Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,103: Pyke Soldier (The Black Series)

or, Pyke Syndicate Foot Soldier

The Black Series 2023 Window Box Line Look The Book of Boba Fett Packaging
Item No.:
Asst. E8908 No. F9983
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #07 - Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett
Includes: Pistol, Rifle
Action Feature: n/a (not even a holster)
Retail: $24.99
Availability: December 2023
Appearances: Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett

Bio: During the Clone Wars, the Pykes became the galaxy's preeminent spice dealers, funneling illicit substances to Coruscant's crime families. After Jabba the Hutt's death, they expanded their spice trade to encompass Tatooine. (Taken from the box packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Click here to buy it at eBay now!

I can't say that the Pyke Soldier made a big enough of an impression for me to want a 6-inch one, but right now there aren't any 3 3/4-inch ones. We did get a very nice Quay Tolsite [FOTD #2,550] in the 3 3/4-inch line, which I find to be odd because I'm probably never going to army-build at $25 a hit. What's particularly interesting is this entire wave - with Cad Bane, Mando, the Pyke, and the Tusken Chieftan - is incredibly bland in their packaging. Four black boxed figures with pale gray and green, no color or life in the dull, dull boxes. On top of that, everybody is dark, mostly brown, mostly dandy, but not at all striking if you were to encounter them on the pegs. I don't know why they went out of their way to keep the boxes so dull, but here we are - the figures don't "pop" either so hopefully they'll sell to pre-orders online.

Hasbro did their typical great job with the figure, taking the sculpt and carving in some joints as competently as always. Sadly there's no special "spin" on it - if you look at promotional images, this figure looks exactly like it. Hasbro nailed it - he has a rifle, and he can hold it. There's also a pistol with no on-board storage, which I as a fan find frustrating as I need somewhere to put the extra parts. (Maybe tuck it in the hood next time?) He can hold either or both weapons nicely, and the level of detail is impressive. You can see some great fabric textures in his robes, the boots are about as nice as always, and the quality is what you've come to expect. I'm a little sad that there isn't more to it, because sometimes we got clever swappable heads, or face plates, or something to enhance the figure to encourage play beyond "pose figure, put on shelf, ignore" or "buy, leave in box, store." If it were 2005 we'd probably see "Quick-Draw Attack!" or "Removable Mask for Fish Reveal!" This is just me being an old man - because in my day, for about 3 years, these things had actual honest-to-goodness play features. Not so anymore! Fun is for the weak! You don't want to be seen as a toy company if you're selling to adults, I guess.

At least the engineering is good, with big boots keeping him upright and preventing him from toppling over while I type. That happens with surprising frequency, so when someone is sturdy, and poses easily, and stands well, and looks exactly like it should, that's wonderful. Short of stitching in some play fun features, or maybe adding a spray of dusting on the boots (which, at $25, they could've done) I don't think Hasbro could do better here. The pins on the tunic are great, the head texture is marvelous and the first really good look I've had at the back of the masks. I would love a removable mask, but heads are expensive so you get your one head and that's it. If you think you want one of these guys, I can tell you the one I got is well-built and has a great clicky joint mid-torso that allows him to ab-crunch and swivel with the best of them.

My token complaint anyway: I wish it was Vintage or Epic or Retro so I could buy more, and I also wish Disney and Lucasfilm would stop pretending spoilers matter to fans. I don't mean "oh no they ruined the twist" spoilers, but this is a company that had Han Solo in the trailer for The Force Awakens, as well as Leia confirmed in it, but kept toys off the market (and skipped some entirely.) It's five years later, and we still don't have Old Man Maul from Solo. There's nothing about the Pykes that would have ruined the plot of The Book of Boba Fett, and if Disney or Hasbro or Lucasfilm are watching, please pull whoever's head is in the mud out and tell them to put stuff on-shelf day-and-date with the new shows. Or better yet - before. People bought Zuvio before they knew who he was. Mando was sold out before that show aired, and it took forever to catch up. People really do like buying figures early and letting their imaginations soar, and you'll get a second boost when they see and like the show. Hopefully you'll have stuff ready and on-shelf for The Acolyte and Skeleton Crew. I assume it's too late for The Bad Batch Season 3 at this point. You can hide things like Grogu - that was a good surprise - but anything in the teasers, the trailers, the first episode (or first act), just make the toys already. We want to love this stuff, but with no toys, no guide books, we have no physical manifestation to memorize and it certainly makes it much harder to learn names or get into the shows. All I'm asking for is to give you my money before I know I don't (or do) like the show. (I like this one a lot, and I'm mid-rewatch as I write the review.)

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

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,103: January 30, 2024

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