Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Star Wars Black (6 Inch): Series 2

When the first series of Hasbro's new Star Wars Black line of six inch figures came out, I dusted off my first toy review site, The Clearance Bin, and put together a full review. Seeing as that took about four hours, I'm disinclined to do the same for the second wave, particularly since my overall impression of the line hasn't changed much.

However, I have a handful of thoughts I'd like to share, starting with....

Leia. I understand why Mattel had to release a Slave Leia toy (a little something called "economics"), but I'm disappointed they made it the first version of the Princess (not to mention the first female character) in the line.

The "Slave Leia" costume is polarizing. It's popular to a lot of men, of course. Personally, I generally dislike "fan service," particularly when it feels out of place or detrimental to the property. The scenes around Leia being put in this suit are at best problematic and debatably misogynistic.

I'm almost happy to see the figure didn't come out quite right. The paint ops on her face are either a bit off or they're trying to make her look irritated. It's more or less the right expression for when she was held prisoner, but not after she's escaped. And since the chain she's wearing doesn't connect to Jabba, I'm assuming this is after she's killed the big slug and gotten away.

They didn't give Lei much in the way of accessories, at least compared to others in this line. She comes with a couple of the weapons/tools she picked up during her escape. In addition, the chain is removable if you pop her head off, so I suppose that kind of counts, too. Maybe I'm spoiled from series one, but that seems a little light to me. Come on, Hasbro: throw in a Salacious B. Crumb.

Like it or not, the outfit is probably her second most iconic in the trilogy after the white dress she wore in A New Hope, so there's certainly justification for producing it. But, like I said before... did it have to be the first version of Leia they made?

Next up, Han Solo is produced in his classic space-cowboy outfit. It's a good figure, but - once again - they could have done better with the face. In addition, his neck articulation makes his head look like it's connected wrong in most poses. At times, he can almost look like a bobble-head.

Nevertheless, the overall toy is awesome, and from a few feet back, the flaws disappear.

Han comes with a better assortment of extras: a second set of gloved hands, two blasters, and a belt/holster. All of these look great, and while I have some lingering reservations about the figure, I definitely got my money's worth.

Hey, Luke! Buddy! You drop this?

Greedo is next, and - setting aside his accessories - he's my second favorite in the series. His head is absolutely perfect: this is as good a representation of the character as we're ever likely to get in this scale.

Where he fares less well is the extras. He's got his tiny blaster and.... uh... I still like the packaging, if that counts for anything (it doesn't).

I do feel like we're getting cheated here, though it's hard to think of things they could have included. His chair would have been awesome, of course.

The special edition Lucas doesn't want you to see.
Last is Boba Fett. This is the same figure Hasbro released as a SDCC exclusive, minus the (amazing) Han-in-carbonite accessory. I won't lie - I wish I'd been able to get that version, but this is a damn good consolation prize.

The figure is as close to perfect as any action figure I've seen in this scale. The sculpt is flawless, the paint is fantastic, and his cape looks awesome. Even without Han in a block of Carbonite, he's got a fair number of accessories. He comes with two guns and a jet pack, all of which look... yeah, you guessed it. Amazing.

The only complaints I can find are that his pouches (which look great) limit his articulation, and he has a little trouble holding the larger of his guns.

If you're only buying one figure from this series, this is the one to get.

I was surprised to see some collectors dislike the packaging. Personally, I think these are the best looking toy boxes I've ever seen at mass market. They're simple, elegant, and attractive to look at.

The text on the back is also pretty simple, and at a glance, the artwork blends together. I appreciate how understated these are. Hasbro knows they don't need bright colors to sell these: people will find and buy them regardless.

These ran me $20 each, plush shipping. It's not cheap, but it's close enough to average these days. So far, the aliens and figures wearing helmets have been near-perfect, but they're still not as good as Mattel at human faces. Hopefully, they'll get better as they go. I'm loving this line, and eagerly awaiting the next series.