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Friday, October 17, 2014

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,105: Biker Scout (The Black Series 6-Inch)

BIKER SCOUT with Speeder Bike
The Black Series 6-Inch Deluxe Figures
Item No.:
Asst. A7808 No. A6588
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Pistol, bike, stand
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $39.99
Availability: August 2014
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Chased by rebels, Biker Scouts race their Speeder Bikes through the Endor forest.  The Biker Scouts weave at breakneck speed through the trees, trying to outrun the Rebels so they can warn the shield generator station of the enemy's presence.  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Commentary: When I first heard that the Biker Scout was coming to the 6-inch line - with a Speeder Bike, no less - I was pretty happy.  Hasbro's track record on troopers is largely good - new releases are, with few exceptions, better than the previous version with one or more notable features that make it an unquestionable upgrade... or it's a repack.  Since this figure was a larger size, I assumed it would be pretty good.  I'd say the bike is good, and the figure's interactivity with the bike is very good, but the figure itself is maybe a C+.   This isn't entirely Hasbro's fault either - some of the blame can go squarely to the factory for the rough paint job.

When making any figure, two of the most important things to focus on are the pose and the head.  This is where you get your personality.   With super-articulated figures, pose is less important because that is delegated to the consumer - and unless there are snags, he or she can do what he or she desires.  Hasbro has made a decent range of motion for this guy, giving him a generous 27 points of articulation. The arms and legs are exquisite, with various straps and belts hiding things like a shin cut joint, a thigh joint, a rotating bicep, and other things you would absolutely want for a figure of this size. The engineering is largely excellent and potentially Hasbro's best in this line to date.

Sculpting and deco, well, can't win 'em all.  The helmet is a little smooshed, in part due to the inner tray of the packaging.  What's inexcusable, though, is the visor - it's painted off-center.  My sample is skewed over to his left-hand side, and you can see where the painter missed the mark.  The funny - sad funny, not "ha ha" funny - thing is that the other figure in the case had the same problem, but skewed over to the right.  Any way you slice it, it's a manufacturing error and one that could have been saved.  Similarly, pinching the helmet like they did not only makes it hart to remove from the packaging, but gives it a rounded look - and the helmet feels a little small for the body in the first place.  I dislike the mud on the feet and the unnecessary dirt filling in the panel lines on the chest, mostly because it isn't Tatooine.  Were Hasbro to rerelease this figure with a new head sculpt and better painters, the figure itself would be one of the best 6-inch action figures money can buy at any price.  Bad deco plus a bad helmet, though, there's not much you can really say about it being great.  It's good.

His lone accessory is a classic Biker Scout pistol, but here's the kicker - it's the same size as the ones with the 3 3/4-inch figures.   It's one or maybe two millimeters longer than the one that comes with the 3 3/4-inch The Black Series figure, and barely fits in his ankle holster.  Well, it fits, but it's not snug - it's going to fall out and you're going to lose it.  In real life, the prop should be somewhere around 8-inches long, depending on the resource.  This is a 1:12 scale figure, so the gun should be about 5/8-inch long.  Here's the rub - it is.  Hasbro made it the right size, but most fans don't realize that Hasbro exaggerates figures in smaller scales and that screws with our perception.  Some characters are given lighter skin tones, because they would look darker at a smaller scale. Some weapons are bigger so you don't lose them, and Playmates used to enlarge hands and heads of its Star Trek line in the 1990s.  Mine already tore at the grip - it I just put two fingers through it.  So I'm going to say that the quality is low and my experience with it is that I am not particularly pleased with how he interacts with the weapon.

The bike itself is pretty good - one of the two flaps on mine seems stuck, but it poses easily on the innovative display stand.  The clear stand has 3 balls on it, allowing you to display bikes at different heights.  I have no doubt this is due to the additional bikes they will be selling us with Luke Skywalker in his Endor Poncho sooner than later (after all, we have a Jedi Luke now) and Leia to boot.   It fits well, the figure is able to easily grip the handlebars and put his feet on the pedals - the pegs work nicely.  Getting his butt to stay on the seat is a little tricky, though.  There are lots of nice damage details all over the body and everything looks like I would hope.  It doesn't do much, but it doesn't have to - it's a prop for a collector, and a good one at that.

Overall I would say it's a mixed bag.  Good bike, so-so figure, awful and breakable weapon.  And easily lost weapon - if he does a face-plant (and he will) it flies out of his boot and across the floor.  Be careful with this one.  If you display him on his bike exclusively, it's a pretty good figure - all of his flaws are covered.  If you have him standing alone, you'll see them more easily and frankly, this should have been an easy one for Hasbro.  I've never had a figure tear up his own gun with his hand before.  The item is a very good deal as a display piece, provided you never open the box or never fidget with it once it goes on your shelf.

Collector's Notes: This figure started appearing in stores around August, shipping with Jabba the Hutt (sans any accessories.)

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,105: October 17, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,104: Boba Fett Prototype Armor (The Black Series 6-Inch)

BOBA FETT Prototype Armor
The Black Series 6-Inch Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. A4301 No. B0544
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Pistol, rifle
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: September 2014
Appearances: Walgreens

Bio: Before he put on the familiar Mandalorian armor from the Star Wars saga, this notorious  bounty hunter was initially envisioned as a "super trooper" in all-white armor.  This special figure captures the beginning of a character that has become a legend who is both respected and feared across the galaxy... Boba Fett.  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Commentary: It's a white repaint - but a good one. Boba Fett has a suit of armor that lends itself to repainting, even if the sculpt isn't a perfect match.  The suits of armor are many, my most-requested variant is the one that inspired Kenner's 12-inch and 3 3/4-inch version from the 1970s with the yellow gauntlet on the left arm.  Alas, we're still waiting.  That armor had a "grappling hook" rocket originally, as did this white concept suit - but the figure just decorated the existing tooling because Hasbro wanted to get another solid grab out of the mold, and I must admit it's a nice one  Sure, the helmet dent looks odd here but it's still a neat figure unto itself.  If Hasbro had made up this concept, rather than it being something worn in behind-the-scenes screen tests nearly 35 years ago, I'd still say it's a worthwhile purchase.

If you bought the 2013 SDCC Boba Fett, or the basic boxed Boba Fett, it's the same basic figure.  You get a holster with a blaster pistol, bend-and-swivel wrists, rocker ankles, double-jointed knees, and a rifle.  You don't get a removable rocket or articulated rangefinder, nor is the cape a Star Wars beach towel.  What you do get is a figure molded in a nice white plastic with silver, black, and grey highlights (highlights?) that really make this look like a quality product - and for $20, you could do a lot worse.   The big downer is that it sold at Walgreens.  If you don't live in the USA, Walgreens has more locations than almost any other nationwide chain except maybe McDonald's or 7-11.

There are over 8,000 US locations - I easily hit up 16 locations in my town, and I could have kept going without going all that far out of my way to a dozen more. Thank goodness I didn't have to, unlike Target or Toys R Us there are fewer hot moms shopping there and more point-of-sale displays that have electronic sneezing sounds and disgusting shots of people blowing their noses on window signs.   The feeling you get after seeing about 20 Walgreens in 2 days is that this is a store people have to shop at, while the others are places you may actually elect to go.  And I don't mean for just toys - if you're at a Walgreens at 2 AM, someone, somewhere, should be expressing their sympathies to you.  Perhaps your wife just vomited on you.  Perhaps you just vomited on your wife.  The point is this - don't get married.  No, wait - we're here to talk about toys.

The figure itself does a decent job copying the deco on that first Boba Fett armor.  There are no decals, no battle-damage scoring.   Silver wear and tear is absent, but you do get some wonderful markings on the jet pack make this a close match, but a perfect one would require new sculpting. After all, that armor didn't have a holster - the figure does, and I'd rather have it than not have it. My guess is that this figure exists because Walgreens, like Home Depot, Costco, and 7-11, are wonderful potential customers for any manufacturer.  With 8,000 locations at 1-2 cases of figures per store, you're making some serious sales - plus the high foot traffic of moms with sick kids, people needing meds, or drunk people buying ice cream at 4 in the morning are all good candidates to join our plastic acquisition cult.   Giving the consumer greater access to toys is a good thing, especially when you consider the reduction in customers from Kay-Bee, Kmart, Sears, JC Penny, Montgomery Ward, ToyCo, and I could go on.  Hasbro needs to find new places to sell toys as the number of adult collectors who will go on crazy quests just to get a dumb figure aren't increasing in the post-ToyFare marketplace.  We're here to buy what we want and call it a day - reading up on other lines or expanding our horizons is a rarity in the information age.

I like this figure a lot more than the 3 3/4-inch mail-in Vintage version, but not as much as the 3 3/4-inch McQuarrie Concept version which had more cool parts and an alternate head sculpt.   Heck, if Hasbro did McQuarrie Concept Black Series I'd be doing cartwheels - had I the upper-body strength to do so.  Instead, I'll just enjoy this nifty, low-impact and non-essential repaint as a quirky, fun addition to my stash - and it may be my favorite figure in the line so far as it doesn't have any baggage.  It's just cool and Star Wars-y.

Collector's Notes: While solid-packed cases may ship to Walgreens stores like we saw with the Marvel Legends Agent Venom figure, these have not yet been spotted.  Instead they're shipping alongside Darth Vader, a Sandtrooper, Jedi Luke, and Chewbacca - surely, a good mix.  Walgreens has been ramping up its toy section with lower prices and more Funko and McFarlane product, clearly gearing for that impulse adult buy.  It would stand to reason more exclusives may hit in the future, but hitting my local stores yielded dozens of unsold Funko Legacy Collection Game of Thrones figures and 2-8 Marvel Legends Agent Venom figures at the majority of locations last week.  For this reason - and the sheer abundance of Walgreens locations - I would strongly urge you to track one down yourself and not pay premium prices on the secondary market.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,104: October 16, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,103: Luke Skywalker Jedi Knight (The Black Series 6-Inch)

LUKE SKYWALKER Death Star II Outfit
The Black Series 6-Inch Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. A4301 No. A7270
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #03 (Blue Box)
Includes: Green blade, lightsaber hilt, alternate shirt facade
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: September 2014 (Walgreens), October 2014 (Elsewhere)
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Luke goes to the second Death Star to confront his father, Darth Vader.  Despite giving into his anger, Luke refuses to destroy his father and rejects Emperor Palaptine's attempts to turn Luke to the Dark Side.  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Commentary: Lately, the things I expect to like the most tend to not be the things I like the most.  I always assumed super-articulated figures were going to be better for me, and it turns out I was wrong.  I figured from this wave, Darth Vader would be the best - and it turns out Luke Skywalker in his Jedi Knight duds from the second Death Star is the real winner.  The head is good, the articulation while not exceptional is very good, the deco is OK, but there's something about the expression and the poses that just clicks for me.  I was expecting glossy black paint on the boots and/or the glove, and got neither.  Actually, the glove is particularly weird - it has wrinkles on the back of the hand, but if you look at the fingers it also has clearly sculpted fingernails.   It's not something most people are going to notice, but I found it curious.  The belt is a rubbery separated piece with a hook to hang the included Lightsaber hilt, and unlike some other figures I won't name it fits perfectly.



The wrinkles and folds are present, but not too overt.  This Luke 18+ points of articulation depending on how you're inclined to count.  Rocker ankles are joined by bend-and-swivel wrists, plus the legs have double knees, an upper thigh cut joint, and the usual quasi-ball jointed hips.  Other than a teensy bit of restriction on the elbows and shoulders, this is as good as a Luke can get. The hair is nice, the face sculpt is good, the face paint is really good, and along with the 12-inch figure and the so-far Canada Only Saga Legends figure this year, Hasbro seems to have now mostly successfully concluded its apology tour for Luke in this outfit.  Any size you buy, the 2014 versions are all pretty fantastic.

He's a little light in accessories - a saber and a blade are his only weapons.   The saber hilt is a little on the rubbery side, but the sculpt and deco are largely quite good.

Luke has no problems standing or, even more surprisingly, sitting.  This may be one of Hasbro's most perfect action figures, and while I assumed I'd be drooling over Vader it turns out that Luke's relatively simple costume translates perfectly to a stiff-jointed 5 1/2-inch tall action figure.   Oh! And I almost forgot - you can pry off the front of his shirt to swap it out for a "flap open" or "flap closed" look.  Hasbro did some nice jobs here, but this one seems to be the best.  I love that he doesn't fall over, and that he has a pose that looks like Luke did on the big screen.  It's just plain nice, so go get one, if you will.

PS - you'll note that the "flap" is actually a whole front piece to Luke's shirt that pops off.  I believe Hasbro could easily squeeze one or two more figures off this buck - a thin plastic vest similar to what Luke had on in Jabba's Palace could be easily applied here, allowing Hasbro another use of this figure.  Especially if they recolor the right hand.   Get on that, Hasbro, toss in a blaster and a decent Jedi robe and I'll buy one.

Collector's Notes: Walgreens got a window on this wave which also included Concept Armor Boba Fett.  It was sold elsewhere soon after.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,103: October 15, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,102: Shadow Scout (The Black Series 6-Inch)

SHADOW SCOUT Imperial Shadow Squadron
The Black Series 6-Inch Target Exclusive Figure Set
Item No.:
No. B0554
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Pisol, speeder bike, stand, plus Shadow Stormtrooper Commander with Accessories
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $49.99
Availability: October 2014 (online)
Appearances: n/a

Bio: Shadow Scouts ride Speeder Bike son their covert missions.  Commanders and Troopers in this elite squadron wear specialized cloaking armor that makes them virtually invisible.  Their Speeder Bikes have similar technology, making these troopers very successful at ambushing their targets.  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Commentary: This Shadow Scout is a quick repaint - the last time we got a black scout trooper with a bike was during the 2007 line as a Comic-Con exclusive, and this is a pretty neat update of that design. The bike deco is more striking than the regular movie version, the helmet paint is less wonky (come back for more on that Friday), and while the idea is sort of dumb, I'm also sort of dumb.  I love it.

It's weird, but ultimately cleaner than the white trooper that has a brown smear between his armor chest plates and an off-center visor paint app.  This one seems nicely centered, and the black plastic figure has a very dark grey body glove. A silver stripe above his eyes makes for a nice accent, as does an Empire symbol over his heart and a little silver line on the opposite man boob. The back of the figure has some lovely grey and silver accents, plus a red marking on the backpack part.  He even has dark grey soles - Hasbro did more than they needed to in order to give us an above-average figure at a price that... well, let's say it's a fair price.  The boxed set is $10 cheaper than a bike with trooper and a sandtrooper would be individually.

My one sticking point on this figure is the teeny tiny blaster, which isn't big enough for the figure's fingers.  Depending on which measurements you use, it's pretty close to the size for the scale - but action figure collectors will note that the 6-inch Scout Pistol is virtually the same real-life size as the 3 3/4-inch one. That ain't right.

It should be bigger and it opens the door for a third-party, larger gun.  It fits nicely in the holster on his ankle, but it basically is worthless for his hands.  I decided to hand him one of the Sandtrooper's rifles (shades of the Battlefront Scout Trooper from years ago) and I think he's much happier as a result.

The bike itself is quite nice - lots of silver highlights, rivets, bolts, and other bits and pieces.  3 Empire symbols bring it to life, and the survival gear in the back is in a black blanket. The clear plastic stand with three adjustable levels remains present, and the brake flaps in the back seem to open much more freely and easily than on the single version.  I prefer this black one in terms of overall quality, no question, even if it isn't true to the movie it seems better made.


If the black trooper and the bike were $50, I'd drag my feet but ultimately cave in and buy it. Considering it had the Shadow Stormtrooper Commander too, it seems like a relative bargain.  Obviously those looking to rid their lives of the menace that could be Hasbro making up unlimited new variations should skip this one, but I found this to be a quality item.   It's a little weird, but so nicely done that I can't help but love it.  It's most tolerable.

Collector's Notes: I haven't seen this one in stores yet, but it was available online for an hour and change last week.  I would anticipate it showing up in stores soon, and it would not stun me if this item was part of some Black Friday discount (heh) and was marked down a few bucks in the process.  Don't panic yet, but do make it a point to track this one down even though it sets the precedent of made-up repaints.  It's still cool.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,102: October 14, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,101: Shadow Stormtrooper Commander (The Black Series 6-Inch)

SHADOW STORMTROOPER COMMANDER Imperial Shadow Squadron
The Black Series 6-Inch Target Exclusive Figure Set
Item No.:
No. B0554
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Pistol, rifle, grenade launcher, pauldron plus Speeder Bike and Shadow Scout
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $49.99
Availability: October 2014 (online)
Appearances: n/a

Bio: Shadow Scouts ride Speeder Bike son their covert missions.  Commanders and Troopers in this elite squadron wear specialized cloaking armor that makes them virtually invisible.  Their Speeder Bikes have similar technology, making these troopers very successful at ambushing their targets.  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Commentary: It's a milestone - a few of them, actually. Shadow Stormtrooper Commander did not exist as a toy before this one - and I'm not entirely sure I remember seeing one in the comics, either.  It's also Target's first exclusive 6-inch The Black Series figure, plus one of the first (if not the first) exclusive Target shipped online before its first brick-and-mortar appearance.  That's how I got mine - with free shipping, how could I not order it?

The black repaint is a safe obligation in most toy lines - you're going to get at least one in any modestly successful outing, especially in Japan.   Optimus Prime became Scourge and Nemesis Prime, Snake Eyes was basically a standard G.I. Joe male body with a new head and no paint (so he was cheaper to make), Cobra Commander has his formal wear, we even saw Cheetor become the likes of Shadow Panther, Ravage, and Tripredacus Agent.  Tomy in Japan redecorated numerous Zoids as night editions for the Guylos faction, and let me tell you, I want those so hard.  Oh well.  These are traditionally lower-run exclusives, so it's always a treat when they can be had with minimal fuss - which is what I'm hoping happens here at retail.  Th set has no "Target Exclusive" sticker, or the usual English/French packaging for sale in Canada as most recent Hasbro exclusives had.


I had incorrectly assumed this figure was a Sandtrooper - but it has no backpack, even though it does have the hole in the back for one, plus the diamond left knee plate.  The deco looks good here - black plastic, deep dark grey gloves and body glove, and some silver in the mouth.  I assume this leaves the door open for a Shadow Stormtrooper with that mold (different knee, torso, helmet) - but hey, this is nice too.   Hasbro does a better job than they have to and they painted the soles of the black boots - I'd have dropped this paint app to save a few pennies, but hey, whatever.  The joints are super nice and tight, and weird little details - like the "eyebrow" stripe, the glossy eyes, and the painted dark, dark grey pauldron - sometimes pop out in low light.  It's a tiny detail, and not something you'd probably notice, but in the right conditions it does bring a little life to what is essentially a detail-sucking plastic singularity.


All three weapons are the same molds as a Sandtrooper's, but they are unpainted and cast in a lighter grey plastic.  Not a light grey plastic - it's still pretty dark, and it contrasts nicely with the deep black plastic armor.   This is one of those figures that your initial reaction will be "that's kinda dumb but cool I guess" and once you get it out of the box you'll go "Oh, this is really nice, I'm glad I bought it."  So if you missed it, you won't know what you missed - and if you got it, I have little doubt you'll enjoy it.  The box doesn't do much to make it look good given the dark Death Star hangar backgorund, so for best results buy one to open in addition to any boxed samples you may need to sit on.   It's a good one.

Collector's Notes: I haven't seen this one in stores yet, but it was available online for an hour and change last week.  I would anticipate it showing up in stores soon, and it would not stun me if this item was part of some Black Friday discount (heh) and was marked down a few bucks in the process.

Don't panic yet, but do make it a point to track this one down even though it sets the precedent of made-up repaints.  It's still cool.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,101: October 13, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,100: Ezra Bridger (Star Wars Rebels Mission Series The Ghost)

 EZRA BRIDGER Secret Exclusive Figure
Star Wars Rebels Mission Series The Ghost Toys R Us Exclusive
Item No.:
No. B0315
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Helmet, Kanan Jarrus figure, Obi-Wan Kenobi figure
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: September 2014
Appearances: Star Wars Rebels

Bio: Born the day the Galactic Empire was founded, Ezra Bridger has been a lone rebel for his entire life.  That is, until he crosses path with Kanan Jarrus and discovers a mysterious hologram from a Jedi named Obi-Wan Kenobi.  What secret will be revealed? (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Commentary: I do not anticipate I will have warm fuzzies for Ezra Bridger after watching the show.  The heroic young scamp isn't my favorite archetype, when I was a kid I was much more interested in the Lukes and Venkmans of the world, people my own age would not have been appealing role models to me.   I hope he turns out well - the character was intended to be the same age as Luke Skywalker, but I was surprised to read on the bio that he's the exact same age.   The fact that his weapon is a slingshot is, well, it's certainly cloying but it wasn't included here.  Instead, he has two hands ready for weapons, but only sports a helmet from an AT-DP pilot.  I absolutely adore the idea of a character that steals enemy hardware for a variety of reasons - because our collector ilk is represented, and because it makes toys interesting.   It's expensive to make new ships - so why not let the good guys steal TIE Fighters and paint on a symbol saying "My other starship is also stolen" on the bumper?  I like this line of thought.

He's wearing a suit that is, to say the least, piecemeal.  Let's say Punky Brewster meets Star Wars.  His right shin seems covered in McQuarrie-inspired Imperial armor, while his left leg seems like normal pants.  His orange suit recalls that of the future Rebel pilots, and the vest with sleeves... I have no idea if I should be reading into this one bit.  But the back of it has a swell bird-like symbol on it, and I'm surprised Hasbro is going through the trouble to make these figures look good from all angles.  We don't get a ton of detail due to the animation style, but it seems the important stuff is all here.  His left wrist has a communicator of some sort, with silver buttons and a brown cuff - it's nice.  It's real nice.

The helmet is a tight squeeze, but it fits.  Actually, it fits Obi-Wan and Kanan more easily, but it will fit over Ezra's ample and wide hair without too much of a fuss.  It looks similar to one of the Snowtrooper concept helmets, plus it has a fair amount of black deco and off-white plastic that should keep it looking good in the long term.

The head sculpt matches the TV show renderings I've seen so far, so I'm going to say it's good because I haven't seen it in motion much.   The dark black hair feels like it has hints of blue, and the face paint is pretty clean.  I couldn't find a bad one in the bunch - the entire case of these looks excellent at the store.   I am expecting this figure to be identical to the Saga Legends single-carded version, but we'll have to wait and see to know for sure.  Regardless, buy this one - you'll want the bonus Obi-Wan, and the Kanan, so just cave in now and call it a day.

Collector's Notes: As far as I can tell this is the first action figure release for Rebels and potentially the first "stealth" action figure exclusive to hit before a formal announcement in quite some time.  Kudos, Hasbro - well done sneaking this one past us.   Please consider more introductions like this - I'll buy any multi-pack of upcoming figures with a bonus exclusive figure without a single complaint if they keep coming out before the basic, non-exclusive versions.   And for the collectors - as this is the note section - keep in mind that Ezra and Kanan will be packaged individually in just a few weeks for about $6 each.  Kanan will also be bundled with the Phantom vehicle at Target.



--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,100: September 17, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,099: Kanan Jarrus (Star Wars Rebels Mission Series The Ghost)


KANAN JARRUS Secret Exclusive Figure
Star Wars Rebels Mission Series The Ghost Toys R Us Exclusive
Item No.:
No. B0315
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, Ezra Bridger figure, Obi-Wan Kenobi figure
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: September 2014
Appearances: Star Wars Rebels

Bio: Born the day the Galactic Empire was founded, Ezra Bridger has been a lone rebel for his entire life.  That is, until he crosses path with Kanan Jarrus and discovers a mysterious hologram from a Jedi named Obi-Wan Kenobi.  What secret will be revealed? (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Commentary: I suspect that Kanan Jarrus will be identical when released again this year individually in Saga Legends, or in a Target-exclusive bundle with the Phantom vehicle.  For now, this is his retail debut and as such that's a cause for celebration!   It's been quite a while since we had brand-new Star Wars with an all-new cast and an all-new show.  Heck, even the prequels gave us mostly existing characters in younger forms, so this is something of a minor miracle.   I'm quite pleased with the results - seeing a few preview videos and nothing of the actual show, I love this figure.  It's well done for what it needs to be, and I can only assume the details are what I think they are.  Basically, what we have here is a mishmash of tributes of existing things.  His right arm looks like it's wearing stolen and repainted Stormtrooper armor.  The outfit looks a little bit like McQuarrie's Luke/Deak concepts.  His head - and much of his look - reminds me a lot of Rahm Kota, albeit much younger.   This figure just looks like a tribute to the now-excised Expanded Universe, which is kind of nice.  The look and feel is nice to keep around.

The figure's lightsaber is all new, and a single piece accessory - it doesn't pop together like on the cartoon.  There's a blaster sculpted in his holster that is non-removable, and the deco is solid.  Knee pads, boots, bandoliers, and all that jazz are black with grey, brown, more grey, and more brown covering the rest of his person.  The head paint on all the samples I saw looked very clean, moreso than most recent figures we've seen in the various other lines.  I couldn't find a single bad one in the batch, which makes me all happy.   I should also note he has a symbol on his right shoulder, and like much of the art in the show it resembles a bird and also the Rebel symbol that I guess (chronologically speaking) doesn't exist yet.

The joints work, and he stands well.  He passes the Landspeeder Test(TM) for articulation excellence, so I suspect he won't give us many problems with the vehicles which I actually do not have yet but am super eager to try out.  While it doesn't measure up to the collector standards of 2010, it does hold up to basic toy standards and as you know, that's what really matters to me.  It looks good, it stands, it fits in vehicles, and it can hold his accessory.  We're all good here.

Collector's Notes: As far as I can tell this is the first action figure release for Rebels and potentially the first "stealth" action figure exclusive to hit before a formal announcement in quite some time.  Kudos, Hasbro - well done sneaking this one past us.   Please consider more introductions like this - I'll buy any multi-pack of upcoming figures with a bonus exclusive figure without a single complaint if they keep coming out before the basic, non-exclusive versions.   And for the collectors - as this is the note section - keep in mind that Ezra and Kanan will be packaged individually in just a few weeks for about $6 each.  Kanan will also be bundled with the Phantom vehicle at Target.

--Adam Pawlus




Day 2,098: September 15, 2014