Thursday, August 17, 2023

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,056: Rebel Commando (Endor, The Black Series)


The Black Series 40th Anniversary Return of the Jedi Deluxe Figure
Item No.:
Asst. E8908 No. F8285
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: 2 blasters, backpack, bandolier, alternate face plate
Action Feature: Swappable face plates
Retail: $33.99
Availability: July 2023
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Commemorate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi with figures from The Black Series, featuring classic design and packaging! (Taken from the packaging. It's kind of depressing, they could drop it and show upsells for another 12 figures here.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

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This is a tricky one - Hasbro did something that really walks a line of making something hard to recommend. This $34 Rebel Commando is on par with the very good $20 Hoth Rebel Soldier [FOTD #2,704] from 2020. You probably already know exactly where this is going - why is a similar figure this much more expensive? It's an excellent figure - but why is it $9 more than a standard figure and $14 more than a similar product form 3 years ago? Both face plates are great. The articulation is among Hasbro's best - but it doesn't cost more to cut the joints properly. The deco is good, the sculpting is good, and to be honest I'm a little perplexed as to why his boots have a 2020 copyright date. I assume it was an oversight, but there's also been some rumors that Hasbro has a massive amount of unused sculpts banked since back then (some since used) and that would be, to say the least, interesting.

You get two face plates in the set - a clean-shaven younger guy, and a bearded older guy know to some as Nik Sant (from various canon sources) and a lot of fans say "it's Captain Rex!" but I do not know that this has been put in any official source. The body build isn't quite right, and its inclusion here reeks of stoking "teach the controversy" coals. You can see it any way you want - so enjoy having the options here. It is much more difficult to pry these faces off than the Hoth Trooper, which were held in place with a removable hat. You may need to use some sort of small tool or fingernail to get them out, depending on how tight they're in there - but they both look excellent, and it gives you an excuse to buy two of these if you're made of money. The aces are clean with nicely painted eyes and eyebrows, and in the case of Nik Sant, the beard is wonderful. Hasbro didn't disappoint, and the non-removable helmet is good too.

He has a removable bandolier, a backpack, and two blasters. One is your standard issue rebel blaster pistol, and the other is a somewhat familiar rifle. Neither has any paint on it, which feels like a huge miss when you have a deluxe price point like this. Hasbro could have spent a few pennies on some more deco on these excellent sculpts... which I might add look weird in the brownish color they chose. They look good, the details are marvelous, but it left me wanting more. I also wanted a holster, which we didn't get here. We also didn't get a place to store the alternate face plate in the backpack, like we did for the cheaper Hoth trooper. It might be unfair to pick on this figure because Hasbro did something similar, better, and more cheaply, but is it really? I expect a big figure with lots of option parts when we pass $30, and I'm not getting it here. If the helmet were removable to aid with the face plate swapping, at least that would have been something.

But how is the figure's body? Marvelous. Hasbro got it right, mostly because the design is just a dude. Every limb moves freely, without any coats or skirts or weird sleeves to hinder his ability to aim his blasters, or sit, or go into some action pose. The hands move well, the elbows are among the best, the shoulders and head move without a fight. Everything here is good, and his paint job is what it should be. Sure, they missed some spots under the knees, but if they got it perfect it wouldn't be a Hasbro figure. There are a lot of unique textures thanks to the helmet, the pants, the jacket, and the sleeves, but also the boots. You can tell whoever sculpted it did a great job and put long hours into this more or less anonymous trooper that, I assume, could be destined to clearance for no reason other than the high price point. (That's a valid reason.) The little painted silver greeblies and even a distinctively sculpted fly on his pants show someone, somewhere, didn't want to phone this in. Nor should they have. When you pay this much, what you get needs to give you the bare minimum, and then some.

If you see this figure on sale for $25 or less, buy it. Or maybe buy two - it's one of the best figures Hasbro has made in terms of accessory interaction, articulation, and the ability to stand without a fight. I just don't think it makes any sense to charge that much for it - I would have vastly preferred Hasbro make two different Rebels with a different face at $25 a pop, or maybe only gave us one blaster, or... you can see, I'm reaching for reasons this is $34 in the first place. It's not fundamentally that much more deluxe than a basic figure, but the execution is clearly superior. If you are so inclined to spent the money, I don't think you'll be the slightest bit disappointed in this one.

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

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,056: August 17, 2023

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