If you have found your way to this article then by now you should be aware we are going to include spoilers for Rogue One... this is your final chance to turn back.
With Rogue One now showing across the World and receiving pretty positive press in the main, it is a great time to ask if Hasbro and Disney have "got it right" this year with their Action Figure releases for Rogue One - specifically the Black Series.
Last year there was a lot of criticism after the film release that highly sought after figures in both the 6" and 3.75" ranges played a tiny part in the film. Figures of Sarko Plank, The Guavian Enforcer and the infamous Constable Zuvio had no real bearing on the plot of The Force Awakens and are now shelf warming the world over. And yet we still have no figure of Luke or Leia from Episode 7.
The only ones not to get in a mess with figure choice last year seemed to be Disney, who chose wisely for their debut 6.5" Die-cast Elite scale. And even they are still stuck with a number of characters on clearance, although who could have foreseen main characters like Poe Dameron, Rey and Kylo Ren not selling?
So have we had a better choice this time round?
Well in the 6" series it seems like a fairly decent improvement vs last year. The first wave gave us 4 key characters, and the only one majorly peg warming was Cassian - and I bet he starts moving now the film is out. They also mixed in some TFA goodies for those not sold on a the Star Wars Story concept, but it seems the Kylo Ren unmasked was only desirable while it was a Celebration exclusive. It was nice to update Rey with the improved paint and ligtsaber, but I like many held out for the half price deal at Toys R Us to do this.
This first wave release of Cassian, Jyn and K-2SO gives us, in my opinion, the key trio of heroes from the film. And with the Deathtroopers rounding it out I think they will sell really well having played quite a large part throughout the film unlike the Scarif and Hover Tank Troopers.
Wave 2 of the Rogue One figures brought us the main protagonist in Director Krennic, although I think he was massively overshadowed and condemned into role of a lackey by both Vader and the CGI Grand Moff Tarkin. While Tarkin was a surprise, we've known Vader was making an appearance for some time and it was feasible Hasbro could have got him into the first couple of 6" waves - they certainly did it with the 3.75" figures.
The Shoretroopers were kind of "meh" in the end, in fact they now feel like they were there purely to sell toys - otherwise why not use a full compliment of existing Stormtroopers - there seemed no real reason why these Shore Troopers were in place on the base? Don't get me wrong, they are an awesome design I just expected a reason why they had a variant armour and for it to fit into the story.
The same can be said about the Hover Tank Pilots, another great design but not integral to the story and their part driving the tank and the AT-AST could have easily been substituted for the AT-AT drivers from Empire. In fact, I thought Hasbro were being cute including the AT-AT driver in wave 9 and the Emperors Royal Guard in the early wave for 2017, but it seems only the Royal Guard will fit as both an Original Trilogy and Rogue One figure. And of course the newly arrived Princess Leia who can now be posed from any of her A New Hope scenes, or as per that final Rogue One scene.
We also know that Baze Malbus and Chirrut Imwe are coming in 6", and they pretty much round out the key characters with the exception of Bodi Rook - who I liked more than I expected. Disney put him straight in to their Elite releases, and his name has appeared on a survey for the Black Series - I just hope we will get a figure of him in the 6" scale to round out the Rebel group - after all, it's not as though any of them will be appearing in any subsequent movie.
So who are we missing?
Well I mentioned Tarkin above, and he is a fantastic figure that is screaming out to be made now considering he would fit in with both Rogue One and A New Hope collections.
There is also the other key character of Saw Gerrara who I didn't really like very much, but who played a big part in the film. He is coming in 3.75", and we've also had at least one of his troops in that scale with Morroff who was packed with a Scarif Trooper (odd choice as they appeared on two separate points in the film and in space).
Outside of this, hard core fans may want some more Rebel Troopers or the slightly variant "Sandtrooper" that we saw in the opening scenes. And talking of Troopers, the Rebel Troopers from the Tantive IV would be a nice addition for Army Builders and again would sit as both Rogue One and A New Hope releases. You can apply this back to the Imperials too - and I for one would love a Death Star Trooper or Imperial Gunner.
Outside shots would go to Chopper, although I think they will get to him in the Black Series as a pack in with Ezra in the next 18-months or so. There is also Mon Mothma, Bail Organa or even Galen Erso. And what about a Deluxe pack of Moroff and Edrio Two Tubes?
And who exactly will connect to that Eadu Jyn Erso Kmart exclusive?
Last years Kmart exclusive was deliberately split for release of one before the movie (Kylo Ren) and one after (Rey) so not to give away any spoilers. It seems this year will follow the same plan, although having now seen the film it is difficult to see how a second figure would now work on this diorama or how it would have given away any spoilers.
Assuming the diorama follows the film plot, then the obvious choice for the second figure could well be Krennic - a re-release, but maybe with a tweaked "windswept" cloak and/or weathered paint work. There is also the possibility that these aren't opposing figures, so it could be Cassian in his Eadu gear (a re-release) but now packed with his sniper rifle configuration that has been included only in the Target pack to date. The final option, and the outside chance, is for it to be Galen Erso - but to give Kmart a brand new figure on an exclusivity deal would be outside the usual.
Please tell us what you think, and who you would like to see in the Star Wars figure ranges come 2017... Help our social channels stay spoiler free for now by using the Disquss thread below.
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