Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,418: C-3PO (6-Inch Value Figure, The Last Jedi Line Look)

C-3PO Titan Guardians-Esque
The Last Jedi "Dollar Store" 6-Inch Figure
Item No.:
Asst. B3946 No. C2714
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $6.99
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio:  C-3PO is a droid programmed for etiquette and protocol built by the heroic Jedi Anakin Skywalker, and a constant companion to astromech R2-D2.(Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Commentary:  Hey, a new cheap 6-inch C-3PO!  This comes boxed at Walgreens for about seven dollars - a real bargain, in prime condition.   I predicted when I reviewed the first Black Series C-3PO [FOTD #2,323] that "if [Hasbro] did a C-3PO in Hasbro's cheaper 6-inch figure line, you'd probably enjoy that one about as much at 70% cheaper."   I do believe I was right.

When I put this figure side-by-side with Hasbro's 6-inch The Black Series
C-3PO figures, they look almost identical - the wiring in the black belly section is sculpted exactly the same as what we got in Walgreens' exclusive 6-inch The Black Series C-3PO, which was also repackaged for the 40th Anniversary line.  I saw some changes on the side of the knees, but by and large these both seem to have been sculpted from the same reference files.  Most pieces are close to identical to the more expensive, more articulated C-3PO - but this one is sturdier and easier to keep standing.  It's all gold, so it'll be more in line with his look in Revenge of the Sith, the end of The Force Awakens, or The Last Jedi.   If you just need a shelf filler, this is the C-3PO for your fake complete The Black Series shelf.

I especially love how it just works.  It's a little different than his sibling, but it keeps the lack of elbow joints.   Cheapo C-3PO has shoulder, neck, and waist joints - and that's it.  He can't sit well, so he won't go into the Landspeeder if you got one.   He will, however, stand easily and look cool.  Now I hope an R2-D2 is coming, and not just because I dream of it being repainted 90 times.   C-3PO has underdecorated palms (usually, there's some black paint there and here they're all gold) plus the wires on his back are unpainted.  You probably won't notice, because the gold coverage is so nice it just looks fantastic.

Rarely do I get to spout out something silly and see it come to fruition, and I'm glad to see my imagination was right.  This is a good figure!  It's cheap and a perfect thing for your desk at work.   If you want a cheap C-3PO figure, this is a god one.  Get it!

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Walgreens.  This assortment's previous waves hit in the USA at Dollar General, Big Lots, and Family Dollar - I do not know if it will be a de facto exclusive at Walgreens.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,418: October 18, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,417: Resistance Tech Rose (The Black Series, The Last Jedi)

RESISTANCE TECH ROSE Full name - Rose Tico
The Force Awakens The Black Series 3 3/4-Inch Figure Walmart Exclusive
Item No.:
Asst. B4054 No. C3620
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Rifle, communicator?
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $11.92
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: Part of the support crew that keeps the Resistance starfighters flying, Rose  has hated the First Order since she was a child.   Now able to fight back against the enemy, Rose keeps her focus on her mission.  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  I don't know much about Resistance Tech Rose other than she was said to be a Finn love interest in an early casting thing and she's also the sister of Paige (sold separately.)  I thought "Oh please, just because they're both Vietnamese and in the Resistance doesn't mean they're sisters" but research shows I'm an idiot and they're sisters.  

For those of you who follow the Fifteen Commandments ("Thou Shall Not Squint," thanks Mel) it's hard to read her suit.  It said "GLD" which apparently is Ground Logistics Division.   What she fixes specifically we don't know, but she looks like the ground crew in  The Force Awakens.  I think it also says "Landing Officer" but you try to read type that small - an impressive feat for Hasbro to reproduce on such a small figure.

There are numerous layers of costume here, like an undershirt and a belt.   It's a start.  You can see a lot of texture here with tons of wrinkles and the signs of action, plus various painted silver details on her pockets and such.   They didn't skimp on detail here too much, minus the one-color shoes which is basically normal these days.  (Painted soles?  Insanity.)  Thanks to the not-too-ornate costume and excellent articulation, you can give her tons of personality.  Also, it seems Aurebesh only comes in one font which is pretty disappointing when you consider how many flavors our alphabet come in.

I really like this figure - it makes use of the hip joints, thigh swivels, and even has a controller of some sort that can clip to her belt. I love the face sculpt, the hair looks surprisingly great, and there are little patches, buttons, and other greeblies on her suit.  She even has a hood on the back!   They painted the barrel of her gun!   And that little accessory, whatever it is, may be important since the standard and fancy 3 3/4-inch figures both have it.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Walmart.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,417: October 16, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,416: Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master, The Black Series, The Last Jedi)

LUKE SKYWALKER Jedi Master
The Force Awakens The Black Series 3 3/4-Inch Figure Walmart Exclusive
Item No.:
Asst. B4054 No. C3622
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Cloak
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $11.92
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: After tragedy destroyed his attempt to rebuild the Jedi Knights, Luke Skywalker vanished from the galaxy.  Now, the resistance needs his help to thwart the efforts of the evil First Order.  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  So despite being announced as part of the Force Friday II launch on September 1, Walmart had Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master) and his casemates gated, or missing, from its systems - so if you scan it, you might not be able to make the purchase.   The funny thing is this has happened to me a lot over the years, often for items with no street dates or marketing plans.  In addition to the standard cheaper Luke with plastic cloak, this one now exists with super-articulation and a cloth cloak.  Is it better?  Eh.  It's different.

In terms of sculpted detail and the head, the Walmart exclusive version is slightly better.  There's a little more color in his hair and face, with a tiny bit more detail and better paint.   The robes cover the legs better, but the super-articulated legs are hindered by the large vinyl robes hanging down.  You may have thigh swivels, but why?  They offer no value, nor do the lateral hip articulation.  With 26 or so points of articulation, there's a lot going on here.  Thanks to the design, they offer no real benefit.  The arm movement is handy because he can move his arms a bit, but it doesn't hang as well as the plastic one does.  The arm joints all move perfectly well, but the flesh hand peg seems to not quite fit in the sleeve perfectly - so keep an eye on that.
Aside from the lack of weapon, this is probably the Obi-Wan Kenobi meets Luke Skywalker mashup you've been wanting.  I think I prefer the regular cheaper edition in terms of something I want to play with, but it's cool, and Hasbro did a nicer-than-usual job with the cape and hood.   (The tassels hanging down look goofy, though.)  I love that there's a hook on his belt for a lightsaber... but the lack of lightsaber is disappointing.  I hesitate to say there's $5 more worth of figure here, but if you see it you may as well snag it.  I mean, it's Luke.   Who doesn't want Luke?   It's kind of amazing that not too long ago we had that mega-articulated Dagobah Luke... with one of the worst heads ever, ugly joints, and a gaggle of accessories.   You can't have it all, but at least in this case you can have something that was executed very well.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Walmart.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,416: October 11, 2017

Monday, October 9, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,415: Rey (2-Pack, The Last Jedi Line Look)

REY (Jedi Training) with Elite Praetorian Guard
The Last Jedi Deluxe Action Figure 2-Packs
Item No.:
Asst. C1242 No. C1243
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Bladed weapon, Lightsaber, Staff, Blaster, Millennium Falcon-inspired Backpack, Rey figure
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $14.99
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: Rey was a human female scavenger and Force prodigy who discovered her latent Force-sensitivity while on a journey to find the legendary Jedi Master Luke Skywalker and bring a new hope to a galaxy on the brink of war. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  In 2015, Rey started getting hot in December once people that the marketing and toy line did a good job of hiding who the hero was in The Force Awakens.  She could be bought relatively easily, but only had one regular 3 3/4-inch action figure pre-movie.   (More would follow.)  This time around, we got two of her in basically an identical costume, but with minor sculpting tweaks, at launch.  Grumble, grumble.   This figure comes in a 2-pack and was made in Vietnam - it has a better range of motion.  The single figure comes from China, and it has more detail but a worse range of motion.  To the naked eye, they're identical - but they have different Force Link sounds, too. 2-pack Rey has a silver blaster, painted.  Single Rey has a grey one.

As always, Rey has 5 points of articulation.  The 2-pack figure has a slightly rounder, more doll-like face than the single counterpart with an outfit that combines Jedi robes with her desert rat wear.   Obviously, the islands of Ahch-To are likely lacking in tailors for Padawan clothing ("Padawear")  Everything looks consistent with her existing fashion choices, like she may have cobbled this together herself - and it fits.  The arms swing out a little bit thanks to the angled cut of the shoulder joints, and she can actually swing her legs forward because of how the factory cut the robes.  (The single, China version can't do this.)  The textures are good, but there are bands in her clothing that are difficult to discern as fabric patterns or un-smoothed print lines from a 3-D printer.  

Her accessories are interesting - the silver pistol fits in her hand or holster without a fight, and her staff or lightsaber can fit in her hand nicely too.   A clip-on backpack mashes up an Endor/Hoth Rebel Trooper backpack with a Stormtrooper belt and a quad cannon to give her some added firepower, and its own sound chip - you get some shooty, rockety sounds from it.  It's a nice bonus, but it's not as visually impressive as the gear from the Rogue One 2-packs.   I should also note that the lightsaber of this 2-pack isn't as detailed as the single one - you'll see sharper details and added sculpted elements on the single release.

I can't say this figure, in its current form, is doing much for me - I really wish she was super articulated just because of what I assume her role will be in the movie.  Luke can stand around, sure.  Poe just needs to sit in a vehicle and I'm happy. But Rey? She's got a lightsaber - she needs to be able to be posed to fight!   Still, she's pretty good, and with the guard you'll want to get this set.   Without a side-by-side comparison and a very sharp eye, other than the skirt cut, I doubt most fans will tell that there's a difference.

Assortment Notes: The 2015 line gave us a couple of weird plussed-up figure packs - one was "Armor Up" figures, a basic figure with a helmet for an added $5 upcharge.  The other was a Deluxe 2-pack, which gave us two figures with normal accessories plus rocket launchers and big weapons for about the price of two regular figures.  This movie's two-packs are somewhere in the middle - you get 2 figures for $15, which is good.  The bonus accessory isn't as neat as what we got for Rogue One (giant rocket launchers) but are about as sensible as what we got for The Force Awakens - only we get a secondary sound chip instead of an action feature.  Minus things like duplicate figures you might not want, these are a decent value.

Collector's Notes: The 2-pack version from Vietnam (which we review here) says "I'm with the Resistance."  It also says "VIETNAM" inside her skirt flap.   I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,415: October 9, 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,414: Elite Praetorian Guard (2-Pack, The Last Jedi Line Look)

ELITE PRAETORIAN GUARD with Rey (Jedi Training)
The Last Jedi Deluxe Action Figure 2-Packs
Item No.:
Asst. C1242 No. C1253
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Bladed weapon, Lightsaber, Staff, Blaster, Rey figure
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $14.99
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: The Elite Praetorian Guard were the personal guard of Snoke, Supreme Leader of the First Order, during the First Order's conflict with the Resistance. They were clad in ornate crimson armor, including Plastoid helmets, and robes and were armed with staff-like melee weapons with a blade on either end. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  According the greater licensed product line, it looks like there are multiple ways to do the Elite Praetorian Guard thanks to weapon and helmet variations.  I was at Target and saw a cut-out with a sword that, at the angle presented, looks like a collapsed umbrella.  (This hasn't made it to Hasbro's toys yet.)   This version of the figure is interesting because it has a visor over its visor - but is fundamentally similar to the version we looked at last week.

It's worth noting this figure - with its awning visor - was made in Vietnam, while the other was in China.  The actual look and sculpt of the figure is pretty much identical, coming from the same digital files but different tooling.  If you examine their feet, there are minor differences in the placement of the Force Link logo as well as the specifics of the text.  As such, they're  not the same figure - but they seem to make similar if not identical combat sounds with the Force Link band.  Boooring.   The figure has exactly the same articulation as his partner, and the sculpting has no obvious differences.

The helmet is striking in that it departs from the other one.  I still don't love it, but I appreciate the changes just to mix it up a bit.  I collect things, so having one with a less ornate helmet mixes up my displays.   You'll note that this guardsman has a large visor over his helmet, perhaps a blast shield, and the helmet itself is strikingly different.  The back of the helmet has different details.  It has the chin/fave area similar to a First Order Stormtrooper or Phasma.  I'm still not sure if he can see through that thing.

I appreciate the figure's accessory, which may constitute a minor spoiler.  It splits apart in the middle, giving you two bladed sword weapons if you are so inclined.  Does it split for combat?   Does it get damaged by Rey's lightsaber?  Do these two even share a frame of the film?     It's hard to say, especially as we've seen how much things can be changed at the eleventh hour in the editing room after Rogue One.   For the discriminating troop builder, this is a worthwhile set - but take note, the Rey figure is extraordinarily similar to (but not identical) its individually-packaged counterpart.   I'd suggest getting this 2-pack over the single figure to maximize your trooper and minimize your duplicate Jedi trainees.

Assortment Notes: The 2015 line gave us a couple of weird plussed-up figure packs - one was "Armor Up" figures, a basic figure with a helmet for an added $5 upcharge.  The other was a Deluxe 2-pack, which gave us two figures with normal accessories plus rocket launchers and big weapons for about the price of two regular figures.  This movie's two-packs are somewhere in the middle - you get 2 figures for $15, which is good.  The bonus accessory isn't as neat as what we got for Rogue One (giant rocket launchers) but are about as sensible as what we got for The Force Awakens - only we get a secondary sound chip instead of an action feature.  Minus things like duplicate figures you might not want, these are a decent value.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,414: October 4, 2017

Monday, October 2, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,413: Obi-Wan Kenobi (The Last Jedi Line Look)

OBI-WAN KENOBI Anniversary Surprise
The Last Jedi Basic Figure Teal Assortment
Item No.:
Asst. C1531  No. C3464
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $8.99
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Obi-Wan Kenobi, later known as Ben Kenobi during his exile, was a Force-sensitive human male Jedi Master who served the Galactic Republic. He was mentor to both Anakin Skywalker and his son, Luke, training them in the ways of the Force.  (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  I didn't expect Obi-Wan Kenobi would have been out in September, nor that it would have been this version of him.  I think the last completely new sculpt of him was around 2009, and given the fact we've had so many Revenge of the Sith or Clone Wars takes on him since then, it seemed unlikely.  He's pretty good - he looks better than any Obi-Wan figure we've had in years, but the robes aren't terribly conducive to sitting in a vehicle.  This is a duel figure - and it looks great.  Hasbro could easily retool it with new arms or a different cloak to give you other, more playable figures.  This is basically a good statue figure.

Kenobi has 5 points of articulation, with the split legs which are unnecessary.  He can't sit unless you pop off his arms and remove the cloak - which you can do - but the results are pretty ugly.   Not ugly is the figure's texture, with great cloth-looking bits on the body and the best Alec Guiness likeness I've seen at this scale, ever.   I hope Hasbro tweaks this sculpt to make a Landspeeder-friendly Obi-Wan in the future, because it's great.   Hasbro rarely makes an Obi-Wan figure with a hood sculpted as part of the robes, floating above the head, that looks good and fits right.  They did here.  The lightsaber has a hook for his belt (that doesn't work, it just looks good) and there's enough color in the beard to be excited.

If you have a Force Link adapter, he talks - "Run, Luke, run!" or "Obi-Wan Kenobi..." are just some of the at least 5 quotes among his lightsaber swings.   I'm getting a little sick of people saying their names, but I guess it points to the fact that nearly every significant character in that movie who can identify themselves seems to do so.  Other than Leia, Tarkin, and Darth Vader at least.

Over the years we've seen sculptors struggle to execute a good Obi-Wan with decent proportions.  In 1995, we got a good one but it had problems standing.  In 1998, we got a good one with some decent joints, but it was a little bulky.   The Vintage 2004 one had a few thin joints, wonky elbows, and what I would generously refer to as a noble attempt at cloth robes.  This one is better, cheaper, and just looks great.  The flare-free lightsaber with the hook and painted hilt is surprisingly nice, and having a figure like this in my hand raises the bar for retro remakes or classic characters.   We didn't get any new classic pre-Disney sculpts for the last couple of rounds, so seeing this time's efforts - a decent Vader, an OK Han, a really nice Boba Fett, and the Kenobi to die for - I've got hope for the future.  I want to see what else we might get.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Walmart, and I was surprised to see it.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,413: October 2, 2017

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,412: Elite Praetorian Guard (The Last Jedi Line Look)

ELITE PRAETORIAN GUARD with BB-8 2-In-1 Mega Playset
The Last Jedi BB-8 2-In-1 Mega Playset
Item No.:
No. C1253
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Pike, Force Link, playset, bridges, 2 figures
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $199.99
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: The Elite Praetorian Guard were the personal guard of Snoke, Supreme Leader of the First Order, during the First Order's conflict with the Resistance. They were clad in ornate crimson armor, including Plastoid helmets, and robes and were armed with staff-like melee weapons with a blade on either end. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  Some things make good sense and some things... less sense.   The Elite Praetorian Guard is something of an unknown, other than there are multiple flavors and apparently the non-elite one, for now, is exclusive to a $200 playset.  Well, so much for troop building.  Both the Elite and non-Elite versions are similar other than the helmet and weapon, taking cues from the classic guards of the Lucas era with the flatter, feature-reduced look of the Disney-era helmets.   The Snowtrooper and Flametrooper of the First Order barely have eyes, and they're much more subdued.  So too is this guard... which has no real face to speak of.

A ribbed face mask covers its mug, with a domed helmet on top and some armor on the back.  There are no eyes, no mouth, no nose.   It's a distant design, possibly attempting to make the military of the First Order increasingly literally faceless while taking cues from some of those weird mask/glasses things we occasionally see on tabloid news shows.   Its built-in blandness may work for thematic purposes, but it's a drag.   It's almost too normal - the Senate Guards were long and ornate, as were the Emperor's Royal Guards.   The design feels much more based in reality, this seems like something someone in a made-up country on Earth in a movie might have in its color guard.

The figure's body is a little more interesting, with nested shells for arms and a dress.   The gown is nicely textured, standing easily and posing nicely.  The figure is a perfect execution of the design in the format, with swivel shoulders, moving hips, and the ability to hold his one-piece pike weapon without a problem.  Being able to double-hand it might be cool, but at this time we have no idea what it will be doing in the movie.  Perhaps it will be a combat character, or perhaps it will be a statue.  

It's not bad... it's a good figural execution with lots of textures, bright colors, and great abilities.  The design from the movie sucks, though.   So kudos to Hasbro for delivering the goods as best as you could, and boo to the art team who came up with this one.   For those looking to fill out a scene, that may prove challenging.  Hopefully time will lead to an abundance of these if you want them, but it makes me love the First Order Stormtrooper design more than a little bit more.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,412: September 27, 2017

Monday, September 25, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,411: Kylo Ren (The Last Jedi Line Look)

KYLO REN with TIE Slicer
The Last Jedi Class D Vehicles
Item No.:
No. C1252
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: TIE Silencer vehicle, lightsaber
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $49.99
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: Kylo Ren, a human male, was a Force warrior and a former Jedi trainee under his uncle, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, before Ren destroyed Skywalker's attempt to restore the Jedi Order and became an apprentice of Supreme Leader Snoke of the First Order.  (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  Hasbro launched its The Last Jedi offering with a whopping three figures of Kylo Ren, and this is the least essential.  A helmeted one comes with the Force Link gizmo, the single-carded one has better paint and a cape, and then there's this one - the pack-in to the TIE Silencer.  It looks very similar to the individually carded figure, but it's from a different mold - the feet have different copyright and Force Link markings on them.   It has five joints, an unpainted scar (as opposed to a painted one on the individually carded figure), and a lightsaber.  It's pretty good - I like the vehicle a lot too.  Oh, and the sound chips are different.

Hasbro did a decent job here with very, very subtle paint on his lips and no scar paint.  At this scale the lack of paint works well, as the sculpting and shadows from the light do the heavy lifting.  Kylo Ren's eyes aren't as fancy as the other versions, and the hair isn't painted as well either.   In other words, this is a great figure to throw in a vehicle as a pilot.   There's little variation in deco, but you'll note glossy fingers, a shiny belt, and even glossier boots bringing it to life.  He has no problems standing, sitting, or fitting in a vehicle, and what's funny is I realize just how much I take it for granted that things work.  Snoke fits perfectly in his throne.  The A-Wing's pilot just plain works.   Everything here succeeds in ways we previously had problems, and back in the 1980s this was merely normal.  Kudos to Hasbro for making sure this functions correctly - even if there's no lightsaber storage bay.   (Hey, I gotta complain about something.)

Kylo Ren is very similar to his previous incarnation with the black and the fancy belt buckle - but he has shorter robes.  Actually, it's like a short skirt rather than the dress of the original.  This makes it much easier to get him in a vehicle or something, which is a lot more important these days.   This is a much more stripped-down and dynamic Kylo Ren, which is interesting to see as Hasbro seemingly focused on revealing his face while the first movie's pre-launch window focused on almost completely concealing his identity.  Minus that Annie Leibovitz picture we all saw and a lot of people assumed was just some silly thing, but apparently it was not.   But you know that.  

Long-time readers know I really love vehicles, and aliens, and robots, so this figure is related to part of that.   You're probably better off getting another Kylo Ren for the sake of character representation, but this figure does what it needs to do and delivers the experience of being good enough.   Get it if you want the vehicle - just look at the hair paint when you do.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,411: September 25, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,410: Snoke (The Last Jedi Line Look)

SNOKE with BB-8 2-In-1 Mega Playset
The Last Jedi BB-8 2-In-1 Mega Playset
Item No.:
No. C1253
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Pike, Force Link, playset, bridges, 2 figures
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $199.99
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: Kylo Ren, a human male, was a Force warrior and a former Jedi trainee under his uncle, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, before Ren destroyed Skywalker's attempt to restore the Jedi Order and became an apprentice of Supreme Leader Snoke of the First Order. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  The funny thing about The Last Jedi is that it also seems to be drawing from The Force Awakens in spots, as that line was (and is still) filled with holes.  There are some major characters like Snoke we never got until now, also Luke Skywalker, also droids, also aliens, also... I could go on, but why?  The important thing is we now have our very first 3 3/4-inch Snoke figure and that dude is tall.

When it comes to figures like this, you have to ask if it's going to be better with cloth robes.  I'd argue that it wouldn't - the hard gold plastic looks better, flows better, and shockingly sits in his throne just fine.  After years of iffy Padme figures and dubious Jedi, I'm almost shocked that he just plain fits on his throne in the playset.  The unusually tall humanoid has a caved-in face, missing some teeth or jaw parts not unlike one Boris Karloff.  He's scarred, bald, and grotesque - an uglier Emperor in Hef's shiny pajamas.   With gold slippers.  And a big ol' ring, which is so prominent I have to assume it's a story beat of some sort.  The texture of the robes is so striking, with a gold that reflects strangely in a way that it feels realistic.

The figure does a good job of capturing the character, telling us more than we knew before - he's a giant old, decaying man in shiny clothes.   Is he rich?  Is he a magazine publisher?   What the heck does he want?   He's got a ring and a robe, what else could an intergalactic warlord ask for?   Seeing how stable and nicely sculpted this figure is, it's almost a shame you have to buy a playset to get him.  But, admittedly, it's a pretty nice playset.  If you have the chance to get one, get one.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,410: September 20, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,409: Han Solo (The Last Jedi Line Look)

HAN SOLO with Boba Fett
The Last Jedi Action Figure Two-Packs
Item No.:
Asst. C1242  No. C1244
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: 2 blaster pistols, 1 blaster rifle, 2 flame effects, 1 rocket pack, 1 backpack with attached gauntlets
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $8.99
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Han Solo was a human male smuggler who became a leader in the Alliance to Restore the Republic and an instrumental figure in the defeat of the Galactic Empire during the Galactic Civil War. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  First shown at Toy Fair, we got an unusually early sneak preview of Han Solo as Disney and Lucasfilm are being weird about keeping a lot of this stuff under wraps - despite Walmart having no problems putting it out on shelves weeks ahead of time.   "Do we need another Bespin Han so soon?" I thought - and I still kind of feel that way.  We got one just a few years ago in the Saga Legends line, and this one is pretty similar - he looks a little older and lumpier if you get too close, but it's another Bespin Han and seeing him released at a time during a movie where he's chronologically dead in the story, well, yeah.   We know Leia is in the movie, and we still didn't get a Leia in her Resistance outfit yet, nor did we get any Leia in any main 3 3/4-inch non-exclusive figure line from the two sequel movies just yet.

This is a pretty good figure.  It's not going to be your favorite Bespin Han, but it comes packaged with Boba Fett and it gets the job done.  His blaster fits in his holster, and he sits well.  The yellow striping on the pant legs are textured, and the jacket has a slight blue hue to it.     The shirt is good, the pants are crisp, and the boots are glossy.  There's not much of a neck here, but the design is otherwise pretty decent.  But it's not amazing - you've seen the picture, the face is Harrison Ford-ish but it's not going to change your life.   His likeness has  been tough to capture since day one, and they're still working on getting it perfect.  They did a spectacular job painting his belt, though - the rivets are great, and I believe this is the first Han Solo action figure made in Vietnam.

If you get this figure set, you're getting it for Boba Fett.  Han is a nice addition, and he has some dialogue from the original trilogy if you futz with the Force Link accessory.  I don't think I like how many of the figures introduce themselves - as an in-store demo it would be cool, but as a toy it's kind of annoying.   Get it if you're jonesing for some Ford action, otherwise go grab something that's completely new instead.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,409: September 18, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,408: Jyn Erso (Forces of Destiny)

JYN ERSO Doll Debut
Forces of Destiny Adventure Figure
Item No.:
Asst. C1621  No. C1624
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, baton
Action Feature: Squeeze legs for swinging baton
Retail: $19.99
Availability: August 2017
Appearances: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Bio: A rebel to the core, Jyn Erso takes matters into her own hands to protect others!  (Can from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!


Commentary:  When I first saw Forces of Destiny stuff, my reaction was "Oh, neat. This isn't for me."   I still feel the same way - I bet there's a lot of success here because Hasbro usually dropped the ball with women in all of its action figure lines (ditto Kenner, Toy Biz, Mattel, etc.) during my lifetime.   The female-focus is a great start, but where do you go from there?  Men, of course.   Oh well.  Jyn Erso was part of the line's debut, which I wish took place a year ago rather than after that movie's time in the sun ended.   This adventure doll was designed to do what dolls don't - stand.  This figure stands better than many 3 3/4-inch and 6-inch action figures I own, which is remarkable when you consider this is a feat even Barbie can't accomplish.

Her hair in the front is stiff, and there was a weird fastener going through her hair into her head in the packaging.  I couldn't remove it, so all I could do was push it under the hairline.  (I didn't like it.  It disturbed me.)   Her hair looks a little weird out of the box, but maybe I could glue it down or something.  The face is a decent likeness of Felicity Jones in doll form, and the costume has cloth elements like a vest and a scarf.  The boots are separate rubbery pieces which look potentially removable, but I'm not going to mess with it.  Her belt has a working holster and removable blaster, plus she has a cool baton to club people.

If you squeeze her legs she does this twist-and-bash action that's kind of fun, but it's a little soft.   It's better than many features on smaller toys for boys, though, so I give Hasbro credit for making something that kids may enjoy regardless of gender.  (But time shall tell if there will be a "doll" stigma.)
While the figure is well-engineered with a pleasant design and surprisingly good articulation for the price - the same as a 6-inch The Black Series figure - I don't think I'm going to go all-in on the 11-inch adventure figure format.   I might pick and choose, but as a too-old collector who came up during the original trilogy I'm just not really feeling any new scale of figures.   I just want to stick with 3 3/4-inch and possibly 6-inch until it becomes a burden.     It's a decent product and I'd advise you buy one for yourself just to try it out, or better yet, buy one for a child in your life and play with theirs.   I'd love to see this line take off and grow, but due to size, space constraints, and the fact I already have many other Jyn Erso figures I wouldn't call it essential.  It is good, but all I want is something else.   If this line launched with something I didn't already own as a toy in multiple sizes, I think I'd be more excited for the form factor.

Collector's Notes: Hasbro's PR firm sent this sample to Galactic Hunter HQ, we decided to review it.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,408: September 13, 2017