Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,499: First Order Flametrooper (The Last Jedi Line Look)

FIRST ORDER FLAMETROOPER Talking Edition
The Last Jedi Force Link Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. C1503  No. E0521
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Thrower, backpack
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $10.99
Availability: June 2018
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: Specialized Stormtroopers of the First Order, Flametroopers carry incendiary weapons that can transform any battlefield into an infernal blaze.  (Stolen from the 2015 figure packaging.  This 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:  Generally speaking I'm pretty fond of trooper figures, especially when new poses come in.  The surprising thing about the Flame Trooper is that he is a big improvement over The Force Awakens Flametrooper [FOTD #2,200].  Both have the same number of joints and appear to be cut from the same cloth, but the 2018 version has some improvements.  (Also I worked to bring these out to Entertainment Earth, so consider this your bias warning.)

First up, the white is glossier and seems almost painted all over - it's s harp.  The whites are brighter and shinier, with a few extra paint applications.  A line in the chest is painted, and the backpack has some red dots that weren't painted before.     The index fingers are white now rather than black, which is more consistent with the prop replicas and merchandise appearances.  A few panel lines and dots were left undecorated, but someone with a fine enough paintbrush or toothpick could probably touch it up pretty nicely.   Hasbro basically fixed a number of details from the 2015 release.

Despite only having 5 joints, they did improve the pose.  The arms are now both posed to hold the blaster with both hands, truer to the movie.  While not super-articulated, it's a heck of a nice improvement and arguably a better way to build an army.  You could probably get a few of each flavor and makes a nice display - the colors may not be a perfect match, though.   Given its status, I'd say it's worth getting.  But of course I'd tell you that.  If a better super-articulated one ever makes the rounds you'll likely want that, but with few unsightly joints and a decent flame-sweeping pose you still may wish to get one or two of this model.

Force Link Notes: "What are my orders?"  "Sir! Resistance fighters!"  "Call in the airstrike!"  And some flaming death noises - these are likely not from the movie.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.   This figure was originally slated to be a part of the first Force Link line for The Last Jedi but when the final wave got axed, this item was dumped in the USA.  It is a de facto USA Entertainment Earth exclusive.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,499: July 17, 2018

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,498: Mimban Stormtrooper (Solo: A Star Wars Story Line Look)

MIMBAN STORMTROOPER Talking Edition
Solo: A Star Wars Story Force Link 2.0 Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. E0323  No. E1637
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster pistol, rifle
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: April 2018
Appearances: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Bio: The Mimban Stormtrooper was a variant of the Galactic Empire's standard stormtrooper. Some were part of the 224th Imperial Armored Division on Mimban, a mining planet located in the Expansion Region. Mimban Stormtroopers were armed with E-11 blaster rifles and they wore capes.  (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 thrilled at the idea of a Mimban Stormtrooper because I read Splinter of the Mind's Eye and who doesn't want Mimban-based toys?   The black-suited Luke and Leia from that book have been requested by fans since the 1990s, and Hasbro never got to them.  A pity.   It's kind of a surprise that it would be Han Solo to take us there during a brutal, pointless, and muddy battle.  There were multiple kinds of troopers and cannon fodder there, including this new Stormtrooper variant.   It's an all-new figure sculpt, but it's also very similar to the original model with a revised helmet, a cape, and either mud or camo. I have no idea what it is.

I've heard people say "less is more," but this 7-jointed figure lacks enough paint apps where I would say less is less - the LEGO figure looks a smidgen better.  The wrists are jointed and it has the typical shoulder, hip, and neck joints.  The hands are capable of gripping his blasters, but it's a loose grip.   The cape is plastic, and hangs well.  The paint on the body is perfectly nice with a helmet that disappoints a bit.  It's not bad... just disappointing.

The sculpt is good - the helmet's forehead has an extra layer of armor that looks almost like a visor on the forehead. The parts are all where they should be, although many aren't painted. There's a black mark on the ear that's blank. The mouth is unpainted.  The "vents" are unpainted. The swoosh under the eyes? Also unpainted.  Everything is sculpted, so it probably suffered a budget cut or two.  A black line on the visor is also blank.  The figure is otherwise good - this sort of lack of detail is rather disappointing, particularly given every Stormtrooper since 1995 has tended to deliver on these painted areas.  It's a bizarre step back on an otherwise particularly enticing action figure.

Because it's a new trooper from an old planet, I'd recommend getting it - but better versions are coming.  Hasbro tried some good ideas here, but finding the right center of gravity is difficult.  The paint job could be better.   Still - it's different.  For that reason I'd say buy one, but maybe hold off on troop building until something better comes along.  I know the side-story movies haven't proven as popular financially, but boy howdy I hope Hasbro mines them for more toys.

Force Link 2.0 Notes: "Trooper standing guard."  "Enemy re-enforcements incoming."  "Look alive."  "We're taking heavy fire here."  "There they are. Blast them!"  "Ahhhh!"  And blaster sounds.  This does not seem to be taken from a movie voice.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,498: July 12, 2018

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,497: Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master, Solo: A Star Wars Story Line Look)

LUKE SKYWALKER Jedi Master
Solo: A Star Wars Story Force Link 2.0 Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. E0323  No. E1728
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Cloak
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: April 2018
Appearances: Star Wars: The Last 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 Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  Guess who's just different enough to make you mad?  This Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master) figure seems to be selling briskly in some markets, but it's a vast irritant to me personally.   The figure is a redo on Luke Skywalker [FOTD #2,403] which wasn't too hard to find, but with a new sound chip.  I would have preferred no changes - but that's not up to me.  Hasbro brought back a popular figure, changing it slightly so completists may feel obliged to buy it - but really, just because a lot of fans want to get a figure of Luke as they may remember him now that he's gone.  

If you read the earlier review, it's the same figure - even the copyright markings are the same.   The green Force Link 2.0 icon is the only genuine change here.  The 5 joints are the same, the awesome textures remain, the articulation is still decent, and it's still our childhood hero before his last stand.  If you have one of the other versions of this figure - and if you're a completist, you may have several - you can enjoy this one's unique Force Link sounds without ever having to open the packaging.  I like it, but if you have another version of this figure you really, truly, do not nee this one as well.
I should emphasize that this is not a bad action figure - it's just more of something you may already have bought in the last 10 months, and that's always a disappointment when something new would be more exciting.

Force Link 2.0 Notes: "I will bring an end to the Jedi order."  "What do you know about the Force?"  "Reach out with your feelings."  "Stay back!"  And wooshing sounds.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,497: July 10, 2018

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,496: Qi'ra (Corellia, Solo: A Star Wars Story Line Look)

QI'RA Corellia
Solo: A Star Wars Story Force Link 2.0 Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. E0323  No. E1637
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: Qi'ra was a human female from the planet Corellia who lived during the reign of the Galactic Empire. She grew up on the streets along with Han Solo before becoming part of an opulent life working for the Crimson Dawn gang.   (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 character of Qi'ra seems like something a long time in the making. Variations on the name have been floated for several of the Disney-era films (Kira, for example, was a working name for Rey) plus she seems like she might be up for being something more.   We didn't get a lot of motivations from her other than "stay alive" and "Han's a charmer," so if she shows up again in the future the Corellian gangster has the potential to be very interesting. She also had some awesome outfits, many of which would make great action figures some day. I hope.  If only people went to see this movie.

The figure itself is solid - 7 points of articulation with minimal restrictions is tough to pull off when you have a jacket and a legit skirt.  We often kid about the waistcoats and such being skirts, but she has an actual skirt - and a pretty nice jacket.  The costume is colorful and Earthy, looking vaguely like something out of the 1980s mall culture mashed up with The Fifth Element.  The furry trim and shirt look great, and the skirt is over some tight pants with nifty boots.  The wrists turn at the forearm, plus the hands hold the blaster with no real problem.   The skirt is soft enough so she can swing her legs forward to sit in Han's (stolen) speeder, too.  I really love how the hair turned out, and the slightly exaggerated eyes look fantastic.  

It's a good figure.  It just works.  I wish they picked a costume that wasn't from the brief prologue, but that's life.  I'd love to see Hasbro give us the jacket with Lando's cape like she wore on Kessel.     Hasbro did a good job on this figure, and I really hope we see more.  I hope she crosses our paths again at the movies, but until then go ahead and get yourself this figure.  But don't do it for the voice chip.

Force Link 2.0 Notes: "Well come on then.  We've got to get moving."  "Please tell me you have a plan."  "Oh just let me do it."  "Somebody has to have our backs."  "Yeah!"  And blaster sounds.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,496: July 5, 2018

Monday, July 2, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,495: Moloch (Solo: A Star Wars Story Line Look)

MOLOCH Talking Edition
Solo: A Star Wars Story Force Link 2.0 Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. E0323  No. E1677
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster pistol, staff, mask
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: April 2018
Appearances: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Bio: Moloch was a male Grindalid who lived in the galaxy during the reign of the Galactic Empire as member of the White Worms gang. He was one of few members of the gang willing to leave the sewers, but when out of the sewers he had to wear white armor.   (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 everybody broke street date on wave 2 from Solo, I hadn't seen Moloch in the wild - I got mine from work.   It's kind of fascinating to see Solo figures not only sell, but seemingly sell well.  Someone's buying Chewbacca, Qi'ra, and now Moloch too - and it makes sense.  These characters look even more like a step removed from "real Star Wars" than the sequels, feeling like they might be at home in something like Droids or some other cartoon.  I mean that as high praise - this feels like real, OG expansion Star Wars material - as does the movie, plus or minus a cameo.   Rogue One and Solo are basically Star Wars films for older fans, and if Hasbro leaned in to that in the toys more I think there would be a lot of very happy collectors gobbling them up.

Moloch is from the movie's opening, a short film of sorts giving us Han's reason for being in a couple of minutes.  He worked for a gang, which had a worm lady leader and a bunch of Grindalid enforcers who didn't do well with sunlight - so we have this armored, robed creature with a staff so he doesn't combust in the atmosphere.   The mask does pop off to reveal his head, which itself looks like something from either Return of the Jedi's concept phase or Melas from the Special Edition.  He's wrinkly with a curved face and pale eyes - he looks like a creature of the night.  His hands are basically mittens with an index finger, articulated at the forearm for maximal accessory grippage.   He has no problem holding the staff or gun, and the gun fits in the holster. 

He's the same species as Lady Proxima, and you'll note this is a "chess piece" figure - Hasbro made it without leg articulation since it has wormy bits under those robes.  It's really cool and something quite different than we normally get.  I just assumed it was going to be like Bib Fortuna or Mas Amedda with his nicely-sculpted robes and staff, but the superstructure was given some thought.  You see organic bits.   The multiple layers of robe and removable mask are a nice touch too, making this one of few figures in the Solo line that feel like they're more than worth the price of admission.  I would not bet on seeing another 3 3/4-inch Moloch - but a 6-inch one would be very nice - so get this one.  He's also the only new character in the Wave 2 basic figures.

Force Link 2.0 Notes: Various beeps, alarms, and alien sounds.  It works, I like it.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,495: July 2, 2018