The Big Guns (Mini-MOCs)

I’ve been so busy Christmas shopping (read: hunting down Black Series figures) lately that I haven’t had much time for Lego! So tonight I tried putting together some heavy-weapons stormtroopers for my growing Empire.

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If you saw the Clone Wars Micro Series from 2003 then this guy might look familiar. Or if you’re playing Star Wars Commander on your phone, it was updated with Rogue One content and there’s a heavy Scariff Stormtrooper who also wields this. . .well, rather unwieldy weapon. Seriously, this guy is a one-man artillery unit. I really like how the ‘droid arm’ pieces overlap the shoulders, but the helmet definitely doesn’t fit with those in place. So yes, he’s a little taller than he should be. I put a 1×1 round stud in the helmet just to make sure it would actually attach to the head. You can see the almost perfect angle a bit better down below.

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Another throwback of sorts, I armed two other troopers with matching Z-6 rotary blaster-style weapons. The technic piece on the end of the blaster gives the effect of having multiple spinning barrels, and the gas pump handles replicate the hand grips needed to handle such a weapon.20161203_193224.jpg

And what would all this firepower be without someone to tell you what to point it at? This artillery spotter directs the big guns straight at the waves of the Emperor’s enemies. He’s made using all the pieces of a heavy combat driver minus the face, which I swapped out to make another custom figure.

Leave me a comment if you like these weapons, or if you have any feedback at all! I’ll be trying to do more Lego posts and I’ll undoubtedly be picking up some more Rogue One sets once the movie comes out and I want everything I saw (even more so because I want them all already!) Thanks for reading!

-David

 

 

Black Series: Cassian Andor and the Death Trooper (Variants)

Fourteen days to go until Rogue One and about two hundred pages left in Catalyst. I have to say I’m enjoying the book just as much as the toys, and it’s all setting up what will without a doubt be a great Star Wars movie. I will probably do a mini-review on the book before the movie comes out. But for now, more toys!

Today I’m reviewing the variants of Cassian Andor and the Death Trooper that are exclusive to Target’s Rogue One Three Pack. Keep an eye out at your local Target and watch for deals – the pack retails for $59.99, but thanks to a 30% off sale I got the pack for right around $40.00. The three pack includes the variants of Cassian and a Death Trooper as well as the same Jyn Erso that is available on its own. Since that’s the exact same figure, I’ll be focusing on Cassian and the trooper.Cassian.jpg

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Cassian’s Eadu costume, the blue jacket, will probably be what he wears for the first portion or maybe half the movie. So this is the outfit he will likely wear on Scariff. The figure looks pretty good overall. His brown jacket is detailed with light brown/tan markings down the sleeves, a possible rank insignia on one side, and another metallic box with two blue dots – perhaps a comlink or some other gadget? The shirt underneath is detailed with a sort of Bespin Han Solo collar and extra flap of fabric below the neck. Cassian is a two-belt type of guy, one to hold his pants up and a separate one exclusively for his holster. Plain tan pants and dark brown boots round out his outfit, and all of it carries a nice earthy tone to its color pallet. Cassian is a pretty simple figure – not simple bad, just not the most interesting. However, I’m biased towards our glorious Empire, so that’s just me.

Here is something very interesting, however – Cassian’s blaster rifle.

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Another theory; I really don’t think this modular weapon design is going to play into the movie at all. That’s just my guess, but if we were getting that kind of technology (like a gun that turns into an assault rifle with a couple attachments) I think we’d be seeing it on another toy somewhere. The blaster pistol in the center, while colored differently, is actually the same one included with the Eadu version of Cassian. The other one is just colored differently and lacks the small tab for the stock to attach to. My guess is that it was easier to mold the weapon in production as three pieces, given the level of detail. Regardless, it’s one of the coolest looking guns I’ve seen come out of the Black Series in a while and much more detailed than the blaster that comes with his Eadu outfit. Admittedly, I do take the gun apart just for the satisfaction of putting it back together.

Cassian is well-articulated like most Black Series figures – he isn’t missing ankle rotation like Luke and Ahsoka. The pistol fits his holster if you prefer to break the weapon down for a different look or for play. My only complaint is that there was a small bit by his ear that the paint seemed to have missed, which should match his hair, but that’s nothing that couldn’t be touched up.

Moving on to one of the new addition to our rogues gallery. . . (I’ll show myself out)

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I’m calling this one the Death Trooper commander as no specific rank is noted on the box art the way it is with the Scariff trooper squad leader. I’ve seen the name Death Trooper specialist thrown around and admittedly I like that name too. Anyway, this figure is identical to the solo Death Trooper that is also available right now, minus the fact that this one is armored up with extra gear. He includes the same rifle and pistol, but wears a harness containing extra ammo pouches (not unlike a sandtrooper or ARC trooper,) a rank pauldron, and what appear to be grenades strapped across his stomach. As with the previous Death Trooper, all the expected articulation is there underneath the jet black armor. Krennic’s enforcers just look mean. And if you’re like me and reading Catalyst right now, you can see where Krennic started his private attache of troopers during the end of the Clone Wars. But I’ll save spoilers for a spoiler post later on!

All in all, the Rogue One Three Pack is a good value, especially if you can get it through Target’s promotions during the holidays. 30% off was an especially good deal in my opinion, as the way I look at it, I essentially wasn’t paying for the second Jyn Erso. Really, it’s still not a terrible deal at full price – you’re basically paying for three full-priced figures still, but I’m always looking for deals on these. Keep an eye out on Reddit like I do or find a good collectors’ group. You’ll find out pretty quick which figures to grab up and when, and you’ll also known when a figure gets a case of the Constable Zuvios and it’ll be around for a long time (full disclosure – I wanted a Zuvio but waited it out until he was on clearance at my local Target. I think he’s cool enough and he was cut from the movie, which in my mind makes it cooler that he still got a toy release.)

I’m trying to plow through Catalyst before the movie comes out, so that will probably be the next thing I review. So far I’m really enjoying it, and I appreciate the parts of canon it connects and fills in. I was surprised by it, actually. And I can’t wait to see what happens after the fact in Rogue One, seeing it all tied up and fully enveloped into the canon not only by itself, but also by setting up A New Hope.

That’s it for this review. I recommend getting a hold on this three pack but look for the smart deals. The last exclusive to Target (the Poe Dameron jacket variant and the riot control stormtrooper aka FN-2199) was still in stock near me until this three pack came out, so keep you can probably keep your eyes peeled forĀ  clearance sale eventually if you have to wait. And as always, thanks for reading and happy hunting!

 

-David

Black Series: Ahsoka Tano

I found one of these on Black Friday and couldn’t believe my luck. Better yet, there was a sale at Target (buy one Star Wars anything, get another 50% off) so I was able to pick up Ahsoka and Luke Skywalker without breaking the bank.

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First off, I can’t gush about the overall look of this figure enough – it’s gorgeous. The new Togruta head sculpt, a first to Hasbro’s Black Series, is spot on. The skin tone and paint apps along the head tails look great. My only complaint about the head sculpt is that with two head tails in the front and one in the back, it makes it difficult to turn and pose her head. But that’s more a flaw in Togruta anatomy than it is anyone’s fault at Hasbro.20161129_142344.jpg

Like the new Luke Skywalker, Ahsoka includes hooks at her hips that allow her lightsabers (with the blades removed) to dangle realistically from her sides. Ahsoka is articulated nicely throughout her arms and under the chest armor. Her three-sectioned belt tied to the ring in the front reminded me of Revan’s iconic robes. Maybe the Rebels art department did that as a nod to another Force user who walked a grey path? I’d like to think that’s canon but that’s just me. Anyway, my only problem with the build of the figure aside from the neck rotation is that Ahsoka also seems to have poorly-articulated ankles. Her long boots run over the sides of her feet, which disables any ankle rotation (if there is any to begin with.) And one minor than minor detail about her lightsabers bothered me at first. The hilts are detailed but not painted, but I probably won’t even remember that after this lovely figure has been on the shelf for a while.

Rogue One is coming! Next I will be reviewing the exclusive three-pack of figures from Target’s Rogue One pack. We’re only fourteen days away!

 

-David

Black Series: Farmboy Luke Review

I’m finally catching up after some Black Friday purchases and a few birthday presents to myself (I had to – I can’t pass up a deal) Hopefully everyone had a good weekend and or holiday and is ready for some new toys! Here’s my review of the newest (and my first) Black Series Luke Skywalker.

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I know quite a bit about Star Wars but not everything, so let me see if I can get this straight. So this blond kid from the middle of nowhere goes off looking for a space wizard one day. He learns to use the Force like his father, but doesn’t stray down the same dark path as his father did during the Clone Wars. Something bad happened there probably. Taking up his father’s lightsaber, he travels across space and becomes the apparent savior of the galaxy (in one timeline, at least)

Okay, time to stop playing dumb. Of course I know Luke Skywalker, and this is a great figure of him. First and foremost, the face is pretty spot on (minus a bit of a messy paint application to the eyes.) The hair is a perfect sandy blond color and the cloth shirt is a great touch to what could have otherwise been a pretty bland figure in terms of overall look and color. At first I thought the shirt was way too big on him. . .but then I remembered it’s actually kind of big on him in the movie, too. Points for accuracy there.

Luke of course includes his lightsaber as well as his macrobinoculars. A new addition to this wave of figures is a small hook on his belt, which allows the lightsaber (with the blade removed, of course) to hang from the belt. It’s a great detail, and the fact that it isn’t a slotted or otherwise tight connection allows the hilt to sway naturally during play or display. I also like the flap on the underside of the macrobinoculars, which double as a place for Luke to hold them as well as clip them to the back of his belt between the pouches.

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Although I like this figure a lot, I do have a few minor gripes with it. Collecting sites and comment sections have noted that the Black Series is dropping in quality, something I personally haven’t really noticed insomuch that it’s affecting my enjoyment of new figures in any way. I’m probably biased – I just love getting new toys. I wonder if these details might be what people are talking about (honestly, when I see people start to complain, I skip those comments most of the time even if they are valid.) As I mentioned above, Luke’s eyes look a little weird. The application of his left eyebrow is slightly lower than the right, making some of the blue appear to run a touch above his eyebrow. It isn’t glaringly noticeable but it’s there. Also, this figure has great articulation until it gets down to the ankles, which lack the swivel motions of previous figures. This wouldn’t bug me so much if footwork wasn’t so integral to swordfighting poses. Last and certainly least, I wish the sleeves of his shirt maybe cinched ever so slightly at the end. Luke does get a little lost in his big shirt depending how he’s posed.

So what are your thoughts on the new farmboy Luke figure? Did you get a hold of one in the Black Friday madness like I did? Stay tuned this week for more reviews. And hopefully I can get through Rogue One: Catalyst in time for the movie – I just started last night!

-David

Happy Holidays!

Nothing to see here, move along. Move along. Ok, I’m kidding. But really, no big updates other than I hope everyone has a good start to this holiday season. And since this is a Star Wars blog, enjoy this picture I took rearranging figures this morning. It sort of reminded me of a comic cover or a splash page. Just ignore the cluttered collection around it (I cropped some out, otherwise your eyes might have trouble focusing haha)

And as always, thanks for stopping by. Happy holidays from The Empire’s Elite. 

-David