#1398: Sword Fighting Hercules

SWORD FIGHTING HERCULES

DISNEY’S HERCULES (MATTEL)

“He’s the greatest sword fighter of all time! Whether he’s fighting the terrifying Hydra, or battling the dangerous Nessus, Hercules fights the bravest of battles with his mighty sword and shield!”

You may have noticed a slight theme to the last few Sundays here at the Figure in Question.  That theme is Disney’s Hercules.  Today, I’m continuing that theme, though I can’t make any promises for keeping it going past this week.  I’ve looked at a variant of Herc, as well as his main foe Hades, but I’ve yet to just look at the standard Hercules.  That changes today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sword Fighting Hercules is another entry in the Basic Assortment of Disney’s Hercules figures from Mattel.  As noted in the intro, this was the line’s take on Herc’s standard hero togs he sports for the majority of the film’s run-time.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  In a change from the last two figures I’ve looked at from this line, this guy actually gets some elbow movement, which is cool, but it’s at the cost of all of his leg movement.  You win some, you lose some.  It does cause him to be a touch harder to keep standing than the Hydra Slaying variant, but he’s mostly pretty manageable.  The elbows are a little loose, presumably to aid in the use of action features, but still rather useful.  Also: neck articulation! That sure is nice.  Being able to look side to side and all.  Like the other two, this figure’s sculpt diverges somewhat from his film counterpart.  This one is probably the most faithful of the three I have; most of the changes come from simply translating him into three dimensions.  There are a few slight oddities to his proportions.  His neck’s rather long, as are the arms. Still, not a bad sculpt overall.  Like his Hydra Slaying counterpart, Sword Fighting Herc has a removable cloth cape.  The same cape, in fact (exactly the same in my case; this guy’s borrowing his).  If you want to get technical, it should be a little brighter to be accurate to the film, but it works nonetheless.  The paintwork on this guy is generally pretty decent.  The colors are a little bit more washed out than in the film, but they aren’t far off, and the overall look is quite nice.  Herc is packed with his sword (obviously), as well as his shield.  My figure is missing the shield, but that’s really the less essential piece, so I’m not losing sleep over it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After finding Hydra Slaying Herc and Hades, I was figuring that would be it for my whole Hercules collection, especially since this guy in particular had a rather high after market price.  Then I found this guy at Yesterday’s Fun over the summer, sans cape.  Since I already had the cape from the Hyda Herc, I was able to put together a mostly complete figure for a fraction of his going rate.  As with the Hydra variant, this figure was a pretty pleasant surprise, and I’m very happy to have found him.

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#1391: Fireball Shooting Hades

FIREBALL SHOOTING HADES

DISNEY’S HERCULES (MATTEL)

“Fast talking, slicker than slick, Hades is ruler of the Underworld.  When he shoots his deadly fireballs, he causes ultimate destruction.  Only the heroic HERCULES can put an end to this fiery villain’s evil plan!”

Poor Hades gets bum deal when it comes to popular culture.  In just about any adaptation of mythology, he’s perpetually cast as some sort of ultimate villain, when in the actual myths he’s actually one of the more level-headed and reasonable gods.  Compared to the likes of Zeus, Poseidon, or Hera, he’s really not that bad.  Disney’s Hercules is one of the prime offenders when it comes to reworking things to make Hades the villain.  The actual villain of most of Hercules’s stories in mythology is Hera, who resented Herc for being one of Zeus’s many bastard children.  Herc and Hades barely even interacted.  But, I guess having Hera constantly trying to kill Hercules out of a constant anger caused by Zeus’s sexual escapades wouldn’t have made for a very good kids movie, would it?  So, they went with the more obvious “god of death = evil” bit.  At least it was entertaining, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Fireball Shooting Hades was released in the basic series of the Disney’s Hercules tie-in line from Mattel.  While Herc got all sorts of variants and the like, this was the only Hades figure in the line.  I’m not sure what other variants you could really do, but hey, I wouldn’t have though of Hydra Slaying Hercules either.    The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 3 points of articulation.  Bit of a step down from Herc on the movement front.  Obviously, he lost some articulation to his designs lack of legs, which is understandable.  It’s a shame they couldn’t at least put some extra movement in the arms.  At least his head can turn, though.  Hades’s sculpt was unique to him, and it’s okay, I suppose.  It’s more faithful than the Hercules figure I looked at, which is good.  However, it also means that the focus is on trying to be faithful to a 2D character, rather than making just a good looking toy.  The body works out all right.  It’s pretty clean and it follows the line work of the movie.  The smoke at his feet is a little blocky, but it’s not terrible.  You just need to find the right angle for him.  The left arm is a little impeded by the figure’s action feature, but I’ll touch on that a little later.  The biggest issues come from the head.  They’re pretty much entirely related to the fluidity of Hades’s face in the movie.  He’s very expressive and all over the place, which makes capturing him in one single sculpt rather difficult.  He’s the sort of character that would likely be better served with a few interchangeable heads, but the toy industry wasn’t quite there in ’97.  So, we have to settle with a single expression.  Mattel went with a scary, scowly, wide-eyed grimace.  It’s not a great look.  I mean, yeah, he looks a little frightening, but it’s more in that uncanny valley sort of way, where his eyes just seem too human.  Parts of the sculpt look fine, but it doesn’t add-up to a really great piece.  It’s not terrible, but it could be a lot better.  Moving onto the paintwork, Hades is pretty decent.  Nothing crazy stand-out or anything, but the application is pretty clean and the details are pretty sharp.  In particular, I like the way the flames behind Hades’s head have been handled.  I sort of which his actual hair had been done in a similar fashion, but the solid paint isn’t awful.  Hades has two different “action features.”  The first is the titular “fireball shooting.”  There’s a missile launcher in his left arm.  Load up the fireball and press the button.  There it goes.  Wooooooo.  The second feature is even less involved; move the slide on his back up and down, and the flames behind his head will rise and fall.  Fun times.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Hades here from Lost in Time Toys, at the same time as Hydra Slaying Herc.  It was actually finding Hades that got me to grab the pair.  Hercules was pretty fun, but Hades has a few more flaws that hold him back.  Ultimately, he’s fine if you want to stick him on a shelf or a desk or something, but his actual playability is kind of low.

#1384: Hydra Slaying Hercules

HYDRA SLAYING HERCULES

DISNEY’S HERCULES (MATTEL)

“In his most courageous battle of all, HERCULES must save Thebes by destroying the terrifying Hydra.  Each time he slays a head, the mighty HERCULES throws it back at the ferocious beast.”

To quote the muses: “Honey, you mean Hunk-ules!”  Actually, no, to paraphrase the muses, “Honey, you mean Heracles.”  Cuz, you know, if you’re gonna do Greek Mythology, maybe you should use the lead’s Greek name?   

While I do look at a lot of Disney owned properties on this site, courtesy of Marvel and Star Wars, I haven’t looked at a whole ton of their in-house stuff.  My two favorite Disney movies are Hercules and Aladdin.  Aladdin’s never been much of an action figure property, but Disney actually gave quite a go at making Hercules one.  Which makes sense, since what’s more action-y than Greek Mythology?  So, there was a whole line of Hercules figures, and I’m taking a look at one of them today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hydra Slaying Hercules was released in the basic assortment of the Disney’s Hercules line from Mattel, which hit to coincide with the movie’s release in 1997.  This is one of the line’s many variants of the main character.  As the name suggests, this one’s (loosely) based on his battle with the Hydra at around the film’s mid-point.  Of course, in the movie, he was wearing the same hero garb he’s got on for the rest of the action, but the figure’s opted to change things up a bit and give hims a slightly more unique design.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  There’s not a ton of motion in the joints, especially the legs, and he’s rather hindered by the lack of any neck movement, but he’s not the worst thing ever, especially for the time.  The sculpt was initially unique to this figure, but did see a fair bit of re-use in multi-packs and such.  It’s not an incredibly faithful take on him.  I mean, you can see elements that identify him as being the Disney Hercules, but he’s definitely been given an element of He-Man styling, which isn’t incredibly surprising, given the company that produced him.  He’s also got the slightly tweaked outfit, which is far more ornate than Herc’s standard look.  The torso is wearing a more defined breastplate, and there’s even sleeves with fringing and stuff.  The wrappings on the arms and legs are also a bit more detailed, and he’s got an extra strap going across his chest.  I’m not entirely sure what the genesis of the design was, but I can’t say I don’t like it.  It’s actually pretty snazzy.  His cape is a separate cloth piece.  It’s got this nice embroidered pattern on the edges, which is cool.  In terms of paint, this guy also tweaks the usual colors a bit, going for a more cool palette of blues and purples, I guess to match up better with the Hydra?  Once again, I can’t say it’s a bad choice at all.  Different from the standard, but definitely quite eye-catching.  Herc is packed with both a club and an axe, one of which can be held in his right hand, as well as the disembodied head of the Hydra.  Which is slightly morbid, but pretty cool.  The head can be balanced on his left hand, and when you push the button on his back, the arm swipes downward, throwing the head.  It doesn’t work perfectly, but it’s moderately amusing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have any of the proper Hercules figures growing up, but I found this guy at Lost In Time Toys when I stopped by for the opening day of their new location.  This was the only version  of Herc they had, but he’s cool enough that I don’t mind just having the variant.  That’s right, I just wrote an overwhelmingly positive review of a Mattel product.  This is weird.

#1353: Wasabi No-Ginger – Stealth

WASABI NO-GINGER – STEALTH

BIG HERO 6 (BANDAI)

Hey, you guys, guess what?  It’s been two weeks since my last Big Hero 6 review.  I guess it’s time for another.  This one’s my final review from the series (at least for the time being), and so I figured I might as well go back to the very beginning.  My first BH6 review was a Wasabi figure, and so’s my last one.  Let’s have a look, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wasabi was released in the third series of Bandai’s Big Hero 6 line, which was the “stealth” series.  Big surprise, that means that Wasabi is a stealth variant.  Also big surprise, he’s the same mold as the standard Wasabi.  By extension, he too is about 3 1/2 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation.  The sculpt’s the same, for better and for worse.  It has the same ups and downs, which means he’s still got one of the best sculpts of the line.  The main changes to the figure are the paint, which has been made more subdued…mostly.  The green’s a lot darker, and there’s more black interspersed (which, by the way, has the added side-bonus of making him look a bit like a Green Lantern, which I’m definitely okay with), but there are also a few more bright spots mixed in as well. Still, he’s definitely darker as a whole.  The work is clean, and seems to be even cleaner than the original Wasabi, which is certainly a plus.  Like his predecessor, this guy includes his energy blade attachments.  I still think translucent plastic would look cooler, but the neon green looks cool.  Wasabi doesn’t have the coat included with the original, but upon looking through the other Wasabi’s on hand when I got this guy, it would appear that later shipments of the original figure were missing the coat as well.  He didn’t have it in the movie, anyway, so it’s not a huge loss, I guess.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Have you read all of my other Big Hero 6 reviews?  No?  Go read them.  Good, now you can probably guess where this guy came from.  Yep, he’s another Ollie’s purchase.  I wasn’t initially going to get him, but Super Awesome Girlfriend and I were collectively getting the rest of the team, and I felt weird not getting a Wasabi, especially since he’s my favorite and all.  There’s not a whole lot that’s different here, but he’s still a pretty entertaining figure, and I think he’s the best of the stealth figures, at least going by what I’ve seen.

#1339: Stealth Fred

STEALTH FRED

BIG HERO 6 (BANDAI)

It’s been two weeks, so I guess it’s about time I review another Big Hero 6 figure, isn’t it?  Yeah, I guess so.  Most of the titular team’s members are all scientists, with the exception one guy.  That guy would be Fred, the subject of today’s review.  And awaaaaay we go!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Fred is part of the third series of Bandai’s Big Hero 6 line of figures.  He, like all the figures in the set, has been labeled “Stealth” and done up in slightly darker colors.  Beyond that, he’s the same mold as his Series 1 counterpart.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation.  Fortunately, thanks to the more “monstrous” nature of Fred’s design, he largely avoids the scaling issues that have plagued the rest of the line; he can comfortably fit in with just about every other figure in this line.  In terms of his sculpt, it’s pretty decent; it follows the film design pretty well, and the articulation is quite as glaring on him as it has been on a lot of the prior figures.  My one major complaint I have about this figure is that they didn’t find a way to make the top part of the costume removable, or give him an extra unmasked head.  Fred’s the only character who’s completely obscured by his costume, and not ever being able to see his face feels a little odd.  I know Bandai doesn’t tend to do extras like that, but this would have been a good time to start.  In terms of paint, Fred is generally pretty decent.  Application is pretty clean and the colors all go well together.  Of the stealth figures, Fred probably has some of the more minor tweaks; the only real difference between this and his normal look is that they swapped out the darkest blue for black, which really doesn’t end up looking all that different at the end of the day.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Fred came from Ollie’s, just like the last several Big Hero 6 figures I’ve looked at.  Unlike Hiro, I wasn’t able to get a normal Fred for the set, so I had to settle for the Stealth one.  It’s no biggie, honestly.  Fred’s an okay figure.  Nothing to write home about, but he goes well with the rest of the team, I guess.  They wouldn’t be much without their mascot.

#1325: Hiro Hamada

HIRO HAMADA

BIG HERO 6

Remember two weeks ago when I reviewed Baymax?  And two weeks before that when I reviewed Yokai?  Well, it looks like I’ve got a recurring feature up in here!  I mean, at least until I make my way through this stack of Big Hero 6 figures that I’ve got sitting here.  Big Hero 6 is ostensibly an ensemble piece, but at the forefront of that ensemble is Hiro Hamada, who’s the group’s central figure.  I’ll be looking at his action figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hiro was released in the first series of Bandai’s Big Hero 6 line, alongside the rest of the team.  The figure stands about 3 1/4 inches tall and has 15 points of articulation.  Remember when I reviewed Yokai and I noted that he was way too small?  Well, Hiro’s got the opposite issue going on:  he’s way too tall!  Hiro’s not that big a guy.  Going by the scale offered by this line, he’s almost 6 feet tall, since he’s only marginally shorter than the likes of Yokai and Baymax, or even Wasabi.  On the plus side, at least Hiro keeps his internal proportions more or less intact, thus avoiding one of Yokai’s major issues.  In fact, his sculpt is pretty darn solid in general.  He looks like Hiro does in the movie, has solid proportions, decent detail work, and his joints are even worked-in pretty well!  Even the paint work doesn’t let this guy down; he’s got one of the best paint jobs I’ve seen on an item from Bandai America.  The colors all match up nicely with their on-screen counterparts, there’s plenty of small detail work, the application is clean, and there aren’t any overlooked details in the sculpt (like what we saw on the Baymax figure).  It also looks like this paint is a bit less likely to chip over time than some other Bandai America figures, but only time will tell on that one.  Hiro is packed with Baymax in his offline form; the piece is hollowed out, but it’s still a nice enough extra, especially when you consider that a lot of the line is largely un-accessorized.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Can you guess where I got Hiro?  If you guessed Ollie’s, the same place that I got the last two Big Hero 6 figures I reviewed, you would be correct.  I almost didn’t find the normal version of this guy and would have settled for his Stealth variant from the second series, but Super Awesome Girlfriend found this one all the way at the back of one of the racks.  Despite the annoying scale issues, Hiro is actually a pretty nice figure, and certainly one of Bandai America’s best offerings.

#1321: Mr. Incredible

MR. INCREDIBLE

THE INCREDIBLES (DISNEY)

The Fantastic Four were once Marvel’s premier property, but for some reason, after four feature films (one un-released), Hollywood still can’t figure out how to make them work on the big screen.  Why am I mentioning this at the head of a non-Fantastic Four review?  Because there’s actually a pretty awesome Fantastic Four movie out there, it’s just named The Incredibles.  Why Fox didn’t look at that movie and immediately tap Brad Bird to helm their first FF film is beyond me.  Incredibles had a mass-market line of action figures from Hasbro which were, well, let’s be charitable and say “underwhelming.”  The real cool stuff came from the House of Mouse themselves.  I’ll be looking at one of those figures today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mr. Incredible was one of the six figures offered in the initial assortment of the Disney Store-exclusive The Incredibles line.  This figure depicts Bob in his “modern” costume, which is the one that matches up with the rest of the family (and also looks the most like the classic FF costumes as well).  The figure stands about 7 1/2 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  There aren’t a ton of poses you can get out of him, but he’s certainly more posable than the mass-release equivalent, and you can get a few decent poses out of him.  The real trick is finding a pose where he stays balanced; he falls over a lot, thanks to this tiny little feet.  In the figure’s defense, though, that’s true to the movie’s design.  Any figure that faithfully recreates it’s gonna have this issue.  The sculpt is a really good recreation of the animation models from the movie; there are a few compromises here and there to add articulation and such, but it stays pretty true.  In particular, the head is really spot-on, and even captures his confident, ever so slight grin he sported during many of the film’s action pieces, as well as his slightly receding hairline.  The paint work is pretty solid for the era; it’s mostly pretty basic work, but there’s a some slight accenting on the face, and I really like the super glossy boots and gloves.  The only slight inaccuracy is on the coloring of the insignia, which should really match the belt.  It is instead a dark transparent yellow, in order to facilitate the figure’s one main action feature. When pressed, the insignia lights up.  While part of the insignia lights up in the film when Bob is being tracked, it’s totally different than how it’s handled here.  Not really sure why they went that way, but fair enough.  The figure was packed with a weird Incredibles right, not intended for the actual figure, of course.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After seeing The Incredibles, I was fully intending to pick up the Hasbro offerings, as lackluster as they may have been.  Fortunately, my friend Cindy Woods clued me in on the Disney Exclusive offerings and how much better they were.  Mr. Incredible himself was a Christmas gift from my parents (along with several other figures from the line).  He’s actually a pretty awesome figure, and still holds up pretty decently, even after all this time!

#1316: R1-T2

R1-T2

STAR WARS DROID FACTORY (DISNEY PARKS)

“Whether they are merchandise to the Jawas of Tatooine, servants of the Evil Galactic Empire or friends of the Rebel Alliance, droids of all different types populate the Star Wars galaxy. From Astromechs, to Protocol or even Assassin Droids, there are many different colors and styles of each droid class. Each droid is different and has their own unique personality. at the Star Wars Droid Factory, Guests can build and name a star Wars droid that is uniquely their own. May the Force be with You… and your Droids!”

I haven’t been to a Disney park in a decade, but one of my favorite things the last time I was there was the Star Wars-based “Star Tours” and all of the cool Star Wars-themed stuff around it.  Over the years, Disney has commissioned a handful of exclusive action figures (some from usual Star Wars toy-producers Hasbro, and some from Disney’s in-house companies) to sell in the ride’s gift shop.  My timing always seems to be particularly bad when it comes to these items; both times I’ve been to Disney World, it was in between figure releases.  In 2012, they introduced a line of build-your-own figures, under the trappings of a “droid factory,” which is a pretty fun concept.  I’ve finally gotten my hands on one, so I’ll be taking a look at him today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

R1-T2 (named by me, of course; if your curious, it’s R1-T2 as in “puttin’ on a…”) was part of the 2015 assortment of Star Wars Droid Factory, which was the second main assortment of pieces.  The line is available exclusively through Disney Parks.  The figure stands about 3 1/4 inches tall (counting the top hat) and he has 5 points of articulation and actual rolling wheels on the bottom of each foot.  R1 is built from six different pieces: a dome, trunk, three legs, and a hat.  This droid sticks largely to the R2 style of build, albeit with a slightly modified trunk, which is a little bit more sleek in design.  The general quality of the figure’s sculpt is pretty solid; it’s about on par with one of the more articulated astromech’s from Hasbro.  The plastic’s perhaps the slightest bit softer than I’d like, but not horribly so, and at least the level of detail hasn’t been negatively affected.  One thing I really appreciate is the extra detailing at the top of the trunk, under the dome.  It’s not going to be seen under normal circumstances, but it’s still there, and it looks really cool.  There are ten different possible hats available for the Droid Factory droids; R1 is sporting the top hat, which looks ever so fly.  It attaches to the top of the dome via a peg, and it stays nice and tightly in place, but can be removed if you so desire.  There are a number of different paint schemes available for each Droid Factory piece; R1 sticks with the basics, being largely white with color accents in the three primary colors and a bit of black (which matches up really well with the top hat, creating a tuxedo sort of effect).  All of the application is pretty clean; there’s a bit of slop here and there, but nothing outrageous.  R1 has no accessories, but he does come with a cool resealable package, which even has a sheet of stickers so that you can put his name on the backer!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, if I haven’t been to a Disney Park since 2007, how did I get an item that was released in 2015?  Nepotism.  I mean, sort of.  See, my brother Christian went to Disney World with his school’s music department, and he made a point of assembling me one of these guys to bring home, and put a lot of care into putting together the pieces he thought I’d like the most.  I’m really happy with this little guy, and also really happy to have finally gotten *something* from the Star Tours gift shop.

Also, I’d like to give an extra special shout-out to Christian, who is graduating from high school today.  Way to go bro!

#1311: Baymax

BAYMAX — PROTOTYPE ARMOR

BIG HERO 6 (BANDAI)

Remember two weeks ago when I reviewed thee Big Hero 6 Yokai figure?  And how I mentioned picking up a bunch of them?  Well, I gotta review them sometime, right?  So, today, I’ll be looking at one of the film’s central characters, Baymax.  Here goes!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Prototype Armor Baymax was released in the second series of Bandai’s Big Hero 6 line, which hit a little bit after the movie’s theatrical release.  He’s one of four versions of Baymax to be released in the line and depicts him in the initial armor Hiro designs for him (which I personally prefer the design of to his later, more advanced armor).  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  As with Yokai, there are the ever present issues of scale.  At least the two of them look fairly decent together, though.  Additionally, the sculpt on Baymax seems to be a bit more internally balanced, at least as far as the proportions go, which makes for an overall better looking figure.    He adheres pretty well to the onscreen design for the most part.  All of the important details are there, and they’re mostly where they should be.  The legs are definitely odd in the way they connect to the body, and are oddly shaped in general, to say nothing if the obstructive, obvious, and mostly useless hip articulation that the legs are attached with.  I’m not entirely sure what they were going for there.  At least the rest of the sculpt is pretty solid, with only minor issues (such as the slightly bulkier shoulders).  I do wish he could get his arms a little closer to his sides, but that’s minor.  Baymax’s paint work is about on par with the rest of the figures I’ve looked at from this series.  The colors all match up well enough with those from the movie, and the application is largely sharp and clean.  There are a few unpainted details, but that’s  the sort of thing you expect with Bandai America, so it is what it is.  Baymax includes no extras, which I guess is okay.  What exactly would you give him?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I almost grabbed this figure numerous times at retail, as it was by far my favorite of the three Baymax designs, and I really did want a Baymax.  But, for whatever reason, I just never got around to picking him up.  I was actually pretty excited to find him marked way down at Ollie’s, so he was the first figure I grabbed.  The final figure is okay.  Not quite as fun as Wasabi, but a bit of a step up from the slightly disappointing Yokai, which is decent enough.

#1296: First Order Stormtrooper

FIRST ORDER STORMTROOPER

STAR WARS: ELITE SERIES (DISNEY)

“Equipped with sleek armor and powerful weapons, the Stormtroopers enforce the will of the First Order.

Wow, that’s the same bio used on the Hasbro Black Series figures.  I guess Disney’s really strict about what goes in those bios.  I mean, I guess it’s a decent enough write-up for the Stormtroopers.  It’s not like there’s a whole lot to them, right?  So, hey, it’s been a while since I reviewed a basic Stormtrooper (First Order or otherwise).  How about one of those?  This time, the figure’s metal.  Oooooooooh!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The First Order Stormtrooper was released as part of the very first series of Disney’s Star Wars: Elite Series, which hit way back on the first Force Friday event.  The figure stands about 7 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  He’s very similar in construction to the previously reviewed Poe figure (metal for the torso,arms, and legs, and plastic for the hands, feet and head), though he does feel a bit lighter weight.  That’s probably due to the slightly more svelte design.  He’s still rather restricted in terms of movement (he’s yet another FO Trooper that can’t actually hold his blaster two-handed), but he’s on par with the other two figures I’ve gotten.  It could certainly be worse.  While there was a definite upturn in the level of detail displayed on the K-2 figure, the Trooper, as an older release, is still rather on the soft side.  Given the sleeker nature of the Stormtroopers, it’s not too bad, but he does miss out on the fun underlying jumpsuit details that we saw on the Black Series version of this design.  On the plus side, he lacks the weird hand thing that plagued the Poe figure, and just seems to have better proportions in general. He also doesn’t face any issues of facial likeness, which seems to alleviate a major issue the Disney figures seem to face.  Like both prior Elite Series figures I’ve looked at, the Stormtrooper is assembled using screws along the back of the figure.  10 of them to be exact.  While K-2 added covers so as to prevent them from ruining the aesthetics, the Stormtrooper takes after Poe, which means his assembly screws are left totally uncovered.  It’s definitely distracting, but at least it’s confined to the back of the figure.  The paint on the Stormtrooper is decent enough; it’s not like there’s a lot of really complex work or anything going on, so there’s less that can be screwed up.  There’s still some slight slop here and there, but for the most part he looks pretty clean.  The figure is packed with two blasters (one large and one small) and a display stand, which is the same as the ones included with Poe and K-2.  The smaller blaster is designed to be stowed on the right thigh, but I ended up having to do a little work on my figure to get the two pieces to fit together, due to a slight malformation of the gun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure was given to me by my friend Rio, who is an exchange student visiting from Japan.  Rio has been staying with one of Super Awesome Girlfriend’s friends, and has become a fixture of our group of friends over the last several months.  She also really likes to give gifts, so she’s made a point of getting something for each of us over the course of a few trips she’s made to various attractions.  When she traveled to Disney World, she got something for Super Awesome Girlfriend, but not for me.  I wasn’t expecting anything, so I was far from upset, but Rio wanted to get me something.  On her trip to NYC over spring break, she tracked down the Disney Store and, with a little guidance from Super Awesome Girlfriend, picked this guy out for me.  He’s actually pretty cool, and you can never have too many Stormtroopers, right?  Anyway, Rio is heading back home to Japan today, so I thought I’d give this figure a review as a send off and a testament to how great it’s been to have her around these last few months.  Good luck, Rio!