Kit-Bashed Kyle

“I’m no Jedi; I’m just a guy with a lightsaber and a few questions.”

My favorite part of building as far as Lego Star Wars goes is building characters that Lego doesn’t officially make, but working within the limits of pieces Lego actually produces. It’s like a puzzle, finding the piece in the right color or printing, finding the right hair, helmet, or weapon to make the perfect vision of your favorite characters. Whether you call it kit-bashing, making a purist custom, or simply part of your MOC (Lego-speak for ‘my own creation’) I can’t leave a toy store without ideas for new characters. So it seemed fitting to make my first posts about custom Lego figures based on one of the first characters I wanted to build; Kyle Katarn from the Star Wars Dark Forces, Jedi Knight, and Jedi Academy video games.

mediumstyle
Image credit: Lucasarts (found on Wookiepredia)

Kyl Katarn has worn many hats, so to speak. He defected from the Imperial Stormtrooper Corps (traitor!) and went solo, eventually becoming a mercenary and smuggler before eventually following the ways of the Jedi. I don’t want to spoil too many of his stories because there are so many and they’re all pretty good. I would highly recommend Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy. Not only are they two of the best, most fun Star Wars games I’ve ever played, they’re two of the best video games I’ve played overall. The lightsaber combat system has never been topped by another game, and until virtual reality tech is perfected, it probably won’t be bested for a while still.

So rather than ramble on about one of my favorite Star Wars characters, I took some pictures of little Kyle in action and tried to inject some humor into his story (not that he needs me to do that; Kyle has a very dry, sometimes cynical sense of humor)

20161010_160223
Kyle and his good friend, fellow smuggler Jan Ors. Kyle has been an ongoing project, using the torso from an old Anakin Skywalker, brown pants and hands, and the head piece of a character from the Lake Town Chase set from The Hobbit. Here he is pictured with his blue lightsaber and faithful Bryar blaster pistol. I’m not 100% satisfied with how Jan turned out, but part of the fun is redoing these figures over time. Jan has Rey’s face, a Battlefront Rebel trooper body modified with white arms, and long black hair.
20161010_161750
He was known to get himself into situations where the odds were overwhelmingly against his favor. . .
20161010_160609
. . .but he was just as well-known for lugging around several blasters and other weapons at once. He’s armed and dangerous at all times, always trying to stay one step ahead of the Imperial Remnant (Post-Return of the Jedi in the Legends/Expanded Universe of Star Wars)
20161010_161248
Kyle was strong in the Force and skilled with a lightsaber. . .
20161010_160802
. . .and he battled his own dark side as often as he battled the dark side itself.
20161010_160257
Luke Skywalker, who might know a thing or two about the dark side, helped Kyle through his dark times and helped him become a great Jedi. Together, they trained new Jedi at Luke’s new academy.
20161010_161509
A survivor of trial after trial, Kyle Katarn was an influence on writers of new Star Wars canon material. Kanan Jarus in particular is similar, insomuch as having a troubled past and bouncing from place to place before returning to the Jedi ways. Both characters also have a tendency to block out important people in their lives at times, closing themselves off in attempts to stave new painful experiences. I would love to see Kyle become canon someday! It may not be likely, but with Thrawn becoming canon recently, you can’t rule out a character as well-known and loved as Kyle Katarn! (Note: I’m excited for Rogue One but I can’t help but be a little upset that it will be overwriting Kyle’s first story where he steals the Death Star plans)

Thank you for checking out my custom figures! Let me know if you like this format as I’d like to branch out into doing Lego Star Wars stories (almost like a webcomic) in the future. If you liked the post or have any ides you’d like to see in the future, leave me a comment or visit the contact page. I would love to hear your feedback!

-David

Black Thursday Strikes Back

The Force works in mysterious ways. It binds us, penetrates us, and makes us stress shop. During my technical difficulties yesterday, I stopped by Wal-Mart to see if anything was left in the Star Wars section after Rogue Friday. As luck would have it, I found two more Black Series figures from my wishlist! Check out this special addendum to my previous review with two more figures, Jango Fett and Kanan Jarrus.

Anyone who knows me knows I love Mandalorians almost as much as I love the Empire and finding the last toys on the pegs at the store. Both Jango and Kanan were the last figures I could find at the store, and I have a huge weakness for buying the last thing I can find of anything related to Star Wars. I know I’ll either never see it again (until the price is likely jacked up on Amazon) or I’ll see dozen of them in two months. But I never know which one it’ll be, so buying the last ones usually gets the best of me.

Jango Fett (Attack of the Clones)  is a wonderful figure. He’s heavy with all of his well-detailed armor. The removable helmet isn’t flimsy. The jetpack has three placement pegs to keep the jetpack in place and level. The pistols are also more durable than I expected, which is something I appreciate because sometimes the weapons with these figures can be bent or just downright flimsy and fragile. There’s plenty of detail to take in; dirt and grime in the armor, tarnish marks, the knee-mounted dart launchers, and a nice dent from when he hits his head on Slave One’s loading ramp door in Episode 2. The head mold also looks pretty good. He’s missing the actor’s stubble, but maybe this is just Jango looking a little more cleaned up than normal. The figure looks and feels so right in every other regard that this one detail gets a pass for me, especially since I probably won’t remove the helmet terribly often.

Onto Kanan from Star Wars: Rebels, this is another example of Hasbro stepping it up with the quality of these figures. Taking an animated character and making him look ‘real’ is no simple task, and it was pulled off very well with this figure. All the details are there, from his shoulder armor down to his lightsaber that actually dissasembles the way it does on the Rebels show. The blade is removable, and then the hilt of the lightsaber can be stashed away in two pieces on the frontand back of his belt. Kanan also includes his signature blaster pistol that fits into a hip holster. Out of the few heroes in my Black Series collection, this is definitely a new favorite!

All in all, I love these figures and love that I was able to find them even more! I’m old school when it comes to buying things. I like to hold it in my hands first before I take it to the register. That is especially true with these toys, as their can be flaws such as bad paint and flimsy or bent weapons to deal with. But the other reason I don’t buy many of these online is something I often compare to the philosophy of Batman. Batman never kills the Joker, even though it could save lives every time the Joker escapes imprisonment. He can’t kill the Joker because if he let’s that violent part of him see the light of day, he will never stop, and he would destroy every last one of his enemies and become just as bad as them. My fandom isn’t so dramatic, but it boils down to the fact that if I buy one thing on the internet, I will soon BUY ALL OF THE THINGS.

Go find your toys! Love and support the fandom!

-David

 

Thanks for reading this! If you enjoyed what you read (or even if you hated it, to each their own) let me know in the comments section! Leave a like if you are so inclined and subscribe to get notified every time I post something about my love for Star Wars. If you have an idea for something you’d like to see, let me know in the comments and I might make a post about it!

 

 

Black Thursday: One Big Review

I was going to put this together sooner, but a pesky flu and some technical difficulties got in the way. But now the show goes on as I take a closer look at my newest Black Series figures. Lego will always be my first love when it comes to Star Wars toys, but the Black Series is a close second. Let’s start with the namesake of Rogue Friday, the day these figures were released, with a new character from Rogue One.

I like Jyn Erso a lot so far, and that’s saying something considering we know next to nothing about her yet. The figure has a good sculpt and the normal posability for this type of figure. Something I noticed was that the little strap on her holster comes undone, making it easier to draw and stash away her blaster pistol. I thought this feature was new, but I went back and checked out my Han Solo figure and his holster does that too. You learn something every day! Jyn includes a blaster pistol, which is cool but doesn’t look quite as Star Wars-y to me compared to other weapons. She also has a removable head scarf. It’s easy to get her posed and keep that trademark spunky attitude when on display.

Next is Cassian Andor, the Eadu variant. I didn’t know Target had a 3-pack exclusive of Cassian in another outfit plus Jyn and a Death Trooper variant (more on that later). I’ll have to keep an eye out for that and hopefully it is as plentiful as the last exclusive pack that included Poe Dameron (in the jacket he gives to Finn) plus stormtrooper FN-2199. I like the overall design of this figure with one exception – the face doesn’t quite look like the actor to me. Whether I should chalk this up to variation among figures or just a slightly off sculpt remains to be seen. I don’t hate it, and admittedly it does look a bit more like the real actor when the hat is removed (shame, because it’s a pretty nice hat) Regardless, the jacket is detailed very well with it’s padding and furry hood. The hat has a scarf coming down on one side, and Cassian includes a blaster pistol and blaster rifle.

I bet K2SO steals every scene he’s in once the movie comes out. The figure is quite nice, with a sculpt resembling Imperial battle armor worn by General Veers and the like. The figure is the longest, lankiest droid I’ve ever seen, and he’s very posable. You can see in the third picture of him that he can channel Zenyatta from Overwatch and pose in a meditative state. K2 is nicely detailed and surprisingly can stand without a base, which I was surprised given how tall and awkward he is.

Next is the Death Trooper, part of the Imperial Security Bereau’s special forces under Director Krennic. This is one of two current variants. The other one, which in my opinion is more desirable, has different gear: same guns, but a shoulder pauldron and ARC Trooper style ammo pouches are added to the shoulder. As far as I can tell, that 3-pack comes later this month. Despite being slightly less interesting than that variant, there’s still plenty to like about this figure. He has Darth Vader’s belt buckle, a unique piece of knee armor, green eyepieces in the helmet, and unique weapons. This guy definitely captures the ‘don’t mess with me’ vibe of the Death Troopers. If you have the variant, they make a nice companion to Target’s two pack of shadow troopers. His height over everyone coupled with the black armor just makes him look mean. (Note: If you buy the 2-pack of shadow troopers, which I do recommend, that scout trooper doesn’t come with the sniper rifle; I had that lying around from another stroomtrooper variant and gave it to him)

Wrapping up Rogue One is probably my favorite figure of the Rogue One wave thus far, and that’s the Hovertank Trooper. Like the Death Trooper, he captures that meanness and intensity of the utilitarian armor scheme. The shoulders are a new rubbery material that flexes if you pose the arm too far up, bending it in instead of stressing or damaging the edge. Nice touch there, I like that a lot. The armor is a sort of mash up of stormtrooper gear and scout trooper gear, with stormtrooper-like boots and light torso armor, plus a unique helmet. Instead of full leg armor, the figure wears dark brown pants over the black bodysuit all stormtroopers wear underneath their armor. He also carries a blaster just in case he’d have to leave the armored safety of his hovertank. There’s a lot of nice detail, especially in the dirt and grime on his boots and armor.  This figure is exclusive to Toys R Us.

Lastly there’s the Force Awakens variants. A repackaged Rey now includes a lightsaber along with her signature staff and BB-8. Apart from minor differences, it is the same figure that has been available for a while now. I found her to be slightly difficult to pose when holding the lightsaber with both hands, but I noticed their may be a slight defect in the joints of my figure’s left arm. Could be damage, could be an error. I’m not exactly sure, but I like the figure and had been wanting one with a lightsaber. Kylo also appears to be an identical figure, but with changes to his accessories. This variant swaps his mask (the entire head) for the face underneath. I thought there would be an injured variant with the scar on his face, but I’m sure that will be coming for Episode 8. The other changes are regarding his lightsaber. He now includes two sabers, a new ingnited blade that is molded to the hilt (no weird three-pronged thing with the extra ‘energy’ going around it to hold it together) and an extra hilt with no blade, which can attach to a new notch in his belt. My only complaint, albeit a small one, is that like Cassian, his skin tone isn’t quite right. They both appear a little too pale to me. But skin tone is very difficult to transale into plastic, so I’m not holding that against anyone.

Overall, I enjoyed unboxing all these figures and adding them to my sizeable Black Series collection. My favorites are almost always new Imperial troopers, and this was the case yet again this time around. I was super happy to be able to purchase so many this time around as well. I went rather late in the day on Rogue Friday and was still finding good toys stocked on the shelves. This wasn’t the case for Force Friday, the previous event, where all the Force Awakens toys were revealed. So good on you, whoever makaes that sort of thing go more smoothly. Target had great promotions that rewarded you for going big on your purchases and I hope they do things similarly in the future for Episode 8’s theme day and the eventual other spinoff reveal days. It seemed much smoother this time, so let’s hope it gets even better when we do this all again next year!

-David

Thanks for reading! If you liked this rant and review, leave a like or let me know in the comments. Also, if there’s something you’d like to see, drop me a comment or an email and I might make a post about it!

Gone Rogue (My Rogue Friday Haul)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The most successful Force Friday for me ever! Even if it is only the second one! I went to the Target and Toys R Us by me and found a what I believe is a complete wave of six inch Black Series figures. I couldn’t believe I found them all so late at night. The Death Trooper, Hover Tank Trooper, and Jyn Erso were the last ones in the stores as far as I could see. My lego haul wasn’t quite what I had planned out for the day, and I didn’t get a Darth Revan (No worries, I’ll live – I have two already) but I did pick up the Lego Hover Tank and the First Order General promo minifig from Toys R Us. Needless to say, I am DONE spending money for a little while! But the Force was with me and I regret NOTHING!

What I wound up with

  • Black Series Kylo Ren (unmasked) 
  • Black Series Rey (repackage)
  • Black Series K2-SO
  • Black Series Jyn Erso (Jedha)
  • Black Series Cassian Andor (Eadu)
  • Black Series Death Trooper
  • Black Series Hovertank Trooper
  • Lego Imperial Hovertank Trooper (Toys r Us exclusive)
  • Lego First Order General (Toys r Us promo polybag)

Rogue Friday: Revan Update

I hate to say it but don’t be surprised if you can’t get ahold of a Darth Revan figure today. TheBrickFan.com reports that the promotion was something of a hot mess and there likely aren’t enough Revans to go around. Also, Rogue One sets were not available online when they were supposed to be. These specials are prone to hiccups but this one really hurts if you missed out on Revan when he was available a while ago as a May the Fourth promotion. I suppose we’ll have to settle for double VIP points or check out other promotions while they last today. Nonetheless, continue the new merchant frenzy! I’ll be out tonight after work hoping I can find some new toys from my list.