Monday, May 29, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,373: Luke Skywalker (The Black Series / Titanium Series / 40th Anniversary)

LUKE SKYWALKER 40th Anniversary
The Black Series Titanium Series 3 3/4-inch Action Figure
Item No.:
Asst. C1857  No. C1858
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #03
Includes: 1 stand, 1 backdrop, 2 blasters, 4 footpegs
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $14.99
Availability: April 2017
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Luke Skywalker was a Tatooine farmboy who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the greatest Jedi the galaxy has ever known.  (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:  When I first saw Luke Skywalker as a die-cast metal figure, my question was "...why?"   Like some of you, I'm old and remember Hasbro's "Forged Figure" line in Titanium Series last time.  They were nifty metal figures that came in Sea Monkey-like cases for about $15.  These newer ones are a bit better, but the question remains - why?  It's not bad at all, but you can't help but immediately identify this as a gimmicky thing that probably won't last more than a year, even if they are executed quite nicely.

For the 25th anniversary, Hasbro put out a similar Luke Skywalker in a little diorama, but it also had a Leia and was about $15.  This gets you less figure for more money, but it's heavier and has a much nicer paint job.   Luke's head is a new sculpt, as is the rest of him - the body is metal with plastic arms and a plastic head that looks more than a little like Dax Shepard.   Because the body is metal, Hasbro opted to make it a pair of solid chunks - the waist rotates, but the legs are a statue.   The figure has really fantastic ball-jointed shoulders and a fine neck joint, but you aren't going to get as much out of him as you did your figure from The Vintage Collection a few years ago.   He does have a working holster, though, and that comes in handy.

Luke has two Stormtrooper blasters - one has a red blast effect on the tip, the other does not.   This lets you put him in an action pose with the spare blaster tucked on his belt.  It looks cool, but it also looks a lot like something out of 2002 when Hasbro went full-on statue crazy with the "Saga" line and the 7-inch Unleashed figures.   This is clearly meant to be a display piece, but it's a cool one - it has a backdrop you can flip over, and there's a new paradigm in foot pegs.  The big display base has a whole mess of holes on it, and Luke has 4 plastic pegs - you decide where you want Luke to go, and pose him accordingly.  This is a neat idea, and it seems to work well on my sample.

I won't lie to you -  you don't need this figure.   Since the 6-inch The Black Series went from a great entry-level line for new or lapsed fans to a beast unto itself, here's a new expression you can start if you want to engage in a small collection.  The stands can connect to one another and you can keep a nice row of them on a shelf.   Given the price, you may not wish to do that, but I can't assume the line will go  beyond 20 or 30 figures over the next year.   I'd assume they have plans for the next one or two movies, but beyond that?   It'll probably just be a nice, small collection to briefly enjoy and move on.  Maybe they'll actually forge R2-D2 this time...
If you see these on clearance, though, get them. Get lots.  I bet you'll enjoy using the display base dioramas for other purposes.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth
, but they showed up at GameStop about a month ago in big shippers.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,373: May 29, 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,372: Moroff (Rogue One, Kohl's)


MOROFF Boxed Set
Rogue One Kohl's Exclusive Gift Set
Item No.:
  No. 9605
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, 2 rockets, backpack, 3 more figures with accessories
Action Feature: Rockets launch
Retail: $30-$49.99
Availability: November 2016
Appearances: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Bio: Moroff seeks out combat zones to sell his brawn and firepower to anyone who might need it.  The mighty Gigoran mercenary figures there's money to be made for a towering heavy of great strength.   (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  Before the movie came out, I was thrilled to have Moroff as an action figure.  He was a big, hairy alien with lots of guns and a distinctive look that recalled Wampas and Wookiees.   The Moroff [FOTD #2,304] figure first shipped as part of a must-have two-pack with a Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader, but this version which shipped to Kohl's was slightly different.   I don't mean "batch difference," I mean there are conscious changes made to the accessory decoration and maybe to the figure itself.  The figure's changes are minor, but the backpack's look is significantly different.   For those keeping track "significantly different" means "I can describe how it's different without you having to compare it side-by-side with the other version."

The Kohl's Moroff is, at first glance, exactly the same as the regular 2-pack version.   When placed side by side, there's a minor difference in the face as the Kohl's version has a little less brown around the eyes, and the "beard" is a little more brown and less is more completely decorated.  The silver on his body seems to be a bit brighter, while the 2-pack version seems tempered with a hint of brown in it.   Depending on the sample, the feet look a little more yellow.   Your mileage may vary.   As far as the figure itself goes, I don't think that either release is different enough where you're going to want or need (or recognize) both.


Now what makes the figure interesting is his weapon backpack.  The 2-pack version is a brown color, while the Kohl's 4-pack is black plastic.  The 2-pack version has some painted details on the shoulder harness, while the Kohl's 4-pack is unpainted.  The cannon barrels on the 2-pack version are unpainted, while the 4-pack from Kohl's has silver "scraping" or "paint wear" on it.  I'd say it's the very definition of just different enough to make you mad - there are obvious, deliberate changes having been made to the accessory and none of them are necessarily interesting enough to warrant picking up this version just for those changes unless you, like me, still have a weird burning urge to pick up pretty much any moderately observable change in a 3 3/4-inch Star Wars figure.
And that wraps it up for this set.   Pao isn't significantly different enough to warrant a review as an altered figure as far as I can tell, as I was unable to note any obvious changes.   At $25 or less, I'd still say this boxed set is worth picking up for variant fanatics and packaging hounds.   3 out of 4 figures with notable changes ain't bad, although perhaps doing a non-dirty Moroff or one that had hair with a fairer quality to it - paler white or even milky plastic - would have been a lot more exciting and interesting.   As it stands, get either version of Moroff or both if your budget allows, as each release is packaged with at least one significantly different and therefore worthwhile trooper you can't get anywhere else.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Kohl's, but it's cheaper on Amazon.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,372: May 24, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,371: Imperial Death Trooper (Rogue One, Kohl's)

IMPERIAL DEATH TROOPER Sandy Armor
Rogue One Kohl's Exclusive Gift Set
Item No.:
  No. 9605
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, 2 rockets, backpack, 3 more figures with accessories
Action Feature: Rockets launch
Retail: $30-$49.99
Availability: November 2016
Appearances: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Bio: The elite soldiers of Imperial Intelligence, Death Troopers are encased in specialized stormtrooper armor with a dark, ominous gleam and serve as bodyguards and enforcers for Director Krennic.   (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  Hasbro has been surprisingly generous with the Imperial Death Trooper flavors.   If you're a 3 3/4-inch fan, this is one of four flavors - a redeco of the 2-pack Pao/Imperial Death Trooper [FOTD #2,311] mold.  What's new? Paint.

The 5-jointed figure adds a bunch of sand markings and the silver seems to pop a little more.   The cheek tubes are darker, rather than the bright green of the first release, but the figure stands just the same.  He holds his blaster just the same.  If you're an army-builder and want the full squad of six, you may as well get this one just to keep things varied.  

What really surprised me was that they redecorated his big rocket backpack accessory.  Not only were sandy patches added, but the silver arms and grips for his hands were painted too!  The first release in the 2-pack had black, unpainted grips.   Why go the extra mile?  I have no idea.  The "gift-giver" customer at Kohl's would never notice, and I doubt most collectors would notice either.   I can't imagine there was a board room pitch where someone said "So what's special about this?" and someone said "Distinctive silver hand grips!"  It's unique, and as such an essential buy for the trooper fan.

I can't say the set is a good value at its regular retail price, because $50 for $30 worth of plastic is not a good deal.  For the current going rate on the secondary market orbiting $25 it's a decent buy, particularly if you want and do not have the excellent Moroff and Pao figures in the set.  I wish they could have dropped Pao and just tossed in a Scarif trooper instead, but such is life - for the right price it's worth tracking down this Death Trooper!


Collector's Notes: I got mine from Kohl's, but it's cheaper on Amazon.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,371: May 22, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,370: Stormtrooper Officer (Rogue One, Kohl's)

IMPERIAL STORMTROOPER White Pauldron
Rogue One Kohl's Exclusive Gift Set
Item No.:
  No. 9605
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, 3 more figures with accessories
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $30-$49.99
Availability: November 2016
Appearances: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Bio: Stormtroopers are  the faceless legions of soldiers serving the Gaalctic Empire.  Encased in white armor, stormtroopers are loyal Imperials who undergo rigorous training that strips them of any sense of individuality.  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  Kohl's exclusive sets aren't the most exciting - last year they had bonus exclusive "build a weapon" bits, this year they have figures like this Imperial Stormtrooper with tweaked deco.  In this set (and only in this set) you can get one with a white pauldron, although the exploding chest white pauldron version can be had as part of a Toys R Us exclusive set I still need to write up.  Well, some day.   This particular Stormtrooper is the "made in Vietnam" variant - the same Imperial Stormtrooper [FOTD #2,303] mold used for the pack with Baze Malbus - so you know what to expect there.

The only real change from the two-pack release is the pauldron - it's white here.  It was orange with Baze.  The figure itself looks sharp with 5 points of articulation and the revised Rogue One blaster with the extra greeblies.   He has no problems standing or holding his gun, but I do have a problem with the weird haggling that is buying a toy at Kohl's.  You may know this, but the sticker price is $49.99.  On almost any given day, pretty much everything is on sale at this retailer.  Maybe 5%, maybe 15% - and maybe there's a $10 off $50 coupon, and so on.  You can get it down pretty cheap if you didn't want for clearance, I paid $23.90 last November - and I heard clearance prices were even lower than that.  So when buying anything there, come armed with a knowledge of sales and coupons.

If you're a fiend for trooper variants, this is a pretty significant one.  If you aren't, you can/should skip this one.   I see it as essential and unique, but it's possible you just made one with some white paint.   For $25 or less, it's a fantastic set and a decent deal.  At $15 or less, it's a steal.  At the initial asking price of $49.99, it's a $20 mark-up over the equivalent figures.  Actually, you could get the Moroff/Scarif Stormtrooper and Death Trooper/Pao sets for $30, and an individually carded Stormtrooper for $8, and have $12 left over.  Plus a bonus figure.  It's just not a screamin' deal, is what I'm saying.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Kohl's, but it's cheaper on Amazon.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,370: May 17, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,369: Admiral Raddus (Rogue One)



ADMIRAL RADDUS Projectile Firing
Rogue One   Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. B7072 No. C1973
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, projectile, launcher
Action Feature: Launching rocket
Retail: $7.99
Availability: May 2017
Appearances: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Bio: Admiral Raddus was one of the earliest fleet officers of the rebellion.  When the Galactic Empire invaded, the aquatic world of Mon Cala, Raddus led the Mon Calamari into battle.  (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:  I don't think any species has had its planet renamed as many times as the Mon Calamari. Admiral Raddus now comes from Mon Cala - previously it was known as Dac, Mon Calamari, or just Calamari.   And Ryloth is Ryloth is Ryloth.   I got the pleasure of seeing Admiral Raddus early when I (and those who showed it to me) didn't know what he was - Admiral Ackbar in black?   Could he be an Imperial stooge?  An Episode VIII-era guy we haven't met yet?  Something from Rebels rendered horribly wrong?  I didn't know - but when I first saw the jacketed Poe Dameron I had no idea that's who it was.  So why ask me?

As a kid who was bonkers about Star Wars and sea life, this is one of my favorite figures in recent memory.  Raddus' good points - cool alien, decent articulation, fun gimmick - is why I collect action figures in the first place. This figure is a lot like the Admiral Ackbar from last year.  The figure has an opening mouth, with a better execution and superior paint job. The jointing is really top-notch, but the neck doesn't seem to turn.  Both the lower and upper head parts seem to move just fine, with arms and legs that swivel about as well as any figure from this line manages.  The legs swing forward, but not at that perfect 90-degree angle you want - which, if you ask me, sort of misses the point of this kind of figure.  If it's a toy figure, it should behave as one - thankfully Hasbro sculpted the hand to grip his nifty oversized blaster pistol. 

The rocket launcher can be held in his hand, serving more as a cane or a tripod than as a fun accessory. Gravity will not allow him to stand with it,  plus launching it is sort of tricky - if you want Raddus to fire the gun himself while it's in his hands, it's a nuisance. It's not fun.  this is one of those things I really would like to have a longer discussion about with someone at Hasbro because I have to assume there's some reason they do this and I'm not a kid so I don't get it.  I'd want the figure to be able to stand with the gun and launch it from his hand, without having to carefully hold the figure, the gun, and then flick the rocket just-so to get it to move.  It's a nice caricature of the smaller blaster, but I just don't dig it since it doesn't feel like it makes Raddus better.   If I could've had a $6 figure without it, I'd much rather have had that.   Or a second, non-firing weapon. Or a stand.  Or a funny helmet.

Raddus himself is worth the effort to get.  I love the light skin fade, giving him a look not entirely unlike a shark.   The eyes aren't quite as fishy as Ackbar, but they're gold and nice. The interior of the mouth is painted nicely, and the hands are a little more human than some other takes - there are no suction cups here.  The figure's body is hollow, which you'll sense immediately.  It feels a little bit cheaper, but also less top-heavy, so I'm all for this decision.  The sculpted detail is on par with other figures - wrinkly, sharp.  The figure has many pockets and easy-to-miss details like ribbed horizontal designs on the back of his knees.  They really did a nice job with the hip joints too - the vest covers them in part, with rounded haunches so he doesn't have strange, squared-off butt chunks when seated.  If you don't know what the heck I'm talking about, you may  have missed the ReAction figures.

Hasbro has been stingy, Scrooge-like, with new aliens and droids since the Disney takeover.  Obnoxiously so.   This is why I'm so utterly delighted to have this figure, even if he's just a black take on Admiral Ackbar.  I eagerly await his pale white crew, and anything else they feel like doing from the background of Rogue One.   If you haven't seen Star Wars Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Dictionary you should get it.  You'll scream.  It's so jam-packed with amazing aliens and pilots and droids that you will be furious the Rogue One line basically crapped out at three waves and three figures.   I'm so happy we got Raddus, especially if he represents the last weird alien or Rebel leader from the movie.  I want more - I'll always want more - but I'd be sad if we never got Raddus.  Fan's Choice doesn't exactly seem to be going the way I'd prefer for the last few rounds, what with the non-movie stuff winning, so I'll just hug my movie figures a little bit harder.  I'm happy you're happy, and I hope you're happy with this one if you find one.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,369: May 15, 2017

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,368: R2-A3 (The Black Series)

R2-A3 Red Astromech Fun
The Force Awakens The Black Series 6-Inch Figure Toys R Us Exclusive Set
Item No.:
  No. B7695
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: 3 droids, 6 removable arm panels, 6 removable dome panels, 2 sensorscopes, 2 periscopes
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $55.99
Availability: July 2016
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: R2-A3 was an astromech droid who assisted Rebel Alliance pilot Wedge Antilles. During the Battle of Yavin, R2-A3 and Antilles were forced to retreat after damage was dealt to their X-Wing's engine.  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  Hey, it's Wedge's robot!  R2-A3 may be wrong here.  It's also possible something else was wrong, but generally speaking I've seen models and the previous 3 3/4-inch action figure as being a silver dome droid with red panels.  This 6-inch release is a red dome droid with silver panels.  Mistakes happen, and obviously there is an error somewhere - because I'm old, I assume it's this figure.  If you know  better, please email me and/or leave a comment.  I know "wrong" is relative, but it's also possible things don't match from one shot to the next.  My research seems to favor the silver dome.

This one looks good for what it is.  When it comes to Astromech droids, I'm a little more forgiving of errors because they can always go back and do it again later.  If this one is wrong, it's still a sharp design - the silver panels pop nicely against the red dome, and the body's white plastic seems to look clean.   The dome has some golden highlights in those silver panels, plus a couple of black dongles which really just fade into space.   (It really doesn't add much.)   The figure is very much a traditional Astromech droid without too many fancy flourishes.  Plain white bodies with panels painted similarly to R2-D2 tend to be the norm, and the back of the fiugre is pretty blank below the bottom.   You'll see some nice silver and red boxes, but it's nothing that'd knock your socks off and I assume minimal (if any) reference was available to those doing the paint guides.

If you've bought one 6-inch scale Astromech droid so far, you basically have seen them all.  The round dome has three plugs, two of which deserve a fine certificate that will demonstrate their merit.   Two scopes can plug in on top, with the third being a conduit to store Luke's lightsaber which, of course, is not included as this is not R2-D2.  The body  has two opening compartments with painted flip-out arms, plus all three legs have rolling wheels.  The head turns and the central leg slowly descends, replicating the mechanism we saw on so many of the smaller droids.   You can show it to all your friends.

If you can get past the fact that this may not be the R2-A3 as described on the packaging, it's a perfectly nice robot.  I'd rather Hasbro have picked something either more colorful or more accurate, but it's no slouch.  It's more colorful than what we probably should have received, and as such I can say it looks more interesting on a toy shelf.  Since most Rebel droids are fairly obscure, it's unlikely anyone is even going to be aware there might be a problem unless you're me, or you're you, and you're aware of such controversial topics. 

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Toys R Us.  This was originally slated to be a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive as part of the Toys R Us offering, but it didn't make it - so it hit stores almost immediately following the show.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,368: May 10, 2017

Monday, May 8, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,367: First Order Snowtrooper Officer (The Force Awakens)

FIRST ORDER SNOWTROOPER OFFICER and Snap Wexley
The Force Awakens 2-Packs
Item No.:
Asst. B3955 No.  B5895
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, rocket, launcher, Snap Wexley, blaster
Action Feature: Working holster, spring-loaded hook rocket
Retail: $14.99
Availability: January 2016
Appearances: The Force Awakens

Bio: The latest generation of cold-weather assault Stormtroopers, Snowtroopers wear advanced insulated armor and helmets that reduce the glare of icy terrain. (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:  Blah  blah blah First Order Snowtrooper Officer.  With the confirmation that The Vintage Collection is coming back, you really have to examine some of the figures from The Force Awakens and Rogue One in new context - like "was the original good enough," and "if we get a new version, do I want to buy all the flavors again for more joints?"  In this case I'd say the initial figures were pretty good, and if they're going to cost us $13-$15 to get them with more joints I am only too happy to keep the black pauldron trooper I have now.  I don't necessarily need an upgrade.

For a figure with only 5 joints, Hasbro did a good job here.  The Snowtrooper Officer has a removable black pauldron, a removable backpack, a swell blaster, and can sit.  This is pretty much all I ask for when the price is right - two figures for $15 is a pretty acceptable price, with the markdowns available online making this a sweet set for the money.  The trooper can stand or sit in his First Order Snowspeeder without a fight, and the waistcoat doesn't get in the way of play or display.  Sure, the pose is boring, but it's not like these guys saw a ton of action on Starkiller Base in the final cut of the movie.  The deco is sound, with the hest markings in place and a shoulder marking too.  It's mostly an unpainted white plastic figure, save for a belt, the helmet, and a couple of other bells and whistles.   If you wanted a cheap figure to army build, this is it - there's not a lot too it and it doesn't disappoint.  He stands, he grips his blaster, and he doesn't fall over backward after standing on my desk for a year.  This is a good figure.  It is not a great figure.

You more or less get your money's worth here, and odds are Hasbro is preparing a more complex version of it as I write this.  Why wouldn't they?  We're suckers for vintage packaging and troopers, so they could easily trot out four or more of these in the next few years.   If they don't, it's possible the existing versions will be somewhat desirable given the lack of an alternative, but nobody seems to care too much yet.   If we ever get evidence that Hasbro will formally "move on," like we've seen with The Clone Wars, I could see fans getting antsy that they missed this one - but given its current asking price on Amazon of under $8 for a 2-pack, that may be a ways off.   I'd recommend this one for now, but keep an eye out for something better.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth a million years ago.


--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,367: May 8, 2017

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,366: Snap Wexley (The Force Awakens)

SNAP WEXLEY and First Order Snowtrooper Officer
The Force Awakens 2-Packs
Item No.:
Asst. B3955 No.  B5895
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, rocket, launcher, Snowtrooper, blaster
Action Feature: Working holster, spring-loaded hook rocket
Retail: $14.99
Availability: January 2016
Appearances: The Force Awakens

Bio: An ace X-wing fighter pilot for the Resistance, Snap Wexley undertook the vital recon mission that confirmed the location of the Starkiller weapon, and flew in the assault against the abominable weapon. (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:  Let it never be said that Hasbro doesn't listen.  Fans want lots of Rebel (and Resistance) Pilots, so we got Snap Wexley early on along with Poe Dameron and Asty.   One one hand, that's cool - but on another, it's not.  The figures borrow heavily from the aesthetics of the original 1979 Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot) figure with limited articulation and a non-removable helmet, plus the indignity of an opaque yellow visor.  It's not pretty.   It's consistent so far, but it wouldn't stun me to see newer, better versions of these figures as Hasbro starts to get in to The Vintage Collection in 2018.  

Snap's got no problems standing, but sitting provides a challenge - he's a thicker man, so the design needs to account for the hip joints swinging forward.  As he is, the legs are stopped by his crotch region pretty quickly.  He won't be able to sit in an X-Wing, even if he could fit in it - and you'll recall Hasbro's X-Wings for The Force Awakens were a tight squeeze for even smaller figures than this one.   The sculpting seems on par with the rest of the line, featuring generous detail work translating a cloth flight suit to plastic.  The vest has lots of detail too, and a swell Resistance logo on the flight vest.  The cable connects the chest box to his pocket, plus he's even got a working holster for his blaster.   I love the deco on the helmet, but the flesh is pale and the beard is weird.  This is an ideal figure for buying, putting on the shelf, and then never touching again.

I'm not a big fan of the grappling hook gun - I don't know why it's here, and I have a strong dislike for most of The Force Awakens' bonus weapons.  Rogue One figures had rocket launchers that better fit the spirit of the film - this one just looks like someone cobbled together something because they were on deadline and Disney wouldn't get them reference material.  (I'd bet money this is actually what happened.)    The grip is positioned so that Snap can carry it like a briefcase, not exactly holding it up or aiming it at someone.   This is good, because the figure can hold it on a flat surface and not topple over.  This is bad, because it's the antithesis of being an action-oriented figure.  It looks like he's just lugging it around Comic-Con.

The set wasn't a huge hit - you can get it on Amazon for about half price.  Hasbro has a weird habit of releasing the characters that benefit from the movie early on, with some of the weirder ones after the movie comes out.  Thing is, fans are more likely to buy anything without knowing if it matters or not prior to seeing the film, whereas after the movie is the only time they'll probably understand why they want that Finn or Jyn or whoever.  This was a good set for fans - a trooper and a new pilot are a great combo pack.   It's just that the figure could be better with a removable helmet, better face paint, or better articulation.  For $8 or less get one.  For $15 or more, I'd say you can wait it out.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth a million years ago.


--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,366: May 3, 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,365: First Order Stormtrooper (The Force Awakens Value 6-Inch Figures)

FIRST ORDER STORMTROOPER Titan Guardians-Esque
The Force Awakens "Dollar Store" 6-Inch Figure
Item No.:
Asst. B3946 No. B3950
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Dedicated blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $6.75?
Availability: Fall 2015, Mexico/Australia
Appearances: The Force Awakens

Bio:  Equipped with sleek armor and powerful weapons, the Stormtroopers enforce the will of the First Order.  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Commentary:  I really wish that this particular First Order Stormtrooper - currently exclusive to non-US markets - makes it out here.  Why? Cheap troop builder.  The 6-inch action figure stands at attention with only 4 points of articulation, but it's about $6.   It stands the same size as the $20-$25 super-articulated The Black Series figures, so on a shelf full of figures it'd be great to have these cheap guys to flesh out an army.   Of course, for the time being these cheap ones are harder to get than the super-articulated figures.  Oh well.

The import has swivel shoulders, a rotating neck, and a swivel waist.    It's light but sturdy, a figure that stands with no real problems and a blaster fused to his fist.  Unlike the black/white blaster in the movie, this one is all black - basically classic Stormtrooper colors.   The paint is pretty good, as the white plastic figure has a fair amount of black details.  Most of the exposed body suit bits are decorated, but for some reason the back of the shoulder joints were not - and it's pretty obvious.    The helmet could probably use a little more paint, but the product isn't bad as it is - you can see the corners they cut to keep the price relatively low.  Of course, in the USA a figure of this size would be $6 or $7, and the 12-inch figure of similar quality would be $10.  So that'd be the better buy.
If these were sold in the USA, I'd recommend you go out and buy a shelf full of them to hang out with Kylo Ren and menace your other sequel trilogy figures.   At this point it's possible the same exact suit will be used in The Last Jedi and Hasbro could bring this figure out to the USA in a new box, mixed in with the other hard-to-find 6-inch figures from the very same assortment.  But we don't know these things.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Mexico via eBay.  Wave 1 was international only so far (Australia, Mexico).  It's hard to find these because not many come up for sale and there's no consistent branding/name for this particular scale.  Good luck!

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,365: May 1, 2017