Mania Grade: A
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- Toy Line: Star Wars Black Series
- Toy Producer: Hasbro
- Suggested Retail: $19.99 (a piece)
- Includes: Various Accessories
Star Wars Black Series Toy Review
Maul, Greedo, and Sandtrooper!
By Robert T. Trate
January 11, 2014
Greedo Black Series #7
In 1995, Star Wars figures came back in a big way. Once again, we had our favorite characters in action figure form. Now, there is no replacing the original Kenner line. They may not have been the best in articulation, details, or variety, but they were our first step into creating our own Star Wars adventures. Perhaps my biggest issue with the original five or six years of the Power of the Force line by Hasbro was their lack of detail and articulation. Yes, they were far better than what had come before. However, toy lines such as Todd McFarlane’s McFarlane Toys set a new precedent for what older fans and collectors wanted. Hasbro, just shy of 20 years, is now finally giving fans what they want with the Star Wars Black Series. Gone are the multiple figures featuring each character in a certain outfit (well, it looks that way so far at least). Now we have one figure per outfit and it delivers.
The Star Wars Black Series (seen above) is still in its infancy. Last year, at the 2013 International Toy Fair, they debuted with a small modest display. Remember, in February of 2013 we knew more Star Wars movies were coming, but as releases go, the regular line had been scaled back. These figures were a great relaunch of the tried and true characters we wanted to see again. However, this time around they were going to be the size of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Line.
Darth Maul (#2) Wave 1
Mania Grade: A
Darth Maul has a superb paint job. The details of an all-black costume really do shine through here. Darth Maul has multiple points of articulation, but getting him to stand freely is its own trick. It is not hard, mind you, it just takes finesse and actually breaking the figure in. Sadly, you can’t pull the hood of his cloak down to his shoulders. Sure, Maul has a separate head, but the faces are identical. The second head should have been different and included a sneer. However, this is still a great figure for a great new line of Star Wars toys
Greedo (#7) Wave 2
Mania Grade: A+
Was Greedo wearing a 1970’s snow suit? I never even thought of that until now. There is dirt on his outfit and the details, from his head to his belt, are superb. Greedo normally wouldn’t be my first choice of figures, but Hasbro nailed this character perfectly. The belt and the vest both come off, as well (collectors who like to customize will love that).
The Sandtrooper (#2) Wave 1
Mania Grade: A-
From the get go, all the way back at Toy Fair, this was the one figure I wanted more than any other. It was also the hardest to come by. This figure rivals the Sideshow Collectible that was released in 2010 (see review). The Sandtrooper has always been my favorite and this one is nearly perfect. Outside of a flawless, highly detailed paint job, his ability to stand is extremely difficult. Perhaps it is the weight dispersement, but he keeps falling over. Why Hasbro did not include a base for all of the Black Series figures is beyond me. This figure in particular is extremely top heavy. Still, with all the sand meticulously corroded into his armor, he is a great addition to any collection.
Finally, Hasbro has caught on that collectors need a way to store their figures. Though I honestly believe it is just more cost effective to ship them like this. The cards are gone and each figure easily comes out of his box (yes a box) on a plastic molded tray! For this longtime Star Wars fan and action figure collector, Hasbro has hit a home run with this packaging. Perfect to display or store and the box is instantly recognizable at the retail outlet.
For Darth Maul, I knew I wasn’t going to get his Sith Speeder, but everything else here is satisfactory. The only thing I would have added is Pre Vizsla’s darksaber. Otherwise, this is all the Maul you will ever need.
Greedo is really shy on accessories. In Hasbro’s defense, he wasn’t on screen very long. Perhaps a drink or maybe the keys to his starship would have been nice. To reiterate a stand for the figure would have been great, too. Hasbro included peg holes in all the feet, so what’s their excuse?
The Sandtrooper had the most accessories until Han Solo came along in Wave 2. Though if you were a die hard collector or a troop builder, grabbing as many of these Sandtroopers as you could, they would be easy to modify and change before you even picked up a paint brush. He comes with an incredible assortment of weapons and gear. Again, he rivals his bigger Sideshow Collectible counterpart.
THE FINAL WORD:
When you have as many Star Wars figures as I do, the last thing you want is a new size and a new line to collect. As a collector and as a fan, I’m telling you that these are all worth getting. The one you will easily find, in most locations, is R2-D2. The hardest one is Boba Fett, and that isn’t counting the Comic Con and Star Wars Celebration Exclusive (pictured at the top). Good luck getting either one of those two. Toy Fair 2014 is only a few short weeks away, so look for the latest news on the next Star Wars Black Series figures here on Mania.com.