Tag Archives: Star Wars

Elite Praetorian Guard (with Heavy Blade) (Amazon Exc) and Elite Praetorian Guard Comparison

Since Amazon was ready ahead of time, the exclusive Elite Praetorian Guard (with Heavy Blade) was sent out early. So, now that I have it in hand, I wanted to compare it to the standard Elite Praetorian Guard #50.

First off, the helmets. I was expecting the figures to be the same except for the weapons. I am happy to see that there is a different helmet for each of the types of guards. The Heavy Blade guard is in the left, with the upswept mask, while the standard figure on the right has the longer mask.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the figure too. First up is the standard guard. He is VERY red. The only spot of color are the black pants hidden under the skirt.

Now that is a lot of red, but the figure has a lot of texture going for it that allows for some variation. There is a leather texture on the skirt as well as the around the neck. The arms have layered armor that allows for color variation in the highlights and shadows. And the mask itself is shiny.

The details included are really well done. From the leather material to the fine lines of the body armor. They even have cool double jointed knees with the big knee pads as the main part that separates the two parts of the leg.  he guard comes with a pretty nasty looking bladed weapon. It is interesting that these guards have bladed weapons as opposed to the long range blasters that the majority of the characters use. It will be interesting to see how these weapons hold up against weapons like the lightsaber.

Heavy Blade guard has the heavy blade that has a pole as tall as the guard and then there is a massive blade on top of that. It is a formidable close-combat weapon. He also comes with a spear or pike of some sort. The SHFiguarts Heavy Blade Guard shows that this weapon separates to become a whip. Seeing him in hand really gets me excited to see these guys in action. Unlike the Emperor’s Royal Guard, we should see these guys in action.

The only real problem with these guys are the elbow joints. The joints are lost behind the layers of armor, so they cannot bend their arms very well. I have seen some fixes that I may try.

The director of The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson said that he wanted these guards to look more like samurai than the Emperor’s guards. He wanted them to look like they could fight if they needed to. I think they succeeded in the desired effect. I really like that there are different helmets and weapons available. There is one more guard out there. The “fingernail” guard with a wide brim on his helmet that looks like a big fingernail. It is part of the Gamestop Exclusive 4 pack that comes with 3 other guards going back to the Republic days. It is way too expensive for what it is, so I am going to hold out hope that Hasbro will put out a single pack with the 3rd Elite Guard. I am also interested to see what the numbers of each type of guard are for the movie. There are supposedly 8 of them.

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Ezra Bridger’s Speeder – Star Wars: Rebels (3 3/4 scale)

I have not been collecting a whole lot of vehicles in recent years from Star Wars, but there have been a few that have stuck out at me. This is not one of them. I passed on it many times. Until it went on clearance at Target. I figured, I love speeder bikes, so it would not be a big loss if it was a stinker of a vehicle.

Thankfully it is pretty good. It comes with Ezra, and he has his lightsaber. Both are good.

Ezra’s lightsaber hilt can be attached to his hip. That is a nice touch for anyone who wants to play with the figure. I figure a 5 POA figure is a waste for trying to play with, or even pose for photography. It is too static a pose for any good use.

There is a hatch in the back of the speeder to also hold the lightsaber hilt.

The blade of the saber can be stored under the vehicle. It is a nice way to keep it safe when Ezra is just cruising around.

 

The speeder is a larger bike than the classic speeder bikes the Empire uses. This one is more utilitarian, with a bulkier frame. More for everyday use. The front handles slide forward and back to allow different sized figures to ride on the bike. That is a nice addition as well.

There is a lot of good paint on this one that gives enough detail. It looks well used with some scuffed paint here and there.

Overall this is a fine vehicle for the scale. I can see how there are people that passed on it. If you are not a fan of Rebels, there would be no nostalgia feel to the bike. I do like the extended universe, and seeing different vehicles is always nice. There are still plenty around at many Target stores, just warming pegs, looking for good homes before the next Star Wars movie comes out and takes up all of the pegs again.


The Black Series Photo Dump

Over on my Flickr account http://www.flickr.com/photos/carnitasfever/  I added a mess of new The Black Series photos.   I have been so focused on other toys in the last year that the 6 inch Star Wars figures have been neglected.   I finally took some time to break these men and women from their plastic and cardboard prisons and set them free on the shelf.  But before they went on the shelf, they went to the sand for a photoshoot.

I figured I would just dump all of them at once, since some of them are old, and most have been reviewed elsewhere a long time ago.

I am really happy with what Hasbro has done, and continues to do with The Black Series.   This was a catch-up matter, so hopefully I will be more on top of things as we go forward with new Black Series figures.  And I know there is some good stuff coming.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/carnitasfever/


Tie Striker – Star Wars – Rogue One (3 3/4 scale)

The Tie Striker. There were a lot of new vessels introduced in Rogue One. One of them was this alternate version of the Tie Fighter. It is always an interesting gable to throw a new vehicle into a world that already has a long history. Why didn’t we see Tie Strikers and U-Wings during other movies. Well, they were created after the other movies, but take place before. Like the Death Troopers, you have to have a good story to go along with it. Basically the Galactic War takes place over an entire galaxy, and the places that have these vehicles were not visited… or something along those lines.  Over the years, Hasbro has come out with some amazing Tie Fighter variations. We have had Tie Bombers, Tie Fighters, Tie Interceptors, and the Tie X1. And now the Tie Striker.

This version comes with very long wings. It is nearly as long as Hasbro’s U-Wing, which is impressive on its own. There are 5 main parts to put together. The top part has an opening canopy. The bottom has the NERF cannon. Then there are two wings that are a bit tricky to get in place, but not too bad.

The Tie comes with a pilot. He is a very standard 5POA figure. He does come with an E-11 blaster.

Just like the First Order Tie Fighter, this one has a place in the canopy to hold the blaster. That way it is not bouncing around in there when the ship is flown around.

The wings are locked in the up position for landing. There is a bit of a forward slope to the wings while it is on the ground.

From the top the wing design is unique, but not too dissimilar from the standard Tie variation, so it still fits into the universe.

With a press of a button, the wings fall down into attack mode. Apparently this helps the fighter to fly faster.

From the front, you can see the increased fire power. Yes, there is a NERF cannon down there, but that is of no concern. What is interesting is the second set of cannons below the first. This fighter is ready for battle with 4 cannons instead of two.

From the back, you can see the button on top for dropping the wings. There are holders under the wings for up to 4 NERF darts. The fighter only comes with two.

Overall this is a great model of a Tie Striker. It is big and fun to swoop around. There is a lot of playability with the wings flapping up and down as the flyer sees fit. The NERF guns work well, and the darts fly far, for some added playability. To me, the NERF parts detract from the overall appeal of the toy. It isn’t too bad on this one, like the giant blob hanging off of Hera Syndulla’s A-Wing from the Rebels TV show. I am hoping for a passing phase on this as we get closer to the next Star Wars film coming out, which means the potential for some new vessels.


Road Trip Finds

I was gone on a 21 day road trip with my wife and dog. We got a travel trailer and took it out on the maiden voyage. 21 days, 11 states, 4200 miles. Along the way I was able to stop in a plethora of WalMarts, Targets, a few Toys R Us’ and a couple of Walgreens. I even made it to a Fred Meyer in Oregon, which is owned by Krogers, so they had lots of Hot Wheels.

The tally of finds was:

Marvel Legends:
6 of the 7 Spider-Man Homecoming
The Walgreens Exclusive Invisible Woman
The Toys R Us Exclusive 2-pack Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson

The Jim Lee Cyclops figure from the Warlock Series

Transformers:
Blitzwing (Voyager Class)
Octane (Voyager Class)
Bumblebee (Deluxe Movie)
Barricade (Deluxe Movie)
Berserker (Deluxe Movie)

Star Wars:
Tusken Raider (Sand People) (40th Anniversary Black Series)

Diecast:
10 Premium brands
Lightning McQueen (Target Exc)

13 Matchbox
75 Hot Wheels

 


U-Wing – Star Wars: Rogue One – 3 3/4 inch scale ship

Let’s take a look at something from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

The U-Wing. A starfighter that doubles as a troop transport. It saw a good piece of action in Rogue One. It is too bad it was created so recently, as it could have been very useful in the original trilogy that followed Rogue One. There are a bunch of cool things we saw in Rogue One that didn’t carry over to the original trilogy, but that is to be expected. Today we are going to look at the ship.

It comes in a good sized box. I was surprised to see so much room left in the box. The biggest complaint I saw was how relatively small the body actually is. It seems that they could have gone 10-20% larger and still stayed inside the box.

There are a lot of parts in the box. The body, Cassian with a gun, two super long wings, four engines, and 2 NERF darts. If you read my A-Wing review, you will know I have no love of the NERF gimmick. At least this time around, the blaster can be tucked up in the body, so it isn’t so blatantly annoying, like it is with the A-Wing.

First let’s look at Cassian. It is a typical figure we see in this modern, but not Golden Age of Star Wars. It should be the Golden Age, with figures that have good articulation. But no, somewhere along the line, Hasbro went backwards from the Clone Era where we got super articulation, to going back to 5 points. Ugh.

Well, he is very static with such a small amount of articulation, but I am not terribly worried about it, since I am really only interested in the ship. My figure focus is in The Black Series with the 6 inch figures. He comes with his blaster, and a holster on his hip for carrying his gun.

He comes with a seatbelt. HAHA!!!

Onto the ship. Let’s put Cassian in the…wait a minute. What is this cockpit they have him going into? The cockpit in the movie is big enough for two people and extra space for moving around. This one has room for one pilot and that is about it. This is where the smaller size comes into play, and there are plenty of people bummed about it.

Moving on to the outside of the ship. It has those great engines that connect the U-Wing to the X-Wing in design and function. That was a great touch. It has the fat belly, but it is a bit on the slim side for allowing soldiers to jump out of the door that is way too small.

Other than the size problem, this is a really nice ship. The details are really well done, from the mold lines, to the paint. It does look a little too clean, and could go a long way with a bit of weathering, which I will probably get around to one of these days. There are four landing struts that are moved down by hand. Two are under the body, and two are in the bottom engines. Having four struts really makes a strong platform for the ship to settle onto terra firma.

The biggest excitement for this vehicle when it was premiered in the trailers was the swept wing that stick out way in front, and then sweep back to make the ship very long. It totally changes the look of the ship. If you look at the bottom, you can see the NERF blaster sticking out. It is dark in color, and slides up and down easily. Thankfully it is out of the way for the most part.

Taking a look at the top of the ship, you can see the lever that gets pulled to make the wings sweep back.

Overall, this is a really nice ship. There are issues with size, and adding an unnecessary NERF blaster to the bottom, but those are fairly minor, and the design of the ship is very appealing, and fun to play with. It is big and has moving parts. Can’t ask for much more than that.


Scarif Trooper – Star Wars The Black Series – Rogue One (Walmart Exclusive)

I got done with my look at the new Target Exclusive AT-ACT Driver, and realized that I had never looked at the Scarif Trooper. What an oversight on my part. I had looked at the initial release of the Squad Leader that saw general release, but the troop builder figure only saw release at Walmart. That is a pretty strange way to go about selling toys, but whatever. I don’t make the rules.

Being that finding the exclusives for Walmart are super hard to do, I had ordered them online, since I knew it would be way better to just go that route and not have to travel around to see if I could find any (which I never did).

So my box showed up with 3 troopers (best deal to get free shipping). They are very similar to the Squad leader, but with a different belt that does not have the long blue skirt, but instead has a shorter off-white skirt.

I really like these troopers overall. Their paint apps are random, so they don’t all seem to have the same dirt and scuff marks in the same place. Troop building with these guys is fun.

As of the time of this photo shoot, I had 5 Scarif Troopers, 4 Death Troopers, a Hovertank Driver, and a Stormtrooper. That is a goodly number of troopers, but more than that, it is an interesting looking bunch. If for no other reason, Rogue One expanded the universe of the Troopers, and we have more to look at than just a bunch of shiny white dudes, and an occasional Speeder Bike driver (who I have, but somehow didn’t make it to the shoot. That is definitely my bad on that one).


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