The Black Series 2023 Closed Box Line Look The Mandalorian Packaging
Item No.: Asst. E8908 No. F5530
Number: #07 - Star Wars: Andor
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: April 2023
Appearances: Star Wars: Andor
Bio: In an era filled with danger, deception, and intrigue, Cassian Andor embarks on a path that will turn him into the rebel hero who will challenge the evil Galactic Empire. (Despite being a legacy character who has been around for 40 years, Lucasfilm did not deem it worth writing anything involving that this is a character with her own agency on the box.)
Image: Adam's photo lab.
Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!
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Waves like this make me want to advocate for reducing The Black Series to only the top-tier face-in-the-poster characters for new shows and movies, and the most popular stuff from older shows. Cad Bane? Makes sense, and I hope he sells. But even popular characters like Luthen Rael - well, allegedly popular - can be bought on eBay already for $28 shipped, or less. Nobody's making money with prices that low once eBay's fees are paid, especially after you take the shipping box and actual shipping fee into account. These are not bad figures, but they're not fun, and like Indiana Jones the drop-off from the main character to the rest of the cast is pretty severe. It's also very possible in a few years, these will be sought-after collectibles after they're dumped and collectors realize nobody bought them.
Let's start with the good. Be it Hasbro or Lucasfilm, some sculptor provided an amazingly good sculpt with one of Hasbro's better faces. From some angles she looks a little like Gillian Anderson, but generally she looks like Genevieve O'Reilly. I assume we'll see even better face printing some day, but by today's standards she's a winner The eyebrows and hair color may not be perfect, but you can tell who it is. You're not left going "Well I guess it looks like Han Solo but I don't know if it's Harrison Ford," it's clearly the actress from Andor. The texture on her outfit is great, and the wrist and elbow joints work very nicely. The collar on her shirt is jointed and everything seems pretty well-hidden by her dress. In many respects, you have got to give it to Hasbro for making a figure with minimal paint yet somehow evoking multiple layers of fabric with nifty metal jewelry to boot. Her brooch looks excellent, as do her earrings. It's subtle, and my sample seems to be painted well. That's incredibly important during this weird interim plastic-free packaging area.
From the waist up, this figure is expressive and emotes well with her arms and head. You can get subtle nods with her head, and the hands move without much of a fight in her massive sleeves. And then the problems start. The figure has no waist articulation, and I honestly think they may have been better off going full "salt shaker" or "chess piece" here. She has hip joints. It looks like she has a thigh swivel. There are bend-and-swivel knees and rocker ankles. And you can't move most of them. My sample looks like the leg was assembled rotated strangely, and it's difficult (or for me, impossible) to get my fingers to swivel the upper leg in position, which results in leaning. More importantly, each of those pieces requires tooling and assembly, despite the fact they're functionally useless. All she can do is stand - which is one of the reasons I've been increasingly disinterested in The Black Series. Getting them to balance right can be tricky, but with no vehicles or playsets their sole purpose tends to be merely to serve as a collectible. In the box or on the shelf, you buy it, look at it, put it down, and that is the extent of your interaction with the product. If you have alternate heads or accessories, at least you can fidget with them a bit - but they're never going to go on any adventures, they will not inspire you imagination, all you can do is say "wow, they did a great job painting her!" and then go about your day. And, of course, you can pick her up if she should fall over because the ankle joints are a little weird. She has fallen over at least twice while I write this review.
Luke, Din, and maybe the HK-87 droid should sell just fine. The rest of the wave will most likely be selling for below cost this summer and next to impossible to give away later this year. (Cassian was previously sold with a droid last year, which didn't sell out and was offered through other outlets.) I think Hasbro did their absolute best with Mon Mothma, with a character who was played well and given a performance that was tense and impossible to look away from, but that doesn't matter when your audience wants helmeted bad guys and weird monsters and beeping robots. You can try to appeal to actual four-year-olds and inner-four-year-olds' sense of a more adult show, but it's not going to get you merchandise sales. Normally I would say "get her at full price," but looking at the market as it is today? I am confident you can wait for a sale unless Hasbro destroys a portion of its inventory. Whatever the market is for these, Hasbro will probably have made too many which is kind of a shame. (And while I would have preferred a Retro wave of these characters, I freely admit I don't think they would have sold well either.)
Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.
Day 3,034: June 1, 2023