Friday, December 15, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,437: BB-9E (Droid Factory Line Look)


BB-9E Disney's, Bigger than Hasbro's
Droid Factory The Last Jedi Boxed Set
Item No.:
  No. 23185
Manufacturer: Disney
Number: n/a
Includes: 3 more droid figures
Action Feature: Breaks down into 4 separate pieces
Retail: $29.99
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: All different types of Astromech droids populate the Star Wars galaxy.  Each droid is different and has their own unique personality and colors.   These four BB units are featured in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.   May the Force be with you... and your Droids!  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)
Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  As of now I've not seen the movie and have mostly ignored spoilers. BB-9E is a mystery to me - it's black, it's probably a First Order droid,  It has a head seemingly more inspired by the shape of R5-D4's head, with a more angled look and a red eye. It's black and silver, so it looks a bit more like Darth Vader - it must be evil!  Probably.  Maybe it's just cute.  Maybe he'll join up with the Resistance until BB-8 shoves him out of a space ship - which is what happened on Rebels with Chopper.

Functionally the toy is the same as the other Disney droids - he stands larger than Hasbro's models, and can pop apart at the equator to reveal a weighted ball inside that allows him to stay upright.  The head can be popped off and you can mix and match the droid hemispheres if you like.   It's basically a cute Star Wars Weeble - he wobbles, but won't fall down.   You're probably seeing the movie right now so you've got a better idea if this figure is interesting or authentic than I do as I write the review. 

I can say it's neat, I like the look, and it's functionally a sound plaything.  I'd say it's a good figure for the price, as is the entire set, if you want a bunch of little round robots.  The entire The Last Jedi line feels a little anemic so far, but so did Kenner's 1980-1982 offerings for The Empire Strikes Back - it was fairly true to the movie in that sense, too.  I guess by now, I'll know if Hasbro's line was good or not - I also get the feeling Hasbro is also just finding this out.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Disneyland via my pal Zac.  Thank you Zac!

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,437: December 15, 2017

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,436: BB-4 (Droid Factory Line Look)

BB-4 New!
Droid Factory The Last Jedi Boxed Set
Item No.:
  No. 23185
Manufacturer: Disney
Number: n/a
Includes: 3 more droid figures
Action Feature: Breaks down into 4 separate pieces
Retail: $29.99
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: All different types of Astromech droids populate the Star Wars galaxy.  Each droid is different and has their own unique personality and colors.   These four BB units are featured in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.   May the Force be with you... and your Droids!  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)
Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  So far all I know about BB-4 is that I thought it was a good figure, but it turns out it could be a lot better.  Disney made a neat looking toy robot with all the fixings - you can pop him apart at the equator.  There's a weighted ball inside.  The colors and angles remind me a bit of an old Kenner Speederbike.  It's distinctive, new and charming.  It also doesn't look like the stills making the rounds online.

The head seems a bit more streamlined in the movie, with a darker brown, much more dirt and grit, plus a big Resistance logo on it.  The antenna doesn't look quite right, and while the dirt change is very forgivable, the missing Resistance symbol combined with the wrong color chassis makes me think a do-over is likely - maybe from Hasbro, maybe Disney.  I hope there's no running change.

If you want a cool roly-poly robot to keep with your sequel trilogy toys, it's a lovely robot - but like the Kenner Cantina aliens of old, it's off enough to be kind of frustrating.  This kind of thing is delightful if we get corrected figures later, but that's less frequent these days and it's likely to be an ongoing problem as everybody makes toys from unfinished movies.  I can pretend it's another droid entirely, and that's fine, but if Disney can't make a better toy from its own movie and its own source material, it makes it easier to cut Hasbro some slack on their wares.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Disneyland via my pal Zac.  Thank you Zac!

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,436: December 13, 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,435: Luke Skywalker (Jedi Exile, The Last Jedi Line Look)

LUKE SKYWALKER Jedi Exile with Force Link
The Last Jedi Basic Figure Orange Assortment
Item No.:
Asst. C1503  No. C3525
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Cloak, hood, staff
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $8.99
Availability: November 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: Luke Skywalker was a Force-sensitive human male Jedi Master who was instrumental in defeating the Galactic Empire and the Sith during the Galactic Civil War. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.) (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  Long-time readers of my ramblings know I feel weird about seeing my heroes age.  We used to get "happily ever after," so Luke Skywalker returned from the great narrative beyond as a Jedi Exile - and as of right now I don't know what that really means.  We know he left, we assume he feels a little disgraced, and this return means the guy who we looked up to and saved the galaxy, destroying a government, couldn't carve out a place for his future, his family, and his followers.  Something awful happened, and this was in part brought on by Disney buying Lucasfilm.   It's bittersweet to get to spend more time with Luke Skywalker, especially since this means he might die, or be a jerk, or in some way differ from 34 years of comics,  novels, and imagination.

At least the figure is good.   Why Luke needs to change outfits so quickly on his island retreat remains to be seen.

The head looks good with a clean sculpt and a separate piece that makes up his hair. The eyes and beard are sharp, and you can pop out the head from the hood if you like.  His coat is a vest, so if you remove it you have jacket sleeves for the arms on his tunic.   Both wrists are articulated, making this a 7POA figure.  One hand has a glove rather than an exposed robot fist, which also raises questions as to why he wasn't wearing it at the end of the last film.  Vanity?  Was the glove in the wash, yet his white robes were somehow pristine?  The hood's texture and color doesn't match the jacket/robe, so that's strange - and I like how the boots look like a darker version of his Tatooine duds.  I absolutely love the cloth texture on his torso.    I also love that his legs can mostly swing forward cleanly - it's not perfect, but it's good.

I don't yet know if the hood/robe mismatch is from the movie or not, but if it is Hasbro probably did a good job.  If not, well, it's just weird and confusing.   I like the figure more than I don't, because it's sort of like a Yoda-ish Luke whereas the last one was basically Obi-Wan Lukenobi.   His new staff/cane is intriguing, and we'll see if it is more than meets the eye.  Or just a stick.

Force Link Notes: "How did you find me?" "What do you know about the Force?" "Reach out with your feelings." "You shouldn't be here." It's clearly a soundalike.  Also a smattering of swordy or clangy sounds.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,435: December 11, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,434: Emperor Palpatine (The Last Jedi Line Look)

EMPEROR PALPATINE with Force Link
The Last Jedi Target Exclusive Three-Pack
Item No.:
  No. C3197
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Cane, alternate lightning hands, Emperor's Royal Guard with Force Pike, Luke with slightsaber
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $8.99
Availability: November 2017
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Luke Skywalker was a Force-sensitive human male Jedi Master who was instrumental in defeating the Galactic Empire and the Sith during the Galactic Civil War. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  I didn't think I wanted a new Emperor Palpatine but Hasbro did a superb job here.   I would almost say it's too good - I've still got Galen Erso on my desk, and looking at the new Emperor versus Galen from just a few months ago there's no competition.   Galen looks awful.   Palpatine is crisp throughout, with really wonderful textures on his robes and one of the best faces of any original trilogy figure.  Ever.  It's great.

The figure has robes that connect to his hood.  Arms are separate jointed pieces, as are the neck and hips.   Thanks to the robes he won't be doing much sitting, but the belt, boots, and everything look really slick.   The face looks a lot more like the make-up, and I have to wonder if they had a superfan or improved reference for this one.     If you're a fan that just wants the best-looking Emperor for a display, this is it.

The hands are posed in interesting ways - the lightning hands are weird and a tiny bit ugly as the fingers merge with the lightning.  The paint isn't super clean, so it looks like his fingers are melting into the lightning - and maybe htey are.  It's weird.  If you don't look too close, it's a pretty awesome effect.   The normal hands are similarly good - one hand is designed for his cane, while the other is beckoning or taunting.   Both allow for a decent amount of gesturing, which is helpful when a figure can't do much other than stand and move his arms thanks to costume limitations.   Everything is old and gnarled and perfect.

This is the Emperor you want.  This is evidence Hasbro still has a booming creative force inside that can make awesome things for us when they so choose - it's uncommon, but it's real, it's here.  It's great.  While I expect the set may hang around a bit, support something awesome and go buy it for yourself or a collector buddy at (or near) regular price.  Send Hasbro a clear message that when it comes to exclusives, all-new sculpts of original trilogy figures are most welcome.

Force Link Notes: "Wipe them out, all of them."  "In time you will call me Master."  "You will bring him before me." Sith lightning sounds.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Target.  It was on sale for 25% off.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,434: December 8, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,433: Luke Skywalker (The Last Jedi Line Look)

LUKE SKYWALKER with Force Link
The Last Jedi Target Exclusive Three-Pack
Item No.:
  No. C3197
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, Emperor's Royal Guard with Force Pike, Emperor with Lightning and Cane
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $8.99
Availability: November 2017
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Luke Skywalker was a Force-sensitive human male Jedi Master who was instrumental in defeating the Galactic Empire and the Sith during the Galactic Civil War. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  Much like the Royal Guard, this Luke Skywalker was assumed to be a repack or reissue when we first caught a glimpse of it.  It's new!  The figure now has 7 points of articulation thanks to wrists, and the figure can indeed stand on its own.  You're going to have to find the sweet spot, because he's bent in a pseudo-dramatic pose. If you want a Luke to torch his pop, or to throw his lightsaber away because he thinks he's better than you, this is the one.

Luke is pale with hair that looks closer to an action figure in color than his actual hair.  It mostly works.   The outfit is crisp and detailed, with minimal paint.  Mine has a tiny ding on the belt buckle I didn't notice until after I had opened it, and you can see tons of seams on his very tight pants.  There is glossy paint on his boots, belt, and pouch - and I generally never noticed the pouch before.   Hasbro did a good job making sure the figure doesn't need a lot of paint, but mercifully his lightsaber has some decoration to bring it to life.   The likeness is pretty good, he has that cleft chin and does a good  job generally looking more like Mark Hamill than most of the other releases.  I'd say the hair is a tad bushy, but that's mostly just fine.

This is a decent Luke figure, but the price may scare you away - $25 means each figure is $8.33, a bit more than an average single figure. Given the lack of accessories for Luke, it would have been nice to have something a little extra in here to make it worthwhile.  It's still a good figure and I'm happy to see Hasbro crank out a few more original trilogy figures as there have been precious few since the Disney takeover.

Force Link Notes: Luke says a bunch of lines from the movie.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Target.  It was on sale for 25% off.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,433: December 6, 2017

Monday, December 4, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,432: Emperor's Royal Guard (The Last Jedi Line Look)

EMPEROR'S ROYAL GUARD with Force Link
The Last Jedi Target Exclusive Three-Pack
Item No.:
  No. C3197
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Force Pike, Luke with Lightsaber, Emperor with Lightning and Cane
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $8.99
Availability: November 2017
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: The Emperor's Royal Guard, also referred to as the Imperial Royal Guard or Imperial Guard, was an elite order of protectors assigned to Emperor Palpatine of the Galactic Empire. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  It wasn't obvious when announced, but this Emperor's Royal Guard is a new figure - and possibly the best version so far, as my needs are concerned.  Sure, we had a super-articulated version with cloth robes - but this one has nice plastic robes and stands easily.  With 5 points of articulation, everybody's favorite red bowling pin has returned with an armored body under the robes.   If you pop off the head, you can even see it.   His right hand is posed the way you want - he can hold the Force Pike pool cue perfectly, and the accessory has never looked  better.   Well, it had some black paint before, but this is nice and clean.

The legs can swing forward, as can the arms thanks to cuts in the robes.  It clearly took the best design cues from previous versions of the figure, without weird tassels hanging off the sides.  The robes wrap around the figure nicely, and the various sculpted folds are pretty much exactly as I would want them.     The texture is decent, with a clothlike visual look on the robes and a glossy, shiny red helmet.  It's lovely.

The only thing I don't like about this figure is the fact you have to get it in an exclusive 3-pack.  I'd cheerily buy a few more of these on individual cards, as this is the army builder you'd want if you're trying to put together a modern set of vintage 1980s toys.   You know, that set of 92-96 that Hasbro will never actually finish.   Ah well.   Go ahead and get this guard, you're going to like it.

Force Link Notes: It sounds pretty much the same as the Praetorian guards - just some whooshing noises.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Target.  It was on sale for 25% off.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,432: December 4, 2017

Friday, December 1, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,431: Jyn Erso (The Last Jedi Line Look)


JYN ERSO with Force Link
The Last Jedi Basic Figure Orange Assortment
Item No.:
Asst. C1503  No. C3523
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, scarf
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $8.99
Availability: November 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: Jyn Erso was a human female soldier and former criminal who became a pivotal member of the Alliance to Restore the Republic when she led Rogue One in stealing the Death Star plans during the Battle of Scarif. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.  Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  This is the least essential figure in the new movie's line.  Jyn Erso returns - much like new versions of Kylo Ren and Rey during Rogue One - because the home video is out, kids are still seeing it, and fans may want the movie's lead character roughly 11 months after the film's release.   These lines are planned 18 months before release sometimes, so that means Hasbro assumed the marketplace needed a new Jyn Erso figure - and as such, they gave you one very similar to the last version with minor batch changes and added Force Link elements.  (There's a chip inside her, and a blue marker on the sole of her retooled boot.)

The figure is basically the same colors, but a bit lighter.  The face is a but more muted, with lighter skin and lighter features.  The green and brown of her costume aren't as dark, and the copyright information was moved from the boots to the back of the scarf.  (I applaud this move.)   The original blaster was more silver, this new one is more grey.  The first one had better detailing and was more opaque, so both her face and blaster suffer a tiny bit from translucent plastic sucking the detail out.  It's by no means bad - it's just that if you have a previous release I doubt you will also need this one.  For completists and Force Link fans only... unless you missed the previous release (three times over), in which case get it with my blessing.


Force Link Notes: "Rebellions are built on hope."  "Escort is headed your way."     "Okay, on my lead."  Blaster sounds.  "We can stop them."  Possibly more - it was a little unresponsive.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,431: December 1, 2017