I went on a little bit of an action figure spree this weekend and bought, among other things, two of the new Star Wars “Black” series action figures. They’ve got two lines, one 3.75″ and the other 6″. I went for the big guys, specifically the Sand Trooper and R2-D2, both part of the first wave of figures.I was momentarily possessed with the impulse that I should keep these guys in their boxes, but what fun is that? After deciding that I’d probably never sell them anyway, I broke my new buddies out of their cardboard and plastic prisons.
Both of the figures feel substantial in the hand. They’re not cheap little pieces of plastic (although technically at only $19.99 they are) and don’t wobble on over with the slightest vibration. As I share my home with two incessantly curious (read: mischievous) cats, I appreciate that. They also seem durable enough that you could give them to a child to play with. They’re “collector” quality but inexpensive and damage-resistant enough that they’ll do fine in the sandbox. (Perfect place for the Sandtrooper, really.)
There are no bits of flash or other imperfections that I could find, either. Both of these guys are really well detailed, too. The Sandtrooper is grimy-looking, with stained armor worn with the blast of Tatooine’s sandstorms. R2 has tons of little panels and buttons, many of which actually open. Both figures are heavily articulated, and you can pose them in a variety of ways. R2’s head swivels. Turning it pulls his third “leg” into his body. You won’t have any trouble setting them up anywhere you want to display them. Detail and articulation are the major selling points of these figures.
Strangely, the detail is also a drawback at least for me. Both figures come with accessories, and they’re loose and probably easy to lose. The Sandtrooper comes packed for battle with three different weapons and a backpack. The pistol can fit in his hands, and one of the rifles has a strap and can be swung over his shoulder, but that still leaves a huge rifle that won’t fit anywhere but on the ground. R2 is really a collector’s nightmare: He comes with a handful of tiny little tools (cutters, probes, etc.) that plug into panels on his head. Obviously, you can’t fit all of them in there at once, and just to add to the obsessive-compulsive worry, the covers to the little panels have to be removed and stored, too. Really, none of this will probably be a an issue if you’re organized and used to these things, but for a casual, impulse buyer like me, it’s a bit much. Is it so much that I won’t buy more of these figures? Not at all! Still, it’s something to think about.
Wave One is available now (Luke Skywalker in Rebel Pilot Gear, R2-D2, Sandtrooper, Darth Maul). You shouldn’t have any trouble finding them pretty much anywhere you sell toys. Wave Two (Han Solo, Slave Leia, Greedo, Boba Fett) is supposedly just around the corner.