Hasbro has a new poll up at their Pulse website where you can vote for one of the next Archive reissued figures for 2021 (you need to create a free account at Pulse to vote). The figure will essentially be identical to the first release except for Photoreal applications if they didn’t have it before. This list was determined by previous voting on fan websites, so it reflects what collectors want.
I think the list could be an interesting window into where SW fandom is now. This list includes 6 prequel/CW characters, 3 OT characters, 1 R1 character and 0 sequel characters.
Now, it’s possible these results aren’t really a function of the characters’ popularity. It could be due to the relative rarity of the original figures’ availability, or perhaps a desire for the character to have a Photoreal upgrade (that’s definitely the case with Jyn Erso).
But recently it’s been discussed in various circles that the generation that grew up with the prequels are now hitting the age of nostalgia, and between that and the popularity of the Clone Wars cartoon (which has gone a long way toward redeeming the prequels), I think we may be seeing some real changes in the nature of Star Wars fandom.
I still think his name is ridiculous and I will never like the prequel films, but the Clone Wars cartoon really rehabilitated the characters and era for me. Hasbro really nailed this figure. Orange slash effect from an old 3.75″ Star Wars figure; lightning is the Tamashii Thunder Effect.
Diamond Select has been working their deal with Disney to produce some long fan-demanded figures. We’ve had a number of Rocketeer figures over the years, most recently by Funko as a 6″ Legacy figure (which was pretty great but had significant QC issues). But aside from some Japanese super-deformed or block-style figures, we haven’t had any toys from The Black Hole since Mego’s 3 3/4″ line in the late 1970s.
I owned the Maximillian and V.I.N.Cent from that old Mego line. They were some of my favorite toys, though they were lost fairly on in my childhood.
But now, Diamond has brought back both Max and V.I.N.Cent as well as the Rocketeer himself. Let’s take a look!
The Rocketeer is better than I expected. The Funko Legacy figure was notably oversized and I would say this figure is maybe a tad under-sized for DST, so the truth is I think they’re pretty compatible, which means the Funko head might work on this figure. I’ve got one somewhere so I’ll try it out later. But everything else about the figure is pretty fantastic – it’s like having the Funko Legacy figure with added accessories and without the QC issues.
For the record, I have no idea where that Luger he’s holding comes from – it was in my accessories box – but I think most Marvel Legends Lugers (which tend to come with Doctor Doom and Red Skull) will work fine — because again, he’s a tad smaller than I expected. And at least DST included the gun-holding hand.
As other collectors have noted, the Black Hole figures are huge – borderline 1/6th figures I’d say. Nonetheless, they’re awesome and well-equipped with tons of accessories and a great diorama piece.
I do have two minor complaints – I wish the shoulder pivot for Max’s arms were angled slightly more out from the body, so the arms didn’t brush up against the body so much (that appears to be the case for the movie prop, so I’m not sure why it wasn’t done here). And I wish the Cyngus diorama had a hole for Max’s stand, because without it there’s really no way to get him on there.
That said, these are amazing, fun figures and I remain kind of amazed they even exist.
This technology isn’t brand-new; Hasbro’s been using it on their Marvel Legends movie figures for a while now, and Bandai has been using it (with mixed results) on their movie-based Figuarts figures. But it’s on Star Wars Black that the game-changing aspect of this technology becomes clear. It takes SWB’s biggest flaw and turns it into its greatest asset.
This photo is from RoboKillah’s review of the re-released Star Wars Black Death Squad Trooper (now renamed the more kid-friendly Death Star Trooper). The one on the right is the original release, the one on the left was painted with what Hasbro calls “Photo Real,” in which the face is painting using a digital printing process. This technology isn’t brand-new; Hasbro’s been using it on their Marvel Legends movie figures for a while now, and Bandai has been using it (with mixedresults) on their movie-based Figuarts figures. But it’s on Star Wars Black that the game-changing aspect of this technology becomes clear. It takes SWB’s biggest flaw and turns it into its greatest asset.
And you know it’s got to be something big when it drives me to write my first post in over four years.
I would love to see what the older Star Wars Han Solo looks like with this technology. It might replace the S.H. Figuarts Han as my favorite figure of the space smuggler.
Six years ago, I wrote an article in ToyFare #132 about the 1980s toy line Robo Force. It was developed by the CBS Toy Company (formerly Ideal, who, side note, created the original Teddy Bear). Like dozens of toy lines in the 1980s it came and went fairly quickly. In my interview in ToyFare with Robo Force artist Paul Kirchner for ToyFare, he theorized that Transformers, which debuted at the same Toy Fair as Robo Force, crushed any chance Robo Force had.
Toy Aisle Trolls is a feature highlighting acts of vandalism to in-store toy items. If you find a ruined package, a stolen figure, a swapped-out figure, or any other such acts, take a photo (cell phone photos are fine if they’re not blurry) and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Found this at a Target in Webster, Texas. One lightsaber looked like it was from a Count Dooku, and the other (with hand) from an Anakin Skywalker. The cloak and head of the figure looked right, but the body was wrong. It had a black torso and legs with gray detail lines painted on, and gray boots and gloves. The elbows and knees appeared to be molded bent without working joints.