Friday, December 8, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,434: Emperor Palpatine (The Last Jedi Line Look)

EMPEROR PALPATINE with Force Link
The Last Jedi Target Exclusive Three-Pack
Item No.:
  No. C3197
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Cane, alternate lightning hands, Emperor's Royal Guard with Force Pike, Luke with slightsaber
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $8.99
Availability: November 2017
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Luke Skywalker was a Force-sensitive human male Jedi Master who was instrumental in defeating the Galactic Empire and the Sith during the Galactic Civil War. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  I didn't think I wanted a new Emperor Palpatine but Hasbro did a superb job here.   I would almost say it's too good - I've still got Galen Erso on my desk, and looking at the new Emperor versus Galen from just a few months ago there's no competition.   Galen looks awful.   Palpatine is crisp throughout, with really wonderful textures on his robes and one of the best faces of any original trilogy figure.  Ever.  It's great.

The figure has robes that connect to his hood.  Arms are separate jointed pieces, as are the neck and hips.   Thanks to the robes he won't be doing much sitting, but the belt, boots, and everything look really slick.   The face looks a lot more like the make-up, and I have to wonder if they had a superfan or improved reference for this one.     If you're a fan that just wants the best-looking Emperor for a display, this is it.

The hands are posed in interesting ways - the lightning hands are weird and a tiny bit ugly as the fingers merge with the lightning.  The paint isn't super clean, so it looks like his fingers are melting into the lightning - and maybe htey are.  It's weird.  If you don't look too close, it's a pretty awesome effect.   The normal hands are similarly good - one hand is designed for his cane, while the other is beckoning or taunting.   Both allow for a decent amount of gesturing, which is helpful when a figure can't do much other than stand and move his arms thanks to costume limitations.   Everything is old and gnarled and perfect.

This is the Emperor you want.  This is evidence Hasbro still has a booming creative force inside that can make awesome things for us when they so choose - it's uncommon, but it's real, it's here.  It's great.  While I expect the set may hang around a bit, support something awesome and go buy it for yourself or a collector buddy at (or near) regular price.  Send Hasbro a clear message that when it comes to exclusives, all-new sculpts of original trilogy figures are most welcome.

Force Link Notes: "Wipe them out, all of them."  "In time you will call me Master."  "You will bring him before me." Sith lightning sounds.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Target.  It was on sale for 25% off.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,434: December 8, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,433: Luke Skywalker (The Last Jedi Line Look)

LUKE SKYWALKER with Force Link
The Last Jedi Target Exclusive Three-Pack
Item No.:
  No. C3197
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, Emperor's Royal Guard with Force Pike, Emperor with Lightning and Cane
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $8.99
Availability: November 2017
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Luke Skywalker was a Force-sensitive human male Jedi Master who was instrumental in defeating the Galactic Empire and the Sith during the Galactic Civil War. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  Much like the Royal Guard, this Luke Skywalker was assumed to be a repack or reissue when we first caught a glimpse of it.  It's new!  The figure now has 7 points of articulation thanks to wrists, and the figure can indeed stand on its own.  You're going to have to find the sweet spot, because he's bent in a pseudo-dramatic pose. If you want a Luke to torch his pop, or to throw his lightsaber away because he thinks he's better than you, this is the one.

Luke is pale with hair that looks closer to an action figure in color than his actual hair.  It mostly works.   The outfit is crisp and detailed, with minimal paint.  Mine has a tiny ding on the belt buckle I didn't notice until after I had opened it, and you can see tons of seams on his very tight pants.  There is glossy paint on his boots, belt, and pouch - and I generally never noticed the pouch before.   Hasbro did a good job making sure the figure doesn't need a lot of paint, but mercifully his lightsaber has some decoration to bring it to life.   The likeness is pretty good, he has that cleft chin and does a good  job generally looking more like Mark Hamill than most of the other releases.  I'd say the hair is a tad bushy, but that's mostly just fine.

This is a decent Luke figure, but the price may scare you away - $25 means each figure is $8.33, a bit more than an average single figure. Given the lack of accessories for Luke, it would have been nice to have something a little extra in here to make it worthwhile.  It's still a good figure and I'm happy to see Hasbro crank out a few more original trilogy figures as there have been precious few since the Disney takeover.

Force Link Notes: Luke says a bunch of lines from the movie.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Target.  It was on sale for 25% off.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,433: December 6, 2017

Monday, December 4, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,432: Emperor's Royal Guard (The Last Jedi Line Look)

EMPEROR'S ROYAL GUARD with Force Link
The Last Jedi Target Exclusive Three-Pack
Item No.:
  No. C3197
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Force Pike, Luke with Lightsaber, Emperor with Lightning and Cane
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $8.99
Availability: November 2017
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: The Emperor's Royal Guard, also referred to as the Imperial Royal Guard or Imperial Guard, was an elite order of protectors assigned to Emperor Palpatine of the Galactic Empire. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  It wasn't obvious when announced, but this Emperor's Royal Guard is a new figure - and possibly the best version so far, as my needs are concerned.  Sure, we had a super-articulated version with cloth robes - but this one has nice plastic robes and stands easily.  With 5 points of articulation, everybody's favorite red bowling pin has returned with an armored body under the robes.   If you pop off the head, you can even see it.   His right hand is posed the way you want - he can hold the Force Pike pool cue perfectly, and the accessory has never looked  better.   Well, it had some black paint before, but this is nice and clean.

The legs can swing forward, as can the arms thanks to cuts in the robes.  It clearly took the best design cues from previous versions of the figure, without weird tassels hanging off the sides.  The robes wrap around the figure nicely, and the various sculpted folds are pretty much exactly as I would want them.     The texture is decent, with a clothlike visual look on the robes and a glossy, shiny red helmet.  It's lovely.

The only thing I don't like about this figure is the fact you have to get it in an exclusive 3-pack.  I'd cheerily buy a few more of these on individual cards, as this is the army builder you'd want if you're trying to put together a modern set of vintage 1980s toys.   You know, that set of 92-96 that Hasbro will never actually finish.   Ah well.   Go ahead and get this guard, you're going to like it.

Force Link Notes: It sounds pretty much the same as the Praetorian guards - just some whooshing noises.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Target.  It was on sale for 25% off.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,432: December 4, 2017

Friday, December 1, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,431: Jyn Erso (The Last Jedi Line Look)


JYN ERSO with Force Link
The Last Jedi Basic Figure Orange Assortment
Item No.:
Asst. C1503  No. C3523
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, scarf
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $8.99
Availability: November 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: Jyn Erso was a human female soldier and former criminal who became a pivotal member of the Alliance to Restore the Republic when she led Rogue One in stealing the Death Star plans during the Battle of Scarif. (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:  This is the least essential figure in the new movie's line.  Jyn Erso returns - much like new versions of Kylo Ren and Rey during Rogue One - because the home video is out, kids are still seeing it, and fans may want the movie's lead character roughly 11 months after the film's release.   These lines are planned 18 months before release sometimes, so that means Hasbro assumed the marketplace needed a new Jyn Erso figure - and as such, they gave you one very similar to the last version with minor batch changes and added Force Link elements.  (There's a chip inside her, and a blue marker on the sole of her retooled boot.)

The figure is basically the same colors, but a bit lighter.  The face is a but more muted, with lighter skin and lighter features.  The green and brown of her costume aren't as dark, and the copyright information was moved from the boots to the back of the scarf.  (I applaud this move.)   The original blaster was more silver, this new one is more grey.  The first one had better detailing and was more opaque, so both her face and blaster suffer a tiny bit from translucent plastic sucking the detail out.  It's by no means bad - it's just that if you have a previous release I doubt you will also need this one.  For completists and Force Link fans only... unless you missed the previous release (three times over), in which case get it with my blessing.


Force Link Notes: "Rebellions are built on hope."  "Escort is headed your way."     "Okay, on my lead."  Blaster sounds.  "We can stop them."  Possibly more - it was a little unresponsive.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,431: December 1, 2017

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,430: R2-D2 (The Last Jedi Line Look)

R2-D2 with Force Link
The Last Jedi Basic Figure Orange Assortment
Item No.:
Asst. C1503  No. C3526
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Clip-on rockets, pop-on flames
Action Feature: Force Link sounds, removable parts
Retail: $8.99
Availability: November 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: R2-D2, pronounced Artoo-Detoo and often referred to as Artoo, was an R2 series astromech droid manufactured by Industrial Automaton with masculine programming. (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:  Since Hasbro is tight-lipped on 3 3/4-inch figures (seemingly assuming collectors  no longer care at conventions), R2-D2 proved to be surprising despite the fact we saw it at HasCon.  There was little chatter talking up how this one was  new or different besides the obvious - jets on a post-prequel story R2-D2 was a pretty big deal.  What caught my be surprise was that this is a barely-altered "build-a-droid" mold!  Unless I'm mistaken, this is the first time Hasbro has sold an individual build-a-droid R2-D2 as a non-exclusive product.

The third leg was the giveaway - it pulls out easily and the shape inside is familiar to anyone who collects these things.   The head pops off fairly easily, and is painted silver with a bare grey interior.  The "neck" under the dome is unpainted white, whereas previous build-a-droids were painted silver here.  It could have benefitted from the paint.  He has a little bit of painted detail on his backside, and mercifully Hasbro still uses the "wire" feet rather than the altered Disney wireless feet.  The biggest change was the torso - the lower holes have since been filled in, and you can see evidence of where they once were.
His booster rockets clamp on over the legs fairly cleanly - once removed, you won't see holes for connectors.  It's a clean fit, and there is a slight silver color under them too.  I love the blue-to-yellow flames, and everything just fits.  The body parts are tight, but everything works.   For those pining for more old-style figures, R2-D2 is an old-style figure - you get something that was every bit as good as those build-a-figures from 2007 and a price that's pretty close to what they were in 2007.   If you want more build-a-droid parts for customs and whatnot, or just want an above-par R2-D2, this is worth your while.  The black eye is glossy, the red dot is bright, the silver is clean, and paint coverage is, on the whole, right where it should be.   Unless you've had enough of these parts from Disney a few years ago, this is a worthwhile purchase.

Force Link Notes: Standard, familiar R2-D2 sound effects from existing movies.  Good choices.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,430: November 29, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,429: Luke Skywalker (The Black Series, 6-Inch, Centerpiece)

LUKE SKYWALKER with display base
The Black Series Centerpiece
Item No.:
   No. C1555
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Helmet, lightsaber, big snow base, small snow base
Action Feature: Lights up
Retail: $49.99
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Imagine Luke Skywalker thinking on his feet to take down the AT-AT in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back with this Star Wars The Black Series Centerpiece Luke Skywalker, featuring Luke Skywalker wielding his lightsaber as he charges back to the Rebel base on Hoth. With a premium base featuring lights and sounds that invites building out the iconic scene with more figures, vehicles, and accessories, Star Wars The Black Series Centerpiece Luke Skywalker truly serves as the centerpiece of any fan’s treasured display.   (Stolen from Hasbro's marketing copy.  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'm not a huge fan of the Centerpiece line, in part because they're a lot like the Unleashed series of figures - but are triple the price.   Luke Skywalker basically recreates a figure from over 10 years ago by bringing a Hoth assault to life, showing us an off-screen battle between Luke and unseen assailants.  Or, if you swap out the snow base, you can put some assailants right in there.  There are footprints in the snow, and holes to add some footpegs (also included under the base.)  It's a really neat idea.  I have no doubt someone went to the Star Wars Hasbro team and said "Black Series does well, let's sell people a $50 figure" and this is what they came up with.   It's a statue - the flames blink and take way more  batteries than they should.   It's a nice piece, but it's expensive and dull - and was on clearance within 1 month of its release at pretty much every Walmart in my town.

It's kind of ridiculous  how nice this is given how boring the idea is.  Luke stands on a fallen AT-AT's foot. The AT-AT toes are jointed, and are nicely painted with grit and black wipes and damage.  You can see snow stuck in the various crevices, and Luke himself plugs right in to the top.   His head can turn, and his helmet is expertly painted - and removable, with a full flight cap underneath.  His suit shows signs of wear from battle, arguably as good as or better than the super-articulated $20 6-inch figures.  Unfortunately, this figure is stuck in a pose we never saw in the movies in a scene that really never existed.  It's a collectible statue, a display piece.  It's not a centerpiece of a collection so much as it is a nice way to display Snowtroopers and AT-AT Drivers (sold separately) if you were so inclined.  Luke is actually quite small in the context of the giant foot, but that juxtaposition just makes it feel like you got a tiny figure.  The fact that you're getting a ton of nicely detailed plastic is hard to accept when it just looks like your hero shrank.
Items like this are tough to recommend, because it's a gorgeous execution with multiple shades of off-white on his gloves or a killer deco on his vest.  Hasbro did everything right here at the factory level, but $50 is a lot when a super-articulated figure would be $20.  Had Hasbro made this figure super-articulated and charged us more, we'd cringe, but it would be hard to fault.  The electronics aren't awe-inspiring, but the display options are pleasant enough and it's a sign of what Hasbro can do when they really put down some money on paint.   Unfortunately, it was $25 in early October, and fans just don't seem to like the concept so far.   I'm glad they started it with original trilogy characters, and if it continues I hope they do more armored guys in really cool poses - although I assume it's just as likely this segment will be dead by next Easter.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,429: November 27, 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,428: Shoretrooper Captain (Rogue One Line Look)

SHORETROOPER CAPTAIN vs. Bistan
Rogue One   Two Pack Action Figures
Item No.:
Asst. B7073 No. C0928
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: 2 figures, 2 rifles, 1 backpack rocket launcher, 2 projectiles
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $17.99
Availability: October 2017
Appearances: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Bio:  Relishing the thrill of action, Bistan fights to ensure the freedom of fellow Iakaru, taking on enemies like Imperial stormtroopers. Specialist stormtroopers stationed at the top secret Imperial military headquarters on Scarif, Shoretroopers patrol the beaches and bunkers of the planetary facility. (Taken 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: Also a "lost" figure, the Shoretrooper Captain  was the third of three varieties of Scarif Stormtrooper from Rogue One.  Hasbro even teased that three versions would be coming, but it looked like it was not to be briefly - mercifully this barely-new mold with very new deco slipped out by mercy of an online store chasing it down.   This is, to date, the only Hasbro figure of the Shoretrooper Captain in any scale.  I assume this might change some day, because it looks like an easy 6-inch or 3 3/4-inch The Black Series redeco down the road.

If you bought a Wave 3 Shoretrooper [FOTD #2,343], you might recognize the core figure as being basically identical.  It's notable that the original plain trooper was made in China and this Captain was made in Vietnam, so there are some very minor changes between the molds - but they're functionally identical  with the Captain having a more rubbery "skirt."   Aside from copyright markings, the other changes are crisper details.  The texture on the thighs are just a little more detailed, and the helmet looks a lot sharper.   The other big difference of course, is a smattering of blue and yellow - the Captain has a lot more color than the rank and file troop.

It's also worth noting that the blasters changed.  The single-carded plain Shoretrooper is blacker and has more detail - certain dongles are missing from the Captain's blaster, which is also a little more brown.   So far it seems that Vietnam tends to make better figures, with China having the better accessories, so if you want the best of everything you'll need to be a completist.   Unless you squint, though, I doubt you'd even realize there was a difference between them.
As an unabashed fan of troopers, droids, and aliens - not necessarily in that order - it really stung when it looked like this set may not have made it out.   The deco on this trooper is really top-notch, with a yellow band on his forearm and blue stripes on the body and shoulder.   It would be awesome to have had a chance to buy a lot more of these, but a short-run online release beats no release at all!   Snag it if it's still available, and weep 5 years from now when it costs more.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth where it is a de facto exclusive shared with its EE Distribution wholesale wing.   I work there, so you know how biased I can be.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,428: November 22, 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,427: Bistan (Rogue One Line Look)

BISTAN vs. Shoretrooper Captain
Rogue One   Two Pack Action Figures
Item No.:
Asst. B7073 No. C0928
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: 2 figures, 2 rifles, 1 backpack rocket launcher, 2 projectiles
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $17.99
Availability: October 2017
Appearances: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Bio:  Relishing the thrill of action, Bistan fights to ensure the freedom of fellow Iakaru, taking on enemies like Imperial stormtroopers. Specialist stormtroopers stationed at the top secret Imperial military headquarters on Scarif, Shoretroopers patrol the beaches and bunkers of the planetary facility. (Taken 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: Initially debuted at Toy Fair, the Bistan  figure was shown alongside then-unreleased Galen Erso, Admiral Raddus, a Shoretrooper Captain, Fenn Rau, and Lt. Sefla.  Fan communication with Hasbro is a lot less complete than it has been, so it wasn't really obvious that the Captain and Bistan weren't going to be made until it suddenly became obvious the line was ending and there was no final wave of 2-packs coming.  I was heartbroken - a new trooper, and an awesome alien never to see the light of day?   Enter Entertainment Earth, where this item eventually arrived.  You can tell by the date stamp on the box that it was manufactured long after the rest of the line was over, and while it's not a proper "exclusive" you won't find it anywhere else - currently I believe all units manufactured on the planet came through Entertainment Earth as it was not released overseas.  (For all I know it might, but for now, it's not an exclusive... but it's pretty exclusive.)  Surely some handsome devil was thinking you might want this.

I picked up one of the big Rogue One guide books and was irritated by how wonderful it was - dozens of Original Trilogy-ish aliens, rebels, Imperials, and other characters were all sitting there.   And because Hasbro figured Rogue One would be less popular, the line was over before we saw the movie and could say "I want that!"  Mercifully Bistan got pulled from the garbage chute and cranked out - so you should order one.   This is the last figure from that line - Fenn Rau made it out overseas (and a startlingly limited number were made of the US assortment which technically never hit - but that's another story) so for those of you who want to be all-in, get this.  It's cool.

Bistan is about 3 1/2-inches tall, a full head shorter than his trooper companion.   The figure itself has a ball-jointed neck that gives him a really good range of motion, with a head tilt that you don't normally see in these guys.  The bulky suit allowed for more movement, and I appreciate it.  He wears a drab costume that's in line with the whole recycled costume aesthetic we saw in the original trilogy, complete with a ring around his neck that implies a matching space helmet could have been out of view of the camera.  While he lacks patterned texture on his costume, he's loaded with wrinkles and stitched details. Pockets, patches, and what may well be a parachute pack add a lot to a costume that seems simple at first glance.  A few of the cables and straps on his suit were left unpainted, but most of them do get some level of decoration - like the connectors on his wrists, the silver buckles, even a codpiece.   The limbs all move freely, and he could sit if he didn't have a corner of cloth hanging off his backside.   The eyes match the movie and the head sculpt is good, but it's impossible to match the wispy eyebrows and mustache of the film design at this scale.  The Hasbro designers came close, though.

The level of contrast in the face is a little higher than it probably should be, but it does help it from looking too samey.  It's also t he only Bistan you're likely to get, and he has a rocket pack that shoots fairly well.  A Rebel blaster fits in his hand snuggly, making this a pretty decked-out figure.   As most things Rogue One are being shoved under the proverbial table right now, you should probably snag this and also bug Hasbro to make some of the other characters from the film like Blue Squadron, Caitken, Killi Gimm, or other designs that only appeal to men in their 20s-40s.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth where it is a de facto exclusive shared with its EE Distribution wholesale wing.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,427: November 20, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,426: Inferno Squad Agent (The Black Series, 6-Inch)

INFERNO SQUAD AGENT Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot
The Force Awakens The Black Series 6-Inch GameStop Exclusive
Item No.:
  No. E2260
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $21.99
Availability: October 2017
Appearances: Battlefront II

Bio: In the wake of the Death Star's destruction, the Empire created the Inferno Squad to ensure that Imperial secrets would remain safe.  Their fierce loyalty to the Empire and exceptional skills in both aerial and ground combat set this squad apart from the rank and file troopers. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  After hearing about the quality of the first Battlefront game and the miserable slog through Walmarts I took to find that game's figure, I'm just fine sticking to the toys now.  The Inferno Squad Agent is slightly more than just a redeco - the belt was replaced by a black Stormtrooper's belt.   How about that?   At least it's something.   The blaster is heavily weathered, and the figure has red stripes and red lenses on his helmet, plus a new Inferno Squad symbol on the shoulder and helmet.  It's interesting - but you can't help but smell the 181st Imperial Fighter Wing's legacy of red stripes on this "new" addition to the Expanded Universe.  (I don't care if they say it's canon, they'll trample it the second they can make a movie or TV show.)

The chest box has newly colored buttons setting it apart from the previously released TIE Fighter Pilot and Lt. Oxixo, but only barely - you wouldn't notice without a side-by-side comparison. Mercifully the overall figure's red stripes and unique helmet markings set it apart from any and all TIE Pilots released to date, also frustratingly making it unique to the 6-inch size.  I doubt Hasbro  has any intention of making sure the 3 3/4-inch line is the main, complete one with all figures in it these days, but at least this pilot turned out well.     With about 26 points of articulation, it's a well-made figure with good, sturdy joints that are nice and stiff.  He's unlikely to collapse under his own weight, but finding the center of gravity may prove challenging.

It's a fine pilot - if you're buying troops, a little variety is nice and I enjoy the weird trooper exclusives.  I'd also like to see 3 3/4-inch ones, but I have a feeling the current regime is not thoroughly understanding that the collectors of that scale are being bored into exile.  Ah well.   Get this one if you can score it for a fair price.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from GameStop.  The nice lady at the store had a damaged box one and I got it for 10% off.  That's a good day right there.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,426: November 15, 2017

Monday, November 13, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,425: BB-8 (Droid Factory Line Look)

BB-8 New, Bigger, Hat Compatible
Droid Factory The Last Jedi Boxed Set
Item No.:
  No. 23185
Manufacturer: Disney
Number: n/a
Includes: 3 more droid figures
Action Feature: Breaks down into 4 separate pieces
Retail: $29.99
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: All different types of Astromech droids populate the Star Wars galaxy.  Each droid is different and has their own unique personality and colors.   These four BB units are featured in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.   May the Force be with you... and your Droids!  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)
Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  He stole the first movie('s marketing), so it makes sense we should get more BB-8 figures.  Hasbro has not been able to offer all that many, really.  So far he's never been sold as a basic Hasbro figure, always appearing in a bigger multi-pack which I have to wonder may be influence by the licensor - Disney, after all, sells him at theme parks individually or in this set.  Curious.

Anyway, this 3 3/4-inch BB-8 from Disney is larger than Hasbro's offerings from The Force Awakens, with a heavier build and a 4-piece thing that's basically a Weeble.  The figure is basically a two-piece shell that plugs in to a weighted  ball that's loaded with detail - and it's painted, too.    The silver and grey ball is not only stable, but it has little red lights painted on the inside that you may never actually see.  It's a nice detail, but also sort of a waste to put this level of painted detail inside when the outside needs some work.

The figure is painted about as well as Hasbro's models, with some more refined detail in some spots on the body ball, with a less impressive head.  The eye and holographic projector are lacking the outer rings of detail, plus some panel lines are missing.   The black eye juts out in a strange way, but that might just be an illusion due to the big eye being painted entirely black - and not with a grey or silver ring on the border.  The antenna are all white, which isn't quite right - the tips should be grey.  THe light under the central eye is left unlit, but it looks like BB-8 overall.  I figure if Disney spent the deco budget outside the figure rather than on the inside, we'd have the best BB-8 ever made.  Instead, it's just pretty good.
The big surprise to me was BB-8 has a little hole in his head for hats.  You can pop in the magical hat from other sets or anything with clearance for his antenna, and you can even pop his head right off and put it on an Astromech body.  It's a pretty good use of the existing system, even if it is a bit silly.  It can sit upright despite having a round bottom thanks to the weight, but you might need to nudge it to be perfectly upright.  His head can spin, but it can't leer forward like the Hasbro figures could.   It's different - not better, not worse, just a different take on a popular droid.

The same mold was used for a carded BB-8 a few months ago at about $13 - and this one has some wear and dirt painted on it, which makes it a little bit better and a little bit cheaper.  If you're on a budget, skip the carded one and just get this set - the individual figure doesn't look all that different, plus you get 3 more droids.   Maybe they'll be in the movie - we don't know for sure yet, but at least they all look cool.  As of right now we don't know how Hasbro's will turn out for The Last Jedi, but maybe it'll be awesome!  For now, this is pretty great.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Disneyland via my pal Zac.  Thank you Zac!

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,425: November 13, 2017

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,424: 2BB-2 (Droid Factory Line Look)

2BB-2 New, Blue, True
Droid Factory The Last Jedi Boxed Set
Item No.:
  No. 23185
Manufacturer: Disney
Number: n/a
Includes: 3 more droid figures
Action Feature: Breaks down into 4 separate pieces
Retail: $29.99
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: All different types of Astromech droids populate the Star Wars galaxy.  Each droid is different and has their own unique personality and colors.   These four BB units are featured in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.   May the Force be with you... and your Droids!  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)
Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  Droids have been a sneak preview figure staple since 2002.   Now that Disney manufactures the droids, their track record on giving us significant or recognizable figures is pretty mixed.  I don't yet know if 2BB-2 will appear in the new movie, but it looks cool. While made from the same silhouette as BB-8, this one actually has a new chassis - that blue ball doesn't match BB-8 or BB-9E in terms of its sculpt, but it's functionally similar.  The figure splits at the middle, with a weighted ball inside to give it the power of Weebles.  It wobbles, but won't fall down.   Unsurprisingly, this makes it better and more interesting than Hasbro's existing BB-8 figures... of which there are surprisingly few at the 3 3/4-inch scale.

The figure is simple - the head turns, and you can split apart the body and mix parts with other BB droids.  This leaves the door open for Droid Factory BB part bins, and I hope this never happens.   It's too much, and so far these droids are sort of an unknown.  Everybody loved BB-8, but the figures are functionally dubious - we have no vehicles with droid slots, no playsets, and no arms to interact with other figures.  It just sits there and looks cool, and sports dark green rings, white markings, and some lettering which seems was poorly printed.  The letters are backwards Aurebesh.   Oops.

I like the head - it's incomplete, with an eye and lots of empty space. The antenna and copious horizontal vents feel very 1980s, sort of like an old car or an incomplete remote control toy.     The coloring looks almost like a globe of the Earth.   I have a lot of action figures, and other than Globey I haven't seen many that look like this.  It's neat, it's cute.   If you're getting the set anyway - which doesn't feel like much of a bargain given the figures' tiny size - this is one of the reasons to buy it.  To date, 2 of the 4 droids are not known to be upcoming Hasbro releases.

Aurebesh Notes: The white lettering reads "KNC" in one spot, and seemingly "BZM" on another - but it's mirror-flopped.  A big red "H" appears on the bottom too.   The black lettering on the top is also flipped - "KEEPCLEAR." I assume it was not intended to be reversed, but there you go.
Collector's Notes: I got mine from Disneyland via my pal Zac.  Thank you Zac!
--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,424: November 8, 2017