Wars Rebels cartoon. These have been among my favorite Black Series releases, despite the fact that I’m forever woefully behind on watching the series. I think I’m just going to have to grab the Blu-Rays and binge that shit one of these weekends. Still, I’ve been hoping against hope that they will at least get around to completing the crew of the Ghost and now we’re one step closer. So far we’ve had Kanan and Sabine, and technically you could add Ahsoka to that mix. Today I’m checking out Hera!

The figure may be pulled from Rebels, but the packaging here is branded just like all the rest of the Black Series in full monochrome glory. I’m not a big fan of the character art they went with here, but that’s been a sticking point with me for most of these releases. Then again I toss the packaging anyway, so I’m not going to get upset over it. I actually wound up ordering Hera from an online retailer a few days before finding three of her on the pegs at a local Target. Then I saw the paint was all over the place and got worried, but turns out the one I got is pretty solid. Anyway… I love Hera, I love me some lady Twi’leks, so this was a hotly anticipated release for me!

I’ve always been a little perplexed by Hera’s outfit. At first, I thought it was just a typical flight suit with the top zipped down and worn down around her waist. But the more I watched, the more I realized it’s like some kind of flight-suit overalls. Whatever the case, I like it. It gives her the unmistakable look of a pilot in the Star Wars universe, while not over encumbering her upper half. The flight suit portion is cast in orange plastic and suitably baggie and includes the typical straps that come down off her belt and encircle her legs. Above the waist, she wears a tan-green long sleeve shirt with a reinforced armor vest and shoulders. There’s a nice bit of sculpted detail in the armor pieces, including some scratches from wear and tear. Otherwise, this is a fairly simple outfit, very close to the CG model in the show, and it looks great in this realistic format.

Hera features a functional holster on her right ankle, and as you all should know by now functional holsters make me happy. Also, while I’m down there I might as well mention that she has extremely tiny feet. These can make her a bit of a chore to stand, especially when attempting action poses.

I couldn’t be happier with the portrait here. Hera’s face is beautifully sculpted and features a fairly neutral expression with just a hint of a smirk on her lips. The paint applications on her eyes and lips are crisp and perfect, as are the patterns painted on her tendrils. The hood has some sculpted ribbing and the goggles are actually sculpted as a separate piece and include tinted clear lenses, but they cannot be lowered over her eyes.

The articulation here is solid, with rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have ball jointed hips, double hinges in the knees, swiveils in the thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. She has a ball joint under her chest, and both a ball joint and hinge in the neck.

Hera comes with her little blaster pistol, which is a pretty unique design. It’s as ugly as sin, but it’s also discrete. I’d like to think she keeps it because it’s reliable and trustworthy and has gotten her out of more than a few scrapes. She can hold it in either hand, but her left hand is clearly sculpted with the trigger finger. I don’t remember her being left-handed in the show, and it wouldn’t make much sense to have the gun on her right ankle if she was, but I’m not about to get too worked up about it.

And here we are, another Rebels 6-inch Black Series release, and another excellent one at that! I could say I wish she came with some more stuff, like maybe a tool kit or an A-Wing helmet or something, but I’m still plenty happy with what we got. I’m also glad that Hasbro put the Stormtroopers back onto the pegs, because I picked up a couple more to go with her! It’s probably not a coincidence that two of the three Ghost crew left may be tough to do in the new style. I’m really curious to see what a realistically sculpted Ezra will look like, and I can’t even imagine what they’re going to do with Zeb. Hopefully we’ll get Chopper next.

Star Wars Black: Grand Admiral Thrawn by Hasbro

I’ll be honest, when Disney announced that they were wiping the slate clean when it came to the bulk of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, I didn’t shed many tears. I read a lot of those books in my teenage years and early 20’s, but I only ever really took to certain parts of it. Nevertheless, I was certainly happy to see that Grand Admiral Thrawn survived the purge and was forever cemented into canon with his appearances on Star Wars Rebels. Did Heir to the Empire ever happen? Who cares… Thrawn is alive and kicking and he got a 6-inch Black Series figure!

Indeed, in that sense I suppose we can consider this figure a continuation of the realistically-styled versions of the Rebels crew that we’ve been getting peppered throughout the Black Series. Whatever the case, Thrawn was first released as an SDCC Exclusive with a whole bunch of extras and some spiffy packaging. That stuff was neat and all, but I’m perfectly happy having picked up his vanilla retail release… well, mostly perfectly happy. Let’s check him out!

Here he is and don’t he look damn spiffy! The special white version of the Imperial uniform was finally seen on the big screen in Rogue One, and boy did it look grand. Yes, pun intended! Here Thrawn is sporting the form fitting white tunic with with gold epaulets, the rank insignia on the left of his chest, and what are those, pens? tucked into his tunic one either side. He has some additional adornment on his collar, the puffed out military-style pants, and black matte boots. The wide belt includes a functional holster for his sidearm. All that is great, but here’s where I’ve got to give some serious props to Hasbro…

This figure appears to share next to no parts with Director Krennic, and that’s a big deal to me. While Hasbro is able to share parts in their 6-inch Marvel Legends line all the time, the Black Series affords a lot fewer opportunities. If there was ever a figure (besides Astromech droids) where it would have been understandable to share a buck, it would have been here. And yet, apart from maybe the boots (but I don’t think so), these are two totally unique figures. Just putting the two figures beside each other shows that Krennic is built on a shorter buck, none of the sculpted wrinkles in the pants line up, and there are significant differences all around the uniform. That’s pretty damn cool!

Overall, I think the portrait here is pretty good, although the paint does tend to break down a bit the closer you get. There are some excellent details in the sculpted facial features, particularly in the angular cheeks and around the nose. The hairline is also painted very neatly and overall, he has an appropriately stern look on his face. The eyebrows are a bit overstated for my taste, the eyes look fine, but the purple paint on the lips is sloppy and I could have done without it entirely. It looks a bit like he’s been hitting the Spice too hard. Oh wait, wrong franchise. Still, all in all, not bad.

Thrawn’s articulation is right in line with what I’ve come to expect from the Black Series. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have ball jointed hips, double hinged knees, swivels up under the tunic, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the chest and both a ball joint and swivel in the neck. Not bad for an Imperial Officer.

While the SDCC Exclusive release was flush with extra goodies, this retail release includes only one, and that’s his sidearm. This is a really cool and unique blaster design and it fits perfectly in his holster. But come on, Hasbro? Not even a Ysalamiri to keep The Force at bay? I’m perfectly fine without the entirety of his art collection, but there was certainly room in that package for something else.

Well, lack of accessories no withstanding, I really do love this figure. Thrawn looks great, and the fact that he’s an all new figure was a welcome surprise. I’m all about getting as many Imperials as I can, so I’m hoping that some Imperial Officers can’t be far behind. In the meantime, I’ll keep my eye open every now and then for the SDCC version. I doubt it’ll ever turn up for what I’d be willing to pay, but it never hurts to look around.

Star Wars Black (Rebels): Kanan Jarrus by Hasbro

The newest wave of the Star Wars Black Series has a particularly interesting offering in it. No, I’m not talking about Old Han Solo… I’ll get to him eventually. No, I’m talking about a realistic treatment of Kanan Jarrus, the fugitive Jedi from the Rebels animated series. Now, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen animated characters get a realistic makeover. Hasbro did it to Ahsoka Tano in the Vintage line. Actually, they did it to her again in this wave, only not in the wave I got stuck with. My case had two Lukes in it instead. But don’t get me started again on that. Really, don’t.

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Despite the Rebels crossover there’s nothing new to be said about the packaging. You get a monochrome portrait of the character on the front and a little blurb about him on the back. Kanan is Figure #19.

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So, right off the bat, I’m going to say that I think this is one of the nicest figures we’ve had in the Black Series in a while. Putting aside whether or not the realistic portrait works or not, and looking at it from the neck down, the sculpt and paint on this figure are both fantastic. Hasbro added texturing to the pants and part of the shirt to give the outfit a realistic look, while also downplaying those vertical stripes on the shirt from the animation model. There’s also a more drastic color difference for the darker parts, which adds a little more complexity to this new realistic look. Overall, the colors are more muted, making for a grittier appearance.

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The armor on his right shoulder and arm looks particularly good. The paint is very convincing as worn metal and the added white insignia on the shoulder looks appropriately worn and weathered. The cross strap for the shoulder armor is sculpted as part of the buck and the fixtures are neatly painted. He also features a smuggler’s style belt with a low slung holster on his right hip. No doubt about it, this version of Kanan looks like he would be right at home swaggering through a backwater planet in the live action Star Wars Universe.

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The portrait is no slouch either. To be clear, I enjoy Rebels in spite of its stylistic look, not because I’m a fan of that look. I didn’t like the style at all in the beginning, but the show ultimately won me over. So, I was likely an easy mark for this figure and I really like what they did with the head sculpt. There’s a little over spray on the beard and I do wish Hasbro would stop using the waxy plastic for the heads or at least find some way to paint more realistic flesh tones, but that’s the best nitpick I can come up with here. The head looks great, right down to the little ponytail in the back.

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The articulation here is as solid as we get in the 6-inch Black Series.  You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivel cuts in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in the torso and both a ball joint and hinge in the neck. I would have loved some swivel cuts in the biceps, but Hasbro seems to be done putting those into this line.

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Kanan comes with both his lightsaber and his holdout blaster. The blaster is a great sculpt, and looks a lot like the ones carried by some of Jabba the Hutt’s henchmen in Return of the Jedi. His right hand is sculpted to hold it and it also fits nicely in the functional holster on his right hip.

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The lightsaber includes a removable blade and the hilt breaks into two parts so that they can be worn separately on his belt like he does on the show. After all, you can’t go around advertising you’re a Jedi. The larger part tabs in horizontally on the back of his belt and the smaller tabs into the front. After getting so many of Luke’s lightsaber in this line, it’s nice to get a fresh and original design.

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Sure, I was excited for this figure to begin with, but I didn’t expect it to turn out anywhere near this good. It’s no secret that the Black Series has been languishing in mediocrity a lot of the time, so to get a figure that impresses me is a nice surprise. Granted, there’s nothing about this figure that couldn’t have been done just as well in the 3 3/4-inch scale, except maybe the hilt would be too small to break apart. Still, at this point, I’m just happy to get a figure that looks this good and feels like Hasbro put a lot of work into it. Sabine from Rebels has already been confirmed for the Black Series, and I seriously hope that Hasbro plans to follow through with the rest of the crew at least.

Star Wars Rebels: AT-DP and Driver (Target Exclusive) by Hasbro

Hasbro sure hasn’t made collecting their 3 3/4-inch Rebels line easy or fun, but then if you visit here often you’ve already heard me bitch about that fact on multiple occasions. And while I’ve managed to collect all the good guys in the line, I’m still hunting a few Imperials. The AT-DP Driver was one of those and thanks to this Target Exclusive “value pack,” I was finally able to get him bundled with the AT-DP vehicle. Ironically, I didn’t actually find this at Target, but rather from Amazon and at a damn good price, too!

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The goods come in a mostly enclosed box. I dig the style here. It’s not as attractive as some of The Force Awakens packages, but it looks decent and the artwork is very evocative of the first episode of the show. What’s crazy is how tiny the actual name of the vehicle and figure are all the way down in the right hand corner. The box has a “Target Exclusive” sticker on the front as well as a little window to the left showing off the figure. I passed on this vehicle a bunch of times, mainly because it was crazy expensive on the secondary market. So it was kind of nice to get it and another of the elusive figures for a cool twenty bucks. TWENTY BUCKS! At one time the figure alone was going for close to that.

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There’s a little bit of assembly required here. You just have to attach the legs, feet, and the chin gun. Once there on, there on, so there’s no going back into the box. There’s also a very small sticker sheet with all of five tiny stickers. First impressions of this thing are better than I expected, but to be honest my expectations were really low. The plastic feels a bit on the cheap side, but it certainly is scaled beautifully. I mean, this thing is super tall and it looks massive next to the figures.

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The sculpted detail isn’t too bad either. Considering that it’s based off of a rather simplified and stylized design, I’d say there’s enough panel lines and whatnot on here to let it hang with the live action toys. Paint apps are limited to a few different shades of gray and a little bit of orange black. There’s very little articulation on this thing. The legs only move at the point they connect to the body. The driver’s compartment rotates left and right and the chin gun raises and lowers. Not sure what the point of even giving the legs any articulation was since the vehicle can’t hold a pose unless the legs are straight up and down. On the other hand, I will say that this will stand fine on its own, which is more than I could say for my Vintage Collection AT-ST, which was loaded with leg articulation and would collapse into a pile if I looked at it funny.

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The head sort of has room for two figures. The main hatch opens up and there’s a smaller circular hatch that opens as well. If you ever owned any of the AT-ST toys, you know what I’m talking about. There’s a driver’s seat and a second “seat” behind it, which is really just able to have a figure stand on it, while the top half sticks out the hatch.

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The chin gun holds the toy’s only action figure and that’s the firing missile. As far as action features go, it’s not bad because it doesn’t mess with the look of the toy. Naturally, I’ll be displaying it with the missile removed. Moving on to the Driver…

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The Rebels figures are all 5-POA, retro style and given the stylized sculpts, I’m OK with that. This figure, in particular, though just feels like it came right out of a Kenner casepack era 1981. That’s sort of a compliment… or at least in this case, it was intended as one. It’s a good sculpt, not much paint, but what’s there is solid. He comes with a standard E-11 Blaster. I really dig this guy a lot.

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Overall, I’m really happy with this set and not only because it got me one step closer to completing my Rebels figures. Granted, I’m pretty sure the AT-DP originally retailed for $29.99 by itself and that’s crazy talk. But twenty bucks for the figure and vehicle? Now you’re talking, Hasbro! If I had the display space, I’d easily pick up a second one of these and I may still do that, because I’m quite mad. It seems as if Hasbro has done bundles for three out of the four vehicles released for Rebels, as I was able to pick up the the Inquisitor’s Advanced TIE Protoype as well and at the same great price. So unless I happen upon a friggin General Kallus, when I next revisit the Rebels line we’ll take a look at the TIE.

Star Wars Rebels: Darth Vader and Ashoka Tano by Hasbro

A couple of weeks back I checked out one of these boxed 3 3/4-inch Mission Series two-packs and I’ve got a lot more on my stack waiting to be opened. Let’s do another one from Rebels! The current season of the series has really upped the ante by adding characters from both The Original Trilogy and Clone Wars and both of them are bundled in this little box of joy!

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I gushed a lot about this packaging last time, so I’ll try to take it easy. Suffice it to say that the character art is fantastic as is the unrelated Force Awakens branding on the top near the J-hook. The window gives you a great look at the figures inside and the whole shebang is totally collector friendly. Yes, these are the simple five points of articulation figures that we’ve been seeing from Rebels all along, so if that’s a deal-breaker for you, just move along. As for everyone else… let’s start with Darth Vader…

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Of course, this is the stylized version of Vader as seen in the series and as near as I can tell, an entirely new figure. There’s definitely a little McQuarrie influence in there, as is the case with a lot of Rebels’ designs, and I like it a lot. I like the way the cape bellows out to allow for his arm movement and the way the “skirt” and legs are sculpted to show more detail when they are moved. He also looks like he’s puffing his chest out a bit and holding his nose up in the air. With all that having been said, it’s not a dramatically new look for The Dark Lord of the Sith. I’d say the biggest changes are in the helmet, which actually looks like its scowling. Also, the red paint on the eyes is a nice touch. There aren’t a lot of paint apps on the figure, but what’s here is nice and clean.

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Vader comes with his lightsaber, which he can hold in either hand. Because of the limited articulation, you can’t really get any action poses out of him, but he looks good holding it. Oddly enough, there’s a hook sculpted into his belt for the saber, the the accessory itself lacks any means to hang it. Moving on to Ashoka…

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I am no fan of The Clone Wars series, despite having tried to watch it on many occasions. Still, I think it’s cool that Rebels has managed to incorporate Ashoka into the new series. Let’s face it, that series had a huge fan base! The sculpt and paintwork here are exceptionally good and she is also an entirely new figure. Indeed, I’d say this is one of the best looking Rebels figures produced so far, and probably among the best of Hasbro’s 5-POA style figures. All the little details are there from the carved patterns on her skirt to the panel lines on her arm bracers. The face is spot-on and the blue patterns on her tendrils are super sharp.

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Ashoka comes with two lightsabers, one with a straight hilt and one slightly bent. She also has hooks on her waist for them, but like Vader’s I can’t see any way to attach them. Again, she looks good holding them at rest, but attempts at action poses just look goofy. I’m really excited for that 6-inch Black version of the character. Oh yeah, you also get this junk…

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Blah! I mean… Oooh, that should be fun for the kids!

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I love this set! You get two great new figures for around $7.50 each. The MSRP is $14.99, but I got mine for a few bucks less. Vader is a rock solid figure, but Ashoka comes out as the true gem here. The paint and sculpt on her are just really above board for what we’re used to seeing in this line. I hope Hasbro uses this venue to get us some more Rebels figures, even if they’re just repacks of some of the harder to find releases. Hey, an Agent Kallus and AT-DP Driver pack would solve a lot of my problems!

Star Wars Rebels: Kanan Jarrus and The Inquisitor by Hasbro

If you’ve been reading FFZ for a little while, or just tried collecting the Rebels 3 3/4″ figures then you probably know that Hasbro has made it quite a chore. I’ve managed to slowly piece together the bulk of The Ghost’s crew and a couple of Stormies and recently I was able to grab two more: Kanan and The Inquisitor. These guys turned up on one of my favorite e-tailers for pre-order so I dropped it in. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had to pre-order 3 3/4″ Star Wars figures to make sure I got them, but hey, we gotta do what we gotta do.

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There’s the packaging and I like it well enough. The Stormtrooper helmet as a card is pretty eye catching, but all in all the packages are pretty disposable, and not at all collector friendly. I thought it was only appropriate that I was able to pick these two characters up as a pair since they happened to engage in what was to me easily the best lightsaber fight since The Original Trilogy.

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I love this little spot on the back of the packaging and it gives me a laugh every time. The multi-lingual bit where it says “Also Look For” actually sounds like the names of Star Wars characters. Who can forget the adventures of Aussi Offerts? And Busca Tambien sounds like an alien from Jabba’s Palace. Anyway, let’s start off with Kanan Jarrus

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I didn’t think I was going to like this character at all, and I’ll concede that he’s still not one of my favorites in the show, but he’s not so bad. This figure, on the other hand, is one of the better ones of the series so far. The detail is good enough to stride the line between animated-retro and modern. I’m particularly impressed with the gun sculpted in the holster and how great the portrait came out. There’s a little paint slop on mine here and there and some of the paint on his butt is scratched off, but he’s a guy that gets into a lot of adventures, so I can just write it all off as wear and tear on his outfit. Kanan comes with his lightsaber, which also sports a very nicely detailed hilt and can be held in either hand.

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And then we have The Inquisitor. I can still remember rolling my eyes when they first showed off this guy as the baddie of the show, but I’ll give them credit, he turned out to be a pretty rad villain. And just like Kanan, Inquisitor’s figure is really great. The sculpt captures the animated look of the character design, but still manages to look unusually sharp. The silver Imperial logos on his shoulder armor look great and the portrait is fantastic. Even the painted markings on his face are nice and sharp. The Inquisitor includes his rather distinctive double-bladed lightsaber, which feels a tad oversized for the scale.

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Of course, the retro style five points of articulation are the order of the day here. The arms rotate at the shoulders, the legs move forward and backward at the hips, and the heads rotate… sort of. Both of these characters have high collars, which tends to impede the neck articulation. Kanan makes out a little better than The Inquisitor. Up until now, I’ve been pretty happy with the the 5 POA on these highly stylized figures, but this pair is the first that look so good they feel like they need modern articulation, especially since they’re both accomplished lightsaber duelists and without better articulation, you can’t pose them fighting each other with any degree of credibility.

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Yes, it feels good to have assembled all the humanoids of The Ghost crew, but there are still those pangs of anger when I see Chopper getting scalped for $35. Maybe if I liked the character I would pony it up to complete the set, but I don’t and so I won’t. There are still a couple more figures in this line that I may grab if the opportunity comes up but right now I feel like I at least sort of got what I wanted out of it. I’ll be interested to see if Hasbro continues this line in this style when the second season of the show hits. Part of me would really like to see them take the opportunity to make amends with fans and get the figures distributed better, but the realist in me believes that Rebels merch is going to be eclipsed by the Episode 7 Marketing Juggernaut.

Star Wars Rebels: Hera Syndulla and Sandtrooper Mission Pack by Hasbro

So, after lamenting the fact that I would probably never find this Mission Pack on the pegs (I’ve never seen ANY Rebels figures on the pegs), yesterday I find a suspicious bulging envelope in my mailbox and inside was this pair of figures dispatched from a friend of mine who knew I was looking for them. Oddly enough, he said it was the only Rebels pack hanging on the pegs and it was in the middle of the Marvel section! It works out great, because I’m a little pressed for time today and while I’m terribly excited to have these figures, the truth is, it won’t take me too long to cover them. There’s no in-package shot, because he mailed them to me loose to save on shipping. BASTARD! (No. No. No. Just kidding, buddy! If you happen to see Chopper send him my way too!) Anyway, let’s start off with the Sandtrooper.

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Last time, I commented about how much I love the idea of getting a main character bundled with a troop builder. That’s sort of the case here, although I think this is the only way you can get the Rebels style Sandtrooper, so it’s not really helping with the whole army building thing. That’s OK, though, because I’ll just go ahead and make this guy the squad leader of my other Rebels Stormies because he has a pauldron and that’s all the qualifications he needs. It should probably come as no surprise that this is the exact same Stormtrooper that I’ve already featured twice and that the additional shoulder-wear is the only thing new. Of course, that’s not a bad thing because I absolutely love this mold. It’s shiny, well-painted and has just the right amount of stylized design. It’s not jarringly different than a regular Stormtrooper, but it still manages to be distinctive. As with his other comrades-in-arms, the Sandtrooper comes with his trusty E-11 blaster.

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And that brings us to Hera. I love Hera on the show. She’s got lots of personality and the relationship between her and Kanan is endearing and well fleshed out, considering its only been the one season. Her figure is solid enough, but unfortunately my least favorite of the four Ghost crew members I have so far, and that’s all to do with the head sculpt. I think that Zeb and Ezra were spot-on likenesses, and it’s not really fair to judge Sabine, since you can’t see her face, but there’s something a little off about Hera. She just doesn’t look like the same Twi’lek. Her gaunt face and those circles under her eyes make her look sickly. I realize that I’m digging in a bit deep for what is a very basic 3 3/4″ figure, but I’m still going to call it like I see it.

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That’s not to say the figure is bad. They did a nice job recreating her outfit with as much detail as they could allow while still keeping the stylized and animated look. She even has her tiny boot holster sculpted on, albeit it isn’t a functional holster. I’m not sure they could have made that work with the figure’s proportions. She’s got her flight goggles pushed up onto her forehead and the white patterns are printed neatly on her head tendrils. Hera also comes with her pistol, which she can hold in either hand. It’s so tiny, I’m truly amazed that I haven’t managed to lose it yet.

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Of course, both figures come with the vintage-style five points of articulation. The arms rotate at the shoulders, the legs rotate at the hips, and the heads will turn. I’ve said before that I think this simple articulation works well with these stylized figures, even if it is just a cop out to save money. I think what makes these figures work so well with the limited articulation is that they aren’t pre-posed, but more neutral like the original Kenner figures were.

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And so this Mission Pack brings my Rebles Stormtroopers count to three, and my Ghost crew count to four. Kanan is the last of the crew I need and he is still sitting in my POL at BBTS along with the Inquisitor. Yeah, I know… Chopper. He’s still hovering at around $30 on Amazon, so he can keep f’cking off until he decides to sell himself at a more reasonable price. Hasbro has recently issued some troubling statments about these Mission Pack style figures and how they will not be shipping any more of them, so I’m really starting to freak out about getting the ones I want. I may indeed just end up biting the bullet and paying extra so that I can at least get a complete set before they disappear altogether. Still, it’s hard to believe that the show will go through a second season without new action figures on the pegs. That would be a real shame.

Star Wars Rebels: Sabine Wren and Stormtrooper (Mission Pack) and Ezra Bridger (Single-Carded) by Hasbro

The first season of Star Wars Rebels has been behind us for a little while now. It had its up and its downs, but it did manage to keep me watching and the final episodes had me in awe of what was easily some of the best Star Wars in this sort of media since The Original Trilogy. Seriously, I did not expect to like this show and I very nearly bailed on it a couple of times, but damn if it didn’t totally convert me with its charm and excitement, and really what higher praise can I give it? Hasbro, on the other hand, deserves only my scorn as they have totally dropped the ball with the distribution of the 3 3/4” figure line. I’ve yet to see a single figure on any peg anywhere and since they’re mostly only available online for scalper prices, I have to assume that distribution on these figures is pretty poor all over the place. A little while ago, I was able to pick up the Zeb and Stormtrooper Mission Pack at retail price, and I was able to get Ezra Bridger single-carded at regular retail, but I paid about five bucks over retail for the Mission Pack we’re looking at today. And yeah, I might as well check out Ezra today too, because these really are very simple figures. Let’s just go ahead and start with Ezra…

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The packaging consists of a generous bubble mounted on a diecut card featuring a pretty banged up Stormtrooper helmet. The cardback is generic, but Hasbro makes use of a printed insert to denote the name of the character along with a little portrait in the lower corner. I like the presentation here, but I don’t love it. It’s a whole lot better than some of the stuff we’ve seen in the past and it’s definitely a lot more pleasing than some of the other Hasbro packaging on the shelves and pegs right now.

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Out of the packet and Ezra presents as quite a solid representation of his on-screen counterpart. The character designs in the show aren’t my favorite, but they work for me a lot better than what we saw in Clone Wars and I’m to the point now where I’ve gotten used to them. Ezra features an orange jumpsuit with a sculpted vest and some sculpted armor on his lower right leg. It’s kind of a hodge-podge outfit, but seeing as how he’s an orphan on the run I guess it makes sense. The outfit certainly “fits” what we’ve seen in the Star Wars Universe as far as I’m concerned. The portrait is absolutely spot on perfect. I don’t think they could have done a better job with the likeness. The plastic quality feels good and the paint is surprisingly clean for such a small figure.

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All the Rebels figures so far feature a retro-style five-points of articulation and that includes the three I’m looking at today. A lot of people hate this trend, but I’m almost ashamed to say that I’m kind of into it. I realize it’s just a ploy to cut costs, but I can’t deny a certain nostalgic feel to it, especially when it comes to the Rebels figures. There’s just something about it that really fits the style.

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Ezra comes up pretty light in accessories department, and that’s disappointing. You do get his stolen Imperial helmet, which fits over Ezra’s head, but that’s it. Nothing else. No blaster, no lightsaber. Nada! Considering how small Ezra is compared to the other figures the lack of at least a gun is inexcusable to me. Ah well, I guess I’ll raid my totes and get him an E-11 Blaster.

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Next up is the Sabine and Stormtrooper Mission Pack. The package deco is the same as the single-carded only with an insert featuring more pronounced character portraits. We already saw this packaging when I featured Zeb a little while back, so I’m just going to move on.

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The Stormtrooper is the same figure that came with Zeb, but don’t think I’m dismissing him. I really love this mold as it manages to walk a fine line between the stylized look of the show and some fairly mainstream Stormies. The white plastic is nice and shiny and the paint is fairly sharp. Overall, I’d say it looks a lot better than the 3 3/4″ Stormtrooper that I got from the Black line. I love the idea of bundling the main characters with army builders like this and would love to see it catch on. I would have been perfectly fine if every one of the Ghost crew came with a Stormy. The usual 5-points of articulation applies and he comes with a pretty standard E-11 blaster, which he can hold in either hand.

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And that brings us to Sabine. I’ve got a lot of mixed feelings about this figure. On the one hand she looks great. Like Ezra, she’s a great representation of the onscreen character right down to the stylized contours of her Mandalorian helmet. The paint is pretty good and I like the way the sculpt has her ever so slightly leaning on one hip. I also really dig the fact that she comes with both her blasters and functional holsters too! Yeah, holsters aren’t usually a big deal anymore, not even in this scale, but for these retro-style figures it feels like going above and beyond.

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Of course, the downside of this figure is the fact that the helmet isn’t removable and that plain sucks. Maybe they felt they couldn’t do it and keep the helmet normal sized. To be fair, Ezra’s helmet is rather large. Still, it’s going to be a crime if we don’t eventually get a figure of Sabine without her helmet on, since that’s the way we see her most often in the show.

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So, slowly but surely I’m putting together this collection. I dig these figures a lot, but what I’m going through to find them at a fair price is ridiculous. It’s a shame I can’t just march into the local Big Box and grab these off the pegs for eight or nine bucks, because I would be all over them. Anyway, I now have a pair of Stormies and three of the Ghost’s crew. Kanan and The Inquisitor are both sitting in my POL over at BBTS and I’m just waiting to find a decent price on Agent Kallus and the AT-DP Driver. When Hera finally gets released, I’ll probably bite the bullet and pay through the nose, but Chopper can go f’ck right off. No way I’m paying the $25-30 that thing is selling for.