Updated: Nov 24, 2018
When I started down the Black Series 6" road with that Boba Fett in Toys R Us I had said to myself that I wouldnt be a completist in this line like I had been with previous collections. Unfortunately the Black Series bug and my compulsive collector got together and I now find myself chasing down both the standard figures, but also the exclusives that Hasbro has put out in the US.
After receiving Proto Boba last week, this week saw the arrival of the Shadow Squadron. The set came up on Amazon at £50 and I had some vouchers to spend so I took the plunge.
Upon arrival the set is a bit of an odd ball as it comes in packaging which although consistent with the rest of the series has an odd background. Not that this is a bad thing and was probably needed otherwise this may have looked like an empty box. Apologies for the bad packaging photo's, the box is very reflective so I didnt capture it very well.
As far as I am aware the conecpt of black stormtroopers goes back numerous years within the Expanded Universe and they are seen as the elite within the Imperial Ranks. This box set brings you two of them. The first is a Black Storm Trooper who comes sporting a black pauldron. This is the weaker of the two figures contained in the set in my opinion. Firstly, unlike its counterpart, the figure doesnt seem to be overly well shaded. There is some contrast between armour and the clothing below, but not loads. I was also expecting the white imperial logo somewhere as a focal point. Stormie comes with 3 weapons, the same that come with the Sandtrooper, and these are all painted grey with no detailing. Posibility is identical to the usual sand/storm trooper.
The star of the show is the Shadow Scout who's paint job is much crisper and contrasting. He cuts a very dynamic figure posed against his all black speeder bike. The scout like his deluxe white counterpart is heavily poseable and comes with a single scout blaster in a leg holster. This shadow version sports an imperial log on his chest. He does suffer from the same visor deformation as the usual release, am hoping this will self correct now out of the box - otherwise I will give it the hot water treatment.
His bike is also well painted, with the imperial logo on the front and the rear side wings. Mine arrived with woefully warped handlebars, which I will also sort at some point. The stand was also very difficult to get into the hole provided.
As a set this is another perfect exclusive, a repaint of existing figures that are a niche market. Having got them I love the scout, but am a bit meh about the stormtrooper. Value wise you cant argue with £50 - if you bought the deluxe speeder bike and a regular sandtrooper at RRP they would cost you £60. If you are a MIB collector then I am not convinced that the box would look good on display, it is hard to show off two black figures in a black box even if they have amended the background.
All in all 3/5 from me with the Scout doing all the good work and the stormtrooper losing this set the marks.