Review : K-2SO (Rogue One)
Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro)
Wave/Series : Rogue One Wave 1
Released : September 2016
Price : £21.99
The Star Wars Black Series welcomes the Rogue One figures into it's midst this September, with the launch of the first wave based on Rogue One. Hasbro have made the decision to keep the red & black packaging that launched with The Force Awakens, and therefore the numbering for the Rogue One figures is consecutive to the Saga and Force Awakens figures that have come before.
#24 in the series is K-2SO, the new Imperial Security Droid who is in fact serving the Rebellion in the story. Like all the other phase 3 figures before him, K-2SO arrives in the Black packaging with stark red banding down the right hand spine. The grey scale art work remains, as does the multi language bio of the figure on the back.
Out of the box, K-2SO is an impressively sized figure - standing a clear 7 and 1/4 inches high, almost as high as Chewbacca. The first thing that strikes you is that although this is essentially an all black figure, there is a very impressive and clean sculpt hidden by the muted dark paint job. Starting with the skeletal head, there are some crisp panel lines and then smaller grills and lights around the mouth area. This is painted in a glossier black at the back of the head, where as the front is a slightly duller matt finish. On top of this there is some intricate and very neat paining of K-2SO's silver/white eyes, some tiny silver grills around his mouth area and with a tiny red indicator light to one side. It's not all perfect though as there has been an attempt to weather/distress the head with some silver paint applications to replicate scratched paint. The smaller ones here work, but a larger "splodgy" one looks too cartoonish for me.
The two tone black extends into the body, and as with the head the sculpt is crisp and very mechanical with clean lines and plenty of overlapping panels. The shoulders in particular have 8 varying panels rotating round the shoulder, and then there is the chest panel which again is sculpted with switches and panels. Round the back is the back panel of an Imperial Storm Trooper with the circular port and the two lines, above this sits two small antenna. Further down the back is more paneling and grills. Like the Protocol Droids, the Security Droid have a thinner mid section that extends out of the bulky torso to connect to the hips. Like Protocol droids, such as C-3PO, this mid section contains further sculpt detail albeit in K-2SO's case more uniform and regular vs the "tummy wires" on C-3PO. The height of K-2SO is driven by his long legs which extend out of the hips, down through the knees and to the feet.
The arms are of a similar design to the legs, with big rounded joints at the elbows and wrists. The arms are also elongated like the legs, giving the whole figure a lanky and awkward look. All of the body is painted in the same two tone of black, with very neatly painted silver highlights as well as some muted colours - particularly some orange trim around the shoulder and hip sections. This orange paint is not crisp and neat, but quite rough and I think this is to reflect the prop itself rather than being a poor job in the factory. The same weathering and scratching from the head is continued on the body - looking fine in most places, although where there is a larger section - such as the left shoulder - it does start to look like a paint splodge as opposed to some scratching to the droids paint job. The figure's decor is finished with some Imperial logo decals on either shoulder.
Articulation on K-2SO is very well engineered, and is a similar approach to the one taken with IG88 - although K-2SO's articulation is much more refined and operates a lot better. The head is on a very thin stalk of a neck, and the head can rotate fully on this neck and thanks to a ball joint can also tilt quite a bit to either side. This neck is then rather beautifully a double ended ball joint with the second end that plugs into the body also being able to move and tilt. This allows the head even wider movement so much so that K-2SO can look almost straight down at his feet if you feel the need.
The torso is jointed at the natural joint between upper chest section and the inner mid-drift. This allows the entire torso to be rotated independently to the legs which adds some nice sideways positioning when posing your droid. Arms are ball jointed at the shoulder and can raise out to around 70 degrees to the body and can then rotate around the axis. The elbow joint is really neat as its a circular piece which can be rotated itself as it has a ball joint that plugs into the upper arm and then the lower arm. This joint bends to a full 90 degrees and then the joint rotates also and thanks to the double ended joint you can also rotate the lower arm to your hearts content. The arms finish in a rotating wrist which also bends well past 90 degrees either way, the one gripe is that on my figure one of these joints is quite loose and I suspect it is a weak spot for the figure. There are no accessories supplied with K-2SO although his hands are capable of holding some of the Black Series weapons / accessories.
The legs are tackled in exactly the same way as the arms with a ball jointed hip, and then one of these circular double ended joints for the knees. The knee bends a full 90 degrees and then rotates in two places, this means K-2SO can kneel quite easily. The legs end with another circular joint at the ankle, and here it rather strangely allows the foot to be bent 90 degrees front and back if you so wish. The benefit of this joint, and the well engineered feet is that, unlike his 3.75" counter-part, K-2SO is initially a very stable figure and stands really well in a number of poses.
(edit Nov 2016) Unfortunately after just a short period of display, the knee and ankle joints loose the tightness they had coming out of the packaging, and unless you put him onto a stand of some kind you will find K-2SO enjoys nothing more than some serious shelf diving.
K-2SO is a really solid start to the Rogue One Black Series figures, and when you consider some of the complaints leveled at the first Force Awakens wave it seems Hasbro have worked hard to make sure this figure is well sculpted, well engineered and then presented as best he can with a good paint job out of the factory.
(edit Nov 2016) We gave K-2SO an initial rating of 5 out of 5, but I have since found that the leg joints are particularly week after just a few short weeks on display. That makes K-2SO very hard to stand up for periods of time, and with his height and upper bulk he is prone to shelf diving and will take out any other figures nearby. This is frustrating for a figure sold in a collectors range, and sadly there is no real stand options out there for a figure of his statue. I am amending K-2SO to a 4 out of 5 score on the back of these stability issues.