3 3/4" Black Series wave 5: Ree-Yees, Brock Starsher, Snowspeeder Wedge, ROTS Vader

Devo

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I don't think you mean that Tycho. I don't think anyone could be that selfless. I could be wrong but I'm just putting that out there.
 

Tycho

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LOL Devo, it was a joke. Thought I'd make you laugh.

I'm glad if you can get a Torryn with a good paint job. (I mean, why I thought you would think I was kidding in the first place is "Who in their right mind would want a bad-paint-ap-one?)

In any event, I actually have never seen a Torryn figure so I couldn't trade you one-for-one anyway.

Hopefully we're good. I thought my sarcasm would easily be understood as just that.
 

Devo

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:lol We're good. I knew you were joking, evidently my post didn't convey that very well.



sidenote: feels weird being called 'Devo' again. So long since I regularly used that board-name :grin:
 

JediTricks

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Saw these in person at the collector show this weekend, yuck to the big ones. Brock Starsher can go on clearance before I'll even look at it again, that tiny head looks awful. Ree Yees looks ok if you don't mind it looking like Ree Yees' teenage son wearing his body, but not something I can see spending $10 on, much less scalper $15.
 

Bel-Cam Jos

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I saw the same figure over JT's shoulder; he reminded me of Ten Nunb from the "old" POTF2 "Rebel Pilots" set. RY was decent. I could see buying them, with a cool BOGO50% or something sale/coupon.
 

JediTricks

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Brock Starsher's body is very dull, I can totally see why you'd see Ten Numb in that design, so drab. The head ruins it for me though, I know JabbaJohn's review is fairly positive but when I look at his pics, I don't see where the $10 is going, but especially that tiny half-scale helmet.
 

Devo

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How sad. I really thought they'd moved away from underscale heads. But what am I talking about, look at the Boba Fetts they've been pumping out for years since VOTC
 

JediTricks

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Thanks to JabbaJohn, I have the Snowtrooper Commander and ROTS Vader.

The Snowtrooper Commander is ok, but I don't know how they assumed this figure was SO slight. It's the same height as a snowtrooper, but very slender, like a gawky kid is in the armor, or a waifish supermodel. Articulation is good, although the gloves come off way too easily, and putting the footpeg hole at the toe is always irritating to me. Paint is good except it came a little dirty and has a small paint splotch, but the rest of the deco holds up well and there's more than usual to look at. Sculpt is decent, the flare on the helmet but that's essentially the only issue beyond the figure's actual build. The figure comes with a DL-44 long-scope variant, but the character actually sports the short-scope variant (or the M-57); the pistol fits in a holster sculpted to the outside of the kama skirt. Including the E-11 with the folding stock is an alright choice. Honestly though, it's a C grade figure, and it's hard to know where the money is going here.


Vader ROTS is a well-sculpted figure... or rather, 7 out of 8 of this figure out there will be. Then there are the ones like mine using mold cavity #3 on the head tooling, and cavity 3 is messed up garbage. You see, generally these molds run 8 cavities, mold cavity 3 is the cavity my figure's head came from, and for some reason the clowns who tooled this cavity up got the helmet very askew on the head in 2 axes in fact - it's tilted on the X axis which causes it to sit lower on the Y axis' right side. Attached are 2 images that sorta show it, but it's hard to photograph because it's so dark, in person though it's ridiculously obvious since the helmet sits over the right eye quite a bit more and the raised center line of the helmet is a few degrees off from the mask.
vader-problem2.jpg vader-problem.jpg
How do I know it's the cavity and not something else? The mold line seams line up inside the helmet and out, the helmet is a single piece shot front and back. I've looked through photos of other samples of this figure and they don't have it, so I would assume cavity #3 (the mold's cavity number is stamped somewhere on every piece, here it's inside the helmet flare at the back) is the sole culprit.

If that weren't bad enough, my copy also can't dance... yup, 2 left feet. While the feet are similar, I'm sure, there is no doubt that it's the same (I didn't even bother photographing this one) because not only is the toe box the same shape on each foot, but the copyright stamp on the bottom of each foot reads "China C-001C" - Hasbro fools, this figure made me want to throw in the towel on this whole line after 18 years with it.

Anyway, aside from the issues my figure has, the sculpt is very good, there's a lot of care taken to keep joints from bulging out into ball shapes the way past super articulated figures had been, so limbs flow together and parts move without showing off their issues (the wrists are the lowest spot here and they are still much better than most other figures out there). The figure is somewhat slight for an armored figure, but it's nowhere near as bad as the Snowtrooper. The sculpt is the ROTS character based on the shape of the shoulder armor and the chest box, but the helmet flare is lower which suggests ESB/ROTJ, and that's pleasing.

Vader has a soft goods cape and kama skirt, both are somewhat chiffon but not the worst Hasbro's been there. The cloth elements don't hang that well on their own, although a hem sewn into the front of the cape does help a tiny bit and looks nicer (the rest of the edges aren't hemmed). The soft goods have no weight and flare away from the figure and are somewhat see-through, the standard battle Vader figures suffer, if you can find a way to pull them taut they look decent on this figure.

Articulation is pretty good, it gets a lot out of these well-hidden joints, and the neck and mid-torso joints give a ton of expression where prior Vaders didn't. The wrists rotate and hinge in and out for superior saber-holding poses. The rotation and hinge ankles keep the feet planted firmly usually (although I kid you not, my figure just fell down in the middle of typing this sentence). The hip articulation is challenging, it's similar to Marvel Universe figures' hips in that it's a hinge with rotation at the top, so it moves well but requires thought and work with the knee to get some poses.

The figure comes with ROTS versions of his lightsaber, lit and unlit, but no way to plug that unlit hilt onto the belt, and the lit saber seems a touch too short... at least it's not pink.

Deco is very good, using a very shiny black PVC plastic for most pieces and enhancing or altering that look via sculpting. The parts that need paint - mouth bolts, shoulder armor, chest box, belt - are all painted very well for Hasbro, not perfect but a step up from usual. The black plastic is inky dark like it should be, the lenses aren't painted which is for the best - I don't know why Hasbro has stuck with that trend up until now, but I'm glad it's going away. The plastic under strong light appears to have a very fine metallic quality embedded in it, no swirls or problems though.

Sounds like a really good figure, right? Not mine, but you know, in general. But this figure has a problem that would ruin it for play and makes it frustrating for repeated posing: the head joint pops out very easily. In order to get the head to move well and still have a cloth cape that sits accurately, they made a socket in the upper torso that accepts the cape with a hole that slides around a post, a post that snaps into a receiver hole in the head, and that's how ball joints are made. The cape looks great this way, like it's really connected to the chain sculpted to the neck armor, but the neck joint simply fails to keep purchase on the head so you'll be moving the head and find it unexpectedly in your hand... that wouldn't be so bad if the damned cape stayed put if you're posing, you can just put the head back on (useless as a kid's toy though), but when the cape comes out too it's annoying to stuff back into the torso socket properly, and if you don't get that cape properly seated it pushes the head off its post. It looks like an alternate means of attaching the cape was attempted - there are slots sculpted into the top of the shoulders - but this was (wisely) abandoned. I tried to shim it with a piece of paper, but no love, I think the joint is just too soft to keep in place, perhaps permanently stretched from being put in the package with the cape not seated in the socket correctly.

So, does the head falling off doom this figure? If you're a kid, yes. If you're an adult, well then it depends on what you're looking for. I can pick my figure up by the head and shake it without even losing the pose angle on the neck, so to me that's good enough. Yes, it's annoying to have the head come off when posing, but ultimately it's not something that should happen often once you're aware of it. The overall sculpt, deco, and articulation are light years ahead of any previous Vader figure in this scale -- for the first time ever, a 3.75" scale Vader figure looks like a costume instead of like a ton of ugly compromises. The cape looks amazing at the neck. The range of motion is incredibly expressive without compromising the sculpt at all. The deco is fantastic. So even with the neck joint issue, even with my figure's defects, even with this figure's movie being a PREQUEL, I'd still call this figure an A- figure and recommend it... just not one from cavity 3.
 

Mr. JabbaJohnL

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I saw this wave at the Times Square TRU last night. Wedge was plentiful and hard to differentiate from Dak Ralter. I didn't see any Skiff Guards, so he would seem to be the most popular. Funny how people actually want to buy characters they don't already own...
 

JediTricks

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Found this wave at Target the other day, bought Ree Yees because... ok, I'm not totally sure why. I guess it's just been a while since I bought a 3.75" figure, and the sculpt on the POTF2 figure is somewhat outdated.

Firstly, the head is indeed 30% too small, it's not a total disaster but it's definitely a misstep. They used salmon-colored detail paint on his skin to accent the sculpting, but decided his head should just bathe in it, which is entirely wrong. The sculpt on the head isn't bad, but it does have this baked-in teeth-gnashing grimace and it doesn't really work that well. Oddly, the salmon paint is supposed to be the pink accents around his eyes and mouth, but guess where it isn't. That leaves just black paint for the eyes, it's big and glossy, it sorta works but it's not subtle and the left eye on mine was painted slightly off which makes it look wrong.

To make up for the small head, the hands are slightly oversized, although the character did have huge mitts in the film. These are about 15% too big and only look out of place because of how undersized the head is. Each hand is sculpted in a trigger-pull pose, and I'm not sure they can actually hold a standard 3.75" Star Wars figure's beverage glass as the pose is narrow to hold the included guns, but I haven't dug any glasses out yet to try.

The figure's upper chest and neck are a single piece separate from the rest of the torso, mine isn't glued into the figure on the back so it pulls out a little bit when moving the head.

The body sculpt is pretty good recreating the puffy jacket look, especially at the shoulder articulation. The kneepads are too short and the spats too tall, and the left hip box is too big, but otherwise it holds up. The forearms are directional, mine came with the right forearm rotated the wrong way so at first it looked defective.

The figure is nearly "super-articulated", the hips and wrists are just swivels, to make up for that the torso is a hidden ball joint; but the ankles are totally non-articulated, and that makes everything else below the torso a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME. I will never understand why they keep insisting on doing this, ankle articulation is more important for posing the legs than the knees, otherwise the figure cannot stand when posed. This figure unfortunately has a bit of a hard time standing except in a very specific, rigid pose thanks to that terrible decision.

Ree Yees comes with updated versions of the same 2 blasters he had in the POTF2 line, not really sure why they felt they had to resculpt these things but not include the one actual accessory he was seen with in the film, a drinking glass.

Overall, this figure ends up being a "C". Sculpting, paint, and articulation all have notable gains and then notable flaws to offset them, and at this price it seems entirely unacceptable to still be finding figures come up short.
 

Devo

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Got Brock, Ree Yees and R5-G19 today.

I saw on Rebelscum that they're all saying the R5 unit isn't in the film (ROTJ) although the packaging of this figure seems to think otherwise (and so did I) - did they paint the figure wrong or something? I know that there definitely is an R5 at that rebel briefing.


The other two are good sculpts and I think I even got decent paintjobs (granted my standards and expectations for Star Wars figures have dropped). As has been mentioned many times the heads are stupidly small. Something of a regression from Hasbro there which I wish hadn't happened on this pair as Jabba's palace and Skiff battle characters are my favorite to collect at this point.
 

Tycho

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I seriously don't know what happened to the brand.

There used to be figures we all got excited for (even without it being a movie year).

In 2006 and 2007 we had figures like Biggs in Academy Uniform and Han Solo Bespin Torture Chair.

In 2008 and 2009 we had figures like Wioslea, Brainiac, Luke Medical Frigate.

If you want to talk about the prequels, in 2013 I think we had Padme from the refugee freighter in AOTC and 3 new Podracers.

But the packaging was colorful and inspired.

Arguably, you can now point to Brock Starsher and Torryn Far but they would have looked great on vintage packaging.

Do the prequels have ANY figures never offered before? Padme (yellow waterfalls dress) or Padme (purple / blue Senator outfit) would surely stand out even on a black card. So might the red luxury droid or the fat Utai. Padme in her blue nightgown or dress, from ROTS - I forgot which they made for the Evolutions 3-pack - I think it was nightgown - but from her last meeting with Anakin on Coruscant before they reunited on Mustafar. These figures would be bright even on a black card. So would Nyrat Agira or Hermione Bagway (Dexter's waitress).

Cliegg Lars would do alright on a black card, but surely look better on a vintage style.

Going back to Classic: Shasha Teil (Jabba's Palace Ishi Tibb) would actually look exciting on the black card. Lando in the vest, (Ewok Celebration - had differences to his ROTJ pilot outfit) could see him come back.

I don't see why Hasbro doesn't go with the mustached Bespin Guard now. Or Treva Horme and Wiorkettle (Snivvian) - both from Cloud City.

Yeah, you can keep (have to keep) the mainstays in the case assortments (Vader, OT troops, and some incarnations of the heroes, though I've suggested slightly uncommon new versions - like how they came out with Medical Frigate Luke and Leia before) but even if you want to re-card, how about Hem Dazon re-release (I do not need him, but I'm just saying...)?

And there is still a market for the Original expanded universe, especially figures that finish off popular groups of EU characters they started, such as Zayne Carrick and Gryyph, Nomi Sunrider and the ancient Mandalorian warrior, or Tott Doneeta and Cay Qel Droma, Sylvar... and then in the post-ROTJ EU, there's Palleon, C'Boath, Noghri, Droma, Darth Caedus, Winter, Corran as a Jedi, more Yuuzhan Vong, and so on.

I'm disappointed people handling Star Wars don't display the care about it that Darryl DePriest, Brian and Brian used to - and when Mark was pulling things off like the BAT-AT and TurboTank.

BTW, if you're talking main-stays to keep the brand moving, a case of 12 could be:

1. Vader x 2
2. Chewie x 2
3. Luke new (or not recently released outfit) x2
4. Ishi Tibb (Jabba's) x 1
5. Stormtrooper x 1
6. Noghri (OT EU alien) x 1
7. Padme (new outfit) x 1
8. battle droid (perhaps 2-pack) x 1
9. Lando Ewok Celebration x 1

And re-pack the 1-per cases into later assortments to cover the costs of sculpting the news ones - though the droids and stormtroopers will already be paid for 1 million times over by now.
 

Snowtrooper

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I seems like the people running the brand now are more interested in counting beans rather than making toys. I know they have to make money, but it just seems like they aren't really trying anymore. I buy very little nowdays. I did get the R5-G19, but thats all I'm interested in on that particular wave. I fear that because of how they've handled it recently, the momentum of the collecting community has come to a crawl and people just don't really care much anymore.
 

Tycho

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That's true Snowtrooper.

When in business does it make sense to sacrifice your old customers (people collecting either since '78 or people who were new coming into it by the end of the 90's (PT era)?

The last new movie was 2005's ROTS and some did and did not gravitate to Clone Wars (which was very successful and scrapped, too).

It has been 7 years since there was a movie. Looking back at "the dark times," there was 8 years (6 if you count up until the end of the POTF 1 line) before the renaissance began again with HTTE books, DE Comics, and the Bendie figures and Galoob MicroMachines.

10 yeas since the production of movie figures never made before (1985's Amanaman, Luke Stormtrooper, and Warok before 1995/6's Han Stormtrooper, Ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Wedge Antilles (Falcon Carry-Case edition).

Then it poured on (Luke Dagobah, Grand Moff Tarkin, Slave Leia, Garindan) and got wilder (Mara Jade, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Prince Xizor).

A customer base was excited NOT ONLY to get an updated figure of Malakali (Rancor Keeper).


We ARE still getting snippets (Torryn Far and Brock Starsher) but things feel a bit empty. Intentional marketing to excite us about a new line for 2015 (pre-ST-Line, I mean)?

But I might point out that a new corps of newbies isn't ready for SW yet (except Rebels maybe - where the figures are missing?!)*

If you are ages 4 & Up today and have never seen a SW film on the big screen, you do not care about Han Solo or Luke Skywalker (or Anakin Skywalker for that matter). All you might know is Ezra Bridger unless you go back (if your parents are "in to it."

Biggs, Wedge, more clones (Stormtroopers and Imperial hybrids are whats on Rebels) are just not going to interest you (yet).

*Zeb and Sabine should be single carded, and Animated Stormtroopers available single-packed for army-building too.

Where is Kanan and the Inquisitor, plus Kallus single-carded? I guess those are produced but not hitting in the Christmas season.

I don't personally want to collect Rebels figures, but I will add what I can to an animated Clone Wars group (like Zeb, Sabine (helmeted), the Devaronian when he comes out). If they make The Ghost, I'll crew that ship I suppose. I'm a sucker for new vehicles but not into the Imp Troop Transport (I have mint vintage editions) and the AT-ST (whatever the new version is) nor the TIE Advanced. I'll be getting the Phantom however.

But if you want to keep OLD CUSTOMERS who are going to be there for you:

Cliegg Lars
Nomi Sunrider
Padme (new outfit)
Bail Organa (new outfit)
Yuuzhan Vong (single card)
Noghri
C'Boath
Luxury Droid
Utai (new sculpt, fat)
Shasha Tiel (Jabba's Palace Ishi Tibb)
space suit guy (Cantina)
Darth Caedus
Leia as Chief of State

And there's much better choices still.

But I gotta go.
 

JediTricks

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R5-G19 is in the film for sure, he's the second droid on the left when the camera follows General Madine into the briefing room on Home One. But so what? How does that make your collection better? It's in the film for a blink, it doesn't do anything, why is it worth your $10? Because it's slightly different?
 

Mr. JabbaJohnL

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R5-G19 is in the film for sure, he's the second droid on the left when the camera follows General Madine into the briefing room on Home One. But so what? How does that make your collection better? It's in the film for a blink, it doesn't do anything, why is it worth your $10? Because it's slightly different?
As Adam Pawlus pointed out on Figure of the Day, this droid is actually the one seen on the opposite side of the briefing room, near a few Rebel officers. Its markings and coloring are very, very similar to the one on screen left - so similar that Hasbro used that droid in the cardback photo.
 
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