Updated: Nov 26, 2018
Review : Inferno Squad Agent (Battlefront II) Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro) Wave/Series : Gamestop Exclusive Released : October 2017
€29.99 (not available directly in UK)
Pros : The red accents work well with the glossy black armour, the gun is improved vs original release Cons : A relatively simple repaint that is not completely accurate to the Inferno Agents in the game
Gamestop have significantly ramped up their exclusive releases recently for the Star Wars Black Series, and the Inferno Squad Agent is the 4th of 2017 after the 40th Anniversary R5-D4 and the Snoke & Throne and Guardians of Evil packs.
This new Inferno Agent figure continues a theme started in 2015 when Walmart released the Shock Trooper to celebrate the release of the Battlefront video game. Roll forward 2 years and the Inferno Squad Agent is a celebration of the release of the sequel Battlefront II.
At the time of writing this, the figure is not getting a widespread UK release. That means you will need to source via an independent or via Gamestop direct. I ordered direct from US and ended up paying heavily in custom charges due to some fluctuations in the £ to $ between order and delivery. The package also came damaged and despite contacting Gamestop there has been no follow up or resolution from them - so I have opened and reviewed the figure anyway.
If you are in the UK or Europe then my advice is to pre-order from Gamestop Ireland for €29.99 where there will be no risk of custom charges.
The Inferno Squad Agent as he is titled on the box, arrives in a standard Black Series Phase 3 box. It has the larger base rail as per the tweak made midway through 2017 and it also comes with the brighter logo - as updated for the Force Friday II (3rd September) releases.
What is a little different is the Gamestop exclusive sticker - which we saw on the R5-D4 release. We also get the Battlefront II logo underneath the artwork - a feature which was included on the figures 2015 predecessor, the Shock Trooper. Most striking though is the use of red highlights and images within the normally grey artwork. This does make the release stand out from a packaging point of view and for me is only bettered by the Force Ghost Obi-Wan so far this year.
Being an exclusive there is no numbering for this, therefore the gloss red side spine carries the name only and a shaded box.
Round the back we see more of the red highlighted image and the standard brief bio which talks about the plot of the Battlefront II Story Mode and how the Inferno Agents will fit into this. This text is repeated three more times in French, Spanish and Italian. The rest of the box is made up of safety and legal notices.
Like any Black Series release, the figure slides out via the top or bottom flap and is packed in a clear tray that then sits inside the gloss red cardboard insert. There is one blaster accessory packed to the side of the Agent's head.
As we know, this figure is simply a repaint of the original Tie Fighter PIlot released in early 2015 on the phase 2 blue packaging. Once the figure is in hand you will start to notice where changes have been made starting with the obvious red decals and stripes on the helmet - replacing the original silver Imperial cog with a red version on the left and what I guess is the Inferno Squad logo on the right.
The other noticeable change on the head are the lenses of the helmet which are now a deep glossy red.
I have always personally found the Tie Fighter helmet oversized to the body of this figure and felt some artistic licence may have been better taken to either bulk up the body or slightly shrink the helmet.
The figure is cast predominantly in black. There is an flightsuit at the base of everything which is sculpted to look like cloth with various folds and creasing. Ontop this sits the various armoured pieces and each of these is a much glossier and smoother black colour. The chest piece is the largest, but we also have gloved hands and thigh high boots. Atop the chest sits the chest breather device. This is attached to the chest armour with two semi-flexible breathing tubes that go up to the helmet. It is these tubes that are of great controversy for this figure in terms of them not being present on the footage we have seen of the Battlefront II game. Why Hasbro did not simply take these away is unknown - particularly as they aren't even fixed at the helmet and can be pulled out of their socket.
The other discrepancy when comparing the figure to the game footage is the lack of a pauldron or armour piece over the right shoulder. This again feels something that could have been easily added as a piece between the head and neck and that sat over the shoulder.
It is also worth noting the other elephant in the room at this point and that is that the main character in Battlefront II story mode, Iden Versio, is a female commander and to release her would have required some new sculpting. This figure therefore is named as simply one of her squad rather than Iden herself.
Comparing our new Inferno Squad Agent to the previous Tie Fighter sculpt uses - Lt. Oxixo and the original Tie Fighter PIlot - there are some other differences with our new release.
The belt has been changed to one more akin to the Stormtrooper belt. While this is not a direct use of the Stormtrooper belt sculpt (the back cannister is missing) it is most likely a tweaked version of it.
There are some colour variations on the chest piece, with the Inferno colouring including red on the left hand panel and the right hand switches. The colouring of the device on the left wrist remains the same as the original Tie Pilot - while Oxixo changes his to include more colourings.
Articulation on the Tie Pilot body has always been pretty decent - he is not as restricted by his armour as say a Stormtrooper.
The head is ball jointed, but will be held back by how far those tubes can stretch from the chest box. The shoulders are ball jointed and the elbows a single rotating joint - but one that will bend to and beyond 90 degrees. While the figure is wearing flight gauntlets, there is a joint at the wrist to turn and flex the hands.
The torso is fixed in place thanks to the armour and chest box, so there is no torso joint - and instead a rotating waist is included. From here the legs are ball jointed hips with a thigh swivel and double jointed knees. The figure is supported on ankle rockers which feel tight and secure and I have had no issues standing the Inferno Agent, nor any of his predecessors.
The usual E11 blaster is included and this is accurate to the game as far as footage is concerned. This weapon was always included in the Tie Pilot figures anyway - so isn't really a special amendment for the Inferno Squad version. While the original guns for the Tie Pilots were matt black plastic cast, this one gets a metallic dry brush and looks a whole lot nicer for it.
Thanks to the arm articulation, cradling and holding the E11 is easy and a variety of poses can be reached. The gun sits best in the right hand, with a flexible trigger finger on the right hand that slots into the trigger.
When not in use, the blaster can be holstered in the working holster that is hung off the belt. Like the original Tie Pilots, this holster gets in the way a little on the left hand side. But as the belt is loose you can rotate it round the back - and with no obvious buckley on this belt it won't look out of place.
The key word for this figure I feel is "Squad" and the figure starts to look more impressive when he is teamed up with fellow pilots. Army building the actual Inferno Troopers will be difficult considering the cost and lack of availability outside of the US.
The Inferno Squad Trooper is a very unique figure, and fans of Battlefront will be pleased that key troopers from the game continue to be recognised in figure form. The truth of the matter however is that this is a very expensive repaint and one that isn't even 100% accurate to the game. I won't tell you how much I ended up paying for this from the US - but let's say even without the custom charges I would have been disappointed with the accuracy of the Inferno Squad Agent. The fixes were relatively simple too in that you could lose the breather tubes, add a small pauldron and maybe throw in a couple of different weapons.
With that in mind, I am going to go mid-table with the score and go 3 out of 5. I urge anyone who wants this to wait it out and pick up via the Gamestop Ireland site or wait for the inevitable availability from some of our independent stores.
UPDATE: The Inferno Squad Agent was carried by Game Stores in the UK for £25 per unit