Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,715: Moloch (The Black Series 6-Inch)

MOLOCH Wormie
The Black Series Target Exclusive 6-Inch Figure
Item No.:
No. E2821
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #n/a
Includes: Mask, blaster, staff
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $29.99
Availability: July 2018
Appearances: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Bio:  Moloch wallows in authority over the lesser thieves of his gang.  Like all White Worms, Moloch is very sensitive to natural light and must wear special protective gear when outside his dank lair.   (Taken from Hasbro's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!


Commentary: I sat on Moloch for about two years.  It's been on a shelf that I could see whenever I turned my head for two years.  I really liked the movie, and the 3 3/4-inch figure, but for whatever reason I just let this one sit around.  Target also hung on to this figure far, far past its expiration date.  The good news is that means you can get it cheap if you want one - and you probably should.  It's a good figure for $20, but for $30 there's not a lot to plus him up.

While the figure's accessory count is great and the paint applications are marvelous, the figure itself is a glorified salt shaker.   From the waist on up, it's the best thing you can ever want - the arm joints are nice and smooth. The mask pops off and you can make the worm head inside look up and down and to the sides, plus it's gorgeous.  The Solo aliens are extra-Star Wars-y compared to a lot of the other Disney-era films, and this one has Henson-ian hints with a design that doesn't seem entirely removed from The Dark Crystal.   You can pull off his visor and pull down his mask.  The blaster fits in the holster.  And of course, he can hold the staff.  Everything looks good, is painted well, and moves nicely.

Unfortunately due to his robes and the design being a worm man, there's nothing going on below the waist.  I love the wormy detail with the little legs visible when you flip it over, but it doesn't feel as robust as Grievous or the Gamorrean Guard figures.   The good news is that it stands perfectly because it's basically a statue with articulation on the arms and neck.  This is also the bad news.  With a good sense of heft and really good detail on the alien head, it's hard to knock this one too much.  Other than, you know, not being something people seemed to want.

I assume we got "Moloch" because the name sounded like Indiana Jones' nemesis "Belloq," but I didn't write the script.  As the only Grindalid we got - and are likely to get - I'd say it's worth your while.  He fits right in with Jabba the Hutt, who is lacking in henchmen.  Moloch is good diorama filler and a high-quality design, so unless you  just hate him, you should probably buy one.   I wish we got Solo sequels so we could see him again.


Collector's Notes: I got mine from Target. 

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,715: August 11, 2020

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,714: Boba Fett (Carbonzed Graphite, The Black Series 6-Inch)


BOBA FETT Carbonized Graphite
The Black Series Fan Channel Shared Exclusive 6-Inch Figure
Item No.:
No. E9927
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #n/a
Includes: Rifle, jet pack, pistol
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $24.99
Availability: July 2020
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio:  With his customized Mandalorian armor, deadly weaponry, and silent demeanor, Boba Fett was one of the most feared bounty hunters in the galaxy.   (Taken from Hasbro'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 just got my Boba Fett (Carbonized Graphite) in the mail from work, and it's pretty great.   When I was made aware of this figure existing I kind of rolled my eyes a bit - I'm not exactly crazy for the idea of "the same thing, but shiny" because the earliest releases in the format ranged from amazing but rare like Mando, or pretty blah like the Second Sister Inquisitor.  I'm not so crazy about Darth Vader from the pictures, but Boba Fett seems to fall squarely in the same camp as Mando - it works, and it works well.

It helps that Boba Fett is colorful.  Metallic black isn't exactly exciting, but the yellow and green packaging holds a pretty stunning figure inside.  The shiny silver body suit really sizzles, the metallic green looks great, the yellows aren't bad, and the coppers... well, they're OK too.  I love how the red lights and buttons on his gauntlets pop, plus the cape looks and even feels a little bit like mylar.  Articulation is the same as it has been since 2013, and the figure has no problems holding his blasters, standing, or generally looking like the best thing you've bought in months.   The shiny blasters look great, the jetpack has never looked better, and if you only buy one 6-inch Boba Fett this might be the one to get.

7 years and at least a half dozen reissues/repaints later, the mold is still holding up well with the joints on my sample remaining nice and tight.   Maybe it's the paint, maybe it's better equipment, but I will say you won't be disappointed if you pop this one out of the box.

I'm not quite sure why the Carbonized figures vary so much in terms of quality - some will light up even in a dimly-lit room, while others barely look any different than a standard release.  This is one of the best ones, and I hope they keep trying to do some weirdness like this with a gleaming gold C-3PO or maybe even one of the orange Pilot Lukes in this format.   Star Wars is a fun toy line but is sorely lacking in bright color - it's a weird piece, but it's nice to see Hasbro found a way to make it bright without putting figures out in teal or purple or some unprecedented colors.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,714: August 6, 2020

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,713: Gonk Droid (Droid Factory Line Look)

COLOR-CHANGING GONK DROID The Droid Factory
Star Wars Disney Droid Depot
Item No.:
No. ???
Manufacturer: Disney
Number: n/a
Includes: Power droid, some basins, and no instructions
Action Feature: Top of chassis pops off
Retail: $49.99
Availability: ca. July 2019
Appearances: n/a

Bio: All different types of droids populate the galaxy.  Each droid is different and has their own unique personality and colors.  Perform diagnostics and change the color of the droids!  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!




Commentary:  A simple color-change redeco that scratches a Kenner itch, this Color-Changing Gonk Droid is going to cost you $50. Or more, because thanks COVID-19.   Always pays on time.  Always fits the bill.  He comes well-prepared.  Cube top, squared-off. Eight corners, 90 degree angles.   Flat top, stares straight ahead.  Stock parts, blockhead.

This mold is a lot like the previous Disney mold, which is a lot like the previous Hasbro mold.   It lacks the wacky eyes of the new 2020 Hasbro version, but has the legs that swing forward and sturdy feet.  He stands, you can pull off the dome and reveal what I assume must be some sort of printer parts or something.  It looks neat, and there's a hole in the top of his dustbin head that allows you to use him on a hook in the included playset.  Or in the sandcrawler.  Or even lets him wear a hat.  It's a hole that keeps on giving.

When heated, it's a pretty blah grey.  There are some nice textures thanks to the color-change paint, which makes it blue enough that it may serve as a stand-in for the 1979 Kenner blue Power Droid that you'll never, ever get from Hasbro at this rate.  I mean, maybe you will, but The Power of the Force '95 kicked off 25 years ago this month and Hasbro/Kenner still haven't completely updated the original line.  I wouldn't hold your breath.

For this reason, I would recommend this figure. It has a little playset thing with tiny fans and places to put water which you can pretend is paint.   It's interesting, but maybe it's just inflation because this seems pricey.  Kenner's vintage Droid Factory was $9.99 in the old Sears catalog around 1980, and that sucker came with parts to build tons of figures.  With inflation, it would be about $30 - and this is $20 more than that, with less stuff in the box.  "Clear box for water" isn't exactly an improvement, but there's a lot more paint and some electronics too.  Well, you decide, I guess.  $50 is a video game and this playset and figure seem more like a souvenir for kids or a collector's thing.  And if you want an old Kenner Power Droid, they're still pretty worthless - which is $20 by modern standards.
Collector's Notes: Mine came from my pal Shannon who picked it up at Disneyland.  Thanks Shannon!

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,713: August 4, 2020

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,712: R5-D23 (Droid Factory Line Look)

R5-D23 D23 Disney Convention Exclusive
Star Wars   Droid Factory
Item No.:
???
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Head, 2 legs, torso, central third leg, wizard hat
Action Feature: Comes apart
Retail: $12.99
Availability: July 2017
Appearances: n/a

Bio: All different types of Astromech droids populate the Star Wars galaxy.  Each droid is different and has their own unique personality and colors.  Living on the planet of Lothal, this Astromech droid serves in the local marketplace of the Capital City.  Join R5-D23 on his adventures throughout the galaxy!   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:  Behold, the first (I think) figure I forgot I owned and almost re-bought!  R5-D23
was sitting about 10 feet away from my desk on some shelving I got from Toys R Us before it closed since 2017.  A lot of droids came in all at once so I put off reviewing some of them until later - much later - and this one was still carded until a few weeks ago.   It wasn't nearly as ornate as R4-D23 [FOTD #2,184] and for some reason, his hat doesn't have the ears.  Aside from that, it's your garden variety convention exclusive redeco.   Yeah, we're going to do some more droids this year.

As with the rest of these guys, you can pop it apart at the dome, legs, and central leg.  You can swap parts with hundreds of other droids from both Hasbro and Disney.  There's a hole in the head, and it can wear hats.  When you pop the head off, you can see sculpted but unpainted silver detail.   The feet are of the latter Disney variety, which is to say they lack the cables over the front of the "toes."

Like the series Rebels from which it is allegedly off-camera, the figure is a bit brighter and shinier, looking more new and like something from the concept art sketchpads.  Silver, blue, and white markings make the figure look like it could be floating around in the backgrounds.  It's not bad, but it doesn't seem like it necessarily is a lost part of your collection, or that it fits in with some toys you already bought unless you're a full-on droid fiend.  (And I hope that you are.)   It looks like it should belong somewhere specific.   There's a nifty white panel with a grey line slashing through it, which almost looks nautical.  The seafaring theme is furthered thanks to various blue seas of paint on the figure's head and  body, and lighter blue filling its three eyes.  This can only mean that the figure is an employee of H. Salt Fish & Chips or Long John Silver's.  There are also very subtle white caps on the figure's legs.

This figure is rather expensive and, I would argue, not as cool as R4-D23 from a couple of years earlier.  I am surprised the prices for the special Disney droids have started climbing, so get them if the price is good - anything orbiting $25 shipped should be considered more than fair given its retail price, taxes, shipping, and the tape and shipping box.  Higher prices than that are entirely up to your preferences, and you could probably use another robot right about now.

Collector's Notes: It's been so long I can't remember who got this for me.  Thanks Max?

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,712: July 30, 2020

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,711: C1 Astromech (Color-Changing Droids, Droid Factory Line Look)

C1 ASTROMECH Color-Changing Droids
Star Wars Disney Droid Depot
Item No.:
No. ???
Manufacturer: Disney
Number: n/a
Includes: 4 droids - RA-7 Protocol Droid, BB Unit, R2 Astromech, C1 Astromech
Action Feature: Pops apart, removable third leg, arms, and radar too.   Torso arm pops out.
Retail: $39.99
Availability: ca. July 2019
Appearances: n/a

Bio: All different types of droids populate the galaxy.  Each droid is different and has their own unique personality and colors.  These droids have the special ability to change color!  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  It's different!  This color-change C1 Astromech is Disney's superior C1-10P "Chopper" [FOTD #2,385] with deco changes and lacking the alternate "wrong" leg.  The deco is closer to the Hasbro Chopper figure, plus an added color-change figure.  You'll like this one.

The figure has a removable central leg, head-arms with 3 joints each, plus each leg has an articulated ankle.   What's more, the arm in the body also swings out - there's a lot going on with this mold.  Disney dropped some deco on the back of the figure, but that isn't something you're likely to miss.  You're unlikely to miss Chopper's crotch rocket either.

The reason you're going to buy this figure is for the color change.  (Unless you missed Chopper last time, in which case this 3 3/4-inch figure is still worthwhile.)   When heated, C1 looks like Chopper on the TV show Star Wars Rebels.   The yellow marks on the dome and body and mismatched leg all look like the show, giving kids another crack at a character that just plain didn't get love at US retailers.


When chilled, the feet and dome turn black.  It recalls the Imperial "disguise" Chopper got on the TV show, but it's not the same pattern or the same colors.  It may serve as "close enough" for young fans, and it's certainly better than nothing.  If you like what you see, I'd say grab it.  It's a neat set and a nice feature, and who the heck knows when you can go to a theme park again to buy yourself one.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from my pal Shannon. Thanks Shannon!  There are 2 droid 4-packs and 1 droid playset with a Gonk Droid at this time.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,711: July 28, 2020

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,710: Dak Ralter (The Black Series 6-Inch)

DAK RALTER (Snowspeeder)
The Black Series Snowspeeder Pack-In 6-Inch Figure
Item No.:
No. E7551
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #n/a
Includes: Helmet, charges, grapple gun, vehicle
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $119.99
Availability: July 2020
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio:  During the Battle of Hoth, Luke Skywalker piloted a Snowspeeder and led the Rebel Alliance against the Empire’s ground forces.   (Taken from Hasbro's marketing copy.)

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 Dak Ralter (Snowspeeder) makes sense in a production context, and seems baffling in the grand scheme of the line.  To date, The Black Series has been a mix of core characters and obligatory releases to promote new Star Wars media.  So  you'll get the dude from the new video game, and you'll get an obscure character if it shares tooling with another major figure.   This is why we have Wedge and Dak, but why we haven't  yet received a second alien for the cantina after Greedo, and it's been seven years.  It's why we have several Stormtrooper repaints, but no Bib Fortuna.   It's why we have most of the main cast of Solo, but not a lot from the comic books.  Right now, we're dealing with a line that is focused on adult fan - not necessarily long-haul collectors, many of which would be pushing 50 or above now if they were old enough to remember seeing the 1977 original in theaters.

What's important is Dak isn't just Luke with new helmet deco.  Hasbro gave us a new head sculpt, new helmet deco, and new accessories - plus a new body part!   (Oh, and a giant Snowspeeder.)   New Dak has traded the lower belt segment for a new piece - this doesn't have Luke's belt with the lightsaber hook.  Instead, you get a plain grey belt with no fancy buckles, and this might be ideal for future releases of other pilots like Zev or Wedge or Hobbie.  The articulation is excellent, just like Snowspeeder Pilot Luke, thanks to sharing so much engineering with him.  The joints aren't nearly as stiff as the previous years' worth of figures, and posing him just feels more natural and like it's much less of a fight.   There are lots of great wrinkles and quilted fabric sculpted elements, which may be true to the movie.  I don't know, because all I ever really saw of Dak are illustrations and his head.   As such, we can say Hasbro did a marvelous job given the reference we know to be available.   For all we know actor John Morton wore British Knights and jams shorts - in which case, Hasbro even improved on the original design.

The helmet and head sculpt are perfectly fine, as are the charges that can fit in loops inside the seating area of the snowspeeder vehicle.  It may well be the most ornate interior I've seen yet, with lots of buttons, painted elements, seat belts, and grips for our pilots. It doesn't seem to have a storage place for the grapple gun, though, and the ship itself could have used some more time in the oven.  The cockpit glass is the same horrible, waxy clear plastic used for The Force Awakens X-Wings, and some of the compartments are tough to open - also there are no instructions.  The fold-out landing gear must be opened in a certain order or one of the two doors will be blocked, there's a blast-off panel, there are air brakes... there's a lot here to enjoy, but no effort was made on-pack or in-pack to explain any of it.

Dak is secured to a plain brown box insert inside, so if you want to display every last figure in a window box, you can't.   Maybe Hasbro will reissue him in a fancy package some day, but for now there's no typical retail-style box for this one.  The figure is absolutely worth getting at a fair price, but you might not love the overall quality of the snowspeeder - the 1980s toys felt sturdier, and this one feels a little more hollow.   It's still super impressive, and I can see why fans had a reaction of "so when do we get an AT-AT?" after getting one.   It looks like Hasbro did a marvelous job delivering an impressive vehicle with pilot for the asking price, but it's still expensive during a period of economic insecurity.  I hope it does well - other than the functionality of the rear landing skid doors and the cockpit glass, I think they nailed this package.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,710: July 23, 2020