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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:33 am 
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A big post to give you all a preview of contestants so far for the next series of “Strictly ‘Sabers!” - coming soon to a HoloNet terminal near you! ^_^

Anakin Skywalker
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Antares Draco
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An'ya Kuro
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Asajj Ventress
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A'Sharad Hett
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Aurra Sing
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Bultar Swan
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Cade Skywalker
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Darth Bane
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Darth Malak
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Darth Maleval
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Darth Maul
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Darth Nihilus
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Darth Revan
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Darth Shayd (custom character of my own)
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Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine
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Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine (resurrected as a clone)
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Darth Talon
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Darth Tyranus
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Darth Vader (before lava)
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Darth Vader (after lava)
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Darth Vader (based on his appearance in a "what if?..." version of Empire Strikes Back)
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Emperor's Shadow Guard
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Galen Marek
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Ganner Krieg
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General Grievous
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Han Solo (early concept design)
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Kit Fisto (had to repaint all his skin - the lurid shades picked by the manufacturer were way out!)
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Leia Organa (based on her appearance as a Jedi in a "what if?..." version of Empire Strikes Back)
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Luke Skywalker (early concept design)
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Luke Skywalker
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Luke Skywalker (dark side)
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Luminara Unduli
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Mace Windu
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Mara Jade-Skywalker
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Maris Brood
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Obi Wan Kenobi
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Plo Koon
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Rahm Kota
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Saesee Tiin
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Sev
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Tol Skorr
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Yoda
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Halfway betwixt Venus and Mars ^.^


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:34 pm 
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Got me some reissue G1 insecticons, christ knows why i don't think that highly of G1 and there have been so many better lines out since the brickformers, got me a fansproject G3 trailer which is a thing of beauty and set 1 of Ghostbuster minimates.

Pics to follow when i can be bothered. :bigsmile:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:59 pm 
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My latest Wrestling pick-ups from Ringside Collectables:


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PPV: Cyber Sunday Undertaker, Classic 25 Goldberg and the Michaels/Hart Montreal Screwjob Collectors Pack :bigsmile:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:51 pm 
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Since nobody has done so already I guess I'll do a quick product review of some of the The Force Awakens items I came across today.

So onto the first product review. Disney's Elite Series die cast figures, and Captain Phasma.

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This was the best rendering of the character I've seen so far, all others tended to have the metallic finish just look plasticy, whereas this does a damned fine job of replicating the movie look, though still not as fully a metallic finish as it could have been. It has a nice solid weighty feeling figure being die cast, but while being quite well articulated, is missing some of the level of sophistication of say a Black Series figure. For example you don't have the point of articulation required to allow you to have her hold her blaster in two hands, which is a pretty basic detail to miss out. Paint job on the blaster is a bit ropey too. Looks nice overall though. Will probably stick to Black Series 6 inch figures in future though. She's quite a bit taller than a Black Series figure, but seeing how she is played by Gwendoline Christie that may well be accurate.

:lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:52 pm 
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Next up Disney's die cast First Order TIE Fighter.

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Not a bad piece, nice to see the subtle new details in there that The Force Awakens has added to try and make the classic design look like it has had a few upgrades over the last 30 years (an antenna cluster, beefed up laser cannons and range finding sensors) . But no opening cockpit, though it looks like it should open (though red tinted cockpit glass to suggest the red lighting within is a nice touch), and weirdly it's missing the pair of ion engine nozzles in the back, don't know if that was an omission or just the way they are now. Worst thing is the paint job on the wings though, really bad bleed between the white and black details. C'mon Disney, must do better. Ask Hasbro how it's done if you must.

:roll:


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:41 pm 
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I'll do a couple more of these The Force Awakens items. Again from the Disney shop on Force Friday I picked up the Elite Series die cast Rey figure, who comes packaged with BB-8 (interestingly since he's meant to be Poe Dameron's droid as far as I'm aware).

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Also interestingly the first two figures I picked up were both girls, both of them are pretty cool figures, and the addition of BB-8 also added additional value to the Rey figure. She comes packed with a lot of nice accessories, her staff and a cool looking little blaster, and a back pack which she can wear. Though you have to suss out that one of the straps detaches so you can put it on the figure. Took me a while to figure it out which is good I guess, meaning that the detachable strap is well hidden and not too obvious.

The BB-8 figure is very cool, but I'm not sure about the scale. I'm sure when the life size BB-8 prop was revealed together with R2 at The Force Awakens panel at Star Wars Celebration earlier in the year he was quite a bit shorter than R2, but here he looks just a little shorter than waist height, and R2 comes up to a little over waist height. Maybe it is just a perspective thing.

In general this figure is a good solid and weighty figure as is Captain Phasma, BB-8 in particular feels nicely appropriately solid cast in metal. As with that earlier figure though, as good as it is, I still think it is not quite up to the same level of quality as a Black Series 6 inch. Also being die cast I did notice that some of the paint had flaked off on an area near one of the arm joints which is unfortunate, and a limitation with die cast figures, in that as they get worn and played with they'll take damage more visibly than a plastic figure would, but then again I guess these are more to be displayed than played with. Either way it is a good quality figure.

:thumbs:


Last edited by TALON on Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:27 pm 
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Next up, the first of The Force Awakens figures I ordered on-line. Amazon have a few of the TFA Black Series 6 inch figures that I failed to manage to pick up on Force Friday, and came really quite quickly which pleased me no end. So we now get a chance to see what Hasbro can make of the new material. And this certainly did not disappoint and was well worth the wait.

So my first TFA Hasbro figure was Kylo Ren:

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Damn this is a fine figure. First up the new signature lightsaber for this character is beautifully realised with an appropriately fiery base to the blade near the hilt which really does a nice job of representing the rougher look of Kylo Ren's dangerously volatile looking lightsaber. They also ingeniously connect the two hilt guard blades to the main blade so if you remove the blade to have the figure with an un-ignited lightsaber you don't have 3 fiddly bits to worry about, just the one. The lightsaber hilt is really nicely detailed too with all the exposed wires and rough casing pieces that you see in the movie screenshots of the thing, and almost looks more detailed than that on some of the larger scale figures I've seen of the character. Heck, a whole paragraph just on the lightsaber.

Now onto the figure itself. There is some fantastic work on show here and they really make the most of the level of detail they can achieve with the larger scale, they also make nice use of various appropriate materials in rendering the character's complex robes, with a rubber ribbed underskirt covered by a fabric main robe and hood with a pattern that accurately depicts the burlap like textured look of the character's main robes as seen in the movie screenshots. This is then topped with a kind of ragged scarf/short cape that is rendered again in rubber, and once again perfectly replicates the character's look. You can get up real close and personal to this figure and it still looks great. Also if you pull down the hood you'll see more details of the character's mysterious helm revealed, with a quite familiar shape hidden beneath that hood, this is also beautifully detailed with a rough pockmarked look to it.

However where this figure really shines is in the depth of it's articulation. You can pretty much achieve any pose with this figure (within reason), and you can certainly replicate any of the iconic poses that we have seen this character take in the trailers we have seen so far, such as arm stretched out low to one side such as in that show stopping shot in the first trailer when we first saw the controversial new lightsaber fired up, or you can pose him in a two handed stance, it is completely up to you due to that phenomenal articulation. This is what sets these figures above all others. As good as the die cast Elite Series is, it just doesn't hold a candle to the Black Series in my opinion.

That said, I am a little disappointed in what I've seen of Hasbro's 3 3/4 inch line, they appear a little gimmicky to me, and appear a little smaller than usual. Makes me wonder if they're focusing more on the 6 inch line now for their higher quality figure line. Especially when you see reveals like this:



Available in Argos by the way as an on-line exclusive.

But back to this figure, definitely the best of the TFA figures I've picked up so far.

:applaud:

:thumbs:


Next up when I get the chance, I'll review the App Enabled working BB-8. Saving the best till last.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:46 pm 
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So now onto the App Enabled BB-8 from Sphero:

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It is a little expensive for what it is, but it is still an awesome piece of kit, and almost worth the price just to have an example of the freaky tech which makes the real BB-8 work in your hands, and it does freak you out. I hadn't seen any of the advertising for this piece before I purchased it, I just happened to catch a glimpse of it behind the till as I was buying my other stuff and asked the assistant to pass one over so I could check it out, so it was actually something of an impulse buy, and an expensive one at that, I had until that point been reasonably responsible and had not gone too crazy on Force Friday, just picking up a few choice items, but that went out the window when I bought that thing, but had to have it.

:leonie:


You read the blurb of what it is capable of on the box and it sounds mental:

Authentic movement
Listens and responds
Holographic communication?!?!?!
Autonomous behaviour
Adaptive personality?


When you read it you think, it is practically the real deal. Move over Skynet. The future is here and it is orange,

....and kinda round.

:lol:


But that is overselling it a bit, though it is indeed impressive. You get the BB-8 droid (sphere body and domed head), charging dock and USB cable. The body sphere feels quite weighty, all the mechanics of the thing are clearly within and the shifting weight suggests a gyroscope type thing is in there. You also have lights from within which give you some indicators regarding the functionality and operation of the thing, but no actual surface lights because the sphere body surface is glass smooth to minimise friction, so all the details are printed on. The dome has more physical details on it, and little wheels under it that in conjunction with a magnet in it's base and the apparatus within the body allow it to operate an create that almost magical freaky looking tech. That is what will really wow you, and anyone who sees it, just how does that work then?

It isn't just a one trick pony though, and there is more to it than the wow factor of how it works. It has a multitude of other features too which will have you flipping through them on your smartphone wondering what does that do then? Some features are more successful than others. Patrol for example involves BB-8 roving around the floor bouncing into things, sometimes quite hard, and you worry about it getting broken while doing this if you have any particularly solid objects in it's path. The pair of antenna on his head also look quite fragile and I worry that they'll get snapped off in some unfortunate angled collision which is an issue. This is what I found the most disappointing, as for a patrol or autonomous function I'd expect it to detect objects and avoid them rather than crashing into that at full pelt and then having to shake off the impact. Though it is quite funny watching the droid's reaction to a crash, shaking his domed head and jerking around like a cute little droid who's a little bit too clumsy. Sometimes if he hits an obstruction too hard the domed head will actually fly off. They do say that upgrades will be made available for this through the App, so maybe one of those updates will include obstruction avoidance?

He does seem to react to sound though, as if you make noises or motions he'll sometimes come and check you out. You also get a data readout on your phone when he is in roving mode and you'll get streams of data regarding what BB-8 is reacting with. registering impacts, detecting electronic devices, lifeforms etc, which is quite cool.

More successful is the drive function where you can take control of the little droid and race him around the floor, you also have a couple of preset functions to give him personality, a few reactions and actions, also some pre-mapped paths such as a square or figure of eight. When fully controlling him you have a virtual joystick on your screen which you can use in conjunction with an aiming light device. This lets you know which direction he'll dart off in so you have some idea of relative orientation. This was fun.

The other feature that'll make you go wha...? Is the Holographic Communication function, and this is actually quite cool, and makes great use of the smartphone's camera to create some augmented reality graphics. Basically there is a message already in there showing the schematics of an X-Wing, and when you access the message your smartphone screen gives you a camera view of where BB-8 is and projects an augmented reality enhanced image which makes it appear that he is projecting a hologram, which is cool in and of itself, but you can also create your own messages. So to do this you get an icon graphic appear on the smartphone screen which is an outline of C-3P0's noggin, that you use to align your own head into the correct position to record a hologram message. Once you've recorded your message you can then get BB-8 to play it back and you'll see yourself projected from BB-8 with your image filtered to appear like an authentic Star Wars style hologram. This is a very cool feature. On the subject of upgrades it would be very cool if you could send this to friends who also have a BB-8 so you can playback each other's messages, which would just be awesome. Maybe you can and I just don't realise it yet. I do have a friend who has one of these so I am definitely looking forward to that if it does happen. Sod Skype, I've got a friggin Hologram projecting droid!

:banana:


So yeah, not perfect, and there are a few issues, but it still has to be THE must have Star Wars gadget to have as we look forward to The Force Awakens. Plus if they capitalise on the promise of upgrades to the droid, a lot of these teething problems might be ironed out, and more exciting features might be added. It definitely gets a thumbs up from me. You'll be grinning from ear to ear when you get this thing out of the box and start running through its features.

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And finally here's just a quick comparison shot, the littlest one is the one that accompanies the Elite Series Rey figure, and in the middle the Sphero, and in the back the way larger Disney Store electronic BB-8 which I got for my daughter that runs around on a hidden wheel and is also pretty cool actually.


:applaud:

:holyshit:

:xwing:


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:25 pm 
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So the last of the key figures I was after back on Force Friday finally fell into my lap this weekend. A Hasbro Black Series 6 inch First Order Stormtrooper. You just can't seem to find these anywhere at the moment, and I happened across this one on eBay going for only marginally over the standard retail price, and so snapped it up.

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And I'm so glad I did. Other than key iconic characters such as Darth Vader, R2 and 3P0, the faceless Stormtrooper is very much the face of the franchise, at least from a design point of view. and the revamp of this classic iconic bit of costume design for the new trilogy definitely warrants closer scrutiny, which is another of the joys of collecting such highly detailed and accurate action figures. It gives us a nice tangible sneak peak at the design so that we can really go into depth with it and see what the new movie makers and designers have done to modernise the Empire's (excuse me, the First Order's) legions of crack shock troops.

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Well first up, as you'd expect from the Black Series line, the quality of the figure is high, and there is a nice level of articulation at play here with the figure being pretty easy to stand up in an attention, or more action orientated pose, there are a lot of options there. Though I will note that the figure doesn't appear quite as well articulated as the 6 inch Black Series version of his predecessor, but more on that later. The paint job is reasonable, but there are a few issues with the black details where they meet the white details (where the black body glove meets the armour basically, or in some cases the black details on the armour itself) of the figure this transition point tends to be a little less than perfect in quite a few areas, which was a little disappointing, here again the original trilogy Imperial Stormtrooper figure fares better (I also feel the Kylo Ren figure is the stronger of the two The Force Awakens Black Series 6 inch figures I have seen so far). Perhaps they had to rush these out due to demand, and the paint job suffered as a result, but it is a minor gripe, and the rough paint job areas are quite small for the most part and only noticeable if you really go looking for them. Another interesting thing to note is that the new armour design while sleeker than the original, looking like Apple's version of a Stormtrooper as has already been noted by many on first seeing the redesign, weirdly this trooper also looks bulkier at the same time, I don't know if is just how the armour hangs on the body now, or the size of the helmet compared to the body or what, but this same issue can be seen in the figure and the pose, perhaps it is the smaller shoulder pads that make it less top heavy looking or something?

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Another key part of the redesign to note is the new look blaster. When first seen in the trailer I found the stark white and black styling a little off putting, and looking too much like a toy nerf gun colour scheme over the much more realistic weapon looks of the original trilogy, but the look is growing on me to some extent, and the asset is nicely rendered here, it probably has the cleanest paint job on the whole figure, with the details very sharply rendered, as well as the white details there are some nice steel like metal finished accents on the scope which look cool, and the design remains largely the same, still based to some extent on the WWII Sterling Sub Machine Gun, it still looks essentially like an E-11 though no doubt this new model will get some new designation, there are a lot of changes, as well as the Aliens Colonial Marines style light effects we glimpsed in the first trailer, here we can see the pistol grip and trigger guard are considerably changed, with the latter being much larger to accommodate the more armoured glove of the new trooper. Other than that the main difference is that the scope is now much more a proper sniper rifle style scope like that mounted on Han Solo's DL-44 Blasterpistol in A New Hope. Does this mean these new troopers are going to be more of a crack shot than their predecessors? In addition to this the figure comes equipped with a short blasterpistol, and it should be noted that both can be attached to the figure's right thigh armour piece via a little attachment slot which can be used to holster either weapon. This is a nice touch of modernisation for the trooper armour rather than having the large leather holster that the original did. Much more in keeping with contemporary military design too to have weapons holstered by just slotting them into your armour via an attachment rather than going the full holster route.

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With this next image I wanted to take a comparison image featuring both the original trilogy Imperial Stormtrooper and the sequel trilogy First Order Stormtrooper. So when comparing and contrasting the two you can see the designers have done a good job here of giving us what could be a logical next step in the original armour's design, it is much smoother and sleeker looking, but as I noted before the smooth lines and curves in the new design make it actually look less streamline than the original somehow, or just makes it cut a slightly chubbier figure, most likely due the the addition of so many smooth curves in the design. I believe the larger shoulder pads on the original help to make it look tougher by making it a more top heavy looking design. The helmet on the First Order Trooper also looks smaller which probably further compounds this design difference. The leg armour pieces are also much more angular on the original trilogy Stormtrooper, and the knee area is handled in a quite different way on the new one. Personally a prefer how it was originally, but the new treatment of this area is probably more practical. With regards to the new helmet design I really like where they have gone with it. For me it far surpasses the original Clone Trooper design, and while I liked the 2nd phase armour helmet (From Revenge of the Sith), that was pretty much just the original Stormtrooper helm with the Clonetrooper style 'T' visor in the middle, this new helmet has obvious design ties to the original but is not afraid to very much be it's own animal and do it's own thing in certain areas. I particularly like how they have connected the eye detail to the mouth grill and have redesigned the details while essentially keeping them the same, some interesting clasps on the helm and armour suggest a cool and practical way of taking the armour pieces apart too, lots of cool subtle details. I think that the helm is the strongest part of the design actually. Oh, and last but not least, I like what they've done with the '0II' detail on the back, simple but effective.

To my mind the First Order Stormtrooper is a worthy successor to the original trilogy Stormtrooper and does a great job of the thankless task of redesigning such an iconic original design. I still feel the original has more character, but the new one looks like a logical next step which is the best compliment you could give really.

:thumbs:

Image


Oh, and as a last detail this final image with Captain Phasma shows that yes, the Disney Elite line is definitely a slightly larger scale than the Black Series, Gwendoline Christie is tall, but not that tall.

:lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:43 pm 
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Have been primarily focused on The Force Awakens related items up to now, but when I was searching on Amazon for some of the key items I was hoping to pick up, I came across this and could not resist. So this finally came in the mail, and is an absolute corker of a figure.

May I present the Black Series 6 inch Bossk.

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What a fantastic action figure. As you'd expect from the Black Series this thing is brimming with detail, and really goes to town with what is possible thanks to the increased scale that the 6 inch line affords it. All the character's suit details, be they webbing or hoses are impressively separate components rather than molded into the body of the figure, making for a very richly detailed rendering of the character. The paint job is also pretty immaculate with a really good interpretation of the scales on his skin created through a combination of the colour work and the actual physical shape of the surface detail of the figure getting darker details into all the nooks and crannies to give a realistic reptilian look to the skin. other details on the suit such as squadron patches or whatever they are, are also faithfully recreated. The only slightly disappointing detail in the paint job is that his blaster rifle is just plain black with no weathering, would have been nice to see just a very subtle amount of dry brushed gunmetal weathering in there to bring it a bit more to life, the weapon is quite a chunky affair without much in the way of fine detailing other than the shoulder strap which is attached to it, so it would been nice to have that to breathe a bit more life into this quite plain looking accessory. But perhaps this is accurate, for all I know Bossk's blaster rifle might have been a pristine black.

Image


One of the things that makes this figure so much fun, is just trying to figure out just where all the points of articulation are, as they are many, but for the most part (only the feet have a really obvious point of articulation seam) are almost impossible to see. The lower leg twists at the bottom of the trouser leg beneath the leg ammo bandoleers, or whatever you'd call them. The knee joint is impressively hidden in the folds of the leg and is only revealed when you bend the leg, the joint can also be seen from the back, but the mechanism is so nicely molded that it doesn't take anything away from the figure. The upper leg twist joint above the thigh is lined up with a seam on the costume and so is practically invisible. The torso twist is limited, but hidden in the ribbed flight vest, the arms feature an elbow with pivot and twist functionality hidden within the suit's sleeves which are rolled up to the elbow, and the arms end with a twistable wrist for the three fingered claw. And now onto the final touch of detail that just raised the bar of this awesome figure to meteoric heights. One that makes you go "They didn't did they? Oh they did?" And that detail is the fact that they even included an articulated jaw so you can pose your Bossk with mouth closed brandishing those wicked teeth, or open showing that flicking tongue of his. And with that last bit of fantastic attention to detail you can probably get as much if not more expression out of him than they could get out of the real costume prop from the movie.

:lol:

Yet another absolutely awesome figure.

:thumbs: :thumbs:


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