Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,111: Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios (Star Wars Rebels Mission Series)

GARAZEB "ZEB" ORRELIOS and Stormtrooper
Star Wars Rebels Mission Series
Item No.:
Asst. A5228 No. A8658
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #MS01
Includes: Bo-Rifle, Stormtrooper figure
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: October 2014
Appearances: Star Wars Rebels

Bio: Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios and the crew of the Ghost go on a rescue mission that entangles them with the Galactic Empire's Stormtroopers. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Commentary: If you've been reading this series of articles, you know I'm a big fan of changes in figures that make for better toys - and I find many of the figures with five points of articulation to be charming, durable, and priced right to serve a function as a toy.  Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios falls a little short here.  While this two-pack with a Stormtrooper does bring an adequate bang for the buck, Zeb has shortcomings that weren't present on previous releases like Kanan, Ezra, and the previous Saga Legends/Mission Series figures over the past year and change.

Creating a consistent, solid program of action figures is tough - not impossible, but a challenge.  Star Wars is, at its heart, a figure-and-vehicle line so compatibility between the two is very important.  Unfortunately, Zeb's a big guy and is too wide to fit in the Phantom as pilot or as cargo - unless you cram him in there on his side.  He also won't fit in most of the recent TIE Fighters like we saw in "Fighter Flight."  This is a common problem since 1995, while Kenner's designers made sure the original Millennium Falcon and Chewbacca could play together in 1978, we're not seeing enough of that kind of foresight today.  And as you know from the movies, people get upset when there's a lack of vision.   His legs are a little more wobbly than his peers, and may require some bending to get him to stand upright.

Zeb's 5 joints move freely and taken as a stand-alone collectible, he's fantastic.  He's pretty big, pretty beefy, colorful, and seemingly a fine sibling to the likes of Kez Iban.  As a figure unto itself, it's neat - the green eyes, white shoulder design, black stripes, and yellow body suit all look pretty nice and are quite close to the character design, but close is sometimes not enough.  Kanan and Ezra are pretty simple designs, and Zeb's lack of paint reveals how much budget cutting we're getting here. His eyes are a tad too green and lack the shading around the eye sockets.

Animated Zeb's amazingly expressive mouth is completely lacking in the action figure, so we miss out on those great teeth and big black maw.  It's not wildly inaccurate, but the figure suffers because Hasbro is looking to save a few pennies - which I suppose opens the door to future, higher-dollar Zebs and that's probably what some people would ask for anyway.

His hands easily hold his somewhat awkward weapon - a Bo-Rifle.  It looks like it was designed to be a roleplay weapon, and Hasbro took a few shortcuts to make it at this price point - you'd pretty much have to.   There are articulated elements near the grip on the show, but for the toy they're fused.  One is open, one is closed.  A red laser sight above one of the barrels is the only paint you'll get, as the wrappings are left undecorated along with the rest of the plastic.  It's primitive, but so is the entire package - Zeb feels like a Kenner figure from the very late 1980s or early 1990s, minus the action features.  It's for the best, really. 

This is the best Zeb you can buy, and I believe Hasbro could make it very nice if they decide to repaint it in a gift set or another package down the road.  The sculpt is good, but if Hasbro gave it a more expressive head and a little more deco it'd be very good.  And if they did a version for The Black Series I think a lot of fans would be pretty happy.   Since Zeb has some problems standing and can't fit in vehicles, the figure comes up short for me and I'd like to see another attempt soon.  Given the budgeting on these things it ain't bad, but as this segment's biggest cheerleader I'd be doing you a disservice by saying that this is a fantastic figure.  It's OK - if this is the only Zeb we get, it's acceptable.  For the asking price, this set is certainly worth it.

Collector's Notes: I got this from Entertainment Earth.  This wave is starting to show up at Target, Toys R Us, and reportedly elsewhere.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,111: November 12, 2014

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