Star Wars Black: Luke Skywalker’s X-34 Landspeeder by Hasbro

I usually take Wednesdays off from toy bloggery, but I’ve got a dicey weekend ahead of me what with Death Storm Irma targeting my city. At this point FFZ could very well go dark at any time, so I figured I might as well post while I can. And so today I’m dropping by to check out another piece of fallout from Force Friday II, this time coming at us from the 6-inch Black Series. And it’s another vehicle! After how many of those Tie Fighters lingered around at deep discounts, I’m a little surprised that Hasbro is releasing more 6-inch scale vehicles, and yet we not only got this one, but also Rey’s Jakku Speeder from The Force Awakens. Let’s have a look!

The box is pretty big and features the artsy-fartsy monochrome look that Hasbro has been doing with their Black Series boxed items for some time now. It’s not terribly flashy, but I like it. You get some schematic-like drawings of the vehicle as well as some photos on the back. There’s a little window to let you look at the included Luke Skywalker figure. If you’re looking for something with a little more premium presentation, you can always try to hunt down the SDCC Exclusive version, but be prepared to pay a chunk of change for it. Everything here seems pretty collector friendly, but my box was shipped with next to no packing from Amazon and beaten to hell by the US Post Office, so I won’t be keeping this box. There’s a little bit of simple assembly required: The top engine needs to be plugged into the back, the windshield needs to be clipped on, and the stand has to be pegged in underneath.

And here she is all ready to go, and I have to say that I like what Hasbro did here a lot. The Speeder seems to be fairly accurately scaled for the 6-inch Black Series figures. It’s possibly just a smidge on the small side, but I’ll get more into that when I get to the figures interacting with it. It’s not terribly hefty, but it is an extremely solid toy. The sculpt looks pretty spot on, although I’ll confess that I probably have the original vintage Kenner toy more firmly etched into my memory, rather than the actual prop from the film. Either way, even after all this time, I consider this to be a great looking vehicle. The design is fairly practical and beautifully retro-futuristic, and above all it has that “used future” look that makes the Star Wars Universe such a visually interesting place.

The stand is a simple clear piece that pegs in under the vehicle and gives it that hovering effect while still offering stability. The Speeder is actually rock solid when resting on the stand, which is great, although I’m surprised how much I do miss the bouncy effect of the old Kenner toy and it’s concealed springy wheels.

The vehicle’s deco gets by with a lot of bare brown plastic, but also features some solid paintwork. Now, to be fair, this is one of those pieces that really straddles the line between toy and collectible. With the size and price point, I don’t feel this is aimed at kids. On the other hand, the paintwork is firmly planted in the toy camp. The weathering, for example, looks neat and gives the Speeder some character, but it’s very deliberate and somewhat heavy handed, so people looking for a high end replica style piece are probably going to be disappointed. On the other hand, I have a feeling we’re going to see some truly spectacular custom paint jobs on this vehicle. And so, with first impressions out of the way, let’s take a closer look at some of the points of interest.

The passenger side engine is missing it’s cover, so you can see all the wires and inner mechanisms. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen Star Wars and I still can’t remember whether this was always like that or was it inflicted by the Sand People’s scavenging after ambushing Luke. Either way, it’s a great distinctive feature that was overlooked on pretty much every version I’ve ever owned of this vehicle.

There’s some pretty nice sculpted detailing on the back of the vehicle. You practically have to pick the thing up or get down to eye level to even really see these things. I hunted for my Visual Dictionary to see what these things are, but I had no luck.

The back features two opening hatches, one is a storage locker, which can hold Luke’s binoculars or his lightsaber hilt, but not much else. The other hatch reveals part of the Speeder’s inner workings.

This exposed section of engine on the hood is particularly well done and the paint apps for the different wires are very well done. Here you can also get a close up look at the weathering on the side. Yeah, it’s just splotches of silver paint to make it look like the finish has worn off. Not bad, but not terribly convincing either.

The dented front end, on the other hand, is extremely well done. Even the silver dry brushing here is much better than the rest of the weathering on the Speeder. It actually looks like Luke struck a Ronto while driving home after a night of coiffing a dozen Blue Russians at the Cantina. Dude lives on a desert planet. How many things are there to collide with?

One of the most impressive details on the Speeder lies under the hood. The detailing on this engine is absolutely superb. Here is also one of the differences between this retail release and the SDCC Exclusive. The Con release had a button that would spin the turbine inside, this one does not. I’ve got to be honest, as far as exclusive features go, that’s pretty weak. I can’t say as I feel cheated out of anything for going with the retail version.

And finally, as we come around to the passenger side, you can see a clip that holds the rifle included with Luke. And speaking of which, let’s have a look at that figure.

So, this is basically a slightly better version of the single release of “Farmboy Luke” figure, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time on him. The figures are identical from the neck down, or close enough if you allow for some minor natural paint variations. The tunic is supposed to be crafted in better quality material, but I can’t see a big difference. I kind of like the old one a bit more because it has a little more yellowing to it to signify some wear.

The portrait is the biggest difference. The new one is loads better, but still not good. I like that the waxy skin tone is gone and the hair sculpt is tons better, but the caterpillar eyebrows and fish lips don’t are not welcome here. It’s arguably a little closer in likeness, but still not there yet. With that having been said, I’m ready to retire the old one in favor of this one.

The accessories include the same belt, binoculars, and lightsaber that we got with the last figure. New accessories include the hat with sculpted goggles, the aforementioned rifle, and the poncho. The poncho works about as well as I could expect from a garment in this scale that’s supposed to hang loose. It’s a good try and it actually looks and feels like a well tailored piece, but this has never been my “go to” look for Farmboy Luke. And with that out of the way, let’s see how the figure interacts with the vehicle…

Luke fits into the Landspeeder perfectly. He’s got plenty of room and he’s pretty easy to pose either gripping the wheel or putting one hand on the shifter. Even though the first version of this figure came out well before the vehicle was released, it looks like he was made to drive it. And that’s going to be the case for most Black Series figures that aren’t unnaturally bulked up. I’ve got no complaints here at all. So, how about using figures to create other movie scenes?


Much to my surprise, 3PO fits in the passenger seat almost perfectly. Seriously, the only issue here is that he has no elbow joints, so he’s going to be fighting Luke for control of the armrest. He’s not even difficult to get in there. What about R2?

So, R2 is a bit of a compromise. There’s a peg hole on the back that is supposed to fit the sensor in the back of his head and hold him in place. It doesn’t work at all. Not only is it too loose a fit, but it’s not even in the right place. As far as the intended design goes, this feature is a total fail. However, R2 can rest pretty well on the back without it, especially if you position his legs down a bit to stabilize him and keep him from rolling around. How about Obi-Wan?

Well, technically he fits, but you really have to work it to get him in there because of his molded robes, and even then, he doesn’t fit well at all. He pops up a lot higher than Luke and he looks awkward and uncomfortable. I’ve already ordered a second Obi-Wan figure and I’m going to cut off his lower robes, which should make him fit perfectly, but I’ll report back on that with an update to this review when it happens. How about 3PO riding on the back.

To the contrary of what a lot of people have said, this actually works. It’s not perfect, but it’s not too bad either. The trick is angling his legs down into the compartment behind the seats and then turning him at the waist to face forward.

While there’s some room for improvement here, I’m overall very pleased with the way the Landspeeder turned out. The biggest flaw to me is the incompatibility with Obi-Wan. He’s a figure that everyone is going to want to stick in there, so the fact that he doesn’t fit well is disappointing. I shouldn’t have to buy another one and modify it, but I’m glad that it’s an option, as I plan on displaying this vehicle with the extra Luke driving, Obi-Wan in the passenger seat, the droids in the back, and a Sandtrooper off to the side. Now, as happy as I am with it, I’m not quite as happy with the $60 price tag, but a lot of that has to do with the included figure. With SWB figures going for about $20 these days, that brings the vehicle price down to $40, which isn’t all that bad. I just wish they had done Luke right the first time, rather than bundling him with this vehicle to try to beef up the value. With that having been said, I’m satisfied enough that I’ll likely be picking up Rey’s Speeder eventually, although I may wait to see if it price drops.

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Star Wars “The Last Jedi:” Poe Dameron, Paige Tico, Rose Tico, and First Order Stormtrooper by Hasbro

Last weekend was Force Friday II, an event where retailers launch the new toys for the upcoming Episode 8: The Last Jedi, and my job requires that I partake, as a planner, coordinator, and executor. But as a buyer I was trying to sit most of this one out. I ordered the 6-inch Black Series figures that I wanted online, and I planned on abstaining from the 3 3/4-inch offerings completely. And after publicly boasting about my awesome willpower, I folded exactly one day later and bought four of these little buggers. Also, because I have even less willpower, I wound up opening them in the car while I was waiting for my order of Chinese Food to be ready, so I don’t even have any packaged shots. Jeez, I’m a real pathetic specimen. But that’s OK, let’s just borrow the official Hasbro pictures to have a look at the packaging…

The presentation here is white, clean, and snappy! The Star Wars logo is in red and you get a red swipe with the character’s name along with some great character art striping the card to the right of the bubble. The bubble shows off the figure and accessories quite nicely, and there’s an insert that calls out the Force Link gimmick, which uses a chip to identify the figure and play sound clips out of a glove-like accessory (sold separately!). Unfortunately, the back of the cards are a f’ugly multi-lingual soup with a mix of warnings and copyright information. I really miss the days of “Collect Them All.” Anyway, I dig what Hasbro has done here. The packages are fresh and original, and it’s a shame I already tore them to shreds. On a side note, just about every one of these cards came out of the cases all bent to hell. I’m not sure if that’s the norm, but it’s certainly enough to vex the MOSC collectors. Let’s start with Poe Dameron…

I wanted to start with Poe, because he’s the main reason I bought these. When I saw him on the peg and realized he was so much better than the garbage Happy Meal toy of a figure that we got for The Force Awakens, I decided to buy him to replace the old one. That quickly descended into, well, if I’m buying one I might as well buy a few more. So, this is essentially an apology do-over figure of Poe in his X-Wing Pilot outfit and from the neck down, it’s actually the exact same sculpt that we got last time. And that’s fine, because my issue with the previous figure was from the neck up.

Here’s a quick shot of them standing side by side and it’s easy to see what a monumental difference the better noggin makes, but I’ll come back to that in a bit. While the mold is clearly the same, the texturing on the flight suit looks a lot more pronounced on the new figure. Otherwise, there are just some minor variations in the coloring and the paint lines on the new figure are a lot cleaner. You still get the functional holster on the right hip and the teeny tiny blaster pistol, which he can hold in either hand.

And gone is the cartoonish blob of a head with the sculpted helmet and ugly painted yellow visor. In its place we get this fully sculpted head, which is not a bad likeness of Oscar Isaacs for this scale and price point. The facial features are really well defined and the paint is sharp and clean. The helmet is a little work of art by itself and includes a translucent yellow visor and crisply painted markings and insignia. What’s more the helmet fits perfectly and doesn’t look oversized at all. Jeepers, Hasbro, how did you manage to make a sculpted-on helmet look bigger than the one that comes off? That flies against all logic!

Poe features the standard five points of articulation, which includes a standard t-crotch, rotation in the shoulders, and a ball jointed neck. He also includes two additional points of rotation in his gauntlets. This is a great little figure and having it in hand just begs the question, why couldn’t Hasbro do this last time? Either way, I’m re-purposing the old Poe as a standard X-Wing Pilot, so he won’t go to waste. And hopefully I won’t lose the gun this time! Let’s move on to Paige Tico…

Paige and her sister Rose represent that magical time before a Star Wars film is released when you have action figures of characters that you know very little about. Case in point: When I was a kid, I proffered that Squid Head was a heroic Rebel spy integral to victory over the empire! Aaaaand then I saw Return of the Jedi and realized I may have overstepped a bit. We do know that Paige is a “Resistance Gunner” and seeing as she’s wearing a flight suit, I can surmise she’ll be manning a turret on some kind of fighter. I really dig the look of her flight suit, it’s similar to Poe’s, but has even more of a WWII flavor to me. You get lots of lovely little details like the rumples in the legs and the belts and buckles on the back of the ribbed vest. The paint is a little rough on the chest apparatus, but intentional or not, I think that gives it a nice weathered look.

As with Poe, Paige features a fully sculpted head with a wearable helmet. I’ve only seen a few stills of the actress, but I think the likeness is decent enough for the scale. The flight hood looks especially good, almost like you could take it off. The helmet features a translucent yellow visor and fits the figure perfectly. The markings on this one are fantastic, including a checkered pattern, blue stripe, and some insignia on the side.

Paige gets one more extra and that’s the breathing mask that hangs off her chest apparatus. This piece has pegs that fit into the sides of the helmet and it works surprisingly well for a figure in this smaller scale.  If and when Paige gets a 6-inch Black Series figure, I’m interested to see if they can really improve all that much on this one, beyond the articulation of course.

Paige has the same articulation as Poe, minus the gauntlet swivels. She also comes with a blaster pistol, which she can hold in either hand. The only downside is that she has no holster to store it in. How the hell am I not going to lose that? I might as well just give it to my cat right now. Moving on to Paige’s sister…

Rose Tico is another mystery character. Other than being Paige’s sibling we’re told that she is a Resistance Technician, I’m assuming means mechanic and I think has a lot of potential for a really cool character. With that having been said, Rose is not one of the more exciting figures in this wave, as she’s basically just wearing overalls. That’s not to say she isn’t a great looking figure. As with Poe and Paige, there’s a ton of great detail in this sculpt, from rumples and wrinkles to the sculpted pockets and the hood. She also has some sharp printing on the right of her chest and her sleeve.

The head sculpt seems like a fair likeness to what I’ve seen of the actress. They definitely got her hair looking close. Again, the printed Aurebesh lettering on her chest is a great touch.

Standard 5-POA applies, making Rose’s articulation identical to that of her sister. She comes with what I think is supposed to be some kind of spanner or diagnostic probe. It pegs into her belt and can be held in either hand. She also includes a rather large blaster rifle, so I’m assuming we’re going to get to see her do some fighting when Episode 8 hits. And that brings me to the last figure of the day, the First Order Stormtrooper.

I was expecting a repack of the exact same figure that was released in The Force Awakens line, but this Stormy appears to be all new. The biggest differences include a wider stance to the legs and a glossy sheen to the armor, where TFA version was more matte.

Here they are side by side, with the new release on the left. Overall, I’d say I prefer this one, although the new leg stance can make him a bit more difficult to stand, especially if you don’t have his feet planted in that one intended sweet spot. I’d also say that the details are a little sharper on the new one and the paint is a little cleaner.

The new version includes both the blaster rifle and pistol that came with the previous release and you can still peg either one into his leg.

The Last Jedi figures are retailing for $7.99 a pop in most places, and I think that’s a pretty good price for what you’re getting. In the past, Hasbro has touted these 5-POA figures as having the best possible sculpts, but this is the first wave in a while where I believe that’s true. Plus, I thought the days of decent action figures under $10 were a thing of the past, but even with the 5-POA standard, I really enjoy these a lot. I haven’t even touched on the gimmick that makes them talk, but I don’t think I’d pick up one of those gadgets unless they were discounted down to almost nothing. Oh, and yes, this means I’m back on the 3 3/4-inch Star Wars bandwagon and I’ll be checking out some more of these soon.

Star Wars Black (Rogue One): Sergeant Jyn Erso (Eadu) by Hasbro

Most of my backlog of stuff right now is Marvel related, which means I’m finally getting caught up on the other lines I collect. That also means I’m hitting the bottom of the piles and finding the stuff that I’ve been pushing off to the side for a number of weeks. Today, I decided to finally open up the Exclusive version of Jyn Erso in her Eadu outfit.

This figure is part of a series of Deluxe Exclusives from Kmart and as such it comes in a larger box to accommodate the base, but otherwise it’s the same branded Black Series packaging. There’s some terrible monochrome character art on the front that doesn’t look much like Felicity Jones to me, but I’m convinced that Hasbro is doing that so the figure’s portraits look better by comparison. Anyway, this presentation is very similar to the Exclusive Kylo Ren and Rey that Kmart had for The Force Awakens, hell it may even just be a repainted base. I don’t know, as I passed on those. In fact, the only reason I picked this one up was because it was so damn cheap, but I’ll come back to that at the end.

Eadu Jyn uses a lot of Jedha Jyn, but there’s also a fair bit of brand new sculpting here too. From the waist down, she’s the same, and I’m going to assume the torso is the same too, but it’s buried under her new rain parka, so it doesn’t matter. The arms have newly sculpted sleeves to match the parka and she has a breather mask that hangs around her neck and connects to a tank behind her left hip. The new sculpting for the outfit looks great, and seeing as how we got this version of Jyn in the 3 3/4-inch line, it’s cool to finally have it in the 6-inch line as well.

There’s some pretty good paint wash on the parka to give it a grungy, well-worn look and even a few holes here and there. We also get some silver paint on some of her gear. The sculpt and paint on the bodies are generally pretty solid on these figures and this version of Jyn is no different.

The head sculpt is very similar to the Jedha Jyn, but it’s definitely new, or at least reworked. Here she has her ears exposed through her hair. The quality of the sculpt is about the same, with very soft features and I think the likeness is only there if you know what you’re looking at, and even then that might be a reach. As usual, the paint is extremely basic giving Jyn that wonderful dead-inside look to her eyes and uneven paint on her lips. Hasbro has obviously shrugged off any credibility for making this a true “Collector’s” line when it comes to the paintwork on the heads.

She does come with a removable helmet, which is definitely a welcome feature. It fits really well and looks good on the figure. The paint on the helmet is a little rougher than the rest of the figure, but it kind of works because it makes it look worn and chipped. Jyn can also wear her breather mask, with the head strap designed to fit around the helmet. I sometimes question whether these 6-inch figures really use the scale to their advantage, and here’s probably one of the few good examples of that. The breather mask just looks and works a lot better here than it did on the 3 3/4-inch figure. Then again, that was a 5-POA figure and not something premium like the Vintage Collection. Maybe it’s not a fair comparison here.

As for other accessories, Jyn includes the same pistol that came with the Jedha version and she still has a functional holster to store it in. She also comes with an E-11 Blaster. You can never have too many of those! And finally, she has a little cylindrical device and I have absolutely no idea what the hell it’s supposed to be. It’s almost bizarre how prominently featured this thing is in the box. If I were to make a guess, it looks like it’s supposed to be a rope coiled tightly around something. I seem to recall there was a zip-line scene that was cut from the film. Maybe this has to do with it.

I saved articulation for last, because it happens to be the thing that comes damn close to breaking this figure for me. The points are all identical to Jedha Jyn, so that’s not the issue, but the legs are so loose and gummy on this figure, it makes her really hard to pose and stand up. I don’t know if it’s shoddy plastic, or because she was packaged in an action pose on the base, but this is the worst I’ve seen in a 6-inch Hasbro figure in a long time. It literally feels like the kind of cheap Chinese knock-off you might get loose off of Ebay for a couple of dollars.

Oh yeah, and how could I forget the base. It’s a decent sculpt and it has peg holes for her to stand on. This sort of thing isn’t a big draw for me, but I can imagine that some collectors will enjoy it and she does look pretty good posed on it.

There are no Kmarts in my area any longer, and even when there were, I rarely ventured into them as they tended to be like the Beirut version of Walmart. No offense to Beirut. The only reason I wound up with this figure was because Amazon was blowing them out at $11 a pop and I said, “well shit… why not?” If it weren’t for the wobbly legs, Jyn would be a decent figure, but I think she’s also an easy pass. Meanwhile, the Black Series continues to be such a roller coaster for me. There are still figures that I pick up that delight me and justify why I collect this line, and then there’s figures like this one, which are just so damn average that they make me wonder why do I still bother.

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.

Star Wars Black (Rogue One): Director Krennic by Hasbro

I’m really pressed for time today (and that may be the case for the rest of the week), so I decided to dig into my stack of unopened 6-inch Black Series figures and find one that I could do justice to in fairly a brief amount of time. I ended up with Director Krennic! Did I mention I’m pressed for time? So, let’s go!

Now, to be clear, picking Krennic for a quick-and-dirty review isn’t meant as any slight against the character. Truth be told I was captivated by this guy from his very first scenery-chewing appearance. Part of my love for Krennic has to do with the way his character was written, but a lot of credit has to go to Ben Mendelsohn, who was absolutely fantastic in the role. As great as it is, Star Wars has not been a saga I look to for deep and complex villains, but Krennic actually felt more like a fleshed out character as opposed to just a foreboding guy in a suit. GO AHEAD, FIGHT ME!! In fact, of all the characters in Rogue One, I’d say that I enjoyed Krennic and Bodhi Rook the most, because they felt the most like real people to me.

Hot damn, do I love the Imperial uniforms! Krennic dons his very smart looking, and rather uncommonly seen, white Imperial officer’s tunic and jodhpur-style trousers. It’s a fairly simple sculpt, but it looks absolutely fantastic. The insignia on his chest is sharp and there are some subtle rumples on the tunic to replicate the look of cloth. But if we’re talking great looking plastic cloth, kudos has to go to this cape.

At first, I’ll confess to being a little disappointed that Krennic didn’t come with a cloth cape, but the sculptors did a really fine job on this plastic one. Between the wrinkles and the tailored seams, I’d be hard pressed to tell that it wasn’t actually made of cloth if all I had to go on was some pictures. It’s also very easy to take off the figure, as it just rests on his shoulders.

As for the portrait, it’s pretty damn great. Wow, did I just say that about a 6-inch Black figure? I did! Of course, it’s still a fairly soft sculpt with some very basic paint, but the likeness is undoubtedly there.

Removing the cape allows for a better look at the functional holster on his belt, which holds his rather unique looking gun. Both of his hands are sculpted to hold it fairly well.

The articulation here is pretty standard stuff for the Black Series. You get rotating hinges in his shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hips. He’s got double hinges in his knees, and his ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in his waist and both a hinge and ball joint in his neck. I really wish we could get some bicep swivels on these figures, although in the case of Krennic here, I guess he doesn’t need to be super-pose-able.

And there we have Krennic, a great character and a great figure! I love this guy so much that I picked up three extra Death Troopers (before I even had Krennic), just so that I could set him up on the shelf behind him. The only sad thing is that Krennic is probably the last of the 6-inch Black Series figures from Rogue One I have to look at. It still kills me that we didn’t get Bodhi or Saw, but then I’m still trying to hunt those down in the 3 3/4-inch versions. In the wake of Krennic’s release, we’ve already seen images of the up and coming 6-inch Black Admiral Thrawn. I’m hoping that these releases have broken the seal and we’re going to start getting some more Imperial Officers, because I’ll army build the hell out of some of them once Hasbro starts releasing them.

Star Wars Black: R5-D4 (Gamestop Exclusive) by Hasbro

Once again, I must disappoint all you Convertorobot fans, as it is Thursday and I have no new Transformers to look at. Maybe next week. We’ll see. In the meantime, let’s check out a robot that does not turn into anything!

I was mighty peeved to find out that the infamous droid with the bad motivator was coming to the 6-inch Black Series as a Gamestop Exclusive. There’s only one of these stores in my area and going in that place subjects me to a vortex of screaming kids, punks trying to sell games for drug money, and pushy salespeople trying to get me to opt in to some membership card or magazine. I hate the place. Besides, they’re closing stores left and right, so maybe giving them an Exclusive isn’t the best idea, Hasbro. Next you’ll be giving exclusives to other sinking retail ships like K-mart… oh, riiiight. Well, it turns out my anger was all for naught, because I was able to pre-order this guy on their website pretty easily and he showed up on my doorstep yesterday.

Hasbro is doing over-sized vintage cardbacks for the 40th Anniversary. A lot of these have been re-issues of “The Original Twelve” and I think these look terrific and I really dig how they will stand for easy display. So far, I’ve managed to keep myself from buying a set to keep carded, but that resolve may buckle if retailers start doing sales on these.. R5, however, is currently only available in this packaging, so I had no choice this time. Oh yeah… and thanks Gamestop for putting your obnoxious sticker on the card. It probably comes off, but it’s a shitty thing to do to an item that is being sold in collectible packaging. Good thing I bought this droid to open.

The back of the card is pretty damn cool too. It shows the twelve figures that are getting this carded treatment. All are re-issues, with the exception of the Sand Person, Jawa, Death Squad Commander, and I suppose Darth Vader, since he’s supposed to at least have a new head sculpt. There’s also a shot of the Early Bird-inspired display set that Vader comes with. Yup, I pre-ordered that thing. I have no willpower. And speaking of no willpower, as you can probably guess, these carded figures are not collector friendly and as good as it looks, I’m about to tear this one open.

Here he is, and as expected from the neck down he’s a straight repaint of R2-D2, and that’s not a bad thing, because this is a pretty damn good Astromech body. All of the familiar panel lines are sculpted in, and I really dig the hoses on his feet. Besides the red accents, R5’s deco also includes some light weathering, whereas I had to do my own on R2 with a mechanical pencil. I think they distressed him just the right amount. It doesn’t look heavy handed at all.

The head is also a very good sculpt and escapes the big fault of the R2 figure by not having those eyesore seams running up the sides. R5’s head still has seams, but they’re very well hidden. The antenna is made of bendy plastic, but it doesn’t seem like it will be prone to warping. You get a little bit of weathering on the head, but maybe here it could have used a smidgen more. The paint on the eyes is sharp and clean and the hologram sticker strip that runs around his neck looks nice, although I already had to stick the end of it back on, so I’m not sure how long that sticker is going to last.

As with R2, the third leg still retracts by turning the head. I wasn’t a big fan of this feature when I first saw it, but I’ve cooled on it a bit. It just seemed rather gimmicky for a collector line, but then the Black Series’ collector line credentials have been pretty shaky. I should also note that R5 doesn’t share any of the opening panels in his head that R2 had. It seems like they could have given us a swap-out panel with a bad motivator, but nope!

The two vertical side panels, on his front, however, do still open and he does have his little arms that swing out. It probably would have been easy for Hasbro to just glue these shut and not worry about them, so I’m pretty happy to see they survived.

In every way, R5-D4 is a great little figure. in fact, the only issues here for me are price and availability. At $22, you’re paying an awful lot for very little. R2 came with a bunch of extras and R5 comes with squat. It makes me wonder if he was made an exclusive release just to justify the price tag. Why not R5 and a couple of Jawas in a window box for $50? That would have been a nice deal. Plus, making him exclusive to Gamestop is just bewildering to me. I’ve never even seen Star Wars figures in a Gamestop outside of maybe Funko Pop! Vinyls. Luckily, I didn’t have to actually go in a Gamestop to get him. I pre-ordered mine when it first went up on the website and it became “Unavailable” not long after that. Disappointing collectors by making a deal with a dying game retailer? Not cool, Hasbro. The better way to go would have been to put him in a window box for wide distribution and let the vintage carded packaging be your exclusive. Ah, but what do I know?

Star Wars “The Force Awakens:” Finn 1:6 Scale Figure by Hot Toys

Nope, no Transformers Thursday this week. Sorry. I was hoping to get a little MP-36 action going today, but he was not in the budget this week. Probably not next week. Maybe I’ll get lucky and nab one in at the end of April or perhaps the prospects of the ridiculous orange plug will piss me off enough that I can save my money. For now, I happened to be re-organizing my sixth-scale shelves to make room for some new arrivals last week when it dawned on me that I had yet to review a couple of my Hot Toys figures from The Force Awakens. Let’s remedy that today by checking out Big Deal himself,  Finn!

I’ve already looked at Hot Toys Rey and BB-8 and the packaging here is very similar. Finn was available on his own or boxed with the First Order Riot Stormtrooper, which is the route I went. Other than this bigger box, I don’t think there was any real difference between the two releases of Finn. And don’t worry, I’ll be looking at the Riot Trooper on his own in the next week or so. But let me take a moment to declare what a testament it is to how much I loved the new characters in The Force Awakens, that I’m buying them as Hot Toys and not The Original Trilogy characters. Truth be told, the main reason is that collecting the OT Hot Toys is too big a plunge for me to take. First I’d be spending $220 on Luke Skywalker and next thing I know, I’m 20 figures deep and making five $60 Flex Pays on a Hot Toys Power Droid and wondering what happened. The smaller cast of The Force Awakens seems a lot more manageable. Especially since WE STILL HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN A HINT THAT POE DAMERON IS EVER COMING OUT. What? Oh yeah, let’s have a look at Finn…

In case you’ve never met a Resistance fighter before, this is what they look like. Well, some of them. Others look different. But this is most definitely FN-2187, better known to his new pals as Finn. As a character, I found Finn to be instantly likable and this figure captures him beautifully. It is, however, a pretty simple figure, especially once I discarded the nearly useless extra, which I’ll get to in a bit. Finn sports a pretty standard pair of space trousers, a t-shirt and, of course, Poe’s Resistance jacket.

And yes, Poe’s trusty jacket is easily the star of this otherwise pedestrian outfit. It’s a splendidly crafted garment with some immaculate stitching and it hits all the right points of the real thing. Some of those high points include the reinforced patch on the front of the right shoulder and the ribbed stripes that run down the outside of each sleeve. The material is a very pliable and a convincing substitute for leather. One of the other great things about this outfit is how it isn’t at all restrictive and there are no super delicate pieces, like buttons that can fall off. While a lot of Hot Toys sacrifice pose-ability for tightly crafted costumes, Finn feels like an honest-to-goodness action figure and he’s loads of fun to play around with.

I can remember some early reactions to this figure and people picking on the likeness. Honestly, I don’t know what there is to complain about. To me, this looks spot-on to actor John Boyega and features the usual crazy level of realistic detail both in sculpt and some sterling paintwork. The expression is fairly neutral, which I think is always the way to go unless we’re getting an extra head. The eyes have that eerie “I’m alive” look to them, and the sculpted hair looks fantastic. I think this one is a total home-run. I’ll also toss in here the fact that Finn comes with Hot Toys’ usual assortment of extra hands. These include fists, saber holding hands, gun holding hands, and relaxed hands.

Let’s kick off the accessories with mention of the electronic lightsaber, so we can never speak of it again. Yes, this is where my appreciation of the figure takes a momentary dive. This saber hilt is actually an integral part of a replacement arm, which has to be swapped out and doing so is an unbelievable pain in the ass. I did it once when I first got the figure and I’ll never do it again. Nope, not even for this review. Because of the sleeve, it’s impossible to see what you’re doing, and I’d say it probably took me a good twenty minutes to finally get it in there. It was a whole ordeal during which, I was constantly afraid that I was going to mess up the outfit or break the figure’s arm. Yes, it looks mighty pretty when it’s all lit up, but it’s still not worth the risk to me. And, I have to ask, is it really necessary to integrate the electronics into the whole arm? Couldn’t they have done it in just a hand? I mean, I have a pretty damn small LED on my key-ring that could have easily lit this saber up. Just saying…

Well, since the lit saber and arm is not my cup of tea, I’m happy to say Finn also comes with a regular lightsaber that can share the blade with the electronic one. This saber is the exact same accessory that came with Rey and it’s still a beautiful piece. The hilt is intricately detailed and the translucent blue blade just pegs right into the hilt. It may seem odd to include the saber with both Rey and Finn, but in fairness, this set is intended to recreate Finn’s battle with the Riot Stormtrooper on Takodana, and I can’t say as I mind having an extra.

Next up, Finn comes with the rather distinctive blaster that he borrowed off of Han Solo. I remember not being terribly fond of this design and back when I reviewed the 6-inch Black Finn, I actually speculated that it wouldn’t even appear in the movie. Boy, was I wrong, actually on both counts, because this weapon design has grown on me a lot. I like the clear piece on the end of the “scope” and the barrel kind of reminds me of the Rebel DH-17 Blaster just a bit. The weapon does not feature any moving parts, but it does come with a pretty cool carry strap.

And speaking of carrying things, how about a big bag of bombs? It’s the explosive payload that Finn toted to The Starkiller Base in order to blow the place up. This could have just as easily been an accessory included with the Han Solo figure, since he and Chewie were the ones planting the things, but I’m glad they gave Finn some more stuff. The satchel includes a retaining strap that pegs together at the buckle and there’s a mesh side so you can see what’s in it when it’s full. It’s also a pretty big bag, as you could probably fit twice as many bombs in it as comes with the set.

And lastly, Finn comes with a stand that features The Resistance logo as well as a name plate. It’s the same style of stand that came with Rey, complete with a crotch cradle on an adjustable post to keep Finn standing proud.

Finn is available by himself for $205, which is a decent value for a Hot Toys figure, as they usually start in the $220 range these days. I picked up mine in the two-pack with the Riot Trooper for $360, so if you want to split the two figures evenly down the mdidle that makes Finn $180 and that’s even sweeter. Although, it’s worth mentioning that as I write this Sideshow has thrown up the “Low Stock” warning on his product page. I’ll concede that Finn’s a somewhat basic figure, especially if you’re like me and choose to ignore the electronic saber gimmick, but I can’t say as there’s anything really missing from his collection of extras. Not to mention he is a damn solid figure in his own right, with a nicely tailored costume and a superb likeness. And all kidding aside, I really am shocked that we haven’t seen or heard anything about a Hot Toys Poe, because him in his X-Wing pilot suit would be a wonderful way to round out my Rey, Finn, and BB-8 display.

Star Wars Black (Rogue One): Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus by Hasbro

Rogue One hits Blu-Ray today, and I’ve already been down to Wally-Mart to mingle with some scary people and pick up my copy. Even after seeing this flick four times in the theater, I was still anxious to get it on home release and see it again. It seemed only appropriate that I also spend today opening up Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus from the Star Wars Black 6-inch series. Let’s check them out!

This was a weird pair of releases in that Hasbro just seemed to tuck them into a mostly recycled wave. Now, like Marvel Legends, I tend to buy my Black Series figures by the case, because there’s always one or two that are hard to find. I really didn’t want to do that here, because it meant getting doubles of figures I didn’t want. Luckily there were a few online retailers that offered them up as a pair for just a couple of bucks over the usual retail and I was able to get them with no fuss and no muss. I’m still more than a little miffed that we didn’t get a Bodhi Rook or Saw Gerrera in the 6-inch line to finish out the Rogue One team, but I am really happy we got this pair. For a movie that a lot of people complain has no heart, Rogue One managed to pack a lot of soul into these two characters.  Let’s start with Chirrut…

I really like Chirrut’s costume and I’m really thankful that they didn’t just give him some boring brown Jedi-inspired robes. What we got is a great look for a “space monk” and it fits in perfectly with the Star Wars Universe. Hasbro took the opportunity to give us some soft goods robes, but as usual mixed it up with sculpted plastic as well. I think the effect here is overall pretty good, but I get a big disconnect between the plastic on top and the robe on the bottom. It looks more like he’s wearing a skirt, whereas the actual costume extended up to his shoulder. On the other hand, the cloth doesn’t impede the range of motion in the legs, which is a welcome treat. The articulation here is pretty standards stuff for the line and he’s loads of fun to pose and play with.

The robes that hang off his back are molded as part of the cross strap, and I don’t think they really look like part of the overall garment, but I know what they were going for here, so I can at least see it for what it’s supposed to be. I do like the two cloth straps that hang off of him. These can be positioned to give him some sense of momentum when posing him in action scenes. It may sound like I’m nitpicking the costume here a lot, but let’s face it, this wasn’t a terribly easy costume to do in this scale. Hasbro made some compromises and in the end I think it looks good and doesn’t interfere with the fun of playing with the figure, so I’ll call it a win. But is there really anything here that they couldn’t have done in a Vintage Collection style 3 3/4-inch figure? Nah.

The head sculpt is passable, but it’s exceptionally soft. I think it’s a decent likeness, which I can easily recognize in the context of the costume, but probably wouldn’t as just a head. As is often the case with this line. a competent paint job would probably go a long way. There’s a big disconnect between the sculpted eyebrows and what’s painted there. This feels more like passable 3 3/4-inch scale work than it does 6-inch scale work, but if that’s not something I was willing to accept at this point, I wouldn’t still be buying this line.

Chirrut comes with two accessories: His staff and a rifle. I was initially tempted to say that the staff feels too small for him, but after looking at some pictures of him in the film, as well as the upcoming Hot Toys release, I think it’s pretty close.  There’s also a fairly good amount of sculpting and paint work for what is essentially just a big stick. The wood is textured and there’s a grip and a reinforced tip.

The rifle is a strange piece indeed. When deployed it reminds me a bit of Chewie’s bowcaster. It feels a little cheap and flimsy, but in fairness it’s a very thin weapon and it has several points of articulation, from the rotation in the center to the two hinged arms. Toss in some paint apps, and I’d say Hasbro did the best they could with this weapon in this scale. I do wish it had a shoulder strap on it so Chirrut could wear it across his back. I’ll probably just tie a piece of string to it. Moving on to Baze…

Baze, the heavy gunner of the team is an all around nice piece of work. His overalls are sculpted with plenty of rumples, stitching, and pockets. It’s a little soft, but overall pretty good. The armor pieces feature some nice weathering and appear to be additional pieces laid onto the buck, which make them a lot more convincing. The belt and pouches are also separate pieces attached to the buck and there’s some great detail in the chest piece. Articulation is just as good as Chirrut as far as the actual points go, but Baze’s chunky buck makes his range of motion a little more limited, particularly in the upper legs.

From the back, Baze has a rather large slot for his backpack. It’s unsightly, yes, but I’d rather have it there with the option of being able to take off the pack, than have the pack permanently attached. I suppose they could have gone with actual working straps, but that seems to be asking a lot from this line. Still, the 5-POA, 3 3/4-inch Rey figure from The Force Awakens had a backpack with actual straps and all. Just saying…

The head sculpt here is actually pretty damn good and with some better paint it probably could have been phenomenal. Either way, I would have no troubles recognizing this likeness with or without the context of the body.

The backpack, which is the laser gun equivalent of an ammo drum tabs right in and features some great paint and sculpted details as well as a sculpted sash that hangs off the back. I haven’t looked into the tech behind this thing, but I’d like to think that it’s just a giant generator needed to power his repeater blaster. The cable tabs into the bottom of the drum and the other end goes into the blaster where an ammo magazine would be if it were a conventional rifle.

The cable has a good amount of flex in it, but it does sometimes impede the poses I’d like him to do. Add to that the fact that the drum on his back makes him pretty back-heavy and very prone to toppling backwards. I don’t want to beat up on Baze that badly, because he’s a great looking figure and still pretty fun, but he’s at his best when he’s just standing there beside his buddy Chirrut with his rifle at the ready.

While I have some nitpicks here and there, I think Chirrut and Baze turned out to be pretty good figures, especially when considered within my tempered expectations of the 6-inch Black Series. They each have their strong points and when taken as a pair they compliment each other beautifully. They also make for a fantastic display with the other members of the Rogue One team. Yes, I’m still upset over the Bohdi-shaped hole in my display. I thought Rook was a great character, and came the closest to having something resembling a fully fleshed out arc. It was great to see him going from reluctant spy to full-blown self-sacrificing hero.

Star Wars Black Series (Knights of the Old Republic): Darth Revan by Hasbro

Ah, Knights of the Old Republic! It was a pivotal experience in my long history of gaming. I don’t think I can properly quantify how many hours I put into it and I loved every second of every play-through. In fact, I remember my knee-jerk reaction to playing Mass Effect for the first time was that it was just KotoR with all the Star Wars elements boiled away. Back in 2003, I would have spent all my disposable income on KotoR toys. If only Hasbro had pushed the marketing of this game like they did with Shadows of the Empire. I wanted a dedicated line. I wanted figures of all the characters, I wanted the Ebon Hawk scaled for the figures. I wanted an electronic HK-47 that I could carry around and complain about people to. And I got nothing… NOTHING!!! Well… almost nothing.

If i recall correctly, we owe this 6-inch Black Series release to a fan poll Now, in fairness we did get a few 3 3/4-inch figures from KotoR scattered about over the years and we even got Revan in the 30th Anniversary Collection line. But that was like five years too late and at a time when I was clearing out most of my Star Wars collection because one day I woke up and gazed in horror at all the Prequel crap that I bought. When I think about it, I should be a lot more excited to have this figure in hand than I am, but I’ll swing back to the reasons for that at the end.

Revan’s design always felt just a little too derivative of Vader to me. Granted, the mask was necessary due to complications of his true identity, but the black cape and robes struck me as a wee bit lazy. We need a new villain, just put a mask and black robes on him. So, why do I give Kylo Ren a pass? Because imitating Vader was the whole motivation of that character. Now, with all that having been said, I still think Revan is a cool looking character and this figure does a nice job with the design. The sculpted gold pieces of his armor and that giant ring in the center of his gut contrast nicely with the use of the soft goods. And in the end, I think it’s the mix of sculpted plastic cloth and real cloth that represents this figures greatest strengths and weaknesses.

For starters, the cape looks fantastic. It’s very thin and light material that rests naturally on the figure and works well with the tattered and frayed edges. The use of cloth on the inner robes looks fine too, and I have no problem with the use of the sculpted plastic cloth over it. Maybe the red sash would have looked good as cloth, but I won’t quibble over it. Also, the sculpted cloth on the sleeves is a no brainer. Nope, from the neck down, I’ve got only love for this guy and the decisions Hasbro made when making him.

Above the neck, however, is a different story. My main gripe is with the decision to use a sculpted plastic hood and having it molded as part of the shoulders. It looks fine, but it really hurts the figure’s pose-ability. Yes, his head will turn in there, but it looks odd when turned too far to the left or right because the hood is blocking so much of his face. I think a cloth hood would have looked great on him and it could have been pulled out of the way to accommodate the head turning. But if Hasbro was dead set on going plastic, they should have made the hood a separate piece that could turn with the head. Apart from that, I think the helmet looks great. The mix of red and silver paint really makes the figure pop and the weathering, well it’s a little heavy handed, but it’s not bad. The rest of the articulation is standard stuff for the Black Series, at least on paper, but in practice, Revan just isn’t as fun to play with as he could have been.

Darth Revan comes with his two lightsabers, and I’ve got to be honest, as much as I played this game, I didn’t even remember him having two until I went back and looked at some of the art from the game. The designs on these hilts are really cool, particularly the one with the purple blade. And yes, both blades can be removed easily by simply un-pegging them. Sadly, there’s nowhere on his person that you can hang the hilts.

Even with my issues over the hood, I like this figure a lot and I’m happy to have him, even if probably doesn’t sound like it from this review. The problem is that getting Revan is dredging up all the same disappointment I had long ago when we didn’t get a dedicated KotoR line. Don’t get me wrong, with entire forests of printed Star Wars canon being wiped away with the stroke of a Mickey Mouse pen, I’m happy to see that KotoR is being acknowledged and therefore is presumably still canon. But the proper way to do this would have been an entire wave. Six figures… Revan, Malak, Bastila, Mission, HK-47, and whoever the hell you want for the last slot. I’d take T3-M4, just because I dig that design, but I suppose you could throw Carth or Zaalbar in there instead. I mean, if Hasbro can stack their waves of Legends with Comic Book designs, surely they could spit out a wave of KotoR figures. Now would have been the perfect time too, because Hasbro is drumming up support for The Last Jedi and needs peg fillers. Man, just thinking about that assortment of figures is killing me.

Star Wars Black: Princess Leia (A New Hope) by Hasbro

One of the things that’s had me most excited about the 6-inch Black Series was getting all of the original 12 vintage figures in this new format. Well, Hasbro showed off the remaining releases at Toy Fair last week and collectors who are willing to double dip will even be able to get them on vintage style cardbacks. They look great, but I don’t have the money or space to buy all these figures again just so I can tear them open or hang them on the wall. As it is, I already have totes full of the carded Vintage Collection 3 3/4-inch figures that I hardly ever see. Anywho, with the original version of Princess Leia now in my collection, my 6-inch heroes from A New Hope are complete and all I’m waiting on is the Jawa, Death Squad Commander, and Tusken Raider to complete the Twelve… pretty cool!

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This figure has had its share of controversy as many Princess Leia figures have had to suffer ever since the day Power of the Force 2 unleashed the dreaded “Monkey-Face Leia” on our collections. It’s safe to say that some of the early shots of this one didn’t look so good. I made a decision that, once in hand, if I thought this this one sucked really bad, I wasn’t going to review it out of respect to the late Carrie Fisher. The fact that you’re reading this means that wasn’t the case. Now, I’m not going to tell you she’s fantastic, but… well, let’s just go ahead and dive in.

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For starters, there’s very little sculpted detail visible on this figure, and that’s because of her softgoods outfit. Gown? Is that the right word? Maybe? I’m going to call it a gown. From the neck down all you can really see are her hands and boots, and the belt which cinches the gown to the figure. And yes, the belt and gown are both removable and she has a fully painted white outfit and boots underneath. The gown is easily my favorite part of this figure. I’m glad they didn’t go for a complete sculpt here. The fabric fits the figure very well, the stitching is pretty good with just a few stray threads here and there, and there are some areas, like the neck collar, where it’s actually quite impressive. The material is very thin and it’s slit a bit up the sides to not interfere with articulation too badly.

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They also included the hood, which is another check I’ll add to this figure’s plus column. It doesn’t fit flush with her back when it’s down, but that’s to be expected with the lack of weight that an outfit in this scale exhibits. Overall, I think it looks better down than Obi-Wan’s hood does.

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And then there’s the portrait. So, I was expecting the worst and I don’t think that’s what I got. No, it’s not very good either. At some point I’m sure there was some Carrie Fisher in there, but I think most of it got lost in the transition from prototype to final product. And the fact that it got the bare bones minimum effort when it came to the paint doesn’t help either. My guess is this will be another Black Series figure that someone paints up really nice and shows that it could have worked in the right hands, but clearly those hands aren’t working in Hasbro’s factories. I’d say that this portrait might have been acceptable on a 3 3/4-inch figure, but not so much in a 6-inch “collector’s line.” I seem to say that a lot when reviewing these figures. On a more positive note, I think the hair sculpt is pretty good.

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The underlying articulation is right in line with what we’ve seen from many 6-inch Black Series figures. I couldn’t quite get her to hunch down to R2’s level to feed him the Death Star Plans, but I was able to fake it by getting her down on one knee.

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Leia comes with two accessories and they’re both guns! And why not? Princess Leia is an ass kicker. The first thing we see her do is take out a Stormtrooper with this first weapon. Yes, it’s her “Defender” sporting blaster, which she carried on the Tantive IV right before getting captured. This design is one of my favorite weapons in the film.

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Hasbro also threw in an E-11 Stormtrooper blaster, which she used later on during the escape from The Death Star. We’ve seen plenty of these guns released in the Black Series, but I’m always happy to get another! Now, before wrapping up there’s just one more thing to look at, and that’s scale. Consistency of scale has been a challenge with this line, and Princess Leia is one of the biggest (literally) examples of that.

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Here are all the 6-inch Black Series Leias together. Back when I looked at Leia in the Boushh disguise I was notably irked about how badly they flubbed the scale on that figure. She’s a giant compared to the original Slave Leia release. Here we can see that they reined things in a bit and scaled this figure almost perfectly with her bikini-clad counterpart. Sure it just makes Boushh Leia look all the more freakishly tall, but at least they didn’t compound the error by doing it again. Which likeness do you think is the best? Granted, none of them are ideal, but I think I’d go with Slave Leia followed by this one.

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It’s never a ringing endorsement to have to say a figure could have been worse, but that’s what I’m thinking here. The truth is, given my ever deflating expectations for the 6-inch Black Series, I found this version of Princess Leia to be perfectly passable, and yes that’s intended as a left-handed compliment. From the neck down, I’m extremely happy with the way she turned out and I think this is some of the best use of softgoods that the line has seen to date. And while the portrait is far from being on point, I don’t think it’s all that much worse than some of the other likenesses we’ve had here. Indeed, comparing it to some of the larger and far more expensive Princess Leia releases in the past sort of puts things in a better perspective. Word is that the re-issue in the vintage-style packaging got a face lift, both in paint and sculpt, and the prospect of that might tempt me to try my luck with another.