Thursday, January 12, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,333: Captain Phasma (Rogue One Line Look)

CAPTAIN PHASMA vs. Finn (Jakku)
Rogue One   Two Pack Action Figures
Item No.:
Asst. B7073 No. B9855
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: 2 figures, 1 lightsaber, 1 rocket launcher, blaster, 2 rockets, cape
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $14.99
Availability: December 2016
Appearances: Star Wars Rebels

Bio: Finn's conscience and desperation to escape his stormtrooper past propel him down a heroic and dangerous path when he faces off against the formidable Captain Phasma and the First Order's legions of troopers during a devastating night raid on Jakku.  (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: If you're an accessory completist, Captain Phasma may be your biggest source of frustration.   Last year, Hasbro packaged the same figure with a buzzsaw, a 7-pack of Stormtroopers, and a pair of high-priced armor-up helmets.  The figures are virtually identical, but each had a unique accessory (or accessories) that you couldn't get anywhere else - when you factor in the super-articulated Black Series Walmart Phasma, you've already got four Phasmas in your collection.  And now you're gonna get five, because this 2-pack figure is made from a different mold in a different factory in Vietnam.  To your average fan, you won't notice the difference - you'll probably deem them identical.  Hasbro made new tooling in Vietnam, because moving tooling is expensive, made from the same design as the last one - but as with the First Order Snowtrooper, there are minor differences that are going to make variation hunters buy this one.

First up: the blaster.  The 2015 China versions are a little paler gold.  The 2016 Vietnam version has a more saturated gold, and also slightly cleaner paint applications.   This 2016 Vietnam blaster is also a little smaller, with slightly sharper details and a smaller hand grip.

The capes are basically the same.  The 2015 China versions are a tiny bit blacker, while the 2016 Vietnam one is a teensy bit sharper in the details - it could just vary from sample to sample.  I'm grasping for differences here, they look basically the same with the same red trim.

The figures are very similar - but there are differences if you squint.  The chest and inner forearms have sculpted details that differ ever-so-slightly.  The Vietnamese version from this 2-pack is barely better, just a tiny bit sharper on small details.   The bank of lines on the right side of her chest and the forearms are better on the Vietnamese version, but the area directly under the palm of the hands is better on the Chinese version - barely.  Both have five points of articulation, but the leg joints are cut slightly differently and the Vietnamese one can swing forward more.

When comparing the helmets, the Vietnamese version seems to have more paint and a smidgen more detail in the black areas.  The various sculpted pinstripes are a bit cleaner on the Vietnamese version as well.

Deco between the two is close enough for jazz.  A pouch on the single release is black, while it's silver on the 2-pack here. I'd give a slight edge to this 2-pack version overall - she even stands a couple of millimeters taller!   It's unfortunate that Hasbro spent money making new tooling in another factory for what are going to be viewed by fans as mere repacks - repacks that come five per case, even - but here we are.

The centerpiece of this boxed set is the shoulder-mounted rocket launcher which is so big, it prevents her from standing upright.   It looks a little goofy and is unbalanced, but the handgrip was well-designed.  The backpack connects to a jointed arm, which itself has a jointed grip.  Hasbro made sure Phasma - and maybe even other figures - can use this weapon.  The launcher piece pegs right on, and each rocket is fired from a separate button.   They go a few feet, with powerful springs that I would rate as good by modern standards.

Look, I'm not going to lie to you - unless you collect variants, you should skip this 2-pack.  If you don't have Finn and/or Phasma yet, it's a good set.  If you need deco, sculpt, and accessory variants that absolutely nobody would notice with the naked eye sans comparison, you need this.   However, it's packed five per case - when it shows up, it's probably going to hit hard.  If it sells fast, it could be a success as Finn is largely off the market and so is Phasma.  I'm guessing a glut may be incoming, though so get it if you see it.  And hopefully next time Hasbro just puts out a trooper two-pack instead when they need an (I assume) final wave set.

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

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,333: January 12, 2017

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