#1310: Luke Skywalker

LUKE SKYWALKER

STAR WARS (KENNER)

Luke Skywalker has over 100 action figures, which is quite a few.  More than just about any other main character from the franchise, in fact.  There was a time, however, when he had just one.  His very first figure was released by Kenner in 1978, and that’s the one I’m looking at today.  There’s your intro.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke is one of the very earliest entries in Kenner’s Star Wars line.  He was initially released in the Early Bird set, alongside Leia, Chewbacca, and R2, and later saw regular release as one of the line’s first 12 figures.  He was also consistently carried throughout the run of the original trilogy’s line.  My figure comes from the earliest of the single releases, or at least that’s what I’ve been told.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and has the standard 5 points of articulation (or at least he did; my figure had his head snap off, necessitating it being glued back in place).  The figure sported a unique sculpt at the time (though the head would later see reuse on the Bespin figure from the Empire line), which is decent enough, at least in the context of the rest of the line.  He’s not super detailed, nor is he the spitting image of Mark Hamill as Luke, but the main elements of the character have been conveyed pretty well, and he’s certainly not awful.  His design has also been graced with very few real compromises, which wasn’t completely unheard of in this line, but it was pretty rare.  As one of the three lightsaber wielding characters in the first film, he got one of the retractible blades that Kenner was experimenting with early in the line.  The hilt of the saber is molded in Luke’s hand, and the majority of his right arm has been hollowed out.  There was then a separate blade, which could be pushed up or down, as if he were igniting the saber.  It’s not a particularly accurate rendition of the saber, and it requires Luke to hold his weapon in a way he never does in the film.  Luke’s saber was molded in yellow, because, umm, reasons, I guess?  Of course, you can’t see that from my figure, because they were also really easy to lose, which isn’t ideal.  Still, it wasn’t the worst concept ever.  In terms of paint, Luke is fairly simple; he’s got al the basic colors, and that’s about it.  There were a number of variants on the hair color; mine has the more common bright yellow.  Not super lifelike, but it’s about right for the time.  Luke included no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I was growing up, I had access to a lot of my dad’s old toys.  His collection of Star Wars figures was one of the sets that was given to me to keep.  Luke was by far my favorite of the set, and saw a lot of play time.  His head broke off at some point, and there was a good five years in there where I never seemed to be able to hang on to both pieces at the same time.  I eventually did find both pieces and get him put back together, so that was a small victory.  The figure’s not perfect, but he’s a pretty good starting point, and he’d remain one of the better Luke figures out there for quite a while.

#1306: Han Solo in Carbonite

HAN SOLO IN CARBONITE

STAR WARS: THE POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“After escaping from Imperial forces in the Hoth system, Han Solo and Princess Leia, Chewbacca and C-3PO, landed the damaged Millenium Falcon on Bespin’s Cloud City for repairs. The four put their trust in the city’s administrator, Lando Calrissian, unaware of the dangers awaiting them. A dashing ex-gambler and long time acquaintance of Solo’s, Calrissian had grudgingly made an agreement with Darth Vader to betray Solo and his friends. In return, the band would be set free once their capture had lured Luke Skywalker into Vader’s grasp. The Dark Lord had no intention of keeping any promises: on his order a carbonite freezing chamber was modified for use on humans, especially Luke Skywalker, to render him helpless for safe delivery to the Emperor. To test the chamber, Solo was frozen and then turned over to the Bounty Hunter Boba Fett. for delivery to the crimelord Jabba the Hutt. He became the favorite decoration in Jabba’s Palace on Tatooine, until a daring rescue attempt led by Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia freed Han and returned him to the enduring cause of the Rebel Alliance.”

Man, they went all out on that bio, didn’t they.  Not much need for me to add anything, so here’s a Han Solo figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Han Solo in Carbonite was originally released in 1996, as part of that year’s first assortment of Star Wars: The Power of the Force II figures.  The figure saw a number of re-releases over the course of the line’s run, and is one of the more common figures out there from the line.  He stands about 4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  Han is depicted here just after being freed from his frozen carbonite prison at the beginning of Return of the Jedi.  We can tell he’s an “after carbonite” figure from his lack ofthe shackles he had in Empire.  Technically, I guess the hair could also be a tell, but all of the early PotF2 Hans had the exact same hair anyway.  The head is the same one used for all the other Han figures from this line (well, barring the final one from just before the end), which doesn’t have much in the way of a Harrison Ford likeness.  At least they were keeping it consistent.  The rest of the figure’s sculpt was new to him.  He’s still got the really exaggerated proportions and super tight clothing, but is otherwise one of the tamest sculpts to come out of this line.  He’s pretty much just in a basic standing pose, with no goofy mid-step thing or oddly bent arms.  The one main inaccuracy that stuck out at me was the shirt, which follows the pattern of his A New Hope shirt, rather than the more detailed ones from Empire and Jedi.  It’s far from the worst mistake, and 9 out of 10 people wouldn’t notice it, but I am that tenth person.  The paintwork on Han is about on par with the rest of the line.  It’s fairly basic and the colors aren’t terribly thrilling, but it gets the job done.  Han’s main accessory is, of course, the carbonite block.  It’s a pretty cool piece; the front is a pretty faithful recreation of the movie prop, and the flip side is hollow, with a clip at waist height, allowing for the figure to be placed on the underside.  Han also includes a small blaster, patterned on the one he uses to save Lando from the Sarlac.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This version of Han was the second Hon Solo I owned, following the mail-away Stormtrooper disguise figure.  He was procured on a trip with my grandmother, I think, though I’m not 100% sure on that.  It’s irrelevant at this point, because I don’t own the figure anymore.  I rather foolishly sold it about 15 years ago, on the basis that I already owned other Hans, which doesn’t even makes sense to me anymore.  The figure you see in this review is a replacement, which, like the last several PotF2 figures I’ve reviewed, was picked up during the Farpoint charity auction.  This figure’s actually a bit better than I remember him being, and is probably the best of the Hans from early in this line (though the later ones kind of surpassed all the others).  Not bad at all.

#1303: Captain Cassian Andor

CAPTAIN CASSIAN ANDOR

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“An accomplished Alliance Intelligence officer, Captain Cassian Andor commands respect from his Rebel troops with this ability to keep a cool head under fire and complete his missions with minimal resources.”

Poor Cassian seems to keep drawing the short straw on the action figures. Jyn’s main looks were covered as widely-released single-packed figures.  We got a single-packed version of Cassian in both main scales, but they were both sporting his Eadu attire, which he only wears for short periods of the film. For whatever reason, Cassian’s main brown-jacketed look has been primarily limited to larger multi-packs.  The only version of that design to be released on his own is today’s focus figure, who was still a rather difficult to find exclusive.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cassian is the second of the four figures in the Walmart-exclusive Rogue One assortment of the small-scale Star Wars: The Black Series line.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Like Jyn, Cassian’s articulation is a significant step up from what we saw with the Force Awakens figures, making for a much more playable figure.  He sports an all-new sculpt, which is definitely one of Hasbro’s finest, especially at this scale.  Prior Cassian’s have really struggled to capture Diego Luna’s likeness, but I think this one just about nailed it.  It’s really not wildly different from the previous sculpts, but there are subtleties that just make all the difference.  The body does feel a little on the bulky side for Cassian (I think the two-pack/U-Wing figure may have gotten the build down better), but the detail work is definitely top notch, with the jacket in particular really impressing me. I also appreciate that the joints don’t stick out like sore thumbs on this guy.  Bad integration of the joints was a really issue on the Force Awakens figures, and I’m really happy to see them moving past it.  Cassian’s paint is largely pretty good, barring a few small issues.  It’s definitely cleaner than the two-pack version, and the eyes/eyebrows in particular are very clean and well-placed.  That can be really tricky, and was something that marred both my Poe and Han figures from the prior assortments.  My one really complaint with this guy is the beard.  It still isn’t quite right for Cassian; they keep giving him a full goatee, when it should really be a lot less pronounced on the sides.  Still, that’s quite minor, and it looks better here than on prior figures.  In a similar fashion to Jyn, Cassian includes his modular blaster, which can be broken down into three parts.  Of course, this is more key for Cassian, since we actually see his full blaster in action in the movie.  The stock is a little loose and prone to falling off, but I’m otherwise quite impressed with how well they executed this blaster’s design. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had wanted this version of Cassian as soon as it was shown, but I was unfortunately unable to find him anywhere at retail at the time of his release.  That’s really the main reason I ended up grabbing the TRU-exclusive one, since I didn’t want to be without this particular look for Cassian.  I was thrilled to actually find this guy at retail last week, and at half-price too!  Jyn was a fantastic figure, and Cassian manages to top her.  This is a truly impressive figure, and hands down the very best version of Cassian out there.  He rivals the larger K-2 figure for the spot of my favorite figure to come out of the Rogue One merch.

#1302: Sergeant Jyn Erso

SERGEANT JYN ERSO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“A highly skilled soldier in the Rebel Alliance, Jyn Erso is an impetuous, defiant warrior eager to bring the battle to the Empire.  Jyn has little patience for debate within Alliance High Command, enough that she takes matters into her own hands.”

Remember back last year when I reviewed those special smaller-scale Black Series figures based on the characters from The Force Awakens?  Well, Hasbro also did a set of those for Rogue One, albeit a more concise one.  They were a bit more difficult to find, since stores seem to still be swimming in the last few series just prior.  I did manage to finally track down some of them, including that set’s version of the film’s primary protagonist, Jyn Erso!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jyn is one of the four figures from the Rogue One-themed assortment of the smaller-scale Star Wars: The Black Series line.  She hit in late November (well, in theory) and, like all of the small-scale Black Series figures since The Force Awakens, she’s a Walmart exclusive.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and she has 24 points of articulation.  I’m happy to report that they seem to have realized how difficult to pose some of the Force Awakens figures were, and have reworked the articulation scheme for the Rogue One offerings.  While I’m still not totally sold on the hip joints, the overall poseablity really great.  This figure sports an all-new sculpt, and she’s notable for being a Jyn look that we hadn’t yet gotten in plastic form.  Granted, it’s just a slight variation of the main look that we’ve gotten in both the small and larger scales; it’s her main Scarif look, which is her vested look, but without the underlying green jacket that she’s had on the prior vested figures.  All of the Black Series Jyn figures have had rather nice sculpts, and this figure is no exception.  I honestly think it’s the best Felicity Jones likeness of the bunch (this was also true of the Rey figure from this line), and the body sports halfway decent proportions, which is good for this line.  The vest is a removable piece; she looks a bit off with it removed, but it’s nice to have the extra option.  The paint work on Jyn is quite good for the scale; there’s not a ton of super intricate work, but the application is all pretty clean, especially on the face.  There’s some slight slop here and there, but I find it to be lot better than earlier figures in this style.  Jyn is packed with her small blaster pistol, along with two attachments for it to be converted into a sniper rifle configuration.  It’s not something we saw in the film, but it did show up in Battlefront, and it’s a cool concept.  Certainly a better extra than yet another giant missile launcher.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This particular series of figures *mostly* eluded me at retail.  Jyn was the one figure that I actually saw.  In fact, I saw about ten of her right after Christmas, but since she was all alone and there were so many of her, I figured I’d wait.  Of course, then I didn’t see her or any of the other figures anywhere for the next five months, so I figured I’d missed my window.  Last week, I was killing some time while Super Awesome Girlfriend, and I happened upon a whole rack of the smaller Black Series figures, Jyn included.  For half-price no less!  I had resigned myself never to find her, but I’m super happy to have found her.  Genuinely the best version of Jyn on the market, and a marked improvement over the so-so Walmart-exclusive Force Awakens figures.

#1298: Imperial AT-ACT Driver

IMPERIAL AT-ACT DRIVER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“The Empire’s combat drivers are trained to handle everything on the Imperial ground arsenal, from heavily armed AT-ATs to the more utilitarian AT-ACT walkers.”

You can’t have Star Wars figures without a metric ton of generic Trooper figures.  They’ve long been the backbone of the line, so it’s not a huge surprise that the movie makers put effort into introducing a few extra variants every time there’s a new movie.  Rogue One gave us the whole Scarif sub-set of troopers, which are some of my new favorites.  Today’s figure isn’t *technically* a Scarif trooper, but he share’s a lot of design elements, and he only actually shows up during the Scarif sequences of the movie, so I’m grouping him with them.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Imperial AT-ACT Driver is a Target-exclusive entry in the Star Wars: The Black Series line.  He follows the store-exclusive trooper trend, coming out after the TRU-exclusive Hovertank Pilot and the Walmart-exclusive Scarif Trooper.  In the movie, there are actually two drivers seen in the AT-ACT; a basic driver and a commander.  This figure represents the commander.  Of course, thanks to the fairly easily swapped heads on all these troopers, if you swap the head on this guy onto the Hovertank Pilot’s body, you can get both the basic AT-ACT driver and the Tank Commander, if one were so inclined. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s a total parts re-use; he’s got the body of the Hovertank Pilot and the head of the Scarif trooper.  It’s totally warranted re-use, since the movie design was the same.  Plus, the pieces are solid, so I have no issues with having them used again.  This figure’s main differences are, of course, the paint.  The basic colors match up with those of the Hovertank pilot (no doubt intentional, since it makes the previously mentioned head swap much easier), but he also gets the additional grey markings on the shoulders to denote him as a commander.  The markings are nice and sharp, which is good.  There’s also a little bit of weathering on the armored sections, offering a bit of accenting to the sculpt.  I’m glad to see the weathering on troopers is remaining a rather consistent thing.  The AT-ACT Driver includes a standard E-11 Blaster.  In uses the same extra detailing used for the blaster included with the K-Mart-exclusive Jyn, which is another thing that’s nice to see be a recurring feature.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This guy caught me by surprise, since he wasn’t really promoted that much by either Hasbro or Target.  On the same trip where Tim bought me Moon Knight, I also found this guy, but I was still planning to pass, since I was trying to hold off on buying as much.  Of course, this just wouldn’t sit with Super Awesome Girlfriend, who insisted on getting him for me.  This figure doesn’t exactly offer anything new, but I do really like him.  He’s probably my personal favorite of the various Rogue One troopers that have gotten Black Series releases.

#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!

#1293: Tusken Raider

TUSKEN RAIDER

STAR WAR: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“The Sand People are easily frighted, but they’ll be back, and in greater numbers”

The Tusken Raiders.  What the heck are they?  Are they aliens?  Or just weird nomad people?  We never do see what they look like under all those wrappings.  Heck, they weren’t even called “Tusken Raiders” originally; they were just “Sand People.”  But I guess, like Walrus Man, Hammer Head, and Snuggle Tooth, that name was deemed too goofy to be real.   This is why we can’t have nice things.  Well, okay, that’s not true.  We have some nice things.  For instance, we have this Tusken Raider figure that I’m reviewing today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Tusken Raider was released in the second wave of the 1996 assortment of Power of the Force II figures from Kenner, which happens to be the same set that gave us the previously reviewed Greedo figure.  Like Greedo, the Raider wasn’t featured on cardbacks for some reason.  This was the second sand person/Tusken Raider in the line, following the original vintage release.  The figure stands a little over 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  As I’ve noted before, the PotF2 figures were pretty high on the stylization scale, but as the line progressed, this lessened a bit.  The Raider is definitely a little puffier than most depictions of the design have been, and the head is rather on the small side.  There are also some slight bits of preposing, but it’s mostly limited to the arms, where it more or less makes sense.  The sculpting on the legs/feet isn’t particularly crazy, but for whatever reason, this figure tends to fall over a lot, which is really annoying.  Overall, I like this sculpt, but there are some bits of it that are rather uneven.  For instance, while there’s some great detail work on the head and robes, and there’s even a fully detailed torso under the main robe piece (which is removable), the hands are large and mostly devoid of extra detail, which ends up just looking really goofy.  Still, when compared to some of the Series 1 figures, he’s still a definite step-up.  The paint work on the Raider is mostly pretty passable.  Lots of tans and browns, and there’s even a bit of subtle work at the base of the sleeves and the skirt of the robe.  Not the most thrilling color scheme of all time, but accurate to what’s seen on-screen.  The Raider’s one accessory is his Gaderffi stick.  There were two variations of the figure’s left hand sculpt.  Mine is the earlier, closed grip hand, which prevents him from holding the stick anywhere but the very top, which is a little goofy.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Greedo, I didn’t have this one growing up. I had my dad’s vintage Sand Person, which held me over.  I ended up grabbing this guy from this year’s Farpoint charity auction.  He’s not a bad figure at all.  Not super thrilling, but fun enough to keep me interested.

#1290: Princess Leia Organa

PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“Princess Leia Organa was one of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest leaders, fearless on the battlefield and dedicated to ending the tyranny of the Empire.”

May the 4th be with you!  Yes, it’s May 4th again, known to geeks all over the world as Star Wars Day.  This year’s Star Wars Day is extra special, since this year marks to 40th anniversary of the release of the original movie.  I had initially planned to review another vintage figure today, but as luck would have it, I got a newer item that I wanted to slot into the schedule as quickly as possible.  So, without further ado, here’s Princess Leia Organa!

THE FIGURE IN QUESTION

Princess Leia was released as part of the first series of the special 40th Anniversary sub-set of Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series.  All of the figures in the first series are re-releases of prior Black Series figures, but this time on special commemorative cards patterned after the vintage Kenner hardbacks of old.  The packaging is super nifty, and I was almost a little sad to have to open it up to take her out.  Leia is a re-release of the #30 Black Series figure released last year.  Unlike the others in this set, she’s actually got a slight tweak from her predecessor.  The initial head for the #30 figure was deemed unsatisfactory by Hasbro.  However, they were too late in production to completely replace it, so the initial shipments went out with the initial sculpt.  There was talk of a running change to replace the head, but I’m not actually sure if they ever made it out.  This release is making use of the new head from the start.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 29 points of articulation.  Like Luke and Obi-Wan before her, Leia makes use of a mix of sculpted and cloth parts.  The head, boots, and underlying body are all sculpted, and the dress and hood are a tailored piece, held in place by a sculpted belt piece.  In terms of the sculpted parts, the general work is pretty solid.  The head is, as noted, the improved piece.  It’s really quite a nice piece of work; easily one of the better Carrie Fisher likeness out there.  It’s leaps and bounds beyond the prior piece, and I personally think its a closer likeness than the Boushh disguise Leia, which was my personal favorite prior to this.  The underlying body sculpt is decent enough; it’s not really meant to be seen, so the proportions are more on the marionette side of things.  I do wish some of the joints offered a little more range, but other than that, it seems fine.  The boots are a pretty decent sculpt, and make for a pretty decent replica of the actual costume pieces.  They aren’t going to to be seen much, but the attention to detail is appreciated.  The cloth pieces on the Black Series figures have never been one of Hasbro’s strong suits.  I was particularly letdown by how the shirt turned out on the ANH Luke figure.  So, I was definitely apprehensive of how the dress would turn out here.  While I think I still would have preferred a sculpted dress, I’m happy to say the cloth dress is better than I was expecting.  It seems to be less ill-fitting than prior pieces, and sits on the figure rather nicely.  It’s not without issue, mind you.  The seams on the sleeves are rather annoying, and the hood is just sort of a mess.  It doesn’t really want to say up or down; I think sewing it in place would have been a better idea.  The belt piece holds the whole thing together nicely, and adds just the right folds.  It also doesn’t seem to ride up as much as Luke’s did, which is a serious plus!  I’ve been a little letdown by some of the Black Series paint as of late, but Leia actually turned out really well.  Her head gets the majority of the work.  It’s all pretty clean, and I was pleasantly surprised by the slight accent work on her face, which adds some extra color and brings some much needed life to the figure.  Here’s hoping that this style of paintwork continues!  Leia is packed with two blasters: the smaller one she carries during her opening scene and the larger Stormtrooper blaster she’s hauling around during the escape from the Deathstar.  I really appreciate the variety.  Of course the fact that she got both guns only further hammers home how annoying it was that Luke didn’t get any of his Stormtrooper gear, since both Han and Leia did.  Oh well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I never did see the first release of this figure at retail (In fact, the only figure I did see was the Obi-Wan figure that I bought).  So, I was pretty happy to hear about the re-release, since I didn’t want my A New Hope set stuck without a major player.  I ended up finding this figure at the nearby comic book store, Power Comics, while Super Awesome Girlfriend was picking up last week’s comics haul.  I was going to wait to grab her, but Super Awesome Girlfriend insisted on buying her for me, because that’s what she does.  For once, I’m glad I had to wait for a figure, because this release is definitely superior to the prior figure.  The end result is a figure I’m really happy with.  She was definitely a pleasant surprise.  Here’s to more awesome Leia figures in the future!

#1286: Greedo

GREEDO

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

Boba Fett may be the go-to bounty hunter of the Star Wars universe, but he and all of his bounty hunting pals owe just about everything to one guy: Greedo Q. Kazoo.  Okay, it’s really just Greedo.  No last name.  Or first name.  It’s just the one name, really.  Like Michelangelo. Or Beyonce.  I’m getting sidetracked.  Anyway, Greedo was instrumental to introducing the whole wider bounty hunter thing to the Star Wars universe.  He’s probably my personal favorite bounty hunter, truth be told, due to having a fun design, serving a clear purpose, and generally not being overhyped (unlike some *other* bounter hunters out there).  Greedo’s had a few figures over the years, including one during the infamous Power of the Force II incarnation from the ‘90s, which I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Greedo was released as part of the second 1996 assortment of Star Wars: Power of the Force II.  Interestingly enough, Greedo’s not one of the figures pictured on the back of the packaging.  This marked Greedo’s second time as an action figure, after his original vintage figure.  He stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  The PotF2 sculpts were generally stricken by ‘90s uber-stylization, but as the line moved forward, the stylizing slowly worked its way out.  Coming from the line’s second year, Greedo already shows some of the steps forward, being a lot less pre-posed than some of the earlier figures were; there’s still a slight bit of a mid-step thing going on, but it’s hardly an extreme pose.  He’s still a little on the buff side (which is further accented by the slightly tighter fit of the clothes), but it’s fairly minor.  He’s helped by his more alien design, which helps to mask some of the faults.  From a purely aesthetic standpoint, his sculpt is definitely solid.  The head is a pretty pitch-perfect recreation of the Greedo mask seen in the movie.  It’s perhaps a bit underscaled, but I actually think it looks slightly better that way.  There’s also a ton of really sharp detail work, not only on the head, but also on the rest of the body sculpt.  While he’s certainly not going to be outdoing the Black Series figure or anything, he’s still sporting a very well-crafted sculpt.  The sculpt is topped off with a decent paint job.  Nothing particularly fancy, but all of Greedo’s basic colors are there, and the application is all pretty clean.  Greedo was packed with two blasters; one large, one small.  The smaller blaster is based on Greedo’s sidearm from the movie, and, aside from being a little sized-up, is pretty accurate.  The larger piece is made up for the figure, but hey, at least they gave him something extra, right?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have Greedo growing up (in fact, my first proper Greedo figure was actually the Black Series figure).  This figure was another that I grabbed during this past Farpoint’s charity auction, alongside a handful of other PotF2 guys.  I’ve actually eyed this figure a few times before, and, like Kaylee and Cobra Commander before him, the good cause was enough to finally convince me to pick him up.  I’m glad I did, because he’s definitely one of the better PotF2 figures Kenner put out.

#1276: Shoretrooper

SHORETROOPER

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE (HASBRO)

“Specialist Stormtroopers stationed at the top-secret Imperial military headquarters on Scarif, these Shoretroopers patrol the beaches and bunkers of the planetary facility.”

Okay, is it “Shoretrooper” or “Scarif Stormtrooper?”  Make up your minds already!  I mean, at least before it was a company to company thing, but now Hasbro, who have up to this point labeled every other version of this squad as “Scarif Stormtrooper,” jumping on the “Shoretrooper” bandwagon.  Why just this one figure? Why!?!  I NEED TO KNOW!!!!

Okay, actually it doesn’t really matter all that much.  It’s really neither here nor there.  Figures have names on the package, and then the package gets thrown away.  The name on the box could have been Throat Warbler Mangrove, and I’d still buy it.  Because its the Scarif Trooper, and that’s, like, my new favorite Imperial design!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Okay, so the *Shoretrooper* was released in Series 3 of the Rogue One line.  There are a number of different variations of this armor, denoting ranks and the like.  This guy here is the most basic of the bunch; he’s the real cannon fodder.  He’s also the same design as the Walmart-exclusive 6” Scarif Stormtrooper.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and has the usual 5 points of articulation.  It appears that this figure uses the same mold as the AT-ACT Driver, which I never actually got (because $300 is a lot of money).  It’s worth noting that this mold does *not* share any parts with the Squad Leader figure.  That’s probably a good thing, because, while I like that figure, his sculpt does have some issues.  This one improves the shaping of the helmet, and adds a few details that were missing at the top.  It also adds some nice texturing to the pants, and gives the overall figure a less stiff posture.  All of those things are definite positives.  Also, we’ve flipped back to a separate attachment piece for the “skirt,” as opposed to one that’s stuck to the legs.  It’s my preferred way of handing it to be sure, but it just seems a little odd that they go back and forth.  The paint on this guy is pretty much what we’ve come to expect from this line.  All of the basic details are there, and the colors match up well enough with the on-screen stuff.  The application is mostly pretty clean, with some slight bleed here and there, especially at the edges at the pants.  He lacks the weathering on the larger figures, but that’s the difference between the two lines.  The Shoretrooper is packed with the same larger blaster rifle included with the Squad Leader, as well as…wait for it…a zipline.  Oh yeah, those ziplines!  This one’s got a retracting feature, which is different, I guess.  Yay?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I’ve noted numerous times in the past, the Shore/Scarif Trooper is a favorite design of mine, so I’m down for pretty much every figure they release of it.  Of course, like I said in yesterday’s Bodhi review, Series 3 hasn’t been very prominent much of anywhere at retail, so I didn’t really have any chances to pick this one up.  I ended up finding him at the same time as Bodhi, and certainly wasn’t going to pass him up.  He’s a decent enough figure for the basic line.  If you like this design, you could do worse than this figure.