Tag Archives: The Black Series

First Order Stormtrooper Executioner – Star Wars The Black Series (The Last Jedi) – Target Exclusive

The Executioner Stormtrooper sounds like he is going to be a bad dude. From the description on the back of the packaging, it sounds like this is the Internal Affairs division of the Stormtroopers, but with this guy being the judge, jury, and executioner. This does not bode well for the Stormtroopers that cannot stay in line.

 

This Target Exclusive figure is a repaint of a standard First Order Stormtrooper. There is a matte black stripe on the helmet, and black shoulder pads. From there, he is given a special axe with which to dispense justice for the First Order.

The standard Stormtrooper came with two guns. This guy has the leg port of the smaller blaster, but was not included. That is too bad. I would think he would carry one even though he has a special weapon as well.

The black color added here and there gives quite a different look to the trooper.

Side by side, it is clear that these two are one in the same. They may be different branches of the same military, but it would be expected that an Executioner would run around in nearly the same armor as the standard infantry.

Other than the few paint apps, there are no differences between the two sets of armor.

One interesting note is the one black sole and one white sole on the boots. That is a funny thing to include, but the black sole is on the same side of the body as the black marking on the helmet.

Together to take back the galaxy. That is a lot of white and black going on here. The other four better worry, because while they are looking at the enemy, the Executioner is looking at them.

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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.


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/


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

 


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).


Imperial AT-ACT Driver – Star Wars The Black Series Target Exclusive

Today we are going to take a look at the newly minted Target Exclusive figure AT-ACT Driver. Now, I am not sure we even saw these guys in Rogue One, since we barely saw the AT-ACT, so this could be totally made up for the toy line. That being said, I am a sucker for action figures in the 6 inch line, and The Black Series figures never disappoint (except for the head sculpts of the women, but Hasbro is working on it).

This guy looks very familiar, and he should. He is made up of the two previously introduced new Troopers to the Star Wars Universe for the Rogue One movie. Most of the parts are Scariff Trooper parts with a bit of Hovertank Pilot thrown in. Since those two figures share most of the parts anyway, it is not too big of a surprise to see them being used again.

What I am surprised about is that Rogue One takes place basically right at the beginning of A New Hope. The time runs quickly in A New Hope, and both movies are considered year 0 B.B.Y. (Before the Battle of Yavin). Therefore, it is 3 years before we see the first of the AT-AT Imperial Walkers. Along with that, in the Rebels series, we see AT-ATs in Season 1, Episode 10 (A Princess on Lothal), which takes place 3 years BBY, and we actually see the drivers. They are wearing the suit and helmet of the later AT-AT drivers. It seems unlikely that the AT-AT and the AT-ACT would be different enough to constitute a completely different outfit and helmet. More likely, they would wear the same outfit.

But, you know how it goes. There are 40th anniversary figures coming out, and everybody wants a piece of the giant Star Wars pie. So, Target gets their special exclusive, and it happens to be a driver we never saw. That isn’t totally a bad thing. The figure is well made. He is another Trooper that fits in with the rest of the Rogue One line, and deepens the ranks for the collectors and photographers.

He is similar to the Scariff Trooper and the Hovertank Pilot, but not similar enough that he should be skipped. The coloring is really well done with white armor, that neither of the other two have. He has red markings that are unique to him.

Overall, this is not going to be a figure I think a lot of people will want to army build. We will probably never have a 6 inch scale AT-ACT, as the 3 3/4 inch version did not sell well. I am looking forward to see what all we get with the 40th Anniversary line. It will be a fun summer.a


Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader – The Black Series – Rogue One

Ah, Rogue One. Bringing us a battalion of new Stormtroopers to broaden the Star Wars Universe.

I have already taken a look at the Hovertank Pilot, and the Death Trooper. Those have been cool and talked about. I think I have heard more people talking and wondering about the Scarif Stormtrooper, or Shoretrooper more than any other. Well, this is the Squad Leader. This one is the figure that was mass market available. It seems a bit backward that the standard Scarif Stormtrooper would be the WalMart exclusive, while the Squad Leader would be the one to hit the mass market. Hasbro should know by now that people will want to army build these guys, and you can’t have too many standard troopers, but it seems a bit off to have a squad built of leaders.

Anyway, let’s take a look. He comes with some really great paint. They have a few markings that signify their rank as Squad Leader. They have a blue stripe across their chest, a both shoulders are painted blue. The red arm band and white stripe are on both classes of Shoretrooper. There is also a Captain rank that we will see in the movie, where nearly the entire chest plate is colored blue.

The Squad Leader also has a dark skirt and less accessories on his belt. There are a lot of detail added around the body, with lots of scrapes and dirt on the armor.

The Squad Leader comes with the E-22 blaster rifle. It is molded fairly sharply, due to a new casting, though it is still soft. Nothing is like Cassian’s rifle we looked at a little while ago.

Comparing the E-22 to the Death Trooper’s variation of the E-11, you can see some of the variations. The front end is of course the most notable, with the double barrel. I cannot wait to see these in action. The center is the same, as you may expect with a new variation on a standard weapon. There is also a change in the back stock. Just as there is a longer stock on the Death Trooper’s E-11, the E-22 has a longer stock as well. The E-22 eliminates the fold-out stock that the E-11 had.

The Scarif Stormtrooper and the Hovertank Pilot have virtually the same armor. The big change is in the helmet. The rest of the outfit is the same with the exception of the belt, and the armor colors. That does make sense from the standpoint that we always saw just Stormtroopers in the original trilogy. This time around we see new Stormtroopers, but they are not vastly different from one another.

The design of the two are logically thought out. The Shoretrooper would be in a tropical climate, with water all around, so they would probably wear less armor on the lower part of their bodies. The Hovertank Pilot would be inside the tank, and need to be comfortable sitting down. I am sure the standard Stormtrooper armor would not be great to sit in for long periods of time.

I ended up finding two and getting them both since I didn't know how hard it would be to find the standard Shoretrooper at WalMart.

I ended up finding two and getting them both since I didn’t know how hard it would be to find the standard Shoretrooper at WalMart.

My army of Imperials is growing. I am really enjoying these new 6 inch figures. There is a better array of difference that I feel like I want to get more variations than we found with The Force Awakens. They were all very white, and smooth. These guys have a lot more to say.


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