Tag Archives: The Force Awakens

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/


Rey – Star Wars Elite Series (Disney Exclusive)

The Force Awakens came out about a year and a half ago. Since it is the first part of the new trilogy, there is more attention being paid to it than there was to Rogue One, which was a one off movie. One place they are being equally represented is at the Disney Store. They get to have their own exclusive editions of figures and clothing. One of the best representations of this is in the Star Wars Elite figures. They are larger figures with real cloth clothing. Some of the figures are taller, around 12 inches while others, like Rey stand shorter, around 10 inches.

I was able to get Rey on a sale, as well as having a 25% off coupon for the Disney Store for my birthday. She ended up costing about $13. That is a great deal for a The Black Series figure, much less a larger figure with cloth clothing.

Taking her out of the box, the first thing I notices was the rooted hair. I was expecting sculpted hair at best. I was not expecting it to be rooted. And it is in her tell-tale triple buns.

Her outfit is the standard outfit she wore through most of TFA. She has a nice mix of cloth and plastic goods. Her outfit is layered, including the arm coverings, tunic and short pants. She comes with her belt pouch attached, as well as a leather strap around her left forearm.

Her boots are molded on, but they have good movement around the ankle. There is a separation there that allows a ball joint. She also has toe articulation.

She comes with plenty of accessories. She has her backpack that is molded in plastic. There are a lot of mechanical doodads that are well painted, along with weathering and straps. She also comes with her staff. It is nice and tall, as it should be. The strap of the staff is molded in place. It would have been really nice to see that staff in fabric, I may go back and build my own staff for her, and give her a proper staff, so she can wear it on her body. She comes with a gripping hand for her right hand that will grip the staff.

There are two weapons as well. First off is the blaster that Han gave her. It seems like it is out of scale for her. It is very larger in her hand. She comes with a special gun hand that can be swapped out for a relaxed hand.

She also comes with Luke’s blue lightsaber. This one seems REALLY out of scale. It is almost as long as Rey is tall. The blade is really thick, and the hilt seems to be really fat and long too. They even gave Rey a lightsaber hand, since the hand for the staff is closed too small for the hilt of the saber. The blade is not removable. So you cannot re enact the end of the movie.

Overall, I really like this figure. It makes me want to get more of these well done figures. I am bummed about the lightsaber and the gun being too big, but it is a minor problem with the overall well done figure.


First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter – 3.75 inch scale – The Force Awakens

I was able to do a hard pass on most of the 3.75 inch Star Wars toys. For the most part, I love them. Before, we would get really good vehicles and lots and lots of characters to play with. I have a whole bunch of figures from Episodes 1-3, as well as some other figures that came out along with those. Somewhere along the way, Hasbro went back to the old 5 points of articulation. That saves a lot of money, but the figures were still the same price. On top of that, they came out with The Black Series 3.75 inch figures that did have all of the good articulation, but the prices are insane. With the lack of good figures, and really high prices on the vehicles, it was pretty easy to pass on the vehicles.

Today I found the First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter at ROSS, marked down from $30 to $16.99. That is a great markdown, and at 40% off, that was the right number to get me to pull the trigger.

I could tell just pulling the TIE out of the box that I was going to really like this vehicle. It comes in a lot of parts. The old TIEs just had the wings removed. This one has two wings, the body, the cockpit hatch, the bottom gun mechanism, two firing blaster bolts, and the antenna array.

First off, I busted the TIE Pilot out of the box. He looks rather TIE Pilot like. He has his all-black suit with matching black helmet and chest-mounted breathing apparatus. The helmet is an update from the Imperial TIE pilots, this time around looking more similar to the First Order Stormtrooper helmet. He comes with a blaster. Always nice to have if you actually survive being shot down on one of these things.

Looking inside the TIE before it is put together, you can see two seats. Since they made the pilots without knees, they had to have them sitting with their legs out straight. That will not work to have them sitting back to back, so they are side to side, with their legs facing opposite directions. All of this could have been more realistic to the movie, had they given the pilots knees. Then they would have had to do the same for Finn and Poe, since kids would also want them to play in there too.

In the canopy, there are tabs that allow the pilot to store their holdout blasters. What a great touch. Many of the older ships have guns rattling around in there, since there wasn’t a place to keep them. Now there is. And a place for two, so each pilot can have a gun. Nicely done Hasbro!

The details on the solar collectors is amazing. The colors are backwards from the old TIEs with the body parts being black, and the solar collectors changed to a grey color.

Once together, this is one fantastic mode. It is easy to see where the upgrades to the new TIE/sf are located. The original TIE/LN models did not have an antenna array, and they were strictly a one-seater. When the First order updated the TIE/LN to the TIE/fo, the armaments and shields were upgraded. For the Special Forces, they needed something a little extra, so that is where the TIE/sf came in. The first designation is the bright red patch on the left side of the cockpit. This is reminiscent of the 181st Imperial Fighter Wing that flew TIE Interceptors with a red stripe on the wings.  You can see very robust attachment points from the cockpit arms to the wings. That is a lot stronger than the standard TIE configuration.

The TIE/sf is equipped with the same chin-mounted laser system as the TIE/fo. It then has the addition of a turret that can fire forward or backward.

The greatest gimmick that the TIEs ever came with were spring loaded wings. This one is no different. What they did though was hide the buttons better to blend in with the body. On some of the TIEs that have the spring wings, they tend to kind of fall off. These really pop off well, and add to the playability.

The antenna array folds down as well as swivels. I am sure there is a kid out there that will love the little extra play they can do with this.

Looking at the back end of the TIE, it is clear that there is a lot of new stuff going on from the standard TIE. First off, there is a window. The gunner can actually see out the back, rather than relying on weapon systems alone. There are engines back there, but they are more robust than the old engines that looked like tiny openings. That is because these are capable Hyperdrive engines. A new touch that the standard TIE did not have. If you were left behind, when the capital ship left, it was a long ride back to wherever you were going.

 

This is a great ship. If I can find any others from this line at the discount stores, I will be all over them. I would love to get the standard TIE/fo, to be able to see them side by side. There are also a couple of X-Wings I would not mind having too.


Y-Wing Scout Bomber with Kanan Jarrus

It has been a LOOOOONG time since I bought any of the Star Wars vehicles. I was mostly turned off of the 3 3/4 inch figures when Hasbro went back to the 5 points of articulation. I have always had a fondness for the vehicles though, and when this one popped up on Amazon for $9, I could not resist. A vehicle and a figure for $9 is a great deal.

So, the figure is a standard Kanan Jarrus. He is in his standard gear with, yup 5 points of articulation. He also comes with his lightsaber. It is bent, and does not seem to want to become unbent. But, since Jarrus is going to be in the vehicle for ever more, hanging from the ceiling of my hobby room, it doesn’t matter much to me.

The vehicle is a Y-Wing Scout Bomber. We apparently saw this for a split second a long time ago in the Clone Wars toy line. Just like with Clone Wars, the Y-Wing Scout Bomber does not make an appearance in either show.
The idea behind the Scout Bomber is that the all of the big armament, and pretty much any extra weight was taken off and then sent out for little strike missions.
It is supposed to be an iteration of the Y-Wing bomber, more closely related to the New Republic version. Looking at the overall design of the Y-Wing and this smaller Y-Wing, it is a bit hard to think that they could have modified the Y-Wing into this version. The body is nowhere near correct. The cockpit is a single seater with the droid tucked right up behind. Really, the only thing that is the same is the placement of the engines. And even those are a bit off. I would imagine that you would want at least the same size engines, since you want to fly faster as a scout. I get taking off the support pylons hanging off the back, but to add a smaller engine seems a bit backwards thinking.

That being said, I am a bit mixed on the overall feel of the ship. To me, it feels like Hasbro went to the designers and said, “Look guys, we have a box that is this big, by this big. We put all of our smaller ships and speeders in that size box. Make the Y-Wing fit into that.” The designers went off and worked with those dimensions and made this ship. I think this is one that went toward the selling of toys, not the design of the toy itself.

Though this is a little ship, there is a lot of playability to go along with it. The cockpit opens to the side to allow Jannus, or any figure to get in. In the back, the turret opens to allow a droid to get in. The guns at the front are removable. They can swivel to the sides, but probably more to the fact that they are round ports. It is a good idea that we miss from most of the starfighters to have targeting guns.  The turret in the back looks to be used by the droid. It swivels in an arc that is less than 90 degrees.

The engines rotate up and down. I can’t really see the benefit of that happening, since they are a bit too far back for VTOL, and the Y-Wing has repulsers to aid in take offs and landings. It would help in quicker takes offs, but it seems that it would want to cause the ship to start rotating forward too much. I might be overthinking this one a bit too much.

There are two bombs that are loaded in the bottom of the engines. I like that the Y-Wing would have some bombs on board. A little fire power when on a scouting mission is a good thing. Mounting the bombs in the hot engines is a bad thing. What were they thinking? Well, the cockpit and droid cockpit take up all of the space in the fuselage, so that would only leave the engines. For play it is fine, I guess.

Overall, I am not thrilled with this one. It was a great deal on Amazon, so I can’t knock $9 for a ship and a figure. I do have to hunt down a Chopper now, so I have a droid to ride around in there with Jannus. It is already taking up a tiny piece of ceiling, and has gotten lost among the larger X-Wing, giant ARC-170 and others.


Elite Speeder Bike with Black Trooper

I was all set to skip any of the 3.75 inch Star Wars figures.  That is, until the Elite Speeder Bike came out.  I have 3 standard Speeder Bikes (one that explodes), 2 Snow Speeder Bikes, a BARC Speeder, and the 6 inch Black Series Speeder Bike and Scout.   I think it is safe to say the Speeder Bike and Scout are pretty high on my list of favorite things from Star Wars.   So, when the opportunity, and a sale at Toys R Us presented itself, I jumped at the chance to get the new Speeder Bike.

First thing out of the box, it seemed to be on the small side.   Well, as I looked at it more, and compared it to the original Speeder Bike, I think it actually fits the riders much better.  More on that in a bit.   It seems as though we are not going to see any Scout Troopers this time around, flying all over creation with their screaming bikes.   I am a little sad about that.  As for the Stormtrooper they put in the box, he looks to be fairly standard, except for one thing.  Thankfully they gave the Trooper some knee movement, or this would have been a complete disaster.   As it is, the Trooper sits up way too straight.  As we got to the end of the line of the original trilogy figures, they were sporting so much articulation, that they could ride their Speeder Bikes slouched over like they do in the movie.   Here, this guy is not articulated enough for a good pose.  At least he can reach his pedals.

You don’t get a button this time around, but this Speeder Bikes comes apart like the original.  There is better detail under the hood this time around, with the actual engine showing.  This will be nice for diorama people, who want to show figures working on their bikes.

Hmmm, what is this ‘+’ here in the back?  Could they be getting ready to come out with a speeder bike that launches from something?  That would seem about right.  The original Speeder Bikes had many different uses over the years with some minor changes.  Another thing to note about back here:  The fins open and close on this one, just like the original, but they are not controlled by the foot pedals any longer.  The pedals do move in and out a bit too.

The newly updated Elite Speeder Bike is a bit shorter in length, height, and overall size. It has a more flared out back end. The structure in the front looks to be a bit stronger with more support moving toward the fins.

Overall, it looks to be very similar, as if it is an actual upgrade to the original Speeder Bike, but a little smaller to be in scale with the 3.75 inch figures. The original speeder bikes have been the same for just about forever, with the riders not being able to reach their feet to the pedals.

There you have it.  It is similar to the original Speeder Bikes, but not the same.   It would have helped a lot to have a Trooper with better articulation to really get him in a good riding position.   Overall, this does not give me a lot of hope for further vehicles or figures in the 3.75 inch scale.   I was really bummed to see the lack of articulation in the Rebels line of toys, and thought it would come back for TFA, but it seems to be holding at very little articulation for now.  We will just have to wait and see what the future brings.


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