Review : Asty, X-Wing Pilot
Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro)
Wave/Series : Figure #14 (Phase 3 Wave 4)
Released : Jan 2016 in US / June 2016 in UK
Price : £22.99
So we reach the 3rd figure in the heavily delayed Wave 4 Black Series, and if you've read the other two reviews you may be expecting another underwhelming figure - but do not worry, things are about to look up!
Asty, the Resistance X-Wing Pilot, is the #14 figure in the Phase 3 red packaged Black Series line and was part of Wave 4 which has taken a little under 6 months to finally reach UK collectors. Asty is lost a little in the box with his red flight suit against the red background. He is posed brilliantly in the box with him holding his X-Wing helmet under his left arm, a pose that replicates our very first Black Series figure - Luke X-Wing.
The artwork on the Asty packaging depicts him without his helmet and captures him really well. A short background on the character is then written out on the rear in four languages.
Out of the box Asty stands 6 1/4 inches high and is packed with his helmet and a handgun - both of which we will look at a little later.
I am going to start with the body rather than the head. The skeptic in me expected a full re-use of the Poe Dameron X-Wing suit with the Asty head dropped on top. This is certainly not the case, and with close inspection I can find very few parts (if any) that I could definitively say have come from the Poe Dameron figure. The flightsuit itself is sculpted with a baggy look and loads of detail like ridged panels, pouches and straps and the whole thing is coloured in a striking red, a touch darker in shade to the Poe figure.
On top of the suit is the flight vest and life support box and from these drapes a flexible hose which snakes down into the left leg pocket. The flight vest is painted a contrasting cream colour with a Rebel - sorry Resistance logo decal on the left side. And under this is some Aurebesh writing, a detail so small I applaud it's addition. I am not sure if its the depth of the sculpt of the creases on the vest or a very subtle paint wash but the vest is really well defined, particularly round the collar and down the back.
The flight suit finishes with a set of straps, cast in flexible grey plastic with painted silver buckles. On the right side of the top belt of these straps hangs a gloss black holster. Asty is also wearing grey flight gloves and these are definitely in receipt of paint applications, with a dry brush effect over the top to dirty them up a little.
Comparing the head of Asty to the preceding figure, General Hux, you would think they were two different ranges. The Asty head is really well defined with plenty of skin folds under each eye and round the back and down to the neck. This is then painted and then washed and dry brushed. The eyes are a little sloppy in terms of placement, but are more subdued than normal and therefore more natural. My own issue with the head is that the neck underneath has a different skin colour and also doesn't really match the head in anatomical terms.
The head is articulated really well, and that probably explains the neck joint so Asty can look round fully. Although raising the head up will expose that neck. The arms extend out to the side and above the head, and the elbows bend and swivel - with the elbow joints really well disguised under the folds of the flight suit. The arm articulation ends with a rotating wrist peg.
This arm movement all serves the one pose everyone will want, Asty holding his helmet under his arm - and although it takes a bit of patience, this can be achieved.
There is a hidden chest joint under the flight jacket and you can rotate Asty to one side at least, the other way gets blocked off by a protruding end of the jacket.
The legs move fully and by using flexible plastic in the hoses and straps, they move with the legs. The thigh swivel is still there, but in my opinion redundant on this figure as it adds no value. The knees, like the elbows, are disguised well and yet retain the double joint movement. The ankles are then on rockers which means you can spread the stance quite wide on Asty and still plan the feet flat to the floor.
The first accessory is the handgun, which is a bronze colour with a silver barrel and some darker detail on the grip and in front of the trigger. The gun fits into Asty's right hand with the trigger finger dropping into the trigger. When not in use it fits snugly into the belt holster.
The helmet is the crowning glory (pun intended) and is a masterful piece of work. I always felt the Dameron helmet was too clunky and very tight to fit, but the Asty helmet glides over the head and into position and looks like it could be a swap-out head rather than a removable helmet. The helmet is brilliantly decorated too. A bright white base has Aurebesh symbols across the front and down each side of the chin. There is then red and yellow decals with the Resistance logo as well as a hazard pattern and some trim lines. The helmet then has a visor, which is coloured in yellow but still make sure that Asty's eyes are visible underneath - and more importantly they line up with the visor.
Asty is pretty much a perfect figure. He looks great, is designed really well, is painted nicely and has well engineered accessories in terms of the helmet and the gun. Hasbro also avoided the temptation of re-using the Dameron sculpt and put in lots of little details that could have easily been left off - things like that tiny Aurebesh wording to the right of the chest box as you look at him.
Hux may have been disappointing, and the Snow Trooper feeling a little over-used already, but Asty is a shining star in Wave 4 and is one of the best figures to date. I score him 5 out of 5 and urge whomever is doing the Aliens on the Black Series immediately also take over the Human figure development.