Monday, June 25, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,493: Lando Calrissian (Solo: A Star Wars Story Line Look)

LANDO CALRISSIAN with Kessel Guard
Solo: A Star Wars Story Force Link 2.0 Two-Pack
Item No.:
Asst. E0324  No. E1252
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, cape/scarf, tri-pod cannon, staff, 2 figures
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $14.99
Availability: April 2018
Appearances: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Bio: Lando Calrissian was the owner of the Millennium Falcon before losing it to Han Solo in a game of sabacc. After losing the Falcon, Calrissian put an end to his days as a smuggler and became an entrepreneur, setting up a small mining operation on the planet Lothal before eventually becoming the leader of Cloud City in the skies of the planet Bespin. (Taken from Wookieepedia.)

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 an era of arguments, controversies, and complaints, one thing everybody seemed to agree on was that we all love Donald Glover and he would make (and indeed has made) a fun Lando CalrissianSolo: A Star Wars Story was a relatively weightless but fun romp through a story we all kind of already knew, but despite being a little winky at us, it was fun.   And those of us with taste ran out to buy Lando as soon as we had a chance.   For some reason Hasbro put him in a 2-pack with an army builder, and I'm happy to say it's a pretty good set.

Lando has a great Donald Glover likeness with the limited paint available at the size.  The eyes are clear, the hair is good, and the facial hair is fantastic.   I love the shirt, I love the colors, and I'm surprised we got painted stripes on the scarf.   The boots may not have the exact same gloss and the bigger figure has a little more going for it, but as a 3 3/4-inch figure in this era it's a perfectly decent paint job.  

The figure lacks some paint applications we got on the larger figure - Lando's cape isn't lined at the small size, for example.  They didn't paint his ring.  This is the kind of thing that irks me given the prices of these figures, but I assume if you're not going to squint at these figures and scrutinize them, it matters a lot less these days.   Now we're putting most of our attention to the bigger guys, and with a few vocal fans washing their hands of the Force Link format I can't blame anyone for not catering to the collector eye.  Having said that I really enjoy this figure - the blaster lacks the barrel, but it fits in his holster.  The scarf-as-part-of-the-cape was inspired.  Most of the color translates to the final product.

He stands best with his cape on, but finding his center of gravity without it may take some doing.  He can sit well, which is great given he's a pilot.   The vehicle may not be designed especially well for him, but again, that's life - or rather, that's where the toy economy is in 2018.   If you haven't bought this set, I would steer you to eyeball it and give it some consideration.  I assume a super-articulated Lando is inevitable, but when? That I don't know.  Until then this Lando will most likely hang out on my desk, because he's awesome.   If you just want a Lando, go get the 6-inch one.  But if you want the classic scale, don't let the lack of articulation scare you off.
Force Link 2.0 Notes: "Hey there.  I go by Lando Calrissian."   "I'm too young and too good to retire."   "Cargo Freighter? That's a Corellian YT-1300!  Smoothest ship in the galaxy."   "Everything you've heard about me is true."  "Come on! We're getting out of here!"  Blaster fire. It's a soundalike.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,493: June 25, 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,492: Power Droid (Wind-Up Fight Droids, Solo: A Star Wars Story Line Look)

WIND-UP FIGHT DROIDS Blue Power Droid
Solo: A Star Wars Story Disney Parks Exclusive
Item No.:
   No. FAC-012641-18060
Manufacturer: Disney
Number: n/a
Includes: Two Droids
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.95
Availability: April 2018
Appearances: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Bio: Insufficient data.  (Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability:  Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  For whatever reason, Disney seems to be controlling droid toy output now - including the wind-up Fight Droid set.  Today we're looking at the blue "gonk" power droid, and online reference for it and its partner is scarce.   I wasn't squinting hard enough at the movie to know if it's even the right size - so this is either twice as big as it should be to fit in with your 3 3/4-inch figures, or maybe the right size.  For the price I just snagged it as Hasbro seems reluctant to put out any sort of background droids in the Disney era.

I like this figure - the wind-up droid is a lost art, and one Kenner (and later Hasbro) never really could get the hang of in the USA.   When you wind a key on its back, the saw and pick arms flail while the figure has that too-familiar wind-up motor drive its legs forward.     What makes it even better, the red "eye shade" moves - so it's like it's waggling its robot eyebrows at you.  This gives the toy a ton of personality, although it seems its mechanism sports one failing thing - the saw appears like it should spin.  My sample is fused solid.

The sculpt and deco are exaggerated a bit for the toy, with giant feet and a big spinny handle on the non-spinning saw.  I love the grime and paint, the rivets, the bolts.  Even if it's too big, I just love owning it - this is the kind of toy I would buy if I wasn't a collector because it's such a wonderful anachronism.   If it's in scale, I'd recommend all of you buy it - but at press time I simply don't even know myself.  I might need to see it a third time to verify.

The flailing, grimy robot is so utterly charming I'd recommend this set just for it.   I kind of regret not buying a second set - it's lovely.   I expect I'll soon learn it's the "wrong" size if I flip through the right guide book, but as a plastic oddity it's great - by far, the most fun figure in the 2-pack.   Kenner was experimenting with various "attack" droids since the 1980s, so this killer Gonk feels completely appropriate to my old fart at play sensibilities.   Considering these guys are about the same size as a Funko Pop! and you get two for ten bucks, even with the shipping I feel like I got my money's worth.   Even without a movie, toys like this are inspired and fun - I really hope Hasbro integrates more fun mechanisms into its future toys, too.  They're far and few between, plus they're exceedingly difficult to get right - this is an oddball miracle I suspect we won't see the likes of which again.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Disney's web site.  Shipping cost almost as much as the toy.  

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,492: June 20, 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,491: Luke Skywalker (Hoth, The Last Jedi / Solo: A Star Wars Story Line Look)

LUKE SKYWALKER (Hoth) with Wampa
Solo: A Star Wars Story Force Link 2.0 Class A Vehicles
Item No.:
Asst. E0325  No. E1689
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster pistol, lightsaber, wampa
Action Feature: Force Link 2.0 sounds, removable arm
Retail: $7.99
Availability: April 2018
Appearances: the Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Wampas are powerful, furred bipeds that dwell in the snowy wastes of the ice world Hoth.  These hulking predators have razor-sharp fangs and claws, yet move with surprising stealth, relying on their white fur for camouflage while hunting prey such as tauntauns.

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  If it seemed like we got a Luke Skywalker (Hoth) recently, we did - we got a few.  In the past few years, we got a The Black Series one in 2014 and a 5-jointed one in 2015.   This one isn't the same as either - Hasbro took the same basic costume, but decorated it differently.  Neither version is necessarily superior, as each offers unique features with added (or missing) paint details.  

Recent super-articulated releases feature white hands, painted silver bits on the gloves, more silver details, and goggles.  There aren't any goggles here - but Luke's scarf is articulated, and that's a rare perk.   He looks pretty cool upside-down, plus his parka has a "skirt" now.    The soft plastic has enough give so he can sit, but there aren't any vehicles or tauntauns for him right now - so he'll just stand.     I like that they added the white trim to the boots, and the holster actually works - that's a nice perk.

Luke's head is painted pretty well, with clean scars and fleshy face  that certainly looks like Commander Skywalker.   The one thing I felt was missing was the silver on his rank badge - the three blue dots are there, but they left off the silver back.  I don't think a lot of people are going to notice it's missing at that size,

The weapons are a blaster and a lightsaber.  Neither have any problems fitting in Luke's hands, with a decent smaller pistol that easily slips in the holster.  Luke's lightsaber has a loop on the back, but there's no hook on which to hang it.   It's still decent.

I like this figure - I don't need it, and I assume you've probably got about a dozen Hoth Lukes if you've been doing this for a while.  It's basically true to the movie, and it has a great Wampa with it.  I wouldn't  necessarily recommend buying the set just for Luke - but as a complete set, it's great.

Packaging Notes: The box is a comical waste of space - it is mostly empty.  The Wampa is tucked behind a window showing Luke, so about 70% of the packaging is empty, wasted space - this happens a lot. Sometimes it's because an item is thin and log, but in this case it's just a huge waste of space.  A great toy, but the unboxing experience can be an important first impression - and this one has a great toy in a lousy, empty waste of a box.

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

Force Link Notes: "I'm looking for a great warrior."   "I won't fail  you.  I'm not afraid."  "There's something not right here.  I feel cold... death."  "You'll find I'm full of surprises."  "I can help them.  I feel the Force!"   And a bunch of lightsaber and deflect noises.  None of these are from Hoth - all are Dagbah or Bespin lines.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,491: June 18, 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,490: Range Trooper (Solo: A Star Wars Story Line Look)

RANGE TROOPER Talking Edition
Solo: A Star Wars Story Force Link 2.0 Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. E0323  No. E2761
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster pistol
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: April 2018
Appearances: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Bio: Range troopers were a specialized variant of the Galactic Empire's stormtroopers. They were equipped with helmets similar in design to both the Imperial combat assault tank pilot's and Coastal defender stormtrooper's helmets, heavy armor with fur and a chestplate much like that of cold weather assault stormtroopers, and were armed with E-10R blaster rifles.  (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 line for Solo: A Star Wars Story borders on exciting.  With more toys and more time, this would be a reason to get excited for more Original Trilogy-adjacent things - but it came and went quickly, with a tiny marketing push thanks to Lucasfilm waiting for The Last Jedi to wheeze out the final hurrah from home video.   The Range Trooper is a pretty cool figure - it's sort of like a Snowtrooper, but different thanks to the environmental needs.  I didn't know about them, because they appeared so briefly that I missed them while in a bathroom break and had to see the movie a second time to catch them.  It was pretty much worth it.

With 5 points of articulation, it stands and sits as well as it should given its physical limitations.  The furry scarf and plastic skirt vinyl pieces have little give, so the arms can't go up much and the legs can't swing forward much.  It's a decent figure for standing and looking at, but the magnetized boots lack deco and the figure is basically just a nifty alternate take on the Snowtrooper - even the chest armor looks similar.  The lenses are yellow rather than black.  Oh, and the gun is the wrong color - it's mostly white with some black markings on press photos.  Hasbro colored this one to look more pleasing and consistent with our toys, so if you want actual authenticity they missed the mark.  Perhaps we can blame reshoots - or perhaps no.

Hasbro did an admirable job given the budget limitations - the lack of scuff deco, or boot detail, this kind of thing is to be expected these days.  I would have loved more range of movement on this trooper, but it is what it is - stiff.  If Hasbro gives us an improved model for The Vintage Collection I'd say go for that - but there are so few figures from the Vandor-1 heist, you could probably also just skip this one and not feel like  you're missing anything.  If we get more versions of Val, Han, Chewie, and Rio these troopers might be more appealing - but we're never getting that train.  You can probably live without this one, even though it does look cool.

Force Link 2.0 Notes: "Trooper TK-611 reporting for duty."  "Weapons ready."  "Let's move out."  "Put pressure on them."  And blaster sounds.  There may be more, but the interface isn't helping and the app crashes.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,490: June 13, 2018

Monday, June 11, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,489: Chewbacca (Vandor, The Black Series 6-Inch)

CHEWBACCA Vandor
The Black Series 6-Inch Target Exclusive
Item No.:
No. E2487
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Goggles, y-shaped bandolier, blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: May 2018
Appearances: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Bio: A mighty Wookiee nearly two centuries old, Chewbcacca has fallen upon hard times during this age of the expanding Empire. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  My very first action figure from Star Wars was the big Wookiee, so this new Chewbacca 6-inch action figure had me pretty excited. Despite appearing in Revenge of the Sith, Chewbacca looks more like the Chewie you remember while also changing up his appearance a bit.  It's quite the paradox - and it's also my favorite.  So far we've had three eras of Chewbacca in The Black Series, all of which are fairly similar minus the head, torso, and accessories.  This one is pretty clean.

By dropping the weird light highlights on the arms and black shadows around the eyes, Hasbro not only saves a few bucks but delivers a cleaner fuzzball.  The colors just look like they belong here, with the fur sweeping naturally.  It's not too dark, it's not too light, and he has a happy open-mouth grin as opposed to the fearsome roar of the original trilogy version or the closed-mouth fluffed-out head of The Force Awakens.  All, of course, are equally valid - but I just love this one.  I dig the gnarly y-shaped bandolier with the rounds (or canisters) on them.  I love the goggles, with an elastic band that fits perfectly over his eyes or on his forehead.   It just works.  You pick it up, and it's Chewbacca - the toes and fingers are painted, the eyes and nose are great (usually), and the personality is all there.  This figure can be a quality product - but with a couple of caveats in the notes below.  In short, buy one in person, or don't.

The blaster isn't Chewbacca's trademark bowcaster, and I find that fascinating.  The Revenge of the Sith figure had one, but this one has a new rifle that's big and mean. There's a silver barrel, a nasty scope, and a grip on the bottom that can actually move around to cock it.  (I'm not a gun person, I assume I'm right.)   The hands are quite tight, so it's unlikely he'll look good double-gripping it - but he can, if you want.  It's a cool blaster and one of the better Disney-era weapons to date.   Hasbro did a bang-up job cutting corners and delivering us a resculpt that I was actually happy to buy.

He does share a lot of parts with previous figures, down to the SKU and copyright info on his feet.  (The new info is printed, the old figure's info was molded.)   At least it's somewhere that you won't see it on display, isn't that right Hasbro of the late 2000xs?  I'm seeing him around a bit more these days, and given the lukewarm reaction to Han's movie I doubt he'll go anywhere fast.  If you see it on clearance, buy two.  Otherwise, just get yourself one - it's neato.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Target.  These are your warnings: he has wonky eyes on some samples.  Also, the grip under the blaster is able to move and may be missing - compare eyes and blasters across multiple figures before making your purchase if at all possible.  A good one is very good - and a bad one just means you will be sad.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,489: June 11, 2018

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,488: K-2SO (Solo: A Star Wars Story Line Look)

K-2SO Talking Edition
Solo: A Star Wars Story Force Link 2.0 Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. E0323  No. E1638
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster pistol
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: April 2018
Appearances: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Bio: K-2SO (Kay-Tuesso), abbreviated K-2 (Kay-Tu or Kaytoo) or Kay, was a KX-series security droid originally created for use in the Galactic Empire's armed forces.  (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 line for Solo: A Star Wars Story were developed about 18 months before launch, which would mean just prior to the release of Rogue One back when we didn't know K-2SO
died.   It makes sense that they'd want to bring him back again, but the timing is peculiar - why is he two per case for a Han Solo movie that has Han Solo at zero per case?  And why did Hasbro change the sculpt from the 2016 K-2SO [FOTD #2,285]?  

Part of the reason to change is the Force Link 2.0 chip - the figure has a slight rattle inside that I assume is the chip, plus a retooled sole of his foot.   However, this 6-jointed figure has a few other surprise changes too.  The back panel's raised elements are recessed and smaller this time.  Details are overall much sharper, with smaller, more subtle vents and greeblies.  K-2SO's Empire symbols are cleaned up and whole, rather than worn off a bit.  His head seems rounder, as opposed to the slightly flatter 2016 release.  He's the very definition of just different enough to make you mad, plus has a new weapon to boot.

The range of motion is unchanged - he has a wide sitting radius, with wide hips that will prevent him from ever sitting in a vehicle.   Like the arms, his legs are pop-on ball joints you can use to easily dismember him if you want.  The neck is a separate piece from the skull, so you can pose him to look inquisitively at other figures.  This is a nice touch, and something I assume they'd put on a super-articulated figure some day.

I should note his blaster is cool, but you will misplace it.  It's a very loose grip and it's a small weapon - if you aren't extraordinarily careful, it's going to get eaten by your dog or your Roomba.  It's a nice design, but the figure could use tighter gripping fists.

This is not a bad figure - the toy itself is slightly better than the previous one, but not different enough to warrant a purchase unless you're all-in for weapons or Force Link.  If you need a K2 figure, this is my favorite at the size.  If you've got one, for now, you probably don't need this one too - but I should note his is one of the best sound chips since it's actually Alan Tudyk quotes from the movie and not a soundalike.

Force Link 2.0 Notes: "I'm K-2SO.  I'm a reprogrammed Imperial droid."  "Congratulations.  You are being rescued."  "I'm not very optimistic about our odds!"  "There are a lot of explosions for two people blending in."  And blaster sounds.  There may be more, but the interface isn't helping and the app crashes.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,488: June 6, 2018

Monday, June 4, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,487: Captain Phasma (First Order Disguise, The Last Jedi Line Look)

CAPTAIN PHASMA with Finn (First Order Disguise)
The Last Jedi Deluxe Action Figure 2-Packs
Item No.:
Asst. C1242 No. E0624
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Pistol, Riot Baton, Cape, Backpack, Rifle, Pike, Finn figure
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $17.99
Availability: April 2018
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: Phasma later ordered the death of Resistance members Finn and Rose Tico, when they were caught after being betrayed by their slicer DJ while attempting to infiltrate the Supremacy to disable a tracker.  (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:  One of the more popular figures from the first few year of the Disney era, Captain Phasma has precious little she can change about her costume.  Maybe we can get a vac-metal version, or perhaps the cracked helmet, but other than that all we really have are things like pose and articulation - and deco.   This de facto Entertainment Earth exclusive changes the pose while keeping the same basic sculpt from the Rogue One version, which is crisper.  What's really surprising is the improved deco, subtly improving an already good figure.

Let's start with deco. Most Phasma figures have silver paint on the helmet and torso, but swirly silver molded arms and legs.  This one paints the whole darned thing, with crisper helmet detailing which stays within the lines.   The cape is pretty much the same, but you'll probably appreciate how the black paint stays where it should and doesn't get at all blobby.  Subtle textures on the  mouth and shoulders remain, and if you didn't get the Rogue One line's 2-pack the improved sculpting bits here are going to be new to you. 
The legs are posed similarly to previous figures, but the arms are new.   I'm kind of surprised how well they work - you can use them to double-grip her rifle, and if you move them a bit she can also grip her pike with two hands.   I assumed she'd need wrist or elbow movements, but it turns out she can just hold everything.   I would not have guessed.  Leg articulation is slightly hindered by the belt, but as she has no ship in which to sit yet I'm not going to throw a fit over it.  It's fine, it's good enough - but seeing how they engineered the arms, we know Hasbro is capable of doing some pretty great things with only five joints.

She has no problem holding her rifle or pike.  The rifle can plug in to her thigh like a holster, and she has a bonus Force Link accessory - a backpack.  It makes cool noises, but if they dropped it and cut the price by a buck you'd not have missed it.   It also looks a lot like a rocket launcher, but there's no projectile and it doesn't actually shoot anything.  It's acceptable but surplus to requirements.

As 5-jointed Phasma figures go, this is the unquestioned champ.   The super-articulated one has more movement, but the bonus accessories and paint job here are about as good as we've seen so far.  Maybe Hasbro will come up with something better, but even if they don't it's enough of an improvement that I can recommend it without feeling like a shill.   (The Finn helps a bunch, though.)  Get her if you see this set at a price you like.

Exclusive Notes: This item was not produced for the North American - and perhaps Global - market.  The item was effectively rescued from oblivion by Entertainment Earth, a story I am not at liberty to discuss at this time but hey, maybe some day.

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

Force Link Notes: "On my command."   "Report to my division at once."  "Move to your ships now."  (The "Move to" is a little muffled and sounds kind of like a sexy moan.  Or maybe I'm just a pervert.)   "Fire!"   And a bunch of dueling buzzing pike  noises.  I assume that's what they are, anyway.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,487: June 4, 2018

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,486: Chewbacca (Solo: A Star Wars Story Line Look)

CHEWBACCA Prequel Version... no, the other Prequel Version
Solo: A Star Wars Story Force Link 2.0 Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. E0323  No. E1185
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster rifle, bandolier
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: April 2018
Appearances: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Bio: Chewbacca, known affectionately to his friends as Chewie, was a male Wookiee warrior, smuggler, and resistance fighter who fought in the Clone Wars, the Galactic Civil War, and the conflict between the First Order and the Resistance.  Porgs were an avian species native to the planet Ahch-To, where Jedi Master Luke Skywalker made his exile in the years following the Battle of Endor.   (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 was pretty pleased with The Last Jedi's take on the character, but since he has the most significant change in appearance, well, ever, it makes since Solo: A Star Wars Story gets its own Chewbacca.   He looked sort of like his original trilogy appearances in Revenge of the Sith, so the decision to change up his hair a bit and give him a new bandolier - and a new weapon - is interesting.  I assume he needs replacements because his are lost or stolen.

He's almost the same as his The Last Jedi release, with similarly posed arms and legs. The fur is tweaked a bit, and the torso and head are new - but they're clearly made form the same basic sculpt.  This is more than a little disappointing, because side-by-side they look strikingly similar.  The new prequel Chewie looks taller thanks to the new head, which is easily one of the best Chewbacca heads at this size.  It's expressive, with a painted mouth interior and blue eyes.  And a black nose too.  Articulation is also slightly improved, as his neck can actually turn well for a change.  A lot of Chewbacca figures have a neck joint, but it's obstructed because if his beard and hair - this one has a real range of motion thanks to some clearance around the bandolier.

I have a feeling that some of this era of figures could be a real treasure later just because there's so little of it and nobody seems to care.   It's a good figure, but I doubt kids are going to get a  nostalgia pang later just because Chewie barely fits in the new Millennium Falcon.  There are a few places to fit figures, and you really have to get him in there just-so.  He's really big, and awesome, but figure-vehicle compatibility would just barely skirt by - he meets the requirements, but it takes a bit of contortion.  This is more of a knock against the vehicle than the figure - I like the figure a lot, and the different Y-shaped bandolier and new gun is more of what I would have expected we would get in Revenge of the Sith.  I appreciate the changes, because really, give me something different.  This is different.  Get it if you find it - even if it lacks Porgness.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,486: May 30, 2018

Monday, May 28, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,485: Wampa (with Luke Skywalker, Solo/The Last Jedi Line Look)

WAMPA with Luke Skywalker (Hoth)
Solo: A Star Wars Story Force Link 2.0 Class A Vehicles
Item No.:
Asst. E0325  No. E1689
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster pistol, bandolier
Action Feature: Force Link 2.0 sounds, removable arm
Retail: $7.99
Availability: April 2018
Appearances: the Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Wampas are powerful, furred bipeds that dwell in the snowy wastes of the ice world Hoth.  These hulking predators have razor-sharp fangs and claws, yet move with surprising stealth, relying on their white fur for camouflage while hunting prey such as tauntauns.

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  Nearly every decade, Hasbro (or Kenner) gives us a Wampa.  We got one in 1980, and 1997, and then another in 2004, and now another new one in 2018 - and it might be the best yet.  I love the simple cord arm-smack of the original, and the bloody arm stumps we've gotten since are neat - but I never really loved the bloody mouths.  This new one looks perfectly nice, and as far as I can tell it's a new sculpt with the most limb articulation on a 3 3/4-inch scale Wampa yet.  So it's a keeper.

Every time we get a new Wampa I'm a little disappointed no cave came with it - the last one had some ice chunks, this one doesn't.   It's just a big guy with Luke, but it's a good big guy.  The lfet shoulder, both elbows, knees, and ankles have ball joints with swivels at the neck, hips, and right shoulder.   This is about as good as these get, and the right shoulder can be sliced off with a bloody stump left behind.  The designers did a great job sculpting it and painting his horns, claws, slips teeth, toe beans, palms, and nose with a light dusting of yellow to imply shading and/or urine.  (Obviously, I'm kidding about that.)   The deco is about as good as we usually get, mostly because there's not a lot of room for improvement - at this point, the most dramatic change Hasbro could make would be to do a Wampa without facial blood. 

The main draws of this toy will be just having a toy of the Wampa - the last new mold was a while ago - and the sound chip. Since the new Force Link 2.0 band comes needing a Day 0 firmware update, I can't test it - but I can say that the elbow and knee joints make for a surprisingly new experience with a Wampa toy.  He can finally hunch over a bit to look like he might eat some Tauntaun, and I love that functionality is finally here.  After all, most of what we saw it do was smack Luke in the face and, in 1997, hunch over lunch. 

You no doubt have a few Wampa toys by now, but this may be one of the best.  I love the 2004 ice set-up, but as figures go this one has a better sculpt with more articulation and great deco.  I like the new face better too.   Shaggy, cute, mean, and just so gosh darn nifty, this is the best Wampa figure for the 3 3/4-inch collector.  If you ask me.  And you did, by reading this - it's just unfortunate that it's one per case with an assortment cramming yet another Rathtarr on store shelves.

Packaging Notes: This is a comical waste of space - the box is mostly empty.  The Wampa is tucked behind a window showing Luke, so about 70% of the packaging is empty, wasted space - this happens a lot. Sometimes it's because an item is thin and log, but in this case it's just a huge waste of space.  A great toy, but the unboxing experience can be an important first impression - and this one has a great toy in a lousy, empty waste of a box.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,485: May 28, 2018

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,484: Supreme Leader Snoke (The Vintage Collection)

SUPREME LEADER SNOKE Now with Cloth
The Vintage Collection Action Figures
Item No.:
Asst. E0370  No. E1640
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #121
Includes: Robe, belt
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: April 2018
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: Snoke was a Force-sensitive humanoid alien who ruled the First Order as Supreme Leader approximately thirty years after the Battle of Endor.  (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 was really surprised to see The Last Jedi wrapped up Supreme Leader Snoke's storyline.  (Look, if you didn't see the movie at this point I'm going to say you aren't a real fan.)   We barely got to see him in the movies, but he does have an important distinction - unless I missed something, this is the very first Hasbro action figure to sport The Last Jedi branding.  (They've been iffy about putting titles on many of the newer toys.)

Hasbro did a pretty good job here, my only real desire was for a figure that could sit and they came close. We got a guy with lumpy underthings under a gold robe and wacky curled toe shoes, possibly furthering the Hef analogy.  It's one of Hasbro's best executions of soft goods on any size, with snug sleeves and a decent, flowing gold robe.   The plastic belt - weirdly molded in red and painted gold, why? - dangles between his legs getting in the way of sitting on a throne a bit.  You can still move it a bit so he can sit, and with the great bend-and-swivel hands plus swivel elbows you're going to be able to get a figure that sits and emotes nicely.  He's a little light in facial detail, a pity given the price and lack of accessories.  I like the sculpting, but a little paint in the eyes or the scar would have gone a long way.  He's creepy and loosely recalls some of Karloff's monster make-up like a missing chunk of his face, making for a very good, very tall, and very creepy humanoid.  He stands roughly eye to eye with Chewbacca, for crying out loud - he's huge.

Given the simplicity of the design, the sculptors and seamsters did a great job here.  Everything is where it should be and the colors are about right.   I just wish the head had some more deco - and maybe the collar on the robe could be a material that blends with the cloth more closely.  It's not a huge deal, but it's visibly different.  Overall it's great, and is the only new figure in the first batch of six The Vintage Collection figures.  All of the rest have been sold at Walmart as The Black Series figures, for as little as $4.   This one hasn't - get this one.  If you haven't got the others, go get them too.


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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,484: May 23, 2018

Monday, May 21, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,483: Finn (First Order Disguise, The Last Jedi Line Look)

FINN (First Order Disguise) with Captain Phasma
The Last Jedi Deluxe Action Figure 2-Packs
Item No.:
Asst. C1242 No. E0624
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Pistol, Riot Baton, Cape, Backpack, Rifle, Pike, Phasma figure
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $17.99
Availability: April 2018
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: Finn and Rose recruited a codebreaker named DJ to help them break into the Supremacy, but ended up worsening the Resistance's situation when DJ left them behind to be captured by Phasma. (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:  While not one of the most popular characters as toys go, tastemakers know Finn (First Order Disguise) is a dang fine figure in a pretty great set.   For a figure with five joints, Hasbro made sure it had a great range of motion along with good paint and accessories.  In short, it's better than I would have expected.

This Finn is way more interesting than the single carded Finn [FOTD #2,442] last year - with the same weapon and jacket, to many fans he basically was the same figure from 2015.  (He wasn't, but perception is everything.)  This outfit is new, distinctive, and has a cool weapon - this is the one I wanted.  Too bad it wasn't a launch toy!   The arms and legs are stiff and rotate rather freely, with the soft "skirt" bits easily giving way to the legs swinging forward.  It's great!  This is how figures should be.

The sculpting seems to be from the same digital source as other figures in this costume, like the 6-inch one.   There are differences for articulation, but they're staggeringly similar.  He has no problems standing, and while I kind of wish we had better arm articulation for dueling purposes it's decent.  He can still wave around his weapon, but his hat isn't removable so you can't exactly replicate the climactic anti-climax of the duel. The cap is great, though - there's a tiny First Order symbol and a lot of tiny, difficult-to-see detail in the emblem.  They did a nice job here.  The facial details are crisp, and while it's easy to knock at this size it's also tough to paint good eyebrows on something smaller than a peanut.  I'm pretty impressed.   I'm also biased, but I like it, it's different, and that's about all I can ask for.  Get one if you can!

Exclusive Notes: This item was not produced for the North American - and perhaps Global - market.  The item was effectively rescued from oblivion by Entertainment Earth, a story I am not at liberty to discuss at this time but hey, maybe some day.

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

Force Link Notes: "I'm with the Resistance." "I can disable the shields, but I have to be there."  "You don't know the First Order like I do."  "You want me to blast that bucket off your head?"  Baton sounds.  I believe most of it is from The Force Awakens.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,483: May 21, 2018