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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,131: Biker Scout (Star Wars Rebels Mission Series)

BIKER SCOUT and Wicket W. Warrick
Star Wars Rebels Mission Series
Item No.:
Asst. A5228 No. A8932
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #MS10
Includes: Blaster, Wicket W. Warrick figure
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: January 2015
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Wicket W. Warrick battles Biker Scouts when the Ewoks join forces with the Rebels to take control of the Empire's shield generator on Endor. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Commentary: As figures go, it took a while for Kenner and Hasbro to do right by the Biker Scout.  The 1983 one was perfectly nice - so was the 1996 one, although it was designed specifically for the bike.  In 2001 we got one that had a sort of an awkward meandering pose that was perfectly good, but lacked a lot of options for posing it.  The 2006 Vintage one has provided the basis for most Scout Troopers since then, but this 2015 figure is the first major step backward in quite some time.  It's a lot like the 1983 figure, except this one has an added blaster holster on his boot.

In what I assume is just a coincidence, the 5-jointed Biker Scout can actually sit on the old Kenner-style Speeder Bikes with the spring-powered t-bar.   That's right - you can swing his legs forward and his arms basically reach the handle bars just fine.   I don't know if it's intentional or not, but it's a heck of a fun feature for us old timers.   This bike has been released and rereleased so many times you might have a dozen of the buggers by now, so if you want to recreate some 1983-style fun with 1990s and 2000s-era vehicles, now's your chance.   The arms swing freely and the neck rotates as well, giving you a figure that's similar to a modernized 1983 Biker Scout figure.  And who can fault that?

Deco is light, but not awful.  The figure has the simple black-and-white look that worked so well for the originals, without the off-white midsection representing the softer parts of the costume.  The one place that gets my goat is the visor - the shape seems, for lack of a better word, angry.  The top is flat, lacking the round edges of other releases.  It's also a little lopsided, which we saw on the 6-inch figure last year.  I'm not sure why all of a sudden Hasbro has difficulty with the Scout helmet, but they are, and this one is no exception.  There are some other painted flourishes like the signature on the helmet's left side, and the two shapes on the back, as we've seen in the past.  This time the helmets on the back are sculpted, but not painted.  Overall, it's a decent figure at a price that could be worse.  I also find it odd that the limbs are black plastic painted with white, which may cause some problems down the road as far as wear is concerned but should prevent them from yellowing quite nicely.


This figure is by no means essential but for the old guys out there, I think you might really love this set.  Give it a shot, the figure has no problems standing up and should be your go-to Scout for lining up on the Death Star for Darth Vader's arrival.


Collector's Notes: I got this from Entertainment Earth.  This set started appearing in stores late in January and early in February, and may be online right now.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,131: March 26, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,130: Wicket W. Warrick (Star Wars Rebels Mission Series)


WICKET W. WARRICK and Biker Scout
Star Wars Rebels Mission Series
Item No.:
Asst. A5228 No. A8932
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #MS10
Includes: Spear, Biker Scout figure
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: January 2015
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Wicket W. Warrick battles Biker Scouts when the Ewoks join forces with the Rebels to take control of the Empire's shield generator on Endor. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Commentary: There are a bunch of figures that seem premature, but when you really think about it the last new Wicket W. Warrick figure was in late 2010.  Prior to that, the last new mold was 1998 and before that, 1985 and 1984.   So in the cosmic sense, this seems a little too fast.   The last version had two hoods - one was based on the second season of the Ewoks cartoon - plus a bag and a bunch more articulation.   If you bought that figure, this one offers nothing really new - but if you missed it, it's pretty good.  Even when you take toy inflation into account, that figure was ten bucks and this one comes with a Scout Trooper for also ten bucks.

In terms of sculpt and articulation, it's a departure from previous releases in that Wicket's hood is molded to the head - this is a first for movie Wicket figures. This hinders the neck joint, which can move a couple of millimeters in either direction.  Each limb can swivel fully, just like the 1984 original.  Oddly, he's still pretty good at balancing in various poses and he can look somewhat awkward while "running" just like in the movie.  The fur texture is good, as is the leather hood and the stitching over his face.   The paint masks also seem better than the 2010 Vintage version, with the hairless painted fingers seemingly having cleaner paint masks.  The fur paint is also pretty much the same - a little whiter - but the real surprise came from the improvements from the lack of paint.  The white dots in the eyes were dropped, resulting in a better overall look.  The figure also lacks the tooth gap of the 2010 version, although if that's an improvement or not is up for argument.


Wicket has no problems holding his spear, but it lacks some of the paint of the last release.  The rope securing the rock to the pole is now unpainted, but the texture is pretty much the same level of quality.   I won't - and can't - argue that this is a must-have figure, but I will say that if you need a Wicket you'll get your money's worth here.  Looking around the market, this is the cheapest Wicket you can buy right now so I'd say it's worth getting.  Given the companion Biker Scout, this should prove to be a popular seller for non-collectors as kids will want some Ewoks and that first Scout Trooper.

Collector's Notes: I got this from Entertainment Earth.  This set started appearing in stores late in January and early in February, and may be online right now.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,130: March 25, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,129: Princess Leia (Endor, Star Wars Rebels Saga Legends)

PRINCESS LEIA (Endor)
Star Wars Rebels Saga Legends
Item No.:
Asst. A3857 No. B1115
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #SL25
Includes: Blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $5.99
Availability: March 2015
Appearances: The Return of the Jedi

Bio: Due to the changeover to multilingual packaging, there is no bio nor is there space for a bio.  Viva globalism.

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Commentary: Another good one! Princess Leia (Endor) is a lot like the matching Luke.  It's also the first individually carded Leia to be produced since 2012. While Luke was sort of a lateral move in terms of features, Leia is a clear simplification of the original.  Kenner's 1984 figure was impressive for 1984 with a removable helmet, cloth poncho, belt, and blaster all for a couple of bucks.  The new ones manages to look better, but the only accessory you get is the blaster.  You also lose the yellow stripe on her pants, but I'll get to that.

The big cool thing about the original Battle Poncho Princess Leia from 1984 was that it was, effectively, a twofer.  You got Leia in her combat gear, but underneath was a second costume based on how she was dressed during the Rebel Briefing near Sullust as well as the Speeder Bike outfit, which wasn't something that usually happened.  Even Luke was two distinct figures - so Kenner was uncharacteristically generous there.  The modern figures are all over the map, usually being packed with bikes or other accessories until the 2007 Vintage version which, I daresay, isn't as good as this one.

This Leia looks  better - sure, she's missing the yellow stripe on her pants but she has the lighter green poncho color (correct!) and no ugly chin strap on her helmet.  The thing with cloth accessories is that they're hard to do well - the 2007 version was big and bulky and ugly, while this one is bulky but is certainly not ugly.  You can tell she has arms and a body this time.   The sculpt is clean, but not too clean - there are some folds in the poncho and generally everything looks great. The sleeves were well-designed too and I would say that Luke's look  better, but hers look better when she's aiming her gun or pointing.

Deco is good - not too much make-up, the eyes are clean, and the green is good on the poncho.  Everything seems to be in place on my samples and while I was going to lament the loss of the silver damage marks on the helmet I found myself not caring.  Instead, I ran into my back storage room and pulled out my Endor Bunker from 1997, placing these figures around it and having a good time.  I forgot how nice it was to have Star Wars figures that stand up without having to kick an ankle out at a weird angle, or use a display stand.  Her blaster fits in her holster, but it is a little loose - so be careful when transporting her around.

Since she can still sit on an old Kenner-style Speeder Bike, I declare this figure to be a victory.  Well done, Hasbro - this entire wave of Endor figures certainly makes me happy and I'm really hoping to see you guys go back and redo classic 1977 Luke, Gamorrean Guards, Yak Face, Greedo, and whatever other 1980s classics you feel inspired to make.  I do not feel let down one bit by this one.



Collector's Notes: I got this from Entertainment Earth.  I have not seen this wave in stores yet.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,129: March 24, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,128: Luke Skywalker (Endor, Star Wars Rebels Saga Legends)


LUKE SKYWALKER (Endor)
Star Wars Rebels Saga Legends
Item No.:
Asst. A3857 No. B1110
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #SL25
Includes: Lightsaber
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $5.99
Availability: March 2015
Appearances: The Return of the Jedi

Bio: Due to the changeover to multilingual packaging, there is no bio nor is there space for a bio.  Viva globalism.

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Commentary: Boy howdy, this is a nice one! Luke Skywalker (Endor) is a remake - or perhaps demake - if a classic action figure.  The 1980s original  had a cloth poncho, a removable belt, and a blaster - this one has only a lightsaber.  There have been a few modern update attempts, The best version in the modern era came in a battle pack, but I'm beginning to rethink its status as "best."  Most articulated, most gear, sure - but this one is pretty fun and feels like a toy.


The sculpt is as good as always, pretty much all of these were made to be quite nice.   The only thing really missing is the aforementioned holster, and there's no hair poking out the back of his (or Leia's) non-removable helmet.  The helmet has the bands and lines you've come to expect, and Luke's face is appropriately Lukey and has really great eye paint on my samples.  Seriously, both were great!  A little bit of wrinkling and creasing on the black shirt show through, and the pants are about as good as always.  His boots have a glossy finish - a nice touch I didn't anticipate - and his right hand has the glove, just like he should have.   The hands have no problems holding the lightsaber, which is painted with a silver hilt and no gold band, unfortunately.  It's still plenty nice.

The poncho itself is a really nice reinterpretation of the classic outfit.  It rarely gets made as a toy and when it does, it's a pack-in with something else.  Previous modern figures had cloth or rubberized ponchos over a Jedi Luke torso, this is the first time Hasbro molded it directly to the arms and body.  As a result, the poncho sleeves form a sort of surreal poncho arm with a poncho sleeve that amazingly still looks good when you pose it out.  I didn't think that was possible.  Obviously it isn't perfect as the inner sleeve is flat and unpainted, but it doesn't look terrible.  The painted camo pattern is simple but quite pleasant, giving a good finish to a nicely sculpted figure. The spray around the crotchial region doesn't quite match perfectly, but it's not terribly off-putting.

For the first carded Battle Poncho Luke in almost a decade, it's probably worth your while to get this one.  It's not like it has a coin and display stand, or bike, or a set with other figures, but it's cheap and it looks good.  It can also sit on a Speeder Bike vintage-style, but the poncho does get in the way of him really reaching the handlebars perfectly.  It's "good enough," and a nice bonus unintentional feature, but it's not like the target audience for this figure is exactly swimming in 1983-style t-bar Speeder Bikes anyway.   If you're in to quick and fun displays, this line really did a bang-up job of fleshing out Endor nicely and quickly.  Now I want more Stormtroopers and Scout Troopers and Ewoks.


Collector's Notes: I got this from Entertainment Earth.  I have not seen this wave in stores yet.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,128: March 23, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,127: Plo Koon (Star Wars Rebels Saga Legends)

PLO KOON Live Action Cartoon Version
Star Wars Rebels Saga Legends
Item No.:
Asst. A3857 No. A9380
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #SL16
Includes: Lightsaber
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $5.99
Availability: February 2015
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: Jedi Master Plo Koon leads Clone Army forces as a general during the Clone Wars. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Commentary: This is hardly the first Plo Koon figure - if you're all-in you probably have at least 10 now (including repaints and repacks).   This is the first one with only 5 points of articulation, and it's the first movie-style figure with the costume from The Clone Wars.  For this reason, it's worth a look - it's new enough to be interesting, even though it's like Commander Gree in that it's new and it's also not.  The reason for making figures like this one is to get something to appeal to kids at a lower price, and Hasbro succeeded.   Certain paint details from previous figures were lost - claws are unpainted.  The ridges on the head lack painted detail.  The gloves are unpainted.   You probably won't notice until you compare him to other figures, so at first glance it's quite good.  This means it is, for all intents and purposes, pretty good - all 5 joints move freely and the character is a good representation with a decent sculpt.

My main beef here is that for a "kid figure," I expect things when it comes to articulation - like sitting.  The figure can sit, but he can't fit into the various recent Jedi Starfighter molds.  His arms stick out, and his robes are a bit bulky.  The texture is phenomenal, but the leg joint cuts give him a large, square butt and the  legs don't bend enough to fit in a ship.  It's a perfectly good stand-alone figure, but like with X-Wing Luke you can see some of the shortcuts taken to make this figure a reality.  Paint app loss really stings in spots, especially when the functionality of the figure isn't as good as some of his brothers. 
There's a definite difference between the pose and texture between the cartoon and "realistic" incarnations of this costume, and for that reason I would still suggest snagging this one as it stands up better and has a great sculpt - but you customizers will probably get the most out of him when you paint in a few details.  

For six bucks it's the cheapest Clone Wars Plo Koon yet, but we probably are still a ways off from seeing the best interpretation of the character.  Here's hoping the 6-inch line has some fun with him.

Collector's Notes: I got this from Entertainment Earth.  I started seeing this wave at Target and Toys R Us so far.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,127: March 20, 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,126: Clone Commander Gree (Star Wars Rebels Saga Legends)


CLONE COMMANDER GREE Live Action Cartoon Version
Star Wars Rebels Saga Legends
Item No.:
Asst. A3857 No. A9379
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #SL15
Includes: Blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $5.99
Availability: February 2015
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: Clone Commander Gree leads the 41st Elite Corps during the Clone Wars. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Commentary: There are precious few "realistic" or "movie style" figures that are unique to Saga Legends, and Commander Gree is one of them.  The basic Clone Trooper design has been altered with paint, a retooled holster on the hip, and a bandolier - and now it's a new character! 

It's a great reuse of existing parts while it gives us all our first-ever "movie style" Phase 1 Commander Gree.  Oh, and it's worth noting that the panel on the back of the armor has also been retooled.  It has three dots instead of four, and some other design changes you won't notice unless you lift up the bandolier.

Articulation and the center of gravity as are as good as this line tends to be, which is to say, very good.   He has no problems standing, sitting, or fitting inside many vehicles.  The hip articulation is restricted a bit so you won't quite get that perfect 90-degree angle,  but he can sit in many Clone-related vehicles with no problems so he meets the articulation mandate.  For those seeking figures that should stand out a bit on their shelves, this is a good one - you don't have another Gree in this style yet, so go ahead and feel good when you buy this one.   It's not a brand-new character, but at least it looks different enough to be interesting.

Collector's Notes: I got this from Entertainment Earth.  I started seeing this wave at Target and Toys R Us so far.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,126: March 19, 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,125: Lando Calrissian (Star Wars Rebels Saga Legends)


LANDO CALRISSIAN Skiff Guard Disguise
Star Wars Rebels Saga Legends
Item No.:
Asst. A3857 No. B0685
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #SL23
Includes: Pike
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $5.99
Availability: March 2015
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Due to the changeover to multilingual packaging, there is no bio nor is there space for a bio.  Viva globalism.

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Commentary: As a kid, the 1983 version of this Lando Calrissian was one of my favorite figures.  He had a cool disguise, and a mustache!  The outfit looked really neat and I loved that the helmet let him pull double-duty in the toy box.  The new version is very similar to the original, but there are a couple of major differences - it looks better, and the helmet doesn't come off.  It took me a few moments to realize that the helmet wasn't going to budge - it's fused to the head, which is a first for this character as an action figure.  You can see some of his face through the mask, and I have to wonder if this reduced costs much or not - it's a unique take on the costume, and it's rare that we see figures like this with non-removable helmets.  The sculpt of the outfit is true to most of the other figures we've had of him over the last 17 or so years... which by my count is at least several releases.

Deco is very good, but not perfect.  Thankfully the sculpt is on par with the other previous releases, making it great for most displays or a good vehicle pilot.   The lower torso lacks the deco variety we've seen on others, giving the whole loincloth flap more of a single-piece drap look.  We still get the blet, and the unique boots and pants.  He's even got the bracelet on his right arm, and the famous silver armor.  Pretty much every important element of the costume is here, so really the only downer for me is how the hands are sculpted.  It's not like he can hold the weapon with both hands, but the angle of his wrists make it a little awkward when it comes to waving it menacingly at the enemy.  So what you have here is a good, but ultimately strange version of a figure you may have bought somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 or more times by now, especially if you got that horrendously pale Target version.  Sure it doesn't compare to the super-articulated $10 Skiff Guard/Sandstorm dual release from 2012, but that's life - things change.  For $6 it's pretty good, especially by most current toy standards where there are very few action figure lines from a major company that are worth a damn and under $10.   Kudos to Hasbro for getting the prices down, and here's hoping customers continue to snag these for their kids (or themselves, it's a fine figure.)

Collector's Notes: I got this from Entertainment Earth.  I saw this wave at a Toys R Us last Friday.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,125: March 18, 2015