Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,949: Ahsoka Tano (The Black Series)

AHSOKA TANO Corvus, but not labeled as such

The Black Series 2020 Line Look Orange The Mandalorian Packaging
Item No.:
Asst. E8908 No. F4349
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #19 - The Mandalorian
Includes: 2 lightsabers
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $24.99
Availability: May 2022
Appearances: The Mandalorian

Bio: A Clone Wars veteran and now wandering Jedi, Ahsoka Tano forges her own path in the galaxy fighting injustices that she discovers. (Taken from the packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

As time moves on, The Black Series gets better and better at making good medium-tier collectible action figures. This Ahsoka Tano from The Mandalorian is pretty good - I like her white lightsaber blades and clever articulation, although there's a bit too much dark paint around the eyes compared to the 3 3/4-inch figures. Having said that, I'd recommend her if you're into figures that look good posed on a shelf or a desk. I'd say "I can't imagine Hasbro will ever make a better Ahsoka than this!" but they seem to discover new paint techniques or joints every few years, so I'll just say this is as good as Ahsoka gets for now. Get her if you can find her, order her online if you can't.

I love the Vintage version of this figure - it's one of Hasbro's 10 best of all-time for super-articulated action figures in this size. I love the Kenner-style one even more, because I am old, and I accept their attempts to pander to me with "yes please, more please." However, not every collector is in their upper 30s, or 40s, or 50s, and the up-and-comers tend to want something bigger and more impressive - and they're probably going to like this Ahsoka figure a bunch. The first thing I looked at was the arm articulation. The shoulders are a hoot, because they have that extra forward-and-backward joint where the fleshy part of the arm meets the costume for even more movement. The elbow articulation is above par, the wrists move just enough to get cool dueling and pointing poses, the boots move nicely at the ankles, and her knee joints are hidden inside pants that would make Hammer ca. 1991 blush. She's got a great mid-torso joint that lets her twist and bend in all directions too, plus the neck moves pretty well considering she's got lekku in the way. It's also worth noting her legs swing forward quite nicely given the "cloth" plastic pieces hanging over her waist - you can probably fit her in a decent 1:12 scale chair, if you have one handy. She can kneel, she can duel, she's great. The only thing they could add is more gear, and for $25 I wouldn't have minded robes or a sidekick or a lamp. I love lamp.

I love her lightsabers! The hilts are a bright silver that make me a bit nervous - I would not be surprised to see the paint molt off with time, but we won't know until it's too late. She can hold them well, and the white blades look really good. Each blade has a loop on the pommel, so she can hang them on the small and very subtle belt hooks. Hasbro did a great job integrating them in the design. I wish you got more in here, but you don't - and they're good enough that you probably won't feel like you got shorted because the figure is pretty bulky.

But how does she look? Also pretty perfect. The skin's a little more desaturated, with that Photo Real printing on it. The facial details don't pop quite as much as the 3 3/4-inch figures, except for the eyes - the extra dark shadowing really brings them out. It also feels a tiny bit like Anakin's Darth Vader Sith eye make-up, but hey, we know Ahsoka's on our side. The lekku painted details are superb, and her costume's blue/gray/silver look is good too. I appreciate some painted belt detailing. The textures on the pants are amazing with detailed pleats and teeny tiny wrinkles and folds that capture what the actual costumes must look like up-close, plus she has smooth greaves and vambraces to complete the outfit. It's a very The Clone Wars-by-way-of-reality look, meaning she has way more armor than any original trilogy-era heroes. I should also note her arms, which have exposed shoulders and laced-up sleeves with little windows with skin poking through.

Given I don't have access to Hasbro's budgets, I can't say for sure but it looks like we're seeing more money put in to tooling and developing the figures. 10 years ago, the body near the shoulders would not only be unarticulated, but painted a close-but-not-exact color. Here, all exposed skin matches. Here, we've got a face molded in that orange color and lekku molded in white - and it's fantastic. In the old days, they'd just be painted. The clever integration of knee joints in the pants just makes me happy, and what appears to be a few more molds and colors of plastic used result in better figures. Also, more expensive figures. If the world wanted $10-or-less 6-inch figures with minimal deco or articulation, Hasbro could deliver. Having said that, I don't think it would serve this particular character well - some figures you want plussed up and jointed to the best of Hasbro's ability, and this is one of them. I wouldn't mind a soft goods cloak or a different eye deco variant down the road, but given I'm getting a little worn out over deco variants I'd probably be happy with this one.

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

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,949: August 9, 2022

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